Students in first grade will learn about art elements and principles in a way that prepares them for art throughout Lower School. The students will be led in art activities by their homeroom teacher and will be allowed to creatively express themselves while displaying their knowledge of art in both the classroom as well as application to real-world situations.
Through modeled, shared, small group and one-on-one reading, students develop skills in re-telling, making connections, making predictions, sequencing, and synthesizing. A large variety of book-study units on fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and multicultural books are used to help students learn to read for meaning. Phonemic awareness is emphasized through letter/sound association, hard-consonant sounds, hard and soft-vowel sounds, and digraphs and blends. By using guided reading, independent work, sight-word practice, and comprehension exercises, the children will increase their confidence and reading abilities. Through creative writing projects, students will build spelling, punctuation, and grammar skills. Students practice descriptive, narrative, and expository writing. The students will have many opportunities to write creatively and work through the writing process. Writing is integrated into science, social studies, and math.
Our Singapore Math program focuses on concrete, pictorial, and abstract skills, as well as model drawing and problem-solving strategies. This allows the students to approach math in a meaningful way and understand mathematical concepts first and then learn and use formulaic expressions. The curriculum introduces and reinforces counting, number bonds, addition and subtraction, numerical patterns, money, time, non-standard measurement, capacity, and beginner multiplication and division. Students are given daily opportunities to apply their skills to word problem and problem-solving activities.
First graders learn how express a steady beat in a variety of ways, as well as how to read and write simple rhythm patterns. They learn how to play percussive instruments in a way that accompanies their singing, learn how to sing, create and read simple melodies, learn a variety of common folk songs and other repertoire appropriate to their age, and perform songs from a variety of cultural heritages.
The focus of first grade physical education is to continue to develop physical and large gross motor skills. Locomotor skills are revisited and refined. Manipulative skills continue to be practiced and refined. Students also learn to piece different skills together to form more difficult sequences. A student’s spatial awareness is enhanced through a variety of movement activities. Game concepts begin to become a focus during instruction and game play. Fitness concepts are taught and practiced, targeting cardio-respiratory endurance in a weekly-running program and station workout.
The first grade science curriculum provides students with the foundations for observing, communicating, measuring, comparing, describing, classifying, predicting, collecting and interpreting data. It is built to foster curiosity, inventiveness, persistence, and enthusiasm. Children learn by doing and reflecting upon this active learning. Materials from a variety of programs are utilized to explore the scientific method, states of matter, air and weather, magnets, the water cycle, animals, habitats, light and sound, the five senses, food nutrition, and living and non-living things.
In first grade social studies, students learn about charts, maps, and globes to explore the earth’s geographic features. Students develop the awareness of others as they come to understand their role within the family unit, the community, and our country. We also study goods and services, Native Americans, presidents, Canada, and important figures in American history.
The first grade Spanish curriculum is largely based on oral development as students are introduced to the sounds of Spanish through carefully selected vocabulary giving students opportunities for successful communication in the target language. The program continues to development an awareness of cultural similarities and differences of the Spanish-speaking world. Students develop and expand this awareness through songs, dialogues, role-playing, skits, puppets, and games. The structure of the Spanish program creates a safe and fun environment for students to learn.