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FIRST GRADE OVERVIEW

Language Arts

First grade’s primary language arts goal is to produce fluent readers. This is achieved through daily teaching of phonetic principles, decoding skills, and a comprehensive sight word vocabulary. With Saxon Phonics and Spelling, first graders study a list of phonetically based words each week through classroom activities and home based study. A spelling test is given each week. Another important goal is to produce readers who comprehend deeply. Reading groups allow each child to progress at the most appropriate pace. Reading fluency and comprehension are enhanced while students enjoy a variety of quality reading selections from HBJ’s Treasury of Literature. Students learn about capitalization, punctuation, and word structure as they practice writing sentences and explore creative writing. Students write daily and conference with the teacher about their writing on a regular basis.

Handwriting

Building on what was learned in kindergarten, students continue practicing their skills with the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum.

Math

The math curriculum encourages students to use multiple strategies for solving problems and understanding concepts. First graders build their math skills through exercises emphasizing deep understanding of foundational mathematical concepts such as place value, addition, subtraction, telling time and counting money. Additional skills include being able to solve and create story problems and analyzing mathematical relationships to connect mathematical ideas. Students become comfortable with the skills of explaining and justifying how they arrived at a solution. Classroom resources include Pearson Envison 2.0, Creative Mathematics, Sunshine Math, and other trade books.

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Social Studies

First graders learn about being good citizens and several famous Americans who have exhibited those qualities, including presidents and inventors. They meet several famous American patriots and take a trip across the geography of America. They learn about goods and services, needs and wants, voting, important American holidays and the roles of public officials.. Resources include Abeka’s My World and various trade books.

Science

The studies of scientific skills, plants, properties and classification of matter, magnets, the moon, health and hygiene, and much more provide an excellent foundation for future science studies. Students participate in discovery based labs while building interest in science and learning the skills of observation and data collection. First grade uses McGraw Hill Science along other trade books and teacher designed lessons for content.

First Grade Private School Art

Health

Nutrition, exercise, proper rest, good posture, safety habits and good manners are emphasized.

Bible

In addition to weekly Chapel services, Bible is a classroom subject. Using a non-denominational Christian curriculum designed by the teacher, first graders memorize verses, study Bible stories, and participate in discussions and activities throughout the week.

Music

To make music learning fun, students are exposed to music through activities such as playing instruments, singing, creating movements, and learning music for special presentations. Music curriculum resources are Texas Spotlight on Music and Music Express.

Art

The goal of art in first grade is to continue to give students an opportunity to work with a wide variety of mediums, adding chalk and collage masterpieces. They will incorporate observation skills into their artwork as well as learn about illustrators and their work with authors.

Library

Library skills are intentionally taught at each grade level. In addition to learning about specific authors, and checking out individual books, first grade students work on understanding the difference between nonfiction and fiction genres.

Spanish

Spanish students meet once a week. Class sessions are conducted with a focus on developing students’ skills in acquiring vocabulary, listening, and speaking. Students are also introduced to distinct Latin American traditions and cultures.

PE

First graders work on basic movement, gross-motor development, and increased spatial and kinesthetic awareness. Continued attention is placed on basic physical skills such as throwing, kicking, catching, and striking. First grade also receives an introduction to basic fitness.

ECA students playing on jungle gym

Technology

Instruction includes typing skills, exploring virtual environments, navigating the internet safely, learning the parts of a computer, and how to create original products using a variety of resources.

Microsoft Word—Students learn to type in documents. They learn to resize fonts, change colors, copy and paste, and save and print their work. Students also learn to create and manipulate tables.

PowerPoint—Students learn to create slide presentations, import images, resize items, etc.

Keyboarding—Students practice three times per week

Web searches—Students participate in web searches to research and find information. This includes typing in web addresses to find sites. They also learn to use the undo command, minimize and maximize command.

Other apps and programs—Students create many original products. Poems, comic strips, puppet shows (they learn to record their own voice), art projects, math related projects

Special Trips

Homestead Heritage — Students visit the village to learn about traditions of the past.

Police Station--Students deliver notes and cookies to thank our public servants for their service to the community

A Few Extras

beeJog-a-thon — Students participate in a school wide fundraiser by asking friends and family to pledge a donation amount for laps run around our track. During the day, kids cycle through many fun and exciting stations including bouncy houses, karate lessons, team building game, and more. Harvest Chapel — Students in Prek through second grade perform songs of thanksgiving during our chapel time. Variety Show — Usually held in the spring, Variety Show is a fun school wide evening dinner event where classes perform a song and dance. Students may also perform individually if they desire. Spelling Bee — Students may choose to participate in our school wide spelling bee each January. Polar Express Day—Students have a fun pajama day, drink hot cocoa and do Christmas activities centered around the book, The Polar Express. Kite Day—First graders recite a special poem from memory in front of an audience of Dads. Then the students and dads spend the afternoon outdoors flying kites and drinking root beer floats. Math Fact Sundae Party— Students enjoy ice cream and toppings of their choice as a reward for their mastery of math facts throughout the year. Class Garden