Our Language Arts instruction is divided into the following areas: phonics, fluency, vocabulary, writing, and comprehension. Comprehension skills and strategies are introduced during a shared reading experience. All students have equal access to the text and strategies such as predicting, questioning and making connections are modeled. Students are learning to think as “good readers” do. The modeled skills are then practiced in small guided reading groups in which the text is at the student’s reading level. The ultimate goal is for every reader to apply these thinking and organizing skills to their independent reading.
Phonics instruction is sequential. Each new skill builds on previous skills taught. We are currently reviewing short vowel sounds. It is essential that they can distinguish between these sounds. We will also be checking to be sure that the phonemic and phonological skills that were taught in kindergarten are now being independently applied in class. This includes rhyming, counting syllables, and blending and segmenting sounds to make words. Phonics instruction is made fun with word sorts, games, and hands on activities. In first grade, phonics in explicitly taught for twenty minutes a day.
Students are practicing reading with fluency and expression. Fluency instruction is done primarily through reading and rereading of poetry and reader’s theater in partners and small groups. Our vocabulary instruction is focusing on the meaning of new words. We are learning to use context clues and prior knowledge to figure out the meaning of new words.
The final component of our language arts instruction is writing. We will have a strong focus on the six traits of writing (ideas, organization, conventions, word choice, sentence fluency, and voice). Students will work through the writing process (prewriting, first draft, editing, revising, and publishing) to publish their writing. They will be writing to persuade, inform, and entertain this year.
We are reviewing number concepts and creating a mathematical community in which students can talk about their thinking and solve problems in ways that make sense to them. The primary guide for the teaching and learning in mathematics this year is Investigations. This curriculum is designed to engage students in making sense of mathematical ideas. There is a focus on mathematical fluency and making connections between math concepts. Investigations is based on experience from research and practice. Based on extensive classroom testing, it takes seriously the time students need to develop a strong foundation in math concepts and skills.
Social Studies / Science
We are spending some time getting to know each other and talking about how character counts in school. We will be beginning our study of safety. We will explore ways to stay safe in school, on the bus, and at home.
- We would love any donations of zip lock baggies, tissues, or stickers.
- Be sure to return your child’s homework folder and reading book each day.
- We appreciate our classroom volunteer helpers. A schedule of volunteers will be coming home soon. Let us know if you did not sign up but would like to come in and help.
We look forward to an exciting year. We know that working together we can ensure a fun and successful experience in first grade for your child.
The First Grade Team: