Academics
Middle School

Explore Our Curriculum

Grade 1

The primary goal of first grade is to develop strong readers with a life-long love of learning. First graders learn responsibility and organization. Teachers keep open communication with parents through a daily take home folder and behavior chart. Additionally, teachers continually update their class page online and post assignments to the grade level website. Regular conferences and online grade reports are available to parents.
  • Art - Grade 1

    First grade students receive art instruction on a weekly basis. Throughout the year, students use a variety of media and techniques such as 2D, 3D, paint, pencil and printmaking. Lessons often correspond to their regular classroom curriculum, with units of study including Egypt, Asia and community jobs. Highly anticipated projects include a clay sculpture of what each child wants to be when he/she grows up, still-life drawings and an artist study of Henri Matisse.
  • Bible - Grade 1

    First graders participate in Bible through daily prayer, Scripture memorization and Bible instruction, taught by a Bible teacher. Each week first graders attend Bible class three times, memorize a Bible verse and attend Chapel service to praise and worship God. Each year, the children participate in mission projects such as Angels of Light, Living Water and Shoes for Orphan Soles. The first grade Bible curriculum focuses on hiding God’s Word in our hearts and begins with an in-depth study on the life of Moses, God’s chosen leader of the Exodus. After the Christmas lessons, first graders study the fisherman-turned-disciple, Simon Peter, and learn to walk by faith. We journey with Peter as he follows Jesus and, after the Lord’s resurrection, fulfills his calling as a “fisher of men.”
  • Enrichment - Grade 1

    The Enrichment class enhances students’ classroom foundational curriculum while teaching them 21st-century skills. Students problem solve and improve their critical thinking skills while developing cooperation and team building skills. First grade students program a coding robot, Cubetto, a kite project to enhance their study of Ancient China and pyramid projects for their study of Ancient Egypt. Students learn the value of starting a business as they work in teams to develop a product, create a business plan and sell the service or product to second graders at a culminating market. Finally, all first grade students learn to play chess. In Enrichment class, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking are encouraged and celebrated.
  • Handwriting - Grade 1

    After practicing print in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, first grade students learn D'Nealian handwriting. D'Nealian serves as an excellent preparation tool for students to learn cursive in second grade.
  • Language Arts - Grade 1

    First grade language arts instruction teaches grammar using multisensory methods to strengthen understanding and writing connections. Teachers introduce to students the parts of speech, basic capitalization and punctuation rules. Using Writing Workshop, teachers are able to differentiate instruction and meet individual needs. First graders learn to write a paragraph by including a topic sentence, three supporting sentences and a concluding sentence.
  • Library - Grade 1

    Students visit the library with their class each week. The lower school librarian bases each week’s mini-lesson on a fundamental library skill and reinforces specific classroom instruction. Activities include author studies, genre studies, reader’s theater and incorporating technology using iPads. Students are permitted to check out two books each week. Students may make additional visits to the library throughout the day during come-and-go hours or before/after school.
  • Mathematics - Grade 1

    The goal in first grade mathematics is to go deeper with number sense. Using a variety of resources, teachers train students to use algebraic thinking. They instruct students on sets, patterns, graphs, numbers and numeration. In geometry, students learn to recognize plane and solid shapes with relative attributes. Students use various units of measurement, practice recognizing equivalent values of money and learn to tell time. They learn to recognize and develop strategies to use in problem solving, estimation, operations and computation. Students also work to master fact families up to twenty.
  • Motor Lab - Grade 1

    Motor Lab is based on Athena Oden’s Ready Bodies Learning Minds program.  Reflex and sensory integration are the primary focuses.  In class, the students will work the vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile systems.  Motor Lab will help students with basic tasks in the classroom which require core strength (i.e. sitting correctly in a chair), as well as refining gross and fine motor tasks.
  • Motor Skills - Grade 1

    A Motor Skills class is provided three times a week with movement-based activities designed to educate each child physically, mentally and socially. Cooperation and sportsmanship are emphasized.
  • Music - Grade 1

    In first grade music, teachers emphasize vocal exploration and the study of musical opposites (loud/soft, high/low, fast/slow, same/different) through the use of rhythm instruments and musical games. Students study beat and rhythm, simple melodic solfege and basic rhythmic patterns, families of orchestral instruments and the lives of classical composers, Mozart and Haydn. The teacher incorporates the interactive Quaver curriculum to enhance each concept taught to students. Additionally, first grade presents a musical program each fall, Dream Big: What I Want to be When I Grow Up.
  • Reading - Grade 1

    During first grade reading instruction, the primary focus is to teach and implement decoding and comprehension strategies through the Reader's Workshop format. Students read authentic literature during whole group, small group and individual instruction.
  • Science - Grade 1

    In first grade, students learn the importance of inquiry: generating questions, conducting investigations and developing solutions to problems through reasoning and observation. Inquiry includes an analysis and presentation of findings that lead to future questions, research and investigations. Students learn to reflect on topics and apply what they have learned to new and different situations. Classroom lessons and independent reading of fiction and nonfiction books complement the experiments and activities in the science classroom. Specific topics include the weather, states of matter, the water cycle and classification of living things and plants.
  • Social Studies - Grade 1

    The first grade social studies curriculum introduces students to ancient Egypt and ancient Asia. Students also learn the early history of the United States. Each student writes a book report on a famous person from history. Students learn to read, use and create their own maps. Teachers present their social studies curriculum through a biblical worldview.
  • Spelling/Word Analysis - Grade 1

    Teachers challenge students each week with advanced spelling instruction through the use of Scientific Spelling. A spelling specialist developed the curriculum and trained teachers on proper instructional strategies. Instead of learning isolated words, students analyze sequences to discover phonograms or spelling patterns.
  • Technology - Grade 1

    First graders use the Lower School Technology Lab once a week for instruction in fundamentals of computer use as well as reinforcement of content area skills, guided by a trained technology specialist. During their time in the lab, students are introduced to Keynote and a computer programming game, Tynker. Students will also review and build on their prior experience with Pages, Photobooth, and Kid Pix. At times, students will play educational games that are integrated with their classroom curriculum, practice mouse manipulation, and implement keyboard letter recognition.

Our Faculty