The students learn about God’s grace and forgiveness through bible stories that are taught in chronological order beginning with the story of Creation in the Old Testament and ending with Paul’s missionary trips in the New Testament. Students begin to read simple bible stories throughout the year and develop a religious vocabulary. By the end of first grade students will have a complete children’s Bible story book that they can take home and read during the summer.

 Memory Work
The students have memory work to practice at home three times a week. These memory work verses support the concept of the Bible stories that are being taught in class. Memory work verses are mainly Bible verses, but also include parts of the Matins Liturgy, the Catechism, songs, prayers and hymns.

Students learn that one of the gifts that God gives them is their creativity. The first grade arts program helps students develop this creativity through the use of various media. Students continue to develop their skills of cutting, gluing, coloring, painting, sculpting, tearing and designing. Students learn about the art master Matisse and copy some of his techniques as they make their own masterpiece. Students participate in an Art Fair once every three years beginning in first grade.

First grade students have their own computer assigned to them and are able to use it on a daily basis. They also learn about computer basics as how to enter and exit online sites, they develop simple and basic keyboarding and word processing skills. They learn how to insert pictures and graphics. They create their own e-books and make digital illustrations. Students also have access to many skill building sites that help individualize their instruction across the curriculum.

Students continue to develop their handwriting skills by using the D’Nealian form of print. They practice proper shape, space, slant, and size of their letters. The D’Nealian form of print is required in formal lessons and daily work.

Language Arts
The Language Arts program coincides with the reading program. It includes using correct grammar, speaking to groups, and writing skills. Students learn about capitalization, punctuation, nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. They learn how to write sentences that make sense and by the end of the year are able to write in complete sequential paragraphs. Students make oral presentations in front of the class to build confidence and skills in the area of oral communication.

Mathematical skills are worked on throughout the day through organizational activities, counting, calendar time, ordering and sequencing. The students also have a formal lesson each day. In first grade we concentrate on adding and subtracting one digit numbers throughout the year. We also focus on numbers and patterns, place value, measuring, geometry, fractions, money, telling time, and probability. At the end of the year students are introduced to two-digit adding and subtracting.

Through the use of music students learn to praise and worship their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Students in first grade learn to sing hymns, songs of praise and some secular music. They sing for chapel, church services and special concerts throughout the year. They also use their gifts of music to entertain residents at a local nursing home. First grade students also learn about rhythm, musical notes and ways to play music with the use of rhythm instruments, bells, pre-recorded music, and the piano. A K-4 musical is presented once every other year.

Physical Education
Physical education for first grade focuses on helping students acquire fundamental skills, fitness awareness, understanding of movement and self-understanding. Students rehearse non-locomotor and locomotor skills, and develop gross and fine manipulative skills. Fitness awareness develops as students are exposed to activities that emphasize what makes a person healthy. Finally, self-understanding is also important for learning fundamental skills and fitness awareness. This begins with knowing that we are God’s children, that God counts us as precious beings and that God commands us to regard our bodies as his temples.

The students learn to read through a strong phonics based program that also includes building a high frequency word vocabulary, reading with accuracy, fluency and strong comprehension skills. Students practice skills daily at home and at school by reading decodable books, practicing high frequency words and working through an individualized computer based reading program. Sound letter hand signals are taught to the students, these signals help students sound out new words. Comprehension, fluency, vocabulary and accuracy skills are developed throughout the year by the use of our hardcover textbooks, Readers Theater and the creation of a poetry book. Students are also encouraged to broaden their skills by reading trade books and taking Accelerated Reading Tests on the computer.

Science is taught through the use of God’s Word and the Science Fusion Houghton Mifflin curriculum. Students learn how scientists work by observing with our God given senses, use inquiry skills, compare and contrasting, journaling, the use of technology and experimenting with various science properties. Students also learn how engineers work and think. Students learn the steps of the Scientific Method and follow a plan to obtain results. Students also learn the five step design process that uses math and science to solve everyday problems. The main areas of science study in first grade are animals, plants, environments, God given resources to our earth, weather and seasons, objects in the sky, matter, forces and energy. Students participate in a Science Fair once every three years while they attend St. John’s beginning in First Grade.

Scholastic News
Scholastic News is a First Grade leveled newspaper. Students learn about national news that center around Science and Social Studies concepts. We work with the Scholastic News once a week.

Social Studies
Students learn about themselves in relation to the various groups God has placed them in through the Harcourt Social Studies curriculum; A Child’s View. They learn about school, their family, and their community. They learn that God has given us rules and that we also have rules in our families, communities and our country. They learn that God has given them resources to live in His world and that they need to be good stewards of those gifts. Students learn about the United States of America through the use of maps, globes, pictures, time-lines, charts, songs and stories. Students also learn about their world near and far away, by learning about different cultures around the world with connections to missionaries and offerings that enable God’s Word to be spread throughout the world. Students participate in a Festival of Nations once every three years.