Written by class 2 teacher, Mandela Davis.

Here at Susquehanna Waldorf School, and many Waldorf schools around the world, we believe that learning should be fun, creative, and inspiring. Second grade is a very exciting year when it comes to math. In the fall, students review what they learned in first grade and build from there. Second grade students dive deeper into learning all about multiplication and learning the times tables.

The times tables are taught through songs, movement, and imagery. One unique way of teaching this is through the magical times table circle. The teacher draws a circle on the chalkboard, writes the number 0 on the top of the circle and 5 at the bottom, and the fills in the numbers 1 through 9 in a clockwise direction. The teacher then starts at 0 and connects a line to numbers 2, 4, 6, 8 and then back to 0 to represent the number 10. Children and teacher look at the shape of a house in the circle, which emerges from the two times tables. Not only are the children seeing the pattern of numbers, they are also seeing the shape this particular times table creates. The teacher goes through each times table number doing this.


After teaching the students the magical times table circles, the children made their own wooden times table circles this spring. Each student got a round piece of wood, sand paper, 10 nails, hammer and a variety of colors of string that represented different times tables. The children worked on this project in math skill lessons in the month of April. Each child then got to take them home. My hope is that through song, stories, and the magical times table circle project, students will find a deeper meaning and understanding of multiplication. A deeper understanding and love that will carry them on to the older grades and higher math levels.