First graders grow in responsibility and independence as they emerge from a year of exploration and growth through Kindergarten. Light homework assignments are introduced, and students learn the importance of adhering to classroom rules to promote a stimulating and effective learning environment for themselves and their classmates.
First Grade Curriculum
The first grade math curriculum includes addition and subtraction strategies through twenty, basic geometry and fractions, place value to a hundred, skip-counting, time and money. Students end the year working on measurement and adding and subtracting two-digit numbers. Each chapter includes a literature connection, problem solving section, and review to aid in assessment. The Guided Reading program focuses on strengthening comprehension and fluency. Students meet in small groups with their teacher to read books designated at their “just right” instructional level. Strategies are also introduced during read aloud sessions each day.
Reading & Language Arts
Writing skills and letter formation is introduced through the use of the Write Source SkillsBook and the Handwriting Without Tears practice book. The Write Source SkillsBook teaches students about the skills and rules used to help children grow as writers. Students also practice applying these skills in a daily journal. A phonics book assists with word study with a focus on explicit and systematic instruction in short and long vowels, spelling, word families, r-controlled vowels, consonant blends and digraphs.
The religion curriculum is designed to provide a simple overview of the mysteries of our faith. Through learning of the goodness of God and the love of Jesus, children respond to God in friendship and prayer. Students master basic prayers that include the Sign of the Cross, the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Prayer of St. Francis. Connections between our faith and the way we treat one another are explored and put into action. Every K-8 grader at SFX School plans and leads several all-school liturgies each year. Students attend weekly liturgies in the church.
Science is incorporated into the first grade curriculum through seasonal activities and units. We start the year learning about the Five Senses and healthy living habits, incorporating the food pyramid and emphasizing the importance of exercise. From there first graders move to Apples as we celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s birthday. We discuss parts of an apple and the phases of an apple tree before moving to the stages of a pumpkin and why leaves fall. Our class ends the fall season with a Night Creatures unit where students learn about nocturnal animals. During the winter months, students learn about hibernation, including a large unit on Penguins where students sort, map, compare and contrast different types of penguins and Arctic animals. In March, students explore Inventors and each student crafts his or her own invention: a trap designed to catch a leprechaun on St. Patrick’s Day! As the year comes to a close we discuss the changing weather of spring and budding plants.
Social studies is incorporated throughout the year through a discussion of holidays and seasonal activities. We begin the academic year reviewing rules as they apply to our first grade classroom, school and community. In the fall, we discuss colonial life and Native American traditions, comparing them to modern customs. Mapping and globe skills are also incorporated throughout the year. Students discuss major historical figures as we celebrate national holidays and learn the importance of being a responsible citizen. First graders end the year discussing our Earth and its resources as we celebrate Earth Day.
Students begin the year with a review of colors, numbers through 20, and basic greetings. Students learn to recognize different items and expand their vocabularies, employing adjectives such as big/small, soft/hard, old/new. Spanish instruction includes study of ocean animals, farm animals, body parts, birthdays and age, days of the week and months of the year. Shape names, Christmas carols, and a wide range of cultural themes are also explored in Spanish.