A Day 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. Before reviewing the eight Standards for Mathematical Practice, Grade 1, I must say that I’m struck by how developmentally inappropriate they are. In the next four days, I will address each pair of standards from a Waldorf perspective. But for now, I’d like to share this wonderful talk by Child Psychologist, Dr. Megan Koschnick on why the Common Core Standards are developmentally inappropriate for grades K-3.
From the video:
“Why do we care if [Common Core standards] are age inappropriate? Well, you can answer that with one word — stress,” said Dr. Megan Koschnick during her presentation. “Instead of thinking about what’s developmentally appropriate for kindergarteners, they are thinking [college] is where we want this kindergartener to end up, so let’s back track down to kindergarten and have kindergarteners work on these skills from an early age. This can cause major stress for the child because they are not prepared for this level of education.”
Over the next four days, each of the four groups of Mathematical Practice Standards will be examined with an eye toward what really works as developmentally appropriate math in Grade 1, beginning with standards 1 & 6, tomorrow. 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.