First Grade Teacher
First Grade Teacher
First graders are like sponges; they absorb everything presented to them. This year is filled with independent growth and highly visible progress in reading, writing, and mathematics. First grade is also a year of exploration and discovery of the world through the use of hands on learning, technology, and individualized instruction.
Experiences To Look Forward To:
- Famous Americans Project
- Morning Math
- Spring Musical
Room Mom & Dad
Grade Level Rep
English and Language Arts:
- Reading strategies, decoding words, vocabulary building, and comprehension skills are taught in the first grade reading program through guided reading.
- With the use of interactive and model writing, students become familiar with prewriting strategies and become independent writers. Grammar concepts such as punctuation, capital letters, and comma placement are enforced during interactive writing.
- First grade has a reading resource teacher that helps with both group and individual instruction.
- Math in first grade emphasizes the use of concrete manipulatives and the application of math concepts and skills which can be related to real life situations.
- Some of the concepts that first grade focuses on are number sense, number bonds, place value, addition, subtraction, money, time, and simple fractions.
- Social Science is taught through hands on class experiments and field trips. The students will visit the STEM lab once a week to reinforce the concepts being taught in the classroom.
- Over the year first graders will explore subjects in Earth, Life, and Physical Sciences.
- The social science program also teaches the students about how our community plays a role in the world we live in today.
- The art room is a hub of creativity. All lessons begin with an artist study or study of a technique or style. Then students create work in that style. Students work in a variety of mediums including tempera paint, watercolor, acrylics, oil pastels, pen and ink, pencil, charcoal, and clay.
- In younger grades, students spend time practicing their fine motor skills in cutting, drawing, and painting with large brushes. As students grow, they begin fine tuning their work by adding creative details and using more sophisticated tools to express their art. Over time, students are able to begin focusing on the elements of art and learn specific techniques.
- The goal of the art program is to instill life-long knowledge, skills, and techniques that can be built upon in developing a true sense of appreciation for art for years to come.
- Our Christian Education program meets with all students once per week. During class the children learn about the liturgy, Sacraments, prayer, bible verses, and much more! Our lessons follow the liturgical calendar of the church. Monthly we focus on a different virtue such as thankfulness, truthfulness, kindness, and patience. The Guidance Counselor and I collaborate on these virtues so that the students learn about them from a Christian perspective and a social perspective.
- Our Christian Education program is designed so that the Pre-K 3 through Kindergarten students receive a basic introduction into the topics covered all the way through 5th Grade but every year we build upon what is previously learned.
- Our lessons follow the Liturgical Calendar and include prayers, Parables of Jesus, parts of the Bible/Bible navigation, Miracles of Jesus, and Old Testament study. We also focus on one virtue per month and the School Counselor and I collaborate so that she teaches it from a social perspective and I teach it from a Christian perspective.
- The school counseling program cultivates and encourages the academic, personal/social, and career development of each child, as well as supports every students’ unique gifts through classroom guidance lessons, individual counseling, and small group counseling.
- The Guidance curriculum works in conjunction with the Christian Education curriculum to teach monthly virtues to the students. These virtues are part of the program “Creating Classrooms and Homes of Virtue”. The guidance aspect of these lessons focuses on the social aspect behind each virtue. Some of the virtues that are covered are goodness, tolerance, perseverance, and thankfulness, among many others.
- 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grade students learn about tolerance, respect, compassion, career education and goal-setting, as well as bulling prevention. Students understand that they should be respectful of everyone and accept others for who they are. Students learn about career paths and the importance of setting goals for themselves throughout their lives. The students also learn the definition of bullying and are able to differentiate between teasing and bullying. They learn how to be an advocate for themselves and others who may be going through uncomfortable situations related to bullying.
- The library is a dynamic, exciting place for exploration, reading, thinking, learning, creating, growing, showcasing student work, and coding on the iPad. The library strives to meet and exceed the expectations of the students, parents and faculty by ensuring a balanced, up-to-date collection of print and non-print resources are available for in-school and home use. Our library follows the professional standards of the American Library Association (ALA) for library instruction and collection development.
- Music at St. James Episcopal Day School is to provide our students with an opportunity to create and respond to music expressively. They will experience a variety of musical styles and genres through performance, technology, imitation and movement in the classroom. Children are taught the basics of music theory along with the works of great composers. It is our hope that they will discover the value and enjoyment of music.
- First grade students will:
- Learn to distinguish steps and skips on staff
- Learn to read written simple rhythmic notation
- Be introduced to notation on the treble staff
- Perform as a group in front of an audience
- Learn about instruments of the orchestra and their families
- Physical Education is more than recess and a time to play. It is a time for learning. One of my primary goals as a physical educator at St. James is to teach every child how and why they should keep themselves healthy and fit throughout their lifetime. Our physical education program provides developmentally appropriate learning experiences that teach children how to be physically active in ways that foster creativity and self-expression, increase physical competence and self-esteem, and promote joy through lifelong physical activity.
- Our physical education curriculum includes a balance of body management, locomotor movement, manipulative skills, and rhythms/dance experiences. These units are designed to enhance the cognitive, motor, affective, and physical fitness development of every child in a safe learning environment.
- We provide experiences that encourage children to question, integrate, analyze, communicate, and apply cognitive concepts.
- Activities are taught throughout the year that allow children the opportunity to work together to improve their emerging social and cooperation skills, thereby fostering an understanding of themselves and the acceptance of others.
- On-going fitness assessments are used to help children understand, enjoy, improve, and/or maintain their physical health and well-being.
- Class activities designed for maximum student participation, success, and fun
- The Spanish program exposes our students to a world language, providing them with basic receptive and expressive language skills needed to communicate in Spanish as well as respect for other cultures. Physical response activities are used for the students to listen to and carry out spoken commands in a safe and fun environment, where the students feel free to take risks and participate.
- Students introduce themselves, express how they feel, and report the weather. They learn the days, the months, the seasons, and keep increasing previous vocabulary.
- STEM Education at St. James Episcopal Day School is an approach to teaching and learning that integrates the content of skills of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM behaviors include engagement in inquiry, logical reasoning, collaboration, and investigation. St. James students will participate in STEM activities that are inquiry-based, that involve teamwork, and that involve collaboration.
- Kindergarten through second grade students will learn The units of study include forces and motion, energy, molecules to organisms, earth's systems, and plants and animals.
- They will learn to investigate by using the scientific method, use tolls to design structures, communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air and other living things in the environment.
- Students will learn to analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each preforms.
- iPad apps and a 3D printer are also used to enhance STEM activities.
Students demonstrated their knowledge of line by making a fun collage using line variety. They used shape and color to draw and paint their homes. Students also began a special surprise project for the upcoming art show!
After a review of all of the Old Testament stories the children learned last year, we have continued our journey with a discussion of Moses and Joshua.
In First Grade, the students and I read the story The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes, which tells a story about a little girl who, as long as she or anyone else could remember, has never made a mistake. She lives her life very cautiously and misses out on some fun experiences with her friends because of it. She also has some anxiety because of her desire for perfection. As you can probably tell, by the end of the story, she makes a huge mistake and decides to laugh about it. She learns that mistakes are a natural part of life, and she is a happier person once she finally makes her first mistake. After the story the students did an activity writing and illustrating how the main character felt during the beginning, middle, and end of the story. It was a wonderful lesson!
The first nine weeks in the library was filled with learning and fun. Our first grade students earned about the parts of a book including the front cover, back cover, spine, and call number. Ask your child to tell you about the author and illustrator of the book. First graders were introduced to both fiction and non-fiction books as well. The first grade students take library books home in a special plastic bag that has every student's barcode for efficient checkout. The library book and plastic bag must be returned each week to receive a new book. If a student in first grade wishes to swap out their library book before their assigned class time, they are always welcome to come to the library from 7:50-8:10 a.m. each morning. If I am not with a class during recess, the library is available for student use.
All of our students were wowed by the wonderful library update! We are so blessed to have such a fresh and renewed facility. If you haven’t stopped by to check out the remodeled library please do so soon! Please mark your calendars for the book fair November 12-17, 2017.
First Graders are learning to name the notes on the treble staff. Did you know that the spaces on the treble staff spell the word FACE? We used games on the iPad and bean bag games to help us remember.
First Grade started the year reviewing and practicing basic locomotor skills, pathways and ordinal directions while playing cooperative and invasion games. In our striking unit, we learned about “ready position” and different strategies for the games Newcomb and Four Square. Our new heartrate monitors and "Bring Your Parent to P.E. Week" have definitey been the highlights of the first nine weeks.
Fist grade learned greetings, the days of the week, colors, and numbers 1-10. They love practicing addition in Spanish every class.
The first grade classes had a great time learning about the parts of an insect this first nine weeks. They have also enjoyed learning all about the "Journey North" app. This is an app that allows us to track the migration of the Monarch butterfly to Mexico. The students loved studying about the constellations during carnival week, and The Star lab was a huge success with all three first grade classes.
- First graders created their art show piece inspired by the play Annie and its song “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow”. Students discovered the element of value by shading and tinting snowmen to show dimension. Finally, first grade artists completed their whimsical Blue Dog with his creative background, now on display in the cafeteria. See if you can you find their Blue Dog using their clues.
- The children learned about the virtues: Perseverance, Thankfulness, and Faith. We spent time reviewing the 7 Sacraments of the Episcopal Church. The children also discussed the Liturgical Calendar, All Saint’s Day, St. Clare of Assisi, St. Nicholas, and the season of Advent. The children learned about Advent wreaths and the Nativity.
- First grade students learned about the true meaning of Christmas through the story "The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving." In the story it shows where gift giving at Christmas time actually started, with the three wise men and the birth of Jesus. The students discussed what Christmas means to them and how fun giving to others can be. It is always fun to hear their thoughts!
- Students in first grade participated in the Hour of Code during Computer Science Week, December 4-10. They learned what a QR code is and how to read one using the ipad. The students were given a bookmark that highlights programs that will allow them to practice this exciting language not just at school but anywhere they have access to a device and the internet. Parents are encouraged to try coding too! Visit https://hourofcode.com/us to learn more.
- After reading the book "Dem Bones" by Bob Barner, first graders used the app Stop Motion Studio to create and label parts of a skeleton. They then used the product for a lesson on tempo with Mrs. Hannie. It was a fun cross-curricular activity.
- First graders have also been exploring tempo. We played a hand clapping game in which the tempo got faster. We have also been learning about music notation. The students can name the notes on the spaces in the treble clef and can recognize notes that move by step and by skip.
- First grade practiced how to successfully track and catch different objects in the air. They had fun using launch boards to catch both individually and with a partner. Adding underhand throwing to games presented new challenges as explored how to move their bodies to catch.
- First grade learned to recognized numbers 0 - 20 and parts of the body. They reviewed the difference between the alphabet in English and Spanish and created a Stop Motion Movie writing simple Spanish words. They are learning to describe five weather conditions.
- The first grade classes were excited to participate in the Hour of Code week. One of their favorite apps was called, Tynker. The students enjoyed designing on their iPads using the edu creation app. This app allows them to design and to write about their ideas using inventive spelling. A favorite building manipulative is the extra large Lego bricks. They have been reviewing addition facts with their STEM mentor class. The first grade classes love to create their very own chemical reactions using baking soda and vinegar. First grade will be using the Zspace virtual reality program to study parts of the plant cell during the third nine weeks. They will also learn how to use the virtual reality app called Aurasma. Their STEM mentor classes will work with them on the iPads as they enjoy creating their own math word problems using the edu creation app.
- First Grade Artists studied Jasper Johns and painted an American flag in his style for Famous Americans’ Day. They showed their excitement for spring’s arrival by painting Japanese Cherry blossoms in a blue and white vase. Finally, they learned about closed and open composition by painting a still life of pears.
- The children learned about the virtues: Hope and Loyalty. We spent time discussing the Liturgical Calendar with a focus on the seasons of Epiphany and Lent. The children have heard stories of Jesus’ miracles such as Jesus healing the man at the pool of Bethesda, Jesus healing a blind man, and Jesus calming a storm.
- In 1st grade we read the story Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. In the book, Spoon compares himself to Knife, Fork, and Chopsticks, and doesn’t feel great about himself. Luckily he learns that he is special the way he was made and can do things that the other utensils can’t, just like they can do things he can’t. We discussed the phrase “Comparison is the thief of joy” and what that means. The students did a great job grasping the concept of that quote and learned that we need to be happy for who we are and how we’re made instead of comparing ourselves to others. It was a great lesson!
- First grade had so much fun learning about parts of a body through Tedd Arnold’s books Parts and More Parts. The author uses the best idioms throughout the book. We also used the database pebblego.com to learn about the life of Dr. Seuss as we celebrated his birthday. The students are encouraged to explore more biographies by visiting the website. The username is sjstudents and the password is pelicans.
- First Graders also performed in the Broadway musical and worked hard on their songs. They been learning about the Beatles and singing Octopus’s Garden. We have also been listening and identifying classical pieces.
- First and second graders learned how to jump and turn a long jump rope. As turners, we worked on not letting too much rope touch the ground (because it messes up the rhythm for the jumper). As jumpers, we learned to watch the rope turners arms so we know when to time our jump. We also worked on staying in the middle of the rope and not jumping too high.
- Currently we are working on striking a beachball over a net. Beachballs are light so we need a light touch to maintain control. Getting our bodies underneath the ball and hitting with two hands is best. Hitting with our palms up gives the ball direction to get over the net. Newcomb is a lead-up game to volleyball with similar rules. In Newcomb, however, players can catch the ball or hit the ball over the net.
- 1st Grade had fun creating a Stop Motion Movie where they drew and labeled their families. They also learned adjectives and created a booklet with pictures they drew.
- It has been a busy third nine weeks in our first grade classes in STEM Lab. They were so excited to learn all about the skeletal system. Each one of them were determined to remember the scientific names as well as the common names of our bones. One of their favorite things to do was to put on the 3d glasses and to see what a real heart looks and feels like. Each class really enjoyed creating a stop motion video using q-tips and their iPad to make the skeleton that they designed move.
- Students spent this nine weeks focusing on line, shape, color, texture, and form. They began creating a collage with a circus theme inspired by Matisse’s Beast of the Sea. Students painted cherry blossoms in beautiful blue and white vases. Then, students explored form by making necklaces out of clay, as well as worked on their collaborative piece to sell at the auction. Finally, students studied open and closed composition through their pear still life.
- We spent time discussing the Liturgical Calendar with a focus on the seasons of Lent and Easter. The children learned about parables and how Jesus used parables to teach us about God and the Kingdom of Heaven. They heard the parables of The Good Samaritan, the Workers at the Vineyard, The Lost Coin, The Hidden Treasure and the Lost Pearl. Students also learned about the Resurrection and Doubting Thomas.
- First grade students have been concentrating on pitch during music class. We have used Boomwhackers to find the correct “Do Re Mi” order. We used an iPad app called “Blob Chorus” to further explore pitch. It was lots of fun.
- The 1st grade skill unit in the 4th quarter combined jumping, hopping, and balancing. Students learned how to play International Hopscotch, Texas Turnaround, and Escargot. This cross-curriculum unit reinforced sequencial numbering, patterns, and even math strategies. You had to be a good thinker as well as have body control to play well!
- Our last PE unit was the culmination of several skills that were worked on during the year. Students played various dymnamic movement (chasing, fleeing and dodging) games that also required manipulative skills (throwing, rolling, striking and kicking). The two favorites were Battleball and Rock.
- 1st Grade had fun creating a Stop Motion Movie about animals. They learned to identify and name pieces of clothing and created a booklet about pieces of clothing to wear when the weather is cold and when the weather is hot.
- Plant a garden and watch them grow! That is exactly what we have done this nine weeks in our STEM classes. Mrs. Feduccia worked on a project based learning idea this nine weeks which included Prek3 to Fifth grade. Our first graders enjoyed planting various vegetables. The garden is really growing fast. There are bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, okra, romain lettuce, carrots, and even celery that our fourth graders grew in their class and donated to the garden. It has been our new mind, healthy body, and spirit project and it has created a love for gardening in a short period. First grade's favorite thing to do on STEM Day was the Science experiments.