Building a community of friendship in morning meeting is an important part of the day in first grade. A daily schedule provides structure and routine, while community rules and responsibilities are reinforced. Listening to classmates and teachers, following directions, and responding to others in positive, supportive ways are emphasized throughout the year.
First grade is a critical year in the growth and development of students socially as well as academically. We spend much of our mornings focused on phonics and reading, with a new skill being taught each week. First graders learn how to blends, digraphs and compound words. Building upon these skills, we not only write sentences, but paragraphs, friendly letters and personal narratives as well. The first graders are learning a number of comprehension skills such as: telling the main idea of a text, cause and effect, and author’s purpose.
In math, first graders are given the opportunity to explore a range of topics including addition and subtraction, math story problems, grouping numbers in fives and tens, measurement, geometry, and time, all while reasoning abstractly and quantitatively, and modeling with various manipulatives. We make math relevant to real life, and teach the importance of math for everyday use.
The first grade classrooms utilize a hands-on approach for the science curriculum. Students are able to make predictions and communicate with their peers, observe, infer and investigate. Teachers encourage creative, discovery based thinking to explore the world in front of them. Some of the topics our students enjoy learning about are living things, the importance of caring for the earth, the changes of the seasons, patterns in weather, and how things move.
In social studies we focus on helping students learn about their roles as a family member and their communities around them. Some of the topics our students enjoy are families now and long ago, the importance of jobs in our society, citizenship, influential Americans, needs and wants, holiday traditions, and character development. Students also begin to locate places on maps and globes and learn how maps serve as representations of physical features and objects.
Our days are filled with lots of learning, and the students can’t wait to come back each day!