In First Grade the students become secure in fluent, expressive reading using various literary genres. The students decode, recognize and spell vocabulary, and build comprehension. Verbal and written communication are integrated in the curriculum within and across subjects. In mathematics, as described in our textbook "Progress in Mathematics," they develop higher-order thinking through learning in-depth mathematical concepts such as the inter-relatedness of operations. They build skills such as algorithms and data analysis. Students also become fluent in math vocabulary, and reflect on math processes and patterns.
A special activity this year was learning how to code. We integrate computer science in the classroom with Code.org's Hour of Code and its 20-hour courses for beginners. Through coding, our 1st graders meaningfully collaborate with each other, developing problem-solving skills and persistence through difficult tasks, practice logical thinking, and follow written directions. The courses teach sequences, loops and events, conditionals, algorithms, binary code, debugging, internet safety, and the societal impact of computing!
In religion, we learn that God made us to know, love, and serve Him and be with Him forever in Heaven. We study the Creed, Salvation history, the Saints, Christian prayer, Liturgy and Sacraments, and the liturgical seasons. A highlight is selecting, dressing up as, and making a presentation on a beloved Saint. 1st Grade also leads the school in a Mass once a year.
Social Studies incorporates Catholic Social Teaching into care for each other and our planet. We cover geography, recognizing patriotic symbols and practices, and learning about neighborhood and community. Since our nation's capital is our neighbor we take field trips to the surrounding area and explore. For example, last year we went to the U.S. Postal Museum and the National Museum of Natural History.
At the end of the year, we celebrate our mothers with a song-filled breakfast and a special show. We reflect on how we grew over our year together and share our excitement about being ready for 2nd Grade. What a fun and engaging year!