Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Maths Block I: Quality of Numbers X


A giant am I, just sauntering BY
To numbers so high I quickly FLY.
10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100.

This morning, we covered the last number - 10! Along with the usual riddle, story, sand scape uncovering, jumping, etc we talked about a crab having 10 legs and what deci means and tried to think of words representative of the number 10. Kristie Burns' "Sixth Sense Math" book had a wonderful story of an antelope who outsmarted the king by counting by twos to reach the number ten quickly. The girls were in a hurry to finish this lesson as they couldn't wait to plug in the secret code to see what lay beyond the magic cave. So we headed over to our set up and the Old Crone continued her story with the children. Using my beautiful Syrendell silks, I covered everything until the code was correctly entered. Now that they had learned the secret symbols, it was time to plug them in.

We used an adorable bag made by Linda at Mamma 4 Earth that she sent our little Henry the Hedgehogs in and placed our rune stones that I had made inside the bag. The stone idea was inspired by Our Little Nature Nest who made them for her math basket. I used a paint pen and wrote the numbers from 1-10 on one set of black stones (available at craft shops) and then wrote the Roman numerals I - X on another set of black stones. The girls would then match them up after they learned each number. They were now ready to match all 10 to open the cave on their journey to find their way back home.

And voila! With a groaning croak and a rumble like thunder, the cave wall shook and opened to reveal...

The Land of Numeria...

Guided by an ancient talking wolf, the children walked through the entrance of the cave and set foot in the Land of Numeria. The wolf would protect them on their journey. They were told that there were magical beings in this land that would show them all about mining and gems and how they collect and divvy them up for their King. If the children looked hard, they might just see a few gems lying around and when the time was right, they would meet the magical beings who would help them collect some special stones that they needed to get back home. They were not to forget the magical symbols that they had just learned for those would be needed along their journey, as well...

And this concludes our official first maths block on the Quality of Numbers : I - X. The rest of the week, we'll be reading and telling stories in review of the numbers to finish up this 3 week block. I also hope to blog a nice summary with our findings after experiencing this most fun block! Of course, this story will continue in our second maths block - can't wait!


  1. This is truly amazing!! Keep me updated..
    Where did this Land of Numeria come from? I would love to incorporate into our story as we head into the 4 processes... :)

  2. Hi Donna! This block was much more fun than I expected. Numeria is actually used in many Waldorf schools. Marsha Johnson has some great files in her yahoo group section that talk about the Land of Numeria & she definitely influenced this entire block we did. Her best advice when teaching Grade 1 has been to "keep it in the imagination" :D

  3. Absolutely perfect!! I have never seen a better presentation shared online before. It's just full of fun and imagination. Your daughters will always love math, and see the beauty of number because you have begun this way. Math is not boring, or hard as so many people feel. It is magical, and amazing, it is langage the universe was written in. In this lesson yo placed a tiny seed in the hearts of yor daughters that will grow & flourish as they learn more & more. My daughter learned math this way. She is far ahead of most kids her age in mathematics because she has always seen math as being fun & easy. Bravo to you. You are pullinf it off beautifully.

  4. Thanks so much, Jenn! Means a lot to me, esp coming from you :D and thanks for sharing about your daughter and her progression. I can only imagine how amazing your maths blocks have been with her before Grade 3...I forgot to mention in the post that when we wrapped up the lesson, about 2 hours later, Charley came running to me, wrapped her arms around me and looked up at me with her big brown eyes, saying, "Mommy, thanks for doing all this for us!" She's an old soul, that one...I've received more affirmations while engaging in waldorf inspired education that ever before. It really does speak to the soul. Happy hearts, happy children!

  5. I really love how the land of Numeria gets "revealed"! Very exciting for the girls. The math stones are another wonderful idea. Wilson and I love to hide the math gnome "gems". There just something really special about interweaving stories, magic and numbers. Great job!

  6. Hi Jen,
    Such a wonderful post and thank you so much for featuring my shop, I do appreciate it so my friend:)

  7. This is so wonderful! I can't wait to read about your next block.

  8. Thanks Mommas! I really appreciate your comments & that you are following along with us on this most awesome journey :D

  9. What a wonderful way of presenting that story! I loved your number stones. You are so creative I do so love your blog! I would so love to come and be a part of your school time. : )

  10. Jane, we'd LOVE to have you! :D

  11. Jen, I am so excited to have discovered your blog (through Notes on an Aria). I will be doing first grade with my twin girls in September and I feel so inspired by what you do! Ihave Donna Simmon's (Christopherus) first grade curriculum and just ordered Kristie math's book that you recommend.
    Are you or your husband italian? I lived in Italy for a year when I was 17 and feel a very strong attachment to Italy. I would love to buy an old farmhouse there too!!

  12. Hi Catherine! How fun :D Kristie's book is great b/c she encourages learning through the senses which not only makes it fun, but increases the depth of understanding. I am also a huge fan of Eric Fairman and his Path of Discovery series (Volume 1: Grade 1 would be what you'd want).

    And yes, my hubby is 1/2 Italian. His dad's family is from Caramanico Terme in the moutains of Abruzzi. It's gorgeous there and I hope to visit in person one day. I'd love to hear more about your time in Italy sometime. I'm quite obsessed with living in Europe myself - a dream maybe that will come to fruition down the road.

    So glad you'll be joining the blog and I know I've seen your picture, so I'm off to visit yours now :D