Santa Rita Elementary

1st Grade 2016-2017


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Reading

Our first grade classrooms use 4 different types of reading experiences;  read-alouds by the teacher, shared reading in whole-group settings, guided reading in small groups, and independent reading.  When the teacher is teaching a guided reading lesson to a small group, the other students are in workstations, practicing and reinforcing skills learned in whole group.  They really enjoy being able to work independently in their workstations!

We also teach Making Meaning strategies to students to help them gain a deeper understanding of reading, and also of writing.  We do mini-lessons in our Writing Workshop every week and the students write based on everyday experiences, or about something they have learned about in Science or Social Studies.  We believe that all of our students have the ability to learn to read and write, and we give them everything they need to accomplish that goal.

We use Saxon Phonics to build on the letter knowledge that is taught in Kindergarten, and build phonemic awareness so they can blend letters together into words to help with reading skills.  Students learn about consonant and vowel digraphs, trigraphs, combinations, blends, diphthongs, and final stable syllables to help learn rules for decoding and reading words.  This also helps build strong spellers!

Math

Our math program involves an understanding of number sense, and basic addition and subtraction facts.  We also learn to make predictions about patterns of numbers, how to create graphs and summarize information from them, how to determine the difference between 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes using formal language, and begin a good understanding of fractions.

We use Saxon Math, Envision Math, and Young Mathematicians to develop strong problem solving skills and to develop a good understanding of number sense through reasoning and higher level thinking.  We also use a lot of manipulatives to help the students gain a deeper understanding of math.

Science

Our Science program offers our young scientists plenty of opportunities to do hands-on investigations to learn about matter, energy, force, motion, earth, space, organisms and environments.  We learn about life cycles and habitats, and how and why things move the way they do.

Social Studies

In Social Studies, we learn about historical figures and their importance in our lives today, geography through making and learning about maps, cultural differences, government, what it means to be a good citizen, and other social aspects of communities.