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. Because the Common Core Grade 1 Math Standards address addition and subtraction exclusively, they will appear here later, in conjunction with the blocks that focus on the 4 processes. Earlier math blocks focus on meeting the numbers up close and personal through stories, movement, art, form drawing, and hands-on activities like making real numbers. The numbers should come together for calculation only after an in-depth introduction has established them as friendly and personable, so essential for circumventing math fears and phobias!
In reviewing the structure of the Grade 1 Daily Lesson Plans book, I’m remembering that the 20 days of the second math block is divided into 10 days of real numbers play and exploration and 10 days of introducing the 4 processes, using costumes, stories, and plays. Then the third math block is devoted to lots of 4 processes practice. I’d like to take a couple days to share the morning verse and one of the Math By Hand morning circles before moving on to exploring the real numbers. A verse is said first thing every morning in the Waldorf lower grades, and this is my version, followed by the verse that’s used in most Waldorf schools.
The Sun’s bright and golden eye
Brings light to me each day,
As Night’s black velvet curtain
Draws back and folds away.
I wake from sleep each morning
With a will to work and play,
As my head and heart and hands
Know all the world’s my home.
I gather all my might
To love to work and learn,
With strength, in shining light:
My loving thanks I will return.
The Sun with loving light
Makes bright for me each day,
The soul with spirit power
Gives strength unto my limbs,
In sunlight shining clear
I revere, Oh God,
The strength of humankind,
Which Thou so graciously
Has planted in my soul,
That I with all my might,
May love to work and learn.
From Thee stream light and strength
To Thee rise love and thanks.
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. Tune in tomorrow for a lively romping, stomping morning circle!