In first grade, the main focus is to teach the students to read. Each week students learn new vocabulary and new skills that will help them become proficient readers. We incorporate the Four Blocks method, involving students in Guided Reading, Make Words, Self-Selected Reading and Writing. The games during Make Words are geared to teach the skills each week. A variety of reading materials is used during Guided Reading and students are able to make their own reading selections during Self-Selected Reading. Students begin creative writing and are able to complete short stories by mid-year.
We use the Stevenson model for spelling, whereby students learn to spell by phonics, using peanut butter and jelly words and layer cake words. Students are able to spell most one-syllable words and many two-syllable words by the end of the year. Using phonics is so important in first grade.
In math, students build a strong foundation of basic skills. It is important for students to memorize addition/subtraction facts to ten before leaving first grade.
In science, social studies, and health, we do various in-class activities and require some outside projects, such as: dinosaur diorama, leaf collection, animal booklet, weather journal for a week, simple machine demonstration, etc.
We, the teachers, feel it is so important for the child to read as much as possible and be read to on a daily basis. In order for a student to retain the vocabulary, he/she must read a lot!!!!!