By Grade Four, students possess the solid academic skills needed to participate in more independent projects. Fourth grade students have developed into individuals who are better able to objectify their studies. For example, when studying Norse mythology, fourth graders use their new skills with fractions to create mathematically precise drawings of intricate geometric plaits and knots.
Jenny Dilworth grew up in Richmond, Virginia and received her B.A. in English Literature from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. She graduated from the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Denver, Colorado in 1992 and practiced bodywork in Richmond for the next nine years. Jenny was introduced to Waldorf education while looking for a school for her oldest daughter. She completed her Waldorf teaching training at Antioch New England Graduate School in 2006, and was a grades and Woodworking teacher at the Richmond Waldorf School for five years. She, her husband and their two daughters moved to Atlanta during the summer of 2007 to teach at The Waldorf School of Atlanta. Jenny enjoys all types of handwork, woodwork, gardening, and travel.Grade Four Pedagogical Overview
In Grade Four, the transition from early childhood is complete. The children emerge with greater awareness, expressed in new confidence and great vigor. They want to experience the world from an individual standpoint, to find their particular place in the world. They develop a sense of where they are in relation to their environment, in both a social and geographical sense.
The fourth grade student is eager to learn more about their world, and they embrace new challenges with curiosity and enthusiasm. During the fourth grade year, students are challenged to extend themselves in every aspect of their work. Their growing interest in concrete knowledge is met through natural science, in a study of the animal kingdom in relation to the human being. The children also take up a thorough study of their surroundings in a Local Geography block, in which mapmaking skills are developed. Norse stories, meanwhile, present the children with images of diverse, strong-willed personalities all contributing to the social whole. Throughout this year, students are encouraged to take greater responsibility for their own learning. They complete several independent projects, and give their first formal presentations to the class.