In response to posting #'s 13 and 14. I feel your pain Lynne. We are required to have 200+ minutes of ELA each day and 70 minutes of math plus all the other must do's of lunch, recess, related arts... we are thinking of dedicating 1 afternoon (probably Friday) to our Regions tour. Then while students work on their travel journals (that day's writing) we will do our reading/writing conferences. It's not ideal but we hope it will give the students more of a connection to the curriculum - throughout the week one of our Literacy stations will be a "Travel Depot" with activities to prepare for that weeks trip.
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