The 1st grade day begins with a community building morning meeting that includes stories, singing, reading, sharing, and calendar math. Our 1st grade students develop a love of learning through building a strong foundation in reading, writing, and mathematical concepts.
Our reading curriculum includes systematic and explicit instruction in lessons in phonics, reading aloud, and shared reading, followed by time to practice skills taught, conference with teachers, and reflect and set goals. Students learn how to become more strategic readers in first grade through intensive phonics instruction by blending sounds together. The systematic introduction of sounds and spellings, coupled with blending, develops independent readers in first grade. Students practice reading fluency and move from guided reading to independent reading. Foundational skills in phonemic awareness, print and book awareness, alphabetic knowledge, phonics and word analysis, fluency, dictation, research and vocabulary are taught. Text skills and comprehension strategies taught through fiction and non-fiction: cause and effect, classify and categorize, compare and contrast, fact and opinion, main idea and details, making inferences, sequence, asking and answering questions, clarifying, making connections, predicting/confirming predictions, summarizing, and visualizing. Students are assessed on concepts of print, letter identification, and letter sounds. Teachers also give benchmark reading assessments to evaluate a student's word accuracy, fluency, and comprehension for text leveling at the beginning, middle, and end of year, along with the STAR Reading Test- a computer adaptive assessment that measures key aspects of a student’s knowledge of reading and language. The STAR reading test is given at the beginning, middle, and end of the year and it is used to help understand a student’s strengths and needs in reading.
Students also utilize Raz-Kids, a digital literacy platform that provides comprehensive leveled texts for students, to enrich their reading skills. This platform allows for students to listen to, read at their own place, and record themselves reading, further enhancing their fluency and comprehension skills. Accelerated Reader is another digital enrichment program that students may access. Student’s may choose a book from the AR list of books, read it at his/her own pace, and then complete a quiz on the book. Points are awarded based on the number of questions answered correctly. The points accumulate to reach milestones and awards.
Through our writing curriculum, first grade students learn how to write in complete sentences using correct capitalization and end punctuation and are introduced to different types of writing including poetry, informational, narrative, and opinion writing. First grade students continue to learn about the writing process in addition to spelling, grammar, usage, and mechanics. Students practice penmanship of writing uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers.
The first-grade writing units are written for children who are just tapping into their burgeoning powers as readers as well as writers, and believe they can do anything. Students begin with the always-popular unit Small Moments: Writing with Focus, Detail, and Dialogue. In this unit students take the everyday events of their young lives and make them into focused, well-structured stories, then they learn to breathe life into the characters by making them talk, think, and interact. In Unit 2, Nonfiction Chapter Books, students enter the world of informational writing as they combine pictures and charts with domain-specific vocabulary and craft moves to create engaging teaching texts. In Unit 3, Writing Reviews, students create persuasive reviews of all sorts—pizza restaurant reviews, TV show reviews, ice cream flavor reviews, and finally book reviews that hook the reader, clearly express the writer’s opinion, and bolster their argument in convincing ways. In From Scenes to Series: Writing Fiction, the final unit of the Grade 1 series, students learn to “show, not tell” and use action, dialogue, and feelings to create a whole series of fiction books modeled after Henry and Mudge.
Through our math curriculum, Progress in Mathematics, students explore concepts in numbers, addition and subtraction, shapes, graphs, time and money, measurement, and fractions. The approach used builds deep conceptual understanding of key math skills and concepts at a developmentally appropriate level. In addition, to help students understand our number system and increase their number sense, we create number scrolls together. Skills taught: numbers, number words, and ordinals, addition strategies and facts to 12, subtraction strategies and facts to 12, data and graphs: using operations, place value to 100, extending addition and subtraction facts, geometry, money and time, measurement, addition: two-digit numbers, subtraction: two-digit numbers, fractions and probability.
In first grade, students become scientists as they observe, classify, and record data collected through science investigations. Four core areas of the first grade science curriculum include: light and shadows, sun and moon, natural resources, and plants and their environments. They learn about the world around them through studying about our world through social studies concepts.
Students participate in performances including Chapel presentations and a Mother Goose performance that builds confidence and pride. Students also participate in special classes including music, PE, art, Spanish, keyboarding, and library each week.