For many of us, first grade is where we learned to read our first books, or compute our first sums, or look through our first microscope….. Its a year of wonder!!

Riegel_161027_0309At SMCDS, our first graders bound into class ready to learn and grow!   They know that during this amazing year of their lives, they will become readers, writers and mathematicians. They eagerly accept the challenge to take greater responsibility for their own learning, sustain tasks for longer periods of time and begin to work more independently.

Reading skills are taught through a combination of whole-class instruction and small guided reading groups based on each child’s instructional level. Through systematic phonics instruction and fluency practice, students learn how to decode unknown words and also recognize high frequency words by sight. Vocabulary and comprehension are enriched with the inclusion of quality literature of various genres. Math instruction continues to employ the Singapore math program, which includes using number bonds and tens frames to further develop number sense and their understanding of the concepts of addition and subtraction.

Riegel_161027_0341Concrete objects and pictorial representations are applied to exploring and solving word problems. The thematic units in first grade focus on understanding the world around us. Our students begin by exploring their own identities and then branch out to their families, school cultures and then the world. They also start to gain a better sense of civic engagement through community service initiatives and recycling efforts. First graders participate weekly in French, music, art, library, physical education, science and drama classes taught by specialists who work closely with the classroom teachers to integrate the curriculum so that subjects are studied in depth and from many viewpoints.