Today my class and I discovered the wonders of geocaching. I have to admit, the first time I ever experienced geocaching I couldn't imagine how I could possibly use it in the classroom. However, today I used it for the first time and will most certainly use it again.
I placed the caches around our schoolyard. Then students were given a paper skeleton with missing bones; the caches included the missing bones. Students were divided into groups of 4 and 5. Their job was to use the coodinates and the GPS systems to find the missing bones of their paper skeletons. Since the skeletal system was taught earlier in the year, this was a nice review activity.
Some students struggled with using the GPS systems at first, but most quickly figured out how they worked and successfully found their cache.
The best part of the whole activity was the aftermath of the event. After our excersion with GPS systems, we took our third common math assessment to determine if students had reached benchmarks in math. The result were amazing. Students scored higher on this assessment then any other they've taken this year. I really do believe stimulating their brains and bodies before taking the test had something to do with it.
I can't wait to use geocaching again. Our next event will include a geocache at a local nature center. It will be on a much bigger scale.