Monday, 7 July 2014

Maths - Icelandic Style!

Thanks to Unnur Henrysdóttir , my colleague from our partner school, Leikskólinn Stekkjarás in Iceland for this lovely post on how to take learning outdoors & make subjects concrete for even the youngest of children. 
Making a number line.
We had fun playing with numbers one rainy morning, the task was to find numbers from 1 to a 100 and put them in a straight line. It can be tricky to know if the number is 6 or a 9, does the round bit stay down or up. Does 3 come before 1 when you write 13? These were all questions that came up. One of the children was quick to come up with the explanation that 1 is on the left and 3 is on the right. 
Finding the right number in such a large pile can be tricky!
Looking for number 77.
After we had our lunch it was time to head in to the woods, for some of them it would be there last trip since they are going to big school in few weeks time and we are all going on school holidays. Since we had been working on numbers it seemed a good idea to take that idea a bit further and work on some numbers there as well. We brought with us a tape measure and I asked the children what we could measure? The answer came quickly, "we can find out how long the worms are!" Of course, it was raining so plenty of them were around. The longest worm turned out to be eight and a half centimetres or 8.5 which was kind of a strange number.  
Worm measuring!
We carried on trying to find something else to measure and next thing we found was different sticks that we had been using to dig in the mud finding worms. How long were our sticks and who had the longest one? 
Since it was both wet and windy and some were a bit cold we needed to keep moving, so for the next task they could choose between jumping in a puddle, trying to empty it and of course count how many jumps were needed to empty it or see how far they could jump with one attempt. 

Numbers did go anywhere between 30 and a 100 but all were happy wittheir number and made sure to shout it out loud.  This was certainly a good day, one I hope the children will remember and it showed them how maths can be fun.

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