Fifth grade marks a pivotal point in the curriculum. While the students begin the year with studies of the mythologies of several ancient cultures, they transition away from mythology into history with the biography of Alexander the Great. They will wrestle with ethical question of his “Great”-ness. They also continue to hone their research and presentation skills with an independent project. Botany and Geometry present students the opportunity to explore the wonder and beauty of the world around us through mathematical and scientific lenses.

The Child

The fifth grader is confident, enthusiastic and capable of doing increasingly challenging academic and artistic work. This is frequently considered a “golden year” in which the child exhibits a definite harmonious quality before becoming saddled with the challenges of adolescence. The fifth grader also has an increasing understanding of personal responsibility and a growing awakening to the larger idea of ethics.

The Class

In fifth grade, the study of ancient history begins in ancient India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece. Students study the creation of written languages, read translations of ancient poetry, study hieroglyphics, recreate the building of temples and pyramids as models, and incorporate ancient art into their own artistic work. Grammar lessons are incorporated into these themes and verb tenses are introduced in compositions. By contrast, the children will study American geography and economic relationships among people living in various regions. A natural extension of geography is botany, where students learn about the relationship of the plants to the earth and sun and how they change in the course of the year. In the mathematics blocks, the students will review fractions, learn about fractional equivalents, mixed numbers, reciprocals, improper fractions, decimals and decimal place. In addition, the children begin free-hand geometric drawing. In the world language program, the children hold short dialogues and give short talks, which include descriptive language. The students may study a Sanskrit poem and learn to speak and write Greek phrases. The fine and practical arts program will include clay modeling, carving, knitting socks, drawing geometric forms and watercolor painting. Physical education will include eurythmy as well as participation in a pentathlon. In music, the children continue with a strings instrument or playing recorder in addition to chorus.

Faculty:

Bobbie Gonzales
Grade 6 – Sequoia Trees
Teacher

Bobbie Gonzales 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 class and become a part of our Maple Village community.