Religion is studied each day. Students have the privilege of incorporating the Gospel teachings throughout each subject. We start and end each day with a prayer. Each day students learn about the upcoming Gospel, and attend Mass each Wednesday.
Our reading program is Open Court, which effectively teaches children to decode and comprehend so that they can read a variety of literature types. This program is divided into parts:
Word Bank Words or Sight Words are words that we expect children to learn to read on sight. These are the most frequently used words in books and many of them have spellings that do not match their sounds or follow regular spelling patterns.
Decoding is practice sounding out a new word. In first grade, we spend a lot of time learning to use letter sound relationships and spelling patterns to decode words.
Comprehension it practiced so students understand the meaning of the text. We begin first grade by reading simple decodable books. Mid-year we progress to our first soft back reader, and by the end of the year we will read stories in a hardback reader called an anthology. We access our own leveled-reading library and check out books from the school library.
Writing begins the first day of school by learning about capital letters. We will also keep a classroom journal and writing notebook for formal and informal writing practice. Writing is practiced each day through lessons, follow-up assignments and independent writing time.
Spelling is used as a method for children to practice, use, and become secure in the letter sound relationships. We begin with words in the short vowel families. Spelling homework reinforces the words we are studying at school and offers independent spelling practice.
Handwriting is practiced at the beginning of the year to remind the children of the correct formation of the letters using the ball and stick method. Both in-class assignments and activities and homework reinforce and strengthen handwriting.
We use Sadlier-Oxford, Progress in Mathematics as our math resource. This program is based on first-grade math skills and concepts. We work on addition and subtraction, base ten, fractions, measurement, geometry, and facts, facts, facts. We will also have hands-on math by using a variety of manipulatives during math tub time in the afternoon. Math homework reinforces skills learned in class, offers independent practice and review.
Science is blended into our reading units. We learn about life science through the study of animals and plants. We learn about earth science through the study of the sun, moon, rocks, minerals, soil, and water. We also learn about physical science when we study force and motion.
Social Studies broadens the student’s focus from self, to the class, community, and the world. We will accomplish this by incorporating the Gospel values. We will learn about families and different social environments, citizenship, and the value of community service. We will learn about different careers and the wants and needs of different people. We will learn about our country’s history as we discuss the importance of celebrating different holidays.
The primary goal is to teach listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students focus on the basic aspects of color, family, weather, time and much more. These themes are taught using many different types of materials such as flash cards, posters, music and children’s videos.