Field Trip to PVN

03.15.2012Today for my one class we went on a field trip to Primary Village North—a kindergarten and first grade school in Centerville. We had to get there super early (8:15) which was a little rough considering I still haven’t been feeling the best. But, it was worth it! First I was in a kindergarten classroom and I absolutely loved it! First of all, the school has a large emphasis on nature, so a lot of the classrooms had a nature and homey feel to them. For instance, the school does not use all of the fluorescent lighting, but instead uses some lamps and different kinds of lights, like string lights. In addition, each classroom has a few diffusers and air fresheners which make it homier, because it doesn’t have that “school” smell. Lastly, the classrooms are decorated with furniture, like lofts, igloos, couches, and smaller items like paintings and quotes. It really didn’t feel like you were in a school at all, which was awesome! I really enjoyed the teacher as well. She remained calm and let each and every student share their opinion and ideas. Even though the students are only in kindergarten, they have been writing poetry as a class and as individuals, which I thought was really impressive. The second classroom I went to was a first grade inclusion classroom, which means that it is a combination of both special needs students and typical first graders. This classroom based its activities on the level of the individual student, so there were independent readers, people reading in buddies, and a teacher performing guided reading with a small group of students. She also did a really good job of helping the students with their reading skills, such as demonstrating how to have good inflection and how to correctly read certain types of punctuation marks. Afterwards, we were given a tour of the school and got to see more of some really cool ideas. One thing I thought was cool is that their cafeteria is decorated like a restaurant so that the kids are encouraged to have “family meals” as well as be comfortable and feel safe. Also, each area has their own “garden box” outside which allows them to teach lessons outside. The principal was even telling us that they built their own birdhouses and hooked up webcams to them to see birds making their nests and laying eggs—how cool is that?! Lastly, the school has its own drama center and community lofts in which the students give performances, watch performances, or meet with other classes to discuss the work that they have been completing. I definitely enjoyed my time at PVN and will be taking some ideas from there to implement into my future classroom!