Sunday, October 29, 2017

Book Nook: Messy Maths

As a math teacher, I love to read books that I can incorporate either with my own kids or in my classroom that make math accessible. I recently had a chance to review a book that is a different kind of math activity book. The author, Julia Robertson, previously published Dirty Teaching: A Beginner's Guide to Learning Outdoors, which I'm going to check out because of how much I liked the math-focused book.

Messy Maths: A Playful, Outdoor Approach for Early Years provides a look at the outdoor world through the lens of mathematics, with suggestions and activities that work for parents to boost math literacy or for teachers to bring the math curriculum outside.

There are some games that are ready to use, as well as ideas that can inspire the educator to work with their classroom, helping children use abstract math while they're engaging in the outdoors. 

Some ideas are variations on a theme - such as hopscotch. Some are just ways of remembering that old stand-by play activities (sandcastles, tapping with sticks, and breaking things) help introduce ideas intuitively that students will use in later math classes. 

The book and its activities are primarily geared towards early childhood education (preschool through age six), but some of them would even work in my middle school classroom.

Playing outdoors is great for children - being in nature and incorporating play in education both have proven effects. This is a good resource for any educator looking to justify outdoor play exploration time, or incorporate more of it during the day.

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