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.
Number and Operations in Base Ten 2.NBT
Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract.
9. Explain why addition and subtraction strategies work, using place value and the properties of operations.
Once again, a developmentally inappropriate task: asking an 8 year old to examine his own reasoning. See the bottom of this post for an excellent response by a second grader when asked to explain “how the number sentence shows the problem.” Pushing advanced concepts down to lower and lower grades (including pre-K!) is not the answer. It causes more problems than it solves, with children succumbing to severe stress-related symptoms.
Here is a link to an excellent article from The Washington Post’s Answer Sheet entitled Why Young Kids Are Struggling with Common Core Math. The authors cite Jean Piaget’s work as an explanation for the fact that though inductive logic is accessible before age 12, deductive logic is not. The article ends on a profound note, one that should be carefully considered by all concerned parents and educators:
“There is time to help our students to develop high-level thinking skills that require the manipulation of multiple symbols and the use of deductive logic. That time is adolescence. To everything there is a season—let’s not rush (or ruin) the most important season of all-childhood.” Read the entire article here: #mce_temp_url#
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, and its ambient, Waldorf/Math By Hand counterpart.