First grade is all about building the foundation for reading. Students learn how to decode new words, read for meaning and become more fluent as they are beginning to read independently. When you walk into a first grade classroom, you will see children engaged in book discussions, literacy stations and other literature based activities. In first grade, your child will be working in a whole group to understand stories, in a small group to work on specific needs and individually as the teacher assesses and helps your child build a motivation to read. Your child will learn how to make predictions, connections, visualize and retell stories. These are just a few of the “keys to comprehension” that first graders will internalize when they are reading for meaning. Your child will learn strategies to help them be problem solvers when they attack a new word while reading. Your child will also reread favorites, read aloud with partners and choral read with the class to improve fluency. First grade is a critical year for your child’s reading growth.
Word work is another important component of our literacy program. The students will learn about the way words work and will be able to apply their knowledge when reading and writing. Your child will be assessed and given word sorts to practice specific skills. Also, your child will be introduced to many new word wall words, word families, short vowels and long vowels and other “chunks” or patterns within words. We will use word games and other meaningful activities to motivate students to learn about words.
Writing can take on many forms in a first grade classroom. You may see some children writing words and sentences while others are writing stories. The children come in at various stages and they progress as we help to develop the many traits of a “good writer.” The students will create stories, letters, journals and respond to their learning through writing. Your child will learn to brainstorm ideas for writing, organize story ideas, add details and write with voice and fluency. Your child will also learn about conventions such as capitalization, punctuation and spelling. Writing becomes an important part of communication in the first grade classroom.
When you ask a first grader “What is math?” they usually reply with a response dealing with numbers. We will learn how to break apart numbers and put them back together again! (AKA… addition and subtraction). Your child will also use number to compare, estimate, count by 2’s, 5’s 10’s and count backwards from 30. Your child will learn about place value and learn to verbalize strategies to solve problems. YES, working with numbers and number combinations is a HUGE part of our learning in first grade, but there is more! We also discover the fun with concepts such as sorting, patterning, graphing, geometry, fractions, measurement, time and money. Most of our math is learned through hands-on experiences. Your child will be involved in “math talk” during lessons and will work in math tubs with math manipulatives and games.
From experiments to activism, your child will explore the many ways to make science come alive in the classroom. We encourage children to ask questions and to be curious about the natural world around them. We will learn about various topics through hands-on experiences. Our goal is to have your child leave first grade with a desire to discover and explore. Your child will learn about being a scientist, earth and sun relationships, seasonal changes, natural resources, force, motion, sound, interactions with water and basic needs of plants and animals.
First Graders enjoy learning true facts about everything from famous Americans to why money was invented. Together, students and teachers will create a classroom community built on respect as we study citizenship. We develop concrete experiences to enhance understandings of more abstract concepts such as past, present and future. Get ready for a ride through time to explore our history and realize its impact on our lives today. In addition to these topics, your child will learn about holidays, geography and American symbols.