GRADES

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Elementary Waldorf Asheville
Teachers move up through the grades with their classes, providing continuity while developing a deep understanding of each student. Our curriculum is developmentally appropriate and creates intellectual, emotional and physical connections to learning, fosters creative thinking and compassionate feeling.

Academic subjects like history, language arts, science, and math, are taught in main lesson blocks of three to five weeks during the morning main lesson hours. These subjects are taught in an experiential way rather than from textbooks. The teacher presents each subject in diverse and imaginative ways. Art is a fundamental part of Waldorf Education and children learn to work with watercolor painting, drawing, beeswax and clay modeling. Specialty subjects are taught through the grades, which include foreign language, instrumental music, singing, dancing, handwork (knitting, crochet, sewing, weaving), woodworking and Eurythmy. A passion for learning is ignited within the students and success ensured.

**We will offer Grades 1-7 for the 2019-20 School Year**

Waldorf Grades Curriculum

The Early Years

Grade 1

Fairy tales; folk tales and nature stories; pictorial and phonetic introduction to letters; form drawing; reading approached through writing; qualities of numbers; introduction to the four processes in arithmetic, and lower multiplication tables; because there is a list divided by commas.

Grade 2

Legends of saints, multicultural folklore, animal fables, reading and writing, elements of grammar, and arithmetic, including times tables, place value, carrying and borrowing.

Grade 3

Introduction to history through stories of the Hebrew people, study of practical life through farming, housing, and clothing; Native American tales, reading, spelling, writing, composition, grammar, punctuation and parts of speech, cursive writing practice, higher multiplication tables, weights, measures and money.

The Heart of Childhood

Grade 4

Local Native American studies and California history and geography, Norse mythology and sagas, descriptive writing, composition and letter writing, study of the animal kingdom, and fractions.

Grade 5

Ancient India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece; North American geography related to vegetation, agriculture and economics, botany, Greek letters, grammar, composition, spelling and reading, arithmetic, including decimals, ratios and proportion, introduction to the Pythagorean Theorem.

Middle School

Grade 6

History of Western civilization from Rome through the Middle Ages, rise of Islam, Arthurian legends and medieval tales, geography of South America and Europe, mineralogy, physics (acoustics, magnetism, optics and heat), botany, astronomy, composition, grammar, spelling, biographies, geometric drawing with instruments, and business math.

Grade 7

History through biographies (1400 to 1700), Age of Exploration, the Renaissance and Reformation, Shakespeare class play, African geography, physics (mechanics), physiology, astronomy, inorganic chemistry, poetry composition, grammar, spelling, literature, arithmetic, introduction to Algebra and the Golden Mean.

Subject Classes

In addition to the broad arts-infused academic curriculum, Asheville Waldorf School offers a variety of specialty classes taught by teachers whose focus in on a particular subject.

Handwork

The handwork curriculum through the grades educates students on many levels. At its most literal level, students learn traditional crafting skills that have been practiced for centuries and are increasingly being lost to a digital world. Learning how to create beautiful and useful objects builds fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, powers of concentration, perseverance with difficult tasks, facility with counting and patterns, and the confidence and satisfaction that comes from making something by hand. At a deeper level, using the brain to control the hands, tools (such as knitting needles), and natural materials is a complex activity that, like handwriting, stimulates multiple regions of the brain and offers cognitive benefits.

Eurythmy

Eurythmy is an art form unique to Waldorf Education where the art is the body itself. Through gestures and movement, students bring expression to poetry and music while working with beat, rhythm, pitch, phrasing and musical tones. Eurythmy supports the healthy development of a child’s relationship to her or his body.

Eurythmy provides spatial orientation and coordination, rhythm, an understanding of polarities, agility in the feet and expressivity in the hands, social collaboration, sensitivity to self and
others and an appreciation for the beauty of language.

Music

Instrumental music instruction begins in first grade with simple flutes. Starting in third grade, each student learns to play the violin and participates in group lessons (see Strings.)

Music class also includes the voice! By third grade, students are singing simple rounds. Beginning in third grade, all students are also taught music theory and by 5th-grade students are singing in harmonies. We introduce rhythmic and notation work and concepts of major and minor modes, as well as sight-singing.

Choral and instrumental performances take place regularly through school assemblies and seasonal celebrations. Students learn to feel confident performing in class and at school events. The experience of singing and playing music also provides a lively and harmonizing atmosphere to the culture of the school.

Foreign Language: Spanish

All students at AWS study Spanish first through eighth grade. In the “global village” of the 21st century, foreign language instruction gives students insight into different cultures and broadens their perspectives. Oral work is key to learning languages in the early grades, with songs, poems, rhymes, counting, games, short plays, and other engaging activities. In the later grades, written work is introduced, including grammar, poetry, and literature.

Strings

Playing violin trains the ear in a deep way. Students refine their sense of pitch as each note is created by their fingers. The tangible vibrations of the string resonate near their heart through the flowing movements of the arm. In keeping with the Waldorf understanding that children aged seven to fourteen are in the feeling phase of life string instruments play an important role throughout their elementary and middle school years.

Samples of Daily Rhythm

Grades:

8:30-8:40 Drop off
8:45 School Begins
8:45-10:40 Main Lesson
10:45-11:20 Snack/Recess
11:25-12:05 First Period Subject Class
12:10-12:50 Second Period Subject Class
12:45-1:45 Lunch/Recess
1:45-2:25  Third Period Subject Class
2:30-3:10  Fourth Period Subject Class
3:10-3:20 Chores
3:20 Release
3:20-3:30 Pickup