Monday, April 12, 2010

Maths Block II: Quantity of Numbers & Introduction to the Four Processes: Gnome Share (Divide)

"Divide is a kind old gnome.
With each one he will share.
The jewels which he gathers
He divides with greatest care."

~ from E. Fairman's Path of Discovery books

This morning, I set up the first section of the Land of Numeria on two end tables pushed together, covered with silks and natural materials.

The girls and I began with a review of the first part of the story, which can be found in the reviews of the summary posted here. I was very pleased to discover that they remembered the most important aspects of the story. Afterwards, I had each of them match the Arabic to the Roman Numerals again.

I then had them close their eyes while I led them to the scene and tried to capture their awe/smiles when they opened their eyes to see The Land of Numeria :D

We continued the story with the Old Crone leaving the children in the care of the Ancient Wolf who would keep them safe on their journey through the Land of Numeria to find their way home. We have now named the children Lucy and Phineas.

The Crone told the children that in this land, they would meet many others along their way, but that they must find four magical little beings that would teach them about numbers and how to use them before they could find their way home. The wolf would be their guide and protector. She told them a clue to start them off in the right direction and that was to find "Finger Rock" and follow the direction of the point...She and the bunny disappeared.

The girls searched the table until they found "Finger Rock"...

The children and the wolf went in the direction of the point and reached a rushing stream. They found a way to cross over a fallen log. The Ancient Wolf went first, to make sure it was safe for the children.

Lucy followed next.

Then it was Phineas' turn. The log was slippery and he fell into the stream!

Luckily, the Ancient Wolf was quick and dived in to save him. The wolf grabbed Phineas by the shirt collar and pulled him to safety.

It was very high and windy near this mountain and the sun was just about to set. Phineas was chilly and wet. The Ancient Wolf spotted a creature of the air element, the wise old owl.

The owl advised the wolf and the children how to safely start a fire so that Phineas would not be too cold in the evening.

Soon the fire was roaring. Phineas and the Ancient Wolf were dry, but the smoke from the fire was drifting into a nearby cave hidden in the deep green mountain. A moment later, a little red gnome appeared...

He introduced himself politely, telling the children his name was "Gnome Share". He welcomed the children and the Ancient Wolf, whom he seemed to recognize. He was a kind, friendly old gnome who explained to the children that he was busy working deep underground to find beautiful gems and stones that he divides up evenly among all the others. He loves to share! He pulled out a bag of crystal gems from the cave.

He told the children he had found a total of 72 gems that day and wanted to divide them up equally between the three of them. (One of the Waldorf goals of Grade 1 is to have the children practice the Four Processes using the numbers 0 - 24)...

So we dumped the bag on the ground and counted to make sure there were indeed 72 gems.

And then we divided them into three piles...

And counted to see that we each had 24 gems!

Gnome Share then gifted each of the children a lovely wooden box to carry their gems in as they will certainly be needing them along the way.

Then he invited them to warm by the fire and share in a feast of fruit and vegetables from the earth, while he told them some special stories. The stories would be about the numbers they learned in their previous lessons with the Old Crone.

Gnome Share brought out beautiful red fruits and vegetables - red strawberries, raspberries, apples, tomatoes, and peppers on a red plate.

The girls divided them up among the three of us...

And we ate our lunch!

Tomorrow, Gnome Share will be sharing a Grimm's Story for the Number 1 as we sit by the fire and he will teach the girls the symbol for Divide, as well as practice more sharing :D

This is the beginning of a Four Week Block on Number Quantities and the Four Processes. We will do one process per week and the gnomes will tell the children a Grimm's story for each number up to 12. I am also bringing the Four Elements in again with each gnome representing one loosely - tried to base it on colors. Gnome Share (red) is tied into the air element, being high up near the wind and the owls. I will post more this week as we continue learning about Division :D And I must give lots of credit to the fabulous Marsha Johnson for the inspiration to create and tweak what she offers for free in her files section on The Land of Numeria to make it our own special story! Hope you find it as enchanting as we have!


  1. The girls are certainly lucky to have you as mama. I can tell you put a lot of time/energy into planning this. I am actually look over MJ's 2nd grade files for next year and considering using that as part of our curriculum.

  2. Her free files are really wonderful! She's got such a magical way of presenting materials so I'm glad you're checking them out :D We'll be using them, too!

  3. Dear Jen,
    I love visiting here and seeing your wonderful lessons that you create:) I also enjoy MJ's files:) Have a great day my friend.

  4. love, love, love!! you are such a sweet and nurturing mama. i do love waldorf ed so. what a magical way to learn math! marsha's files are a treasure trove, no? ;)