Today English Class fourth graders had an opportunity to use many different skills during their math lessons. They walked to the island of Kirjurinluoto where they received math task cards in Finnish. Working with a partner they needed to translate the tasks into English, gather the required materials (sticks, berries, stones, leaves, etc.), solve the math challenges and then demonstrate their solutions using the required natural materials. In some instances the natural materials were part of the problem solving process. One example of a problem might have been, How many pebbles would be needed if every pupil in the class were to have 3 pebbles?
Learning outside the classroom provides a meaningful application of problem solving strategies and narrows the gap between theory and reality. It leads to children perceiving math as being cross-curricular and fosters greater curiosity that leads to more effective exploration. All in all, learning outside the classroom leads to much higher levels of motivation.