First Grade

Theme

“The Lord is our Heavenly Father, Creator and Provider”

Overview

First graders love to learn. This delight makes the first grade classroom a special place.  This affection for learning is reflected in their questioning the “why” of so many things. They are very accepting of the great truths about the Lord, creation, heaven and charity to one’s neighbors. A highlight of the first grade year is the first grade play performed in the spring.

Worship

The two great commandments, to love the Lord and your neighbor, are the basis of the First Grade Religion Curriculum. Main topics of study include creation, Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark, the Most Ancient Church, the Lord’s Prayer (in sign language), parables and miracles, heaven, the Ten Commandments and festival units. These teachings underlie all other areas of learning, nurturing the children’s affections as the Lord instills innocence, precious truths and loves deeply inside their minds.

Reading

A large part of the day is spent awakening the mind to the new world that lies behind the printed page. Many children enter first grade with a basic knowledge of sight-reading. Others are prepared with reading readiness skills and are soon reading. Reading with understanding is taught throughout the year, and there is emphasis on basic language skills, continuing the Wilson Phonics program and other strategies that promote reading success. As children learn the mechanics of reading, we strive to instill affection for literature through the use of creative dramatics and projects.

Composition

Creative writing is nurtured along with reading. The children progress from labeling pictures to writing letters and creating language experience stories to writing their own fiction and non-fiction stories. They learn to critically review their own work and also read it to others.

Spelling

Our spelling program is based on Rebecca Sitton’s work. Five words are introduced each week. The expectation is that the students know at least 28 core words at the end of first grade (25 core words based on the most frequently used words from the English language and three religious words chosen by BACS).

Handwriting

First grade reviews appropriate pencil grip and all lower and upper case letter formations.

Math

The math curriculum is based on the Envision Math series, a sequentially based math program which focuses on visualizing math concepts, problem solving, and group and individual practice. It makes use of a variety of hands-on materials to teach math concepts to the children. The children play structured games and use various materials to form a concrete base for understanding abstract concepts. Our primary focus is to support the children in learning their basic addition and subtraction facts, as well as place value, geometry, money, time, fractions and measurement. We use the Rocket Math program to teach basic math facts, particularly focusing on addition.

Social Studies

We use the concept of the Lord as our Heavenly Father and focus on the family as the fundamental unit of society – one of the neighbor’s to be loved. Major units include the Inuit, China, Heaven and Africa. Informal map skills are introduced.

Science

The focus of the science curriculum is the Lord’s loving care of His creation and some of the wonders of creation. We aim to reinforce the concept of our responsibility to care for His creation as it applies to ourselves and the world around us. Major units are the four seasons, trees, rainbows, and animals. A highlight of the first grade is hatching baby chicks.

Library—led by librarian

Students listen to stories and are assisted in choosing books for themselves based on interest and/or reading level. The librarian helps them to understand the purpose of a library and gives them further introduction to the organization of the library.

Technology

First grade attends computer lab weekly. It is a chance to learn basic computer skills and reinforce our reading and math concepts through a variety of educational games.

Art—specialist teacher

First graders are taught basic art skills and vocabulary. They are exposed to art history/appreciation. They do this as they explore their own creativity through a wide variety of projects that use many approaches and mediums. Some of their projects are integrated with what they are learning in the classroom.

Music—specialist teacher

In first grade music, students sing, actively listen, move, and play a variety of pitched and non-pitched instruments. Musical repertoire includes folk songs and hymns in simplified notation or taught by rote.

Physical Education—specialist teacher

The physical education program provides the students with a standards based program that is developmentally and culturally appropriate and highly active. It fosters a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. The emphasis in the primary grades is on throwing, catching, eye-hand coordination, cooperation skills, running, skipping and activities that help children develop the ability to cross the midline of their bodies.

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