First Grade Course Of Study
Using the Johnny Can Spell curriculum, students will learn the sounds of the 26 letters of the alphabet individually and in combination. These form 70 common written symbols. This combination of sound and symbol is called a phonogram. These 70 phonograms represent 42 speech sounds. Using these phonograms, children are able to read and write words. Learning the sounds and symbol combinations and the generalizations that govern their use will help the student master the first steps of reading and spelling.
The scope and sequence is divided into multiple areas: phonemic awareness, alphabet knowledge, penmanship, print and phonological knowledge, orthographic knowledge, derivation, vocabulary, sentences, sentence elements, sentence composition, and capitalization.
First grade focuses on Guided Reading groups using leveled readers. Students also experience many genres of literature such as non-fiction, biographies, and fairy tales as a whole group. Examples of literature read in first grade include the Little Bear Series and the Frog & Toad Series.
Grammar and Writing
Using the Shurley English curriculum, students begin learning the parts of speech and important grammar concepts by singing or chanting jingles. Rhythm, rhyme, and movement are used to learn and retain information. In writing, students are taught to compose complete sentences and how to form a paragraph. Students learn the writing process of prewrite, rough draft, revising/editing, and final draft. Students learn how to write a story and research and write non-fiction compositions.
Visual and manipulative learning strategies are used to deepen conceptual understanding from the enVision Math curriculum. Students use manipulatives to help grasp concepts such as adding, subtracting, comparing and ordering numbers, geometry, money, time, fractions, measurement, and graphs.
First grade classes investigate the following units: Watermelon Science, Living/Non-living, Mammals, Amphibians/Life Cycles, Air and Weather/Seasons, Space, and Sound and Light.
First grade classes study about Government, Citizenship, American Symbols, Countries Around the World, Geography, Map Skills, the First Thanksgiving, Colonial Jobs, Influential Americans, Inventors, Goods and Services, Producers and Consumers, and Needs and Wants.
The first graders have a daily Bible study using the Positive Action Bible curriculum. This includes a Bible lesson, prayer, and memory verses. The Bible stories learned come from both the Old and New Testaments. Students each have their own Christian Standard Bible.
Field trips in first grade include: Aggieland Safari, Lick Creek Park, Barrington Farms at Washington on the Brazos, Service Project at Waterford Retirement Home, Visit from an International Storyteller, Virtual Trip to NASA, and the Chocolate Gallery.
During once a week 30-minute sessions, first graders will practice working online, exploring websites and games, and learning technology skills while focusing on digital citizenship. Students will sharpen computer navigation skills through the use of www.abcya.com. They will also begin to learn basic keyboarding and how to associate hands and fingers with letters on the keyboard using Typing Club Jungle Junior. First graders will also be introduced to coding and robotics and practice those skills using Sphero Indi, Code and Go Mouse and Beebot. All students will learn Digital Citizenship throughout the year and practice applying Christian principles and a Biblical worldview in the digital world.
The goal of Visual Arts in the first grade art curriculum is to lay a firm foundation for the development of individual creative potential. Additionally, students will develop and sharpen observation and problem-solving skills through the exploration of a wide variety of art media with an emphasis on God’s elements of design, which include Line, Shape, Color, Value, Form, Texture, and Space. Also, students begin exploring the fine arts through the study of artists past and present and learn to apply design techniques to their own inspired artwork. Throughout the year each student will have opportunities to create a variety of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional art pieces.
Students explore the musical world by singing, playing instruments, creating, and listening. Movement and play are key elements of the child-centered curriculum informed by the philosophies and practices of Orff, Kodály, and Dalcroze. Keyword: synthesis. Students will sing in several programs throughout the year which include the Christmas play, Grandparents Day, In His Steps and weekly in chapel.
Students will be introduced to many different authors, illustrators, and a variety of literary genres. Activities include Author visits, guest readers and a variety of school wide reading events.
Students will explore motor skills and movement patterns using an integrated curriculum. They will learn responsible personal and social behavior in a variety of physical activity settings. They will be provided frequent and diverse opportunities to engage in physical activities necessary to support a healthy mind and body. Students attend P.E. four times a week for 30 minutes each class. At least one day per week will be dedicated to our "Eagle Running Program," a self-paced activity specifically focused on improving cardiovascular fitness.
Grammar School students enjoy Chapel once a week in two sessions: PreK through second grades and third through sixth grades. In order to study and apply meaning, the yearly school-wide Scripture is divided into sections for each month. In Chapel, Grammar School worships in song, Scripture, and prayer, followed by a special speaker who teaches the specific passage in a developmentally appropriate way. Our speakers include local pastors, children’s ministers, youth leaders, Christian camp directors, parents, and BCS teachers, staff, and administrators. All would agree that Chapel is the favorite time of the week!
Students have the opportunity to learn socialization skills through play and free activities outdoors. Lunch recess occurs after students are dismissed after eating and generally is 10-15 minutes per day. In addition, students enjoy a 20-30 minute recess daily.