Exploring mathematical concepts through nature play helps students to make sense of the world around them. This week in nature play, students throughout the upper primary school were given the opportunity to investigate and explore the concepts of capacity and volume. This was a perfect opportunity for students to apply mathematical concepts that have been taught inside the classroom. This open-ended way of learning expands a student’s frame of reference and allows students to be inquisitive and gain insight into mathematical principles.
Eddie Woo is a Mathematician who was named Australia’s Local Hero of the Year in 2018. He expressed enthusiasm for mathematical learning when he stated that “Maths enables us to see and touch the invisible realities that make our universe what it is, and maths can help us more deeply appreciate all the things we love in this world.” (Eddie Woo, 2018, Woo’s Wonderful World of Maths)
Students demonstrated their love of maths when they explored the concept of capacity. They enjoyed pouring water from one container to another. They used scales to measure the weight of water then compared it to the millilitre scale represented on the side of the measuring cup or jug. They poured water into balancing scales to see what happened to the tipping scale when more water was added. They used funnels and jugs to pour water into containers to compare volumes and amounts. They even tested the boundaries by filling the containers past their capacity until they overflowed. Reflecting on their nature play time today one student stated, “We had fun learning about capacity. It was very fun.”