Grade Level Overviews First Grade

The focus of first grade is the development of the personal Intelligences and facilitating academic growth through the multiple intelligences. 

During the first grade year, students develop social and emotional skills as they explore many different kinds of communities. The year begins with the students exploring the meaning and importance of friendship as the class becomes a community. Students learn how community members solve problems through the study of ants and bees, while participating in the theatrical productions of The Sneetches and Peter Pan, and during the exploration of the works of artists and writers. The year ends with a study of interdependence, looking at the interrelationships within gardens and those built metaphorically within our classrooms.

Throughout these examinations, students develop linguistic and mathematical skills as they learn to read informational and fictional texts, develop as writers, and become logical thinkers who can solve problems in a variety of contexts. Mental math, number sense, and place value lay the foundation for higher mathematical thinking. Students learn to recognize patterns within each discipline and apply these patterns to further understandings. 

Children come to first grade at many different developmental levels both socially and academically. The first grade curriculum provides opportunities for challenge and support for all the learning differences found in a first grade student.


What to Expect from Your First Grader

The first grader is easily energized and shows abundant enthusiasm throughout the day. Sometimes this exuberance can out pace developing skills. This dissonance allows students to develop grit and encourages them to ask for help even though they want to be independent learners.

First graders are very motivated by their friendships and their need for social connections. It is normal for them to seek approval, be competitive, and for their friendships to ebb and flow. 

They learn through their experiences and enjoy the process sometimes more than the product. Students discover that the initiative, effort, and perseverance needed to complete a task are as important as the end result. Routine and structure allow them to feel safe and confident, two necessary components of learning.


Top Ten Things to Know about First Grade

Friendship Garden: Using a garden metaphor, students develop communication and cooperation skills as they learn about  interdependence in their class community.

MI Shares: Students use their MI talents to share books they have read.

Trees - Art and Nature: as the seasons change, students make scientific observations of their chosen tree and then create them in a different art style each season.

The Sneetches: This musical production of Dr. Seuss’ tale helps students better understand discrimination and problem solving, and the value of friendships.

Thanksgiving Turkeys: Families work together to decorate and create their own unique turkey.

The Life of Ants and Bees: Simulations and role-playing activities help students understand how these insects live in communities.

Naturalist Scavenger Hunt: Nature exploration, problem-solving and team work  come together in this Forest Park adventure.

King Bidgood’s Masquerade  Ball: Children dress in costumes and masks and learn to waltz for the Annual First Grade Ball.

Peter Pan: This classic play encourages children to develop team work, resilience, and presentation skills.

Sing! Sing! Sing! Each day ends with a joyous class sing-a-long!!


If you would like more details about the content and skills covered in the first grade curriculum, click here.