First Grade Reading focuses on the development of phonics and phonemic awareness skills, building a sight word vocabulary, improving fluency, expanding vocabulary and improving reading comprehension. The goal of First Grade reading is to promote a love for books and reading through multiple genera’s and high interest topics. Reading instruction is done through whole group instruction, small group instruction using leveled readers and silent reading. Students answer questions about the characters and settings, make predictions and practice retelling main ideas and details of stories. Students learn about authors, illustrators, and the parts of a book.
There is also an emphasis on writing skills in First Grade. Students learn how to write a detailed sentence using correct punctuation and capitalization. First Grade students will use sight and spelling words as well as phonemic (inventive) spelling in their daily writing. Students will begin to learn to revise their work and organize paragraphs into a beginning, middle and end. Writing is enjoyable and based on stories read in class, seasons, holidays, special interests and personal topics.
First Grade Math focuses on basic skills. Each day a calendar is changed, the temperature is tracked and the number of days in school is changed on a place value chart. The students also practice money, time and skip counting skills on a daily basis. Students learn basic geometry and shapes, how to compare numbers, distinguish between even and odd numbers, and learn about ordinal numbers. First Grade emphasizes the basic concepts of addition and subtraction as well as fact families. Students learn how to graph information and how to read data presented in different forms.
Social Studies and Science is taught using a variety of different approaches. Students focus on community and citizenship and each year the First Grade visits the fire station. Students learn about their town, state and country. The Social Studies curriculum is enriched using the current events magazine “Scholastic News”. Students learn about the plants, animals and habitats throughout the year in Science. Each year the students take a field trip to the apple orchard while learning about plants and the zoo while learning about animals. The students use a variety of hands on approaches to learn and observe.
In Religion the students learn about the stories in the bible as well as what is means to be a part of the church community. The students prepare, and take part in the Thanksgiving prayer service each year. They also participate in many community service projects throughout the school year. These community service projects help them take a hands on approach to helping our community. The students collect toys for a children’s hospital at Christmas, collect pennies for Haiti, and collect boxes and canned goods for the school’s food drive.
Throughout the year the First Grade has many other special days. The students have a 100th day celebration and celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday. They learn about Christmas celebrations around the world in the weeks prior to the holiday season and play a game or make a craft for each country they study. First Grade students each are assigned a seventh grade buddy. Monthly activities are coordinated for the First and Seventh grade students to take part in. Together they do small projects, read and sing at a local nursing home. First Grade focuses on building independence and creating an excitement for learning.