A few years ago I pretty much ignored Halloween as I considered it to be too negative and frightening for children. Wrong!
Children LOVE scary things and celebrations like Halloween help them to get their fears into the open! I am amazed by the shared conversations I have had with children about death and fears. Children making skeleton drawings with cotton buds have opened up with so many, ‘I remember when…….” conversations and I realise it is the seasonal focus that is allowing this to happen!
Today, in the middle of a re-assessment, one of my students told me all about the death of her beloved cat and how she held it all night although she realised it had passed. She remembers it in detail although it was 4 years ago. (She is 10)
She still talks to it and has the most amazing, balanced and beautiful way of looking at life and death. I was humbled that she chose to tell me all about this and for once I was completely quiet!
Tonight I walked into a learning session where most of the children were reading a book called BLOOD by the Literacy Tower- they were SO into the book! Absolute, total concentration! They are fascinated by the human body- especially the interesting bits we don’t mention so much!
This is why horror tales such as Goosebumps have remained so popular. Children can play with these ideas from the relative safety of a cosy classroom setting!
The season also has Celtic origins and honours those who have left this world, something that children are greatly interested in. Death, fear, spooky things cannot be avoided. Halloween is a fun and safe way to explore some of these darker, troubling thoughts.
I have written a learning package about HALLOWEEN for teachers and parents- you can see it here: 50 pages of learning ideas and activities!
Due to the nature of the particular winter we’ve just had- the long cold nights, storms and cold, cold mornings, sharp frosts and huge amounts of rain, we indulged in more winter crafts than usual.
Our Perth based kids dream of snow. They long for snow and talk about it regularly! We have used so many recipes for snow dough and snow, snow slime, snow everything and we have enjoyed a feast of winter books!
We have finally mastered the art of snowflake making. The children rejoiced in my mistakes and watched me get up again and again, trying to model persistence while trying not to swear as yet another misshapen snowflake emerged from my scissors.
And then- what a wonderful moment- after endless winter days I got it and could pass it on. Just a sharp acute angled cut at the end and perfect snowflakes emerged!
The amount of mathematical language that emerged was amazing. Terms such as acute, equilateral, triangular, thirds, halves, symmetrical were used with meaning and the results carefully placed on our winter tree and display boards. The kids were so proud of what they had made during our maths lesson,
When I told them our craft work was all about maths they were amazed! And yet- they retain the concepts learned in this hands-on way.
This is maths by subterfuge and it works! Why not get some scrap paper, scissors, glitter and teach a fun maths lesson today to celebrate the seasons. I have many of these “maths by subterfuge” lessons planned for SPRING and SUMMER and piles chosen for HALLOWEEN and CHRISTMAS.
Check out this Pinterest page:
MAKING MATHS MEANINGFUL
https://www.pinterest.com.au/victoriacarlton/making-maths-meaningful/ for lots of ideas for linking maths and art and craft!