St. Mary Catholic School

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1st Grade » First Grade Highlights

First Grade Highlights

First Grade Highlights



  • Learn and review basic prayers; write our own prayers
  • Discuss, act out, and explore parts of the Mass
  • Participate weekly in Mass
  • Learn about the Trinity



  • Adding and subtracting through 20
  • Place value
  • Time to the hour and half hour on digital and analog clocks
  • Measurement: Length, width, coins
  • Problem-solving strategies are woven into each unit.



  • Light and sound
  • Sun, moon and stars
  • Plants and animals
  • Engineering



  • Beginning sentence structure
  • Capitalization and punctuation marks
  • Nouns/Verbs/Adjectives
  • Writing workshop where we practice writing narrative, expository, and opinion pieces



  • Long and short vowel sounds
  • Blends and digraphs
  • Sight words
  • Fluency
  • Small flexible reading groups based on reading levels
  • Leveled spelling program


Social Studies:

  • What is a Family? (community and home)
  • How Do We Get What We Need or Want? (economics)
  • How Do We Learn about Places? (geography)
  • How Do We Learn about the Past? (history)
  • How Do We Get Along with Others? (government)


A Typical Day in 1st Grade

First grade students have many opportunities to learn in different ways throughout the day. They practice skills in small groups, individually, and whole group.   Language Arts time includes Daily 5 where they work on reading and writing skills in fun and varied ways. Writing Workshop allows children to take pieces of writing through the publishing process, and take pride in their written words. Social Studies and Science are exciting opportunities to explore the world around us through books, technology, discussion, and hands-on experiments.   Religion is integrated throughout our entire day, as well as during specific focus times each day.


What is new in 1st grade?

A big difference in the transition to first grade from kindergarten is how students strengthen their reading and phonics skills. They start spelling tests for the first time. We also have math homework and practice reading at night. Our students use Study Island to practice various skills for homework and at school. In math, students move into more mental math, write out and visualize number sentences, and also use hands-on manipulatives. First grade is the first time students start doing morning prayer during the announcements and taking a turn hosting Mass. First graders work on becoming more independent and responsible.