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1st Grade

No two six-year olds are exactly alike in every way, but they do have many common characteristics. They have stars in their eyes, loose teeth in their mouths, questions in their minds, Bandaids on their knees and forgiveness in their hearts. First graders are undergoing many physical changes that improve hand-eye coordination, although they can still be awkward with a pencil and scissors. Many varied activities are necessary to hold their attention during the long school day. Six-year olds show an increasing sense of self. They learn by participation and exploration. First graders are easily excited and have a wide range of emotions. They need many successful experiences and thrive on praise and approval.

Language Arts
Much emphasis in first grade language arts is put on learning to read and write. Many students begin first grade with knowledge of letters and sounds and know some words by sight. This knowledge is built upon throughout the year as students acquire many more sight words and learn to decode more complicated words. They learn to comprehend their reading. They clarify, visualize, predict, infer, summarize, make connections, and form questions about what they are reading. In writing, students learn basic conventions of writing, such as capitalization and ending punctuation. They learn to add spark to their writing using describing words. They grow from writing single sentence compositions to crafting longer stories that include a beginning, middle, and end. First graders study word features as they learn about using short and long vowels in their spelling.

Math
In first grade mathematics, students work extensively on learning relationships between numbers. Understand number concepts allows students to use addition and subtraction strategies efficiently. First graders will learn to use strategies such as adding on or counting back 1 or 2, doubles, near doubles, and relationships with 10. As we work on building number sense throughout the year, we weave in many other math units. Students will learn to tell time to the half hour, count mixed coins, properties of plane geometric shapes, and create increasingly difficult patterns.

Social Studies
Our year begins with the study of The 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey as part of our citizenship unit. In the fall, we focus on map skills and mail out our Flat Stanley projects. First graders then learn about the past, present, and future. In December, we study diversity as we learn about holiday celebrations in other countries and cultures. American leaders are studied in January and February. Economics is the final topic we explore, including the concepts of wants vs. needs, goods vs. services, producers vs. consumers, and opportunity cost.

Science
The first grade science program provides several hands-on activities that are engaging for all students. Students will begin to conduct experiments, learn how to classify, and understand relationships and interactions among objects. The first grade curriculum covers the relationship between the sun and Earth, the cycle of the four seasons, and plants and animals. The students will also be exposed to moving objects and natural resources.