Language Arts in Grade I
Speaking, writing, reading, and listening are all critical components of language development. Mastery of language exists on a continuum that extends over a number of years and happens for children at different ages. Early childhood learners can vary in their rates of language development depending on their chronological age, developmental level, experience, and language background. The reading and writing curriculum adapts to individual needs that range from emergent readers and writers to fluent readers and writers.
Reading is taught individually, and in groups. Individual reading books, series readers, games and worksheets are used to develop specific skills. Children are encouraged to choose their own books at appropriate reading levels from classroom and library collections. During individual reading conferences with teachers, children discuss the content of their reading, strategies for identifying unfamiliar words, and for understanding passages. Students strive to read with expression and to critically evaluate content. Each day, teachers read stories, poems, and other texts aloud to expose children to a variety of genres and to foster a love of books and reading.
We strive to help children use their writing as a powerful means of communicating their ideas, imagination and feelings. The children write on a daily basis in a variety of forms. Each child maintains a writing folder to promote the organization of ideas and technical skills. During writing time, children explore topic selection, descriptive detail, character development and the components of story. They engage in the writing process: brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing- and explore a variety of genres throughout the year.
Phonics, Spelling, and Handwriting
Students participate in Fundations, an integrated, multisensory phonics program, each day for thirty minutes. The daily lessons build on the students’ prior knowledge while encouraging the growth of their skills in the areas of phonemic awareness, word study, vocabulary, handwriting, spelling, fluency and comprehension.
A set of B-VIII Grade standards provides the framework for our work in language arts. Below are listed some of the goals we have for First Grade students in Language Arts over the course of the year. These are by no means all of the topics we cover, but rather an overview of some of the skills we expect children to master by the spring.
- Chooses a book that is appropriate for his/her reading level
- Knows all regular letter/sound correspondences
- Decodes phonetically regular one and two syllable words
- Knows common word endings (ed, ing, plurals) and uses them to decode/use words in context
- Reads at least 150 most frequently used words accurately and automatically
- Reads grade level text aloud accurately
- Reads with comprehension
- Generates ideas for writing
- Forms printed letters from top to bottom
- Sequences stories in an organized manner
- Rereads own writing to others
- Includes details in writing
- Spells at least 30 of the most frequently used words conventionally
- Uses terminal punctuation and basic capitalization