Linking Maths to Kinderboekenweek

Group 7 link problem solving maths to Giga Groen kinderboekenweek (Dutch children's bookweek) by choosing a class plant to research and care for.

By Kelly Hasker, Teacher Group 7

How to encourage problem solving when end of term tiredness has kicked in?

This week (Gi Ga Groen Kinderboekenweek) I introduced 10 house plants into the classroom to encourage problem solving in maths and linking it to Kinderboekenweek.

‘Are we allowed one each?’ ‘Can we water them?’ ’Can we name them?’ The calls of 18 group 7’s came thick and fast. So decisions had to made. Firstly, as a class we democratic and decided that we would randomly select pairs and that each pair would be responsible for a plant each; they would have to water, design a plant pot for it and care for it over the school holidays.

Pairing the Partners and Plants

Then came a kerfuffle of who got which plant. As originally on the timetable it should have been a maths lesson, it seemed only reasonable for th children to practice their resilience and collaboration skills to solving a maths problem. They were presented with the problem photographed which has several answers. The partners had to work together to solve the problem and then show me the solution. If they’re solution was correct, that pair would be able to select a plant. If incorrect, they needed to revisit them problem and continue investigating.

Got the plant, now what?

Once a pair had solved the maths problem and chosen their plant, the learning opportunities only continued. They now had to research their plant and create a fact file/poster including the following information:

  • The plant’s name (household and scientific)
  • Their chosen name for their plant
  • 3-4 interesting facts
  • Information about how to care for their plant

Some groups went as far as creating a watering schedule and a growth chart. A few even discussed joint custody and who would care for the plant over the Autumn break.

All in all, a fun and engaging lesson with some new additions to the classroom now soaking up the sunlight on the window ledge. Who knows what the next book week or maths problem may hold for group 7.