The first grader makes a great transition from the Early Childhood program to a more formal learning environment in grade school. Much learning takes place through activity and imitation. During this year, students will acquire the good habits of classroom life that will carry them through their eight years at Maple Village Waldorf School. Cultivating reverence for nature, class social cohesiveness, care for the environment, respect for others, interest in the world and a feeling of confidence in their teachers are all goals for the first grade class.

The Child

First grade children share a great desire to learn. Memory, imagination, and enjoyment of rhythmical repetition are common to this stage of development. First graders remain very connected to adults, often forming strong attachments to role models. The child is still somewhat “dreamy” and is more able to bring broad awareness than focused attention to the classroom.

The Class

Our first grade curriculum appeals to the child’s sense of wonder and imagination. The language arts are featured with an imaginative introduction to consonants, vowels, sight words, and word families. The children compose and read short verses and stories, developing a true love of language and hunger to read. First graders also explore the qualities of numbers in mathematics, as well as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Science is approached through nature stories and observations. The children begin their study of Spanish through songs, poems and games. Watercolor, pentatonic flute playing, eurythmy (movement) when available, Cooperative Games (physical education), knitting, drawing and beeswax modeling are also offered in the first grade Waldorf curriculum.


Nicole Soderman
Grade 1 –
Joshua Trees Substitute Teacher

Nicole Soderman comes from a long line of teachers and has worked in childcare almost her entire life. Nicole was a live-in nanny in college…

…while studying Linguistics and ran a daycare for nearly eight years. Much of Nicole’s experience lies in working with children and adults with special needs. For the past seven years, Nicole has also been a birth worker and a massage therapist.

Nicole was drawn to Waldorf education because it is similar to the way in which she was raised, having been homeschooled in the Waldorf style and in a media-free home. 

This mother of four kids, two dogs, two cats, and a handful of chickens loves seeing the world through the lens of the child and finds they are constantly teaching her something new.

Nicole can often be found gardening, being out in nature, crafting, and baking. She looks forward to bringing her experiences to Maple Village and learning from all the experienced people by whom she will be surrounded.