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 LOVEly month! There were so many exciting things that happened during the month of February. Students were thrilled to celebrate Valentine's Day and friendship! First Graders enjoyed Animal Tales coming to school, where they saw and learned about many exotic animals, such as the Gray Wolf and Lanner Falcon. Students enjoyed the First Grade Field Trip to the Saint Louis Art Museum. Students enjoyed identifying different artists and mediums that they studied during art class. Flap Jacks for Fathers and the 101st Day of School Celebration (101 year old First Graders) were two huge highlights during the month of February!
Here are some of the things our First Graders have been working on during the month of February:
- Making responsible First Grade choices, even when it's challenging
- Reading more complex stories from the Open Court Reading program (Students LOVE Frog and Toad!)
- Continuing to build expression, fluency, and stamina while reading in small groups and independently
- Independently completing Reading Comprehension Journals
- Spelling words (Second Grade curriculum) that focus on vowel digraphs: long and short oo, words writers use, and diphthongs: ow, ou spelling patterns
- Word Work involving fun materials
- Writing for a variety of purposes, both fiction and nonfiction
- Self-checking written work for punctuation, spelling, "juicy words," and capital letters
- Singapore Math- Weight, Calendar and Time, Numbers to 40
- 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, involving addition and subtraction
- Project- First Graders worked with Second and Third Grade to begin their second Project!! Students will be completing a student-led Project on the St. Louis Cardinals!
- Project- During Project, students generated a 100 word web on what they know about the Cardinals, created a new organized and condensed web, and wrote about personal experiences they have had in regards to the Cardinals and baseball
- In Social Studies, First Graders continued to write to their Vermont Pen Pals! Students also learned about cardinal direction!
- Math, literacy, and STEAM activities to celebrate the 101st Day of School! (Students dressed up as 101 year old men and women!)
- Students demonstrated the ability to work as a team, collaborate, compromise, and actively use problem-solving skills independently.
- 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!
First Graders had such a fun and educational month! Stay posted to see what March brings for First Grade!
- Ms. Coleman