I love the strong sense of community at Francine Delany, where uniqueness is appreciated and diversity is valued. The staff is extremely talented and dedicated, and everyone is committed to thinking outside the box to meet every student’s individual needs. (Kelsey Goss, 1st Grade Teacher)
First grade is a very exciting year of learning, where students make growth by leaps and bounds. Kids enter the classroom each morning and are greeted by teachers and friends. They move into their morning work, where they rotate through five different stations each week that may include word work, math, or handwriting activities, or building with blocks or Legos. In our morning meeting we talk about our schedule and practice calendar and number-of-the-day routines. Following morning meeting, we always have a song/movement/group-game break, and these are incorporated throughout the day. Math workshop is next, which starts with a minilesson and/or number talk. Then kids move into their work, and on any given day they might be playing a math game with a partner, using manipulatives to work through problem-solving activities, or meeting with teachers one-on-one or in a small group. We then have snack and wiggle time, where kids get to take a break, have a snack, and run around outside for a bit. When they return we have word study, where kids learn about word structure and decoding and spelling strategies through fun, hands-on activities. Next comes recess, where kids may be engaged in teacher-led group games or having free play time. Then comes lunch, followed by a return to the classroom for a relaxing interactive read-aloud. Our next activity is writer’s workshop, which starts with a minilesson and is followed by kids working on their own writing pieces while teachers conference with students about their work. Over the course of the year we learn to write small moment personal narrative pieces, nonfiction chapter books, opinion and persuasive pieces, edge-of-your-seat stories, and fiction pieces. Writing is followed by specialist time, which includes art, music, PE, movement, and FEAST. Our final block of the day is reader’s workshop, which starts with a minilesson before kids move into their own reading. They might be seen reading independently or in partnerships, conferering one-on-one with a teacher, or participating in a guided-reading group. Kids are able to use flexible seating options, so they may be reading at a table, on the rug, or in a scoop chair on the floor. We end the day by packing up and meeting on the rug to regroup and play a quick game. Science, social studies, and art are incorporated throughout the curriculum and are given blocks of learning time as needed during the week. Fridays always include choice time, where kids are free to explore the games, puzzles, art supplies, and various building materials in the classroom. First grade is a wonderful place to be!
Subjects such as Social Studies and Science are integrated throughout our learning and follow our goals of being curious, taking care of the Earth, and making it a more fair place for everyone.