Category Archives: Phys. Ed.

Throwing Junk (just tossing some numbers around)


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I’m big on cross-curricular integration. The Ontario curriculum is huge, with more than I feel is possible to cover in any meaningful way. And I hate gym. So, if I can kill cover as many birds as possible, yay for me.

Here is a game I call Don’t Throw Your Junk in My Backyard (after the song), and some ways to integrate math and physical activity.

First, here’s the game.

Have the class divide itself into 2 or 4 groups, each team getting a half or a quarter of the gym. Or you can divide them, unevenly, and see how fast they figure out about equal division and same sized fractions.

Put out “Junk,” which is any piece of equipment that can be lobbed from one side of the gym to the other, safely, such as bean bags, soft balls, foam frisbees, etc. Have a fixed amount that can be shared equally among the groups.

Blow the whistle and have the students pick up and lob or slide (whatever you feel is safest – unless you enjoy filling out insurance forms) the “Junk” from their side to the other team’s side.

Give a time limit and blow the whistle again when the time is up.

Have each team count the “Junk” in its yard. Get ideas for the fastest way to count these, so they can GET ON WITH THE GAME ALREADY!

Determine which team has the least “Junk” And how much less (many pieces fewer). Working with a friendly number, like a ten, or even 100 can build number sense.

Discuss the winning team’s strategies for clearing their junk quickly, and challenge the other team to incorporate those strategies next round.

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