First Grade

English and Language Arts

The primary focus of first grade language arts program is the development of reading and writing skills. Students in the first grade learn the phonetic components of language and they learn to apply these components in their oral and silent reading. Students in the first grade also develop their comprehension skills and a basic understanding of story structure. Writing skills are developed beginning with a focus on spelling, handwriting, punctuation, capitalization, as well as the writing process.

History & Social Studies

The social studies curriculum begins with looking at ourselves, our families, our school, our friends and our community. Basic map skills are developed as students study maps, globes and their own community. The curriculum also focuses on current events, different cultures and citizenship. Students will learn to locate on maps and globes San Mateo, California, the United States, the seven continents, and the four oceans. Students will learn the process of making rules, voting and sportsmanship. Children will learn and try to follow "the golden rule", (treat others the way we want to be treated). Students learn to compare cities, transportation, schools, games and jobs of today vs. the past. Children learn the ways we honor our country & heroes. They learn about American symbols, documents and landmarks. The children are introduced to different cultures and traditions. We end the year learning about the differences between needs and wants as well as goods and services.


FOSS (Full Option Science System)
Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkley
Examples of skills we will focus on in Science:

  • Solids and Liquids
    • Investigate and sort objects based on their properties
    • Observe, describe, and compare the properties and behaviors of solids and liquids
    • Record observations with pictures, numbers, and words
    • Combine and separate solid materials of different particle sizes using tools
    • Observe, describe, and record what happens when solids and water are mixed and when liquids and water are mixed
  • Air and Weather
    • Discover properties of air by observing interactions of air with objects
    • Demonstrate that compressed air can be used to make things move
    • Construct parachutes, pinwheels, and kites, and observe how they interact with air
    • Observe and describe daily weather on a calendar
    • Record observations using pictures, words, and data
  • Plants and Animals
    • Compare structures and behaviors of different pairs of animals
    • Cut plant stems, place them in water or soil, and observe changes over time
    • Initiate the growth of a new plant from a bulb and from a root, and observe changes over time
    • Record observations of plants and animals, using drawing and writing

Foreign Language - Spanish

Spanish class begins with greetings, prayers, and today’s weather and date. Through music, games, and conversation, students review colors, alphabet, numbers, months of the year, days of the week, and body parts as warm up. Students learn new vocabulary weekly and perform oral and written activities using a workbook. Students grades are based on their participation and work in class.

Language Arts

  • Guided Reading: During Guided Reading, students are offered a text at the appropriate level so that a manageable number of reading challenges will appear. Guided Reading typically takes place in groups of 4-6 children. Students have access to Raz-Kids at home, allowing them to practice reading at their Guided Reading Level at home.
  • Reader’s Workshop: Reader’s Workshop focuses on the interaction between readers and text. Students learn to ask questions, make connections with prior knowledge and previously read texts, and ask questions to clarify.
  • The program includes peer conferences and teacher conferences with students while emphasizing students' independence and allowing them to become successful readers in and out of the classroom.
  • Wilson Fundations: Fundations is a multisensory, structured language program. Wilson Fundations makes learning to read fun while laying the groundwork for life-long literacy. Students in grades K-2 receive a systematic program in critical foundational skills, emphasizing:
  • Phonemic awareness
  • Phonics/ word study
  • High frequency word study
  • Reading fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension strategies
  • Handwriting

Examples of skills we will focus on in Language Arts:


  • Generating the sounds from all letters and letter patterns
  • Distinguishing initial, middle, and final sound in single-syllable words
  • Blending two to four sounds into recognizable words
  • Reading high frequency words
  • Reading with fluency
  • Identifying and describing the elements of a story
  • Identifying the beginning, middle, and end of a story
  • Comprehending material read
  • Following instructions


  • Writing complete coherent sentences
  • Using punctuation and capitalization correctly
  • Using proper spacing when writing
  • Using creative and grade-level spelling
  • Printing legibly


Listed below are examples of what we will be focusing on with listening skills this year:

  • Listening without interrupting
  • Giving and following two-step directions
  • Listening respectively to the ideas and opinions of others
  • Listening attentively during instructions and activities


Listed below are examples of what we will be focusing on with speaking skills this year:

  • Participating in class discussions
  • Reciting prayers, poems and songs
  • Speaking clearly
  • Comprehending and responding appropriately to oral communication
  • Using polite words when speaking


Go Math!
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Examples of skills we will focus on in Math:

  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
    • Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction
    • Understand and apply properties of operations and the relationship between addition and subtraction
    • Add and subtract within 20
    • Work with addition and subtraction equations
  • Number and Operations in Base Ten
    • Extend the counting sequence
    • Understand place value
    • Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract
  • Measurement and Data
    • Measure lengths indirectly and by iterating length units
    • Tell and write time
    • Represent and interpret data
  • Geometry
    • Reason with shapes and their attributes
  • Mathematical Practices
    • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
    • Reason abstractly and quantitatively
    • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
    • Model with mathematics
    • Use appropriate tools strategically
    • Attend to precision
    • Look for and make use of structure
    • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning

Social Studies

California History-Social Science, Time and Place
Scott Foresman

Examples of themes we will focus on in Social Studies:

  • Citizenship
  • People and Places
  • Our Country
  • Changes Over Time
  • Celebrate Cultures
  • Goods and Services


Blest Are We
RCL Benziger

  • The Profession of Faith
    • Recognizing God is our Father who knows us and shows His love for us in many ways
    • Realizing that Jesus is the Son of God
    • Learning that Mary is the mother of Jesus and therefore the Mother of God and our mother, too
    • Becoming aware that Jesus came to our earth to save us from our sins by his life, death and resurrection
    • Understanding that Jesus is human like us; He is our friend and brother
    • Learning that we are Catholic Christians who follow Jesus
    • Realizing that the Holy Spirit helped Jesus’ Apostles to begin the Catholic Church
    • Recognizing the Bible is the Word of God, it teaches us about God and how to live
  • Celebration of the Christian Mystery
    • Recognizing that Sacraments are how Catholics worship God and celebrate their faith in Jesus
    • Studying the signs, symbols and actions of Baptism, Eucharist and Reconciliation
    • Becoming aware of the importance of the Mass as a form of worship of God
  • Life in Christ
    • Discussing scripture stories witnessing the ways Jesus treated others
    • Modeling examples of how we should follow Jesus' example
    • Understanding that we are free to choose to do good or harm
    • Exploring what we should do if we make a bad choice and how Jesus forgives and wants us to do the same
    • Discussing how God always forgives us and sends us the Holy Spirit for guidance and support
  • Christian Prayer
    • Talking to God is a way to stay close to God
    • Experiencing talking to God in many ways: together in community, in your heart, through Mary, at Mass and through formal prayers
    • Learning and practicing these prayers: Sign of the Cross, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be To The Father, Grace before and after Meals, Prayer to the Guardian Angel, Blessing with holy water and the verbal responses at Mass
    • Celebrating the seasons of the liturgical year with the parish community: Advent/Christmas, Lent/Easter, etc.
    • Begin to know verbal Mass responses