There are millions of ideas out there to help teachers to use the great outdoors for their subjects. In this blog, we want focus on some of the simplest ideas for maths.
When it comes to showing number and place value, fractions, measurement or anything connected to the national curriculum for maths, outdoors has it all. Along with an environment where children are free to discover for themselves.
The DfE’s ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ states, “We believe that every young person should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development, whatever their age, ability or circumstances.” We couldn’t agree more!
Teaching maths outdoors can be introduced easily
Time will be well spent by regularly trying to plan outdoor maths sessions into your timetable, stimulating your pupils in the process. The application of maths to the world around them, can help children to grasp a concept thoroughly.
There is so much to gain from using the surroundings to your advantage, try (and expand upon) some of these outdoor maths activities:
Tips for outdoor maths in a wild area or school garden
- Play games with different types of grass, sticks and flowers.
How tall are they? Which is the longest stick you can find? How many different types of flower are there? How many petals does each type have? Can you make any shapes out of sticks?
- Using a sandpit for maths practice
How deep is the hole? Which hole is the deepest? How tall is the pile of sand from the hole? How many objects can you find hidden in the sandpit? How many more spades full to hit the bottom of the sandpit? How fast can you reach the bottom of the sandpit?
- Build an obstacle course
Can the children give directional commands? Can they use positional language? Can they race in teams to complete the obstacle course and time each other?
- Leaf sweeping
How many leaves are in your barrow? How many leaves on your spade? Is it heavy or is it light? How can you share out the leaves with others?
- Drawing clocks / shapes
Use outdoor chalk to challenge the children with telling the time, can they draw a clock? Can they write the time in number format?
- Use the pupils themselves
Can the group make shapes with themselves? Can the class count and show fractions using pupils? Can you use smaller groups to make sums with themselves? (including maths symbols using their bodies).
For everything you need to teach outdoor maths, you can see our entire maths range here.