We attempted geocaching once. Well, twice, because my memory got fuzzy after about six months and I again found myself swept away with the notion of search and discovery. Both times we spent a lot of time walking, a lot of time hunting, and the ride home wondering what we did wrong.
Well, my memory got fuzzy again, because now a couple years have lapsed, so when I had an opportunity to review a product that combined geocaching with education, I couldn’t resist. And, as Kate Zieglar says in the forward, “We all know that U.S. children have become more sedentary. Educaching gets students out of their seats building, exploring, and cooperatively learning.” How could I argue with that?
As I started to read the manual my excitement began to build. The uses for this method of teaching are endless! I couldn’t wait to begin.
Product: Educaching GPS Based Curriculum for Teachers
Details: 128 pages that take you from a novice GPS user to an informed teacher able to incorporate a geocaching type activity into an engaging lesson plan
Cost:$32.00 plus $6.95 S&H (ebook version is same cost, but with no shipping)
In a nutshell, you hide various activity centers in containers around the "school grounds" (aka, your yard -- but feel free to do this at a park or other location as well). The students then seek them out and perform or discuss the items in the containers. At the end you discuss the activity and what you learned or complete a project building on what you learned together.
Many of the topics cover multiple subject areas – math, history, art, science, and English all in one lesson! These lessons create the perfect learning environment for every learning style. This is not intended to be used every day, probably not even every week, but as an occasional activity to help draw the students into a topic of study in a unique format.
What we loved . . .
- It takes you out of doors!
- Requires kids to work together
- Puts learning in an unconventional format
- Everyone got involved
- We learned about so much through this study -- how GPS systems work, how to use a GPS to get where you want to go, and how much fun geocaching can be
- I didn't have to figure out what to hide on my own. The book provides you with 20 ready made lesson plans on a wide variety of topics and I easily found one that was age appropriate and sounded interesting to learn about. This book makes it VERY easy.
What we tweaked . . .
- This manual and methodology is geared more toward a traditional classroom setting with a larger group of children. Some tweaking in the execution is necessary to make it work in a homeschool setting.
- The mention of an hour of prep per lesson turned me off a bit. If I spent an hour prepping every lesson I had to teach everyday, I would not be able to sleep, or cook, or clean, or eat. This is obviously not a realistic part of the regular school day. I don’t think I even have an extra hour some weeks! But, for a once in a while, change of pace, it is well worth the extra effort.
- With all the work going in to it, I wanted more than just my few kids to benefit from it. So, we planned this for a homeschooling activity with a group of about 25 people (including adults). It worked quite well both for those that had experience geocaching and those that had never heard of it before.
For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.Disclaimer: This ebook was provided to me free of charge from Educaching as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.