First grade is an exciting time of growth and discovery. For most first graders, learning to read is a major goal for the school year. Through a combination of many different approaches, our first grade teachers enable their students to reach this goal. Students receive daily practice in word recognition skills and comprehension strategies. Each student reads books at their specific reading level. Do you know your child's reading level? Ask them.
Writing is closely connected to reading. Teachers model writing for students, help them understand the thought processes involved, and demonstrate how to apply the phonics skills and writing conventions the children are being taught. Children are encouraged to write often and for a variety of purposes. By the end of the year, many children are writing short, interesting stories with adjectives and voice!
Math lessons in first grade focus on the development of “number sense” and math concepts related to the basic math operations of addition and subtraction. Students use manipulatives and participate in problem-solving activities on a regular basis. Children keep rubric scored math journals to further demonstrate their understanding of math concepts. Timed math tests on addition facts are given throughout the year.
Although the curriculum in first grade is focused mainly on reading, writing, and math instruction, there are enrichment units in social studies, health, and science. Each week the students visit the Media Center and check out library books. First grade students also receive instruction in physical education, music, or art one period each day. They have a very busy schedule!
At the beginning of each school year, parents receive a copy of the Indiana Academic Standards. The first-grade curriculum is in alignment with these standards. Assessment is an ongoing process, and information from it is used to meet the students’ needs. Children are assessed in writing by using a scoring rubric based on first-grade writing standards. The children are formally evaluated every nine weeks, and progress is reported on a standards-based report card.
At Cynthia Heights, the first-grade team plans challenging lessons that prepare our students for their second-grade year! With parent support, we lay the foundation for future learning!