First Grade Curriculum Overview
One in Christ is a series that is put out by Concordia Publishing House. It presents lessons of Bible stories from creation through the life and death of Jesus. A booklet will be sent home at the end of each unit. You can go through it with your child to review what has been learned. Each week the students will have a Bible verse to memorize and recite in class. Every Wednesday we will attend a school-wide chapel service. You are always welcome to attend chapel services with us. Prayer, God’s Word and a Christian approach to our relationships with others are integrated throughout each day.
Second Step is a program that teaches children important skills for getting along with others and doing well in school. It also helps our school be a safe, respectful place where everyone can learn. Through the Second Step Bullying Prevention Unit children will learn specific skills to help stop bullying. Students will learn how to: recognize when bullying is happening, report bullying to a caring adult, refuse to let bullying happen to themselves or others, and be a bystander who stands up and is part of the solution to bullying.
Reading and Writing:
First Grade is a very exciting time for reading and writing! Our goal is to build a love and joy for reading, as well as writing through a variety of means. The students will regularly hear stories read aloud from quality children’s literature – picture books as well as chapter books. The students will frequently practice their own reading skills using A-Z Readers and numerous other leveled books. The children will often write in journals. Superkids is our main reading program. It is published by Zaner-Bloser, a Highlights Company. Children who completed the Kindergarten year of Superkids learned the letters of the alphabet, one sound for each, and how to decode words with these letter-sounds. They were introduced to long vowel-sounds, but weren’t expected to read long-vowel words. As students move forward in the first grade year of the Superkids program, they will expand their letter-sound knowledge to include consonant digraphs, long vowels, and vowel phonemes, and learn how to read and form words with endings. They will begin using phonetic and structural patterns to help them decode. Their comprehension and fluency skills will increase greatly as they read longer and more difficult fiction and informational texts from the beginning to the end of the school year. Teaching children how to express their ideas effectively in writing is an important goal of the Superkids Reading Program. Through specific writing lessons children develop critical writing skills that help them grow as writers throughout the school year. Reading and writing at home are also strongly encouraged.
McGraw-Hill publishing company’s My Math is the program we use to teach First Grade math concepts. Students will be taught addition concepts, subtraction concepts, addition strategies to 20, subtraction strategies to 20, base ten place value, base ten two-digit addition and subtraction, the organization and use of graphs, measurement and time, two-dimensional shapes and equal shares, and three-dimensional shapes. Skills are introduced every day through a demonstration lesson and practiced using manipulatives in small-group or through individual practice. Homework is a vital part of practicing and reviewing skills, and will be assigned almost every night.
My World, a curriculum by the Pearson publishing company, is used to present the social studies topics of communities, work, our world, traditions, and culture. Throughout the year we will also use quality children’s literature to expand our understandings. Each day once we have completed our prayers, Christian songs and pledge to the Christian flag, we will also pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, sing the national anthem along with other patriotic songs and recite several patriotic quotes.
Using a combination of the Science Fusion curriculum published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and several kits we have purchased containing materials for hands-on experiences, we will explore units about how scientists work, technology, animals, plants, the environment, earth’s resources, weather, seasons, objects in the sky, matter and energy.
Handwriting/Printing skills will be practiced throughout the entire day. However, there are also times when we specifically use Handwriting Without Tears lessons to work on improving our handwriting skills.
Students will receive regular art instruction. Sometimes the Art Attacks curriculum will be used as our main resource. We will not only focus on teaching the students the elements of art: line, shape, form, color, texture, composition, and perspective, but also aim to foster creativity while improving motor skills using scissors, crayons, paint, and other tools.
While music is integrated into many areas of First Grade, once a week we will have a scheduled meeting time focused on music. Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade classes will meet for choir practice and periodically this K-2 choir will perform at one of the church services offered at Zion Lutheran Church. We will learn many Christian songs and hymns throughout the year. We will also participate with all the students in Kindergarten through 5th Grade in a Spring Musical. Throughout the school year we will sing, listen and occasionally play simple instruments enabling us to learn tempo, beat, dynamics, rhythm, form, and style.
All students have Physical Education class twice a week. Students will participate in activities to develop strength, endurance, and flexibility. Basic skills in individual and team activities are emphasized, and cooperation and good sportsmanship are strongly encouraged. Our school also participates in a Mileage Club program and we track how many miles our students are walking during recess.
All students participate in computer class twice a week. Emphasis is placed on basic computer skills using Microsoft Word and its capabilities. Educational games and activities to reinforce reading and mathematics are also utilized. Our classroom also contains a few computers for student use and a SMARTBoard is used on an almost-daily basis.
Northern Arizona University Spanish will be utilized once a week. Students will participate in various activities to expose them to the Spanish language.
Trips that are related to our learning units are scheduled throughout the school year. These trips may include a visit to an apple farm, a pumpkin patch and The St. Louis Science Center. We appreciate as many parents joining us on field trips as room on the bus allows. You will receive more specific information about Field Trips as plans are confirmed.