4.NBT 2: Too Much Left Brain? (#255)


A Year in the Life: Ambient Math Wins the Race to the Top!
Day 255

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. CCSS math standards are listed here in blue followed by their ambient counterparts.

Number and Operations in Base Ten 4.NBT
Generalize place value understanding for multi-digit whole numbers.
2. Read and write multi-digit whole numbers using base-ten numerals, number names, and expanded form.  Compare two multi-digit numbers based on meanings of the digits in each place, using >, =, and < symbols to record the results of comparisons.

Well, I just spent too much time looking for a Facebook Grammarly post and didn’t find it.  It has a sad face and it says, “I just spelled a word so wrong, autocorrect was like, “I got nothin’ man.”  My sentiments exactly re this standard.  All of these things were taught and learned in the Math By Hand Grade 2 curriculum, by writing out answers to 4 processes problems in words and in expanded form.  Also in Grade 2, the symbols > and < were taught using very pictorial images, with lots of subsequent practice.

Once it’s “gotten” theres no need for repetitive drill and endless worksheets!  I just have nothing further to say about this.  Instead, I will jump ahead to seventh grade with this lovely image from the Bright Water School.


Representative of all we’re missing because we have cut the heART out of education.  Right brain thinking is responsible for most of the creative endeavors that grace our world.  How short-sighted of us to have gone so far to the left.  Left-brain thinking is sickeningly dominant in how we teach our children now.  All from the mistaken notion that more is more, i.e., more work = better scores.

Really, we need to take a breath and take a step back.  To how we used to teach, with breathing room.  We need to have a little faith, in ourselves as teachers, in our children, and in the things of the world that we need to teach them.  As always, 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 tomorrow for more Grade 4 math CCSS and their ambient counterparts.

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