What it's all about
It's not often you hear the chanting of times tables in the morning, writes Chris Fenton. But it's a regular feature of our walking bus, which is entirely led by learning. Certainly, it encourages a healthier lifestyle, but our volunteers - some former teachers - also see the learning opportunities that present themselves. Chanting times tables is just one of them.
For the first half-term each walk had a task, such as counting how many steps it took to get to school. For older children, the data were used in class to compare ratios and create formulae for the size of the child in comparison to the size of the steps. Children found two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes in the local area, as well as timing the walk and being challenged to beat their times each day.
One of the best examples of using the walking bus was when mental maths entered the fray. The walking bus leaders began looking at number plates and challenging children to add, multiply or subtract the numbers. Older children were asked to multiply their answers by 10. Younger children multiplied them by 2, or added a new number to make additions to 10 or 20.
The children were sometimes challenged to make the biggest or smallest number possible and at times all answers were added together to create a total. By the end, older children were able to calculate how far the journey was, how long it took and then in class work out a formula for finding out the average speed of the "bus".
Practise addition, subtraction and other sums using the TES Calculation Strategies collection. bit.lyTEScalculating
Problem-solve with bus timetables using ptaylor's worksheets. bit.lybusmaths.