First Grade Curriculum

Here is an overview of curriculum and important information for throughout the year:

Reading – We have a new reading series this year "Benchmark Literacy"   Through the reading series students will learn phonics skills, reading and comprehension strategies, reading fluency, writing and grammar skills, vocabulary, and high frequency words by participating in whole and small group instruction. There will be no hardcover basal books, instead students will be given small fiction and nonfiction books to read in class that will match their reading level.  We will also use a reading framework called The Daily 5/Café to help students learn a multitude of strategies to use when reading. 

Math – This will be year three of the district implementing Pearson "Envisions".  The program teaches concepts directly linked to PA Common Core and encourages students to use "math talk" to explain solutions to problems using numbers, patterns, addition and subtraction concepts,  time, and story problems.

Social Studies and Science – We will explore animals, solids and liquids, plants, citizenship, government, economics, and geography.

Rocket Math – Beginning after the new year,  students will begin to take part in the Rocket Math Program.  This program assists students in mastering their addition and subtraction facts through repeated practice and daily timed tests. You will receive more information about Rocket Math in January.

High Frequency words  – We will start our day with a new word each morning as students arrive.  Look for yellow papers in folder each day denoting the word we practiced in class.  Sight words are usually words that don't follow a  pattern- students just have to memorize or know "by heart".  You can review and practice these words throughout the year.    Sight words are formally assessed three times a year.  

Handwriting will also be taught. The proper letter formation will be reviewed.  Neat handwriting will be expected on all work.

Writing:  In first grade, we teach writing using the six traits of writing.  They are conventions, ideas, sentence fluency, organization, voice and word choice.  We often use songs and mentor texts to teach them.  Conventions include the use of punctuation, spelling and capitalization.  Sentence fluency is when the writing flows smoothly, including the use of short and long sentences.  It should sound as if someone were talking.  Sentences should be complete and fragments used only when it adds to the meaning.  Using good word choices enables the reader to get a clear and accurate picture.  Strong action verbs and descriptive adjectives help to convey meaning.  The writing should be appealing and fresh.  Voice shows the writer’s personality.  Emotions are conveyed appropriately through voice.  Organization includes a bold beginning, mighty middle with at least three details  and an excellent ending.  The beginning should hook the reader and the middle should provide details in correct sequential order. Endings wrap up the idea of the paragraph.  Ideas are the message the author wants to convey to the reader.  The writing should hold the reader’s attention throughout the complete piece.  In addition, First graders will continue to work on the three types of writing that were introduced in Kindergarten:  Narrative, Informational and Opinion.   


In the first few weeks of school the class will be introduced to the procedures/rules. The students will be asked to follow the school wide "Shark" rules:  


1.     Be Safe

2.    Be Honest

3.    Be Accountable

4.    Be A Role Model

5.    Be Kind

6.    Be Supportive

They will also be asked to follow the listening procedures we've practiced to help each student be the best learners they can be:

Eyes on the speaker,  sit still,  no talking during direct instruction, hands still, and concentrate! 


        In the back of the room there is a "learning ladder".  Each child has a number based on where they fall alphabetically.  Each child’s number is on a clothespin that goes on the ladder.  It’s not the business of those who come into our classroom whose clip is where.  This is why we choose to put their number on the clothespin.

Here’s how it works.   Everyone’s clip starts out on green "ready to learn" at the beginning of the day: 

 Students that are making good choices and are  being role models and doing their jobs may be asked to move their clip up to outstanding or "Frogtastic!!" 

  Students not making good choices in following rules may be asked to move their clips:                        

 First reminder- free space; no clip is moved

 Second reminder- told to move clip to yellow "stop and think" start doing your job.

 Third reminder they move to red "teacher's choice" and will be practicing expected behavior during recess or if needed contact parents or principal.

After lunchtime all clips move back to green "ready to learn"  to start the afternoon fresh.  If a child goes to red frequently, parents will be notified by phone and possibly conference so that we can work together to help your child.  Anytime a child puts hands on someone else, it will constitute a phone call. I  am happy to answer any questions regarding consequences.


You must notify the school office if your student is going to be absent.  The absentee call in number is 938-6567.  Calls will be accepted between the hours of 5:00 pm and 8:00 am.  Please remember to send a note to school with your student when he or she returns, stating the reason for their absence.  Also, please send in a note when your student is tardy (arrives after 8:45 am).


Please remember to keep us informed of any changes in schedules before or after school.  You must inform us in writing each day that there will be a change.  We will pass these notes to the office in the morning.

Breakfast and Lunch at School

Breakfast is available to all students prior to the start of school each day.   A copy of the breakfast and lunch menu will be sent home monthly and can be found on the district website as well as prices and account information.  Please send lunch money to school in an envelope marked with your child’s name and their teacher’s name.

Water Bottles and Snack

Please send a nutritious, easy to eat snack for your student daily. Contributions of individually packed group snacks are greatly appreciated for those that choose the class snack  If you don’t wish for your student to receive class snack please let me know.  Also, if your student has any food allergies, please let me know. 

Students are invited to bring water bottles to class if they wish.  We encourage water bottles with easy to open and close lids that do not spill easily.  Your student will be encouraged to take home the bottles each night to be cleaned properly. Students who do not bring water bottles will be given opportunities throughout the day to get drinks from the water fountain.




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