Thursday 25th January 2018
My planning for the next session always starts with taking some time to reflect on what it was that really motivated my learners in the previous session. It has become clear very quickly that they love exploring and collecting things … anything from pebbles to shells to washed up buoys. I remembered doing a “seashore explorers treasure hunt” with one of my classes a number of years ago and thought this might go down well. I came across exactly what I was looking for on a website called Countryside Classroom which has a wealth of amazing resources for outdoor learning.
The items on the children’s scavenger hunt were as follows:
* a piece of seaweed
* an empty shell
* a mermaid’s purse
* a cotton bud stick
* an item connected to fishing
* something shiny
* an item with a link to children
* an item made of wood
* a feather
* a perfectly smooth pebble
For each item found different points were awarded … after counting their scores Niamh and Robbie were delighted to have tied for first place with an impressive total of 55 out of 65!
Afterwards, the children were curious about the three mermaids’ purses they managed to find and were asking lots of questions so right away we have follow up work to do when we get back to the classroom.
It’s worth mentioning that parents are always invited to attend our Teach on the Beach sessions. It’s so important for parents to feel included in their child’s education, not to mention the fact that an extra few pairs of hands (and eyes!!) when you’re taking a group of children outdoors is never a bad thing! Nicola has been a great support over the last couple of weeks, not only coming along to help on the day but also buying some buckets and spades for the children to keep at school which was so thoughtful. This week there was even more excitement than usual before we set off as Mairi Claire and baby Danny came along to join in the fun … given that Danny is just 6 weeks old,the fact that Mairi Claire is able to get herself and two children up, dressed and out the door never mind having the energy to keep up with my lively lot is a miracle! So very well done to her!
During this session I was also keen to see how well numeracy would work down on the beach so had an activity that I didn’t have time to finish earlier in the week up my sleeve. In Maths we have been working on Measure, exploring different units used for measuring length including millimetres, centimetres and metres. I had some dinosaur cards that I had printed off from Twinkl (I don’t think there is a day that goes by that I don’t log onto that site … they pretty much have everything a teacher could possibly need covered!) and we used the metre sticks and trundle wheel to measure out the dinosaur as described on the card. The children loved drawing out a velociraptor in the sand!
I have recently bought Juliet Roberston’s book “Messy Maths” … Juliet came to do some training here on Barra a while back and her enthusiasm for outdoor learning has really stuck with me. I am planning on introducing “Messy Maths Mornings” on a Friday so I will keep you posted on how that goes!
Before we left the beach we stuck to our promise of collecting at least three pieces of litter each … we managed to collect a crate full of plastic in less than five minutes which we took back to the bins at school. We live on such a beautiful island and if the children learn nothing more than to keep the beaches here clean, I’ll be happy.
Just before finishing up this blog post I wanted to share this photo with you all This is by far my favourite photo of all the ones I have taken so far. I absolutely love the look on her face …completely content being outdoors in the fresh air exploring with friends!