Students are assigned to a CORE classroom where the majority of their day is spent. Core classes are designed to include students of more than one achievement level. Core includes language arts, social studies, science and health. The children also attend the special area classes with their core group. This allows coordination with all subject areas. For example, when we are studying Japan in social studies, children may be involved with related activities in art, music, physical education and in the Media Center. Some classroom reading and writing assignments may also focus on Japan at that time.
Language Arts includes reading, writing, literature appreciation, handwriting, speaking, listening, creative expression and spelling.
Reading instruction in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District includes a balance of work in basal readers along with whole language activities and a wide variety of quality literatures. Children are grouped for instruction at the level where they have about 95% accuracy in word recognition, and a high level of comprehension. We use books from Houghton Mifflin, Silver Burdett Ginn, D.C. Heath, Scholastic, Scott Foresman and Rigby. The basal readers that are generally covered by first grade students are:
Writing is a significant part of the language arts program. Even before children are able to read, they are encouraged to write by putting down the sounds they hear. Children gradually incorporate more correctly spelled words into their writing.
The Spelling curriculum is based on the Houghton-Mifflin program. The formal spelling program includes homework, class activities, and weekly spelling tests.
In the first grade we encourage the Peterson handwriting formation. Manuscript writing (printing) is used in first and second grade. Children are taught proper pencil grip and letter formation. The children are encouraged to use these skills inside and outside of the classroom.
Mathematics instruction is based on district-developed objectives and state standards for each grade level. Students are tested for mastery of each objective. We use many “hands on” experiences with manipulative materials.
Social Studies consists of three major units focusing on communities and maps, Japan and Africa, respectively. We also study current events, famous people and holidays.
The core teacher teaches science three times in a 6 day rotation in the science room. Many activities are extended within the classroom. The four major units of study are Weather, the Rain Forest, Organisms, and Comparing and Measuring.
Health units are Safety, Drugs and Alcohol, Family Life (optional), Care of the Body. PATHS and Olweus Anti-Bullying Programs are taught to encourage a positive school climate.
Homework may be assigned throughout the year. Math and spelling homework will be given each week. Even though most children will be able to finish the work in a few minutes, this is an opportunity to establish good habits that can last a lifetime. Children should be able to do their work independently, with occasional clarification by an adult. Establishing a routine time and place at this age could promote future family harmony.
How You Can Help
Children are given the opportunity for snack twice a day. Please make sure the snack can be easily opened and eaten in a short period of time.
A 4-digit pin number is required to buy lunch and snack. Once the number is assigned, please make sure your child knows his/her number and can recall it quickly.