The Curriculum of the Steiner School - Class 3

Notes and Lesson Plans

The Maths of Practical Life: Clocks & Calendars
updated August 20, 2021


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 Waldorf-y 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 third grade year. Enjoy!



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Clocks & Calendars
for Class 3



The overarching Math topic for the Waldorf Third Grade is "The Maths of Practical Life." This includes Time (Clocks & Calendars), Temperature, Weight, Volume, Linear Measurement, and Money. I always include the Metric System here as well although some save it for a later year when they are teaching decimals and the Metric Stair.

Because Waldorf brings things together in a rich, interdisciplinary way you have lots of choices for how to present and practice these math concepts. Often, Time, Temperature, Weight & Volume are combined into a Baking block. You could even create a family cookbook instead of doing a traditional MLB for this block!


Clocks & Calendars can also be done as its own block (in fact, Jamie York suggests this as a second grade math topic). If that's the case, I recommend the following resources:


    The Story of Clocks and Calendars

    by Betsy Maestro


    The Time Book: A Brief History from Lunar Calendars to Atomic Clocks

    by Martin Jenkins


    Read The Sun's Day by Mordecai Gerstein and then have your child make a book showing the clock face (analog) at each time of day and a drawing of something that happens then.


    Night Shift

    by Jessie Hartland
    is fascinating... and perfect for the other 12 hours of the day!

    FREE clock face printout for practice drawing in hands



    Just a Second: A Different Way to Look at Time

    by Steve Jenkins


    You could also put a Gardening project in with Time! Plant the beautiful Floral Clock Garden from Sunflower Houses: Inspiration from the Garden by Sharon Lovejoy!


    Ancient Civ. Day 1-3 blog post on making a sand timer


    "The Days of the Week" song by Shea Darian
    Seven Times the Sun book, page 160 and CD, track 42

    another fun option for the days of the week is When the Sky Is Like Lace by Elinor Lander Horwitz


    I think it would make sense to do a little mini block on Time after the final Old Testament Stories block, where you get to the Babylonian Captivity, since the Babylonians had such an influence on our clocks & calendars

      The Babylonians were the ones who divided the day into 24 hours, the hour into 60 minutes, the minute into 60 seconds

      The Babylonians divided the week into seven days, naming them after the sun, the moon, and five bright stars, which were really planets

      The Romans renamed the days after Roman gods (and we then gave those god names to those five planets)

      The Anglo-Saxons kep the idea but replaced some of the weekday names with their own gods; those names came down to us through Old English and thus we still use them today

      Babylonian
      Shamash, Sin, Nergal, Nabu, Marduk, Ishtar, Ninurta

      Roman
      Sol, Luna, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn

      Anglo-Saxon / Old English
      OE Sonnesdaeg > Sun's Day > Sunday
      OE Monesdaeg > Moon's Day > Monday
      OE Tuwresdaeg > Tyr's Day > Tuesday
      OE Wodenesdaeg > (W)odin's Day > Wednesday
      OE Thoresdaeg > Thor's Day > Thursday
      OE Friyasdaeg > Friya's Day > Friday
      OE Saturnesdaeg > Saturn's Day > Saturday


    my Maths of Practical Life: Time very detailed blog post from November 6, 2018


    blank scrapbooking 12 x 12 wall calendar

    Creating a Calendar / Keepsake Art Project
    planning notes for 2017 calendar art

    Notes on Homemade Calendar Activity
    photos of finished 2017 calendar art

    Calendar Making for Third Grade
    planning notes for 2019 calendar art

    I've also done two other calendars, both more scientific. These involved measurement because we were creating a calendar using a scale. One was a scale of time, with each day on the calendar being 13 million years. The art month by month showed how life on Earth evolved from its initial formation to the present day. The other was a scale of depth, and the art month by month showed what lives in the layers of the ocean as you go from the surface to the very bottom of the Mariana Trench. These are more content heavy instead of just the seasonal art, but they are really fun to do!

    "Creep into the Deep" Expo / Museum Walk
    photos of the "Creep into the Deep" 2018 calendar art


Pinterest - Renee Schwartz
My curated collection of visuals! Browse sample main lesson book pages, watercolor paintings, chalkboard drawings, etc. for Measurement.



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