For those who follow me, you know I’m a big advocate of using activity to help students learn. I’d like to share an idea for a math class that can be easily adapted for any subject, with a little imagination.
Last Friday afternoon was a beautiful end of May day. I came back after lunch to find my husband (who teachers math and physics at my school), in the middle of the parking lot, holding a clipboard while his calculus students raced around the soccer fields and parking lots. They were working the concept of integration and he had devised a scavenger hunt that had them outside and moving AND doing calculus. Before the class, he went outside and wrote five integration problems with chalk on the side of the building, the parking lot, the outdoor basketball net, etc. He tried to find inconspicuous spots so they would have to hunt for them.
Students were sent in groups, with a clipboard, to hunt for each problem. Once they found all five, they had to solve them, which they did, sitting on the grass in the beautiful sunshine. Groups would get a point for every problem they found and a point for each one they solved correctly. In addition, the first place team got three points, the second place team got two, and the third got one extra point. All teams got to have a lot of fun, a fair bit of exercise, and an opportunity to work on integration. Sounds like a win-win!
It got me thinking as to how I could do something similar in an English class: You could write random lines from a poem that they would have to try to put together correctly. Or you could scribble obscure vocabulary words that they would have to try to use correctly in a sentence — although you may have to collect phones ahead of time so they don’t look the words up!
There are many ways we can get our kids outside and keep them learning. If you’d like to get some more, you might be interested in my Outdoor Activities for Secondary English. It has lots of ideas for taking your class outside and get work done. My husband also has lots of indoor math games at his TpT Store.
If you have great ideas for getting your kids either moving to learn, or learning while they go outside, please share them below!