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. Today was challenging, wrestling with materials to create more Math By Hand kits and packages. It’s all good, but some days are less good than others. A little break from the Common Core would be nice too, hence this shorty blog . . .
Morning circle is a good time to recite, hop, skip, sing, and dance. Wonderful activity for waking up and getting ready for an exciting day of learning. Grade 1 rhymes tend to be basic, traditional, and strongly rhythmic. They are fairly easy to learn and are excellent lead-ins to rhythmic counting, skip counting, and first times tables. Pair finger-plays and movement with these familiar rhymes as well. Here are some excerpts from the Math By Hand Rhythms ‘n’ Rhymes booklet.
Sally go round the sun,
Sally go round the moon,
Sally go round the chimney pots,
On a Saturday afternoon.
Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
Upstairs and downstairs, in his nightgown,
Knocking on the window,
Crying through the lock
“Are the children all in bed?
It’s past eight o’clock.”
Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes,
This is the way my body goes.
Ears, eyes, nose and mouth,
Nose and mouth,
This is the way my face goes.
Whether the weather be fine
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold
Or whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not.
The elephant is like a wall,
He is so very broad and tall.
Upon his back we have a ride,
And swing and sway from side to side.
Tongue twisters are not only great fun, they’re also helpful for honing speaking and listening skills. Include them as a regular morning circle treat. Here are several from the Math By Hand Tongue Twister booklet.
Lovely lemon liniment.
Fat frogs flying past fast.
Tim, the thin twin tinsmith.
Flee from fog to fight flu fast.
6 thistle sticks, 6 thick thistles stick.
Any noise annoys an oyster but a noisy noise annoys an oyster most.
Takea cue from your littles and always have fun with it all. As W. B. Yeats so wisely said, “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” Knowledge ensues in an environment dedicated to imaginative, creative knowing, where student and teacher alike surrender to the ensuing of that knowledge as a worthy goal. Back to the CCSS ELA Standards tomorrow!