Grade 1 Curriculum
We learn to read write and speak in complete French sentences. We also read a variety of fiction and non-fiction as well a write daily in journals and at our writing station in creative and original ways. We do this while studying all the other content areas of math, science, social studies, health, music, drama, art and even P.E. Our weekly stories give us new vocabulary and grammar in French to help students express themselves with growing detail in all subject areas. Many of the books we read are about the following math and science topics. As we get better at speaking French, we perform plays in March and again in May for live audiences. We sing songs and learn some dances and movements to help us remember letter sounds, prepositions… and just for fun.
In math we study three main areas: geometry, number and algebraic concepts. Algebra in first grade focuses on numerical patterns and commutative and associative properties of addition and subtraction. We learn in depth definitions and descriptions of two- and three- dimensional shapes, study symmetry and patterns, build solids and analyze shapes in our daily life as well as enjoy them in a variety of games. We learn about our base ten system, making groups of 10s in estimating and counting large numbers of a variety of objects. We learn to add and subtract two digit numbers by carrying and borrowing tens.
In science there are also three units of study: the weather, solids and liquids, and life cycles of beings that originate from eggs. In the fall we observe the weather and learn to use tools to keep data on temperature, wind velocity and rainfall. We also learn about how to make healthy clothing and activity choices for different types of weather. We make a trip to Deitering Orchards to enjoy the fall’s most dramatic changes in leaves and in the apple harvest. We make pumpkin and apple pies from scratch, count seeds and plant them in the spring. Over the winter months we take a look at random solid objects and liquids and conduct a variety of tests to analyze a variety of qualities, such as hardness, ability to sink, float, stack or roll. In the Spring we hatch chicks from eggs, inspect our composting worm bin’s steady stream of newly born worms, watch the transformation of butterflies from caterpillars and observe the hatching of insects beneficial to our school’s garden.
In English Language Arts, we use the Treasures Curriculum. Treasures emphasizes whole group level instruction and small group differentiated instruction based on individual level. Instruction includes phonemic awareness, vocabulary, phonics, comprehension, fluency, spelling, and grammar. Language Arts also includes author studies, poetry, and handwriting.
In Writing, we write stories focusing on character, setting, beginning, middle, and end. We use guess and go spelling, capital letters at beginning of sentences, and punctuation.
Health themes include social and emotional health, nutrition and physical activity, safety, and personal health.
Art themes include line, color, texture, shape, composition, and experimentation with various materials.
Social Studies themes include family, community, maps, holidays, world cultures, and celebrations.
Content themes vary year to year, but have been bats, whales, apples, and penguins.
First grade also has a garden bed in our school garden, and plant garlic, beets, kale, etc.