In first grade, children make some of the most amazing growth of their school career! With guidance and encouragement from their teacher, they will become independent thinkers, develop the skill of self-direction, and realize the rewards of persistence and effort. Children will continue to apply the basic skills they learned in kindergarten, as well as begin to do some work independently. They learn by participation and exploration, are easily excited, and have a wide range of emotions. They need many successful experiences and thrive on praise and approval.
First-grade language and literacy is balanced with writing, guided and shared reading, and word study. The students will be in an enriched environment with opportunities for differentiated learning experiences through phonics and phonemic awareness activities. Many students begin first grade with knowledge of letters and sounds and know some words by sight. This knowledge is built upon throughout the year as students acquire many more sight words and learn to decode more complicated words. They learn to comprehend their reading. In writing, they grow from writing single sentence compositions to creating longer stories that include beginning, middle, and end. First graders study word features as they learn about using short and long vowels in their spelling.
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. Hands on activities are used to internalize number concepts fostering a deeper understanding of mathematics. Students construct a solid foundation in mathematics that will be built upon in the later grades.
The first-grade science program provides several hands-on activities that are engaging for students. Students will begin to conduct experiments, learn how to classify, and understand relationships and interactions among objects. The first-grade curriculum covers the relationship between the sun and Earth, the cycle of the four seasons, sound, moving objects our natural resources, and plants and animals.
First-grade social studies introduces students to the lives and leaders in the history of Virginia and their contributions to the Commonwealth, as well as our government. They will construct simple maps and recognize basic map symbols. Students will study economic concepts and making economic choices. Student diversity is also incorporated throughout the first grade social studies curriculum. Students will learn about what makes a good citizen in the classroom and in their community.