• Academics

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    Language Arts
     

    Reading 

    Rich models of language in all forms of literature, including fiction, poetry, songs etc. are introduced in our reading program. Through Reading Workshop the children benefit from individualized instruction with reading materials from our classroom library. Shared reading is supported through an anthology.

    Our reading program focuses on an integration of the following essential elements for reading success:

     

    *Phonemic Awareness: The ability to hear and manipulate sounds and words, as well as the ability to isolate letters and sounds, blend sounds and segment sounds. This is taught and reinforced using the Fundations program. 
     
    *Alphabetic Principle: The ability to associate sounds with letters and use those sounds to form words.
     
    *Fluency with Text: The effortless, automatic ability to read words on connected text.
     
    *Vocabulary : The ability to understand and use words to acquire and convey meaning.
     
    *Comprehension: The complex cognitive process involving the interaction between reader and text to convey meaning.
     
    Specific reading strategies are individualized through reading conferences, small group guided reading lessons, story apps and the use of leveled texts. Shared reading of the anthology along with repeated reading of texts is incorporated to support mastery of high frequency sight words and enhance fluency. 
     
         

    Spelling


         First graders are encouraged to use their knowledge of letter sounds as  temporary spelling. In kindergarten, the children were taught to say words slowly and listen for the sounds. The children record the letter for the sound they identify. This supports children as they write a message and think of themselves as writers. As the year progresses the children will be expected to move toward more conventional spelling and will be held increasingly accountable for mastery of words and spelling patterns that have been taught. Our goal is for the children is to recognize spelling patterns and consistently use them in their writing.

         The children receive weekly high frequecy sight words. High frequency sight words are ones that are used regularly in writing and that often do not follow patterns. Sight words and application of spelling patterns will be assessed at the completion of a Fundations unit. 

     

    Writing


         Our Writer's Workshop consists of lessons followed by ample time to write and share. Children are taught the craft of writing, revision techniques, grammar, and punctuation. We  introduce simple editing and the application of their known spelling words. Students  write for a variety of reasons and take their pieces through the writing process. A Word Wall is posted in the classroom to support young writers as they compose. The Word Wall includes all high frequency sight words learned to date.

         Handwriting instruction includes the teaching of proper stroking and letter formation and is incorporated through spelling and phonics lessons. If you are sending in extra pencils for your child please select Ticonderoga Beginner pencils only. These over sized pencils are ideal for our young writers who are working on small motor skill development as they practice their handwriting. Standard plain pink erasers may be sent in as well. (Please do not send in fancy pencils, sharpeners, or erasers as these often distract our students and their neighbors.)


    Mathematics

                   Our district uses mathematics materials which are aligned with the Common Core Mathematics Standards. Students receive instruction in addition and subtraction concepts, building numbers to 120, comparing and ordering numbers, number patterns, graphing, problem solving, telling time, as well as geometry, measurement, and fractions. Connections between math and other subject areas are made.

    These skills are mastered through use of manipulatives (blocks, measuring tools, shapes), games, and problem solving activities. 

     
    Social Studies
     
    Our Social Studies program consists of learning about the neighborhood we live in. The lessons use children's literature as launching points and include such topics as holidays, directions, maps,  voting, Abraham Lincoln, the flag and other US symbols.

     

    Holiday Readers

    Holiday Readers are parents, grandparents, godparents, aunts, and uncles who come to read a holiday story to our class. The Holiday Reader may choose a picture book story related to the holiday. All readings are at the start of our school day, 9:00 A.M. If needed, book suggestions are available from the teachers or Miss Golembeski, our media specialist. To sign up to be a Holiday Reader, go to the Holiday Reader page of this website and sign up through the indicated link.

     

    Science

     Science is taught through a newly purchased science program that is alligned with the standards. Children  explore their world through investigation, guided practice, design challanges, and the scientific method. 

     

     

    Health Speakers 

         Health lessons are enhanced through our Health Speakers program. Guest speakers discuss their health and safety related experience, and share information on health topics. We strongly encourage families to invite qualified health and safety professionals to share their expertise. Lessons are enhanced in class through related literature and activities. To sign up to be a Health Speaker, go to the Health Speaker page of this website and sign up through the indicated link.

     

    Technology

    The children have access to Chrome books. Learning websites are introduced in the classroom and these lessons are designed to reinforce concepts taught across the curriculum. Throughout the year the children visit websites which support the first grade curriculum.  

    Visit the Sites for Kids page to find interactive sites listed by topic that support student learning.

    Our district subscribes to BrainPop and it is used as an audiovisual resource for lessons. BrainPop is a digital video-on-demand and online teaching service to help improve students' retention. The video clips provided by BrainPop are aligned to the Common Core Content Standards. 

     

     
     
    The views and opinions expressed in this page and site, unless specifically noted, are strictly those of Cara Bakos. The Caldwell-West Caldwell School District is not responsible and has no control over the redirected links that take users off the www.cwcboe.org site.