First Grade Curriculum

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

Reading – Our reading series is  "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 – Our math series is 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.  Students will be taught using whole group instruction as well as smaller "guided groups" to meet the needs of each studen.t 

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 safely,  no talking during direct instruction, hands still, and concentrate! Th

 Accountability for rules:  

This year we will be using a "penny" system in our classroom.   Each student can earn pennies throughout the day for for following the "Shark" rules and listening procedures.   They will have a container in their cubby where they will keep and accumulate their money earned.    On Fridays, we will count our pennies and those that have 5 or more will earn a trip to treat box to spend their money or buy a classroom coupon.  Students can also lose a penny throughout the day if they choose not to follow our school rules:

 First reminder- free space; don't lose penny 

 Second reminder- will lose a penny

Third reminder- will lose another penny and will fill out a recess form to talk about with teacher and practice  


 If a child is losing pennies frequently, parents will be notified by emial, phone call, or  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 expectations and 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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