Thursday, April 14, 2016

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Gardening For Math Time

Spring is all over the place, and sometimes I get frustrated that I don't have more time to play in the yard (or get it ready for gardens) and do school work.  Then a spark of brilliant hit me and I realized: I can combine math and gardening!

We worked through lots of math problems while we were outside, so I thought I'd share a few of the ideas I had with you.  You can use these exact challenges if you're setting up a garden, or just use them to inspire you with ways you can integrate your own outside work and math!

Preschool - Kindergarten Math Projects for the Garden:

* Count the rocks as you pull them out of the soil.
* Count plants as you choose them at the hardware store.
* Count plants as you plant them.
* Add together groups of random toys left in the work space.
* Subtract planted plants from the total number purchased.
* Compare soil types. (We have a lot of clay with some sand.)
* Compare weed length.

1st-2nd Grade Math Projects for the Garden:

* ALL of the preschool and kindergarten projects!  (Older kids can help pull rocks out of dirt too!)
* Estimate how many bags of dirt need to be purchased.
* Adding the number of "days to maturation" to the current date to calculate when plants should blossom or be ripe for picking.
* Measure recommended space around plants so they're not too close.
* Compare the lengths of roots and stems in weeds.
* Take the temperature of the soil.
* Calculate how much money will be spent on plants and soil.  Compare it to a budget.

3rd - 4th Grade Math Projects for the Garden:

* ALL of the preschool - 2nd grade projects!  Review never hurts!
* Measure and calculate the area and perimeter of your garden.  While they're at it, they could calculate the area of the area they play in, the whole yard, picnic area, etc., and compare.  :)
* Calculate how many and which plants can fit in the garden's area.
* Measure the height of shrubs/bushes and trim them down to that level.
* Measure and record the length needed for various projects (hose length, sprinkler set up, etc.)
* Use multiplication to calculate the number of paving stones in a patio.
* Map out the yard.  Create additional garden maps showing what will be planted where.
* Measure the pH of the soil.

What other ideas do you have?  I'd love to know how you use math as you prepare and manage gardens!

This week, our early elementary bloggers are all talking about outdoor learning!  Check out these fantastic ideas:

Map Skills for Kids: Backyard Treasure Hunt from Life Over C’s
Nests Nature Hunt for Kids from Still Playing School
How to Make an Outdoor Mud Kitchen from Parenting Chaos
Outside Arrays for Multiplication Practice from Line Upon Line Learning
Sidewalk Chalk Outdoor Math Game from Look! We’re Learning!
Gardening For Math Time from Preschool Powol Packets
Second Grade Math with Rocks from Sugar Aunts
Tree Unit Study and Science Experiment from Schooling a Monkey

I may share at any of these parties!

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