The curriculum of the sixth grade offers support and nourishment for the adolescent child in the midst of the changes and self-consciousness of puberty. Observation is emphasized as a balance to the natural pull of asserting one’s own judgment, opinion, preference and expectation of the world. The curriculum meets these pulls with the force of new challenges to students’ awakening thinking powers through all aspects of the curriculum. The teacher provides the students with varied perspectives, particularly directing their attention out into the world.

The Child

Sixth graders are on the cusp of adolescence and, as such, they bring an increased capacity for critical thinking into the classroom. These students experience rapid physical growth and psychological change and often seek rules and causality to bring order to their new experience of the world. The student has an increased interest in social relationships. Once the sixth grader becomes more comfortable with these new developments, the child is ready to look out into the world to discern his place, responsibilities, and opportunities.

The Class

The students’ interest in causality and desire for equality is met with the study of the Roman system of order and justice. 

The study of geography and history also includes the middle ages, knighthood, the Crusades, the Middle East and the rise of Islam. They continue to explore the wonder and beauty of the world through geology and through geocentric astronomical observations of the sun and planets, visible constellations and the moon faces. Strict observation in the science curriculum and exact thinking in their studies of geometric figures require the students to hone their critical thinking skills. 

Physics gives students insight into the properties of acoustics, optics, heat, magnetism and static electricity. 

Mathematics lessons are designed to give the students’ real-life experiences of the world through percentages, profit/loss calculations, ratio and proportion, and estimation. Pre-algebra lays a foundation for the middle school algebra curriculum. Through principal and interest calculations, algebra begins in sixth grade.

In world language and grammar lessons, students are introduced to business letters and more formal elements of grammar: declensions, sentence structure, punctuation, prepositions, active and passive voice, etc.

Cyber Civics classes begin in sixth grade with the study of digital citizenship. 

Music studies proceed with individual and ensemble recorder playing (soprano, alto and tenor); orchestra and ensemble work; and singing using complex harmonies and minor keys. 

Fine and practical art lessons now include making patterns and sewing stuffed animals, painting and black and white drawing. 

In physical education, the students continue working with the javelin, discus and sprinting for regional medieval games.

Middle School Faculty:

Cori Amendt
Grade 6 – Laurel Trees   Teacher

Cori Amendt is a Multiple Subject Credentialed Teacher, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, with a minor in Child Development. 

She studied Waldorf education at Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California. She enjoys spending time in nature with her family (hiking, biking, lounging), reading, writing, and traveling. Learning is a lifelong enjoyment and pursuit for her, particularly in her journey to bilingualism in the Italian language. Her professional career began as a Counselor for young children in crisis. Eventually, this work led her to the classroom, where she felt she could be of bountiful service to the youth in her community. She has been in education for over a decade, in public, private and charter schools. After she met her husband, an Italian national, she went on to teach in Italy at Lycee Francias for 2 years, as the English Department Coordinator and Foreign Language Teacher across the grades (K-8). Upon returning to the US, she found what she considers her truest calling, that of a Waldorf teacher. Under esteemed mentorships, she took a class through grades 1-3 at Ocean Charter School in Culver City before coming to Maple Village as the Laurel Tree teacher three years ago. After taking time to be home with her children, she is eager to return to the Laurel class to continue this meaningful work.