First grade marks a time when a child has developed the new capacities needed for learning and absorbing knowledge and for seeking out friends with whom they can develop deeper, more long-lasting relationships.
On the first day of school, the new first grader begins the day with their beloved kindergarten teachers, who will send each child over the rainbow bridge to their new first grade teacher. Some children will skip and jump over the bridge made of wood, flowers and draperies, some may walk solemnly. They are taking their first step away from the play and imaginative imitation in the homelike environment of kindergarten to the organized experience of learning.
The new first grade teacher has prepared a story for her students, and begins it in the presence of the grade’s students, parents and community. As the story progresses, she leads her class (as they are a class now, together for the first time) to the first grade classroom that she has specially prepared for them. She does not end the story, as this story will go on throughout the next eight years.
First Grade Curriculum
Rhythm of the Day
Each day begins with Main Lesson. The main subjects, such as history, language arts, science and mathematics are taught in blocks of 2 hours per day, with each block lasting from 3 to 6 or even 8 weeks long.
For the first grader, the Main lesson begins with 20–30 minutes of circle time, a time of movement filled with songs, rhymes, mental math and other exercises to prepare the child for the Main Lesson work.
Next the children come to their seats, ready for the day’s lesson. It is here that several important activities take place. The children will hear stories that will make up the content of our work. The children discuss and find meaning in these stories and are also led more deeply into their learning through expression in their writing and drawings. Care and discipline develop through techniques of drawing, form drawing and writing, ever seeking quality and beauty as they learn and practice these skills.
After Main Lesson the children have a hearty snack (brought from home) and time to play outdoors.
The afternoon consists of subject classes including handwork, movement, french, music and art, as well as lunch (brought from home) and more time to play outdoors.