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A Breath of Fresh Air - Taking the Classroom Outdoors

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Publish date: 2019-11-25

Fun, creative learning does not need to be confined to the classroom. As a teacher, you play a key role in developing a stimulating learning environment. Think out of the box and pinpoint learning experiences that involve some fresh air and sunshine.


Children who struggle with classroom-based learning often tend to excel when learning in an outdoor environment. It releases them from the daily pressures they may associate within the walls of the classroom.


Getting their hands dirty can help learners to acquire knowledge from a different viewpoint and develop a passion for learning areas such as maths.


Taking maths outside can ignite a newfound enthusiasm. Children find joy in the wonders of nature. Use their excitement to create authentic, engaging and accessible maths experiences in the great outdoors.


Become an active participant in the outdoor learning process. There is no room outside for a passive, supervisory role for the teacher.


Supporting maths learning outdoors can often result in bigger, noisier and messier activities, using the natural and built environment in ways that are more difficult indoors.


Several key aspects are necessary for understanding maths. Fortunately, these can all be found outside:


Concrete-based learning is essential when introducing maths concepts. There is a wealth of natural resources outside- stones, twigs, pebbles, leaves, flowers… These are objects that learners can feel and manipulate in order for counting, sorting, comparing, ordering and measuring to occur.


Semi-concrete learning is the next part of the maths learning process. This involves representing concepts through drawing pictures, charts, diagrams. Being outside can help the learners’ understanding by first seeing things in concrete, tactile form, and then transferring them into a pictorial representation.


The understanding of maths language and symbols is essential. Outdoor learning makes maths vocabulary more real and relevant e.g. the words “short” and “long” can be understood much more easily when a child climbs the short pole and crawls on the long tree branch.


In this way, the concept of halving can be taken into the outdoors for effective consolidation. The concept of halving (as well as doubling) is a necessary concept in one’s maths development. It reinforces the concept of sharing (which later leads to division), assists with an introductory understanding of fractions, helps to make multiplication calculations easier to solve, as well as improving a learner’s general number concept.


Sign up for FREE to Teachers' TV online learning platform to access this custom made outdoor maths lesson plan looking at the concept of halving: CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE LESSON PLAN 

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