by 3rd grade teacher, Becky Moskowitz
In 3rd grade the child experiences a new outlook; the question arises within the child’s consciousness, “Who am I?” In Waldorf education we recognize this realization of selfhood as the 9-year change. New capacities for thinking and judgment are emerging. The unity of all things experienced in earlier years gives way to an inner/outer dichotomy; “I am here, and the world is there.” This brings self-consciousness and a critical view of oneself and of others. Personal opinions and strong likes and dislikes are emerging. A new realistic view of the world is beginning to manifest itself. The 3rd grade curriculum helps the child move through this developmental stage by studying the stories of the Hebrew Scriptures, engaging in the practical arts of Farming, House-Building & Working Fibers, and practicing the mathematical skills of Measurement, Long Multiplication & Division, Exchanging Currency and Telling-Time.
I have Celebrated Shabbat for many years with other 3rd grade classes, and the reverence and peace it brings to the children is precious...
The hands-on experience of this year’s curriculum includes cooking, building, fiber arts, making transactions with money, reading clocks to tell time, preparing soil, planting, tending and harvesting in the garden. Each activity has the purpose of connecting the child in a very concrete way to the material world. In a sense, the world is demystified by the child’s growing knowledge of how-to-do-things in life – which offers a perfect antidote to the challenges of the 9-year change. Another strong remedy for children of this age is the feeling of reverence.
It’s been said that Shabbat is the most important Jewish holiday because of its weekly rhythm and its emphasis on resting!!! This also connects the students to the story of the Seven Days of Creation from the Hebrew Scriptures and it ties in the idea of rhythm and time.
Every Friday, my class goes to wash their hands and then re-enters the room in silence. I lead them through three Hebrew blessings over the candles, the wine (grape juice) and the challah bread. I have celebrated Shabbat for many years with other 3rd grade classes, and the reverence and peace it brings to the children is precious. We adults have all kinds of religious, agnostic or atheist beliefs but that is not the main purpose of this classroom activity; we celebrate Shabbat because the children need to experience devotion and reverence. I teach the children these blessings and once they have mastered them, we opened up our classroom for parents to join us. This is a wonderful way to create closure for the week and begin the weekend.
We are happy to announce when Waldorf Education© gets coverage in national news media. Three weeks ago we shared a Chicago Parent Magazine article featuring CWS families living “Simplified Summers.” And now…
This week CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta & Dr. Layne Kalbfleisch, a cognitive neuroscientist, discussed “how Waldorf education keep students engaged through constant movement” as an essential learning process. Dr. Gupta also profiled schools following The Waldorf Way as exemplary, “innovative education.”
Click here for: CNN’s Profile of Waldorf Education
And if you are interested in the many other recent news profiles of Chicago Waldorf School, and Waldorf Education in general, see the CWS media page for other videos and articles.
Please share this news with family and friends; you can also find many more articles and media profiles of our school, community members and Waldorf alumni on facebook. To join our community please visit the Chicago Waldorf School’s facebook page and "like" it to receive our periodic announcements.
- shared from the Marketing & Communications Department by: Jason Greenberg, Mark/Comm Director
Sarah Morrison is the newest Early Childhood Lead Teacher who is leading the Sweet Peas (EC2)
The Chicago Waldorf School's Early Childhood program provides a nurturing foundation for the growing child. By nourishing the mind and the senses through a healthy, beauty-filled environment, the program fosters the development of the whole child. Sarah Morrison joins the Early Childhood program this year.
As a new faculty member I greatly appreciate the warm welcome I’ve received. At every turn and by every person I’ve met I’ve been welcomed into this amazing community. It has been so much fun getting to know everyone and getting my classroom set up.
Upon meeting with my wonderful room parents the thought of being an Early Childhood teacher became a reality. I have loved going on home visits this summer. Having the chance to meet all my new and returning children before school starts has been invaluable. I was just as excited as the children are to have these visits!
Sarah has 15 years of experience working with young children. Her love of nature started as a child when helping her Dad garden and feeling the earthworms wiggle on her fingers and toes. She endeavors to weave her love of stories, traveling and the outdoors into her work with children.
On Tuesday, October 15th, the administration will be sending home Chicago Waldorf School car magnets as part of the school’s annual fund kick off. This year’s annual fund, Done By 31, starts next Tuesday and ends on Tues., December 31, 2013. You have 11 weeks to make your Annual Fund gift or pledge. Pledge payments are due on June 30, 2014. Our annual fund goal is $160,000 with 100% parent, Trustee, faculty and staff participation.
What’s new about Annual Fund 2013-2014?
• 11 week vs. 9 month Annual Fund campaign
• Monthly giving option
• Focus on matching gifts
• In Honor of/In Memory of giving
You’ll learn about these new initiatives through emails, notes, telephone calls and Voices articles. Please read each document carefully and know that the annual fund is the core of the school’s fundraising initiatives.
The annual fund supports EVERYTHING at the Chicago Waldorf School from turning on the lights each morning to increased teacher compensation, from an enriched Waldorf-inspired curriculum to tuition adjustment and everything in between. Know that every gift made shows the donor’s commitment to CWS.
A tax-deductible annual fund gift makes a difference in the lives of our students and, through academics, allows them to reach their full potential.
Eager to give now? Contact Alexa Markoff at 773.828.8458 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org