Jack Frost iced over our familiar hiking path, but we did not give up! We found a new one, and met a new friend on the way. The first graders experience and enjoy all seasons on their hikes through Lakewood Forest Preserve each Wednesday.
1st Grade – Math
The first grade has finished their “Four Processes” block. It was a happy time of discovery and understanding. On the last day of the block the children put on a play about the four siblings who lived with their mother and father by a lovely orchard of hazelnut trees.
Adellie-Addition, Sebastian-Subtraction, Molly-Multiplication and David-Division have been given new nicknames by their beloved grandfather, who taught the children the different ways of counting the hazelnuts.
1st Grade – Candlemas
February 2nd is Candlemas Day. This ancient festival marks the midpoint of winter, halfway between the shortest day of the year and the spring equinox. Candlemas is a day which holds many different customs:
- Candlemas is a traditional Christmas festival that commemorates the ritual purification of Mary forty days after the birth of Jesus as well as the first presentation of Christ at the temple (Jewish custom 40 days after the birth of a boy.)
- In pre-Christian times this day was known as the “Feast of Lights” and celebrated the increase of strength of the life-giving sun as winter gave way to spring.
- Romans had a custom of lighting candles to scare away evil spirits in the winter.
- In Scotland, Candlemas was the day when children brought candles to school to light the classroom on dark days. As gas lighting overtook candle lighting, children brought money instead, which the teacher would spend on treats. The child who contributed the most money was declared King or Queen of Candlemas and “ruled” for six weeks with special powers of declaring play time for one afternoon per week and pardoning any classmate they wished from punishments.
- And of course people have practiced the belief that the weather on Candlemas Day predicts the weather for the remainder of winter—a precursor to our modern-day Groundhog Day.
1st Grade – Mandarin
1st Grade – Movement
First graders having fun making an igloo during movement class with Mrs. Faden.
First Grade has now met “Adelie-Addition” and “Sebastian-Subtraction.” There is movement in the classroom, in our bodies, and in our minds. We play different math games using bean bags, balls, hazelnuts, and clothes pins. We are also writing out math equations in the morning lesson books. The children are making great progress in forming numbers and drawings.
We lost yet another tooth during the morning lesson and, sure enough, we had to add all first grade teeth that have been lost so far.
Some very exiting and ambitious choices were made and strongly backed up by persistence—that’s a lot of nuts!
The current block engages the “thinking mind.” We make sure that our hands and artistic expression are balancing this process.
First graders also had their first experience with clay. We explored the differences between the ever-so-familiar-and-warm bees wax to the cooler, sticker, and heavier clay.
1st Grade – Bringing in 2020
The first grade is off to a great start of 2020. On the first day back we celebrated our first birthday. It was a lovely celebration and brought us all back to our class-family.
First grade has begun their introduction to the four processes of mathematics. At only two days into the block there was already so much excitement in the room. We started with addition, and it lingered into the snack and lunch time. The children eagerly added their carrots and cucumber slices, and some of them showed off their ability to add 1 million to 1 million!
And just like that, we are half way through the school year. The first grade has become one strong family with a lot of love and appreciation for each other.
The kindling love for learning is now a warm and bright fire that warms my heart every day.
December is a special month—beautiful festivals, celebrations, visitors, and sweet treats were a part of our daily life.
Snowflakes are beautiful,
Pure and bright,
And like God’s children,
No two are alike.
1st Grade – Time to Write!
We have finished our second Language Arts block. All the letters are in our morning lesson books, and now we write!
1st Grade – Music
The First Graders saying a blessing for the flute tones.
1st Grade Farm & Garden
Last bit of harvesting of seeds. Winter wheat peeking up to say hello before winter starts.
1st Grade Nature BlockJack Frost was very kind to first grade during our nature block. We were able to plant flower seeds, collect acorn tops for crafting, and twigs, leaves and hay to build a squirrel drey.
The children were very excited to learn the ways of the clever, little squirrel.
We learned that many beautiful birds don’t fly south for the winter season and how much color and beauty they bring to our winter landscape.
The children heard a Native American story about how the Cardinal got his vibrant red feathers.
We also took a closer look at our school’s composting system and gave thanks to Mother Earth for the bountiful gifts that we receive from her.
“Every Day is Thanksgiving ”—Cherokee
|With tremendous excitement the children welcomed chickadees, a large woodpecker, and the one and only “whisky frisky!”|
1st Grade – Math Block
Our first graders finished their math block with a tasty treat of a dozen banana muffins and a Russian story of The 12 Months. They learned about the constellations for each month, about all of their birthdays, and the zodiac.
It was a lovely block filled with sweet “aha” moments.
1st Grade – Lyre
The first grade is enjoying the tones of the lyre—beauty sent straight from the angels!
1st Grade Math BlockWe have been noticing math all around us. On our weekly hikes we see the numbers on the lady bugs backs, and we count her legs. We see how many petals there are on a flower, and how many sides of the different leaves . During Friday Feast we count the plates and cups while we set the table. We calculate how many honey spoons we need to make delicious tea.
The class is very excited to recognize the numbers that all around us.
First graders experience the change of the seasons first hand during their weekly hikes at Lakewood Forest Preserve.
First graders enjoying a nature lesson.
1st and 2nd Grades Farming Class
Mrs. Faden has a helper on Fridays for Farming Class—one of our moms, Mrs. Payne. The children harvested and cleaned beets, carrots, tomatoes, cucumber and peppers. in early September!
A lesson about chickens in farming class.
The children have been hard at work putting our garden to sleep.
First Knitting Day for 1st Grade
A lovely tradition of Waldorf schools across the world is that each year the fifth graders bring the very first stitches of knitting to the first graders. It is a beautiful pairing because fifth graders are returning to knitting (for the first time since second grade) and are knitting socks at the same time the first graders are seeing knitting for the very first time. The little ones look forward to their time with the big, golden fifth graders, and it brings to the foreground a wonderful, warm part of the fifth graders as they nurture the first graders through this process. The passing on of knowledge is a moving, magical moment!