Math Inquiry Outside: Patterning

As teachers, I think it's a good idea to try to find learning opportunities outside of the four walls of our classrooms. Most of us do field trips here and there but I'm talking about teaching regular lessons outside.

There are so many learning opportunities right outside of your school that don't require a bus or fees.

Step outside of your classroom and do some exploring with your students!

We were beginning to learn about patterning for math so I told my students we were going on an adventure. I told them we were Super Secret Pattern Inspectors and that we had to be stealthy (had to explain that one to them) so that the other classes would't hear us or know what we were up to.  Cheesy? Maybe...but they bought into it.

I gave them ipads so they could collect evidence of their findings.


They did this in groups and then they picked their four favorite patterns to turn into a pic collage for our math wall.

The next day I had them do the same activity, except this time we went outside! Again, I gave them an ipad to document their "evidence".  Their challenge was to find a pattern and to create a pattern outside. We made name tags so we could easily keep track of who the patterns belonged to.


They were so engaged and hard at work looking for and making the patterns that I don't think they realized they were doing work!  And it was so much more fun than staying in the classroom making patterns with pattern blocks.  I also think it's important for them to see math in every day places, not just on worksheets or with brightly colored plastic manipulatives.

There are so many opportunities for math (and other subject areas) right outside of our classrooms/schools! I plan to take advantage of this more often.


Stay tuned for future outdoor learning experiences!!

Feel free to share your idea learning ideas in the comments below...

If you're looking for more ideas for teaching your students about patterns, you can check out my Patterns Unit By Clicking Here or the Image Below:


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