The Land of Numeria

Last fall, I decided to start the year with a review of math facts, since everything seems to be forgotten over the summer. Math facts are not our favorite, so I tried to make it more fun with a Waldorfy idea inspired by Marsha Johnson of Shining Star School.
We began by looking for numbers in the world around us. (What a good excuse to go outside!) This is a standard first grade Waldorf study on the “quality” of numbers. My first grader, D, made a book with a different page for each number. Here is 4, the legs on a Guinea pig, and the Roman numeral IV. My older kids filled their books with beautiful numbers and their own review of Roman numerals.
Next we made a map of Numeria which included a forest, a river, and a village. These were our destinations for the next several days. The key to enter this land was found in the hidden numbers at the gate (which I made).
D had to count all the numbers in order to get in. L and N had to find their sum and product.
We gathered in the dark forest, surrounded by D’s stuffed wild animals. There we practiced addition and multiplication, using our flashlights to see the cards. (Somehow flashlights made math drills more fun!) D did his addition with manipulatives. The next day in the forest, we made trees: factor trees for my 6th and 9th graders, sums for my 1st grader.At the river, instead of skipping rocks we did skip counting. (We also visited a real river and we did skip rocks there.)
In the village, the buildings were tall. D practiced counting on, while the older kids reviewed adding long columns of numbers and other tricks.
This is just a quick overview; each part of this math block took several days. And our math review turned out to be fairly painless. :o)

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