Working on #TEDxWOHS Outside

When I got back to my room from lunch today, a couple of my students point out how lovely the weather is, and say “We should work outside.”

I thought about it, and there wasn’t any reason not to. The laptops are charged, and the WiFi extends outside of my classroom. And they’re right, the weather is really nice outside. Plus, it is my birthday, and I’m in a good mood. So I said sure.

I told students that if they wanted to work outside, they could, but they could stay in the room if they wanted. I left the door open, and I sat outside with the students, using my laptop. And it was really nice.


I had a couple of interesting revelations based on this. For one, I really saw the power of student choice. Even though it was such a small choice, just telling the students that they could work outside if they wanted, they went outside and really worked. They were on task the entire period, watching videos and working on their reflections. The technology enabled this, but it wasn’t the focus.

I also noticed that all the boys in that class (granted, there are only 5) chose to work inside. I’m not really sure why. 3 of the 5 are baseball players, and therefore should be accustomed to being outside. When I asked them, they didn’t really have a reason why.

Anyways, the students enjoyed it, and asked if we could do it every Friday. I told them that since Fridays are the scheduled mini-presentation days, but I told them we could probably do it on Wednesdays.

I also did this with 7th period, but the results weren’t as positive. I had to tell them a few times to stop talking, but that could be more because of a couple of 1st period students who came back and disrupted them than it does 7th period specifically. Still, they may not get the option again…