Maths integration is a huge part of my PE program and has been for years. I believe that there is huge benefits to learning, very much transdisciplinary in nature, when maths is integrated into the daily activities that we do in our physical education classes. Not only are we reinforcing what is being learned in the classroom, we are fostering the continued development of an essential life skill that our students need. The importance of living maths can never be underestimated.
Posing Maths Questions in PE
I am always trying to pose challenging maths questions regardless of grade level. These questions often times require teamwork and discussion, BUT do not in any way take away from kids being active. In my grade 2 class today, each student had to mentally calculate their own points during the activity. Once the activity stopped they had to gather together with their team and mentally figure out their group total. Once both teams had given me their point total, I then asked them an important second question and gave them only one minute to come up with the answer. This question simply was "How do you know that our point totals are correct?"
They immediately went to work to demonstrate that their point totals were correct. The team that you see in the picture agreed that if they were to all show, on their fingers, their point totals, one person could then go around the circle of fingers and count. Seems simplistic, but remember that this is only grade 2. They came up with the idea of visually testing whether or not their mental maths was correct. It took no time at all, but I believe that the maths task itself broken down into 2 components, challenged their thinking, encouraged teamwork, and focused on problem solving without taking away action time in PE. Please see picture below. I was very much an observer and loved the way things developed.
Would love to know how other PE practitioners address maths in their classes. Always looking for new and fresh ideas.