The Curriculum of the Steiner School - Class 4

Notes and Lesson Plans

Math Review Grade 4
updated April 18, 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 fourth grade year. Enjoy!



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Can It Be True?
Mysteries, Monsters, and Curses

for Class 4



Rationale

I'm tutoring via Zoom because of COVID right now, doing some Waldorf main lesson blocks online with families, and one little girl asked if she could please do a block on what she's interested in the most: Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the Bermuda Triangle, and the Mummy's Curse. Hmmm....

Well, I had been planning on doing a Math block with her next, but I suppose we can still talk about these legends and then craft some math problems around them. That way we can review place value and all four operations in a fun way, like when I did a block on the Ocean Zones and what animals live in each for a girl who needed to review reading big numbers and putting them in order (here are the photos of my MLB pages for that block).

So, this inquisitive "Can It Be True?" block can function as a math skills review, as well as a look at scientific inquiry and what evidence is reliable evidence. It combines the third grade practical math, like measurement, and the third grade overall theme of "I want to know about things that are real," but also bridges us into the fourth grade mapmaking. And maybe we can even introduce fractions.

And, if you live in a region that has one of these monsters in it -- as I do -- it's local folklore as well.

What an unusual idea for an MLB! Here are my planning notes as I put this block together. Maybe if you're looking to review math skills from third grade in a fun way, it can be useful to you as well!


Sample Lessons and Free Curriculum

    Titanic Math - FREE on TpT
    four pages of interesting word problems, mixed dynamic +, -, x, ÷ (no fractions)
    The Ship, The Supplies, The People, The Sinking


Other Helpful Links


Books to Buy

I'm using as my main text a vintage book from the 1970's, Land & Sea Monsters by Daniel Quinn, which I'm supplementing with more modern resources.


This is what we ended up doing:

    Introduction - The Earth is Round

    Week One - Amelia Earhart, The Titanic

    Week Two - Griffin (I would also recommend spending time on the kraken / giant squid)

    Week Three - Great Sea Serpent, Loch Ness Monster, Big Muddy Monster

    Week Four - Abominable Snowman & Sasquatch, Bermuda Triangle, Hope Diamond, Martians



Planning & Teaching Notes:

THE EARTH IS ROUND - Fri, Feb 12

    thinking scientifically; evaluating the quality of evidence; finding multiple pieces of evidence; realizing that what you see with your own eyes isn't always what is true

    recall making a sundial in Third Grade and observations about shadows (The Story of Clocks and Calendars by Betsy Maestro, p.34)

    do apple / pins / flashlight demonstration from The Day We Saw the Sun Come Up by Alice Goudey

    read How We Learned the Earth Is Round by Patricia Lauber

    it is interesting while doing this to have the children respond after each argument with a thumbs up (convincing), thumbs down (unconvincing), or thumb to the side (unsure)

    do demonstration with boat and ball (large ball, eraser, toothpick, piece of paper, scissors)

    or just have a child walk away from another child down a long hallway (they get smaller all over) and then have a child walk away from another child down a long flight of stairs (their feet disappear first and then their torso and finally their head) and then walk back up

    do demonstration with yardstick, paper or plastic plate, empty can, small lightweight ball, tape, and string

    adult background information:
    Flat Earthers: What They Believe and Why podcast from Scientific American


AMELIA EARHART - Tue, Feb 16


THE TITANIC - Wed, Feb 17 and Mon, Mar 1

    the Time article on Amelia Earhart gives lots of interesting information about navigation equipment which was recommended to her but which she did not take on her trip

    this reminded me of the Titanic not having enough lifeboats, and since my student didn't know about the Titanic we decided to spend a bit of time on that topic as well

    background information:

    math problems (reading word problems and identifying the operation; dynamic +, -, x, ÷)
    Titanic Math - FREE on TpT

    add both the year the ship sank and the year it was found to the timeline


GRIFFIN - Fri, Mar 5

    read from Land & Sea Monsters by Daniel Quinn

    chapter 1 - "The Question: Animal or Monster?"
    basilisk, griffin, kraken (aka giant squid)
    tarantula, duck-billed platypus, praying mantis, kangaroo, Komodo dragon

    note: the Giant Squid is another good one for reviewing measurement; we once made a life-size construction paper collage giant squid with 8 9-foot arms and 2 40-foot tentacles that stretched down several walls of my house! "Creep into the Deep" Expo / Museum Walk

    chapter 2 - "The Track of the Beast"
    Draco volans, Asian pangolin, Andean wolf, Chirotherium
    do not read portion about Ameranthropoides loysi, now debunked

    chapter 3 - "Beasts of the Land" to p.21
    sphinx, camelopard, chimera, centaur, manticore
    discuss how the griffin legend may have come from the finding of Protoceratops fossils

    add griffin to MLB


    The Pinkish, Purplish, Bluish Egg

    by Bill Peet would be a great book to do here too!

    note: we didn't read the rest of this chapter, but unicorn is a fun word to do for SWI ("corn" being related to an ancient word for "horn" and thus "corner" is a relative... think pointy)


GREAT SEA SERPENT - Mon, Mar 8


LOCH NESS MONSTER - Tue, Mar 9


BIG MUDDY MONSTER - Wed, Mar 10


ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN & SASQUATCH (BIGFOOT) - Mon, Mar 15


BERMUDA TRIANGLE - Tue, Mar 16


HOPE DIAMOND - Wed, Mar 17


MARTIANS - Thu, Mar 18


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