At Home in 1st Grade
“I love teaching 1st grade at Ascension because I feel like I am home,” said Leslie Schneider. “I get to teach with the most amazing professionals, and I get to teach the greatest kids ever!” 1st-grade students at Ascension love to learn and experience a “super fun” and positive year as they build upon the foundation of learning established in kindergarten and begin to feel at home in the classroom.
Every day in 1st grade is fun and engaging. Each unit of study holds new challenges, as well as heightened awareness of how much we are learning. It is exciting to see a student grasp a new concept, to watch the light bulb go on, and for the happiness to resonate on their face. There is so much growth in the 1st-grade year. It is truly an amazing thing to witness the transformation from an entering 1st grader to competent students prepared for 2nd grade. The changes that take place are astounding!
Highlights of the 1st-grade-year include:
- Students make a substantial leap in reading as they learn to read fluently and accurately and gain an appreciation for literature.
- Participating in the K/1 play is always a highlight for the first-grade students!
- A favorite writing project in 1st grade is the insect report! Students enjoy researching an insect of their choosing, writing descriptions, and finding pictures as they compile a four-page report.
Key Learning Objectives of 1st Grade:
- Handwriting: In 1st grade, students work on mastering the writing of all capital and lower-case letters using proper form.
- Phonics: The Phonics Dance offers learning through strategies that incorporate rhyme, movement and chant. Building on phonemic awareness, students become confident, successful writers. In the process, they develop strong decoding skills through the use of “hunking and chunking” to build poise and fluency in reading.
- Spelling: Students master weekly word lists and high-frequency words which often tie in with literature selections.
- Reading: Children enjoy reading fiction and nonfiction with the whole class, small groups, partner groups, and independently. 1st-grade students gain a love for reading as they develop strong word attack skills and their level of comprehension and attention span grows.
- Math: The hands-on program in 1st-grade builds a strong foundation for more complex mathematics. Students learn place value of numbers to 100. They learn vocabulary and concepts of addition and subtraction facts up to 20, along with strategies to aid in quick addition and subtraction. The students are exposed to graphs, patterns, and data. They will sort, and look for number patterns. They will compare and order numbers, and will be introduced to money and time concepts. The curriculum will also introduce double digit addition and subtraction, geometry and measurement.
- Social Studies: Students learn about being members of different groups, where we live, how we all work together, being a good citizen, people who’ve made history, people who’ve made a difference, and more!
- Science: The science curriculum builds skills of inquiry, which empower children to solve problems, to evaluate their solutions, and to plan and implement their investigations. The Life Science unit includes plants as living things and animals as living things. The Earth Science unit includes the sky, weather and caring for the earth. The Physical Science unit includes matter and matter on the move.
- Religion: Each week students have a learn-by-heart Bible verse and Bible lessons are provided in class and re-enforced through chapel. We also focus on Biblically based character traits throughout the year to instill lifelong habits of servant leadership.
Students in 1st grade thrive as they get to know their 6th-grade chapel buddies and clearly become comfortable and confident on campus. Their skills develop beyond the core academics as they continue to experience specialties such as Spanish, music, physical education, choir, art trek, and learning in the Organic Teaching Garden. There is a lot to look forward to in 1st grade!
“Ms. Schneider is a fabulous teacher because she genuinely cares, nurtures, inspires and motivates her students. She makes the 1st-grade year so fun and exciting. We are grateful both our children had Ms. Schneider.”
– Aimee, Parent