Working on activities, assignments and projects in small, doable chunks, Marin Preparatory School’s first graders build on the solid foundational skills they developed in kindergarten. At this age, children begin to talk and explain their thinking in more detail, they gain confidence in tackling more challenging activities, and their communities grow as they move beyond “self” to expanding friendships. Art also becomes a more prominent theme, with children seeing connections between academic disciplines and the arts, and beginning to weave poems, language, and songs into many parts of their day.
Our 1st Grade Curriculum Spotlights
- Lucy Calkins Reader’s Workshop for individualized reading instruction.
- Identification of story details and literature elements
- Reading with fluency and accuracy
- Fundations Language Arts program
- Lucy Calkins Writer’s Workshop
- Narrative writing including sequences of events
- Letter, opinion, shared, and research writing
- Sight-word spelling
- Bridges Math curriculum
- Operations and algebraic concepts
- Addition and subtraction equations
- Place value
- Length measurement, including non-standard measurement units
- Hypotheses and investigations
- Result recording
- Life sciences: Solids, Liquids, Gases
- Society rules, rights, and responsibilities
- Goods and services
- World geography and culture
- Study of Cuba
MPS first graders work to build on the basic Spanish language skills they acquired during kindergarten. With every thematic unit, these students are encouraged to use practical and expressive sentences – independently as well as with teachers and peers – and to increase their vocabulary bank. In addition to building on their grammatical, socio-linguistic, and strategic competences, students will also have ample opportunities to explore Spanish and Hispanic cultures in meaningful contexts.
By the end of 1st grade, students will have acquired basic, age-appropriate knowledge of Spanish and reached similarly appropriate developmental milestones in their English language skills. Students will be able to:
- Demonstrate an inherent understanding of general meaning, key ideas, and some details in realistic contexts.
- Engage in activities that integrate all four essential skills of meaningful language learning including speaking, listening, reading and writing.
- Ask concrete questions in Spanish and to fulfill everyday needs in and out of class.
- Participate in age-appropriate cultural activities and celebrations.
- Hear and use Spanish in informal settings such as morning meeting (comunidad), lunch, snack times and after-school activities.
- Identify and develop an appreciation for similarities and differences between the predominant culture and those of Spanish-speaking countries.
- Speak Spanish with clear pronunciation, intonation, and word stress patterns.
- Use body language to communicate universal directions (listen, look, write, etc.).
- Sing age-appropriate songs and make connections with the vocabulary learned in class.
- Make connections between the alphabet (orthography) and sounds (pronunciation).
- Engage in basic conversations related to: greetings and introductions, school life, the calendar, weather, the time (on the dot), mathematics (basic shapes, additions, subtractions and count up to 50), holidays, descriptions, family, clothing, pets and animals, community, food, likes and dislikes, and habitats.
First grade art allows students to observe objects in nature and their community, to classify various art genres (landscapes, portraits, etc.), and to identify media used to create artwork. At this stage, students explore the art of different cultures – with a special emphasis on Cuba — and produce original artwork designed to demonstrate specific emotions.
Music & Performing Arts
By singing, playing rhythm instruments, moving, and improvising, MPS first graders learn to express themselves as developing musicians and actors. At this stage, they’re also expanding their repertoire of songs, dances, and musical games, and paying increased attention to musicality and in-tune singing. Other elements of the first-grade music experience include part-work with both rhythmic and melodic material, the use of Orff instruments, and the chance to develop performance skills through interactive skits, play writing, and storytelling.
To support the strong link between physical education and learning, MPS first graders are encouraged to explore movement and develop gross motor skills. By offering a series of well-considered and developmentally appropriate activities, MPS helps children gain confidence in their athletic abilities, and promotes a “can-do” attitude that supports fun and learning for all.