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First Grade

Language Arts

In first grade, students will become more independent readers and writers. They will continue to work with the building blocks of language while moving towards more complex words to increase their proficiency as readers and writers. When writing, first graders use complete sentences and increase spelling accuracy. First grade students will:

  • Understand the organization of print (sentences, capitalization, punctuation, paragraphs).
  • Match letters and sounds (phonics) and use word analysis skills to figure out unfamiliar words when reading and writing.
  • Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
  • Increase real-world knowledge by learning facts from reading.
  • Write about a topic, using an opening sentence, appropriate details and closing.
  • Describe people, places, things and events.
  • Express ideas, feelings and opinions clearly and with complete sentences when speaking and writing.
  • Increase vocabulary through the understanding and use of multiple meaning words (e.g., bat, duck), word families (look, looked, looking), word categories (colors, clothing), synonyms and near synonyms (said, stated) and real-life connections.


Students will apply their reasoning and skills in the field of mathematics and will extend this knowledge to other aspects of their life. Students in first grade will:

  • Develop ways to add and subtract numbers using objects or drawings to model.
  • Learn that numbers are made up of groups of tens and some ones.
  • Add numbers within 100.
  • Use two-dimensional and three dimensional shapes to make new shapes and describe those shapes with words.
  • Measure using length.
  • Tell time to the hour and half-hour.


Science engages students in enjoyable, active learning experiences. Science instruction should be as thrilling an experience for a child as seeing a rainbow, growing a flower, or holding a toad. The science curriculum allows students to experience the joy of doing science while learning science concepts. In grades K-2, students will:

  • Apply scientific processes, communicate scientific ideas effectively and understand the nature of science.
  • Understand earth and space through the study of earth materials; the movement of the earth, moon and weather.
  • Study the forces of motion and the properties of materials.
  • Study changes in organisms over time and the nature of living things.

Social Studies

Social Studies provides students an opportunity to learn about themselves, their community and the world. As students engage in social studies, they also learn about culture, citizenship, geography, and financial literacy. First grade students will:

  • Identify and describe similarities and differences between schools and neighborhoods, such as the different roles of people and different community traditions.
  • Recognize their role and responsibilities in school and in the neighborhood, such as appropriate and responsible behaviors for working in a group and participating in activities.
  • Use geographic tools, such as a compass, to identify directions and locate features on a map such as mountains and states.
  • Explain how goods and services meet peoples’ needs and recognize how people make choices to meet their needs.

Information Technology

In a world where technology is playing an ever increasing role, it is necessary for students to learn how to access and use technology as a tool to accomplish a variety of tasks. First grade students will:

  • Discuss and demonstrate appropriate use of computers.
  • Identify and name the basic components of the computer such as keyboard, monitor and mouse.
  • Use electronic resources like interactive books and educational software.
  • Demonstrate proper use of the mouse and proper keyboarding techniques.

Fine Arts

Learning the elements of art is an important part of expressing creativity. Students learn abstract thinking, expression, quality work and problem solving when engaged in the arts. Kindergarten through third grade students will:

  • Draw simple textures using line, dots and shapes while recognizing the variations of patterns.
  • Understand and use colors.
  • Listen to signals and respond to movement and directions.
  • Move to a steady beat, changing tempo, simple rhythms and patterns.
  • Use dramatic games to enhance listening, imitation, pretending and cooperation.
  • Practice voice, movement, diction and expression.
  • Experience improvisations, puppetry, props, and costumes.

Healthy Lifestyles and Physical Education

Research shows that healthy, fit kids learn best, and that exercise has a positive impact on brain chemistry and function. In first grade, students will:

  • Develop a sense of self and their relation to families and community.
  • Understand personal hygiene, proper nutrition, benefits of exercise, personal safety, and learn to identify helpful and harmful substances to the body.
  • Understand how family members support each other and how families can change over time.
  • Recognize that choices have consequences which affect self, peers, and family.
  • Describe behaviors that initiate and maintain friendships.
  • Participate daily in short periods of physical activity that require effort.
  • Perform skills like cutting, gluing, throwing, catching, and kicking.

Library Media

Providing students with information literacy and problem-solving skills is an increasingly important role of the school library in today’s society. Students use the library to find reading materials for enjoyment and for information. First grade students will:

  • Learn where the library is in the school and be able to locate areas of the library (for example: easy fiction, reading areas, circulation counter, etc.).
  • Demonstrate proper care of a book and be able to select and use library books.
  • Be introduced to the Big Six information problem-solving processes and will use a book to read for information.
  • Listen to and interact with literature in a variety of formats.
  • Define and discuss the meaning of media.