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), Cooperative Games (physical education), knitting, drawing and beeswax modeling are also offered in the first grade Waldorf curriculum.

Faculty:

Laura Childers
Grade 1 –
Joshua Trees Teacher

Laura Childers was born and raised in Southern California. As a 3rd generation Californian, she has been influenced by the myriad diverse cultures…

that are present and vibrant in this region. As a young child, she was exposed to the arts; handwork, embroidery, cooking, music, and organic gardening, by her family. Her parents also often brought her and her brother plentiful opportunities to explore nature through camping within a few short hours from where she grew up. All of this fostered a love of and appreciation for other cultures, the natural world, storytelling, music, and working with the hands. Her three sons attended the Waldorf School of Orange County, so when she encountered the rich developmental curriculum, which aligned so much with her own philosophies, she felt at home. Inspired by Waldorf Education, pursued teaching which led her to teach a parent and child class for 2 years, subbing in the Kindergartens and attending the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, where she received her Waldorf certificate with a specialization in Early Childhood in 2006. She began teaching mixed-age Kindergartens at the Journey School for 5 years, followed by two small Waldorf preschool initiatives for 3 years, and then moved to Golden, Colorado in 2013, continuing to teach Kindergarten for 5 more years. While in Colorado, Laura began to continue to pursue educational opportunities for herself and earned a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Leadership & Advocacy at the University of Colorado, Denver. Laura has loved settling back into Southern California life, close to her family and friends, and her beloved mountains, deserts, and the glorious Pacific Ocean just a short car ride away, just like when she was a child. She is very excited to transition from Kindergarten to the grades at this point in her journey, as she would love to extend the work and scope of the Kindergarten curriculum and link her passion for artistic expression to academics.