The First Grade program increases our challenging academic approach with an emphasis on personal responsibility. Students develop decoding skills, while learning strategies to analyze literature. They understand that good readers develop lifelong habits that set them up for success. Expanding reading skills equip students to express their ideas in writing with fiction and non-fiction formats as they shift from the role of reader to writer. Math concepts are explored with a developmental sequence that includes moving from the concrete to visual to the abstract. Problem solving skills are an integral part of the program. Students develop map skills beginning with a look at neighborhood maps and later apply their understandings to a study of maps of continents and oceans. First Graders investigate a variety of American symbols such as the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, and the American flag as they discover the values and beliefs that represent our country.
First Graders begin to explore what it means to be a leader. A leader is someone who can be counted on to make good choices about their words and actions. In First Grade this message is practiced throughout the year and across the curriculum in a variety of ways. First Graders use the concepts from The 7 Habits of Healthy Kids as a model of what a responsible emerging leader looks like. Ideas such as: Be proactive, Put first things first, and Listen with your ears, eyes, and heart provide concrete examples and goals.
Another opportunity to practice these important life skills comes from our actions to “Be a bucket filler, not a dipper!” This message is modeled in two powerful books by Carol McCloud. Have You Filled a Bucket Today? and How Full is Your Bucket? Students learn that each of us carries an imaginary bucket that people can either help to fill, or dip into. Being a bucket filler is something your child will aspire to demonstrate each day at home and at school. First Graders demonstrate their leadership skills with pride as they work to become bucket fillers!
First Graders said goodbye to summer and hello to fall during the month of September! Students worked to develop many social and academic skills this month. Students completed their first Break-Out Box during Project! The highlight of our month was having Fredbird visit our class!
Here are some of the things our First Graders have been working on during the month of September:
- Mastering classroom procedures and expectations
- Showing responsibility with both our younger EC Buddies and our Senior Kindergarten Math Buddies
- Students began bringing Archie the Eagle home! In order to bring Archie the Eagle home, students must demonstrate that they are responsible learners throughout the week. The student picked to bring Archie home must write about their time with Archie in an Adventures with Archie journal! First Graders must include the following in their writing: name, date, title, juicy words and details.
- Open Court Reading- Our Neighborhood at Work unit, which focuses on: short-vowel sounds, comprehension skills (monitoring and clarifying, predicting, classifying and categorizing)
- Spelling words (Second Grade curriculum) that focus on short vowels. (Sparkle! continues to be a favorite spelling game in First Grade.)
- Writing legibly, with proper spacing between letters and words
- Ensuring that sentences start with a capital letter and end with punctuation
- Singapore Math- Studying ways to add using number bonds, making addition stories, using real-world problems to add, and increasing math vocabulary
- It's a Small World After All! Postcard Project began!
- Project- First Graders worked with both Second and Third Grade to complete their very first Break-Out Box. Students worked during the month of September on team building, collaboration, compromising, and problem-solving skills. This allowed them to work together to solve difficult puzzles, unlock codes, and successfully save the day from sneaky Flynn the Fox!
First Graders worked in tandem with Second and Third Grade to begin their first major Project of the school year during the end of September. Stayed tuned to see how our Project unfolds in October!
- Ms. Coleman