First grade is an exciting time and a year of significant growth and change in a child's life. Children develop skills in reading, writing, math, and interpersonal relationships that they will use for the rest of their lives. During the year, we become a community of learners who work together through independent learning, cooperative groups, and partner learning experiences. Our classrooms are designed to reflect current research and best practices. We focus on the core academic areas outlined in St. Paul's district curriculum.
We use balanced literacy in our approach to reading. Students participate in shared reading, word-work/phonics, guided reading and independent reading. Shared reading involves learning vocabulary and comprehension skills in the context of a weekly story. Word-work/phonics introduces sight words, word families, reading strategies, and phonemic awareness activities. Guided reading enables children to read in small groups at their instructional level while independent reading allows time for reading enjoyment and an opportunity to practice reading strategies.
Our math curriculum encourages children to explore basic concepts in math through the use of real life applications, hands-on activities, games, and cooperative learning. It gives attention to numeration and computation without neglecting geometry, data, and algebraic thinking.
Children learn quickly that they are writers and have a lot to say! We use the writer's workshop model which incorporates mini-lessons, independent writing, and a sharing time. Among other samples, each student will complete a personal narrative, nonfiction report, a procedure, and a response to literature.
Each Friday, a newsletter will come home highlighting our week's activities and giving a preview of the next week's focus.