First Grade

In first grade, students begin to master the basic building blocks of reading and writing as they develop critical literacy skills. They also continue to develop their understanding of how numbers work in order to learn more complicated addition and subtraction skills. In addition, all first grade students are screened to determine their eligibility to receive gifted education services.

 

First grade is the earliest time that students identified as gifted are eligible to apply to the Brickell Academy at Old Donation School, a centralized, full-time gifted program for intellectually gifted students in grades 2 through 8.

English Language Arts

Your child will be introduced to a wide variety of reading materials that will help develop her reading, writing, and oral communication skills. She will receive instruction in phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency and writing.

 

Goals

By the end of first grade, your child should be able to do the following (but is not limited to):

  • Print legibly by forming letters accurately and spacing words within sentences
  • Use correct spelling for commonly used sight words (words that students recognize immediately) and phonetically regular words (words that can be sounded out) in final copies of his/her writing
  • Write in a variety of forms, including writing to inform/explain, to offer an opinion, and to narrate an experience
  • Use titles and pictures to make predictions about text
  • Read grade-level, or higher, texts with a purpose in mind (e.g., to identify the main idea, to glean information, etc.) and for understanding
  • Retell fiction and nonfiction texts, identifying the main idea and important details
  • Identify and use text features, such as pictures, headings, charts and captions to increase understanding
  • Describe characters, settings and important events from a story or reading selection
  • Read aloud in an expressive manner, with varying tones of voice to convey meaning
  • Use text clues such as words or pictures to determine the meanings of unknown words
  • Orally identify, produce and manipulate various spoken sounds within words to demonstrate phonemic awareness (i.e., the ability to hear, identify, move, or change sounds, called phonemes, in spoken words).

*Tips

  • Read Every Day - Perhaps the single most important thing you can do at this stage to develop good reading habits and foster your child’s reading and writing skills is to read to and with him every single day- even if just for 20 minutes a day. Include fiction and nonfiction. Make reading time a fun experience that you both enjoy.
  • Encourage and Explore Different Uses for Writing - Make sure that your child writes for different tasks, purposes, and audiences. Examples of writing may include grocery lists, recipes, notes, thank you cards, letters, and stories. Authentic writing experiences will motivate children to write and foster a love of reading and writing.
  • Visit the Local Library - Make visits to your local library part of your regular routine. The library is a fun place, especially if you present it to your first-grade child as a place of discovery, with unlimited books to read and borrow as well as a place to participate in activities like story time, author readings, and craft time.

Tips provided courtesy of NBC News Education Nation

Math

Your child’s number sense will continue to expand in first grade. He will learn how to solve problems using computation, measurement, and the analysis of sample data. He will also explore visual and spatial relationships by examining geometric figures and their attributes.

 

Goals

By the end of first grade, your child should be able to do the following (but is not limited to):

  • Solve basic story problems involving addition and subtraction
  • Extend and describe growing and repeating patterns
  • Count by twos, fives and 10s to 120
  • Understand place value to the 10s place
  • Develop strategies to solve basic addition and subtraction facts up to 10
  • Measure lengths using non-standard units (e.g., using an object other than a ruler to measure length like using a paper clip to measure the length of a pencil)
  • Tell and write time to the nearest hour and half hour
  • Recognize and count a collection of coins
  • Represent, name, and solve practical problems involving equal sharing with two or four sharers
  • Identify and describe plane figures (2-D flat figures like triangles, squares, circles, and rectangles)

*Tips

  • Learn Math from Everyday Objects - Your child can build an understanding of addition, subtraction, and the other math concepts she is learning in 1st grade by playing with everyday objects. Use items that she enjoys playing with, such as Legos, and place them into groups. Make up simple addition and subtraction stories with the objects and have your child tell you the solution using the objects. As with all math activities, don't push it if your child resists, since math development varies greatly from child to child and she may just not be ready for certain concepts.
  • Reward Effort for Math - Speak positively about math and reward effort, rather than grades or ability. Don't discount the importance of math by saying, "I'm not a math person, I was never good at math." Help your child read books that incorporate math, such as Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag or On Beyond a Million, by David Schwartz.
  • Playing Math Games - Play a game in the car using simple addition or subtraction. For example: I'm thinking of a number that equals 7 when it is added to 3. What number is that? Look for opportunities to play simple addition and subtraction games, for example, while she is eating, with the number of items on her plate. Play a mind-reader game. Think of a number for your child to guess. After each guess, respond with the words "higher" or "lower." At different times use the words "more" or "less" so she learns different arithmetic vocabulary. This game helps her correlate the number words and counting sequence with actual amounts or sizes. In addition, plenty of family games incorporate math. Connect Four, and dominoes are just some of the many games that help build math skills. Any game using dice and counting spaces also builds math concepts.

Tips provided courtesy of NBC News Education Nation

Science

Your child will use the skills of a scientist to understand nature and everyday objects. She will learn fundamental practices of scientific investigation and begin to apply these skills as she learns about properties of objects, basic needs and characteristics of living things (plants and animals), seasonal changes and other common patterns in nature.

Social Studies

Your child will learn about the concept of community. He will learn to apply the traits of a good citizen and recognize that communities in Virginia include people who have diverse ethnic origins, customs and traditions. He will also study the economic concepts of goods and services, buyers and sellers, and making economic choices.