Shapes & Number Patterns
updated May 2, 2018
Recorded here is my own personal collection of articles, resources, favorite links, teaching ideas, and lesson plans. It encompasses many years, from the very beginning of my experience studying and learning about Waldorf to the present time. People from all around the world visit my site and recommend it to others. Welcome!
This site records my journey. I hope my honesty is encouraging and helps break down some barriers that may prevent people from trying Waldorf methods. Because this is an ongoing site documenting my curriculum planning and ideas, some materials are more Waldorfy than others. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.
This page has helpful links and LOADS of free resources to help you plan your second grade year. Enjoy!
Mission Statement  Consulting Services  Lending Library
Shapes & Number Patterns
for Class 2
Pinterest  Renee Schwartz My curated collection of visuals! Browse sample main lesson book pages, watercolor paintings, chalkboard drawings, etc. for
Shapes & Number Patterns, which I have under Waldorf Math Misc.
Note: Because these are the math materials that I have on hand, I started this block with a heavy
Montessori slant.
Other Helpful Links
Books to Buy
Activity One  Patterns
two things make a pattern. they have a Rule and they Repeat
act out patterns  and not patterns (no Rule, no Repeat)  with your body
read Pattern Fish after the first fish
explain how patterns are written using letters,
use a white board and marker to demonstrate, then let students volunteer to come up
to the board and write the pattern for each fish as you read the book, find the patterns
in the illustrations each time
Activity Two  Colored Bead Bars and Skip Counting
review that patterns have a Rule and they Repeat
call out patterns using letters and have students create a corresponding series of movements with their bodies
show Colored Bead Bar Material,
use the Stamps and Colored Pencils to stamp a series of 3bars on a sheet
of plain paper, remind students
that we are counting by 3s and not by 1s and hold up the 3bar and the 1bar to
make this clear,
write the multiple next to the third bead each time... showing how to skip count
ask students to look
at these multiples of 3 and see if they see any patterns
repeat this with the 2bar stamp
they will find that the multiples of 2 are all even and end in a pattern (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) and then they will probably
look back and see that the multiples of 3 alternate between odd and even
give them time to stamp any bead bar they want as many times as they want on their own paper and write
down the multiples and look for patterns
introduce the Decanomial Paper, lay out 1x1, 1x2, 1x3, 1x4, etc. using the colored
bead bars and show the students where this is on the paper, color the beads red
repeat with the 2bars, coloring them green
Note: I have the colored bead bars which go with the Checker Board Material
(includes numbers 19),
as well as the golden 10 bars from the Golden Bead Material. However
you can buy a complete Decanomial Bead Bar Box which
has enough bars from 110 to allow you to build the entire decanomial... which is wonderful! It is called The Jeweled Layout and it's just stunning, and a very satisfying
work for children. If you
can afford it, it is well worth buying the box ($345.50). Or keep an eye out on eBay for used Montessori materials.
Another Note of Explanation: I love the Montessori math materials but I also love how Waldorf introduces the
operations with the math gnomes! To reconcile this, we used the Waldorf first grade stories of the gnomes and gems and then went into the Montessori math materials, using the golden beads and the
colored bead bars as our manipulatives to solve problems. Golden beads are obviously gold, which
we expect gnomes to be mining for. Red (1) is rubies. Dark green (2) is
emeralds. Light pink (3) is tourmaline. Yellow (4) is topaz. Light blue (5) is turquoise. Light purple (6) is amethyst.
White (7) is diamond.
Brown (8) is agate. Dark blue (9) is sapphire.
I also like how Montessori has color coding for place value, which is used in many Elementary classroom
materials like the Stamp
Game and Decimal Stamp Game and Checker
Board and Decimal Checker Board, among many others. To reconcile this
with Waldorf, you can simply have the colors be containers containing a certain number of gems, and
you can start writing the digits in the appropriate color coding from the very beginning. One gem is in a green bag. Ten gems are held in a blue
basket. One hundred gems are held in a red box. One thousand gems are held in a green crate. Etc.
One more point about Waldorf and Montessori. The Montessori fraction material is all divisions of the red #1, so they are
a perfect fit with the choleric Mr. Divide who shares things
out fairly. There are Fraction Squares as well
as CutOut Labeled Fraction
Circles, and all are red.
Activity Three  Building the Decanomial
repeat with the remaining numbers up to 10x10
make observations: find that 2x7 (for example) is the same rectangle as 7x2, but rotated
find the square numbers!
Activity Four  Making Stars with String
take a 12 inch square cork tile and lay a dinner plate down on it upside down. put finish nails in all around the plate, spacing evenly, so
that there are 10 nails. use cotton craft thread (NOT 6 strand embroidery floss) to weave the stars for each multiple, as seen here.
I used the Montessori colors for each colored bead bar, to keep the concepts consistent.
I really liked doing this because we could tell just by looking which star it was! These are
 1  red
 2  dark green
 3  light pink
 4  yellow
 5  light blue
 6  light purple
 7  white
 8  brown
 9  dark blue
I created a floss bobbin with each color for the string art. make sure there's a little starting loop tied off so that they can start
at zero, and wind it on the bobbin with the other end of the string first and ending
with the loop... or the student can't get to it!
you should get something that looks like this
(illustrations are also found in Barbara Dewey's book)
you can also have students draw their own number wheels for multiplication in chalk,
either on the chalkboard or outside on the sidewalk
Henning Anderson's book Active Arithmetic!: Movement and Mathematics Teaching in the Lower Grades of a Waldorf School
suggests having 12 children stand in a circle
and use long pieces of string to form these stars. This book is
available to download for free as a PDF from the Online Waldorf Library.
Activity Five  Hundred Board
find the patterns in the Hundred Board
sort the tiles into piles by the digit in the tens place, then take each stack and organize by the digit in the units
place and lay them down on the board one row at a time
check your work with the Control Chart
Activity Six  Multiplication Wheel
Activity Seven  Verses and Games
rhythmical stomping and verses... which continue in circle time throughout the year
these are begun in first grade and continued here
There was a family strange indeed;
Each member had a peculiar speed.
They could walk for half a day
Counting footsteps all the way.
Here they come,
Number one.
1. I am proper, neat and prim
My walk is straight, my clothes are trim
So I could my steps and you will see
That every one's the same for me.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2. But my two steps are not the same
For I must lean upon my cane.
Although I'm bent and weak and old
I can still count with numbers bold.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
3. I'm a lad, light and gay
And I'd much rather play.
I can run with my ball
While the numbers I call
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
4. My step is strong
I'll not go wrong
With all my might
I'll guard what's right.
I'll always know
How far to go
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
5. Like a mouse I go
Fearfully tip toe.
Looking to the left,
Looking to the right;
Watching to and fro
Danger's not in sight.
Lightly I arrive
I am number five
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
6. One, two, three, four, five, six
I can do lots of tricks.
I've a friend  number three 
He's a helper to me.
He has taught me to play
But I have my own way.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
10. A giant I am, just sauntering by
To numbers so high I quickly will fly.
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
also use beanbag games to practice throwing and catching while chanting the multiples
4 is 1 x 4. 8 is 2 x 4. 12 is 3 x 4. Etc.
Activity Eight  Geometry and Spatial Sense
other Shapes activities could include working with tangrams (Barbara Dewey's book)
I also recommend from Math for Smarty Pants:
"Don't Make a Triangle" (pp.4445) "There's More Than One Way to
Fold a Cube" (p.46)
"Geometric Guess and Check" (p.47)
"Testing Your Geometric Memory" (p.49)
as well as from HandsOn Math:
"Symmetry Dominoes" (pp.242244)
"Block Structures" (p.245)
"Changing the Perspective" (pp.245246)
"Matching Stacks" (pp.246248)
"TraceandTurn" (pp.253254)
"Rotation Concentration" (pp.255256)
having the Montessori Volume Box with 250 Cubes in the classroom would be useful for this!
but for just a pair of students in a homeschool setting, using 8 plain blocks from the Cuboro
Standard marble maze set works fine for the "Changing the Perspective" activity
the next Math block for second grade is Math Fun: Puzzles and Games, which builds on this even further
My blog posts from teaching this topic:
