Urban Prairie Waldorf School

Experience UP 2019

Experience UP is November 16, 2019. Be a Waldorf student for a morning! Childcare available upon request ($30). Scroll down for course descriptions. Sign up here.

9:30 am Introduction

9:50 – 11:00 am (choose one)

  • Electromagnetism – Andi Pearl, Grade 7
  • Geometry in the Waldorf 5th and 6th grade – Megan Cather, Grade 6

11:00 – 11:10 am – Break and transition

11:10 am – 12:10 pm (choose one)

  • Lower Grades Math – Amanda Poll, Grade 3
  • Higher Level Thinking: Women in Early America – Mat Riendeau, Grade 8
  • You, Too, Can Be a Pentathlete – Adriana Kondrat, movement

Electromagnetism – Andi Pearl, Grade 7
A parent who is a college-level neuroscience professor recently lamented his students’ under-developed capacity to truly observe. At UPWS, clear-eyed, unbiased observation begins in grade 1, with a persistent calling of the children’s attention to the world around them. By middle school, our students are ready to train their observing eye on what is happening before them, and describe how they experience different phenomena such as light, sound, warmth, electric energy, and combustion. We use electricity all of the time, but can we actually explain what is actually happening? What can we observe that tells us how it actually works? Come test your ability to observe and experience with Andi Pearl, 7th grade class teacher, in a sensory experience that will help reveal a deeper understanding of these simple but crucial everyday phenomena.

Geometry in the Waldorf 5th and 6th grade – Cather, Grade 6
From freehand geometry to the precision of a compass and straightedge, join 6th grade teacher Megan Cather on this journey into what is often the first block of the Middle School math curriculum. At this transition age, children are at a time in their development when their complex and creative inner world can be merged with their ability to use tools and be precise. The outcome is a rich experience of the beauty of geometry, which is at the heart of every human-made construction and is integrally tied to higher math and physics.

Lower Grades Math – Poll, Grade 3
Get your rulers, hands, arms, and legs ready for math! In this hands-on lesson, experience how measurement came to be with third-grade teacher Amanda Poll. The young child is eager to experience the world through practical and hands-on experiences. Children absorb academic content through movement, allowing their bodies to truly experience and feel mathematical concepts. In this lesson, we will be introduced to measurement just as the third-grader is- the story of Noah’s Ark. Using the same method of body measurement as Noah did thousands of years ago, we will explore the evolution of measurement to arrive to today’s standard measurement. The journey will provide a rich picture of how children take ownership of their learning to accomplish a deep understanding of the mathematical systems that shape our world.

Higher Level Thinking: Women in Early America – Riendeau, Grade 8
How are students taught to participate in a dialogue about history, awakening them to the links between the past and the present? Eighth grade teacher Mat Riendeau leads a lecture and discussion based on Howard Zinn’s A Young People’s History of the United States (Triangle Square, 2009) and the essay “Men Explain Things to Me” by Rebecca Solnit (2011). Participants will learn guidelines on sentence framing and how to build off of previous comments. We’ll see slides of current 8th graders’ work for this same exercise, and learn some greater context of the experience as it relates to the wider UPWS curriculum for adolescents, whose spheres of interest and influence are greatly expanding as they head toward high school.

You, Too, Can Be a Pentathlete – Kondrat, Movement Teacher
Fifth grade is a special year in Movement education, and most of the year is spent learning the events of the ancient Greek Pentathlon: running, jumping, discus, javelin, and wrestling. These events require concentration, self-discipline, balance, strength, grace, and agility. As we see the children seek balance between childhood and adolescence, we push them to take in all the beauty of childhood and marry it with the maturity needed to strive for truth. The lesson taught will focus mostly on the disciplines of wrestling and long jumping. Please come prepared to move as this is a Movement class. Sneakers are a must. Come leap into the air and feel the gravity of what it means to truly meet the other.