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Approaching Grade One: Inspiration and Guidance for Your Year

Sunday, June 30, 2024 - Friday, July 5, 2024

Professional development for Waldorf teachers and home school parents. Read all about Summer Series 2024.

Taught remotely in real-time, this course offers you an invaluable opportunity to focus entirely on your upcoming first grade school year in five days brimming with presentations, discussions, and practical activities.

Under the guidance of an experienced class teacher, you’ll discover ways to enliven your teaching and learn how to approach the blocks so that they may meet the first grader in a lively and meaningful way. With the insights of anthroposophy, gleaned through a discussion of child development focusing on your class’s age group, you will get to know the first grader as they cross the bridge into elementary school.

Along with time and space to consider and hone your skills in such practical matters as main lesson books, block planning, projects and activities, and classroom management, your course will include these key topics for first graders (and their teachers):

  • Multicultural archetypes in fairy tales from around the world
  • Introducing the letters
  • Introducing the numbers and topics in math
  • First grade approaches to science and social studies (perceiving the natural world experientially and socially)
  • First grade morning circle
  • First grade assessment
  • Parent work and colleagueship

These subjects will be supported by explorations in art and music, giving you practical tools to take into your school year. In addition, you’ll gain many valuable opportunities for building connections among a community of parallel colleagues from across the country to carry with you throughout your teaching. And participation in an anthroposophical study undertaken in common with all Grades participants will help enable you to build bridges between colleagues and parents once you return to your school.

Grade-specific resource materials, such as poems, songs, stories, and main lesson book ideas, will be provided electronically.

NOTE: This course is taught with the expectation that you have a foundational background in Waldorf education.


Lead Instructor

Elizabeth Doshi is a faculty member at the Ashwood Waldorf School in Rockport, Maine, where she has taught grade one for the last five years, either as a stand alone class or a combined grades one and two class. Before coming to Ashwood, she was a grades three-six class teacher at Cape Ann Waldorf School (now The Waldorf School of Moraine Farm), taught grades two, three, and four at the Lexington Waldorf School, assisted in grade four at Pine Hill Waldorf School, and, at the Waldorf Steiner School in Singapore, taught parent-child classes, parent education workshops, and enrichment for grade one. She completed her training at Antioch New England Graduate School and has a daughter who attended Waldorf schools from kindergarten to eighth grade.

Previous Summer Series Grade One participants had this to say about their experience with Elizabeth:

  • Elizabeth was thorough, diligent, and a wealth of knowledge. She is a wonderful teacher and person.
  • Her expertise is obvious and she provided exemplary examples of lessons and practices.
  • She engaged us in activities and used visual means to teach us as well as modelling by doing movements/dances, reaching us teachers who learn best visually or through movement and hands-on learning.
  • I especially appreciate her ability to decolonize the material and assumptions about Waldorf ed.
  • Her experience and the confidence that she has in teaching first grade inspired me.
  • I appreciated her transparency and generosity.
  • Elizabeth Doshi was an incredibly knowledgeable, experienced, and welcoming presence in this course. Her sessions were encouraging and inspiring, with many helpful tips and resources I hope to incorporate.
  • I loved how (art instructor Kelly Beekman) offered so many opportunities to learn, no matter what level of skill or knowledge you had. Every session, I learned something new I can use this year!
  • I am so glad I was able to make connections with other Waldorf teachers from all over and look forward to further communication with them.
  • What was most helpful and satisfying was the participation and expertise of all involved; I learned so much from my fellow attendees as well.
  • I have a much clearer picture of what my 1st grade should look like.

Your course also includes sessions in art with Kelly Beekman and music with Katey Dolezal.


This course takes place June 30-July 5 in a synchronous online classroom. ALL TIMES LISTED ARE EASTERN (NY) TIME ZONE.

NOTE: Classes WILL take place on Thursday, July 4.

Sunday evening
6:15 pm-6:25 pm: Log-in for technical check-in and attendance

6:30 pm-8:15 pm: First session

Monday – Thursday
9:45 am-9:55 am: Log-in for technical check-in and attendance
Sessions run from 10:00 am through 4:45 -5:00 pm, with time for breaks and lunch

9:45 am-9:55 am: Log-in for technical check-in and attendance
Sessions run from 10:00 am through 1:30 pm, with a mid-morning break

NoteMost sessions are required in order to receive a certificate of attendance. Others, such as Q&A sessions with your lead instructor and studio time with your art and music instructors, are optional. Participants should be prepared to work on course-related assignments outside of their regularly scheduled instructional sessions (including some that may be assigned in advance). Complete schedules will be sent two weeks before your course start date, along with a list of materials you will need to procure for use during your course.


$615 includes all resource materials, pre-recorded music and movement lessons, yearlong access to your Grade One Google Classroom and Kelly Beekman’s art portal, and a $55 non-refundable registration fee.

25% discount for:

  • Students currently enrolled in a Sunbridge teacher education program (must be in good standing)
  • Sunbridge program graduates
  • Payments made in Canadian dollars

Accounts must be in good standing and discounts may not be combined. Qualification for discounts will be verified by Sunbridge staff. 


Please contact Barbara Vitale, admissions and summer coordinator, at [email protected] or 845-425-0055 x20

Sunbridge reserves the right to make faculty substitutions when necessary. See registration form for refund policy.


Sunbridge Institute Remotely
285 Hungry Hollow Road
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 United States
+ Google Map


Sunbridge Institute Remotely
285 Hungry Hollow Road
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 United States
+ Google Map