Each day begins with our first grade morning meeting. The students greet each other, do a quick share about something that is important to them, participate in calendar activities and read the daily news.
In math, first graders are learning about place value and how digits can have a value in the ones, tens and hundreds places. They are enjoying using base ten blocks to visualize the number and flip cards to connect the symbolic level of a number to the concrete representation. Every lesson begins with a math song and movement, fact practice, the lesson and then a game that connects directly to the skill being taught.
In Guided Reading, the students are placed into small teams that are created by finding out the student’s instructional level. Every child progresses at their own pace and they use their reading skills across the curriculum. They are exposed to a variety of genres including: fiction, non-fiction, biographies, mysteries and poetry.
Phonics and grammar skills are taught through a systematic approach which connects directly to their daily writing.
In the beginning of the year in theme, the students learned about the migration of the monarch butterfly, which led them into the cultural study of Mexico. They learned about the Aztec and Mayan people and recently made sugar cube pyramids of Chichen Itza.
During Special, the first grade may have Art, Creative Movement, French, Music, Physical Education or Science. In Science, for example, the students in first grade are learning about air and weather. The children keep a weather journal where they make observations about the weather, temperature and cloud type. The children constructed a cloud window that they use to identify the different clouds observed outside and make predictions about the weather for that day and the next.