Frassati Catholic Academy 1st Grade Highlights
The first grade reading curriculum includes a balanced literacy program. This focuses on phonemic awareness, phonics, high-frequency/sight words, vocabulary, reading, and fluency. Comprehension strategies are modeled, taught and practiced for fiction, nonfiction and informational texts. These strategies include why the sequence of events is important to a story, how both the words and pictures of a story help us to better understand, how to use topic, main idea and details to summarize, how to use real life experiences to predict/infer, why categorizing and classifying helps us gain better understanding, and how comparing and contrasting helps us to see what is alike and different in the story. Differentiated instruction strategies help all students to read texts that are “just right” for them. Children are given the opportunity to visit our school library and check out books.
Grammar, writing, spelling, handwriting, listening, speaking and viewing are part of the language arts curriculum. First graders are introduced to different types of sentences, parts of speech, capitalization, and use of punctuation. Writing includes whole group and individual writing activities. Phonetic spelling is encouraged early in the year but is soon replaced by conventional spelling that focuses on word patterns and high-frequency words. Handwriting focuses on upper and lowercase letters and numbers, proper formation and spacing of letters and words.
Children build on the skills and concepts learned in Kindergarten. First graders are concrete thinkers so students will continue to explore math concepts through hands-on use of manipulatives and differentiation. They will begin to use pictures and representations to solve real world problems. Students work towards mastery of basic addition and subtraction math facts through the number 10. In first grade, students learn the skills and concepts that help them solve problems involving addition and subtraction, understand the relationship between addition and subtraction, measure with standard and non-standard units, explore properties of two and three dimensional objects, organize and record data, graph, tell time to the hour and half hour, count money to $1.00, and build and extend patterns.
Children are introduced to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, the stories of the Bible, the lives of the saints and other people of faith, and the church celebrations of the liturgical year. Children learn traditional prayers as well as informal prayer. Participation in Mass and prayer services is an integral part of the religion program.
Students learn concepts and skills in life, physical, and earth sciences through an inquiry based approach. In life science, the study of plants provides experiences in observation of plant growth, structure and propagation. In physical science, a study of solids and liquids provides experiences that heighten students’ awareness of their properties. In earth science students become aware of rocks as earth materials and natural resources. They develop a familiarity with the natural world, its diversity and interdependence. The students begin to understand that science, technology, and mathematics are interdependent. An introduction to observation, comparison, and organization of data helps the students develop the ability to think scientifically.
In our study of health, the concepts of taking care of self, feelings, respect, safety, exercise, dental health, senses, and healthy eating are emphasized.
Students learn that culture is passed down to younger generations through our families, our schools, and our communities. They learn about where we live – what our land and community look like. They learn people make choices to get the things they need and want.
Students come to a realization that everything changes over time (technology, transportation, communication) and that all citizens have rights and responsibilities.