Building Literacy and Math Skills in One Neat Lesson Plan!
Plan Your Math Field Trips Well
If you are considering using this math lesson plan for promoting literacy within the context of a math session, remember there are a few tips to get the most out of the activity:
Math field trips are fun and easy to do so long as you are prepared as a teacher, and get your prior planning done early. Make sure field trip notes go home early, and that parents are aware of any risks or dangers which could occur during the trip. Provide information to parents and students about how math field trips help with key math skills, as well as in teaching cooperation and teamwork amongst students.
Explain that as part of this math mini project, you will be reinforcing some basic math skills, as well as providing a practical focus through daily living activities. This will ensure you have parents on side and willing to support future math field trips that you plan for later in the academic year. It will also help parents realise the importance and value of an integrated learning approach if you focus on promoting literacy and math in the context of a fun sounding field trip.
Teaching cooperation in this math project really comes about through the small group work you do in the classroom prior to the field trip, as well as in how students conduct themselves during the activity away from the school. You can vary your maths field trips to suit the needs of your group, and you would do well to consider beforehand how much work you have had to do in teaching cooperation -- if teaching cooperation and teamwork is a major part of most math lessons, you may like to keep your first math field trip close to school, and fairly simple!
Teaching cooperation involves encouraging students to listen to the views of others, consider alternative viewpoints, express their own opinions confidently and clearly, and ensure everyone in the group is able to listen and be heard. At junior secondary level it is useful to talk about how teaching cooperation in activities applies to the workplace. You should mention that many employers are now looking for workers who show good 'soft' skills such as cooperation, teamwork, communication and the ability to relate to others.
Read here for more suggestions about how to teach teamwork to teenagers in a school situation.
Math Field Trips - Some Options
Math field trips can cover a whole range of venues and activities. Here are a few sample math field trips to think about, all of which can be used for promoting literacy skills as well as cooperation and teamwork:
- visiting the circus.
- going shopping for ingredients to make a pizza in class (always a highly motivating way of promoting literacy that one!)
- visiting a local park.
- doing a field trip to a museum as part of an integrated curriculum activity.
- recording data on traffic or bike usage in your area.
- making a map or 3D collage of your school block.
- recording steps taken to walk around your school property.
- researching how an environmental project is impacting positively on the local community.
- visiting a bank to learn how to fill out banking forms (also useful for teaching budgeting and money skills).
About the author
Anne Vize is the author of Maths Skills for Living and Maths Skills for Working (Phoenix Education). These books contain a range of practical maths activities for lower skilled students in secondary school (high school).