## Saturday, April 24, 2010

partying with the little ones

I had begun my math block with class two at East Bay Waldorf upon returning from spring break. The second grade child, so full of liveliness, is experiencing both uncertainty and freedom in discovering their separateness from each other and the world around them. The teacher must guide them and help them build self-discipline and self-confidence.

Our four-week math block will be spent reinforcing previously introduced concepts such as multiplication. Here is what we did with learning our multiplication.

Climbers, Creepers, and Crossings. The king and queen lived in a castle blessed with a bounty of fruit trees and a vegetable garden. One day, an old beggar knocked on the heavy door and asked for some food. They turned him away, and he placed a curse on the castle. All the fruit trees and vegetables withered away. The king and queen were left with very little food. The beggar returned some time later and asked for food again. This time, even with barely enough for themselves, they offered him some morsels. He was so thankful, he revealed he was wizard and returned life to the castle garden. He even produced a magical vine. This vine gave out tendrils that ran up and down, the climbers. It gave out tendrils that ran side to side, the creepers. When a climber meets a creeper, they form a crossing. If you have 4 climbers and 5 creepers, how many TIMES do they cross? 20 times! 20 is 4 times 5.

Tables of the Royal Party. So happy for their new bounty, the king and queen wanted to hold a party. They needed up to 9 tables for their guests. At each table they needed: 1 vase of flowers, 2 buckets of ice, 3 pitchers of water, 4 pizzas, 5 blueberry muffins, 6 loaves of bread, 7 mushrooms, 8 carrots, 9 bowls of soup, 10 apple pies, 11 candles, and 12 fortune cookies. Well, if you have 6 tables set, and you wanted 4 pizzas per table, how many pizzas altogether do you need? 6 tables times 4 pizzas is 24 pizzas total. 6 x 4 is 24.

Math Outside. The day was gorgeous and I decided to take the children outside to enjoy the school grounds. With practice book and pencil in hand, the children joined me in a game of "I spy." I said, "I spy pine cones resting on a hay bale." They counted the cones, "4!" And I said, "What is 4 + 4 + 4 + 4? Whisper the secret answer in my ear." One by one, they whispered, "16." With each child, I would say, "Great, now only William and I know the answer, ooh, now William, Jane, and I know the secret answer!"

We have also been engaged with form drawing, painting, and language arts. With May Faire just a week away, we have also been praticing a song or two for the spring festival.

Gabriele said...

Dear Rick,

yet another just great great picture of yours! I am trying to repeat multiplication with my daughter who enterd already the Japanese 4th grade and is in great need of pictures.
Always I just can repeat myself: how much would I love to have you as our teacher......
East Bay Waldorf kids might not know how lucky they are!!!!

Best
Gabriele

Anonymous said...

Dear Rick,

These activities are just wonderful! I am always searching for new, imaginative ideas. Sometimes our lessons at home get a little dull... especially in springtime... especially with math. Please post as often as you are able, and thank you so much for taking the time to share.

Warmly,
Teri (a homeschooling mom)