We all know that taking fresh air breaks as a class is so important in keeping student engagement refreshed! It does everyone good to get up and go outside after a long time of consistent classroom work.
When I think of outdoor activities to do, I just think of some of the games we already play in the classroom but make them bigger! You have the space so may as well fill it up!
Here are some great math activities to do outside:
Human Base Ten Chart
With chalk, draw a giant base ten chart with three sections. Label the top of each section, hundreds, tens, and ones. Provide each student with a number card to hold. The students hold digits and arrange themselves in the chart. The students sitting on the outside read the number they have created. For example if one student is 2 in the hundreds section, and 4 in the tens, and 7 in the ones, the number read would be 247. The students in the chart can arrange themselves to make the largest possible number. Then make the smallest possible number. For more of a challenge, you can always extend how high the place value chart goes up to by adding a thousands section or greater.
Count by 10 Basketball
With masking tape or painters tape, create lines on the ground and label them in increments of ten. Students can line up their feet with a piece of tape before they shoot the basketball. If they make the shot from that angel, they earn that many points. Some students can work to keep score. They will be working with adding increments of ten and counting by tens to solve the total points scored. Students can rotate positions so they can have a turn in each spot.
Hula Hoop Skip Counting
If your students use hula hoops during recess time, let’s put them to even better use! Lay them on the ground in a line. Tell the students that each circle is worth five. The students take turns jumping from hoop to hoop counting by fives. You can continue this pattern with skip counting by twos, tens, even hundreds! Challenge the students to try to jump back to the start and skip count in the other direction.
Odds or Evens
Think of your classic game of rock, paper, scissors. Instead of those choices though, they can put out either one or two fingers. One person who is odds wins if the total number is odd, the other person wins if the total number is even.
Now lay down those hula hoops again in a line. Have one person start at each end. When they hop towards each other and meet in the middle, they battle out who keeps going or who is out by playing a game of odds or evens.
Bring out a traditional game of twister. Just make a few small modifications, and it becomes a math game! Take the spinner and arrange some addition or subtraction facts. Create the corresponding sums and differences on the color circle mat. When the spinner lands on a fact, the student has to solve the fact. Then find the answer on the mat and place their foot or hand on the answer.
Obstacle Course Addition and Subtraction
This can be as complex or simple as you would like. The choices are endless. One way to set up an addition and subtraction obstacle course is to use some cards and painted lines on an outdoor paved court. Create the cards in advance to provide facts or problems to solve. The answers to those problems become that amount of steps, skips, jumps, or crawls to the next card. Get creative and involve the students in creating the task cards. They will be excited to give their friends a challenge.
Keep Moving and Keep Counting
Bringing math skills outside is a great way to let kids have movement and fresh air breaks as well as keeping them engaged in their learning. These activities can be a fun way for students to keep practicing fluency skills and keep their math strong.
- Classroom Teacher
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