Project Description

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:

Ania Kubik
Grade 6-8 – Shady Chaparral Trees

Ania is a Waldorf-trained class teacher whose specialties are arts and handwork, and whose special interest is in movement.

She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and a Waldorf Completion Certificate from the Waldorf Institute of Southern California (WISC) in Northridge, California. Ania has taught grades one through five as a class teacher and grades one through eight as a handwork teacher at the Pasadena Waldorf School, and grades five through twelve as an art specialist at the Waldorf School of Orange County. In addition to class teaching the Shady Trees combined class at Maple Village, she also enjoys contributing to Waldorf teacher education in handwork, drawing, clay modeling and painting at WISC, and clay modeling in the adult education program at the Waldorf School of Orange County. Born and raised in Syracuse, New York, and a former resident of the state of Virginia, she lives in Arcadia with her husband, Bill, and her teenage daughter, Tierra. Ania enjoys sharing the richness of the Waldorf grades curriculum with her class families, self-governance of Maple Village Waldorf School with her colleagues, and participating in the community life of the school.