Our First Grade Program
Our extensive research and understanding of the role of the child in their own learning process supports our intention of offering children a holistic environment where all fields of knowledge should be integrated. This will provide each child the opportunity to apply their learning experiences to their daily lives. This is why our curriculum is based on a flexible, differentiated education that provokes inquiry, active learning, collaborative work, and problem solving skills. Children will be exposed to hands-on experiences that promote critical thinking and the elaboration of theories, which will lead to authentic research and investigation.
Our New Facility
Fields of Knowledge
Language Arts and Communication
In our school, first graders will envision reading and writing as tools for sharing theories, thoughts and ideas. They will use these competencies to work towards goals, express feelings and to connect with others. Children will be invited to view literacy as a useful instrument that will provide motivation to learn in a meaningful and literacy-rich environment.
The reading process in first grade varies with every child. Some enter this level as fluent readers, while others begin transitioning from pre-reading to building crucial language skills in reading, spelling and writing. They participate in a variety of experiences such as listening to stories, working in small guided reading groups, writing their own stories for our school’s Young Author’s Workshop, and reading books silently. They learn to use context, syntax and phonetic clues. They explore phonics thoroughly while engaging in activities that support the analysis of consonant sounds, short and long vowel sounds, blends, diagraphs, and word families. First graders also develop fluency and stronger reading comprehension skills by discussing the stories that they read and gaining a deeper understanding of the variety of texts they encounter.
First graders write to express their ideas and interests. They write with a purpose through stories, letters, and lists. Children print clearly leaving spaces between the words. They add complexity to their sentences by using simple grammar rules, and using appropriate capitalization and punctuation. Children write pieces in a variety of genres, including opinion pieces, narratives and informational texts; progressing from knowing how to write, to becoming writers. They will also integrate the use of technology specifically for writing and research.
In our program, students will get an introduction of history, geography, and culture by studying our country’s traditions. First graders will expand their understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizens by coming to see their classroom as a component of society. Children learn about democracy while practicing good sportsmanship, voting on classroom rules, and engaging in conversations that foster the exchange and respect of ideas and opinions. First graders continue to study the significance of national holidays and learn to identify the symbols, documents, and landmarks important in U.S. history. Through research, movies, Internet, books, art projects, theater, and music, they learn about people who lived in other times and places. We believe in the value of comparing life in their own families with families in other cultures in order to be able to locate, understand and relate to other communities on a globe.
In our first grade, children will have the opportunity to strengthen their understanding of living and non-living things and how they are essential parts of our daily lives. Children will be encouraged to observe, infer, and experiment in order to elaborate theories about how the world works. While doing so, children will describe objects and events, ask questions, construct explanations, test those explanations against current scientific knowledge, and communicate their ideas to others. Students will receive the foundation to develop an understanding of the Earth with hands on experiences. They will expand their thinking and knowledge about plants, animals and different components of our surroundings by focusing on their characteristics and the diversity of life.
We believe that an engaging and encouraging environment for children’s encounters with mathematics develops their confidence, understanding and use of math concepts. First graders begin to connect their real life experiences with mathematical research. Positive experiences involving how numbers, measurements, graphs, and operations are used in their daily lives as tools to solve problems promote curiosity, flexibility, inquiry and persistence, which contribute to their success inside and out of the school environment. Our research-based approach for teaching math focuses on guiding children in seeing relationships within mathematics and the other fields of knowledge. As a result, they will acquire mathematical knowledge in an integrated, useful way focusing on essential areas such as: understanding of addition and subtraction strategies, whole number relationships and place value, measurement, and attributes of geometric shapes.
Physical Education & Health
In first grade, children begin to master basic locomotor and non-locomotor skills and concepts. They will strengthen their manipulative and motor abilities, associated with sports and games, recreational activities, body management and rhythmical skills. There is a significant emphasis in following directions and interacting with classmates in the different sport related experiences. Our program fosters the idea that every child benefits from a physically active and healthy lifestyle.
Technology & Engineering
Technology in first grade will be incorporated, as a way to enhance learning experiences and lay a foundation for technological literacy that will support competencies in reading, writing, math and science. The children will become familiar with the computer keyboard and Internet website navigation. They will use multimedia tools to support their projects, as well as other programs that will expose them to the use of technology for robotic exploration, programming, researching, and problem solving purposes.
Music offers opportunities for the development of the child as a whole individual. It promotes complex thinking, effective communication, aesthetic awareness, collaborative skills, and responsibility. These are all valuable components of a confident and self-assured child. The musical experiences that will be offered in our school will be based on a conceptual understanding of the diverse vocabulary, properties, and elements of music, such as: melody, rhythm, harmony and expressive qualities. The children will research about the role of music in history, composers, and develop recognition of musical notation, as they learn to read and write simple rhythm patterns. First graders will feel the joy of creating and experiencing music by singing (individually and as part of a chorus), playing a variety of instruments, composing and listening to diverse musical genres.
Artistic media is a powerful tool used to express ideas, theories, and feelings. Children use diverse languages of expression, which include visual arts, as well as performing arts, such as dance and theater, to show their way of thinking and their understanding of the world around them. Our school offers a wide variety of tools and materials to support and enhance this process. The use of the Atelier and other spaces within our environment invites children to invent, create and explore themselves through art. First graders will be exposed to historical and cultural contexts of works of art, while discovering their significance and value in their lives. We want children to develop aesthetic understanding, perceptual awareness, creative thinking, specific artistic skills and knowledge, and critical analysis, while making connections with their daily experiences and all the other fields of knowledge.