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First Grade Language Arts Overview

Page history last edited by Tracy Hoskins 8 years, 4 months ago

First Grade Language Arts

Instructor:  Tracy Hoskins



First Grade Curriculum Map  Class Pages


First grade is a time of tremendous growth in reading and writing.  This is made possible in our first grade classroom by several comprehensive approaches.  The first grade day is balanced with whole group instruction, small group instruction, and independent instruction. Students learn to read and write as they gain a deeper understanding of words through our word study program.  First graders learn about phonograms, phonics, spelling rules, spelling patterns, and sight words through a variety of class and individualized activities and centers.  The Words Their Way curriculum is included to create a balanced literacy program.  First grade students apply these skills as they write about their own personal experiences in a journal.  Writing skills gradually progress from basic sentence structure to forming a complete paragraph.  One-on-one writing conferences occur to assess and support individual progress.  Handwriting skills are taught in small groups using the Zaner-Bloser manuscript texts.  Spelling starts 2nd trimester.  


During daily reading time, basic reading skills and comprehension strategies are modeled.  First grade students practice and apply these skills and strategies in a whole group, small group, and on-on-one setting.  During guided reading, students are grouped homogeneously grouped with a teacher to allow for differentiated instruction.  Students' reading needs will be met based on their ability level.  Like tying shoes, learning to read occurs at different rates throughout first grade.  Individual assessments are administered formally and informally on an ongoing basis.  First graders also explore a variety of genres and authors to foster their love of literature at a young age.  This approach allows students to make connections with other curriculum areas as well.  


Whole group reading instruction and read alouds provide another opportunity for the teacher to model reading strategies.  Our first graders are introduced to the Flat Stanley series.  As a class, first graders "travel" to different locations around the United States and world.  Several geography lessons are integrated using this literature as well as stories introduced by Jan Brett.  Karma Wilson's rhyming books about Bear are not only fun stories to listen to but they also teach first grade students about science topics such as hibernation, adaptation, and migration.  The year ends with books by the author Marc Brown.  Arthur and his friends teach first graders lessons in family values and being a responsible member of a community.  During these read alouds, students learn to make various connections and predictions in order to enhance comprehension.   


 Students in first grade are naturally curious and they have plenty of questions about the world in which they live in.  Our project approach to learning is designed to spark students’ interests about a topic and develop a deeper understanding about what they are learning.  Even students in first grade conduct research about a topic in order to answer their questions and become an expert about a topic of study.  First grade students are given an opportunity to share their prior knowledge about a topic, conduct field work in the classroom or community, interview experts in their field, and then use drawing, writing, construction, math diagrams, maps, etc. to represent their knowledge with peers and parents.  This helps build verbal communication skills.   





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