Reading and mathematics are at the core of the 1st grade curriculum. In addition to the reading and math series used, there are numerous activities, which enhance and reinforce daily learning. In First grade, the students explore land, sea and endangered animals. A trip to the Philadelphia Zoo, reading and writing books, and other interesting projects are incorporated into this unit. The first year also finds the students exploring their own uniqueness through a variety of activities including poetry and “Me Bags”. The study of medieval times gives the first graders an introduction to history as they explore the world of castles, knights and princesses. Included in this unit are a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a research project with the 6th grade students, and participation in the Medieval Festival.
Year at a Glance:
Language Arts: The Language Arts curriculum is designed to address the needs of a variety of reading levels. We want children to experience the excitement of reading an assortment of materials and to develop a lifelong love of reading. The children are immersed in numerous interdisciplinary experiences, allowing for the growth and strengthening of their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.
Reading: The emphasis on phonemic awareness and phonics allows the students to develop an understanding of the basic sound/symbol system for decoding words. Through the use of decodable mini-books, literature-based readers, and numerous classroom books, the students practice their ability to decode and read words. Workbooks and teacher-generated materials provide additional practice and/or enrichment of the skills taught. Students acquire strategies for gathering information and exploring story elements through reading and listening to unfamiliar and familiar stories, as well as non-fiction books. On a daily basis, the students learn the importance and necessity of fluency and expression, as teachers reach aloud a wealth of materials.
Writing: The art of reading and writing are closely related. As the 1st graders read short sentences, they begin to understand the elements necessary in writing sentences. Through direct teaching and numerous opportunities to practice their developing skills, the students learn to correctly write in complete sentences. Journal and book writing experiences allow each child to discover their individual writing styles. Responding to questions in writing allows the student to demonstrate their understanding of the story read or the topic discussed, as well as their comprehension of the written word.
Spelling: The students develop their spelling skills and improve their sight word vocabulary by mastering a biweekly list of words taken from a master list of high-frequency words used in everyday reading and writing. A variety of fun activities are used to help the students master the words, including games, writing activities and homework assignments. Dictionaries and a word wall are available to help with spelling when necessary, as well as allowing each student to practice alphabetizing.
Math: In 1st grade, there are many concepts taught throughout the year, with an emphasis on addition and subtraction, as well as learning the basic facts. Concepts and skills are taught systematically, using a step-by-step approach. The use of a variety of manipulatives allows for the development of a solid mathematical foundation, upon which, each student can build. Focusing on problem-solving and reasoning is an integral part of the program, providing numerous opportunities for the students to apply the concepts introduced, and demonstrate their understanding of what has been taught.
Social Studies: The 1st grade social studies program is integrated with the language arts program. The program aims to develop an awareness of self and others, as well as the world around them. Through the study of land and sea animals, the students broaden their understanding of the animal kingdom and their importance in our world. Through the study of self, the students explore their own uniqueness and gain an appreciation for the uniqueness of others. Learning about the medieval times allows each student to examine and compare life today with life at an earlier time.
Traditions & Special Events:
Trips to the Philadelphia Zoo & Philadelphia Art Museum
Second Grade Friends
Intramurals with the Second Grade
Reading to the Preschool