Although we are a small school, we live in a wonderfully vibrant larger community, just waiting for us to explore. Field trips are an integral part of our curriculum, throughout the grades. In the first/second grade classes, this may mean trips to the grocery store if we need items for a cooking project, to the berry patch for Fall raspberries and blackberries, to the public libraries if we need books for a research project (or just to browse), and so on. I would say that this is just one of the many beauties of small class sizes - we can just load up the little 14-passenger buses and GO!
Some trips tend to happen every year. Traditions are formed, and are so loved by students and teachers alike that we can't imagine not doing them again. One such field trip is the visit to the JoAnn Fabric store - usually during the second or third week of school. Each child gets to select their favorite fleece fabric, which will be transformed into a cozy pillow to use during daily reading times. The students feel such pride and affection for their pillows, and use them happily throughout the year.
Beyond being fun, this particular field trip had children practice:
* interacting with the outside world (other customers and the sales people)
* manners (saying please and thank you)
* money skills