BOOKS

Cover of Outdoor Math by Emma Adbåge
Outdoor Math: Fun Activities for Every Season
Emma Adbåge. Kids Can Press, 2016. 24 Pages, $16.95
*****
Reviewed by Jessica Mavin

Outdoor learning has become an important part of the full-day kindergarten program, and is a great opportunity to engage students of all ages in learning outside the classroom. When learning outdoors, we often think of science and phys. ed., but Outdoor Math is a great resource for primary teachers wishing to take their students outside to explore math concepts, no matter the season.

This book is chock-full of activities, divided by the four seasons, that target a variety of math learning in the outdoors. Using found or commonly used supplies such as rulers, sticks, snow and chalk, the activities include learning from all five math strands, with an emphasis on number sense and numeration concepts. The activities are simple and can be used on the fly, such as timing how many puddle jumps students can do in a minute, or making patterns with natural objects and having students extend them. The index at the back makes it easy to find activities targeting certain skills, such as time, shapes and multiplication. There is also a kid-friendly summary of “Plus and Minus” and “Multiply and Divide,” as well as an opening section titled “What are Numbers?” that can be read aloud to students as simple introductions to these concepts.

Although the activities are aimed at early primary, you could easily adapt many of them to use more complex skills. For example, in the “Secret Number Line” activity, you could use decimals or fractions instead of whole numbers on the rocks; students then must put themselves in order without talking.

With the easy-to-follow format and cute illustrations, this resource is highly recommended to primary teachers and kindergarten educators. I’m looking forward to trying out many of these activities with my kindergarten students during our daily outdoor learning time!

Jessica Mavin is a member of the Waterloo Region Teacher Local.

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