First grade is the year when a child begins to realize and explore their independence. They thrive on the opportunity to make choices, be a leader, and have responsibilities. We, at The Meadowbrook School, guide them in this period of development through a growth mindset. Our day is planned in order to provide optimal opportunities for the unfolding of the whole child, which includes their social, emotional, and academic skills and development using an interdisciplinary and inquiry-based program.
Year at a Glance:
ELA: As we nurture a curiosity and a love for learning in our literacy program, the classroom library is filled with books that expand their knowledge related to the thematic units being taught across the curriculum. Reading quality literature to the class, guided reading groups, and independent reading are all elements that build confidence in becoming a strong reader. Using multiple curriculum resources, we continue to focus on pneumonic awareness in tandem with developing comprehension skills and strategies. Journaling, writing responses to literature and transcribing and memorizing poetry are used to assist in proficiency. As the students gain confidence in these skills, projects, and oral presentations in varied subject matter offer a platform for further mastery of new knowledge and confidence as an individual.
First grade uses the Fountas & Pinnell literacy program designed to support whole-group, small-group and independent learning opportunities including: interactive read-aloud; reading mini-lessons; writing mini-lessons; shared reading; phonics, spelling, and word study; guided reading; book clubs; and independent reading collections. Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™ is rich with authentic texts, lessons or conferring cards, minilessons and professional learning tools for a systematic, transformative approach to literacy instruction.
We also use Fundations®, a multisensory and systematic phonics, spelling, and handwriting. Key features include letter formation, phonological and phonemic awareness, sound mastery, phonics, word study, and advanced word study, irregular (trick) word instruction, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension strategies, written composition (spelling and handwriting).
In addition, we use the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness curriculum. Phonemic awareness is the ability to understand that spoken words are made up of individual sounds called phonemes, and it’s one of the best early predictors for reading success. Heggerty Phonemic Awareness is designed to provide daily instruction in eight phonological and phonemic awareness skills. Students practice blending, segmenting, and manipulating words, syllables, and phonemes each day. With daily lessons, students are able to build the necessary foundation to become automatic decoders of print. The 10- 15 minute lessons are fast-paced and completely oral.
Math: Using Houghton-Mifflin’s “Go Math” curriculum that encompasses mastering algebraic concepts through varied learning modalities, we guide the student through the following; addition, subtraction, telling time, measurement, data, and geometry. The concepts are taught using a variety of teaching methods and manipulative materials, technology programs, and real life applicable experiences to practice and demonstrate understanding. Implementing a systematic methodology the program does provide additional support for the student needing further reinforcement or greater challenges during the school year.
Social Studies: The foundation of our social studies curriculum starts with our students' understanding of individual development and identity. We will cultivate a growth mindset where students can realize that making mistakes is an opportunity to learn. They will also gain an understanding of how they, through focused attention and goals, can impact and change the world in which they live.
A focus on the concept of developing a social and emotional toolbox for making good choices for self awareness, self regulation, and expanding their understanding of themselves, their families, their community, and their world will be the axis of our study throughout the school year.
Projects will include topics that develop a deeper understanding of themselves as an individual in the “All About Me” thematic unit. First grade students will also participate in donations to local non-profit programs in order to gain real life experience being a good citizen. We will have a career day where students dress up and share their career aspirations and guest speakers will join us to bring those hopes and dreams to life through their personal stories in that role.
Students explore cultural diversity; and caring for the people and environment they inhabit. Exploring the lives of people who have impacted the progress of our world, holidays around the world, and caring for our earth and the animals that are endangered of becoming instinct will expand the student’s world-view beyond their family and community. Participating in a special traditional study of life during the medieval times with the sixth grade class, each student becomes a page or princess. Our experiential learning format provides students with opportunities to engage in critical thinking and consider life and perspectives around the world.
Traditions & Special Events:
Second Grade Friends
Intramurals with the Second Grade
Reading to the Preschool
Pages & Princesses of The Medieval Festival