First Grade

First grade is a time of significant growth for the developing child. Our students carry the foundational skills of kindergarten into a time of greater self-sufficiency and intellectual curiosity. This year ignites an ownership of learning and brings an awareness of each student’s place in his or her classroom and world. This theme is nurtured with hands-on science projects, unique math programs, and special theatrical performances. The ultimate goal of the first grade is to prepare the students for the focus on independence in the second grade.

Reading, Phonics, and Vocabulary. The first grade reading program is de­signed to instill a love of reading through nurturing independence and encouraging choice. During the first half of the school year, students learn how to choose books based on reading level and subject matter. With the teacher’s guidance and en­couragement, students master accuracy with phonics and sight words, fluency, and comprehension skills that serve as tools for their reading success. During the second half of the school year, students also begin to read chapter books together in literature circles that allow for a mutual discovery of the wonders of literature.

Writing and Grammar. The writing program is focused on balancing the structure of writing with the child’s individual voice. Through a specialized platform, students are encouraged to vocalize ideas in com­plete sentences as a segue to formulating thoughts into complete written sentences. There is a strong empha­sis on grammar as well as penmanship, as students explore writing in a wide variety of genres. Students de­velop their writing skills and stretch their imaginations through daily writing in their journals. They also com­plete writing projects that take them through the steps of a defined writing process. By the end of the school year, students have been introduced to the basics of paragraph structure.

Mathematics. Students continue to explore math using different learning modalities. They work in both whole and small groups to meet the needs of individual learners. Math lessons include hands-on work with manipulatives and inquiry-based discussions. As in kindergarten, math is integrated throughout the day, with key concepts taught. Students are encouraged to use their knowledge of learned concepts to think critically, which develops problem-solving skills.

Science. The first grade program is fun and engaging as it brings science to life through cross-curricular units of study. The three major units are the states of matter, weather, and the human body. Using the Scien­tific Method, students complete exciting hands-on experiments and projects that enable them to find their inner scientist and learn to look at the world with an observant eye. Students also get to explore their world during notable times of year and on a stimulating field trip.

Social Studies. Social studies in first grade is designed to broaden the horizons of High Point students, helping them to understand their world, past and present. Students participate in fun and engaging projects that integrate art, literature, and oral presentations. Proprietary units provide students with an appreciation and understanding of the interdependence of people around the world. Students become global citizens, us­ing mapping skills for worldwide exploration and connection. American culture is also emphasized, and each holiday throughout the year is a wonderful opportunity for students to explore the lives of prominent Ameri­cans, traditions, and their role in shaping our society.