26 April, 2012

My Waldorf Math Story Gnomes

There is so much I love about the Waldorf - Steiner method of learning.
One of the things I love are the stories.
Using imagination to reach the child.
Stories to teach morals, empathy and appropriate behaviour.
Stories to teach about the way the world works, such as the seasons changing.
The rich and complex language and imagery used in stories to teach many subjects.
Math included.
I have seen many Math Gnomes for sale, that are very simple.
Only colours and symbols are used to differentiate each one.
For me however, the story of each gnome is important.
The story is the connection between the child and the symbol.
My math gnomes are created with tokens from their own personal story. Proudly displaying their own personality. To make them individually recognisable before the math symbol itself, is.
A naturally occurring imperfection in the timber.
If a happy face can be described as an Imperfection!

Counting gnome Characters in my Land of Numeria
(I like that they can be male or female):
Division - Divide ~ RED. knows how to share out gemstones and help others.
Subtraction - Minus ~ BLUE. with ragged clothes, holes in pockets. always dropping & losing gemstones. 
Addition - Plus ~  GREEN. the biggest gnome, with gemstone filled pockets. adds more as they are found.
Multiplication - Times ~ YELLOW.  small and spritely. bright as a flame finding more gemstones than the others.
Equals ~ PURPLE. king. wisest number gnome. receives all gemstones from the counting gnomes.
As with all handmade creations. No two are exactly alike.
I prefer to let the gnomes themselves dictate exactly how they will look in the end.
So far, in the sets I have been asked to make,
 I think they have done a pretty good job!


  1. Your maths gnomes are very beautiful Aleta, you have added so much detail, lovely.

  2. Oh, these gnomes are amazing!

  3. Curious if one creates/makes-up the math gnome stories, or if there are math gnome story books that can be purchased somewhere?


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