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. The CCSS math standards are listed here in blue followed by their ambient counterparts.
Number and Operations – Fractions 4.NF
Build fractions from unit fractions by applying and extending previous understandings of operations on whole numbers.
3. Understand a fraction a/b with a> 1 as a sum of fractions 1/b.
c. Add and subtract mixed numbers with like denominators, e.g., by replacing each mixed number with an equivalent fraction, and/or by using properties of operations and the relationship between addition and subtraction.
The Math By Hand / Fractions / Kit 2 includes dice and a set of wooden cubes ( 0-6 and 7-12) for creating fractions and mixed numbers. Using the Fractions Rules and Keys booklet and a graph paper workbook, addition and subtraction is carried out with fractions and mixed numbers. Here are several images: the Math By Hand cubes and dice, examples of using them to create proper and improper fractions and mixed numbers, and the instruction page from the dice half of the workbook.
Fractions, equivalency, mixed numbers, and calculating with all 4 processes can be learned fairly quickly. Time is then freed up for the real creative work of engaging the right brain through challenging tasks. This frees up every child’s genius, allowing that sometimes latent ability to grow and thrive. Form drawing, for example serves many excellent purposes, and deep interest is always piqued when the intricate, woven or braided Celtic forms are introduced to the fourth grader, so that the challenge that these complex drawings present is well met. (The beauty below comes from Artopotamus’ blog.)
Have your fourth grader write his or her name in Celtic letters! Again, the challenge will be well met. As always, knowledge ensues in an environment dedicated to imaginative, creative knowing, where student and teacher alike surrender to the ensuing of knowledge as a worthy goal. Tune in tomorrow for more Grade 4 math CCSS and their ambient counterparts.