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1st Grade

Welcome to 1st Grade!

The first grade teachers at Harrowgate take a theme-based approach to teaching the Chesterfield County curriculum. Themes help our young students to focus and strengthen their speaking and writing vocabularies. Students enjoy becoming experts on a topic, continuing to research their favorite topics on-line or in the library, and demonstrating their expertise. Each theme has a reading, writing, and technology component. Many themes have higher level thinking activities for students.

In Reading, students learn to become independent readers by using decoding and comprehension strategies in whole group and small groups. Students need to read basic sight words automatically. Students become aware of literature genres, i.e. Nonfiction (biographies, science books, etc.) and fiction (fantasy, realistic fiction, folk tales, mysteries, etc.). Students learn to predict, question, make connections to text, and infer. Students must read fluently and retell what they have read to move from one level to another.

In Writing, students learn to plan a piece of writing, and then draft from their plan. Later they will learn to add adjectives and choose specific words to make their stories more interesting to the reader. Capitalizing the first word of the sentence, punctuating the end of a sentence, and spelling word wall words correctly are also expected. During the quarter, students practice writing on topics of their choice. However, at the end of each quarter, students are graded on a piece of writing from a prompt.

In Mathematics, our main focus is on number sense (the ability to see a number in their heads and see the different ways it can be constructed and broken apart). Students learn how to make and extend patterns, add and subtract using pictures and other strategies, tell time, count money to $1.00, recognize and write fractions (1/2, 1/3, ¼), understand place value, count by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s, compare numbers, and read a calendar.

In Social Studies, students learn about several famous Americans and what it means to be a good citizen. Holidays are opportunities to learn about historical events and people who have impacted our society. Map reading and locations of Virginia, Richmond, and Washington DC, etc. are studied. Students also learn our nation’s patriotic symbols.

In Science, students learn about sound and matter. They learn about the needs of plants and animals. They learn how to take care of our planet, what causes night and day, and about energy from the sun. The overall umbrella to much of what we teach is understanding the four seasons and how they impact plant and animal life.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to assist their children by teaching them to be organized. 
  • Have a special place to keep backpacks and library books. 
  • Have a designated time and place for you and your student to do homework together. Be aware of PE day so your child wears sneakers.
  • Look in your child’s daily folder each night and discuss your child’s day.
  • Read ten minutes nightly. (As the year progresses, your student should take over.)
  • Help your child with his/her homework monthly beginning October.
  • Help your child learn to read and spell the weekly word wall words. Do not get behind. Keep the word list that you are given at the beginning of each quarter so that you can review constantly.
  • Be sure your child returns their daily folder each morning.
  • Contact your child’s teacher when you have questions.
  • Celebrate your child’s learning frequently in small ways!!