Maths doesn’t belong in the classroom. A report by Ofsted reveals that “pupils’ participation and achievement can benefit significantly from getting involvedwith activities outside the classroom”. Here are some of the many reasons why you should take your child outside this half term for some maths fun!
1) Giving maths meaning
The abstract nature of maths can make it difficult for children to fully grasp or engage with the subject as a whole. Taking maths outside can link it to real life, proving maths has a purpose and providing relevance in a way that isn’t really possible within four walls. The world is full of mathematical structures, patterns and shapes and showing how certain maths topics works in context can be a useful method for helping children who don’t connect as well with the subject.
2) New environments can be motivating
A change of scene can be fun and engaging for children and sometimes all they need for an idea to be consolidated or fully understood. Research by the NCETM shows that learning outside can bring higher levels of motivation, boosting your child’s engagement in maths inside the classroom. What’s more, taking maths outdoors is an excellent post-SATs opportunity to break your child’s routine and inject a sense of fun that may have been lost by the tenth past paper!
3) Opportunity to see maths as cross curricular
As mentioned above, giving maths meaning can help children’s engagement. This is much easier to do outside with the possibility of linking maths to subjects across the curriculum. Whether that is highlighting the angles present in your drawing of the surrounding landscape or the lines of symmetry present in some of the apparatus in your local park, highlighting that maths does not just come as traditional ‘maths’ can increase its appeal.
4) Beneficial for children’s health
Spending time outside not only raises levels of vitamin D which is crucial for children’s development, but can also reduce stress and leave them feeling happier. Doing fun maths games outdoors, such as racing and timing, is also an excellent way to encourage your child to exercise and learn at the same time.
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