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Overview of First Grade Curriculum

First Grade is a year of important transitions. Children are encouraged to become increasingly independent as the year progresses. In first grade, we will focus on meeting the individual needs of each child within our classroom community.


  • Reading workshop focuses on building independent reading skills and stamina. Children are taught how to choose Just Right books and learn strategies that will help them become better readers. Some of the units include Readers Build Good Habits, Word Detectives, Readers Use Strategies to Make Meaning, Readers Read to Become Experts, Readers Deepen Understanding and Character Clubs.  The Reading Workshop model includes shared reading, reading aloud, small group instruction, and partner reading.


  • Writing is based on the writing workshop model. Our balanced literacy program includes shared writing and interactive writing. The students learn to write through units of mini-lessons about writing genres, conventions, and structure. Some of these units include  Writers Build Good Habits, Small Moment Books, Nonfiction Writing, Writing Opinions and Book Reviews and Writing Realistic Fiction Stories. At the end of the year, each child’s writing is celebrated at an Author’s Tea.

Word Study

  • The First Grade word study program includes phonics, predictable spelling patterns, the meanings of word parts, and vocabulary. This is a differentiated instructional program which allows each child to work at his or her appropriate instructional level.


  • The students will print upper-case and lower-case letters with proper spaces between words. The Universal Publishing Handwriting program is used.


  • The First Grade Everyday Mathematics 4 program includes a whole-class lesson, partner work in math workshop, individual work, and game time.  Goals of the program include becoming proficient in math facts, becoming active participants in solving problems, learning that there is usually more than one way to solve a problem and being involved in explaining and discussing math problems while learning to persevere in solving problems.  Skills and concepts covered in first grade include counting, addition and subtraction, number stories, measurement, place value, and geometry. The program uses a spiral approach which allows for multiple exposures of skills and concepts over time, with frequent opportunities for review and practice. Additional math information can be found at: Everyday Math.  


  • Our science curriculum follows the Next Generation Science Standards. The units of study include light and sound; structure, function and information processing; and space systems. A field trip to the zoo in the spring will reinforce students' understanding of how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive and grow.

Social Studies

  • The First Grade Social Studies curriculum builds on students’ basic understandings of institutions in society, such as family, school, neighborhood and community. Focusing on our town, students gain knowledge about the civic roles different individuals play in maintaining order and organization in the community. Basic economic ideas are introduced to show students how people make decisions with scarce resources and varied options. Students will participate cooperatively in a class service learning project at the end of the year.


  • The units in health include the following topics: germs, healthy eating, emotions, listening, breathing and exercise. In the Fall, a field trip to the Health Barn is scheduled. Here the students will learn how to grow healthy foods and how to compost. Further lessons are given on the topics growth mindset, coping skills, and problem-solving strategies.