First grade at St. Joan of Arc is a year of great growth. Children mature through the year in a variety of ways.
The children grow academically especially in the area of reading. Student’s vocabulary increases through our word study. Their ability to differentiate and identify sounds is sharpened. Students reading level’s are identified and then children read with partners, in small groups and listen to a variety of genres which enables them to accelerate in the areas of fluency and comprehension. Interactive lessons are presented to children on the SMART board.
Through our math program, our students focus on the operations of addition and subtraction. They come to understand the relationship between operations. With this understanding, students begin to use algebra to identify missing numbers in equations. Our math program is fully operational with our SMART board, thereby offering interactive opportunities for learning. Students become fluent in solving addition and subtraction equations through the Otter Creek Rocket Math Program. This program assigns levels beginning with simple equations and slowly increases the difficulty.
First grade students grow spiritually through the year by learning new prayers, attending Mass on a weekly basis and participation in The All Saints Day Program. Each October, the first grade students dress as their favorite saint. They memorize a short speech to recite in front of the school assembly.
Our Foss Web science program is a hands-on program whereby students dig in to solve problems in the areas of life, Earth and physical science. The first grade curriculum includes the study of animals and plants and the features that help living organisms survive and adapt. We explore weather and the seasons and light and sound. Children are actively engaged in discovery and follow-up each investigation by making journal entries to record data that has been observed through investigation.
In social studies we discover how all people, not just official leaders, play important roles in a community. We learn about individuals and groups that have shaped a significant historical change. Among the historical figures that we study are Presidents Washington and Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Helen Keller. The major American historical events that we focus on are the discovery of America and the first Thanksgiving.
Finally, our students grow socially by nurturing lasting friendships. We work as a team, learning about several virtues to strengthen character and allow students to face a variety of social situations.