First Grade (1st Grade)

Welcome to First Grade at Maxwell Elementary! We are so very HAPPY to have you with us. 

First Grade Curriculum

Language Arts
Our reading instruction is based around a balanced literacy approach.  We instruct students in guided reading, phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary/sight words, writing process and content integration.  In first grade we individualize reading instruction to meet the needs of the diverse learners in our classrooms.
Writing is critical to reading. This is the time to lay the foundation for students to understand that writing is a way to share ideas, opinions and understandings in a way that is lasting and can be read by others.We focus on the conventions of written language (capitalization, punctuation, types of sentences, sentence structure, nouns, prepositions, conjunctions, spelling, simple verbs...) and most importantly, relaying our opinions, facts and stories through writing and speaking to others in ways which make sense, are organized, detailed, and captures a readers interest.
 We will be using the Saxon math curriculum.
This program will allow us to address new mathematical concepts while gaining a deeper understanding of them through hands on experiences, continuous practice, and mathematical games throughout the year.
Concepts and skills are divided into smaller, more easily grasped pieces called increments. A new increment is presented each day and students work only a few problems involving the new material.
  • The teacher introduces one or more new math ideas daily, using examples and mathematical conversations,  with a focus on integrating new ideas and concepts with ones previously introduced.
  • The teacher guides students on practice problems relating to the new concepts.
  • Students individually engage in written practice that aims to help them master new skills and maintain mastery of concepts previously taught.

Social Studies
In first grade social studies, we focus on learning about producers and consumers, map skills, landforms, American folktales, and historical figures.  The students will learn how certain historical figures displayed positive character traits.
In science this year, your child will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with the following science themes:  Animals, plants, magnets, weather, and light/sound.
Basic Literacy Test (BLT)- used to determine a student's instructional reading level. It is given 3 times a year and assesses phonemic awareness ( is the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in words), phonics (the relationships between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language), sight words (words that should be memorized and instantly recalled) and comprehension (making sense of word knowledge, vocabulary, language structure, background knowledge and text structure to understand the meaning of the text.)