Parachutes outdoors are great!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Outdoor maths

Last week my primary 7 class headed off for the school main door from our classroom after estimating how long it would take to get there.  Estimates varied from 1min 30 secs to 10 mins!  It took 1 min 23 secs.
Once outdoors we looked for shapes (2D and 3D) along the side of the school building.  Most pupils missed the pentagon - the side of the security light on the wall so we started looking closer and had some good discussion about all the shapes seen. 

We have a number line marked on the ground along the school grounds so we worked out 1/25 of 100 (as we have been looking at fractions) and had to then jump along the number line in 4s  This highlighed a lot of pupils who couldn't work out moving up the line in 4s after they reached 40.  We often assume tables are secure for most pupils at this level so this was useful for assessing how secure they were.

For the final section of path each pupil estimated how many steps/hops or jumps it would take them to reach the top.  Not all very accurate but at least it got everyone warm on a cold frosty morning.

All simple activities but the pupils loved doing them outside and it allowed some revision of various maths topics before we headed to the playground for our main activity on fractions. 


  1. Here's a thought we used. The pupils had little understanding of a kilometre so we walked down the single track road of the village leaving our classmate signs (explaining what were doing and how far it was) at 100 metre interval. They insisted on walking the whole kilometre, not doubling back. We all know how far it is now!
    (PS glad to see some ideas for upper end outdoor maths- I'm always on the look for whole small school!)
    Thanks for the blog.

  2. Hi Graham. Thanks for your comment! I like your idea. As for upper stages maths, I have been trying to find/think of ideas as yes, there is so much for infant maths. I will blog about my fraction activity next.