Urban Prairie Waldorf School
Miss Peterson's Class
Weekly Update - January 29, 2017
Morning Lesson

We finish this measurement block by learning about linear measurement.  The third graders will begin by using their bodies to measure things in the room, which was common practice before units of measure were standardized.  From there, they will learn how to use other objects like string and eventually rulers and yardsticks to measure length, width, height, and perimeter.  In the spring they will learn about weight and volume when we do our fibers block.length

Bartering proved to be a difficult experience for many students.  This made for an interesting class discussion about value and planning.  Many children brought an object that didn’t have much value to them, but were then frustrated when others did not want to trade for it.  The couple of children that did bring something quite valuable to them had an easier time trading.  Almost the entire class agreed that they wished they had done it differently.  I offered them another chance this Friday to try again.  I am assuming it will be more successful this time.  We will have another class discussion about in preparation for the second bartering day.

Parent Evening

I began by reading Rudolf Steiner’s “Verse for America”

May our feelings penetrate
Into the center of our heart
And seek, in love to unite itself
With the human beings seeking
The same goal,.
With the spirit beings who,
Bearing Grace,
Strengthening us from realms of light
And illuminating our love
Are gazing down upon
Our earnest heartfelt striving

We discussed class culture regarding play dates and sleep overs.  The children are now at an age where they are much more social.  After reading three articles (On media, the nine year change, and saying no) in small groups we can back together to reflect and discuss what everyone is looking for in having play dates.  This was the beginning of what will hopefully continue to be some community building conversations for the class.  Here is a list of some of what was brought up as important:

Boundaries are important- saying “no” is important, so is saying “yes.”
When children speak about others- Are their words 1- kind, 2- necessary, 3- true
What is the level of supervision? Can a 12 year old sibling babysit?
Food may be a factor
Have a parent to parent conversation regarding movies, video games, and other media
Parents knowing each other is important
Diversity is great!
Bedtime at sleepovers

Magic is still real and important.  Not all children believe in Santa still, many do.

In regards to curriculum, the class play is coming up on Friday, March 10th.  The children will not know this until after the Midwinter break.  Given their new self awareness and thus new self consciousness, I want them to enjoy the story and experience of the play before they know they will be presenting it publicly.  They will live into the experience more rather than just focus on the performance.

Leading up to the play will be a Living on the Earth block entitled “Shelters.” They are building a large shelter for the play set (this is a surprise, SHH!)  After Midwinter break, they will build a small shelter in class.  This is their first big project of grade school!  Each child will research a different shelter and bring materials to school to build.  They should collect materials over the break and come ready to build their shelter afterward.  There will be some workshop days for parents to come help.    Parent help is encouraged, but it should be their ideas and creativity that go into the project.  Please note that prepackaged kits should not be used for this project.  Lincoln Logs and Legos?  No!  Popsicle sticks, bark, and clay?  Yes!  More details to come in the following weeks.