Field Trips and Going Out
Exploring and utilizing the world outside the classroom are integral components of the Omni Elementary experience. Children participate in an array of field trips each year. And as students mature and display appropriate levels of responsibility, they are expected to "go out" to complete their work.
Maria Montessori's ideal for the Elementary experience was a purposefully limited environment where key lessons provide jumping-off points for additional exploration outside the classroom. Going out, as it is known in Montessori terms, is designed to foster independence and resourcefulness, and give children important real-life experiences. As students pursue greater depth in their work, they find the need to enter the "real world" to gather additional information. Perhaps they visit a museum, interview a specialist, or investigate a rock outcropping firsthand. Trips are typically planned by a small group of students engaged in a specific type of work or research. Through the teacher's assistance, but ultimately on their own, students must plan their own trip, arrange transportation, and make necessary appointments. These Practical Life experiences place the responsibility on the students and allow them to develop vital communication and organizational skills.
Elementary students also take part in a range of class- and Elementary-wide outings and explorations. Teachers lead trips to the library, theaters, museums, and parks. Lower Elementary children camp out annually on the Omni campus, and Upper Elementary students plan two trips per year. Upper Elementary students also run the "Pizza Friday" business and manage additional fund-raising programs to finance an end-of-year trip for sixth-grade students.