The Numeracy in Nature project team gathered 40 enthusiastic educators at the Viles Arboretum in Augusta on a brisk Saturday morning in early May. For a full day, MMSA staff facilitated experiences where educators were outside, experiencing Numeracy in Nature and then reflecting with their colleagues on how to implement lessons in their classrooms. One second/third-grade educator shared, “There are so many options and ways to get your students outside to do math. From something as simple as just bringing your kids out with their math books to looking deep into nature for the naturally embedded math problems of the world.”
Another third-grade educator shared, “All of the activities you shared were super! I could connect each one to a way it could work for my grade level. I am especially excited to try the fluency activities next week and then plan out one Numeracy in Nature experience per math unit remaining in the year. Doing the activities today was a spark that made me want to try these before summer.”
The educators went back to their classrooms, worked to implement Numeracy in Nature, and gathered together virtually three weeks later to share successes and brainstorm ideas on overcoming challenges. Guest speaker Katie West, Outdoor Learning Coordinator of the Portland Public Schools, shared her insights and expertise with the group.
Many educators shared that they implemented these ideas in their classroom right away and are planning on continuing in summer programs and next fall. Educators from this group have shared lesson plans with MMSA, which will be shared on our website. As future opportunities arise, we will work with even more educators to utilize these lesson plans and pay it forward and create their own, continuing to grow the project of Numeracy in Nature.