Grade 1

A New Place of Imagination and Learning

First graders are ready for academic exploration and are engaged in learning through movement, stories, and the arts. The children and their Class Teacher begin a multi-year journey together, and Specialty Teachers introduce subjects such as Mandarin, Spanish, and Music. Teachers cultivate a spirit of respect and interest in learning that children will carry through the grade school years.

Stories, poetry, and songs bring language lessons to life. Children create their first writing and arithmetic books. Mental math practice begins in first grade and continues through the grades. There is plenty of time for outdoor exploration and artistic expression.

"G" is for Golden Goose

First graders are captivated by fairy tales and folk tales. The teacher shares stories of a courageous peasant, a greedy wolf, or clever children who persevere to overcome hardship. The children fill their Main Lesson books with illustrations and characters that represent letters of the alphabet.


Language Arts

  • Pictorial introduction of the alphabet
  • Handwriting: upper and lower case letters
  • Oral storytelling
  • Recitation of poetry and verse
  • Class play: group choral form


  • Hindu-Arabic numerals from 1 to 100 (counting forwards and backwards, writing)
  • Roman Numerals from I to XII
  • Times tables: 2, 3, 5, 10
  • Odd and even numbers
  • Four mathematical processes: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division


  • Stories of the seasons and the natural world
  • Exploration of nature
  • Gardening: tending a plot, growth cycles of plants, and gardening stories

Social Studies

  • Mythologies of global cultures and folks tales from around the world
  • Descriptions of different cultures and environments through oral storytelling

Form Drawing

  • Straight and curved lines
  • Standing forms
  • Running forms


  • Immersion through speech; presentation of vocabulary through stories
  • Recitation of poetry, songs, and stories; and accompanying movement and gestures
  • Comprehension and speech practiced: size, color, number, how many, what is it, I have, and identifying commands


  • Immersion through speech; presentation of vocabulary through stories
  • Recitation of poetry, songs, and stories; and accompany movement and gestures
  • Drawing lays foundation for characters


  • Craft knitting needles from wooden dowels
  • Knitting: cast-on, knit, count rows, change colors, bind-off, and sew completed pieces


  • Movement for the vowels and consonants
  • Straight and curved lines as spatial experience
  • First elements of pitch and rhythm with arms and feet
  • Exercises to build balance, agility, coordination, and fine motor skills

Games & Gym

  • Themed games based on nature and fairy tales
  • Historical games from around the world
  • Tagging, circle, movement, string and clapping games
  • Jumping, vaulting, balancing, rhythm exercises, and social and cooperative games

Grade 1 Faculty

Susan Bolich-Giddens
Class Teacher

Lisa Sargent Music

Maria Loreto

Christine Wang

Deborah LeDean
Handwork Assistant

Erin Kemp

Monika Leitz

Mona Nemetz
Games and Gym
Karmin Guzder

Spanish & Mandarin

First graders begin twice weekly classes of both Mandarin and Spanish. The oral, immersive instructional approach draws on children’s natural powers of imitation; there are songs, stories, and rhymes instead of direct translation or grammatical instruction. Children absorb the musical nature of the languages and gain meaning through visuals, gestures, repetition, and intonations.