In first grade, students move towards greater independence for their own learning, being able to sustain tasks for longer periods of time and to work in a more independent fashion. In well planned learning environments, they begin to have some choice over their activities, all devised to further their academics and all under the careful guidance of experienced teachers.
A farm unit integrates math and social studies, as children design their own farms with acreage divided for designated uses. "Fencing" provides an opportunity to understand the notion of perimeter, and "purchasing" multiple animals for the farm (each with a designated price) introduces the concept of multiplication while applying computational skills. A trip to Howell Farm culminates the unit.
The work of learning to read, to spell, and to write is interwoven into all of the activities and especially comes to life in Journal Writings and Weekend Updates. The second half of the year finds first graders putting their burgeoning reading skills to use in Author Studies. Favorite authors, like Cynthia Rylant and Arnold Lobel, captivate the children’s interests and have them looking for more titles from these beloved authors.
Math continues to rely on Singapore Math, with a plethora of enriching teacher-created activities.
First graders can also be seen collecting attendance slips every morning from all of the Lower School classrooms. They are proud to be contributing to their school community in this way.