First Grade at St. Mary's
First grade offers a wonderful blend of learning and fun with a comprehensive curriculum built upon the completion of kindergarten.
Our program establishes the highest yet most realistic expectations for our students in terms of curriculum, responsibilities, emotional, and social learning skills.
With a maximum of 18 students and a 14:1 student: teacher ratio, these young elementary students are given the gift of an education that focuses on each individual child.
First Grade Special Events
Mom's Springtime Tea and Dads & Donuts Mini Concert
Gingerbread Houses & Fairytale Unit
First Grade Field Trips
Oklahoma Science Museum & Planetarium
Service Learning trip to Free to Live Animal Shelter
First Grade Enrichment Classes
First Grade Curriculum
The emphasis of first-grade Language Arts is to improve communication skills through activities that involve listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Students also develop critical and creative thinking skills by predicting, decision-making, and planning. As reading and writing skills develop and improve, they are practiced in all subject areas. Capitalization, alphabetizing, punctuation, suffixes, prefixes, syllables, compound words, opposites, and contractions are introduced and reinforced throughout the first-grade curriculum.
Our first-grade reading/spelling textbook is Scott Foresman Reading Street, which provides systematic instruction in phonics, spelling and rich experiences with authentic literature. Our spelling program promotes the formal teaching of reliable patterns and rules. In addition to receiving explicit phonics and spelling instruction, students will work through a level two phonics program, plus read from Big Books or other literature and complete daily writing assignments. Comprehension skills are gained through questions and answers, recall of events and facts, and predicting and problem-solving of what-if situations. A supplemental grammar program, Shurley Grammar, will provide practice in grammar mechanics, basic parts of speech and sentence structure.
The Accelerated Reading (AR) program, a computer-based assessment tool, is used to personalize student practice in reading. Students complete readings in class and/or independently and then answer comprehension questions on the computer about the books they have read. Through AR, students are exposed to a variety of genres including non-fiction stories (science and history), fables, fairy tales, poems, short stories, novels, and nursery rhymes.
In first-grade, students use EnVision Math, which builds a foundation of mathematical knowledge that in time enables students to move from the basics to higher-order thinking and critical problem-solving. This program is supplemented by Rocket Math, a basic math-facts program and “Arithmetic Done Daily.” Each day, first-grade students participate in a class math meeting that includes number practice, written practice, and oral and written assessments.
St. Mary's science curriculum is a hands-on approach to learning the fundamental processes of science. Students go to the Science Lab twice a week where the Science teacher helps students interpret, infer, predict, investigate and model Science. Activities are concrete in nature and consistent with Piagetian levels of intellectual development. During science studies, first graders focus on living things and their environment, the human body, matter and properties, an introduction to electricity, astronomy and planet Earth.
First graders become increasingly aware of their role as individuals, as members of a family unit, as students of their school, and as citizens of a wider community. They will also develop geography skills working with maps, globes, and other geographical tools. First graders will be introduced to early world history specifically Ancient Egypt and modern cultural studies as well as key components of American history.
First-grade students follow the Handwriting Without Tears program. HWT techniques help children learn handwriting basics and become proficient with letter formation, placement of letters on lines, the spacing between letters and words, and differentiating the size of capital and lower-case letters. In addition to formal handwriting instruction, our students practice handwriting skills when they write reports, keep daily journals, create class books, and write creatively.
On Wednesday mornings, first-grade students serve as acolytes for the chapel service conducted by the Rector of St. Mary’s Church. During the fall semester, children learn about the Christian year by studying and portraying Bible stories from the Old Testament. The season of Advent and Christmas are observed in our classrooms, as well as in chapel, and we enter into the New Testament stories about Jesus. In the spring, we end with the observance of Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. During each chapel service, students reenact stories from the Bible, sing songs, participate actively in the Lord’s Prayer, and recite our chapel creed. Birthday blessings also take place during chapel. Chapel lessons and active participation in chapel services foster positive, healthy, and spiritual attitudes in our students.