Students are assigned to a CORE classroom where the majority of their day is spent. Core classes are designed to include students of more than one achievement level. Core includes language arts, social studies, science and health. The children also attend the special area classes with their core group. This allows coordination with all subject areas. For example, when we are studying Japan in social studies, children may be involved with related activities in art, music, physical education and in the Media Center. Some classroom reading and writing assignments may also focus on Japan at that time.
Language Arts- includes reading, writing, literature appreciation, handwriting, speaking, listening, creative expression, spelling, and workstations.
Reading instruction in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District includes a balance of work in basal readers along with whole language activities and a wide variety of quality literatures. Children are grouped for instruction at the level where they have about 95% accuracy in word recognition, and a high level of comprehension. We will be using Literacy By Design this year. We also use books from Houghton Mifflin, Silver Burdett Ginn, D.C. Heath, Scholastic, Scott Foresman and Rigby. The readers that are generally covered by first grade students are:
• Preprimer 1 – 1.1
• Preprimer 2 – 1.2
• Preprimer 3 – 1.3
• Primer - 1.4
• First Reader – 1.5
Writing is a significant part of the language arts program. Even before children are able to read, they are encouraged to write by putting down the sounds they hear. Children gradually incorporate more correctly spelled words into their writing. Students will practice those skills through writing in a daily journal and our poetry program. This year each child will have a Writers Notebook.
curriculum is based on the Literacy by Design themes. The formal spelling program includes homework, class activities, and weekly spelling tests. We also use Spelling City as another form of practice. You will find word lists and practice pages at: www.spellingcity.com
Speeling tests are given in dictation form to allow children to practice many skills at once( capital letters, punctuation, and sentnce structure.)
In the first grade we encourage the Zaner-Bloser handwriting formation. Manuscript writing (printing) is used in first and second grade. Children are taught proper pencil grip and letter formation. The children are encouraged to use these skills inside and outside of the classroom.
Mathematics instruction is based on Math In Focus and state standards for each grade level. Students are tested for mastery of each objective. We use many “hands on” experiences with manipulative materials.
Social Studies consists of three major units focusing on communities and maps, Japan and Africa, respectively. We also study current events, famous people and holidays.
The core teacher teaches science three times in a 6 day cycle rotation in the science room. Many activities are extended within the classroom. The four major units of study are Weather, the Rain Forest, Organisms, and Comparing and Measuring. Other units being added are The Solar System, Magnets, Rainbows and light, and Greening our World.
Homework may be assigned throughout the year. Math and spelling homework will be given each week. Even though most children will be able to finish the work in a few minutes, this is an opportunity to establish good habits that can last a lifetime. Children should be able to do their work independently, with occasional clarification by an adult. Establishing a routine time and place at this age could promote future family harmony.
How You Can Help
• Please send a note to school with the student on the first day back from an absence.
• Help your child develop a systematic routine and assume the responsibility for carrying belongings to and from school. The “Homework” folder that came home the first day of school should be checked each day. Homework or messages to school may be put in the folders to send back. Checking the calendar to keep track of the day for library book return and physical education (wear sneakers) is also helpful.
• Send a note when any change in dismissal routine will occur. If a child is going home to a friend's house, notes are required from each child's parents. A change of buses requires a bus pass from the office. Please understand that a message on voicemail will not suffice. Please also send notes to school if your child is involved in any clubs after school.
• Check regularly to see if your child has the necessary supplies. It is good to have several pencils in school at all times.
• Send your child with appropriate clothing for recess, keeping in mind that we go outside whenever possible, even in the winter when there is snow on the ground. Please make sure your child can zip his/her coat and tie his/her shoes independently. This will help make recess a smooth process.
• Put your child's name on everything. Many articles of clothing and other items are donated to charity each year when they are not claimed from lost and found.
• In many areas children need more practice time than they can get during the school day. Reading every day at home is vital. The material should be easy for the child as this is an enjoyable time. Counting coins, telling time and measuring (such as in cooking activities) are also helpful. It is also advisable to practice for mastery of addition and subtraction facts by playing games, using computer programs or flash cards.
• Make sure that your child knows what to do if you are not at home when s/he gets home (This could happen on the event of an early dismissal due to weather). There should also be a plan in case s/he misses the bus and you can't be reached by phone.
• Contact the teacher when you have questions or concerns.
Children are given the opportunity for snack twice a day. Please make sure the snack can be easily opened and eaten in a short period of time.
A 4-digit pin number is required to buy lunch and snack. Once the number is assigned, please make sure your child knows his/her number and can recall it quickly.