“The need for imagination, a sense of truth and a feeling of responsibility – these are the three forces which are the very nerve of education.” – Rudolf Steiner Elementary Grades 1-5Deep Foundations Every day, each student is welcomed personally into the classroom by their teacher. With this connection established, the day begins with a comprehensive program of meaningful work in language arts, math, science, social studies, languages, music, games, arts, movement, practical arts, land stewardship, handwork, drama and more. Academic subjects are presented imaginatively to engage the whole-hearted participation of the students — physically, cognitively, and emotionally. Learning is guided by an experienced, dedicated faculty who deliberatly seek each student’s unique gifts. Starting in first grade, Waldorf students meet their class teacher who will stay with them for many years. Teaching over time, class teachers deeply know each student and their families making them uniquely qualified to bring learning to life for each child. AdmissionsOur ApproachSubjectsDevelopmentally Appropriate Learning for Every AgeReady to LearnThe first grader is ready, able, and eager to begin formal learning after the foundational work of early childhood. 1st Grade First grade is a multi-sensory experience of discovery and the joy of emerging understanding. Letters are explored through drawings, pictures and movement. Math is experienced by counting, rhythm and patterns. Stories, song, verse and poems are shared out loud throughout the day – embedding deep literacy and comprehension through listening. Ample time outdoors enriches each day. Each child writes and illustrates a unique lesson book as the year progresses. ContradictionsSecond graders are learning to sing the songs of themselves in the world. Contradiction and duality rule the day. 2nd Grade Second grade focuses on human culture, the natural world, and strengthening school citizenship skills. As they begin to seek their way in the world, second graders find great inspiration and humor in shared stories – from tales and fables around the world – that show how each of us have the capacity for great good and great mischief. Looking WithinThird graders begin to question what was once certain, and then become travelers, making their way in an uncertain world. 3rd Grade In the third grade, the child begins to feel a sense of separateness, questioning every certainty that was once taken for granted. They experience a transition from the imaginative early childhood years into the concrete experiences of childhood. The third grader is hungry to understand where they come from, and how the world works. The curriculum answers these questions with the practical activities of preparing food, clothing and shelter and measuring time and the seasons. What is My PlaceIf third graders are like nomadic peoples, fourth graders are like the early settlers, keen not only to work their patch of land but also to know and own it. 4th Grade Fourth graders seek to know the world and their place in it. The curriculum mirrors this with deep explorations of local geography, geology, and history to get to know all that is unique about our region and its inhabitants. They are inspired by stories of all those who came before and the way they lived. The Balance PointFifth grade is the heart of childhood. At this age, children are in command of their faculties, and so many skills, but not yet deep into the coming seismic changes of adolescence. 5th Grade Fifth graders are ready to apply themselves. In earlier years, students learn about history through stories and images; fifth graders are ready to grasp the more refined concepts of temporality and sequence. They explore what it means to be human by studying the origins and evolution of human culture in the ancient civilizations of the Middle East and Greece. Each spring they participate in an Olympiad with other fifth graders from neighboring Waldorf schools. Curriculum by Grade1st Grade ~ Click for More Experiential Learning First graders meet their eighth grade buddies and can often be seen apple picking, pumpkin carving or practicing reading, music, or handwork together. Language Arts Letters are introduced through lively and imaginative stories and pictures and students work with sounds, word families, rhyming, and construction of simple sentences. The first grader is exposed to a rich variety of language through poems, tongue twisters, and stories told or read by the teacher. Literature Folk tales and nature stories reflect to first graders the breadth of qualities and capacities of human beings and the natural world around them. Social Curriculum First grade is a year to explore awareness of classroom and group conduct, show interest in varied cultural and family backgrounds and the conventions of our families, neighborhoods, and communities. Math Introduction to numbers and their qualities, often through movement, manipulation of numbers using the four processes, mental math and word problems. Sciences Awareness of seasonal changes and the effect on plant and animal life is the theme as our First Graders explore field, farm, forest, and stream, becoming familiar with the bounties of our land. World Languages Students are immersed in Spanish and German through stories, rhymes, songs, and games. Land Stewardship Experience with farm animals, our farmers, and homegrown produce. Practical Arts In first and second grades, class teachers carry the practical arts curriculum through beeswax modeling and the creation of simple crafts from local materials. Handwork Knitting develops coordination, focus, patience and practices counting. First grader make scarves, gnomes, and animals! Movement Two recesses daily, two Games classes/week as well as jump rope and clapping games all help children perceive what is happening around them. Students are often found on campus during the day taking their lessons outside. Music First grade music is a time for students to be immersed in beautiful stories and floating mood of the fifth and pentatonic melodies that call upon their sense of wonder and imagination. Lyrics paint vivid pictures of fairy tales, foster a love of nature, help us welcome each season as they come, and accentuate the celebration of our school festivals. Songs, activities, partner dances, and instrumental playing are all done in a circle formation and as a group allowing students to build awareness of their importance and value in the classroom community. First graders work with interval flutes, tone bars, pentatonic lyres, and pentatonic flutes throughout the year providing them a nice introduction to the woodwind, percussion, and string instrumental families. Drama A class play! Art Students paint with watercolor painting and also begin beeswax modeling, form drawing, and crayon drawing. 2nd Grade ~ Click for More Experiential Learning Second graders have two recesses day and spend a great deal of time exploring our campus and farm. Language Arts Students continue to explore the rich world of the English language and to build fluency in simple sentence construction and spelling. Poems, tongue twisters, and other literature are memorized and recited orally. Literature Stories of heroic human beings from many cultures, contrasted with animal fables, speak to the second grader who can be both generous and caring, but also mischievous. Social Curriculum A growth year for classroom and group conduct and collaborative games. Continued exploration of cultural and family backgrounds though story, festival and holiday Math Students explore more complicated manipulation with the four operations, borrowing, place value, mental math, and word problems. Sciences Stories of the seasons and the natural world, nature exploration, gardening: tending a plot, growth cycle of plants, and gardening stories. World Languages Students are immersed in Spanish and German through stories, rhymes, songs, and games. Land Stewardship Experience with planting, care, and harvest of the Three Sister’s Garden – corn, beans and squash. Practical Arts In the first and second grades, class teachers carry the practical arts curriculum through beeswax modeling and the creation of simple crafts from local materials. Handwork Students stregnthen coordination and focus on learning with more advanced knitting and crochet making a knitted ball and a crochet potholder. Movement With two recesses daily, and themed cooperative games, Movement this year is focused on exercise, jumping, vaulting, jump ropes and hula hoops, self-control games, beginning tumbling, balancing and rhythm activities. Music The students sing with their class teacher each day and also learn to play pentatonic flutes. Drama A class play! Art Watercolor painting, beeswax modeling, form and crayon drawing- learning vertical and horizontal symmetry, forms through four quadrants in sequence, inward and outward spirals. 3rd Grade ~ Click for More Experiential Learning The third grade is full of practical experiences – shelter building, wood carving, and practical arts. Language Arts Grammar focuses on parts of speech, reading is taught with attention to phonics, especially to the sound of vowels and in combination. Cursive writing is introduced and oral recitation skills are practices. Students begin composition writing. Literature Creation stories from many cultures support third graders as they begin to seek their place in the world. Social Curriculum A growth year for classroom and group conduct and collaborative games. Continued exploration of cultural and family backgrounds though story, festival and holiday. Math and Sciences A year for taking measure of their world! Time is studied with ancient ways of telling time – the sundial, hourglass, and water clock – contrasted with modern methods. Linear measurement is explored, ancient measures— the digit, hand, span, and cubit— are contrasted with the modern inch, foot, yard, mile. The metric system is explored. dry and liquid measurement. Place value is reviewed through computations with money, with an understanding of denominations and coins. World Languages Students are immersed in Spanish and German through stories, rhymes songs, and games. They begin to work with the alphabet and explore reading and writing. Cultural explorations are made through the sharing of creation myths and traditional folktale Land Stewardship Third graders take up chickens and rabbit chores – daily feeding and watering, cleaning enclosures and egg collecting. Practical Arts In line with their study of farming, third graders are presented with a fleece from one of our sheep which they wash, help to dye using natural dyes, card, and learn to spin into thread or felt into fabric for use in a simple, useful project. Handwork Adding to crochet techniques and beginning embroidery, third graders make a recorder case, a pillow, or even a hat. Movement Two recesses daily, two Games classes/week. Balancing practice, tag games- learning about self in relation to others. Students are often found on campus during the day taking their lessons outside. Music The students sing with their class teacher each day and learn how to play the recorder. Instruction in violin or cello is introduced. Drama A class play! Art Watercolor painting, beeswax modeling, form and crayon drawing- learning vertical and horizontal symmetry, forms through four quadrants in sequence, inward and outward spirals. 4th Grade ~ Click for More Experiential Learning A year of many adventures, on foot, by bike and on our local waterways! Language Arts Students review writing processes and language mechanics and write their first report on an animal as part of the Man and Animal Block. Class readers are introduced as is work on spelling and vocabulary. Literature Norse mythologies offer stories filled with great challenges and tragic consequences, yet offering the enduring hope of the human spirit. History Local history. Cultural, economic and agricultural growth of the New England region. Geography Students explore local geography, history and cartography, learning about their local surroundings, town and state. Math Measurement work and strengthening of the four processes continue. Fractions are introduced and operations with fractions are practiced including common denominators and reducing and expanding fractions. Sciences Life sciences- modeling humans and animals and third habitats and relationships to their environments. World Languages Students are immersed in Spanish and German through stories, rhymes, songs, and games. They further develop their literacy and writing skills with short compositions and readings, and explore new expressive phrases and questions in the present tense. Cross-cultural exploration takes on a bigger role, and holidays and festivals are celebrated and investigated through crafts, songs and the sharing of culinary traditions. Land Stewardship Fourth graders are responsible for our goats and donkeys – feeding, bedding and naming newborns! Practical Arts Fourth graders learn to whittle and undertake a variety of woodland crafts. They are introduced to clay for modeling animals in line with their animal studies. Handwork Refining their techniques, students learn cross stitch to make bookmarks and pincushions, then they embroider their own work bags. Movement Two recesses daily, two Games classes/week with More challenging games- focus on interactions with others and working together. Students are often found on campus during the day taking their lessons outside. Music The students sing with their class teacher each day and learn how to play the recorder. Instruction in violin or cello is introduced. Drama A class play! Art Watercolor painting, beeswax modeling, form and crayon drawing- learning vertical and horizontal symmetry, forms through four quadrants in sequence, inward and outward spirals. 5th Grade ~ Click for More Experiential Learning Fifth graders travel further afield, hiking, canoeing, and camping in our rich Pioneer Valley. Language Arts Fifth graders refine their understanding of the writing process, sentence structure, and grammar. Exposure to the notions of pre-writing, rough drafts, developing, revising, and proofreading. Differences between simple and compound subjects, active and passive voice, direct and indirect speech. In the presentation of their class play, they learn how to stage a reading and develop a character. Literature Stories from ancient India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece lead fifth graders from the realm of the saga into historical times. History Ancient cultures of India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. Geography North American continent – exploring the physical landscapes, resources, and climate that influence human activity. Math Computation and use in situation/word problem solving. They also tackle decimal fractions, learning about the importance of exactness. They also study freehand geometry, with the drawing of figures and development of patterns based on the division of circles, perimeters and area calculations. Sciences Botany – Explore the differences between humans and other living creatures, focusing now upon the study of plants, as well as the environment of the earth and the sun, in which plant life thrives. World Languages Students are immersed in Spanish and German through story, songs, and games. They further develop their literary and writing skills with short compositions and readings, and explore new expressive phrases and questions in present tense. Cultural exploration continues, and holidays and festivals are celebrated and investigated through crafts, songs and the sharing of culinary traditions. Land Stewardship Fifth graders are responsible for the care and feeding of our sheep and continuing study of and hands-on work with all of our farm animals Practical Arts In fifth grade students make themselves a wood mallet to use in projects in the coming years. They harvest the broomcorn they have planted the year before, cut a sapling to use as a handle, and make their own kitchen broom. Handwork Fifth graders learn advanced knitting and make themselves socks with multiple colors. Movement Two recesses daily, two Games classes/week with first competitive games- plan, strategize, cooperate- leading to the Greek Games at the end of the year. Students are often found on campus during the day taking their lessons outside. Music Students join together with the sixth grade in orchestra and chorus classes while singing and recorder work with the class teacher continues. Drama A class play! Art Watercolor painting, beeswax modeling, form and crayon drawing- learning vertical and horizontal symmetry, forms through four quadrants in sequence, inward and outward spirals.