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.
This project is especially relevant for Grade 3 because it creates not only the knitted pouch but the needles to knit it! It’s small and very doable. and can be used for any number of purposes, while affording the same measure of satisfaction and self-sufficiency as a larger project might. Here’s the pouch and needles followed by full instructions.
You will need: 1) yarn in two contrasting colors, 2) a pair of chopsticks or two small, thin dowels, 3) beads or foam stickies, and 4) a pencil sharpener, emollient, and a soft cloth. Here’s how:
1) Sharpen the chopsticks in a pencil sharpener.
2) Sand them with fine sandpaper, blunting the points somewhat.
3) Apply an emollient (I use shea butter) and rub the needles vigorously with the cloth until slippery.
4) Attach beads, clay, or foam “stickies” (as shown) as stoppers. Use a bit of glue for permanence.
(You can also use this same process with any size dowels.)
Make the pouch shown above by knitting two small rectangles in contrasting colors, casting off for a buttonhole close to the top on the front. Fold the finished, two-tone rectangle in half and sew it shut with a blanket stitch all around, using contrasting colors. Attach the rope handle by securing it to the top corners, sewing the ends on the inside. Fold a small braided tie (made with the same yarns) in half, attach it with a few stitches to the inside top back, pull one end through, and tie!
Here’s how to make the rope handle:
1) Cut 3 pieces of yarn 3 times longer than the length of your finished rope (be sure to use both colors).
2) With a partner, hold both ends and keep the yarn very taut while twisting in opposite directions. If alone, tape one end to a surface and twist in one direction.
3) When it’s twisted so tightly that it begins curling up on itself, carefully fold the twisted strand in half and let go, while smoothing the two strands together. Tie the open ends together with a single knot. Rope!
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 again tomorrow for more Grade 3 fun!