First Grade Academic Overview
Literacy Curriculum  
READING :
Wildwood Elementary is moving to a "Balanced Literacy" approach, which combines direct teacher instruction in large group, small group reading/guided instruction, and student independent learning.
Each day the students will be in "Readers Workshop" which will include reading to self, reading to someone, word work, writing and listening to reading.
 
The National Reading Panel Report (2000) 
The panel determined that effective instruction includes teaching children to break apart and manipulate the sounds in words (phonemic awareness), teaching that these sounds are represented by letters that can be blended (phonics), having children read aloud while providing guidance, teaching word meanings, and providing comprehension strategies
·        Phonemic Awareness: the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words
·        Phonics:   the relationship between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language.  For example, learning that the letter ‘b’ represents the /b/ sound
·        Fluency:   the capacity to read text accurately and quickly
·        Vocabulary:   the words students must know to communicate effectively through listening, speaking, reading and writing
·        Comprehension:   the ability to understand and gain meaning from what has been read
 
WRITING:   Wildwood Elementary is moving to the Benchmark curriclum of "Writers Workshop".  First graders will be writing in a variety of formats - journaling, personal narratives, informational reports and book reviews.
Math
First Grade implements the Math Expressions program. It is organized into mathematical content strands that cover a number of skills and concepts. These concepts are:
  • Early Numbers
  • Place Value & Number Sense
  • Operations and Simple Equations
  • Story Problem Strategies
  • Basic Ten-Structured Concepts and Applications
  • Comparisons & Data Formats
  • Fractions, Circle Graphs, & Clocks
  • Money
  • 2-Digit Addition
  • Analyzing Story Problems
  • Measurement, Rounding, & Shapes
The Math Expressions program uses hands-on manipulatives, games and "Homework & Remembering" to ensure mastery of the concepts that are taught.  By completing "Homework & Remembering" with your child daily and working with flashcards, math games or computer games you can build a strong mathematical foundation for your child.
Handwriting
First Grade students are instructed in the Zaner-Bloser method of handwriting.
Science
First Grade uses both the FOSS and Engineering is Elementary.  These programs emphasize discovery learning and focus on the skills of observation, comparing, and communicating information learned.  Our units of study include:  Pebbles, Sand, & Silt, The Great Wall, & Insects (butterflies & mealworms).
 
Social Studies
First Graders use the Responsive Classroom approach to work on becoming responsible citizens.  Students participate in classroom meetings and help in establishing classroom rules.  First graders also have a unit on President's Day.  A highlight of our year is an extensive unit on the Wampanoag Indians and their encounter with early European settlers (The First Thanksgiving) The topics covered follow the Minnesota State Standards.