2.NBT 2: Go Beyond Skip Counting, Times Tables 2-12 (#131)

A Year in the Life: Ambient Math Wins the Race to the Top!
Day 131

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.  Today’s post will feature the next Grade 2 Common Core Math Standard listed in blue, followed by its ambient counterpart as practiced by Waldorf Education and Math By Hand.

Number and Operations in Base Ten   2.NBT
Understand place value.
2. Count within 1,000; skip-count by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, and 100’s.

Skip-counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s began and continued throughout Grade 1, as a first introduction to those times tables.  The rest of the times tables are introduced at the beginning of Grade 2, with some skip-counted like this:

3’s: alternate whisper/tip-toe with step/speak
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15 . . .
4’s:alternate whisper/tip-toe withstep/speak
2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16-18-20 . . .

Becausethe 6’s, 7’s, and 8’s are the most challenging times tables, Math By Hand uses a special hand-trick with oversized cotton gardening gloves as a learning aid.  9’s are learned through a pattern reinforced through movement and illustration.  This pattern is the way the first and second digits of the table ascend and descend:


The 11’s are simply doubled numbers, and the 12’s are the endings of all the others.  If the times tables can be approached in this way, step-by-step and consistently, day-by-day, they become so much more doable.  Then confidence is gained while essential skills are learned.

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 Common Core, and its ambient, Waldorf/Math By Hand counterpart.

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