Curriculum Overview

First Grade Curriculum: 


School wide, we use the Benziger series, Blest Are We.  This will be a consumable text in first grade.  As we finish chapters, information will come home to familiarize you with the material introduced. 

We will explore information centered on the Friday and Sunday Gospels so your child will be prepared for Mass.  We use Pflaum Gospel weekly publications. 

We will attend a weekly Mass or Prayer Service.  This year, we will view Mass live through Father Moore’s Facebook page. Our class will have an opportunity to participate in person when there is a fifth Friday in the month, such as October 30, 2020. Children will be encouraged to learn responses and prayers so that they can participate fully in this Sacrament. 

We have prayer time and religion instruction daily.  First graders are responsible for mastering several prayers.  I have listed the kindergarten and first grade prayers on a separate page.  Please help your child practice these prayers at home.    

We use the School-wide Learning Expectations and the seven Principles of Catholic Social Teaching to practice appropriate social skills and problem solving.  We will incorporate the Virtus and Touching Safety materials as mandated by the Arch Diocese of Seattle.  

We participate in several Service Learning Projects.  Our class will make cards for the residents of Saint Francis Care Center. We will be unable to deliver them in person but can still spread joy through art and encouraging words.  We will also participate in any food and clothing drives offered by other classes.  


The Scott Foresman reading series has 6 anthologies and additional readers.  It is a literature-based program, giving children opportunities to acquire strategies and skills they need to become lifelong readers.  We use additional resources to allow the children to read books at their own level.  

The primary goal is to instill a love of reading and develop good reading strategies.  We want children to become independent readers.   

Phonics is incorporated into many of our English Language Arts (ELA) lessons.  We use a variety of strategies and regularly use the Modern Curriculum Press workbooks and Slingerland vowel chart. 

This year, reading work will be done whole group, with some small group breakout sessions. Groups will be supervised by me or a specialist teacher.  If class cohort numbers are permitted to expand, I may ask volunteers to help assist with small group activities. 

Students should continue to listen to books at home, as well as read aloud nightly.  Both skills are important to beginning readers.    


Children will be taught spelling strategies and phonic rules to decode spelling words they do not know.   

In October, students will have a formal list of spelling words that will be tested at the end of each week.  These words are obtained from phonics, vocabulary and high frequency work lists.  Students will be expected to master 150 spelling words in first grade.   

Children are encouraged to search for words they need in books, dictionaries and by looking around the room.  This way they become, “word detectives.” 


Students are given writing opportunities daily.  Students will participate in written responses to stories, literacy questions, order and comprehension.  Students will also participate in Writer’s Workshop, journal writing, writing from a prompt and creative story format. In May, we will research an animal and write 5-7 sentence research article. 

Students will be introduced to the Six Trait Writing components.  Later in the year students will have Daily Oral Language lessons (DOL). Writing is modeled for students and developed at individual levels.   


We use the manuscript method of handwriting.  Correct starting and stopping points of letters as well as letter size and spacing, will be reinforced.  Students are to write using correct letter formation.  No cursive is used in first grade. 

We have structured lessons to practice correct formation.  We use the Slingerland multi-sensory approach, which incorporates auditory, visual and kinesthetic learning.   

When practicing at home and school, we want students to practice proper pencil grip and posture.  Quality, not quantity, is expected. 


In first grade we cover units on animal and plant adaptations, animal classifications, habitats and families, seasonal light and weather patterns, light and sound waves and common star formations. 

During Science, we question, explore, discover and problem solve.  We use the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) format and guidelines  


We use Go Math from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publications. I will supplement the curriculum with techniques from Singapore and Discover Math. 

Lessons are taught in whole group or small group with opportunity for individual reinforcement. 

Manipulatives are used when introducing a concept. We then move to pictures and numbers.  Students may use any or all these strategies to help with problem solving unless it is mental math or MAD Minute Facts. 

Emphasis is placed on number sense of numbers to 120, addition and subtraction to 20, problem solving, geometry, graph interpretation and communication of concepts and properties.  Time, money and basic measurement skills are introduced in first grade.   

Social Studies: 

Our units include Civics as it applies to the classroom and school. Economics, History and Social Studies as it applies to families.  We also study basic Geography.  

We use the Harcourt text, A Child’s View and Scholastic News.   We also use outside resources as needed. 

Social Study lessons incorporate the seven Principles of Catholic Social Teaching.     


We have Music instruction once a week with Mrs. Liza Beshara We also integrate music in other subjects in our classroom. 

Physical Education & Health: 

We have Physical Education twice a week with either Mrs. Regina Campbell or Mrs. Lisa TwiningGirls are to wear privacy shorts and have hair pulled back and out of the face.   

Library/Computer Lab: 

We have Library on Friday with Mrs. Nancy Smith Students are asked to check out one book at their appropriate reading level, the other may be an interest book.  Students must return library books in order to check out new books. Once books are checked out, they are sent home. 

We will have classroom supported computer instruction in our classroom with Mrs. McClurg.  We use technology to enhance ELA, Math and Science activities.  We will share the school laptop computer cart with the third-grade students.  As of now, 6 computers have been designated for first grade use.  This may change as we progress through the year. 


We have Art once a week with MrsCarolina Santos. Art is integrated into many classroom subjects We use a variety of media and learn about many artistic elements. We study the styles of three masters. 


We will have Spanish instruction once a week with Maestra Cristina Pavon.  Mrs. Santos may also instruct parts of her lessons in Spanish.