Parachutes outdoors are great!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Play Day

We are taking part in Play Day on the longest day - June 21st.  Children are being encouraged to play creatively on this day.  With all the concerns about too much "screen time" I thought it would be great to get involved so have signed up our whole school to have extra play time on this day.

Each class will be timetabled for an extra 20 - 30 mins in the playground and they can choose how to play but there will be den making materials, tarps, plastic bottles, parachutes, large cardboard boxes, kites, ropes and any  thing else we can get parents to donate so creative play is encouraged.  It should be a fun day!

Poetry in the woods

At one of my courses, one participant told me about a poem she did with her class called, "In a Moment of Silence," inspired by a clip from the TV science series "Bang goes the Theory" where they recorded the sounds of centipede, snail and maggots in a special echo free room.

 The presenter used a simile when he described the maggots sounding like a bag of crisps rustling around the world.  Inspired by this, I tried it with my P7 class.We went to the woods to find as many creatures as we could.  They loved it and came up with some lovely poems but it was great to see older children so enthusiastic about small creatures and they were so careful with them and their habitats.

 So much inspiration sitting on al log in the woods, writing a poem...

 Looking for creatures in tree holes - this one was full of slugs!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Algebra outside

We have been working on algebra the last couple of weeks and we took our learning outside this week.  We used a variety of objects as the "mystery number", including my new gemstones (which I ordered from the Cosy Catalogue and the P7 girls absolutely loved!) as well as sticks, flowers, leaves, cones etc.

Some groups ended up with using 3 equations in order to work out the value of 2 unknown values.  We worked on this for almost an hour and when I said we were stopping (it was lunchtime) many of the class were disappointed as they were having so much fun!  One said, "We learn so much more outside and if we had done this in the classroom for an hour it would have been so boring.  I understand it better now"



With a week of wall to wall sunshine, my P7 class finally got out sundial experiment completed.  We made basic sundials.
 This group marked the base with chalk so they knew where to place the sundial each time.

 As we had to move them at break and lunch, this group found a good way of remembering where they had placed their sundial, using the playground markings.

The middle of a compass rose was also a good place to out their sundial.

Every hour (except 1.20pm which was during lunchtime) measurements were taken of the length of shadow and angle of shadow.

We then drew graphs showing how the length of shadow changed - decreasing then increasing.  The other graph was the angle - we got straight line graphs and worked out that the angle was the same each hour, which brought us on to the Earth spinning and why the sun appears to rise and fall and many other interesting discussions.

Eco group outside

The weather has been amazing this week.  The Eco group (13 pupils), which I coordinate,  made their nest and bat boxes outside yesterday.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Outdoor Learning Courses

I am delighted to announce that I will be delivering more courses for teachers in Aberdeen, Scotland next school session.  Aberdeen teachers, please see GLOW for details and to book.  The course is for those with no or little outdoor learning experience and will give ideas, and a chance to try out/discuss a variety of activities.

Speaking of courses, I attended part 1 of an outdoor maths course, run by Juliet Robertson, this week.  It was great!  See Juliet's blog for more details

Outdoor Clothing trial thoughts

Getting to trial a box of outdoor clothing has been very useful to see what works and what doesn't.  It is really important to get the children's views.  We have a good idea now of which clothing we would consider purchasing for our school.

Next week, my class has organised an outdoor wear fashion show at assembly with models from P1 - 7 to get some feedback from the younger pupils too.  We are going to ask which styles and colours of clothing they prefer.