First Grade Math: Bird by Bird

This week, our First Grade teacher, Ms. Weger, shared this lesson from the last block of the year.

The First Grade students have been reviewing the four math processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in their last three-week block of the year. Typically, a nature story of some kind is told, and the children follow along, inwardly calculating as they go.

During this block, the main lesson concluded with the students writing their math sentences from the nature story in their books with a drawing of their choosing. Here is the math story:

The birds have become a symphony of sound from the trees since their babies hatched earlier this Spring! While walking, I noticed a family of quail cross the road. First the mama quail, and then 4 juvenile quail, and then 5 more juvenile quail. Including the mama, how many quail are there? _____. As the quail finished crossing the street, the crows started shouting at each other from the Bishop Pine trees above. There are 2 crows in one tree, and 3 crows in the other. How many crows are there? _____. How many more quail are there on the ground than crows in the trees? _____.    

And here are some of the images the students created in response:

If you’d like to read more about the Waldorf curriculum’s approach to teaching math, The Chalkboard blog from Waldorf School of Moraine has a great introduction “Why is Waldorf Math Education Unique and Powerful?