Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gearing Up for Summer Geocaching

I am so excited to get started with the summer program a co-worker and I run.  Our program is offered to students grades K-5 who currently have an IEP (individualized education plan) or are considered at-risk.  Last year, we struggled with trying to figure out what kinds of activities we would prepare for our students, due to the varying ages and abilities.

When we were approached about running the program again, we knew we had to have a different plan of action. So after speaking with our special education director (who is just as fabulous as they come) he told us to team up with the tech department (who are just as fabulous) and TADA! we were introduced to Geocaching.

Geocaching is literally a real life treasure hunt. Here is the exact definition from the geocaching site:
        "Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices.            
          Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache               (container) hidden at that location."
Now, I don't know about you but that sounds a heck of a lot cooler than coming into a boring summer classroom with blank walls and no air conditioning.

After we found out about Geocaching we had to figure out how to make it work for our do we incorporate an academic component into this treasure hunting? We decided that students will still seek the treasure, but instead of finding random objects they would find work. Some examples of the work would include: 
          Reading: Fluency passages, Reader's Theater, Leveled Books, Comprehension packets
          Math: Math worksheets, games, clocks to tell time, counting money
          Writing: Finding random objects in the geocache and write a funny story about them, find letters                           and build words, find doctor supplies and have to fix up an incorrect         
Honestly, there are endless possibilities and like I mentioned before, I cannot wait to get started. Some of our caches may include a read aloud, snack or ... water-balloon fight! I better find my hiking boots, safari hat and canteen for our adventures. 

Does this sound like something you would incorporate into your room? How would you use Geocaching? Have you already used it before?

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