CC Break: A Yurok Carrying Net (#193)


A Year in the Life: Ambient Math Wins the Race to the Top!
Day 193

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.  For today, a break from the Common Core, because honestly, though I’m sure creative teachers everywhere are coming up with dynamic and interesting lessons based on the CC, standards, any standards tend to be on the dry and boring side.

So here’s a Grade 3 break, hopefully a refreshingly inspiring one.  This craft activity is taken from the Math By Hand Grade 3 Form Drawing/Stories book.  The Grade 3 stories are a collection of worldwide creation myths and North American Indian housebuilding arts and tools.  The mix of creation and housebuilding stories supports the 9 year old’s need for reassurance that as s/he leaves the garden of childhood, survival tools and resources will be there.

California tribes were most diverse, reflecting its many geologically and ecologically different regions.  The Yurok depended on fishing skills for survival, and to this end, wove complex nets that were attached to poles secured on either side of a river or stream.  A version of this knot-tied net can be fairly easily replicated by a third grader with some adult assistance.  See below for weaving/tying instructions and a finished net, tied and woven with rainbow yarn.

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 3 math CCSS and their ambient counterparts.



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