Reading in First Grade
Students learn a great deal of new phonics rules to assist in decoding words when reading and spelling words when writing. Our first graders work with the FUNdations program, which breaks down sounds and word parts in words. This curriculum is very different than what students used in Kindergarten. Students will experience a lot of structure and repetition, which will help progress many students with their reading skills. In September, we will begin the year by reviewing what was learned in Kindergarten (letter sounds and formation).
Students will be doing reading workshop 4 times per week. In first grade, we use the Lucy Calkins' Reading Workshop curriculum to encourage good reading habits among students. We will also be helping to build student stamina when reading. Students will participate in daily silent reading, buddy reading, and responding to reading to improve their reading skills. We will also be teaching reading comprehension strategies that help students become more aware of their thinking, rather than their fluency. The ELA block will also provide time for me to check in with students individually and give them that 1-on-1 attention they need when first learning to read. I will be also meeting with small groups in order to work on all the skills that have been learned.
Last year, students were expected to learn their word wall words. These words are also known as sight words, or words that students should be able to recognize and read at first sight. They are not easy to decode, so these are words that students are able to read when they see them repeatedly. What is most difficult for first graders is spelling these words. So not only should students be practicing reading them aloud, but they should also be practicing the spelling of these words. Here are all of the words first graders must know by the end of first grade.
First Grade Sight Words
This year first graders will be doing a great deal of writing. We use the Lucy Calkins Writer's Workshop program and we will be writing 4 times per week. We will be covering 4 major areas of writing this year, which is a great deal different than what students experienced in Kindergarten. We will be learning to write narratives, opinion pieces, nonfiction pieces, fiction pieces, and poetry. We will cover what each of these areas look like during our Curriculum Night. Students will also be learning a lot about different writing techniques in order to make their writing more exciting and appealing to readers.