Let's face it, children enjoy moving about! Some enjoy writing for longer periods of time than others, but most young people thrive on being able to release that excess energy in a safe outdoor space.
The natural environment is a wonderful place for children; it is a wonderful place for anybody!
Whether it be in winter when frost clings to the extremities of trees, or summer when the earthy aroma of 'just after rain' tickles the end of the nose, outside is a magical place!
Children thrive on spending time in the outdoor environment learning about seasons, changes, and cycles. Our understanding on our own selves is improved if we notice how life changes around us in the twelve months of a year. Life is beautiful and nature is part of us all - children have an innate love of nature and it's important we build on this.
Take your lesson outdoors for a few minutes, even in the rain! Jump in as many puddles as you can (you might even be able to incorporate maths into your puddle-jumping)! Spell the names of all the things you spot and then, when you return inside, write a beautiful poem or story about it.
Nature is full of wonder and children are full of imagination - what a wonderful combination for innovative education!
So often I come across children who have been taught there is 'only one way' to solve a mathematical problem and are penalised if they go about solving it in a different way.
Does this not remove the element of innovation that is so important for building future mathematicians?
I believe it is vital that children are taught numerous ways of solving problems so they grow up to become creative thinkers. If a child is never allowed to explore alternatives, how will they ever learn to think imaginatively?
People may ask: what happens if they get confused?
Children are, as I have discovered, adept at using many different methods and enjoy the challenges accompanied with problem solving. If taught in a creative way, most children thrive on using their own ideas and boredom is almost always avoided if children are allowed to take a lead.
Maths is a logical subject and most children are logical thinkers. The links between numbers need to be explored from an early age and failure to make links can lead to problems further down the line. Teaching different methods shows children that there isn't a single way of solving a problem - imagine if all our great innovators had only used one method?
We need to equip our children for a life outside of the classroom; it is important that we start by showing them the beauty of discovering mathematical patterns and avoid prescribing a 'one-size-fits-all' method of problem solving.