We had the opportunity to have a field site visit to Happy Joe’s today. Yes, I said it. A field site visit not a field trip. When I think of a field trip, I think of being toured around a location where you just listen and can not ask questions. A field site visit is so the opposite. There are conversations, discussions, questions being asked, sketches, pictures being taken, and the children interacting with the environment. I don’t know about you, but I feel like this environment is much more inviting to the learning process of young children (and adults) than the typical field trip. An ideal situation is when you can visit the field site location often and dig deeper!
As we waited for the time to come to take our walk, several children created maps about how they thought we would get there. We talked about what we might see when we got there. We all met to discuss our plan for when we would go to Happy Joe’s. The children created a list of expectations for safety and then talked about what they might do when we were there.
One our way there, several children were discussing the path to get there talking about key landmarks or signs to remember how to get there. One children told another, “We have to turn left at the stop sign; do not forget that.” On the way back, a child had me take pictures of a few landmarks so they would not forget to add that to their map.
As we neared the strip mall where the Happy Joe’s was located the children noticed numbers on the brick and started to count each number from 5-12. When we reached Happy Joe’s there was no
number on the brick. A child was sure there was an address and we decided to move along the side of the building to see if the front had an address. We were able to peek in each of the windows and the children began to call things out that they were seeing, “Boxes! A worker! Pop! Ice cream! Did you know they had dough right there?” We
One child shared, “I bet we could ask that man.” We entered and saw an employee as soon as we walked in! A reader in our room read his name and greeted him by his name right away which the rest of the children followed this suit. We asked him for the address which he provided for us and then if we could sit and observe, sketch, and wonder about their establishment. He politely agreed even before I explained to him about project work! We spent time sketching and taking pictures and have brought those back to investigate further!continued around to the front and to our surprise no address was found.