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Grade School Curriculum

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Mathematics

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At the Waldorf School of Princeton, the teacher is interested not only in the children's mastery of the practical aspects of mathematics, but also in developing flexibility of thought and a curiosity about the world as it is revealed through mathematical thinking. Great emphasis is placed on working with numbers in multi-sensory ways. Numbers practice in the lower grades is lively. It involves manipulation of natural objects and rhythmical counting and memory games. Children speak and clap loudly and softly, walk, jump, and hop to number rhymes and games. In the upper grades, seeing and creating geometric forms in a way that emphasizes their beauty is an example of the multi-sensory approach.

Major concepts, such as measurement and time, are introduced to the children when they are developmentally ready to understand the concepts. Mathematical processes like multiplication, division, and fractions are introduced through Math 2stories before being handled as abstractions, a progression that aids deeper understanding. At the end of eight years, the expectation is that every child will have mastered the techniques and concepts of geometry and algebra needed for whichever high school they choose.

In the early grades there are extra math practice periods every week during non-math blocks. In grades six through eight, the practice periods become a supplementary math skills class that meets throughout the year. For all students, daily practice in mental math during the main lesson helps keep their skills in shape year-round.

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