I’m coming to the conclusion that sticks are an essential resource for many outdoor activities right the way through primary school. Since the start of 2011, I seem to be using them in so many different activities.
My eyes were really opened last July when I visited The Coombes School and saw how they used sticks during an outdoor music session.
Following on from the sticks session back in January, the Primary 1 class continued using sticks. So much so that I haven’t had the heart to collect them. In the photos below, the class are using sticks to practice number bonds. Note the use of an old saucepan for additional sound effect.
Once the teacher had explained the activity, the children were able to direct the whole class. This is how it works…
One half of the children pick the number bond, e.g. five. Then they decide how many beats up to and including that number that they will tap out. So they may choose 3 and tap out 2 beats on the grounds.
The other half of the class listen to the number of taps and then add the extra taps, which in this instance would need to be 2 to make 5.
After the mental maths session, a little free play is a “must”. Extra saucepans are ready for the action!
There are many other games and activities which can be used to reinforce mental agility with numbers outside. Peter Patilla encouraged teachers to get children counting number patterns (of every type and variety, forwards and backwards) through clapping and snapping of fingers. A similar principle can be applied to sticks. Children and teachers can create a tapping pattern using two sticks that is a variation of the “thigh, clap, snap, snap – thigh, clap, snap, snap” routine.
Naturally any ideas please do share, here or on the Creative STAR Facebook Page.