Dave Foley, a retired Cadillac, Michigan, middle and high school teacher and the author of The Ultimate Classroom Control Handbook, used to take his class outside but only if every student in it had been listening and participating in his indoor lessons. The class knew that just one bad egg could close the window of opportunity, so there was intense positive peer pressure for everybody to focus, he says. Peer pressure doesn't have to be bad, he notes. You can use the other students to influence good behavior as well.
Other rules for making it work: The outside temperature had to be at least 60, the ground had to be dry, and the lesson had to be one where they would be working quietly, says Foley, who taught English and social studies. And, if anybody had to go to the bathroom, we all had to come in.