Wednesday, 28 May 2014

position and direction...make a maze

Our current learning in maths incorporates position, direction and movement. We are exploring language and concepts such as half and full turn, behind, beyond, left, right and so on in many practical ways to ensure that it makes the most sense.


One such experience from this week was to group the littles into small teams of 3, provide them with a range of materials to choose from and challenge them to create a maze. It's a very engaging task and one that we are completing right at the beginning of our learning. Sometime in the distant past I would have used this as an end of block assessment experience. Of course I was observing, questioning, noting down the whole time that this was happening but this wasn't an end of block summative assessment. I was able to hear a wide range of language and decision making about direction and beginning and endings to a journey taking place, and observe the details of each maze keying me in to what I didn't have to explicitly teach....offering little or no challenge if I had done so.

Each group was a real mix of littles, my preferred style of grouping for this type of learning and they all came up with superb results. The photo below shows a game style maze where lots of things happen during completion of the maze 'crystals fall on you at this bit'....

The photo below shows a simpler idea in terms of enjoyment but a more complex maze in terms of direction and movement...

Once completed and discussed, successes celebrated we went on to look at life size mazes growing in various locations and saw that the end of the maze is in the centre, not on one of the sides as they had thought, lots of discussion to be had here. They went on to set a challenge for themselves to repeat the activity with the centre being the endpoint next time. I also set them the challenge of creating a maze where we can move under or over whilst within it.
This next level ensures breadth and progression for those that are naturally ready to move on but still allows the littles who require consolidation the space to key in to the task and move forward without feeling that they are being left behind. They will create a maze similar to what was produced today but it will be more refined...all part of the journey.



  1. What a great way to explore positional language. I have found that with my young Nursery children, it is easiest to learn with something that is hands on and practical. We made maps of the farmyard in Rosie's Walk and the children retold the story, moving a toy hen around as directed. x

  2. Thanks. I've used mazes right through to year 9 where you can give them specific criteria such as 3 dead ends, or give them strips of paper to make a game board version and expand it to have rules. Rosie's Walk sounds great and they could make their own maps for the hen to go on new adventures.