Leap into Learning
"Learning by doing, learning by caring" doesn't just happen in the classroom. It plays out in every aspect of a Nueva child's education -- including field trips. Of course, Nueva has the usual kinds of field trips, such as visits to museums and tours of historic sites, and they certainly have an important place in any child's life. But most of our trips are of a different sort, and involve our children in learning by doing, and often by caring as well. Here are two examples from fourth grade, followed by more examples from across the school.
Two October trips have become a tradition in the fourth grade for the past decade. Like any good field trip, they are directly related to the curriculum, involve the children in preparing beforehand, and create deeper student understanding.
As part of their yearlong theme, "The Path of the Hero in Ancient Greece," the students study the Acropolis: the buildings, the architecture, the mathematical relationships, and the history. Dividing into groups, they research each building and find hundreds of pictures, drawings, and diagrams, both how they look now and how we believe they looked in the 5th century b.c.e. They bind all of this into booklets for each group, then spend a day at Crissy Field in San Francisco.