Overview: Grade One
- LANGUAGE ARTS
- HISTORY AND SOCIAL STUDIES
- PHYSICAL EDUCATION
- LIBRARY/INFORMATION LITERACY
Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening
Language and literacy development are essential for learning. The TAS standards and benchmarks for language arts outline what students will know and will be able to do in language arts at each grade level. We use a balanced literacy approach to deliver developmentally appropriate and engaging instruction. Our program includes:
Talk Strategies: strategies to help children articulate ideas and deepen their thinking in all content areas
Reading Workshop: strategy-based instruction to develop the skills and habits of proficient readers
Writing Workshop: clear, sequenced instruction that teaches students to turn their ideas into powerful written messages across genres and for a variety of purposes
Interactive Read Aloud: a time for students to engage with literature and grow ideas
Word Study: explicit instruction where students develop phonics, spelling, and vocabulary skills
Grammar: standards-based instruction that helps children develop proficiency in their use of English grammar, orally and in writing
We honor the developmental nature of language and literacy development by differentiating instructional strategies and materials.
In Grade 1, students will grow leaps and bounds as readers and writers. We implement a series of standards-based units designed by the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project that, while challenging, will create lifelong enthusiasm for reading and writing. These units are:
- Building Good Reading Habits
- Word Detectives Use All They Know to Solve Words
- Readers Get to Know Characters
- Learning about the World: Reading Nonfiction
- Readers Have Big Jobs: Fluency, Phonics, and Comprehension
- Meeting Characters and Learning Lessons
- Reading Nonfiction Cover to Cover
- Small Moment Writing
- Authors as Mentors
- Writing Reviews
- Nonfiction Chapter Books
- From Scenes to Series: Writing Fiction
- Writing Poetry
- Independent Writing Projects
- Writing How-To Books
The lower school counselor, in addition to supporting individual children and parents, teaches a guidance lesson in the classroom once in every ten-day cycle. Lessons are designed to help children strengthen their social skills and better understand the role of emotions in life. Children learn problem solving and conflict resolution skills appropriate for their grade level.
The mathematics curriculum has two major components: Standards for Mathematical Practice and Standards for Mathematical Content. The Standards for Mathematical Practice define what it means to be a mathematical thinker and are addressed at all grade levels of the Lower School. Students will be able to:
- Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
- Reason abstractly and quantitatively
- Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
- Model with mathematics
- Use appropriate tools strategically
- Attend to precision
- Look for and make use of structure
- Look for patterns
The Standards for Mathematical Content are the topics addressed at each grade level. Emphasis is placed on a balance of conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and real-world application. Grade 1 topics include:
- Sums and Differences to 10
- Place Value and Addition and Subtraction within 20
- Ordering and Comparing Length Measurements as Numbers
- Place Value, Comparison, and Addition and Subtraction to 40
- Identifying, Composing, and Partitioning Shapes
- Place Value, Comparison, and Addition and Subtraction to 100
The major resource for the lower school mathematics program is Eureka Math. A strategic approach allows for academic rigor while still meeting the needs of all students.
Highly engaging and rigorous, the program is developmentally appropriate and provides an enriching experience for all young scientists. The processes and skills of science are emphasized within the context of ‘doing’ science in real life situations using live specimens, suitable technology, and hands-on materials. The curriculum is built on the California State Science Standards and Benchmarks. The FOSS (Full Option Science System) science program serves as the core resource. In grade one, students will study the following concepts:
Sound and Light
- Sound comes from vibrating objects.
- Light interacts with materials with different properties creating shadows and reflections
- Sound and light can be used to communicate information
Plants and Animals
- Plants have structures that can propagate new plants: seeds, bulbs, roots, and stem cuttings
- Plants need sun, soil, water, and air in order to survive
- Plants and animals inhabit different environments
HISTORY AND SOCIAL STUDIES
We believe that the purpose of social studies is to cultivate global citizens by ensuring our students have knowledge of history, governmental systems, economics, culture, geography, and religion. Our social studies program is designed to ensure that students have the necessary tools and understanding to become effective problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and decision-makers in an ever-changing, interconnected world. Grade 1 focuses on:
Families in Our Community
- Families and communities are shaped by their special customs, interests, and traditions.
- Families and communities have wants and needs.
- Families and communities work together in neighborhoods to solve problems and make changes.
Families in Other Places
- Where a family lives affects the foods they eat, their celebrations, the clothes they wear, and the homes in which they live
- Maps and globes can be used to locate the continents and major bodies of water nearby
The lower school Mandarin program is committed to developing students’ Chinese language proficiency and deepening their appreciation for Chinese culture.
There are two tracks in the program, and different courses are offered in both tracks, based on students’ language proficiency levels, designed to meet students’ abilities and needs. In Grade 1, introductory, bridging, and grade level courses are offered.
The Mandarin Learner Track is for students who study Mandarin as a second language. The goal is to develop students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills with an emphasis on oral proficiency as a tool for meeting age-appropriate functional and informational needs. As the students gain oral skills, they begin to read and write, which sets them on a course for more advanced Mandarin language study. Students in the Learner Track use Pinyin, a Romanization system, to help them learn to read and write traditional Chinese characters.
The Mandarin Heritage Track is for students whose first language or strong additional language is Mandarin. The goal is to develop and enhance students’ overall language proficiency while focusing on reading and writing to build a solid foundation in literacy skills. Students in the Heritage Track use Zhuyin, Bopomofo Phonetic Symbols, to help them learn to read and write traditional Chinese characters.
Music students sing, play pitched and un-pitched percussion instruments, dance, do creative movement, improvise, and learn to read and write music. We use experiences with language, body percussion, instruments, and movement to help students develop their musical skills and understanding.
Each quarter we work on developing three specific drama skills through a selection of fun theater games: Cooperation/Collaboration, Physical Expression, Speech, Vocal Expression, Concentration, Imagination, Stage Skills, Characterization, Listening, Timing, Trust, and Self-Discipline. In addition, at various times in the year, we use themes from homeroom classes, rhymes, songs, fairy tales, folk tales, myths, poetry, or inspiration from music and literature to develop short drama projects. These pieces may be shared in the form of audio recordings, video, informal in-class presentations, and public performances.
In Grade 1 physical education, the students study units in the areas of manipulative, movement, fitness, aquatics and personal/social development. Manipulative involves the development of skills in throwing, catching, striking, kicking, and dribbling such as bouncing a ball continuously with the dominant and non-dominant hand while stationary and throwing a ball to a wall and catching the rebound. Movement involves the development of skills in spatial awareness, locomotor and non-locomotor such as jumping ten times rhythmically over a stationary rope and executing a forward roll. Fitness involves both the study of concepts and skills. Aquatics is a swim development program based on individual needs. Personal and social development is a reflection of the TAS values in action through physical education.
The focus of the lower school program is age appropriate, carefully sequenced skill development in a spirit of cooperation.
The art curriculum lays foundational skills through exploration, discovery, creativity, and amazement in visual media by teaching art history, art production, art criticism, and aesthetics at a developmentally appropriate level. The program is carefully sequenced to ensure each year builds on the previous year’s skill development and knowledge. At each level the foundational skills of basic drawing techniques, color mixing, principles of design, and critiques are built upon, while integrating STEAM concepts. Learning a design process with these basic art skills gives students the tools, experience, and confidence to develop and present their creative ideas. In addition to drawing, painting, printmaking, and ceramics, a variety of other media and concepts are explored throughout the year.
Grade 1 students are introduced to programming and building robots through the LEGO Education WeDo Construction Sets. Students will explore motors and sensors and learn how to program a robot to correctly execute a series of challenges.
ENGINEERING IS ELEMENTARY
Engineering is Elementary (EiE) teaches the students the engineering design process which involves defining a problem, generating ideas, selecting a solution, making the item, evaluating it, and presenting the results. Our EiE units this year are:
A Work in Process: Improving a Play Dough Process
& Catching the Wind: Designing Windmills