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:

Paola Schouten
Grade 4 – Willow Trees

Paola was born, raised and educated in the Netherlands. She was exposed to the Waldorf Festivals since childhood…

…which ignited her interest in Waldorf Education. After High School, she studied at the Vrije Pedagogische Academy (Steiner Teacher Training College) in Zeist, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. She then moved to the US and began her career as a Waldorf teacher in Pasadena.Over the past 30 years she has contributed to the growth of many schools. She has carried two classes all the way through the grades and finished various classes through eighth grade. Paola likes to travel, camp, hike, read and make jewelry. She plays guitar, writes songs and enjoys singing. She also has a great appreciation for nutrition and cooking.