First grade follows the Texas Essential Knowledge Skills (TEKS) for all subject areas. Our district curriculum for all core subjects is TEKS Resource System. We use the Balanced Literacy approach for reading/ language arts. The District goal is for all First Grade students to fluently read a Level I reader (Fountas & Pinnell) by the end of the year.
Reading/Writing - Reading and writing are important and challenging skills for our first graders to learn. First grade is the year when many of our students seemingly learn to read over night. In first grade, our students will continue to build phonemic awareness with more complicated sounds like blends and digraphs. In addition to building phonemic skills, students will be taught a variety of strategies for decoding unknown words and start to answer questions about the meaning of what’s been read. Furthermore, by the end of first grade, students working at standard level will: comprehend and read grade-level material with fluency; use strategies (rereading, predicting, questioning, contextualizing) when comprehension breaks down; retell stories including the beginning, middle, and end; compare the experiences of characters; identify similarities and differences between two texts on the same topic; identify the meaning of words in a variety of texts.
When it comes to writing, students will learn to: write legibly; use capital letters for names and beginning of sentences; utilize punctuation (e.g. periods, exclamation marks, question marks, commas, apostrophe); correctly spell and use high-frequency words when writing; write words using invented spelling with a gradual move toward conventional spelling; write narratives with sequenced events, while including some details and providing an ending. By the end of first grade, most students will go through the writing process, meaning they think about what they want to write, write down their ideas first, look back over their work to fix mistakes, and then add details and pictures. At the end, they read it to a friend, the teacher, family member or the entire class.
Math - First grade is a year to explore and introduce the concrete building blocks for math, which include number sense, geometry, operations, and problem solving. By the end of first grade, students working at standard level will: identify and generate patterns and sequences; add and subtract numbers within 20 using objects and drawings; tell time by the hour and minutes; estimate and predict simple outcomes; count money; identify place value to the hundreds; practice measuring length, capacity, and weight; work with geometric shapes; become familiar with the concept of symmetry; count to 120 by 1’s and skip counting; identify fractions; represent, generate, and solve simple word problems using objects, drawings, and equations; determine the unknown whole number in an addition or subtraction equation relating three whole numbers; read, create, and analyze graphs.
Science - Science in first grade focuses on finding patterns in the natural world. Students will spend time learning about weather patterns, how they contribute to the water cycle, and how the water cycle sustains life. Simple tools such as a thermometer and wind vane are introduced. From there, students will learn that solids, liquids, and gases have different properties. Other areas of science exploration include learning about the scientific process, such as making and recording observations that include pictures, numbers, or written statements. In addition, students will learn about plants, insects, and animals and their common characteristics. As well as, the external features and environments that help plants and animals thrive. Most importantly, students will gain a wealth of knowledge on how ocean pollution impacts our marine life and all of us.
Social Studies - First graders will begin exploring the concept of community beyond just their family. Students will learn about how neighborhoods make up cities, cities make up states, and states make up nations, with a focus on how all of those components work together to create a unit. In addition, students will demonstrate an understanding of the importance of rules in a community and various roles leaders have in a community. By the end of first grade, students will study people and culture, past and present, from our community and all over the world. They will learn how physical environment shape cultures, why governments are important and ways in which our needs are served in the economy.