First-grade students will be immersed in a print-rich environment to develop oral language, phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and an awareness of print as sources of information and enjoyment. An emphasis is placed on learning to read and write proficiently. Students are given opportunities to read and write for a variety of purposes on a daily basis. They will develop multiple strategies to read new words and comprehend fiction and nonfiction. Students will use listening and speaking skills to participate in classroom discussions. All aspects of literacy will be taught through a balanced literacy framework for instruction, enabling all students to become independent and strategic readers, writers, thinkers, and communicators.