Thursday, October 14, 2010

I have always planned on having something better to use as math manipulatives than our plastic pattern blocks but just never saw anything that clicked....until! I saw someone use wooden acorns! So I searched and finally found unfinished ones for .65 a piece, not bad. Then I painted them this week 15 green-ish, and 15 brown. They will be so much warmer in our hands then plastic (ya'll know how I feel about plastic right?!)!!
I LOVE the Oak Meadow math, they use the stories about the four gnomes like many Waldorf curriculums and acorns just fit right in with gnomes and squirrels and such!! In THIS pdf of an overview of the first grade curriculum on page 10 there is a continuation of the gnome story, introducing King Equal if your interested. And I found another mama's short explanation of the gnomes that I thought was really well written:
- Plus wears green, is kinda chubby, moves slowly yet is lucky at finding things, is kind-hearted and he always collects extra jewels/acorns/whatever to share with his friend Minus.
- Minus wears blue, is sorta skinny with holes in his clothes and sack - I don't think it is Waldorf but I gave him a sort of monkish, kind and holy demeanor. He constantly drops things out of his sack, but I always took the story farther - like the dropped acorn becomes the last one that a squirrel needs to feed his family of babies; or the dropped jewel ends up buying dinner for a poor family, etc.
- Times is quick and light & weightless like a flame - usually wears yellow - and he always tends to find things in groups of the same number.
- Divide wears deep red color and is very wise. He tends to help everyone divide up the jewels equally among the king's knights or divide up the acorns evenly among the squirrels - each family getting the same amount. (Remainders are fun for Minus to think of kind things to do with.)
-King or Queen Equal is your child. They get to use the acorns, the gnomes, and other things to help them find answers - at first just helping count out the manipulatives, but eventually on their own.
I think I will make some little gnomes to help us in our math too, sorry Dan another trip to the craft store!! :)