Monday, June 13, 2011

Math Trails

I first heard about Math Trails through a presentation by OISE Professor Ron Lancaster.  After hearing his presentation, I was excited to try one with students because I saw it as a way to get students to work collaboratively with each other, become active learners, consolidate their learning, and make connections between what they learned, and the world around them.
Last year, I had the opportunity to bring this excitement to life when I collaborated with Kvitka Holman, Grade Three teacher at Donwood Park JPS. Usually, Trails are done outside the school in great locations such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa etc.  Since we were working with Grade Three students, this was NOT a possibility.  So we created a trail around the schoolyard, where supervision was more manageable!
Here are some pictures of what we did and the questions students solved at each stop on the Donwood Trail:

Getting Started:
1. Here's an NCTM article outlining the steps to get you started:  Designing Math Trails for the Elementary School
2. Example of Math Trails for Students: Niagara on the Lake

3. Video of Kay Tolliver, math teacher in New York, showing us how to get our students to create their own trail:

Let us know how it goes, if you decide to try a trail this year!

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