Making Math Meaningful: A Source Book for Teaching Grades 1-5

Making Math Meaningful Puzzels and GamesMaking Math Meaningful: A Source Book for Teaching Math in Grades One through Five
by Nettie Fabrie, Wim Gottenbos and Jamie York.

How to Make Math Meaningful? That is one of the greatest challenges for math teachers, particularly in today’s world! This Waldorf math curriculum guide for one through five grades, provides a method of teaching that is developmentally appropriate for the development of the whole human being. You can also purchase our 3rd and 5th Grade Waldorf math WEBINARS with Jamie York. We also have videos on rhythmical exercises for learning the multiplication tables on our VIDEOS page.

8.5′ x 11′, 90 pages, illustrated, softcover. ISBN 978-1-938210-01-3. Normally $24.95. NOW $21.20, a 15 percent discount.

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The Making Math Meaningful: A Source Book for Teaching Math in Grades One Through Five covers the following:

Principles of Waldorf education    Working with “struggling” students
Will our children be prepared?    Golden rules for teaching math
Topics in the math classroom    Ideas for manipulatives, movement, main lesson books, etc.
The art of teaching math


See the Lower School Math Source Book Table of Contents and intro pages in PDF format and

Lower School Math Source Book 1st Grade Math sample page

What makes this Waldorf math book different from other math books for Waldorf teachers?
1. Detailed curriculum guidelines for first through fifth grade.
2. Overview of child development in each grade.
3. Specific ideas for every math main lesson.
4. Step-by-step progressions for learning the arithmetic facts, times table, basic
addition, and subtraction, long multiplication and long division, etc.
5. General ideas and suggestions for teaching math successfully in the lower grades.

WATCH this video:  Jamie York’s introduction to 3rd Grade Waldorf Math:




About the Authors Nettie Fabrie is a trained Waldorf teacher and remedial specialist from the Netherlands. From 1976 – 1993 she was a class teacher at the Brabant Waldorf School in Eindhoven. From 1995 – 1999 she taught history and art history in the high school. Nettie has mentored teachers in Holland, the Czech Republic and the US. She is on the core faculty of Sound Circle Center, co-directs the Grade School Teacher Training and SCC’s Mentorship Seminar, and is coordinator of the Remedial Program at Seattle Waldorf School.

Wim Gottenbos taught in Dutch public schools for 12 years before training and becoming a Waldorf teacher. Since then he has taken two classes 1st – 8th grade in Holland, and trained and worked as a Remedial Specialist and teacher mentor. He has carried many classes in all the lower school grades at the Seattle Waldorf School.

Jamie York’s search for meaningful education led him to Shining Mountain Waldorf School (in Boulder, Colorado), where he started teaching math in 1994. In addition to teaching middle and high school math, Jamie consults at Waldorf schools and teaches math workshops across North America. In the summer, he serves on the faculty at the Center of Anthroposophy (in Wilton, NH) as part of their Waldorf High School Teacher Education Program and adjunct professor of Antioch University, NH.


A Teacher’s Review
I found the Lower School Source Book for Teaching Math in Grades One through Five extremely useful as a resource. It presents a fresh look at how to make math the exciting adventure that it truly is, instead of a list of procedures and skills that must be covered each year. It helped me understand the importance of giving students the opportunity to discover for themselves the magic of numbers and how they work, instead of focusing on the memorization of blind procedures. I loved how this book shifted the focus of my lessons from procedural skill building, to building a math capacity by placing the emphasis on developing a healthy sense of number, nurturing flexibility in thinking, and instilling a fearlessness for meeting new challenges. This book is a must-have if you are looking for a paradigm shift in how to educate children in a healthy way, yet it is also full of practical examples and fun math problems that you can lift right out of the book and apply directly to your lessons. While the first part of the book gives you an overview of important educational principles to keep in mind, the second part of the book gives detailed curriculum summaries and lesson topics for planning your lessons in grades one through five. I would highly recommend this Lower School Source Book for any teacher looking to deepen his or her understanding of math education in the lower grades. It has been a game changer in my teaching! Verita P. Teacher.


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