First Grade

By: Craig Crook

January 1, 1970


Language Arts

Language arts is introduced to the students through the Open Court reading series.   Open Court uses a strong phonics approach to teach reading and enhances the students’ literature experience with time-honored and contemporary classics as well as award-winning fiction and non-fiction.  Grammar introduction includes nouns, verbs, and punctuation.  Students incorporate writing skills by sentences, journals, short stories and collaborative stories.

The students visit the library once a week where they learn library skills. Students listen to stories and poems.


Students are introduced to math concepts by using many different types of manipulatives, and by working in cooperative groups.  Mastery of addition and subtraction facts to 10 is expected along with introduction of facts to 18.  An understanding of place value of numbers between 1 and 100 is essential to comprehending future math concepts.  Students are also introduced to coin money amounts, measurement, time, basic geometry, and fractions. 


Students investigate the following topics: living and non-living things, physical science and earth science. Lessons are reinforced with special projects and experiments.  Students have the opportunity to enter a project in the school’s science fair. They also make aquariums and terrariums and include guppies, snails, water plants, land plants, millipedes and pill bugs.

Social Studies

In first grade, students investigate the family, home, school, and their neighborhood.   Differences in the way people live and work together around the world is discussed.   Special holidays are woven into the curriculum.  Topics of family and wants and needs are reinforced through the Junior Achievement program. We also learn about geography when we send out our Flat Stanley’s to different family members. Flat Stanley is a book that we read.


Study focuses on God as our Father who loves us. We learn about Jesus as the Son of God who tells us about our Father. We also learn about the Holy Spirit who helps us to be holy. Students attend Mass twice a week. Religious themes are woven into other subjects whenever possible. We are also doing personal, class and school stewardship projects throughout the year.


Students learn basic computer skills and terminology: using the mouse, opening and closing application programs, and saving their work.  Programs used reinforce classroom lessons as well as introduce the students to fonts, word processing editing functions, and art tools.  During the holidays, special projects are made on the computer.

Field Trips and More

Among the field trips and lessons outside of the classroom, students visit the Civic Theatre when they have appropriate plays that help to enhance our reading program. We also go to Metea Park or Fox Island for a nature hike. In February, we have a Fire Prevention Program. One night out the year, we put on a play that is is done with our music teacher.


Art is taught using Discipline Based Art Education (DBAE) which includes art history, art production, development of the ability to describe and express your own feelings about a piece of art, development of the ability to criticize a piece of art constructively.   Each grade level “scaffolds” or builds on the grade level before it.   Vocabulary and techniques used increase in difficulty with the cognitive abilities of that grade level.

In the first grade, students are introduced to the art theories of perspective, color, shading, texture, 2-D art, 3-D art, line, and painting techniques.


Students are introduced to music theory.  Music is analyzed for AB form.   Note and rest value, simple rhythm, and instrument families round out the introduction to theory.  Learning also touches on the lives of composers and their music.

Physical Education

Activities are planned to develop cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility all while having fun and learning new skills.

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