field trips

Middle School Field Trip to Asheville

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One of the main focal points of our middle school curriculum involves getting out into the community and experiencing things outside the comfort of Mountain Pathways.  This week, our middle school class went on a field trip to Asheville to experience several unique experiences.

We started our trip with a stop at the arboretum where we were able experience some natural splendor while also appreciating the amount of work that goes into cultivating and designing such impressive work.  In particular, we enjoyed walking through their bonsai garden which featured many elaborately designed plants.

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Our next day started with our trip to a bison farm in Leicester.  We were able to get up close and personal to some very interesting creatures and learn about what it was like to care for these types of animals.  

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From the farm we traveled to the Biltmore Estate, where we were able to tour the house and learn about its history.  We also received a behind the scenes tour of the conservation lab that restores the artifacts of the house. The conservators were impressed with the questions that the students had and were glad to have such an engaged audience.  The students left feeling great about not only getting an exclusive tour, but also feeling like they learned a lot about what it takes to keep a place like Biltmore looking as pristine as it does.

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We finished our busy day with a ghost tour through downtown.  It didn’t lead to any paranormal sightings, but it was a lot of fun for us!

-Austin and Matt

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Field Trips in the Second Plane

The second plane of development is the plane of childhood. The absorbent mind, so prevalent from birth to age six, gives way to the conscious mind in the second plane of development. Learning now takes place at a slower, steadier pace. Children in the second plane of development are much less drawn to the repetition of activities, unless there is some variation involved.

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Children in the second plane of development are also no longer solitary beings. They now tend to gravitate towards others in their environment. Around the age of 6, children begin to become interested in their classmates and are learning how to get along. They start to choose to work with others on projects of mutual interest. By 11 or 12, most students prefer to work with others rather than individually. As they develop, children in the second plane of development also expand their social network. They begin to show a genuine interest in others, whether it is within their local community or in a more global sense of awareness. They want to see possibility in real experiences. This is why we go. Our field trips are an extension of the classroom and a way to support a 9-12ers emotional and social development.

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We encourage our students to embrace their joy, to be themselves, and to explore their space with the appropriate amount freedom and the right amount of boundaries. I too find my own joy on our field trips because it’s infectious-we are always outside, moving from one space to the next in a flow of excited kinetic energy. I am a self admitted homebody, so these field trips are equally good for adults. We are breaking our routines and experiencing things as a group and through the eyes of the children. It is truly satisfying.

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Our fall and spring field trips this year are connected to our end of year project, Imaginary Island. Students create their own islands after learning the 14 points of geography. This process starts with the teaching of the Great Lessons-you can’t have an island until you understand how the Universe was born, how life came to be, how man evolved, and how language and math developed through the creation of economies and cultures.

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Our trip to Virginia was an involved experience in a certain biome, with certain plants, with certain geography, and certain weather patterns. Our spring trip will be to the Golden Isles of Georgia. We will descend from the mountains to sea level, and we experience a whole new environment. Different soil, trees, insects for sure! It book ends our comprehensive biome, cultural, and geographical studies, so students may create their own islands after seeing the possibility in real experiences.   

To sum up our trips, there is simply too much to say. I will conclude by letting them tell you what they learned not just about where we went, but more importantly what they learned about themselves. Enjoy.

-Kristy


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“I learned I could ride 17 miles on a bike.” -Jude Jackson

“I learned that I am not afraid to ride downhill on a bike.” -Mackenzie Taylor

“I learned I don’t sleep well when camping!” -Avery Shanely

“I learned that you never have two of the exact same field trip.” -Charli Johnson

“I learned that no matter what I did out in the woods I was happy just being in nature.’ -Ava Doty

“I learned that flashlight tag is fun-even in the dark.” -Nathan Bing

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“I learned that being away from electronics makes you not want them.” -Penelope Shack

“I have more confidence.” -Amelia Carter

“I learned you are stronger if you work together.” -Ruby Taylor

“I learned that I am a morning person.” -Holden Womack

“I think I will like riding my bike more.” -Magdalena Visser

“Biking was never my strong suit, but after riding the Creeper I think I got better.” -Zoe Nelson