FIRST GRADE CURRICULUM OVERVIEW

At the heart of First Grade’s curriculum is the Language Arts program, where reading, writing, spelling, listening, and speaking skills are developed and practiced throughout the day. Our comprehensive, explicit phonics instruction allows students to develop phonemic awareness, encoding, and decoding skills. Sight words and letter-sound relationships are presented in a systematic, detailed way that is designed to include multiple learning styles in each lesson. Weekly spelling homework and tests focus on the “Dolch” sight word vocabulary, while grammar, usage, and mechanics are practiced, with an emphasis on sentence construction, across the curriculum. The flexibility of the program allows for lessons to be adjusted, added, or deleted depending upon the needs of a particular class or group. Activities and lessons may be presented to the whole-class, in small groups, as partner work, or one-to-one with a teacher, and are regularly individualized to meet the needs of a broad range of learners. A wide variety of activities are designed to provide ample time for each child to be in front of the class, in authentic and appropriate ways, developing crucial public speaking skills. In this literature-rich environment, a leveled classroom library, vocabulary controlled stories, and carefully chosen read-alouds are combined to build oral fluency while developing reading and listening comprehension strategies.

Mathematics instruction and activities focus on the development of skills and conceptual understanding in the areas of number sense, basic operations, and geometry. The hands-on lessons and activities guide students through the curriculum in a way that encourages them to make connections, discern patterns, and construct knowledge based on their experiences. Mastery of basic addition and subtraction facts is encouraged through focused homework assignments and weekly review of facts. Games, puzzles, and other challenging activities can be adjusted to meet individual needs and students are encouraged to work cooperatively in a variety of settings. Mathematics instruction is frequently integrated with Science instruction in order to provide authentic application of skills and concepts.

 

Social Studies lessons and activities focus on the connections students are encouraged to make with each other, their community, their country, and their world. Within this framework, students are able to develop basic mapping and geographic skills, study the lives and impact of important historical figures, explore historical events, and develop an appreciation for cultural diversity. Quality literature and a variety of web-based activities provide the basis for our exploration of what it means to be a member of a community.

 

Science lessons and activities focus on the processes of Science. First graders are challenged to become scientists as they develop their skills in observing, classifying, measuring, estimating, inferring, predicting, hypothesizing, interpreting data, controlling data, and experimenting. Hands-on activities, literature, and experiments in the areas of life science, physical science, and earth science allow students to become familiar with the nature of science and develop a natural curiosity about their world. The primary focus of our program is for our students to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to be solid science students in the future.