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.
In first-grade mathematics, students build upon and broaden their mathematical understanding and appreciation. Emphasis is placed upon developing number sense, addition and subtraction, units of measure and time, spatial geometry, money, and estimation. Increased opportunities are provided for students to experience varied problem solving, communicate mathematically, and see the connections between mathematical topics.
The first-grade science standards continue to stress basic science skills in understanding familiar objects and events. Students are expected to begin conducting simple experiments and be responsible for some of the planning. Students are introduced to the concept of classifying plants and animals based on simple characteristics. Emphasis is placed on the relationships among objects and their interactions with one another. Students are expected to know the basic relationships between the sun and Earth, and between seasonal changes and plant and animal activities. Students will also begin to develop an understanding of moving objects, simple solutions and important natural resources.
Students in the first grade will be introduced to the lives of American leaders and their contributions to the United States. They will construct simple maps and recognize basic map symbols. Students will study economic concepts of goods and services, buyers and sellers, and making economic choices. They will learn how to apply the traits of a good citizen and recognize that communities in Virginia include people who have diverse ethnic origins, customs, and traditions, who make contributions to their communities, and who are united as Americans by common principles. A knowledge and understanding of American history, civic responsibilities, geography skills, and economic concepts contributes to success throughout life.