June 26-July 1
The Golden Age: Feet Upon the Ground, Gaze Toward the Heavens ~ Preparing for Grade 5
With Jen Kershaw
Grade five, often referred to as the “Golden Age of Childhood”, presents teachers with wonderful challenges and opportunities for supporting the developing young human being. Fifth graders bring a new awareness to their learning. No longer grappling with the nine-year change, they have arrived at a place where balance, beauty, and grace can be found in the physical body, as well as in the mood of soul.
In this course, teachers will have the opportunity to prepare to meet both the challenges and the opportunities of this wonderful year! The curriculum is our most valued instrument for guiding the fifth-grader. Through it, the child moves into a period of transformation and climbs to the “summit” of middle childhood. Stories from different ancient cultures mirror child development, and the shift in the child’s consciousness is reflected in the deeds and actions of the people of these different cultures. Through this journey, the child feels “seen” and understood in soul, heart, and mind. With feet planted firmly on the earth, the child experiences the life of indigenous people through the ever-expanding panorama of geography. The natural world continues to unfold as the child becomes acquainted with the wonderful world of botany. In addition, the keen observation required of this study supports the budding “thinking” of the child and sets the stage for the phenomenological sciences of the upper elementary years. The learning of mathematics embraces decimals and the world of freehand geometry.
The online platform for this course has been designed to inspire as well as support teachers through “real time” discussion and artistic work, collaboration, sharing, and developing curriculum plans that meet the fifth grader. Participants will receive curriculum resources of poetry, sample block outlines, and overviews, as well as a music/song audio (mp3). Artistic activities will be included, as well as an optional bi–weekly evening session to address specific questions or further topics of discussion.
Jen Kershaw earned a B.A. in Acting/Theater Performance from the University of South Florida, a M.S. in Education from Wheelock College, and a Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Antioch University New England. In the theater world, she performed with Metro Theater Company from St. Louis, Missouri, performing and teaching workshops across the U.S. Jen has been teaching in classrooms for over twenty years, first as an artist educator, then as a middle school math and history teacher, and finally as a Waldorf class teacher. For the past three years, Jen has been a member of the adjunct faculty at Antioch University New England, where she has taught the Math Methods course for the Integrated Learning Program. Along with teaching, she has written and published middle school math curriculum both online and in print.
A class teacher at heart, Jen joined High Mowing School in 2011 as an elementary school teacher; with her special education degree, she has also served as Educational Support Coordinator for the past four years. In 2018, Jen completed the eight-year journey as a class teacher and is now headed into fifth grade with her second class.