A Day 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. 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 > Language > Grade 2
Knowledge of Language:
Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
Compare formal and informal uses of English.
Both of these standards are well covered by learning and reciting poetry. As poems are learned through line-by-line memorization and recitation, focused listening and then precise speaking is required. As for writing and reading, after the poems have been memorized, they can be copied from the teacher’s example along with colorful illustrations. Because they’ve been learned “by heart,” reading can be taught through writing in this way.
A clear awareness of the differences between formal and informal English is essential in later grades, but it may be too soon to differentiate between them in an abstract way. Of course the children will experience examples of both as an everyday occurrence in the ways the adults around them communicate to suit various situations. An imaginative feeling for the differences can be relayed through stories and poetry.
The first poem below, “Escape At Bedtime” by Robert Louis Stevenson, is a study in formal language. And the second, “The Jumblies” by Edward Lear, is just the first verse from one of the many nonsense poems that can be found and used to represent informal language. Your second graders will love the challenge and will greatly benefit from the process of learning, memorizing, reciting, writing, and illustrating poetry!
Escape at Bedtime
By Robert Louis Stevenson
The lights from the parlor and kitchen shone out
Through the blinds and the windows and bars,
And high overhead and all moving about,
There were thousands of millions of stars.
There never were such thousands of leaves on a tree,
Nor of people in church or the park,
As the crowds of the stars that looked down upon me,
And that glittered and winked in the dark
The Dog and the Plough, and the Hunter, and all,
And the star of the sailor, and Mars,
Those shone in the sky, and the pail by the wall
Would be half full of water and stars.
They saw me at last, and they chased me with cries,
And they soon had me packed into bed,
But the glory kept shining and bright in my eyes,
And the stars going round in my head.
By Edward Lear
They went to sea in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they went to sea:
In spite of all their friends could say,
On a winter’s morn, on a stormy day,
In a Sieve they went to sea!
And when the Sieve turned round and round,
And every one cried, ‘You’ll all be drowned!’
They called aloud, ‘Our Sieve ain’t big,
But we don’t care a button! we don’t care a fig!
In a Sieve we’ll go to sea!’
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.
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.