Math Stories with the Temperaments: Times

Thank you to member Elke Indigo who wrote some continuation stories from the Sixth Sense Math we use in the First Grade Earthschooling curriculum. She shared the following temperament story she created for “times” with other members. It is lovely and so much work went into it! Thank you Elke! If other members have stories to share please let us know. This is Elke’s Math Temperament Story for Times…

Math gnome – temperament story for Multiplication…

• The cave where the maths gnomes live is in a lovely forest, but the forest is rather low in elevation – 70 metres at most. While it is lovely to be able to take walks to the bay and have a picnic on the shore when they have a free day – they do so love the stories their cousins tell them when they come to visit. Their cousins live in a cave and work for a King who lives much higher in the mountains. They tell the gnomes stories of all their fun snow adventures in the Winter; waking to a winter wonderland, looking out the cave door first thing in the morning to see the ground outside covered in white powder. On a ‘snow day’ when the snow is thick outside, their King lets them take the day to go out and enjoy the winter activities; skiing, snowboarding, sledding, tobogganing, snowman building, igloo building and snowball throwing. Minus always likes the story about how when the snow has stopped falling and it is thick in the trees, another gnome sneaks up when his friend is standing under the tree and shakes the branch to make it look like it is snowing again. Plus has quite a sweet tooth and she likes the sound of the ‘maple taffy’ her cousin tells her about making. Divide is rather overwhelmed by the thought of all the activities they try to do and she wonders why they don’t share around the activities doing just a few each on each snow day – surely they’d enjoy that a little more than trying to do so much each. Well of course Times’ head just spins with the excitement of so much to do, it sounds so much more fun than just walking down to the bay, having a picnic and climbing across the pebbly bay. That’s only really 3 things they can do, but their cousins seem to have 3 times as many things to do – NINE different snow activities, surely that is much more fun! Times thought that he could even easily think of another 3 snow things they could do, like; building a snow fairy castle in the fairy garden, eating the snow off fairy leaf plates and catching falling snowflakes right on his tongue – straight out of the sky! Adding those 3 extra activities he thought of meant it would be four times as many things to do than their boring old Winter adventure of walking to the bay. Humpf! But it was all no use dreaming about it anyway because it never snowed at their cave…

• Every Saturday afternoon, the Weather Elf made his way around to all the caves. He was born from a long line of elves who had always had a very special gift to look to the skies, observe the winds, notice the night sky and listen to the messages of Mother Earth that whispered through the breezes. These elves had long been able to tell the gnomes what the week ahead would most likely bring in terms of the weather. They didn’t always get it exactly right, but sure enough for the most part they seemed to. Knowing what might come in the week ahead with the weather helped the gnomes in the hills to plan for any food stocks they might need to build up when heavy snow was forecast, it helped the gnomes that lived by the myrtle rainforest to know if they needed to check the cave for leaks or cracks if heavy rain was forecast and it helped the gnomes that lived in the scrubby heathlands to know when to organise extra water buckets to be filled and have on hand in the hot dry Summers if fire conditions were heightened.

• Well, you can imagine the excitement when the Weather Elf came past last week to the cave of the maths gnomes and reported the weeks weather ahead. The gnomes themselves most often didn’t pay much attention to the Weather Elf when he came – the elf spoke directly to King Equals and passed on any information or preparations the gnomes needed to know. Well, just this past Saturday when the Weather Elf came past, Times happened to be delivering his many jewels to the King. Of course, we all know that each delivery was expected to be 12 gems and we all know that Times always brought multiples of this expected delivery. Sometimes 2x the amount, sometimes 3x the amount, sometimes 5x the amount and some days even 6x the amount! Can you think about how many gems he brought on each day? Let’s work it out with our gems….

• So on this day as Times was delivering 48 jewels (how many multiples of his expected delivery was that? – work it out with manipulatives) … right at the moment when the Weather Elf was talking to King Equals.

• Times ran back to the other gnomes and reported what he had heard. “I don’t believe you” said Minus “nothing good like that ever happens here. That won’t happen!” …. “Oh I remember my cousin telling me about skiing, tobogganing and maple taffy making all in one day – oh and didn’t you say Divide that your cousin spoke about snowman building! I’m going to do that as well! That will be fun” said Plus … “All these activities sound like they would take all day to do” said Divide “I think we should talk about all the ideas and then share them out equally amongst the 4 of us, that would be more sensible!” … “Nonsense” said Times “where’s your sense of adventure you lot, this never happens here, we must make the most of it and do 4 times as many things as we get to do when we visit the silly old bay. I’m going to make a list with all the activities so we can make 4 times more of this wonderful opportunity – humpf to walking to the bay, having a picnic on the shore and climbing on the rocks!” … Well the argument of course ensued and the gnomes got louder and louder in their disagreement. Great King Equals could hear the ruckus from his throne room and he knew exactly who to seek out to find the source of the arguing!

• “What is ALL this noise about?” the King asked (in a very loud voice mind you to be heard over the squabbling!) …. “Pfff Times tells us it’s going to snow here on Monday” said Minus, a little bit mockingly …. “It is” said Times “I heard it from the Weather Elf myself” …. “Oh Great King, it’ll be so much fun won’t it?” asked Plus as she started rattling off all the things she was planning to do …. “It really won’t work” said Divide “It would need to snow for a month of Sundays for us to get everything all these gnomes want to get done when it snows. We really should each choose a few activities and then we can talk later about what we did when we sit by the fire at night and have our hot chocolates.” Great King Equals giggled and raised his hand in a loving gesture for the gnomes to all quieten down. “My dear ones” said the King “I suspected you had heard what the Weather Elf had said Times, I possibly should have come and told you myself sooner so as not to let you all quibble about it. Let us just wait and see what happens and we’ll talk about it on the day.

• Well, late on Sunday afternoon, Great King Equals called the four gnomes to the door of the cave. Each of them stood there wide eyed and with disbelief on their face. Falling from the sky was a magical dusting of powdery white flakes. “They look like tiny dancing frost angels” whispered Divide quietly. It was only for a minute or two and nothing settled on the ground but it gave them all hope in their hearts. Great King Equals still wasn’t convinced though. He would be surprised if they woke to a winter wonderland the next morning. But he suggested all the gnomes get to bed early and dream of the snowy adventures they may just have the next day.

• Early the next morning Great King Equals woke up and started to set about the day. He was always the first up and in the dark mornings of Winter he lit candles, made hot porridge and ensured that there was a log or two placed into the fireplace to rekindle the coals from through the night. He knew the gnomes liked to see the hearth all a glow when they woke. As he pottered around he took a peek out the cave door and stood there in utter disbelief – the ground was white there was snow thick on the tree branches and the powdery white flakes were still softly dancing down from the sky. “I must wake the gnomes” he though… And off he trotted to their room. He tapped each of their shoulders and whispered “It’s snowing” … Minus groaned and rolled over burying his face in the pillow, and pulling the covers up … Times sprung straight out of bed and headed for the clothing rack where he knew special thick jackets were kept … Divide was thinking “Oh if I could just have another 10 minutes sleep that would mean that I’ve had 3/4 of the sleep I normally get in one night … and Plus well she was up straight away saying “Should I get the jackets and who needs an extra pair of thick socks, should I get some mittens out as well? Who needs a scarf?”

• When they were all finally standing out on the front lawn outside the cave entrance, Times started rattling off that list he’d been talking about and he’d added his extra three activities so it was finally 4 times the amount of things they normally got to do when they went to the bay. “I tell you” said Divide “ we will have to share these activities around – we will never have time to do ALL of this in one day. The snow will be gone when Father Sun rises, you’ll be lucky if it snows at all after this early morning flutter!” Great King Equals put his arms out around all of the gnomes who were standing together and he smiled “Let’s just wait and see what happens” he said warmly, and let’s enjoy this moment right now.

• Well, can you believe it – Times really got his wish. The snow fell many times through the day. Father Sun stayed low in the sky and King Winter was busy running around waving his Winter wand all over the forest, the temperature stayed ver low, below 0ºC and the snow held for the whole day. Minus did decided to take away all the extra ideas that had been talked about and he just spent his day building a very detailed snowman – he knew his cousin in the mountains would have been proud of him … Plus ran from this activity to that doing a bit of skiing, a bit of tobogganing, some maple taffy making and lots of other fun things. Even though she only did a bit of each she had a great time … When Divide realised that the snow would stay for the day, she thought about the 12 different things Times had spoken about. She thought that she’d most likely have 6 hours in the snow and she definitely wanted to do all the things Times talked about (they did all sound like so much fun!) but she didn’t want to be running around here and there like Plus was, so she decided she’d do 2 things every hour. That meant she’d have half an hour for each activity. Yes, that sounded like a good plan … Times, well, he just smiled as he went about doing this and that. He had his list with him and as he enjoyed one activity he proudly ticked it off. “I told you!” he said at the end of the day (he did indeed like to be right!) “I knew we’d be able to get all those things done. See! Snow really is Four Times More Fun than going to the bay to play!”

• Each gnome went to bed with happiness in his heart and memories that would last a lifetime in his or her mind that night. They went to bed early and when Great King Equals came around to blow out all the candles before he went to bed, he smiled. The sound of the gnomes snoring softly was like music to his ears, their happiness could be heard coming echoing out of their dreams and this of course made the King very happy himself indeed!

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