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 had a busy April! Earth Day activities, including a Going Green Challenge, were the highlights during the month of April!
Here are some of the things our First Graders have been working on:
- Using problem solving skills to independently solve age-appropriate conflicts, making responsible First Grade choices, and taking pride in increased independence
- Implementing reading comprehension strategies while reading from the Open Court Reading series. First Graders focused on a unit about games.
- Small reading groups with Mercy Watson. Students independently complete comprehension pages and work after reading in a small group or with a partner. Students are in charge of keeping their Mercy Watson folder neat and organized.
- Actively working on expression, fluency, and stamina while reading in small groups and independently
- Independently completing Reading Comprehension Journals, focusing on the use of complete sentences
- Spelling words that focus on digraphs: ch, wh; r-controlled vowel /or/: or, ore, oor; and digraph: sh and th spelling patterns
- Daily 5 rotations such as: Listen to Reading, Word Work, and Read with a Buddy
- Increased stamina while completing assigned and free-choice writing, across a variety of genres
- Self-checking and editing written work for punctuation, spelling, "juicy words," finger spacing, and capital letters
- Singapore Math- Numbers to 120, Addition and Subtraction to 100
- It's a Small World After All! Postcard Project continues! Students enjoy putting new push pins in the map, reading postcards from around the world, and learning about the world around them!
- Math games with SK Buddies
- Project- First Graders continued to work with Second and Third Grade on a student-led Project on the St. Louis Cardinals!
- Project- During Project, students brainstormed what they would like to create to represent their area of the St. Louis Cardinals. Groups then made supply lists, brought them to their teachers, and explained the purpose for the materials.
- Math, literacy, and STEAM activities to celebrate Earth Day
- First Graders completed a Going Green Challenge, a Litterbug Walk, and planted two types of vegetables in the classroom
- Archie the Eagle continues to travel home with one lucky First Grader each weekend! 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.
- Students continued to fill the bulletin board with random acts of kindness! Students also began kindness posters, in order to wrap up our kindness project!
First Graders had such an exciting month! Stay tuned to see what May brings for First Grade!
- Ms. Coleman