Project Description

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:

Eloise Gelber
Grade 1 –
Teacher

Eloise Gelber is a graduate of the Pasadena Waldorf School and Highland Hall High School. She recently completed her teacher training…

…at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, is finishing her Waldorf Practical Arts Training and has a B.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. A part of the Waldorf community for more than 25 years, she is excited to make the best use of the opportunity our teachers have- to be part of forming the kind, fulfilling, creative, supportive learning environment that every child deserves. 
Between high school and entering teacher training Eloise spent most of her time working in a used book store. It was a little like being inside a novel and every day was an adventure in humanity. It was also a fabulous education in itself- from the daughters of Genghis Khan to the libraries of Timbuktu, the world is an endlessly fascinating place. Because there are few careers that allow one to explore so many interests- folktales and history, geometry and poetry, physics and gardening, painting and writing- she has never really doubted she would end up teaching.
In her spare time, Eloise enjoys reading, painting, travel, photography, and gardening. A Los Angeles native, she loves our seasons (which are real, even though without ice scrapers and antifreeze), and looks forward to sharing that love of place with her students.