The Bronxville Elementary School staff welcomes your child to First Grade. We believe that learning in the First Grade is a continuum of the use of interactive, hands-on activities and patient practice. First graders begin to move from magical thinking to logical, rational mental processing and are eager to understand principles behind “why things truly are the way they are”. The program emphasizes the acquisition of skills necessary to facilitate learning in all curriculum areas. It also fosters competency in completing tasks, thus fostering development of a positive self-image. We would like you to know more about the program and how you, as parents, can work with school personnel to help your child make the most of his/her school experience.
THE FIRST GRADE PROGRAM
A child's acquisition of skills begins with listening and speaking, two essential elements of language development. First grade teachers strive to use what the children already know by using the ideas, interests, experiences and the creativity of individual and groups of children as the basis for instruction to help them organize their world and learn new skills. In the first grade classroom, the close relationship of the Language Arts – reading, writing, listening, speaking -- allows teachers to integrate them into all content areas including Social Studies, Mathematics and Science. Self-expression and the effective communication of ideas is at the core of the curriculum. This includes guiding children in relating concrete, first-hand events, participating in group discussions and eliciting opinions and ideas. These skills are extremely important as the child begins to read and write more often and to communicate thoughts and ideas. Because each child has an inner timetable, and moves from one stage of development to the next at an individual pace, it is possible for first grade teachers to find a "readiness for reading" span of as much as five years within their classes.
First grade teachers work to create a stimulating and creative atmosphere that fosters exploration and learning. Instruction is designed to engage students in tasks that apply newly learned skills and develop independence in the demonstration of these skills. In the early grades, direct, first-hand experiences are the foundation for the concept development and inferential thinking needed for clear, concise communication. Throughout the day, students participate in conversations where they strengthen their listening skills. Children learn that an involved listener responds to the speaker with appropriate comments or by following directions. Involved listening helps children form
general concepts and recognize important ideas. The instructional task in the primary grades is to extend the child's language from oral to written communication and to the ability to read what is written.
Literature is a critical component of the instructional program in first grade. Children's efforts in learning to read are greatly enhanced when there is reading to children, reading with children, and when they have opportunities to read by themselves. Children are exposed to a wide variety of children's literature. Reading these books sets an example and underscores the joy to be found in books, all while expanding the students’ vocabulary and ability to interpret what they’ve read. These beliefs reflect our goal of helping the children become life-long readers and learners.
Throughout the year, classroom teachers will keep families informed of important activities. Class parents are assigned to each classroom and assist with the coordination of important events. For more detailed information about the first grade program, please see the pacing guides and the progress report.