Project Description

While the third grade curriculum helped the child to reconnect to the world around them through practical studies and activities, the fourth grade curriculum helps the child orient themselves in space and time through a study of local geography. Fourth grade students possess the solid academic skills needed to participate in more independent projects. The teacher directs their curiosity about the world toward nature and animals.

The Child

Fourth graders become more self-confident as their perceptions of the world sharpen. They possess greater social and academic skills that allow them to become more independent. These developmental steps broaden the child’s perspective and open a world of endless, exciting possibilities. The fourth grader has an adventurous spirit, is full of curiosity, and is eager to explore new capacities for learning and creativity.

The Class

Fourth grade marks the start of studying geography. Students study local geography by learning to make maps of their classroom, school and neighborhood and discover the directions of north, south, east and west. In language arts, students enjoy studying the themes of courage, compassion, sacrifice, good and mischief embodied by the characters in Norse myth stories. The students also have the opportunity to discover the wondrous versatility of the human being in the science zoology block called Man and Animal. Here the children study the specialized skills and habits of the animals and relate them to the uniqueness of the human being. In mathematics, the study of breaking things into parts becomes the basis for adding, subtracting, multiplying, reducing and expanding fractions. Spanish language study now includes simple reading, grammar, and written work. The fine and practical arts include clay modeling, geometric figures, form drawing, watercolor painting and cross-stitch embroidery. Music classes continue with singing canons, rounds and harmonies. Instrumentally, the children continue recorder playing and strings in a group, both of which now require reading from notation. Physical education continues with  eurythmy block, jump rope block, and games.

Faculty:

Jewel Nicholson
Grade 4 – Laurel Trees
Teacher

Jewel Nicholson was born and raised in Long Beach, California. She has a BA in Studio Art with an emphasis in photography…

…and is currently enrolled at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, where she is on a journey to receive her Waldorf Teaching certification. For the past three years, she has served the Maple Village community with her wisdom, love, laughter, and dedication. She has worn many hats, and taken on various roles and is now excitedly taking on the position as the Second Grade Practice Lesson Co-Teacher. As with most of her life experiences, Jewel serendipitously fell into the Waldorf community. Jewel believes that living with a keen sense of self-awareness, and walking through the journey of life with an open heart and a sound mind has the potential to lead you to the most magical and soul-rewarding places. After traveling up and down the coast – living in an old hunting lodge at the top of a mountain in Darby, Montana for a stint, then making her way to the heart of the international district of Seattle, Washington – Jewel found that she was ready to return back to Long Beach to grow roots. She was hoping to water these roots by finding a way to make a living by following her passions, utilizing her natural born gifts, and refining her mind, heart, and hands through mental, soulful, and skillful expansion. As it was written in the soul of Jewel’s journey through this lifetime, she stumbled into the doors of Maple Village as if guided by cosmic wind. Three years later, its pedagogy speaks to her moral compass and wishes for educational reformation even more with the encroachment of her fourth year held warmly by the Maple Village community. Jewel looks forward to amplifying the love and support that we all wish to provide this year’s rising second graders as they walk through this human experience, as well as the future generations and keepers of our Earth.