A Year in the Life: Ambient Math Wins the Race to the Top!
For one year, 365 days, this blog will address the Common Core Standards from the perspective of creating an alternate, ambient learning environment for math. Ambient is defined as “existing or present on all sides, an all-encompassing atmosphere.” And ambient music is defined as: “Quiet and relaxing with melodies that repeat many times.”
Why ambient? A math teaching style that’s whole and all encompassing, with themes that repeat many times through the years, is most likely to be effective and successful. Today’s standard will be listed in blue, followed by its ambient counterpart.
Reason with shapes and their attributes.
3. Partition circles and rectangles into two, three, or four equal shares, describe the shares using the words halves, thirds, half of, a third of, etc., and describe the whole as two halves, three thirds, four fourths. Recognize that equal shares of identical wholes need not have the same shape.
Again, form drawing covers this nicely, with the circle being the basis for many, many forms. The circle is drawn with a yellow crayon, lightly at first until the perfect circle is “found” than darkened. Partitioning happens the same way, with the equal shares marked lightly, then darkened as the best spacing is found.
Note the pentagon/pentagram and hexagon/hexagram below. They were drawn with the method cited above, and the hexagram is further divided into 12 equal shares. Though a feel for the whole and parts of a whole is there, it is not made conscious yet. That’s reserved for fractions in Grade 4, when there’s an optimal readiness for “fractioning” or the fracturing it represents. As mentioned earlier, wholeness should only gradually give way to separation as the child moves through the grades.
As always, it’s movement, story, art and playfulness that win the math day! Knowledge ensues in an environment dedicated to imaginative, creative knowing, where student and teacher alike surrender to the ensuing of that knowledge as a worthy goal. This is the last Grade 2 Common Core standard 🙂 tune in tomorrow for the fun part!