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.
Night and day. Now, in Grade 3, is the very best time to teach time. Time might wait for no man as the saying goes, but along with measurement, it does wait until Grade 3 in the Waldorf system. Developmentally at 9 years old, young childhood is left behind as the child takes the first steps out of innocence and out of the garden.
This is why creation stories, and most specifically the Genesis stories, are told at this age. The picture of “leaving the garden” resonates strongly now, and so this is the best time to bring the practical things that supported our first ancestors as they left their respective gardens behind. There is a readiness to take on the more practical elements of time and measurement that was not present before. Grade 3 is the most practical of all grades. Housebuilding, gardening, and other home crafts make up the core curriculum from which all academic subjects grow.
Our modern time-telling devices, whether analog or digital, are abstract and complex compared to the simple sundial, hourglass, or water clock. If we accept that child development parallels human cultural development, it becomes apparent that concrete, visual support is needed before jumping into teaching time-telling using blank clock worksheets or plastic play clocks.
The second 12 hour set on our clocks passes in the dark (or in the moonlight). Show these hours with this simply constructed moondial. It can also be used as a sundial, but its unique look sets it apart, so it might be nice to have two: one for night and one for day!
Here’s the link to AstroEarth with instructions (scroll down to access them). And here is the moondial!
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!