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.
A unique component of the Waldorf curriculum from the beginning, Eurythmy is an artistic form where music and speech are expressed through movement and gesture. By using the whole body to express speech, music and geometry in space, Eurythmy improves coordination and the faculty of true listening, as well as teaching students to move harmoniously within a group.
As students advance through the grades, the material becomes increasingly more challenging and complex. They study aspects of grammar, arithmetic, geometry, music, history and many other subjects. While students develop memory, listening, sequencing and concentration skills, they begin to work creatively by developing their own choreographies.
Foreign languages are offered at The Waldorf School of Atlanta to all students through a curriculum rich with the music, games, stories, crafts, and dances of these cultures. We begin simply by immersing the children in the spoken language with circle time featuring verses, songs, and finger plays in kindergarten, then by adding stories and games that deepen the language experience in grades one through three.
As children enter Grade Four and are fairly adept at reading and writing English, we introduce the foreign language alphabet to them. While visually almost identical to our own alphabet, these alphabets represent very different sound qualities. To help facilitate the connection between the letters and their sounds, we write out and read aloud verses the students learned by heart in previous years.
Much has been discussed recently about a disturbing trend in American schools of bullying and hurtful behavior among school-age boys and girls. In the 2006-2007 school year, the Waldorf School of Atlanta began a coordinated endeavor to bring deeper consciousness to and develop good practices around social issues. Parents, teachers, staff and students are all engaged with this very important and inspiring work.
A central component of this program is the Social Action Committee. Comprised of Seventh and Eighth graders along with Academe of the Oaks high schoolers, these students visit grades one through six to watch, feel and help the younger children with appropriate classroom and playground behaviors. Creating this bond between the different ages in our school is vitally important to a healthy social culture.
History: Local history is introduced through geography.
Literature: Norse sagas and Native American legends offer the story content for writing and language arts blocks, and often are the basis for the class play.
English and Grammar: Composition and letter writing are introduced, and written and/or oral book reports may be assigned fort he first time. Grammar topics may include verb tenses, prepositions, personal pronouns, and adverbs.
Geography: Local geography, orienteering, and map-making help ground students in their surroundings.
Science: Zoology offers a study of animals and their relationship to the human being, providing students a greater understanding of the natural world.
Mathematics: Fractions are explored for the first time, while students refine their understanding of more complex word problems and long division. Mental arithmetic continues.
Drawing, Painting, and Modeling: “Knotted” form drawings, inspired by Nordic and Celtic motifs, are introduced. Animal forms and geometric shapes are often modeled in clay and/or beeswax.
Class Teacher: Emily Tremoureux
More information about Waldorf Pedagogy is found under our Parent Resources page.