This was one of the first sunny days of the year and I couldn’t WAIT to get outside. I’ve found that students (especially students who are low performing) are really intrigued by the outdoors. Whether you let students read silently on the benches on campus or reinforce lesson objectives using natural examples, the kids will love it and love you!
After approval from maintenance/admin, I gave a group of students some chalk and math problems, and let them solve it on the sidewalk outside. The exact same problems that students were reluctant to solve on a boring worksheet suddenly became the most exciting set of math problems they had ever laid eyes on. They were literally begging for more math problems so they could continue to “write” on the sidewalk.
There are many different ways I’ve done this. In this case, I cut individual problems out of a worksheet and gave students one problem to solve at a time. I didn’t give students another math problem until they correctly solved the previous one and defended their answer. Giving the students one question at a time worked well for students who had short attention spans and are easily overwhelmed.
“Miss Saina! Can I get another problem PLEASE?! I want to do another problem! Please!?” This was definitely a backwards request from my student. I wasn’t complaining though!
On a different day, when we were reinforcing how to find area and circumference of a circle, I brought a group of kids outside to find circles around our school campus (there are surprisingly many different circles on a school campus!). Once they found a circle (basketball court, tables, garbage bins, etc.), they worked together to measure the radius and diameter, and used this information to calculate the area and circumference. They really loved doing this!
Students were also able to find their own parallelograms around campus to measure and solve. I didn’t need to preface this lesson with a real world application, because they were experiencing it for themselves. After the activity, we had a discussion about how this skill would be useful in life. Students actually came up with occupations that I didn’t even think of!