1st Grade

English Language Arts

Using the Benchmark Universe curriculum, first graders build foundational skills, such as phonics, word study, and fluency. Students learn to use text evidence in close reading and are provided opportunities to develop collaborative conversations. Students develop writing and reading skills by analyzing different types of texts and using reading strategies, such as using predicting, identifying the main idea and summarization, asking questions, making Inferences, and visualizing.


Students focus intensively on the four critical areas specified by the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in Grade One: addition and subtraction within 20, whole number relationships and place value, linear measurement in non-standard units, and reasoning with shapes and their attributes.


There are three main focuses in first grade science: physical, earth, and life science. For physical science, first-graders learn to recognize the differences between solids and liquids, how batteries work, how magnets attract and repel, how vibrating objects produce sound and how sound travels, as well as how objects are made of one or more material(s) (paper, wood, metal, cloth, etc.). Earth sciences include studies involving the earth. First graders learn about the earth, the solar system, the sun, and how the sun affects the Earth's climate and weather. The last unit, life science, focuses on the planet, both plant and animal life. Students learn to: appreciate the diversity of life forms in the animal kingdom, describe plant and animal parts that enable survival, distinguish between living vs. non-living things, identify the life cycle of plants and animals, recognize that most living things come from a male and a female parent, and understand what living things need to survive (air, water, food, sunlight).

Social Studies

In first grade, students develop an understanding of basic concepts and ideas from civics, economics, geography, and history. The context for social studies in first grade is the family and the ways family units live and work together. To develop students’ understanding of the basic social studies concepts, students are asked to think about families nearby and those far away.

Field Trips to Look Forward to in First Grade

Pumpkin Patch
Redwood forest
Skate rink to learn about forces in motion
Wildlife center
Heirloom Festival


First grade students learn about Toolbox which is a research-based social-emotional learning curriculum. It teaches critical social competencies necessary for academic and life success such as: resiliency, self-management, and responsible decision-making skills.