June 26-July 1
Teaching Grade 3
Awakening to Self and Surroundings: Becoming a Steward of the Land and within the Community ~ Preparing for Grade 3
with Kris Ritz
The third grade year ushers in the significant threshold of the nine-ten-year change in which the children have a dawning recognition of becoming separate from the world as they say “goodbye” to a younger stage of childhood and awaken to another phase. The children come into a new relationship with themselves as “Ego” bearers and with the earth as they are guided towards becoming a steward of the land and within the community. It is important when supporting the third graders through this transition that the adults carry a soul mood of reassurance and unwavering commitment. In addition, the Waldorf curriculum offers the children the rich nourishment necessary for this developmental shift.
Foundational questions of why each curriculum block study unfolds will be explored so that the questions of which specific stories, songs, verses, movement activities, and more can best be addressed. Examples of activities to complement the various blocks and seasonal festivities will be presented, along with aspects of the daily morning lesson including movement, the new element for the day, the review of the previous day’s lesson, practice work related to the block, bookwork, and the stories shared (for instance, from the Hebrew Bible, Native American traditions, etc.).
Since third grade children are transitioning from their home surroundings to the larger community in which they live and go to school, they are introduced to practical activities from the area that can include farming, gardening, and building along with cooking, baking, and handwork. As a result, different project ideas—a weaving project, recipe book, garden journal, and more—will also be shared. In addition, resources will be provided to help prepare for the “verb” year of third grade, along with an abundance of ideas and encouragement from the community of teacher participants who join together in this hearty week of Renewal.
Kris Ritz, joined the Emerson Waldorf School community in 2008. Before returning to North Carolina, she was a class teacher at the Austin Waldorf School and spent a year at Plowshare Farm, an anthroposophical life-sharing community. Born in Upstate New York, Kris graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. While pursuing a career in advertising, she discovered Waldorf education, returned to school, and earned a Waldorf certificate and Master’s degree from Antioch New England Graduate School.