Our first grade Judaic curriculum reviews the concepts covered in kindergarten while at the same time introducing our students to new units of study:
Tefillah: Students begin each day with Tefillah (prayer). As a school we come together to build our connection with each other and establish a relationship with G-d. Along with davening, each week students focus on the meaning of the prayers and the customs associated with them, as in covering our eyes when saying the Shema.
Jewish Heroes: Every week a new Jewish Hero is introduced and his or her importance in Jewish history. Among the many notable individuals from our past, students learn about Noah, Esther, and Mordechai. Students learn not only about who these people were, but also the stories and the Jewish history surrounding the time when these people were around.
Holidays: Throughout the school year, students learn about the upcoming Yomim Tovim (holidays). Throughout the year, students learn the prayers and blessing of the holidays as well as the customs by fully participating in the celebration process. For example, when learning the Halachot (laws) of the Sukkah, students are asked to build one identifying the aspects that make it kosher.
Hebrew reading/writing: The school year begins with review of the nekudot (vowels). Students continue to build their reading skills using our kriah program. In 1st grade students are able to enhance not only their accuracy but also their fluency while reading. During this year, students also begin learning to write Hebrew in script. We use the K’tav B’kalut program (hand-writing without tears) to assist us in meeting this goal.
As students enter 1st grade, they come in with a strong love for reading and writing, which they have developed in kindergarten. Because the students at this point are able to read and write, they continue to develop these skills to promote fluency, understanding, and spelling ability as they further cultivate their love for books. Students work on retelling stories including key details from the text. They perfect their understanding of the book’s central message or lesson. Students are able to work comfortably with different book types (books that tell stories vs. books that give information) and can easily distinguish various genres of literature. Students are taught to further develop connections between self, the text, and the world around them. Through consistent interpretation and evaluation of text, students continually analyze their reading improving their skills and abilities of comprehension.
As the students continue to become stronger readers, they are also becoming better writers. More emphasis is given to spelling, various features of a sentence such as capitalization and the rules of what should be capitalized, ending punctuation, and the overall sentence structure.
In 1st grade, concepts learned in kindergarten are further explored and the understanding of the material becomes deeper as students are able to further investigate the topics below:
· Inquiry skills: Students learn all the skills that help scientists gather information (observe, compare, predict, measure, communicate, classify, hypothesize, plan an investigation, infer, draw conclusions, make a model, sequence). Students will discuss what a testable question is vs. an opinion question.
· Animals: Students will be exposed to different kinds of animals (birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects) and will learn what makes each one unique.
· Plants: A plants make up and its importance in the life of a plant will be learned. What are plants used for? What can people do to help plants grow?
· Environment: Students will explore rain forests, desert, tundra, prairie and the differences of each one.
· Earth’s resources and way in which to preserve them (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) will be explored further.
· Weather and ways to measure it, seasons and weather patterns, and objects in the sky (sun, clouds, moon, stars) as well as phases of the moon are introduced.
· Properties of matter and some ways to change it are investigated.
· Students learn about forces and their result on motion.
The math curriculum in 1st grade builds upon the main learning objectives from kindergarten while expanding this knowledge to new heights. Our teachers use a variety of teaching techniques to bring these topics to life. Hands on activities using manipulatives, working in groups, and differentiated instruction are just some of the ways in which this material is presented. The curriculum includes:
· Counting to 120 starting at any number less than 120
· Understanding that any two-digit number represents amounts of tens and ones
· Comparing two-digit numbers using >, =, < symbols
· Using addition and subtraction to solve word problems involving 2 or 3 whole numbers within 20
· Adding and subtracting using the following properties:
o Fluency within 10
o Commutative/Associative property of addition
o Subtraction as an unknown-addend problem
o Counting on (for small numbers up to 3)
o Making/decomposing leading to 10
o Creating equivalent but easier/known sums
o Relationship between addition and subtraction
o Adding within 100 including two-digit numbers
· Organize, represent and interpret data within up to 3 categories
· Distinguish between defining attributes (ex: triangles are closed and 3-sided) vs. non-defining attributes (ex: color, orientation) and use defining attributes to build and draw shapes
· Compose 2-D shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) OR 3-D shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, right circular cylinders) to create a composite shape and compose new shape from these composite shapes
· Tell and write time in hours and half hours using analog and digital clocks
· Recognize and identify coins, their names, and their value
· Introduction to fractions:
o Partition circles and rectangles into 2 and 4 equal shares
o Describe using: halves, fourths, quarters, half of, fourth of, and quarter of
o Describe the whole as 2 of, or 4 of the shares
At the first grade level, our social studies curriculum begins with discussion of families, communities, different ethnicities, races, religions and transmittance of traditions, customs, and beliefs. We begin talking about individual families and how family histories are passed down through generations, to connecting our personalfamilies to others within the community.
We delve deeper into the study of maps and globes. Students are further exposed to what they represent and how to use them to locate places and physical features.
Students will also be exposed to the following concepts: scarcity, democracy, power, citizenship, allegiance, nation-state, and justice. This vocabulary will be explored and its significance in our lives will be discussed.