In a Waldorf setting, the numbers 1-12 are explored through daily stories which explore the quality of each. Let’s explore the numbers together. Each number has a video in which I share the resources I’m using to explore that number as well as a chalk drawing tutorial. I use a number of resources and for the bulk of the numbers the resources are the same, but there are specific math picture books that I’ve chosen for each number. I dipped into my own library to source these books as we’ve accumulated a number of math resources over the years. If you have just the right book for any of the numbers 1-12 (or beyond) please share your resource in the comment section.
Exploring Number 1
What’s the worth of exploring something you already know? We all know the number 1, even young children who haven’t even started school yet are familiar with the concept of one. So why spend a whole lesson on the quality of 1? In a Waldorf setting, the story is the lesson and the benefit of the lesson is learning about 1. Learning about one is part of the purpose, but the true lesson is in the story. The story is a living story, told by the teacher. And as with all living stories, the lessons are alive and live on within the child. Over time she embodies the story as she lives the quality of 1 and sees the quality of other numbers within her and outside of her. That’s the true quality of the lesson. It’s the experience that enlivens the child and allows a flat lifeless lesson about numbers come to life. So what’s the worth of exploring the most basic of all numbers? The story takes you on a journey to discover that the true quality of one is in its uniqueness. And ultimately the most unique of all is one’s own self. You are unique and there is nothing just like you. Within the lesson, you may focus on the shape of a circle or simply the single point, as one point is singular and doesn’t create a shape. Likewise a circle is both singular and infinite. There is also just our one sun, or one planet and one moon. Later these can be assembled to see that the sun and moon together make a pair and they share the quality of twoness as well. The resources we used for this unit are as follows and will include more as the main lesson block continues.
Continue reading and watching this series…
This video course takes you on a journey to explore the Numbers 1-12. Each video is rich with resources (games, books and more), original chalk drawing, and plenty of inspiration for you to take with you while you are teaching your math blocks. Resources and suggestions are to support your existing curriculum or may be used to create your own Quality of Numbers main lesson block.
Resources are suitable for grades Preschool and KG through Grade 3. All Stories and some story books may be used with preschoolers and kindergartners, while math concepts are intended for grades 1-3.
Videos included in enrichment course are the following:
- 12 videos on the Exploration of Numbers
Number 1 video is free and available on YouTube. You can get a preview of what’s to come in the course by tapping on the video link.
- Number 1 video 25 minutes
- Number 2 video 50 minutes
- Number 3 video 50 minutes
- Number 4 video 1 hour 10 min
- Number 5 video 1 hour
- Number 6 video 2 hours
- Number 7 video 1 hour 15 min
- Number 8 video 1 hour 10 min
- Number 9 video 1 hour 30 minutes
- Number 10 video 1 hour
- Number 11 video 1 hour
- Number 12 video 1 hour 10 minutes
In addition to the 12 videos exploring the numbers, the course includes several tutorial videos:
- How to set up your school day and Main Lesson Block on the Quality of Numbers (Understanding the three-day learning cycle when doing a math unit)
- Tutorial on how to make a Multiplication ring (with string, paper and notches or brads)
- Tutorial on how to make a Multiplication wheel (to practice multiplication table up to 12 and review other equations to make each number 1-12)
- How to make Counting/Rhythm sticks
- How to use Counting/Rhythm sticks
- How to make and use a life sized number line
- How to make Math Gnomes and the wisdom behind the story, colors and temperaments used in making the math gnomes
- Live video on Active Math (given live on IG in November 2020, recorded and added to course)
- Video overview of math games for ages preschool to 8th grade
- Math picture book videos (2) also available now via YouTube
- Active and Movement Math video tutorial
- How to make bean bags for movement math
- How to use and incorporate manipulatives and tools to support your math unit (beans vs gems, multiplication chart vs multiplication wheel, should you use these tools?)
- How to design your own Waldorf inspired math curriculum using these and other resources
That’s 26 videos total!
Chalk Drawing for Number 12
This chalk drawing is part of a series available on my website on the Exploration of the Numbers 1-12 through a Waldorf inspired approach. What a beautiful way to end the series than reflecting on the seasons. While the season and months of the year are abstract, let’s make them tangible for our children. The concept of time doesn’t solidify until the 9-year change. So at this age, the summer months feel as long as the school year. Using tangible materials to represent the months of the year though felt snowflakes, rocks, acorns and shells, the students can see how the four seasons make up the 12 months of the year. By having four groups of three objects which represent the seasons, students have a visual of 3 x 4 = 12. They are experience the multiplication even if they are not naming it.