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 focus on a brief overview of the Waldorf Grade 1, along with a suggested block plan schedule. Here’s what makes up the year:
Upper case printed letters.
The numbers to 100.
The 4 Processes.
Fairy or folk tales.
Knitting, painting, drama, flute and singing, foreign languages, gym/games.
The main lesson/block plan format is child (and teacher/parent) friendly. The main lesson focuses on one academic subject at a time, in a 1 1/2 to 2 hour block in the morning. Here’s a typical Grade 1 day:
20 minutes / morning circle / singing, recitation, lots of movement, skills practice.
1 1/2 to 2 hours / main lesson / 3 to 4 weeks long.
20 minutes / recess / preferably outdoors.
20 minutes / skills practice.
1 hour / lunch.
open ended / the fun stuff / knitting, gardening, field trips, gym/games, arts/crafts.
Here is a suggested block scheduling plan for the year (blocks can vary from 3-4 weeks):
September / form drawing.
October / writing and reading.
November / math / the numbers.
December / handwork.
January / writing and reading.
February / math / the 4 processes.
March / nature studies.
April / writing and reading.
May / math / 4 processes practice.
June / class play.
Block planning is beneficial and efficient. Learning occurs in the morning when both the child(ren) and teacher/parent are awake, alert and ready to learn. The pace is reverent, respectful, and relaxed because really, there’s no hurry. Learning happens best when it just happens. Trust and faith make the best schoolmasters in Grade 1. Really. Strong belief in your and your child(ren)’s ability to teach and learn is paramount!
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. All the posts, from tomorrow on, will be organized into ambient math lessons and activities for each of the three math blocks listed above, aligned to the Common Core Math Standards.