First grade – a benchmark year signaled by the move to the “big building.” Other highlights include learning about and touring diverse St. Louis neighborhoods, creating time capsules to be opened in sixth grade, and studying Australia. Children also learn about the history of the School.
Some favorite books for first graders include the Amelia Bedelia
series, The Boxcar Children
series, and the Mr. Putter
series. And taking home “Mr. Bear” and writing in his journals are very popular.
Academically, students are using a literature-based approach to reading. They secure math concepts through small-group differentiated instruction. They refine their penmanship skills and write in-depth creative stories and a research paper on an Australian animal. They also write original poems which they share with parents during a “Poetry Tea” in the spring. Spelling is taught through the schoolwide phonics program and language arts.
First graders do a major drama production in the fall, alternating between “The Alphabet Kingdom” one year and “Pieces of Our Past” (the history of Community School) the next.