First Grade Team
Composition: It is our hope that by the end of first grade, all students will view themselves as “writers”. We will give students numerous opportunities to write on a daily basis. The Lucy Caulkin methodology will be utilized as we model, instruct through mini-lessons, and take several of our written pieces through the entire writing process. During the year, students will have the opportunity to write such things as personal narratives, “How To…” articles, “All About…” books, opinion and persuasion pieces, and poetry.
Literature: We will incorporate a balanced literacy program in our classrooms using multiple strategies to become proficient readers. Reader’s workshops, small group instruction, phonics and word study lessons, and read aloud opportunities will be implemented to help our students gain the confidence and skills that they need to become independent lifelong readers.
Math: Math will be taught through a collaboration of a Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) approach, engaging in hands-on activities, and using Marcy Cook tiles. An emphasis will be placed on learning various number concepts, mastery of addition and subtraction facts, and problem solving strategies. Small group instruction and math centers will be used to provide differentiated instruction within the grade level.
Science: Our first graders will have many opportunities to engage in the scientific method as we explore seven different habitats that make up our world. As we investigate these ecological communities, students will participate in discussions, activities, and experiments to help them better understand earth materials, properties of objects, and the many living organisms that make up these communities.
Social Studies: Students will spend the year learning about communities and families around the world. After focusing on our local community, we will “travel” around the world to take a deeper look at how the environments in other areas of the world affect the families and people that inhabit them. We will also focus on developing mapping skills, citizenship, and changes that have taken place over time.
Art: First grade visual arts classes build on the elements of art and the visual vocabulary the students began to develop in Kindergarten. First graders are introduced to the principles of design, including repetition, pattern, geometric shapes, and texture. Students at this level focus on reading, recognizing mistakes can be creative opportunities, telling and recording original stories through art, and observing how other artists tell their stories. We use a wide variety of art mediums including, paint, clay, collage, weaving, and sculpture.
Drama: ECS 1st graders continue to define drama and expand on their acting skills of creative movement, facial expression and vocal expression. Students will examine the concept of self through dramatizations and will begin to develop a sense of personal space. As they participate in dramatic activities they will begin to improvise through making personal choices using their acting skills. Major projects and events: learning about audience behavior through viewing a play either on a field trip or in school, putting movement and emotions together, community helper hand puppets, readers’ theatre.