“I believe in a giving, positive classroom. I also treat the children like they are my own. I love to challenge my students no matter what their ability level. They will rise to the challenge with love, care and compassion and believing in themselves.”
~ Kelly Matz
GOALS & EXPECTATIONS
We believe in a giving, positive classroom and treat the children as our own. We are passionate about finding what motivates each child to learn and working with parents to ensure every child has the opportunity to be successful. We believe that when students are challenged, regardless of ability level, that they rise to the challenge with love, care, compassion and believing in themselves. The children will have homework every day to practice the skills they learned in class and to develop responsibility. Children should read a little every night in order to become strong independent readers. We may use a variety of motivational programs throughout the year to encourage respect and responsibility. We try to emphasize the positive and encourage the children to work for stickers, prizes, and class rewards. If there are behavioral issues, we will work together to help the child.
First graders learn how to love and care for one another. They read and listen to stories about Jesus. In January, they begin the preparation for receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation. Parents are included in the preparation of the sacrament. There is a Reconciliation folder which goes home weekly with readings and activities for children and parents to work on together.
This is a year of tremendous growth in reading! There is a study of sight words, sound/letter association, phonemic awareness, phonics skills, and concepts of word development. Students are exposed to a wide range of texts, including both fiction and nonfiction. Stories become more meaningful as their elements (plot, setting, characters, beginning, middle and end) are identified. Comprehension skills become stronger throughout the year. About once a month, we send home a list of basic sight words for extra practice at home.
Listening skills are a large component of learning. Students are taught attention strategies to help focus on their learning. They listen to and follow oral instructions, building from one to multi-step directions. They will gather, organize and evaluate information heard through presentations and group discussions.
Writing skills include D’Nealian letter formation, handwriting practice, composition and language. Students are authors themselves through whole-group and independent story composition and publication. Language syntax and structure, including the use of correct punctuation, sentence structure and story sequence are integrated into writing instruction.
Students grow in their understanding of mathematics. They build upon and apply skills learned in kindergarten. Regular lessons based on Number Talks by Sherry Parrish strengthen students’ number sense. Other skills learned include sorting and classifying, patterning, matching (one-to-one correspondence, same, more than, less than, least), counting to 100 (by 1s, 5s and 10s), counting by 2s to 20, reading and writing number words to twelve, identifying/building/writing numbers 0-30, equal parts, simple fractions, plane and solid shapes, money, measurement, time to the hour and half hour, digital/analog clocks, and calendar. First grade students are expected to memorize addition and subtraction facts through 12.
In science we use an inquiry-based method to help the children explore light and sound, parts of plants and animals, how plants and animals survive, plant and animal traits and variations, seasonal patterns, and patterns in space. We have adopted StemScopes science program to help implement the science standards.
Some topics explored in social studies are rules and laws, landforms and bodies of water, weather, neighborhood helpers, and map skills. Students learn ways to be a good citizen , such as respecting others and caring for the earth.
Students draw animals, seasonal pictures and learn how to take parts of pictures to make a whole composition. They learn about the color wheel and students should be cutting and gluing by themselves.
In 1st grade students start learning about music theory. They learn about note names, rhythm, dynamics and tempo. They do activities, games and songs to reinforce learning. They also participate in a Christmas program with 2nd and 3rd grade.
First graders work on basic gross motor skills, manipulative skills (throwing and catching, bouncing, kicking, dribbling, etc.), teamwork, cooperation, and sportsmanship. They also do a variety of sport related skills that apply to sports such as volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, etc., as well as lifetime skills such as jump rope, bowling, and fitness exercises. Lastly they participate in a variety of cooperative based activities such as; parachutes, noodles, and holiday themes games. Each student is given points based on effort, participation, and sportsmanship.
- FIRST RECONCILIATION: First graders will receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation in March.
- PARENTS/GRANDPARENTS: Parents are invited to come and read to the class. Grandparents are invited to come once a month to read to a small group.
- BUDDIES: First graders love having eighth grade buddies! We often go to church with them, read with them, or do holiday projects together.
- SERVICE CLUB: Our Service Club meets once a month to do service projects for others. We have made comfort blankets for cancer patients, snack bags for homeless children, and holiday crafts for nursing homes.
- GRANDPARENT LUNCH: Grandparents come to eat lunch with their child.
First Grade Teachers
At a recent professional development day, St. Martha faculty got to share with one another…
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