Lately my thoughts are all about how to incorporate more movement into learning. There are a multitude of articles and research regarding the lack of movement in schools from its connections to hyperactivity, obesity rates, mood disorders as well as the general feeling that sitting for the majority of the day is just not healthy. Today is the first in a series of posts about how to incorporate movement and learning concepts that are easily adaptable to a home or classroom setting. Let’s get moving! Here are 3 examples of Teaching Mathematics Through Movement.
NUMBER LINE SCAVENGER HUNT
I am a big fan of using scavenger hunts as a learning tool. All you need for this activity are Post-It Notes and markers. Write the numbers you currently are focusing on. You may be working on the numbers 1-20 or perhaps you are working with older children and 1-100 is more appropriate. After writing one number on each Post-It note stick them on various parts of the classroom or, even better, get outdoors and use the playground equipment and school/house outer walls! Now for the fun! Have the children (either in small groups, individually or as a class) search for all the numbers. Bring them back and attempt to place them in numerical order. You can have a visual of the correct order available to help.
ADDITION/ SUBTRACTION RACE
This is a great game that combines movement, teamwork and addition and subtraction. Begin by writing numbers 1-10 (or higher depending on the age) on blank index cards. Next write a subtraction symbol on one index card and an addition symbol on another index card. You’ll need some space to run for this game. If you are in a classroom you can push the desks and chairs to the sides, use a gymnasium or get outside in the play yard. We did this activity in our driveway where there was plenty of space to move. Place the index cards with numbers at one end and a bin of snap cubes and the index cards with the subtraction and addition symbols on the other end leaving plenty of room to run.
For the addition game have two children run and each choose a number card. Run back to the cubes and place the cards on the ground with the addition symbol between them. Begin making the numbers out of the cubes.
Once the individual numbers are created stick the two number stacks together to make one. Count how many cubes there now are.
For the subtraction game have two children run and get the number index cards and run back to the cubes. Place the cards on the ground with the subtraction symbol between them. The child with the larger number will create the number out of the cubes. The other child will take off the number of cubes represented on her card. Count the number of cubes left.
COUNTING & MOVEMENT
WHAT YOU NEED: you!
I love learning opportunities that require no materials. There is nothing more boring than rote counting while sitting still. My son’s class is working on counting to 100 right now. Why not get those bodies out of chairs and practice while moving. There are so many ways to practice. You can count while jogging, jumping jacks, team push ups (each child does 10 push ups and then the next person goes. 10 people, 10 push ups each equals 100!). You could practice counting to 100 while swinging. Get creative! This is truly just a starting point.
What other movement ideas do you have? Share them in the comments! Let’s create a collection of mathematics and movement activities we can all use!
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