W.2 1-3: Lots of Reading = Good Writing Skills! (#152)

A Year in the Life: Ambient Math Wins the Race to the Top!
Day 152

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 continue reviewing the Common Core ELA standards, which are listed in blue and are followed by their ambient counterparts.

English Language Arts Standards > Writing > Grade 2
Text Types and Purposes:
Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.
Second graders may have opinions, but cannot yet have “reasoned” opinions.  Their age and developmental stage precludes this sort of abstract, objective thinking.  As always however, a strong and solid foundation is built as they listen to and faithfully recount the wide variety of literature that is presented to them throughout the year.  Sound literary structure is exemplified constantly, to be drawn upon later when the time is right for essay writing.

Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

It’s been said that the best tool for learning how to write well is reading, a lot.  And even though Waldorf second graders are most likely not yet reading, they are learning to love literature, which is the single most important factor toward insuring excellent readers and writers.  The stories told and retold by the children are taken from classic literature, and as such are excellent examples of the literary elements listed above (topic, development, and conclusion).  After years of exposure to this rich story content, Waldorf students are ready and able to write well about virtually any subject.

Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.
Again, all of this occurs but not in writing yet.  As a story is retold every day, it covers all of the above.  The extent to which every minute detail is remembered and recounted by the children is nothing less than astounding.  This gift of memorization will fade with age, and if it’s not nurtured by allowing the children the opportunity to retell stories and memorize long verses by heart, something inestimably valuable is lost, forever.  So, rather than forcing age-inappropriate tasks on the young child, it’s incumbent upon every teacher and parent to heed the real needs of childhood by intuiting and implementing only that which best serves healthy growth and development.

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 to continue with the Common Core ELA standards and their ambient counterparts.

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