Project Description

The initial experiences of the 1st grade are deepened and enhanced in the 2nd grade. This time is used primarily for practicing and developing all the new skills from the previous year. To assist the children with their growing polarity, the second graders explore the landscape of personality traits through fables and stories of noble historic figures: the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. This is a transformative year and the students should feel that they have experienced a rite of passage when graduating, having solid academic skills and a well-rounded general picture of human life and the universe.

The Child

Much of who the child is in first grade continues on in second grade, but now with more form and ability. The events and experiences of the outside world are filtered through the child’s imagination and rearranged in accord with a child’s perception of the world. The second grader is still connected with the world as a whole and sees themself as part of their community. As the year progresses, however, this wholeness gives way to a growing polarity. The child begins to vacillate between being saintly and “naughty” or courageous and “whiny”. The second grader explores one’s own inner life and how it relates to the greater world.

The Class

Our second grade curriculum builds on all basic academic skills including independent writing and reading. In language arts and history studies, children explore traditional fables, stories of people striving to be their highest selves, grammar, punctuation, handwriting and introduction to cursive.

Mathematics lessons include the sequence and patterns in numbers, continued work with the processes and the introduction of place value as an antecedent to carrying and borrowing.

In science, students will continue their experiential exploration of the world of nature through observation and stories. Spanish, pentatonic flute playing, crocheting and knitting, watercolor painting, crayon drawing, eurythmy (movement) and Cooperative Games (physical education) are offered in the second grade Waldorf curriculum.

Second grade is a time when a child’s sensory-motor system, a foundation for all higher learning, culminates its most intense growth period. As such, students receive a 2nd grade assessment in Spring to provide a better understanding of each child’s strengths and challenges in the areas of fine and gross motor development, balance, bilateral integration, body geography, spatial orientation, dominance, visual and auditory processing, reading, writing and arithmetic. By observing these, we are better able to assess a child’s readiness to take on more complex and challenging academic work and further support the student in the classroom and at home.

Faculty:

Barbara (Bobbie) Gonzales
Grade 2 – Laurel 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.