Teacher adds fun to Fridays through virtual field trips
Rebecca Ban's class watches a video showing a pond at Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park as part of a lesson on habitats.
Students in Rebecca Ban’s class work hard at Warring Elementary School, but Ban and teacher assistant Donna Roman, try to make each lesson interesting and provide activities to engage students.
Every other Friday, the two take the class on a virtual field trip to a place related to the week’s lesson and provide an activity to reinforce the lesson.
“We’re big hands-on, arts and crafts, tactile people. They see it, make it, do it – they don’t just listen,” Roman said April 23 as she passed out materials to help students make ponds in connection to a lesson on pond habitats.
“This is the kind of stuff we do. It’s hands-on learning and we talk about it. The kids love it,” she said as she made her way around the classroom, handing out gummy frogs for children to snack on.
Her first and second grade class had a good grasp of what happens in pond habitats as she reviewed the lessons learned from the week before showing a video that took the class to a pond at Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park in Saratoga County.
“What is a pond?” Ban asked.
“A habitat,” Preston St. Leger answered correctly.
In fact, there are five different habitats at the pond Ban and Roman created on the wall.
Rebecca Ban hands out gummy frogs to the class at the end of the virtual field trip. Left, Preston St. Leger glues a flower to a lily pad in his pond.
Over the course of the week, students learned about ponds, how a tadpole becomes a froglet then a frog, the life cycle of dragonflies, and more.
Asked what the process of going from a tadpole to a frog is called, Preston raised his hand, and again answered correctly, saying “metamorphosis.”
When the video host used the term during the tour, Preston excitedly echoed her and pointed to the word on the wall.
When the tour ended, Ban asked the students what their favorite animal was.
The turtle won with three students choosing it, followed by the frog with two students and the duck and tadpole with one each.
“I liked learning about tadpoles, frogs and turtles and how they grow,” St. Leger said afterward.
Ban and Roman then passed out pond habitats made from plastic dinner plates to each student so they could customize it, adding tadpoles, lily pads and flowers where they wanted them.
Preston St. Leger glues a flower to a lily pad in his pond.