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:

Miriam Jones
Grade 1 –
Teacher

Miriam Jones earned her B.A. in English at Bryn Mawr College and her M.F.A. in Puppetry and Integrated Media from CalArts. …

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The child of two educators who started in the classroom and moved to state level positions, she was raised to believe education is central to improving society and is an instrument of change in people’s lives. These roots took hold early and deeply, and Miriam has always lived with learning, doing, and integrity at the center of her choices. Her adolescence was spent regularly volunteering and working with children, primarily introducing them to nature through Girl Scouts and the Missouri State Conservation Department. 

Miriam’s early career focused on providing disadvantaged and “at-risk” populations with quality, community-based instruction. She believes that teaching with the tools of theater and puppetry provides important points of connection and is transformative to group education. Her favorite year was spent at City Neighbors Charter School in Baltimore, a Reggio Emilia based school, where she fully immersed herself in progressive education, which opened the door to her learning about alternative pedagogies eventually leading her to Waldorf.