Welcome to the First Grade!

This document is intended to outline the academic goals for the first grade, identify some of the primary resources that are used to instruct your child, the duration and frequency of instruction, and the outcomes that are targeted to be developed by the end of the year.

We recognize that students learn at different paces and occasionally in developmental “spurts”. With this in mind we focus on each child’s individual progress. This progress is monitored through periodic skills assessments, teacher observations and classroom assessments (an inventory of these assessments is available if you are interested). Instruction is regularly augmented by the classroom teacher, differentiation teachers and, if necessary Special Education teachers, for students that would benefit from additional instruction.

We hope that this document adequately introduces you to what you can expect over the next 10 months, but does not replace the opportunity to discuss with you directly the specific questions you might have in greater detail and specificity.

The first grade uses the Everyday Mathematics series. Mathematics instruction occurs each day for approximately one hour. Our goals for the first grade are based upon national performance standards or “Focal Points” defined by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

Our goal is that students exiting first grade have the ability to
  • Identify, duplicate, and extend simple number and shape patterns
  • Compare and order sets of numerals by using both cardinal and ordinal meanings
  • Identify 3-Dimensional Shapes
  • Develop strategies for adding and subtracting
  • Recognize numbers 11–19 as one group of ten and particular number of ones
  • Compare numbers to 100 and order them
  • Extend, describe, and create patterns
  • Measure units by counting groups of 10’s and 1’s
  • Represent measurement in pictures
  • Solve problems involving measurement and data
  • Apply problem-solving strategies

The four components of Language Arts—reading, spelling, grammar, and writing—are instructed, practiced, and developed through daily activities in first grade. Instruction is delivered explicitly and through the integration of language skills in other academic areas. The following concepts are goals of the curriculum:
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving & Decision Making
  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Research & Information Fluency
  • Communication & Collaboration

The first grade uses the McGraw-Hill Reading Series in conjunction with the Wilson Fundations Program to develop decoding and sequencing skills. Reading instruction takes place each day for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Instruction takes place in large, small, and individualized groups. Our goal is that students exiting first grade have the ability to
  • Decode grade-appropriate vocabulary
  • Read and write words from the Pre-Primer, Primer, and First Grade Dolch Sight Word lists. (The Dolch list is the 220 words most commonly used in English print).
  • Develop reading fluency
  • Decode and sequence words taught through Wilson Fundations Program
  • Develop comprehension strategies and skills

Writing is an important component of literacy development in first grade. Students write daily in their journal, practicing sentence generation, topic writing, letter writing, and narratives. Additionally, students receive a weekly mini-lesson that focuses on a skill or writing genre. Students also become familiar with writing as a process that incorporates idea generation, edits, and final copies. Our goal is that students exiting first grade have the ability to
  • Begin to develop topics and write multiple sentences about the same topic
  • Express complete thoughts; write with the beginnings of an organizational plan
  • Generate stories with a beginning and an end
  • Show beginning awareness of audience and/or task
  • Use simple word choice and sentence patterns; writs multiple sentences often using patterns
  • Usually use upper- and lower-case letters appropriately
  • Experiment with the use of periods, exclamation marks, and question marks
  • Take risks when writing
  • Write lists, captions, signs, notes, and letters
  • Use prewriting strategies such as drawing, brainstorming, and Thinking Maps with support
  • Spell some high frequency words correctly, use inventive spelling that can generally be read by others
  • Add on to writing in response to questions; begin to use detail (descriptive words)
  • Write for a variety of purposes
  • Publish with teacher support

The study of science in the first grade focuses on observation, analysis, interpretation, and documentation. In addition to practicing these skills science instruction is also a vehicle to practice and reinforce skills such as reading, writing, and working in a group. Our goal is that students exiting first grade have the ability to
  • Sort and classify materials and events based on one or more attributes and explain the methods used for sorting
  • Predict how changing one part of an exploration will effect the outcome
  • Identify and describe patterns and relationships in observed objects and events
  • Represent and interpret information and observations in several ways (tally, pictograph, bar graphs, tables)
  • Record observations using language, concrete objects, and symbolic representations
  • Some thematic units may include:
  • Dinosaur studies
  • Phases of the moon
  • States of matter

Through a partnership with the Monshire Museum the first grade will be participating in the newest Lyme School Initiative, our Inquiry Based Science program. Students will work with Museum Scientists/Educators & their classroom teacher to cultivate their instinctive curiosity for discovery by encouraging students to formulate questions and conclusions based upon personal observation, analysis and interpretation.

The study of history, or social studies, in first grade focuses on basic concepts of geography and periods in history that are of interest to this age group. Social Studies instruction is also a vehicle to practice and reinforce skills such as reading, writing, and working in a group. Our goal is that students exiting first grade have the ability to
  • Use basic maps and globes to identify local and distant places and locations, directions (north, south, east, and west), and basic physical environmental and cultural features
  • Describe and demonstrate classroom rights, duties, and responsibilities, including student role in some classroom decisions and obligations to follow classroom rules, and understand that this is a model for, or microcosm of, the larger society in which all citizens have rights, duties, and responsibilities.
  • Demonstrate understanding of concepts relating to past, present, and future
  • Apply terms such as “before” and “after” in sequencing events
  • Some thematic units may include:
  • Thanksgiving Story
  • Northeast Native Americans
  • Our Community

The Spanish program follows the World Language curriculum of the New Hampshire Department of Education. Spanish instruction takes place each day for 30 minutes. Instruction takes place in large groups, and students participate in a lot of small-group activities as well.Our goal is that students exiting the first grade will have studied
  • colors
  • body parts
  • the names of some Spanish-speaking countries
  • the verb “ser”
  • dates
  • weather
  • numbers
  • and a limited number of
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • animals
  • family members
  • descriptive words
  • sports
  • verbs
  • holidays in Spanish-speaking countries
  • classroom items
  • clothing items
  • questions & phrases

In the classroom, first graders should demonstrate the ability to

  • Actively listen
  • Participate on topic
  • Understand and effectively demonstrate personal space
  • Complete and return assigned homework
  • Follow teacher directions
  • Share responsibility
  • Raise their hand and wait to be called on by the teacher or acknowledged by group