By Grade Four, students possess the solid academic skills needed to participate in more independent projects. Fourth grade students have developed into individuals who are better able to objectify their studies. For example, when studying Norse mythology, fourth graders use their new skills with fractions to create mathematically precise drawings of intricate geometric plaits and knots.
Joshua was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and was raised in the suburbs of New York City. He began tap dancing at the age of six, competing occasionally at the national level. He began acting in high school and received a BFA in Theater Performance from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Joshua then moved to New York City where he worked on a number of productions with the Present Company Theatorium as well as a national children's tour with the Chamber Theater. He became a mime for a brief while and studied under Paul J. Curtis in the American Mime Theater. It was September 11th, 2001, however, that gave Joshua perspective. Soon after, he shifted focus and began working at OM Yoga where he eventually became the senior manager of one of the largest yoga facilities in the country. Joshua received a degree in Waldorf Education from Sunbridge College before eventually taking a first grade through four years at the Waldorf School of Garden City in Long Island, NY. Joshua now lives in Decatur with his wife, Sara, and his two daughters, both of whom are WSA students. Joshua enjoys books, athletics, singing, dancing, and of course, performing.Grade Four Pedagogical Overview
In Grade Four, the transition from early childhood is complete. The children emerge with greater awareness, expressed in new confidence and great vigor. They want to experience the world from an individual standpoint, to find their particular place in the world. They develop a sense of where they are in relation to their environment, in both a social and geographical sense.
The fourth grade student is eager to learn more about their world, and they embrace new challenges with curiosity and enthusiasm. During the fourth grade year, students are challenged to extend themselves in every aspect of their work. Their growing interest in concrete knowledge is met through natural science, in a study of the animal kingdom in relation to the human being. The children also take up a thorough study of their surroundings in a Local Geography block, in which mapmaking skills are developed. Norse stories, meanwhile, present the children with images of diverse, strong-willed personalities all contributing to the social whole. Throughout this year, students are encouraged to take greater responsibility for their own learning. They complete several independent projects, and give their first formal presentations to the class.