Curriculum Highlights: Lower Grades
In the lower classes, students develop oral language by repeating and memorizing poems and stories rich in new vocabulary. Students integrate advanced language in songs, puppet plays, role-play, and group recitation. In Kindergarten, students experience cumulative stories to increase listening skills and comprehension. Oral language is also advanced during handwork and other practical work when multiple instructions are given and practiced by students.
In all grades, thematic instruction (main lesson subjects) helps student focus on and connect various skills to a central theme. Listening, speaking, writing and reading are all developed in the course of a balanced main lesson.
Curriculum Highlights: Upper Grades
Waldorf teachers use images and feeling in the stories shared with the students. Teachers and students may dramatize stories to add additional interest and context. All content is retold by students, or expressed by students in an artistic way (clay, beeswax, painting, and drawing). Content is delivered in a three-day rhythm to ensure enough repetition of new vocabulary and concepts.
Reading comprehension is evaluated by using study questions, summaries, class discussions, artistic representation, dramatization, and group presentations.
Student writing is frequent and is usually edited for a final copy by the teacher. They sometimes experience peer editing, story sharing and other elements of the writing process. They read pieces to each other to gain a better understanding of grammar, voice, and structure. Grammar and conventions are taught constantly in the context of main lesson writing or in response to literature.
Shared reading occurs daily in kindergarten through second grade, while small group or independent reading occurs daily in grades 2-3. Pleasure reading is expected and encouraged. Comprehension is assessed by retelling, drawing, sculpting, enacting and otherwise sharing the content of the reading.