First grade at St. Joan of Arc is a year of great growth. Children mature through the year in a variety of ways.
During the year the children grow academically especially in the area of language arts. We build strong phonemic awareness and skills with the Wilson Fundation Program. The Houghton Mifflin Reading Program allows students to develop strong skills in vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Interactive lessons are presented to children on the SMART board.
Through the Bridges 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 a hands-on learning experience which not only explores addition and subtraction but also explores measurement and geometry. 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, light, and sound. Children are actively engaged in discovery and follow-up each investigation by creating journal entries to record data that has been observed through investigation.
In first grade we teach many social/emotional skills and character development. Then, we branch out to learn about different communities and community helpers. We learn about individuals and groups that have shaped a significant historical change. Among the historical figures that we study are George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr. We also learn basic economics through the Jr. Achievement Program.