Posted in Geocaching, Roanoke County Schools, social studies

Hunting for Treasure with Kindergarten Pirates!

The Kindergarteners at Glenvar Elementary went treasure hunting on Friday to look for “pirate loot!” Using treasure maps and gps units, they found all sorts of goodies while practicing their map skills. They did this in full pirate attire, of course! Here’s some pictures of the event…it was a blast!!

Pirate Geocaching with Kindergarten! on PhotoPeach

Posted in Geocaching, Projects, Roanoke County Schools, social studies

Sending Oliver K. (Geobug) on his way

oliverkOur 2nd grade students ihave been reading the book, The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman by Darcy Pattison. It’s a story about a wooden man, Oliver K. Woodman, that is sent from an Uncle in Rock Hill, SC to his niece in Redcrest, CA. Oliver moves from place to place in the book through the kindness of strangers who pick him and and help him travel all the way across the United States.

After reading the book, following his travels on google earth, and learning about communities we decided it would be fun for the students to send their own Oliver on a journey. Since students have also been learning about geocaching, we decided to tie the two things together and create a traveling Oliver K. Woodman geobug. We planted him at a local tourist spot, and hope to map him as he makes his way across the United States to Redcrest, CA. Just like in the book, we are counting on the kindness of strangers to move him from one geocache to another. If you run across him, please help us by moving him along. The students would also love to see pictures of his travels!

As he moves, the classes will use their mapping skills to follow him, and hopefully learn a little of geography. We’ll also be interested in what types of communities he move through (urban, suburban, or rural).

You can learn more about this project on our wiki:


Posted in Fun, Geocaching, Ideas, Links, Projects, Roanoke County Schools, Web 2.0

Projects, Projects, Projects

This article is a follow up to yesterday’s inservice at Clearbrook.  We discussed Global Projects, Using Skype, Wiki Ideas, and Geocaching and Geobugs.  Wow, that was a lot of stuff!
Shelia Terry from Virginia Beach was able to skype with us and talk a little about her use with Skype with her students there.  She gave us some great information about skype, and send us a link to more Skype info on her wiki!    

We also talked a lot about some existing global projects you can join. 
One of the project places I highlighted was the site by Jen Wagner.  I love her projects!!
The other project I mentioned by name was the skype project called Mission 00 Rain about Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  I remember that a few of you were interested in it as well.  It’s for grades 1-3, but you need to register by Oct. 10! 
Finally, we did some geocaching and talked about geobugs.  In case you all are interested in geocaching for fun, the geocaching site is  You can create an account for free, and download the locations of caches to many types of gps units.  The newer ones for cars will even let you do this.  It’s tons of fun, and they are EVERYWHERE…so it’s also great for family trips or vacations. 
If you and your class want to track the Big Lick Geobug, here’s it’s story.
Finally, an Oliver K. Woodman Geobug will be leaving Roanoke in the next few weeks.  He’s heading to Redcrest, California.  If you’ve read the book, The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman, you’ll know why!  Let me know if you want me to come to your class, show a geobug, and get your started following him too.  🙂
Posted in Geocaching, Lessons, Roanoke County Schools

Geocaching Fever!!

gps1Have you seen small groups of students running around hunting for boxes at your school lately?  If so, then you’ve seen us geocaching, a fun, active way to solve SOL related problems!  It’s a great way for students to move around outside while working in groups and solving SOL related problems.  They love it!!
Here’s the basic idea:  It’s like a high-tech scavenger hunt. The kids use a handheld gps units to find hidden boxes around the school yard (your ITRT will help you set this up ahead of time).  When they get to a box, they use clues inside to figure out the answer to a problem or complete and activitiy.
Currently we have sets of activities created (or being created) for the following units:
  • Regions of VA (4th)gps2
  • Pirate Math (end of 2nd)
  • Global Studies (5th)
  • Library (Genres)
  • PE (Fall activity involving math and PE)
  • Phases of the Moon (4th)
  • Weather
  • Native Americans (2nd)
  • Native Americans (4th)
  • Carnivore/Herbivoire/Omnivore (3rd)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Musical Instrument Families

 We are coming up with more each day….and would be happy to create one for a different unit with your help if you have an idea!  If you are interested in trying out this activity with your students before it gets too cold, let me know.gps3