ADW Language Arts Standards (Grade 1)


Language Arts in First Grade focuses heavily on giving students the foundation for communication in the forms of writing, speaking, and reading.  Students write on a daily basis, focusing on their own lives, creative writing, and cross-curricular experiences.  Oral communication is an event that takes place during focused sharing or show and tell, presentation of discoveries made during learning, and through daily classroom exchanges.  First Graders are always excited to start reading.  They begin with phonics, decoding, and sight word recognition, and gradually become more independent readers as they work on fluency and comprehension.
Guided reading, read-alouds, independent and partner reading, choral, echo, and repetitive reading are all ways in which First Graders read daily.

Selected Goals
  • Read words with long and short vowel sounds, digraphs, and blends
  • Read phonetically and recognize basic sight words
  • Use visual clues to decode unfamiliar words
  • Recognize plurals, and compound words
  • Recall facts and details of stories
  • Follow printed directions
  • Use various strategies to monitor own comprehension and fluency
  • Reread for meaning
  • Predict an action in a story
  • Retell stories
  • Read for enjoyment and information
  • Use complete sentences in writing
  • Know when to use capital letters and end punctuation
  • Sound out words for own writing
  • Include a beginning, middle, and end in own writing
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Use children’s literature to explore rhythm, melody and form
  • Use manipulatives such as WikiSticks and mini-rhythmic building blocks to explore rhythm
  • Perform a song or  instrumental piece for Christmas Show, Arts Night, Grandparent’s Day,  Lower School Assembly, or 8th grade buddies
  • Sing in different languages
  • Dramatize stories with music and movement
  • Make a musical instrument

ADW Math Standards (Grade 1)


Mathematics in first grade is like all other subjects taught in first grade, building on what the children already know and preparing them for any challenges they will encounter.  Students begin working with math by doing hands-on work, whether they are working on counting, sorting, identifying, or drawing math problems.  Students also make decisions about how to solve problems, record data, and gather information through small and large group discussions.
At the elementary school level, the most important point is to expand and build upon children’s natural curiosity of numbers and to give them experiences with the world around them. In this way, they learn to find their own answers through careful observation and guided exploration.

Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Direct teaching
  • Computer math games
  • Worksheets
  • Model using manipulatives
  • Classroom projects (100-day project)
  • Small group work
  • Large group work
  • Independent work
  • Present materials using the SmartBoard (maps, Brainpop, Streaming videos/audio)
  • Organization and completion of homework

ADW Science Standards (Grade 1)


First Grade science focuses on inquiry and the scientific process.  Life and physical sciences are explored.  Certain units change depending on the interests of the class, but generally during the year the class focuses on senses, life cycles, matter, and seasons.

Selected Goals
  • Choose appropriate tools and use them correctly
  • Become comfortable with scientific thinking
  • Observe changes in the physical world, and the way living things interact with their environments
  • Classify differences and notice patterns that appear in the world
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Explore different types of matter
  • Go on nature walks to observe changes and patterns in nature
  • Use popcorn to understand our senses
  • Observe butterfly lifecycles
Art is taught as a language of knowing and communicating.  Students grow in the identification, understanding and application of the elements of art, (line, shape, form, texture, and color) in two- and three-dimensional assignments.  Classes meet once a week with one-half of a homeroom.

With each project, students are introduced to relevant cultures and artists. Museums are invaluable for our program: their architecture, exhibits and education resources.  We use HTS library resources extensively and, as appropriate, integrate with individual technology classes.  Relevant book illustrations and art history images are displayed.  We take sketching field trips on our grounds and buildings.  Completed art works are exhibited throughout our buildings and, sometimes, on our website.

At the end of the year, students review and solidify the portfolio emerging from all their works.

Selected Goals

Our primary goal is to guide the students into accepting Art as a way of knowing and communicating as outlined in the AOW Art Standards.   We seek to provide a balance between having a group class, setting out rules and guidelines structured in a project and having free studio class. Each student’s work is celebrated as he or she is able to create it.  Art vocabulary is developed as students experience projects in drawing, field sketching, painting and water coloring, sculpture making, printmaking and portraiture; architecture and the presentation of art work, both in two- and three dimensions.   We seek to increase student awareness of the art and architecture in our school grounds and neighborhood, as well as in other cultures.


Library curriculum focuses on fostering love of books, reading, and language.  The classroom curriculum is frequently integrated into the instructional time.  A variety of genres, authors and illustrators are introduced.   Children learn book parts, book care, and how books in a library are arranged.  As reading skills progress, children are guided in finding a book that is a good match for them and their interests.


First graders participate in once-a-week classes designed to awaken and extend each child’s creative capacity. Children at HTS are introduced to music through Orff-Schulwerk, an approach to music education created by composers Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman. Just as children learn to speak before they can read and write, music education encourages singing and playing instruments before learning to read and notate music. Our students experience elemental music in ways that are natural to them: singing, games, movement and other playful activities.  Students develop technique and skills in playing classroom instruments, and have many opportunities to improvise based upon those skills and knowledge.  The primary goals are confidence and success at each level.

Selected Goals
  • Match pitch when singing
  • Sing using solfege syllables and body motions, pentatonic melodies (La-Sol-Mi-Re-Do)
  • Introduction to notation of pentatonic melodies on first a 2-line staff, then 3-line, then 5-line staff
  • Maintain a steady beat using body percussion and classroom instruments
  • Identify same/different phrases
  • Question/answer phrases
  • Time signature/beats per measure, measure lines, repeat signs
  • Experience AB, ABA forms in music
  • Explore the instruments of the orchestra, watch/listen to “Peter and the Wolf”
  • Play classroom instruments with proper technique (xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels, and non-pitched instruments such as hand drums, wood blocks, hand drums and rhythm sticks).
  • Identify the different timbres of metal and wooden barred instruments
  • Play a chord bordun on barred instruments while singing
  • Explore dynamics and tempo: loud/soft (forte, piano), louder/softer, (crescendo/decrescendo),  fast/slow,  faster/slower
  • Gain a solid foundation with rhythmic building blocks (quarter note, eighth notes, quarter rest, half note).
  • Improvise rhythmic and  melodic phrases using voice, body percussion and classroom instruments
  • Experience music from a variety of cultures and historical eras through singing, dance and listening
  • Respond to music with movement; learn to move safely in self and general space
  • Learn music for liturgy
  • Introduction to classical music, patriotic music
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Perform a song or instrumental piece for parents, assemblies, or 8th grade buddies
  • Sing in different languages
  • Dramatize stories with music and movement
  • Make a musical instrument
Physical Education

To engage students in developmentally appropriate activities that creates maximum opportunities for development of skills, knowledge, health-related fitness, and ultimately, the confidence to enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle.

Selected Goals
  • Fitness Development
  • Cooperative Games
  • Development of Soccer Skills and Tactics
  • Development of Ultimate Frisbee Skills and Tactics
  • Frisbee Golf
  • Development of Tennis Skills and Concepts
  • Flag Football (“Capture the Football”)
  • Development of Team Handball Skills and Tactics
  • Development of Basketball Skills and Tactics
  • Development of Volleyball Skills and Badminton Skills
  • Introduction to Hockey and Racquetball Skills and Concepts
  • Track and Field Activities
  • Introduction to Softball Skills and Concepts
  • Introduction to Lacrosse Skills and Concepts
  • Review of Games and Activities
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Regular attendance is required
  • Correct uniform is required
  • Emphasis on effort, sportsmanship, and skill development
  • Students are graded on effort, participation, sportsmanship and skill development

In First Grade, using educational software and online games, students reinforce fundamental skills in phonics and mathematics.  Students also use online graphics programs to reinforce topics learned in class.

Updated:  June 2011