Designing an outdoor play and learning space

Dr Klemm led the design of an outdoor play and learning space at a new school in UAE. As an educator who has worked with schools, invented learning tools, programs and activities, she was approved as the consultant by administrators and teachers.

One of the design drawings presented illustrates the types of typical equipment and layout of one area of the outdoor play and learning space.
Activities using the equipment were developed for teachers to better use the equipment as an outdoor space for their curriculum. Since most teachers create or use curriculum within the interior of the school, this training is critical to ensure that the outdoor space is used as planned and that they add to the possibilities.

Dr. Klemm spoke at the 2019 TX STEM conference in San Antonio assisting schools with the design-thinking and learning-thinking steps and pitfalls inherent in such an endeavor. There are political, physical and learning issues involved in such an assignment.

If you are considering doing something at your school, please contact for ideas as to how to begin the journey.

Numeracy–Fundamental Questions


The only picture I could think of to post with this concept, is the Hello Numbers Discovery Pack.  Not that numeracy discussions are for early learners and their teachers and parents.  In fact numeracy is the center of the future of mathematics.  I created the plush numbers with magnets to create multi-digit numbers in response to teachers asking for tools to assist children with numeracy and understanding place value.  Putting 10 on the board or on a worksheet does NOT have the same impact as constructing 10 with 1 and 0 using magnets in your small hands.  Numbers become Friends You Can Count On! and friendly.  They want to engage you in stories of their relevance and how you will interact with them throughout life.

Stories will be coming as to how they came to be and how arithmetic came to where it is today.  Geometry is a critical aspect of the history of math and should be integrated from the beginning rather than left to proving logical relationships visually.  Why did the Greeks use geometry to prove relationships?  This is a great history lesson related to the 3rd question below.


When I meet with teachers, parents and students, I open with some of these questions for them to ponder:

What is math (maths)?  Where did it come from?  If you were to invent a numbering system, what would it look like/what characteristics would it have?

These three questions are fundamental to understanding numeracy.  I have never had folks ask me these questions, but I began asking them when I was a top math/statistics student.  Although I could “do” the work I complained that I did not understand what math was about.  Numeracy is fundamental to understanding math, yet we avoid discussing these three and other similar questions because they demand we are more comfortable returning to preparing folks to answer test questions without concern as to they understanding of what and why they are doing the work.

If anyone has ideas as to responses to these questions, please send them to me:  I am collecting ideas and passing them on to others.  We must address these issues to ensure that what we pass on is relevant to the future.  Even math will move on the respond to the new questions we will face.

When writing, please also discuss what aspects of math you use on a daily basis.  Using does not mean what you teach, but what you use for daily living.  Please also note your profession and how that influences the aspects of math you use.

To fundamental numeracy and math for today and tomorrow!





The Globe Celebrates the Common New Year


NumbersAlive! hopes you all have a wonderful transition from 2017 to 2018.

As 2018 begins, consider how the change in the year utilizes numbers in an understood global manner   How and why did this happen?  Many cultures have their own calendars, but the world celebrates the new year with the same numbering system.  Among the numbers 0-9, 8 is happy to replace 7, who hung on as long as possible as part of time’s name.  Like the US presidency, the transition should be smooth.   Numbers are part of every discipline/concept necessary for transforming young children into citizens

Geometry should be linked to numbers and our efforts to do so created Number Linx which was named the best invention of North America at the iCAN invited inventor conference in Toronto last August.

We are here to help all educators, parents and children understand what math is about and where it came from.   We are focused on such questions and embrace historic and forward-thinking fundamentals to make math meaningful and real.  Being everywhere you look we use actual photos, locations, quotes, etc. to demonstrate its usefulness.  We encourage learners of all ages to observe, discuss, design, create, and make math!  How and why were the systems we use today developed?


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