In first grade, children make some of the most amazing growth of their school career! With guidance and encouragement from their teacher they will become independent thinkers, develop the skill of self-direction, and realize the rewards of persistence and effort. Children will continue to apply the basic skills they learned in kindergarten, as well as begin to do some work independently. First grade curriculum focuses on developing authentic young readers and writers, as well as fostering a strong mathematical number sense.
Reading instruction will focus on readers as “meaning makers”. Through teacher modeling during shared reading time, and student practice during guided small group reading, children will become masters of multiple clarify/fix-up strategies for word attack. They will learn to monitor understanding of text and applying appropriate corrective actions when meaning breaks down. Once students are able to independently use word attack strategies, they will be able to focus on comprehension strategies.
In working with words students compare patterns in words at their developmental level and apply learned patterns to new words, as well as develop instant recognition of sight words, which do not necessarily follow typical patterns.
First grade students continue to work on the 6 +1 traits of sentence fluency, word choice, voice, ideas, organization, and mechanics while learning to extend their capacity for sustained writing. Teachers focus on using minilessons to introduce and model the writing process and students practice skills and experiment with the steps of recursive writing throughout the year.
Mentor texts and picture books are often used as anchor resources as students begin to develop their writing skills.
Kathy Richardson (1999) reports that “children’s first experiences with numbers will influence the way they deal with mathematics for the rest of their lives... Children develop an understanding of concepts through experiences with real things rather than symbols... Teachers [will] support the development of understanding by presenting planned and focused experiences and by interacting with children as they work.”
Our First graders will explore the following topics in science:
Scientific Investigation: “Thinking Like a Scientist”
Animal and Plant Life Processes: Life Cycles, Garden Project, Field trip to Lewis Ginter
Earth Patterns/Seasonal Change and Weather: Shadows, Rotation of the Earth, Tree Observations, Climate Observations, Characteristics of the Ocean Environment
Natural Resources: Conservation, Recycling, Re-Using, Air, Water, and Land
Force Motion and Energy: magnetism, types of motion, simple and compound machines, electricity, sound, and light
Interaction with Water: Water Cycle, Phases of Matter (solid, liquid, gas)
In Social Studies we will spend time learning about Citizenship: “The Golden Rule”, Following Directions,US Symbols: American flag, Washington Monument, White House, Bald Eagle, Statue of Liberty, Liberty Bell and Holiday Traditions: symbols and traditions of various cultures around the world. Every year we look forward to a very special Time line project while we learn about the past and present. Famous American Leaders: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington Carver, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ben Franklin come to life as we explore these famous American contributions. Our annual Oliver K. Woodman project helps our first graders understand maps, globes, cardinal directions, and legends (map keys). We will end our year with Economics including: Consumers and Producers, Needs and Wants, Goods and Services, Saving Money, Making Choices.