Thursday, September 19, 2013

Beautiful fall day? Time for Track Math!

  Yesterday was one of those days where the weather was perfect and the kids were wiggly.  With the count down to winter getting closer and closer, I have to take advantage of days like this and get outside.  Only I am supposed to be teaching and the kids are supposed to be learning.  Enter track math.  A fun and engaging way to practice a variety of skills.  I have used this idea in grades 1-6 and it has always been very successful.

The sun seemed to be screaming, "come out and play!"
We have a gravel track around one of the soccer fields and it is about an eight of a mile around.  I take 4-6 clipboards and attach some task cards to each one.  I place them on the ground spaced out around the track.  Kids each have their own clipboard with a record sheet and a pencil and simply move around the track answering one task card at each clipboard.  They get the power of choice, some extra movement and a break from being stuck inside.

A look at one students' record sheet
Classroom management is almost unneeded when we do math on the track.  The kids are super engaged and spread out and get quick mini breaks while they are walking (or running) between stations.

A student working on a task card

I like to keep my task cards organized and ready to go so that when a day like this arrives, I don't have to do any prep to get the kids outside and moving.  Check out this post about how I organize task cards!

This is how I space out the clipboards when I choose to use 6.  If I am only using 4 clipboards, I eliminate the spots where you see the x's on the long sides.
These kids needed some work on addition and subtraction number stories and since we are heading into fall, I used my fall themed addition and subtraction number story task cards.

A little visitor showed up on one of the cards!
How do you get outside on these perfect weather days?