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.


Amelia Handley
Grade 1 – Juniper Trees Teacher

Amelia Handley graduated from the Waldorf High School of San Diego before furthering her education at Agnes Scott College, where she…

…earned her B.A. in English Literature and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She has worked with children for many years, as a camp-counselor, a private tutor, aftercare teacher, substitute teacher, private aide, and recess supervisor! Outside of childcare and education, Amelia has primarily worked in theatre and has a deep love for performing arts. 

The past two years, Amelia has worked at Maple Village as an Aftercare Teacher, Recess Supervisor, and Substitute Teacher. Amelia is passionate about Waldorf education and everything that Maple Village has to offer. She loves the integration of nature and the arts into the classroom and is already thinking of the plays she’ll do with her class! Amelia is very excited to be the first grade teacher and to grow and learn alongside her students. She loves working with this community and is excited for the year ahead!