Some tips for excursion logistics from educator Cath Gordon of EducationCreations. Cath initially put the program together for Pine Rivers Heritage Museum …
On Tuesday 17 June, thirty people attended MAEDQs first professional development day. Held at the Pine Rivers Heritage Museum, the aim of the day was to investigate how the Museum prepared for and ran its lower primary Museum based education programme. With any school visit organisation is the key. Here are a few things we have learnt over the years about how to effectively organise the students, teachers and presenters before and during the visit plus a few other ideas I threw in for consideration.
Before the visit
Send teachers a copy of the day’s timetable before they visit. This allows them to split the students into groups before they arrive and allocate parent helpers to groups. This saves a lot of messing about on the day and also assists with behaviour management as it allows teachers to group students based upon behaviour and ability.
Colour coding groups always works well. Students wear corresponding coloured name tags which they prepare at school and the timetable clearly shows where each coloured group should be at what time.
Consider what information teachers need to make the day easy for them and send this to them beforehand. Consider issues such as parking, toilets, placement of school bags, first aid equipment, water sources etc.
Tune students in beforehand, this way they will already have a base of knowledge which they will build upon during their visit. Do this by providing pre-visit activities which orientate students to the period of time they will be studying and the historical language they will using.
Students feel more secure and less anxious if they are informed and have some idea about the day before they visit. You might like to send the students an ‘invitation’ which includes photos of where they will be spending their day and what they can expect to see.
When students arrive
Marshall the students before they begin and provide them with information about what they want to know such as where the toilets are, when and where they eat, who the leaders are. Also brief them on safety issues such as fire exists and how to safely enter and exit the Museum.
Ensure there is an area where students can store their bags. Alternatively some schools choose to bring student lunches in a large box and leave student bags at school.
During the day
- Guides take or direct students to their next activity. Don’t let groups wander themselves.
- After morning tea and lunch mashall students in the same area and in the same way they were marshalled when they arrived.
- Activities to go for no more than 40 minutes.
- Limit group size to approx 10 -15.
Stay tuned for the next post where I will be sharing some information about what activities grade 2/3 students are looking for and how to effectively deliver them.
Previous post from the Professional Development day
– What do year twos enjoy at museums?
See more on twitter from the day #MAEdQ_PD