All right, every spare minute I can find I have hid myself away in deep thought about fourth grade. I think I have wrapped my brain around the what’s and whys so now it’s time to get my outline down on paper. I already wrote a post of what is covered this year http://dkjsv05.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/between-heaven-and-earth/.
After much meditation I am going to start the year with geography as our first block. Something I noticed while teaching third grade is how much Miss Sky changed from the beginning of the year. She seemed more ready for the Old Testament stories as the year progressed, so I am thinking saving the Norse Myths till the end of the year would work better for her.
In fourth grade after going through the change , the child is starting to notice their surroundings. Geography is taught as one block and starts from their house working itself outward. http://www.waldorflibrary.org/Journal_Articles/geography.pdf
So we will spend the first week mapping out our surroundings and interviewing neighbors who built their house here when our neighborhood first started. I thought this would be a good time to introduce compositions. We live in a small town with lots of the original buildings all within walking distance. I am thinking lots of hikes with picnic lunches while learning about map making. Then branching out from our town to learn more about our state and what makes it so great that pioneers wanted to settle here.
I think all the field trips would be a great way to ease ourselves into the new school year.
For this block I will be using the book Maps & Globes by Jack Knowlton and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana. There is SO much history here and it is very important that this block does not become a history lesson, that will come in later down the road.
Another interesting fact about this block, I found a copy of The Bears of Blue River by Charles Major (can be found on mainlesson.com for free http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=major&book=bears&story=_contents ) .We pass the blue river every time we go on our milk run. I thought it would be fun to trace the rivers path in our state. http://www.in.gov/dnr/outdoor/4493.htm
(Update:) I thought it would be fun to read poetry from a local too http://www.jameswhitcombriley.com/children%27s_poetry.htm
Supplies for this block, I bought each Little their own small backpack for our hikes. We can make our own nature notebooks and for a handwork project make a pencil roll http://www.skiptomylou.org/2008/08/06/felt-crayon-roll/ . Also thought a compass would make a good birthday gift for this year.
I have to say I am really looking forward to this year maybe more than Miss Sky is.
Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend.