Maths in the sunshine

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By Andrew Brodieauthor, Mental Maths (A&C Black)

Explore these maths activities that can be brought to life outside

Not only are Reception teachers highly skilled in organising the educational lives of up to 30 four to five year olds within the classroom, they are often brave enough to take them outside to extend their learning. So, how can we extend children’s maths learning outdoors? With the youngest children it’s ideal to make use of a covered area forming a natural extension of the classroom. Many of the activities that take place within confinement of the four walls can be much easier to manage where more space is available.

Langford Budville number wall

The children of Langford Budville Primary School in Somerset (pictured) have lots of opportunities for working outdoors and they are keen to take advantage of these to practise number work in as many ways as possible. Some artistic parents painted a simple number line along a wall, consisting of large circled numbers. A clothes line with pegs and large number cards is also used for number matching, counting on and counting back.

Playground maths

Moving beyond the covered area, what about all those playground markings? Most playgrounds have all sorts of attractive number markings – snakes and ladders, 100 squares, number spirals, hopscotch, number lines disguised as snakes, and more, that can be great learning tools. Do the children use them at break times? Do we ever use them with the children in lesson times?

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  1. peter pan
    on 3 June 2011

    Maths outdoors

    I have used some of these ideas, they are super. I also took my p5 class out with cameras, to find symmetry.