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 an eventful and busy month of October! Students learned various subjects through hands-on instruction. The highlight of our month is a toss-up between the Glendale Fire Department visiting for Fire Safety Month, Grandparents' Day, a published author coming to read her book, or our Halloween Parade around the neighborhood!
Here are some of the things our First Graders have been working on during the month of October:
- Students focused on using reading strategies such as Listening Lion, Skippy Kangaroo, Eagle Eyes, Chunky Monkey, Stretchy the Snake, Flippy the Dolphin, and Lips the Fish to decode and analyze unfamiliar words when reading.
- First Graders are working on various comprehension skills through fiction and nonfiction texts.
- Spelling words (Second Grade curriculum) that focus on vowel sound: al, consonant blends, blend: nk and digraph: ng, short vowel sounds, and vowel-consonant-e. Whew!!
- Writing legibly and with appropriate spacing for a variety of purposes
- Ensuring that sentences start with a capital letter and end with punctuation
- First Graders began using Work on Writing during Daily 5 to build their stamina while writing
- Singapore Math- Studying ways to subtract using number bonds, making subtraction stories, using real-world problems to subtract, and making fact families
- Showing responsibility with both our younger EC Buddies and our Senior Kindergarten Math Buddies
- Project- First Graders worked with both Second and Third Grade to continue working on their Food Pantries and Other Donations Project. Students had a community expert come in to talk about a food pantry ran from a school in the Saint Louis area. During Project, students are learning about helping others, kindness, and empathy.
- Students continued to work on team building, collaboration, compromising, and problem-solving skills.
- 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.
First Graders worked hard during the month of October! Stay posted to see what November brings for First Grade!
- Ms. Coleman