First Grade Curriculum and Goals
Religion: Our mission is to pass on the Catholic faith so that it is understood, valued, and integrated into the whole of a student’s life. In our Religion text, We Believe, God Loves Us, by Sadlier, the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church – Creed, Sacraments, Morality, and Prayer are taught and developed. In addition, our chapters are built on the six tasks of Catechesis: Children will LEARN what Jesus taught us about the love God has for us. Students will focus on how we gather in church to worship God and CELEBRATE the sacraments. Children will understand that Jesus taught us how to show love for God, ourselves, and others – we CHOOSE to follow Jesus’ example. Our classes will PRAY in different ways alone and with others and will pray the Lord’s Prayer as Jesus taught us to do. Children will learn to SHARE God’s love in their families and parishes. We will spread the Good News of Jesus through simple acts of love and caring. Our students will come to see that our FAITH IS MEANT TO BE LIVED.
Our four units of study will develop the following topics: Jesus Teaches Us About God’s Love, We Are Followers of Jesus, We Belong to the Church and We Celebrate and Live Our Faith. Liturgical Season lessons give the children the opportunity to celebrate and prayerfully participate in the liturgy all year long. The Sign of the Cross, Our Father, Hail Mary, Grace Before Meals and the Glory Be are introduced or reviewed. The First Graders participate at Mass every Thursday beginning in November and at All-School Masses. At times the students are involved in planning the liturgy.
Math is a daily fifty minute period. Unit objectives will include the ability to use various addition and subtraction strategies for facts to eighteen, including the use of fact families. Students will be introduced to guided practice in problem solving techniques. We will identify, write, order and compare numbers through 100. Students will learn to tell time to the hour and half-hour using analog and digital clocks. Plane and solid shapes will be taught along with an introduction to fractions. Place value to 99 and ordinals will be covered. The children will be introduced to various types of measurements. Unit objectives will also include the ability to add and subtract two digit numbers without regrouping. Our text is Math by Houghton Mifflin. Rocket Math is also done within homerooms to increase the mastery of addition and subtraction facts.
Our Social Studies curriculum strives to help each child to become an active, involved, and informed citizen. Units of study in our text, All Together by Scott Foresman, include a look at aspects of life at school and in a community. We will look at how people work to fulfill their needs and wants. Students will study our earth and its resources, and learn about people and events that have helped shape the history of the United States. In our final unit, the students will learn about the market, decision-making, technology, and inventions.
Our new Science text, Interactive Science by Pearson, begins with an investigation of the Nature of Science, which introduces students to the Scientific Method, followed by a look at the Design Process. Further units include Living Things and Their Environments, Plants and Animals, and Earth and Sky in which we investigate rocks, soil, land changes, our natural resources, and the sun. In our Weather unit we will explore the water cycle and the four seasons. Matter, Energy, and Movement units will involve a look at the states of matter, light and sound, and the forces of magnetism and gravity.
Reading is a daily one and a half hour period. Our Reading series, Journeys, by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is organized into six units of study, emphasizing systematic instruction in the areas of reading, fluency, writing, speaking and listening, and language. A sequential phonics approach is utilized in word decoding instruction. Opportunities to apply decoding skills are provided in meaningful text, from decodable to authentic literature. Along with each story presented, the students practice phonetic skills, are introduced to high frequency words, and are involved in language, content-area and comprehension instruction. Our goal is to see that each child reads with fluency and understanding.
In an effort to foster a love of books and a life-long habit of reading, children are encouraged to read at home by completing required monthly Reading Logs. Students also have the opportunity to visit the school library with their homeroom class.
Recognizing that each child is skilled differently and gifted differently, opportunities for reinforcement and enrichment are available.
English: First Grade Grammar instruction is taught within the daily Reading class. Our lessons will focus on recognizing complete sentences as statements, questions, or exclamations, and accurately using correct punctuation and capitalization in our own written work. Identifying the subject and predicate of a sentence will be introduced. Parts of speech, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, and adverbs will be identified.
Our Phonics program consists of recognition of beginning, middle and final consonants, short and long vowel sounds, blends and digraphs. Our phonics text is Phonics Level A from Modern Curriculum Press.
Handwriting is taught daily. We teach the Zaner Bloser method stressing correct letter formation, pencil grip and paper position.
Spelling is introduced mid-year. Words to be mastered are taken from the Dolch Sight Vocabulary list and from the reading program. A weekly test will be given every Friday.
Spanish is introduced for a twenty-minute period each week, taught by Mrs. LoVasco.
The homeroom teacher teaches Art once a week. Students also visit the Art Room for a half-hour class with Ms. Bitzinger each week. We introduce students to a variety of materials. Our Art Committee presents Art Appreciation once a month.
Music theory is taught once a week by Mr. Pacifico.
Each student participates in a basic Computer class every week for one half hour with Mrs. Kowalewski.
Physical Education is taught twice a week by Miss Rigterink, assisted by Mr. Barrett.