The first grade language arts curriculum incorporates students' prior knowledge and personal experiences to expand their concept about printed language. Children are given opportunities to participate in classroom discussions, read a variety of literary genres, express ideas creatively and engage in writing on a daily basis. A variety of strategies and skills are presented in order to encourage students' development of oral and written language. Vocabulary is developed through rhyming and decoding strategies, analysis of word patterns, and continuous reinforcement of high-frequency words. Comprehension is increased through listening and reading activities which include: summarizing, identifying main idea, sequencing events, reading for details, making predictions, and drawing conclusions. Children are encouraged to express their ideas in written form, utilizing the beginning steps of the writing process. Beginning mechanics of writing and language usage are introduced within the context of daily writing activities.
First graders experience a variety of math concepts. They use three-digit numbers for counting forward and backward, identifying larger and smaller numbers, and writing numbers from dictation. Games and activities involving number facts provide addition and subtraction practice. They expand on the skills taught in kindergarten with measuring, telling time, and reading and comparing temperatures on a thermometer. Children measure length in both inches and centimeters. Telling time on an analog clock to 5 minutes or to 1 minute will be practiced. First-grade students collect, organize, and display information using an assortment of graphs and tables. Children are actively involved in constructing and identifying 2- and 3-dimensional shapes, equivalent fractions, and a variety of patterns. These experiences are extended outside of the classroom with regular Home Link assignments.
In first grade, students learn about parts of a book and parts of a story. They can differentiate between fiction and non-fiction, and they can explain different types of fiction such as fairy tales, folk tales, science fiction and mysteries. They explore different non-fiction subjects, and see how books with the same subject are located on the same shelf. They are introduced to the Internet and Internet safety. First graders can explain that people around the world create different stories, and they participate in storytelling and dramatizations.
Students learn important science concepts and develop the ability to think critically by actively constructing ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. Students are actively engaged in the process of science as they explore the natural world.
The New Plants Module provides experiences that heighten students' awareness of the diversity of life in the plant kingdom. Students care for plants to learn what they need to grow and develop. They observe the structures of flowering plants and discover ways to propagate new plants from mature plants (from seeds, bulbs, roots, and stem cuttings). They observe and describe changes that occur as plants grow, and organize their observations on a calendar and in a journal.
The Solids and Liquids Module provides experiences that heighten students' awareness of the physical world. Matter with which we interact exists in three fundamental states: solid, liquid, and gas. In this module first graders have introductory experiences with two of these states of matter, solid and liquid.
The Pebbles, Sand, and Silt Module consists of four sequential investigations, each designed to introduce concepts in earth science. The investigations provide experiences that heighten students' awareness of rocks as earth materials and natural resources. They will come to know rocks by many names and in a variety of sizes. Pebbles and sand are the same material—just different sizes.
The first grade social studies curriculum, “My School and Family,” introduces students to their world as they explore their own school, family, neighborhood, and country. First grade students compare and contrast families and schools of today with those of the past, while discovering the important part natural resources, government, and citizenship play in their lives. Students are taught skills in history, geography, civics, economics, problem solving, and study skills, with literature being used to reinforce these social studies concepts. They learn that although their world consists of diverse peoples, we all have a lot in common. First graders continue to expand their knowledge of citizenship as they explore the core democratic values.
In first grade, the visual art specialist utilizes a sequential, discipline-based curriculum specially designed to expand the students' artistic creativity and knowledge base. First graders are formally introduced to the elements and principles of art, including: Color, line, form and shape, pattern and composition, space, and texture; the study of various cultures; and the awareness of famous art works. Students learn to use a variety of tools and materials in age-appropriate activities that stimulate the imagination and help develop problem-solving skills. Throughout the year, student art may be displayed in individual school buildings and throughout the community.
The Vocal/general music program at the first-grade level is designed to expose children to the enjoyment of making and performing music while developing basic musical concepts and skills. The curriculum is organized to include many opportunities for singing, listening, playing instruments, creating, and moving to music. Emphasis is on the total involvement of students as music specialists focus on age-appropriate, hands-on musical experiences and activities. First graders are introduced to the elements of music, including melody, harmony, form, rhythm, texture, timbre, expressive qualities, and style. They explore the expressive qualities of their voices, learn beginning music reading and vocabulary, and, in simple ways, how to listen to and analyze a variety of music. Through exposure to a wide variety of musical styles, beginning attitudes and values about music are formulated. A public performance is often a highlight of a first grader's formal experience with music education.
First-grade students learn to identify their feelings and to recognize that others have feelings. They identify the relationship between feelings and attitudes. Students recognize the importance of decision-making and the possible consequences of various alternatives. They look at the causes of behavior in themselves and others and identify more appropriate behaviors. Pupils in first grade become familiar with common household substances that may be harmful or poisonous. They also learn to recognize emergencies or potential emergency situations and review appropriate ways to react.
Students go to Physical Education class for 35 minutes twice a week. During these classes students are given opportunities to develop Gross Motor skills and coordination. A variety of objects used in physical education will assist students’ development of eye, hand, and foot coordination. Students will be assessed on some locomotor skills, movements and actions. Students will also develop positive characteristics and attitudes conducive to physical fitness through exercise and activities. Through organized activities and game play, students develop a sense of fair play, and cooperation with others. Fitness components consist of but are not limited to endurance, upper body strength, core strength and flexibility. Students are introduced to the T.R.O.Y Fitness Program and are tested on two parts: Jump Roping and Continuous Jog.