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:

Barbara (Bobbie) Gonzales
Grade 1 – Sequoia Trees
Teacher

Bobbie was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She has a BA in Human Development with an emphasis on Child Development…

…and has also received her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from the Waldorf Institute of Southern California. Bobbie has been teaching at the Pasadena Waldorf School for the past fifteen years, is bilingual in Spanish and English and has a true passion for Waldorf Education. She has four daughters, lives in Pico Rivera and loves to read and travel. Her Waldorf journey began nearly 20 years ago with the birth of her first daughter. Bobbie was raised in public schools, and while she enjoyed her school years and thrived academically, instinctually she knew something was missing. In an effort to ensure her children would receive a holistic education. She began to research different educational methods. She was thrilled to find Waldorf education, as this was exactly what she had envisioned. Her first experience with “Waldorf children” confirmed her beliefs. The education she had envisioned for her daughter soon became an education for herself. After many years of school with a focus in law and work experience in accounting, she was approached about the possibility of joining Pasadena Waldorf School under the tutelage of Master Teacher, Sam Glaze. Bobbie worked alongside him for grades 2, 3, and 4. While reading Renewal magazine, she chanced upon an article about the Waldorf School in Guanajuato, Mexico (Colegio Yeccan). The following year Bobbie moved to Mexico, enrolled her daughter at Colegio Yeccan and she became the foreign language teacher for grades 1-8. When circumstances beyond anyone’s control took the first grade teacher back to the States, Bobbie eagerly stepped into the role of interim first grade teacher. Her move to Mexico was always intended to be a one-year experience, and Bobbie returned to the Pasadena Waldorf School. After many years assisting, co-teaching and leading in grades 1 – 5, Bobbie is very excited to take her own first grade and become a part of our Maple Village community.