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 post will feature the next Grade 2 Common Core Math Standard listed in blue, followed by its ambient counterpart as practiced by Waldorf Education and Math By Hand.
Operations and Algebraic Thinking 2.OA
Add and subtract within 20.
2. Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies. By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.
The morning circle and skills practice are perfect opportunities to practice this standard. Note, as always, that all 4 processes are worked with at once. During morning circle, which is a lively way to start the day in the Waldorf classroom or homeschool environment, much math practice happens, joyfully and with movement!
Because the block lesson system focuses on one subject at a time as a 1 1/2 to 2 hour main lesson for 3-4 weeks, it would not do to “forget” math during the other blocks. So the skills practice time (after recess and before lunch) of 20 minutes to 1/2 hour in Grade 2, affords an opportunity to keep up math skills between math blocks. This can be a balanced mix of written work and mental math with movement.
Here is a sample morning circle from the Math By Hand Grade 2 Daily Lesson Plans book. (There are four 15-day blocks in Grade 2, with two morning circles supplied for each block.) Note that Math By Hand is a fully language arts integrated curriculum, with many stories, classic poems, limericks, and tongue twisters provided. 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 Common Core, along with its ambient, Waldorf/Math By Hand counterpart.
Grade 2 / Block 1 / Morning Circle II
1) Choose 1-2 classic poems from the Binder, pages 85-92 and teach/learn them by heart.
2) Recite and/or sing (find the tunes online if you need to) 1-2 rhymes/songs from the Binder, pages 96-106.
3) Practice 4 Processes equations using the Color Cubes to accentuate the answers: tossing them back and forth, passing them around the circle, or switching hands, front and back.
4) Review 3’s up to 36, by saying them while walking in a circle.
5) Count by 4’s up to 48, using the 2’s as the in-between numbers, walking in a circle. Tiptoe and whisper the 2’s while marching and speaking the 4’s. (This is an introductionto the 4’s, and the 2’s as the in-between numbers will be dropped later on.)
6) Choose a number of Tongue Twisters and say them till smooth, the more the merrier!