Yesterday we started our first Math block. Such a funny thing - Yoav didn't even know the word "math" - I told him yesterday morning that we were starting math this week and he said, "Huh, what's math?" Meanwhile, last night lying in bed in his semi-sleep state, moments before falling asleep, he mumbled, "two 30s is 60, two 40s is 80, two 50s is 100. Mom, two 40s is 80 and two 50s is 100, right? So two what's is 90?" The human mind is a beautiful thing indeed!
For some reason (maybe because I have too many books and different ideas!)
The materials I'm using are:
* Ron Jarman's "Mathematics in Rudolf Steiner Schools"
* Ernst Schuberth's "Teaching Mathematics in Grades One and Two"
* Roy Wilkinson's "Teaching Mathematics"
* Dorothy Harrer's "Math Lessons for the Elementary Grades"
* Eric Fairman's "Path of Discovery - Grade 1"
* Marsha Johnson's "Quality of Numbers" block - available free at WaldorfHomeEducators Yahoo group
* Christopherus First Grade Curriculum
* Earthschooling's "Six Sense Math"
* Ancient Hearth's Quatlity of Numbers blog post
* help from a friend who's using Live Ed
Each one of them has something useful and valuable, but each is different, so forming something that takes the best of each (best for me, that is), that will work well for Yoav and meet my needs and values, erg - I found that difficult!
In the end, I'm doing very similar to the Ancient Hearth blog post and am using verses from the Harrer book for Circle and ideas from Earthschooling for more substance and deeper understanding.
Yesterday I told a story about Julius and Lior (Yoav and Elie's middle names) who went out for a walk in the forest (insert lots of detail about the forest and animals here). They saw a little white rabbit for a limp and ran after him. Soon the rabbit came upon a hole, which he jumped into. Yoav tried to catch the rabbit, but when he reached in to get the rabbit, he fell in too. Then Elie tried to pull Yoav back up, but, in trying, he too fell in! They came upon a bleak landscape, so different from the forest - greys and whites all around. They walked and walked and eventually came to a large stone mountain. Up in the mountain, on a ledge, they saw what looked like two eyes under a pile of skins - they thought perhaps it was the bunny, so they climbed up to see it. When they got there, they were surprised to see that it wasn't a bunny at all, but rather an old wise woman covered in skins. When she saw them, she asked if they wanted to enter in to the secret door on the side of the mountain. Of course the boys did. She told them that, to enter the door, they would have to answer ten questions, one each day. Each time they correctly answer a question, they would receive something that would help them to unlock the door.
The first question was: What is ONE? They must think about it during the night and must have the answer ready by sunrise the following day.
So, that was yesterday (Monday).
Today (Tuesday), we did our walk and Circle (which included a few math verses from the Dorothy Harrer book and I think also some from Eric Fairman's POD) and then came into the school room.
We did some recall of the story and we remembered the wise woman's question from yesterday. I asked Yoav if he had any ideas what answers Julius and Lior might give the woman. I had to guide him a bit, as it started with, "One, two, three.. " and more general talk about numbers - him basically saying that one is a number. So I asked what is there one of? He said: "One lamp, one chalkboard, ... (a few other things in the room), then one world, one Israel, one United States, one Connecticut, one Atlanta ... (he went on and on with this), then there's one ME!" That was really what I was looking for, as next we'd be drawing a picture about one... I also added a few - one sun, one moon, one Hashem.... I said that all of those were right and that Julius and Lior told the woman one me and she gave them the first part of the key.
Next I attempted the idea that Ancient Hearth did - I had a piece of paper hidden under sand in a glass tray and gave the boys paint brushes to brush away the sand. The sand was damp though from all the rain (it was stored outside in a semi-rainproof bag) so it didn't work so well. But they enjoyed it anyway and were full of wonder.
I misjudged Yoav a little on the next part - I had the forms drawn on the chalkboard but planned for him to draw the "one me" part by himself. He was really disappointed when I revealed the chalkboard drawing (just the right side of the below picture), so I told him to play for a bit with Elie so I could draw him also so he'd see just how to do it on his page.
So here is the final drawing:
|Drawing of Yoav (one me) on left; four forms of the number 1 on the right|
Tomorrow we'll walk the forms during Circle - I think ideally it would be done before the drawing of the number, but the kids woke up today and ran downstairs to play, so we started a little later than usual and we needed to finish up...