First grade is the beginning of formal schooling marked by children’s new interest in learning, inspired by the awakening abilities of memory and thinking. Waldorf School of St. Louis meets the student’s innate curiosity and desire to grow with a rich multisensory experience. Students sculpt, draw, move, listen, imagine and sound out—all ways to engage different learning styles—to stimulate the young mind so that the students become motivated eager learners. Students establish good habits of classroom life and work that will form the basis for all subsequent learning at school. The students and teacher build the foundation for an ever-deepening relationship while forming a socially cohesive group during this special year of “beginnings.”
Universal truths are presented through fairy tales to develop pictorial thinking and experience the universal archetype of the human being. Pictograms evolve into letters and numbers as students are introduced to English and Math, while exercises designed to sharpen perception lay the foundation for science studies.
This year, children continue to familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of arithmetic and literacy, further developing a repertoire of skills that were initially introduced in Grade One. The curriculum content for this age serves to cultivate a sense of breadth and richness of the language of the feelings and emotions. Teachers continue to use movement, rhythm and rhyme as a key instructional tool.
Legends of the Saints and Fables illustrate the experience of transformation and bring understanding of human traits. Writing becomes more fluid and words more distinct with the introduction of cursive writing. In math, children become comfortable working with numbers beyond what they can easily experience.