Interactive Field Trips

Do you remember going on field trips when you were a kid? I sure do. Anything that got me out of the classroom and into the real world scored big points with me. Back when I was in schonl (the dark ages!), field trip locations fell into two categories: museums or businesses. For example, we went to the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles one year and on a tour of a bakery another. I remember being shuffled around in a large group from display to display. Unless you were at the front of the pack, you couldn't hear what the tour guide was telling you, and you'd lose interest.

While I'm sure school groups still go to museums and take tours of local businesses, many teachers are looking for something more interactive for their students. Something that will be both educational, engaging and, dare I say, fun.

One teacher, Rene Vela, from Culver City, California, was looking for this exact combination of educational, engaging and fun, when he discovered an urban scavenger hunt tour in downtown Dallas. Vela was taking a group of students to Texas for the Student Television Network (STN) conference. He wanted something fun and educational and interactive for his students to do during one of their free periods. He found a scavenger hunt that was guided from a smart phone.

Scavenger hunts have gained in popularity every since shows like the Amazing Race have brought them to national attention. Many museums, historic areas and art walks have started to incorporate some type of scavenger hunt into their offerings. Teachers can search the Internet for scavenger hunt tours or contact the museum of their choice and ask what type of interactive game or scavenger hunt they have for school children.

The Dallas scavenger hunt game was a 2.3 mile walking tour leading students through Dallas's downtown historic district and among historic monuments, pass great works of art and to the site of a national tragedy. (Can you guess where that was?) Students had to solve challenges and complete puzzles in order to receive another clue that would lead them to their next location. The game itself kept track of the score and time, fostering a spirit of competition between teams.

Because clues can run the gamut from math puzzles to word searches, from cyphers to word scrambles to picture puzzles, a variety of thinking processes are used. With a team of 4 to 5 students, the odds are good that there will be one person on a team who will have the skills or knowledge to figure out the puzzle. The puzzles also encourage cooperative thinking where two, three and four heads are better than one.

"My class had an absolute blast in completing the scavenger hunt in Dallas, Texas. We got to see interesting things in the Downtown Dallas area that we would have never seen if not for the Quest. My students said it was one of the most fun things we did on our trip," said Kevin Matsunaga, teacher, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, Lihue, Hawaii.

This type of interactive learning keep kids engaged in the topic at hand. Plus, as an added bonus, interspersed among the puzzles and challenges were facts, history, and local trivia making sure students learn something about the city they are visiting as they play the game. Interactive field trips that engage all the students, not just the ones at the front of the pack, will make going on a field trip a whole new experience.

Christie Walker has been a journalist since 1980, working for local newspapers, trade publications, and magazines. Her new busines, is a smart phone guided, scavenger hunt walking tour of 13 U.S. Cities. You can contact her at:

Integrating Technology With Your K-12 Classroom

Why do we need to integrate technology with a K-12 classroom? Many schools and colleges are using or in the process of implementing various online technologies and solutions to enhance communication amongst students. According to the educational authority, it is the students at large who are demanding the introduction of highly advanced technology in the classroom.

Let's look at the type of technology that is most used or preferred in a K-12 class.

Social Media Websites

There is a good reason for using popular social media sites such as: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and so on. They help in a qualitative exchange of ideas and thoughts with friends or business colleagues. Many schools in the U.S. have allowed their students to browse through social media sites during class hours. The schools believe that it motivates students to search for relevant course related topics and parallel websites that can help them perform better in their K-12 classes.

Educational Blogs

K-12 educational institutions encourage their attendees to set up individual blogs in WordPress or Blogspot to post essays, short stories, etc. Teachers often monitor such blogs, helping students to write more effective posts on a regular basis. In this way, learners can share their personal educational experiences and moments with their peers and teachers.

Using Google Earth

Geography teachers can use "Google Earth", a prominent virtual globe and mapping application to educate students about the world. Learners can use Google Earth to locate different countries, rivers, seas, etc. that will encourage them gain knowledge quickly. They can use these skills to perform better in their monthly or annual geography tests and survey sheets.

Scratch Application

Teachers can use "Scratch", an online application to engage students in real-time. You can create exciting games and learning blocks via this application to let the participants solve them within the given time. Scratch acts as a great learning tool for K-12 students.

Create or Share Videos

You can create a short video with concise texts and lots of images for making the students easily understand a specific learning topic or assignment. You can share interesting educational videos from YouTube with your K-12 class. Finding and sharing important videos with the learners can help them to learn a lesson faster and more easily.


The rising popularity of mobile devices, especially iPad has led many schools to seriously consider allowing their students to use one. iPads are easy to carry and can be used to browse through websites, videos, etc. These devices can be used to connect with the class from a remote location. For example, a student who can't attend school due to illness can participate in the lesson via his/her iPad.

Jonathan is a professional trainer. He employs latest technology for online class registration and online training registration that results in more attendance and ROI.

List of Schools With New Dimensions

For many decades, schools are considered as a temple of knowledge, education and learning for kids. It serves as the first grooming place for the students. School is not only a place of learning, in fact it refers to a place, where friendly atmosphere is found and students learn new things while playing. It is more like a place of enjoyment for many students depending on the type of school. Well, schools in Hyderabad are more like entertaining and learning for the students. Every parent wants their kids to get admission in Hyderabad schools as they are the benchmark for high quality education. They provide education along with entertainment.

Knowledge is imparted to the students through various forms and courses. The schools are split into two parts, primary and secondary school. Most of the top schools are based on International standards, because they are globally recognized. So, a student can go to any country and get admission easily after studying from such schools. International schools are extremely preferred by students, because it gives you a global recognition and the job opportunities get widen for such students. The Hyderabad schools are affiliated with many International bnards like GCSE, CBSE, and Indian boards.

The Cambridge boards, GCSE, CBSE are based on concept clarification. The student is required to clear his / her concepts and then he / she can pass the exam easily. In this International standard, exams are conducted twice a year. The exams are held for the entire month and the paper is objective type. These schools are technology driven and use computers and other latest technology for explaining the concepts. Some of the best schools of Hyderabad include: St. Pauls, NASR, St. Mary, Johnson Grammar, Jubilee Hills Public and Little Flower etc. Some of the Cambridge board based schools of Hyderabad are: Manthan International, Orchids International, Mount Carmel global and Oakridge International.

These schools are based on educating kids in their own way, like the way the student wants to. It gives liberty for learning and gaining knowledge, hence it is liked by students and parents as well. It is an easy way for the teachers to educate the children. The Manthan International School gives the choice to students to select between Cambridge board and CBSE board. But, this choice is only given after the student passes the 8th Class. Then they can decide, whether he / she want to do simple matriculation or interested in doing O level.

You can gain further information about the applications and admission forms from their websites. There are numerous online websites which provide information on the top schools of Hyderabad; in fact you can find a list of top rated schools in Hyderabad. In this way, it would become easy for you to get to know about schools of Hyderabad and get your child admitted in one of them. Every school does their best for making a child as a complete person.

List of Schools
International schools are the schools that aim at promoting education that is of international standards. There are many ways of promoting and establishing international standard of education.
Click here for the Best Schools.

Preparing For The First Day Of School

Teachers spend weeks preparing a classroom for the first day of school. The room needs to be cleaned and all of the furniture arranged properly. It is also a stressful time, because a large amount teacher supplies must be purchased before the year begins. It can be easy to forget some of the most essential teaching tools because so many other areas need attention. New teachers can sometimes underestimate exactly what is needed when faced with a classroom that has no supplies and only minimal furniture.

Basic Supplies That Are Needed

The most basic teacher supplies that are needed include markers, tape, hole punches and glue. Rulers, paper and folders are usually good to have. Rooms with a whiteboard or blackboard will need chalk or dry-erase markers along with an eraser for the board. Notebooks are important to have on hand to record events in the classroom and to keep track of the performance and behavior of the students. It can also be useful to start the school year with a supply of poster board, paints and crayons that can be used for art projects. Young children might enjoy having clay or putty around so they are able to create three-dimensional shapes.

Organization Is Important

All classrooms require as much organization as possible. This can be done on a small level by having a large selection of folders available for paper, plastic or cardboard bins for supplies and some containers that can be used for trash. Items that are used for classroom storage should be placed in areas where the children can easily access the contents if needed but not in an area where the bin could be knocked over or where it could create a distraction. It is usually advisable to have some classroom storage that is off-limits to children such as a filing cabinet, a high shelf or a locking bin. This will provide a safe place for official documents, sharp items like scissors and expensive supplies like glitter.

Fun Items For the Classroom

It is always important to step back from buying basic functional supplies and purchase fun items that make the room seem lively. These can include posters, maps and other colorful decorations that can be hung on the walls. It can also be useful to have pre-printed awards to be filled out and given to the children as a sign of appreciation throughout the school year. Holiday and seasonal decorations are a good idea to stock up on at the beginning of the year because they can become more expensive to purchase elsewhere as the actual date of the holiday approaches.

Author writes about a variety of topics. If you would like more information about classroom storage, visit

Steps to Prepare for High School Success

College planning seems so far-off and parents of middle school or junior high students aren't sure of their place in this process. If you have a student grade six to eight, your early college planning begins now!

Now is the time to lay the foundation for high school (and college admission) success. One step taken now can eliminate ten panicked steps taken during junior or senior year of high school.

As an independent college counselor, I've worked with dozens of families who wish they had known what to plan for ahead of time. When a student is beginning his senior year, it is impossible for me to ask him to improve his class rank, grades, classes taken, or activities, all factors that would make college admissions that much easier.

Here are your top five steps to prepare for high school success:

1. Earning top grades and learning.Take this opportunity to build a solid academic foundation and develop skills in reading, problem solving, writing, math, listening, communication, and analysis.

2. Taking challenging courses. All students should be challenged in their academic classes. Struggling students may face the challenge of enrichment courses; embrace this opportunity to get caught up. Some students will be sufficiently challenged with the regular curriculum while others may have the option of advanced classes.

Depending on your school system, high school classes may be offered to seventh or eighth graders. These courses are a great way to challenge top students. Just remember if high school credit is awarded, these classes and grades will appear on the transcript sent to colleges.

3. Experimenting with interests and activities. The focus isn't resume building; activities allow students the opportunity to expand their talents, interests, and strengths. Elective courses help, but students should get in the habit of participating in extracurricular activities. You aren't limited to school activities. Consider community organizations, youth group, sports, and volunteer opportunities.

4. Developing study and organizational skills. Students who effectively make the transition from elementary school, learn to prioritize, balance the demands of classes and activities, organize their work, and become responsible for themselves will be ready for the challenges of high school. Kids aren't perfect and in the process of developing independence they will make mistakes. Better now than in high school.

5. Promoting positive peer groups. Grades 6-8 are socially challenging times. Unfortunately they are also the years when many students begin to associate with "the wrong crowd" out of a desire to belong. Sex and drug use are obvious problems, but watch for peers who don't value academics because those attitudes can rub off on others.

Colleges focus on student achievements in high school, so grades 6-8 are your dress rehearsal for what's to come.

College admission is more competitive now than ever. Get help from a former high school counselor and independent college advisor who knows the system. Megan Dorsey is a nationally recognized expert in test preparation and college admissions who has helped thousands of students earn the test scores and scholarships they need and get into the colleges of their dreams. To receive free college planning and test prep resources visit