Now classroom teaching begins in earnest, with several different subjects, all linked together by the class teacher. One of the teacher’s tasks is to organize the lessons so that all the different subjects and topics are presented as a whole. The world is interconnected and all things are equal.
In the first grade, the pupils have subjects such as:
singing, music, movement, and flute playing every day. All pupils have their own flute which they play every day – it challenges a mastery of breathing – a good thing to learn.
German and Danish as foreign languages begin now, mainly through singing and playing games.
In class 1, we introduce the letters through pictures and stories in preparation for reading. Some children can already read by the time they come to school, but a lot of effort is made to help pupils make connections with the letters and the written word – they are guided from picture to letter.
This is a general principle behind all teaching in the early years of schooling: that the pupil is the center of the world – this is where it begins, and then the pupil goes out into the world, first in the concrete and then in the abstract.
It is this idea that lies behind the expression “You must apprehend before you can comprehend”.
In arithmetic, pupils practice all four types of arithmetic from the beginning. Again, movement is at the center: the tables are jumped and stomped – the arithmetic operations are practiced with chestnuts and sticks.
The main theme for Class 1 is fairy tales. They deal with all aspects of human nature in archetypal images and convey wisdom without moralizing. The qualities are absolute, and the phenomena of the world are connected with inner logic and truth. The characters of fairy tales, with their unambiguous and unchanging expressions, create a simple and safe image of the world.
All activities are intended to provide a framework and form for the children’s social interaction. Anything that makes the day safe and predictable strengthens social life. Everything should help to create routines, good rhythms, and good habits so that the class can become a well-functioning group that cares for each other and trusts each other and the teacher. Creating a safe learning environment is essential.
At the beginning of the school year, each student is assigned a string instrument: violin, viola, or cello. The class will eventually form a class orchestra, which is the prelude to the later, larger orchestra, the symphony orchestra, which includes other types of instruments.