Here at Big Creek, first grade is FUN! We have a lot to learn, but we do it with style.
The 2012- 2013 school year will be the beginning of a new curriculum. Previously, each state has had its own set of standards. This year every state will be changing over to the new national standards. The national standards are called the Common Core Standards. These standards make certain that every state has the same high expectations for each grade level. They will also make transitions from one state to another much smoother. Click HERE to see a copy of the new Common Core Standards for first grade.
We put a lot of emphasis on reading. Our reading program includes a daily phonics lesson with group practice time. This has shown to be a great way to get our first graders on the road to being great fluent readers. We cover many grammar skills such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives. We also have small group reading time. This gives the teacher an opportunity to meet the needs of every student by working with them at their level and building upon what they already know. Our focus in each small group is to develop each child's skills in their comprehension, fluency, accuracy, and vocabulary. While we work with small groups, the other students are involved in what is called the Daily Five. They work independently on the five components that have been proven to enrich their reading. The five components are: read to self, read to someone, listen to reading, word work, and writing. Raz- Kids is a website used in the classroom and can be accessed at home. It provides students with books at their reading level. They listen to the story, read it by themselves, and then they take a quiz on the story. As your child grows in reading, they move up reading levels.
We have seen that strong readers are often strong writers. There is a definite connection between the two subjects. We use this connection during our Story Study time. During Story Study time we read quality novels and pictures books. Then, as a class, we analyze the book and use the author’s examples of quality writing in our own writing. As your child grows as a reader, they will also be growing as a writer.
In our math program, students can expect to learn all about patterns, addition, subtraction, simple fractions, measurement, place value, shapes, and time. Our program provides for differentiated instruction, targeting all learners. Daily, resources such as problem of the day, math talk, and math journals are being used in the classroom as part of the math curriculum. Mathematics is a very hands on and active learning process. Many of our lessons come from the math frameworks that are aligned with the new common core. Click HERE to learn more about math frameworks. We also have the students engage in math centers twice a week. During this time, they are working on hands on activities in small groups. This also gives the teachers more time to help and challenge all students.
Social Studies offers us the opportunity to learn about our country, including symbols, economics, customs, and North America. We continue to build on map skills throughout the year. Animals and plants, weather and shadows, sound and light, and magnets are all things we learn in Science. We have many trips to the school's new Science Lab planned for the year. Students will also learn how to demonstrate a healthy living through nutrition, fire safety, and school safety.
Students learn so much through our specials rotations. They will have a blast working with Mrs. Cable in the Media Center, Ms. Aurisch in the PBL (Project Based Learning/ Computer Lab), and Mrs. Knatt, our school counselor. Fun, high-level of thinking activities have been planned for the Think Lab experience! P.E., Music, and Art add a special touch and allow us to show our talents.
Teachers, students, and parents work together to make first grade great!
Big Creek's famous first grade teachers: