Meramec Elementary School

First Grade Learning Objectives

A major goal in the first-grade classroom is to extend students’ abilities to work independently and in groups. These important life skills are taught in the context of the classroom community as children are working independently, learning in new ways, organizing their daily work and assuming initiative to seek help when needed.

First grade is the gateway to literacy. As the year progresses, first graders read with more fluency and write with more confidence, moving into conventional spelling as they gain experience as readers and writers. During this year of exploration, first graders also develop a mathematical number sense, an understanding of the scientific process and an appreciation of the culture of the world around them.

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Language Arts
The language arts curriculum focuses on developing skilled and enthusiastic readers and writers. Elementary students learn to be active and capable readers of both fiction and nonfiction. As a result, students engage in a wide-range of activities designed to develop their ability to comprehend a variety of print materials and to provide them with the skills required for them to continue to grow as readers. Elementary students are also writers: they are both learning to write and writing to learn. Students write in a variety of genres—thus developing their ability to express their ideas, emotions and beliefs while acquiring a firm, yet developmentally appropriate, foundation in the fundamentals of writing. Moreover, the District strives to develop students who enjoy reading and writing and who value reading and writing as a means for exploring their imagination, for learning about themselves and the world and for communicating with others.

Writing Process - Follow a writing process to:
  • brainstorm and record ideas in written form.
  • generate a draft in written form.
  • revise by adding detail and deleting unnecessary information, with assistance.
  • edit and proofread for capitalization and punctuation, with assistance.
  • publish writing, with assistance.
  • Print upper- and lower-case letters legibly, using left-to-right, top-to-bottom directionality.
  • Use correct spacing between letters.
  • Use correct spacing between words.
  • Capitalize names of people and beginning words of sentences.
  • In composing text, use period at end of sentence.
Parts of Speech - Use parts of speech correctly in written text:
  • naming words (nouns)
  • action words (verbs)
Spelling - In writing, use
  • correct spelling of CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words and high-frequency words.
  • phonetic spelling.
  • classroom resources to verify correct spelling.
Sentence Construction
  • In composing text, write simple sentences.
Narrative and Descriptive Writing
  • Write a narrative text with related sentences.
Expository and Persuasive Writing
  • Write expository text with related sentences, with assistance.
Audience and Purpose – Identify
  • different forms of written communication (e.g., thank-you notes, friendly letters, lists, poems, invitations).
  • audience for composition, with assistance.

Skills and Strategies
Print Concepts - Demonstrate concepts of print:
  • upper- and lower-case letters
  • first and last letters in words
  • spaces between words
  • letter and word order
  • punctuation
Phonemic Awareness - Demonstrate ability to hear and say separate sounds in words:
  • separate and say sounds in words.
  • blend sounds to form words.
  • replace beginning and ending sounds to form new words.
  • Develop and apply decoding strategies to “problem solve” regularly spelled one- or two-syllable words when reading.
Fluency - Read grade-level instructional text:
  • by developing automaticity of an increasing core of high frequency words.
  • with appropriate phrasing and expression.
Vocabulary - Develop vocabulary through text, using:
  • base words.
  • classroom resources.
Pre-Reading - Develop and apply, with assistance, pre-reading strategies to aid comprehension:
  • access prior knowledge
  • preview
  • predict with evidence
  • set a purpose for reading, with assistance
During Reading - During reading, develop and utilize, with assistance, strategies to:
  • self-question and correct.
  • infer.
  • predict and check, using cueing systems.
Post-Reading - Develop and apply post-reading skills to respond to text:
  • question to clarify
  • retell and reflect
  • analyze and draw conclusions
Making Connections - Identify connections between:
  • texts—fiction and nonfiction with similarities and differences.
  • text to self.
  • text to the world, with assistance.
Fiction, Poetry and Drama
Text Features
  • Locate and apply information in title, pictures and names of author and illustrator.
Literary Devices
  • Read and respond to rhythm, rhyme and alliteration in poetry and prose.
Text Elements - Use details from text to identify
  • characters.
  • problem and solutions.
  • events in logical sequence.
Text Features
  • Identify and explain information in text, pictures, title and charts.
Literary Devices
  • Identify and respond to rhythm, rhyme and alliteration in oral reading of nonfiction text.
Text Elements - Use details from text to:
  • ask and answer questions to clarify understanding.
  • recognize and retell important information in text.
  • identify main ideas and supporting details.
Understanding Directions
  • Read and follow a simple direction to perform a task.

The elementary math curriculum “Everyday Mathematics” emphasizes conceptual understanding while building a mastery of basic skills. Students explore the full math spectrum, including number sense, algebra, measurement, geometry, data analysis and
probability. Instruction moves beyond basic arithmetic and nurtures higher order and critical thinking skills in students. Lessons and assessments are applied to the context of everyday, real-world problems and situations-while also building and maintaining basic
skills, including automatic fact recall.

Number and Operation
  • Count by 1s, 5s and 10s to 200.
  • Count by 2s to 100.
  • Count a set of objects—at least 30—with understanding.
  • Read and write two- and three-digit numbers.
  • Use cardinal and ordinal numbers in comparing and arranging quantities or objects.
  • Make a reasonable estimate of a group of objects.
  • Recall and use basic facts with the sums and differences up to 10.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the place value of 1s and 10s using manipulatives.
  • Identify shaded fractions such as halves and fourths.
  • Identify single-digit numbers as even or odd.
  • Count up and back by 1s starting with any number up to and including 100.
  • Identify, extend and create a pattern of at least three attributes in isolation or in the everyday world.
  • Find a pattern in a sequence of whole numbers or attributes and extend the sequence.
  • Use a number grid to count up and back by 10s from any number.
  • Solve simple number stories.
  • Distinguish between two-dimensional shapes.
  • Use two or more shapes to create another geometric shape.
  • Identify two or more attributes of an object/shape.
  • Recognize and locate geometric shapes in the everyday world.
  • Use metric and English units of measurement to measure length to the nearest inch or centimeter.
  • Tell time to the hour and half hour.
  • Understand calendar information (e.g., days of the week, months of the year).
  • Recognize a thermometer as a tool to tell temperature.
  • Recognize and know the value of a penny, nickel, dime and quarter.
  • Count mixed groups of coins including pennies, nickels and dimes.
Data Analysis and Probability
  • Collect data and create a class graph.
  • Describe parts of the data on a graph and the data as a whole.
  • Sort and classify objects with more than two attributes.
  • Identify situations as likely or unlikely.

Science education should encourage an attitude of inquiry in the world around us, excite an interest in the nature and process of science and explore the relationship of science to society, technology, mathematics and other disciplines. Through the science curriculum,
students gain a foundation of process skills, leading to organized reasoning, analytical thinking and problem solving abilities.

First grade students in Clayton will complete the following FOSS (Full Option Science System) units:

Solids and Liquids
The Solids and Liquids Module provides experiences that heighten students’ awareness of the physical world. Matter with which we interact exists in three fundamental states: solid, liquid, and gas. In this module first and second graders have introductory experiences with two of these states of matter, solid and liquid.
  • Develop a curiosity and interest in the objects that make up their world.
  • Investigate materials constructively during free exploration and in a guided discovery mode.
  • Recognize differences between solids and liquids.
  • Explore a number of liquids.
  • Observe and describe the properties of solids and liquids.
  • Sort materials according to properties.
  • Combine and separate solids of different particle sizes.
  • Observe and describe what happens when solids are mixed with water.
  • Observe and describe what happens when other liquids are mixed with water.
  • Use information gathered to conduct an investigation on an unknown material.
  • Acquire the vocabulary associated with the properties of solids and liquids.
  • Use written and oral language to describe observations.
Air and Weather
The Air and Weather Module consists of four sequential investigations, each designed to introduce concepts in earth science. The investigations provide opportunities for young students to explore the natural world by using simple tools to observe and monitor change.
  • Develop an interest in air and weather.
  • Experience air as a material that takes up space and can be compressed into a smaller space.
  • Observe the force of air pressure pushing on objects and materials.
  • Observe and describe changes that occur in weather over time.
  • Become familiar with instruments used by meteorologists to monitor air and weather conditions.
  • Compare monthly and seasonal weather conditions using bar graphs.
  • Observe the location of the Sun and the Moon in the sky over a day and the change in the appearance of the Moon over a month.
  • Organize and communicate observations through drawing and writing.
  • Acquire vocabulary associated with properties of air and weather conditions.
The Insects Module provides experiences that heighten students’ awareness of the diversity of animal forms. They come to know firsthand the life sequences of a number of insects. In each investigation an insect is introduced, and students observe structures and behaviors, discuss their findings, and ask questions. Students observe life cycles of insects and compare the stages of metamorphosis exhibited by each species.
  • Develop a curiosity and interest in insects and a respect for them as living things.
  • Experience some of the great diversity of forms in the animal kingdom.
  • Become familiar with some of the life sequences that different types of insects exhibit (simple and complete metamorphosis).
  • Observe the behaviors of insects at different stages of their life cycle.
  • Provide for the needs of insects (air, water, food, and space).
  • Acquire the vocabulary associated with insect life.

Social Studies
Social studies is a multi-disciplinary, integrated approach to the study of people, their physical environment, histories, leadership and cultures. The K-3 social studies program introduces geography, civics, economics and geography. Students study people and cultures, past and present, from all over the world. They learn how the physical environment shapes cultures, and how people form governments and economies to meet their needs.

  • Identify and explain at least three similarities and three differences between people from different cultures.
  • Identify sources of conflict between and among people.
  • Identify strategies to resolve conflicts.
  • Students can demonstrate an understanding of the various elements of a culture including: family, food, clothing, shelter, language, shelter, beliefs, art, music, traditions and recreation.
  • Begin to show an understanding of the reasons for studying history and traditions of cultures.
  • Begin to develop an understanding of the relationship between past and present.
  • Identify reasons for the locations of places.
  • Demonstrate awareness of movement from place to place of people, materials and ideas
Contemporary Applications
  • Appreciate similarities and differences among cultures in our country and around the world

The mission of the kindergarten through second grade health curriculum is to provide learning experiences that are relevant to students’ current lives and builds a foundation for future health decisions. It impacts the development of the whole child: physical, emotional, mental and social. Such a curriculum requires a partnership among professional educators, parents and members of the broader community. An effective comprehensive health curriculum equips students with information, resources and skills. Additionally, it helps them develop attitudes necessary to choose healthy lifestyles, to become discriminating consumers of health information and products, and to empower themselves for a lifetime of wellness and productivity.

Personal Health and Safety
(taught each year)
Play Safe-Stay Safe I
  • Safety at school, home, playground
Healthy Living I
  • Hygiene
  • Self care techniques
  • Personal responsibility
Body Systems (taught bi-annually)
Body Sense
  • Major organs
  • Five senses
All Systems Grow I
  • Skeletal, muscular, circulatory and respiratory systems
Nutrition (taught bi-annually)
Let’s Eat Healthy I
  • Benefits of a balanced diet
  • Food pyramid
Family Life/Sexuality (embedded in social studies curriculum)
  • Strand: Family Life/Sexuality
  • Learner Outcome: Illustrate his/her family and share how he/she contributes to the family.

Physical Education
The mission of the kindergarten through second grade physical education program is to develop knowledge and understanding, attitudes and behaviors, and skills that will enable each student to develop a lifestyle in which regular vigorous physical activity is practiced. Goals and objectives reflect the view that there are important learning’s in the psychomotor, cognitive and affective domains that lead to optimal development of the whole person. All students should have the opportunity to develop and exhibit desirable behaviors in each of the domains.

Fundamental Movement Skills
  • Locomotor, non-locomotor, manipulatives, body management, movement concepts, and developmental games
Personal Fitness/Healthy Lifestyles
  • Health & skill related fitness, wellness, and fitness principles
Rhythms and Dance
  • Essential elements of rhythm, creative/interpretive dance, rhythmic activities, forms of dance, and social/cultural aspects of dance
Sport Skills and Lifetime Activities
  • Skill techniques, individual/dual/team sports, and specialized activities (ie. tumbling skills)
Outdoor Education/Team Building
  • Cooperation/Team building activities

Communication and expression through music and movement is an important part of growth and brain development.  Students in music learn, develop and improve motor skills.  The music curriculum provides all students the musical opportunities and experiences necessary to become informed consumers, creators and/or performers of music.

Melody (singing)
  • perform and recognize upward and downward movement
  • high and low pitches in melodies
  • recognize and perform quarter note/rest, and eighth notes
  • recognizes and performs music in sets of two and three
  • call and response songs
  • students identify and demonstrate fast and slow
  • perform spoken ostinato

Creation is at the heart of the visual arts curriculum. Students learn to work with various tools, processes and media. They learn to make choices that enhance the communication of their ideas. Students learn to make critical judgments as they develop aesthetic perception by interacting with works of art and becoming knowledgeable about history and world culture.

Media, Tools, Methods
  • Use various controlled brush techniques.
Principles and Elements
  • Identify both organic and geometric shapes.
  • Combine primary colors to create secondary colors.
  • Make colors darker and lighter.
  • Recognize and describe differences in textures that are touched and seen.
  • Recognize the differences between two-dimensional and three-dimensional works.
  • Recognize positive and negative shapes.
  • Use shapes to develop an overall pattern.
  • Differentiate between tint and shade.
  • Describe how color is affected by atmosphere.
  • Emphasize textures in various three-dimensional objects.
  • Describe general subjects, categories and motifs found in works of art (e.g., landscape, still life, portraits, shelters, seasons).
Social Context
  • Identify and discuss visual images in society that are used as means of communication.
  • Examine the visual qualities of constructed products.
  • Describe and identify the effects works of art may have on people.
  • Illustrate how responses to art works can be both positive and negative.

Technology motivates and empowers all members of our learning community to explore, experiment and connect with the larger global community. Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum to expand resources for learners, improve communication and provide greater versatility in the curriculum. Students learn how to use many technology tools to gather, interpret and share information and to choose appropriate technologies to complete their work. Prior to completion of second grade, students will:
  • use input devices (e.g., mouse, keyboard) and output devices (e.g., monitor, printer) to successfully operate computers and other technologies.
  • use a variety of media and technology resources for directed and independent learning activities.
  • use developmentally appropriate multimedia resources (e.g., interactive books, educational software, elementary multimedia encyclopedias) to support learning.
  • demonstrate positive social and ethical behaviors when using technology.
  • practice responsible use and care of technology systems and software.
  • create developmentally appropriate multimedia products with support from teachers, family members or student partners.
  • use available technology for problem solving, communication and illustration of thoughts, ideas and stories.
  • communicate about technology using developmentally appropriate and accurate terminology (e.g., login, shut down, files, etc).

The Spanish curriculum is based on the belief that anyone who can learn his or her native language can learn a second language. The curriculum is designed for all learners and addresses a variety of learning styles. Students are given frequent opportunities to interact and use the language. Grammar is presented through and for usage, not as the object of instruction. Teachers emphasize task-oriented, hands-on, concrete activities, which integrate all five language skills (listening, reading, writing, speaking and culture) In first grade, students will learn to:
  • respond to the question “What is your name?” by saying “My name is....”
  • identify body parts by pointing.
  • use color words to describe objects.
  • respond to the question “How are you?” by verbalizing a feeling.
  • identify the names of family members and pet animals.
  • differentiate between large, medium and small.
  • identify and describe animals and their habitats.
  • use the calendar to say the date and their birthday.
  • state their age.
  • identify and state preference for some foods.
  • demonstrate knowledge of a Hispanic holiday.
Last Modified on August 15, 2011