The Instructional Coach, at Baum Elementary School, and I set up a geocaching adventure for 6 of the classrooms. This was the first time any of the teachers had done such a lesson, therefore we did not really tie it to any curriculum besides the obvious social studies with longitude and latitude. However, we then provided the teachers a document that had lesson ideas on how to tie GPSing into their curriculum. Most of the ideas were found here: http://sciencespot.net/Pages/classgpslsn.html.
This adventure was a two part lesson. Monday we went into all of the classrooms modeling an introduction lesson on what GPS are and what vocabulary terms are associated with geocaching. We used this flipchart found on Promethean Planet but tweaked it to fit our students needs:goo.gl/9UcsSB.
Then today we did the outside portion of the lesson/adventure. We had 27 caches hidden throughout the school grounds (the largest class had 27 students). Students were grouped in threes and each student had a little card with three squares in it and each group had a GPS. We reviewed the basics of what to do and then shared the boundaries with the class and off the students went. The first class had a little difficulty but we figured that was because of the minor cloud coverage, therefore we had to re-mark some of the waypoints. The next three groups did very well. Finally, we took a lunch break, Jewel (the Instructional Coach and I were TIRED!) Only two more classes to go after lunch. Once we returned back out the group after lunch had a little bit of difficulty. We inferred that students must have moved some caches during lunch recess =( We found three caches that had been relocated and one that was missing.
All in all it was a great day, as all educators we are constantly reflecting and determining how we can better our instruction. Today, we determined that we should stick with morning geocache lessons, so that we can eliminate some confusion for the groups after lunch. Had we had time to check all of the caches after lunch that would have been an option as well. By the end of the day the students, teachers, and coaches were tired and had all learned a great deal. I would say a good day! I cannot wait to get all of the exit slips back to see what everyone else thought of the day.
Here is a blog from a sixth grade student about what he thought of the day:
"Today we had a cache device. Cashes aren't that easy. They can be confusing because you forget to hit the "page" button you can mess it all up and make it hard. Thats what I did and I messed it up. I had to go get help from a teacher. Keegan knew what to do but he didn't hit the "page" button either. Besides that it was really fun. It was more like a puzzle missing a bunch of different and important peices. Also others couldn't find the cashes but most were in plain sight. Thats what we did after lunch." - Caleb