## Wednesday, April 25, 2012

### Taking Math Outside!

The snow is gone, the sun is finally shining ... so we're taking math OUTSIDE!!!  I have a lot of kinesthetic learners in my classroom this year, and A LOT of boys who prefer hands-on activities (17 boys out of a class of 22 students).  Whenever possible I try to get them moving ... unfortunately, this class is also one that requires a lot of structure ... and sometimes the two just don't mix well.  But, we've had two fabulous math classes this week with a kinesthetic twist ... and no behaviour problems.  If they can keep this up, we just may be able to continue with the fun.

For both classes we started inside with a lesson and a foldable (I can't wait to share these with you on Sunday), then took it outside.

On Monday we were learning about Order of Operations - we use the acronym BEDMAS to remember the steps.  Two years ago I started doing BEDMAS hopscotch (I saw the idea on youtube and ran with it).  I did a blog post about this last year - you can read it here.  The students worked in small groups to create a BEDMAS hopscotch board using sidewalk chalk.  (Some of the letters are upside down on this board because half the group was working from one side, and the other half was working from the other side).

Having the students DO order of operations hopscotch really helps them remember the steps, but I also really like how the division and multiplication are together, as well as the addition and subtraction.  Hopefully this helps them remember that the steps for these two are equal (they get performed in order from left to right).

All the pictures in this post are from this week, but the video below is from my class two years ago.

After we finished, we took our sidewalk chalk to the basketball court and began to solve order of operations problems.  I said a problem aloud, and the kids set to solve it.  Two packs of chalk later, they had a pretty good handle on the concept ... and some awfully chalky (is that a word??) hands.  :)

The students had their final unit test on Tuesday, so today we started a new Geometry unit - angles and polygons.  Again, we started our learning in class with a new entry in our math journals (oh my goodness - this was a good one - gotta check in on Sunday).  Near the very end of class we took our learning outside and "built" angles and polygons.  SO MUCH FUN!

Here are some of my students building an acute angle.

... and an obtuse angle.

These fancy little feet arranged in an octagon belong to four of my former students (in grade 8 now).  They saw us making angles and shapes (the grade 7/8 class was outside for gym) and came over to get in our fun!!!

Happy Wednesday (we're half way there!)

Rachel Lynette, from Minds in Bloom, is having a link-up to "Get Those Kids Moving".  Check out other great ideas to get your kids moving by clicking on the button to the left.

1. What a great idea! I look forward to doing this activity with my students! Thank you so much for sharing! I so admire your site! I would be honored if you would take a look or even join mine! I am new to blogging! I think it is my new hobby! Please check out my site at dreamswillfly.com
Thanks,
Renee

2. wow. 17. I know you told me that before but it just surprises me every time! What a wonderful activity for your class--I just love this. Thanks, as always, Jen. I feel like I get a boost of enthusiasm and inspiration every time I read your words!

3. Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer! I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often.

4. Lots of boys! That was me last year. ;) Love your OUTSIDE ideas! And I'll be sure to check back on Sunday...can't wait!

Lisa
Mrs. Tilmon Says...

5. Such a great idea as always!!
☼Kate
To The Square Inch

6. okay are we living parallel lives, i have 3 kids also and my class is 14 boys out of 18 students. talk about being actve so i can totally relate , we are doing 2d and 3d shapes so i will try to do these active ideas outside making shapes with their feet, arms etc. great idea. okay so i have to let you know that i took your earth day report and had the students watch the original version of the lorax, we talked about what was done to harm the earth and then came up with ideas that we could do to take care of the earth. we used your form : how to make our home a greener place and i then had them make the truffale trees out of fuzzy pipeclearners. put that all up on a bulletin board as we are trying to become an eco-school and that will be a part of the presentation for our request to be recognized as an eco certified school. thanks for sharing your great idea. also today i introduced the glow and grow chart and applied this to our inferences that we are doing in language. the students could easliy assess their work using glow and grow. again i can't praise you enough. thanks mary at apopovic@primus.ca

7. Oh my gosh! I do chalk math every year, too! My friends love it. I pretty much do it the same way you do. I call out the problem and they solve.

8. Love this idea!!! We just finished our geometry unit so I did this with my kiddos yesterday! Sooo much fun! I posted about it on my blog and linked back to you! Thanks for the wonderful idea!!!

Molly
Lessons with Laughter

9. What great ideas!!! Those kids are very lucky to have you!!!

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