Learning landscape combines learning with fun and physical activity
By Audrey Posten
On Sept. 6, Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative and FoodCorps staff member Kayla Koether, who has been working with the MFL MarMac School District for the past year, gave a demonstration on the school’s new learning landscape.
The learning landscape is a tire playground consisting of 25 tires buried halfway into the ground. The tires can be chalked on, giving teachers the luxury of teaching an outdoor class where kids can be physically active. Teachers will also be able to access special learning landscape lessons that will fit into their subject matter.
“Instead of staying inside for class, we can go outside and play games to learn the things we need to know,” Koether explained to Mrs. Hass’ second grade class. “The games we learn might be so much fun that you’ll want to play them at recess.”
For her demonstration, Koether randomly labeled each tire with a number from one to 25, never repeating a number. Each number was an answer to either an addition or subtraction equation. The class was split into two groups, with one team member facing off against a member from the other team.
Koether then gave the students an equation and they had to race to the tire with the number representing the answer. The first student to reach the tire claimed that tire. Once all 25 tires were filled, the team with the most members occupying the tires was the winner. The class played two rounds of the math game—one with mixed gender groups and another with boys vs. girls. (The boys won.)