First Grade

First grade at Sujana is an exciting year! The first grade teachers strive to build a solid academic foundation while enriching each students’ childhood experience.

With certified teaching assistants in each classroom, students receive more individualized instruction.

First Grade Teachers


Teacher Assistants


First Grade Volunteer Sign-Up

Curriculum Highlights


•    Reading: Comprehension and fluency are emphasized through the SRA Imagine It program and guided reading groups. First grade strives to differentiate instruction through different genres and leveled readers. Non-fiction, as well as fiction and biographies are used. Independent reading is also stressed.

•   Phonics and Spelling: First grade is the time for children to further develop their phonemic awareness and become fluid, comprehending readers and spellers. Students begin the year reviewing the sounds and letters taught in kindergarten using the Orton-Gillingham method. This multi-sensory approach is used throughout the year to build a strong phonics and spelling foundation. Students learn phonetic rules, how to apply them, and how to identify "exceptions". Students are assessed weekly on sight words to determine mastery. In addition, students are required to spell, using their knowledge of the different phonetic concepts.

•   Grammar: Writing and grammar are important components of literacy. Students begin writing simple sentences in their journals. They learn grammar and sentence structure through Morning Message and Daily Oral Language, and are introduced to the writing process. Their writing progresses to telling simple stories related to their reading. They learn to write personal narratives, letters, descriptions, simple reports and more complex stories.


Manuscript handwriting is taught in first grade. Handwriting instruction coordinates with the sounds being taught in phonics using the Orton-Gillingham method. Teachers also integrate the methods of Brain Gym, which encourage physical movement, to enhance handwriting performance and learning.


In first grade, we use the Everyday Mathematics curriculum. Everyday Mathematics is distinguished by its focus on real-life problem solving, balance between whole-class and self-directed learning, emphasis on communication, facilitation of school-family cooperation, and appropriate use of technology. Put simply, Everyday Mathematics teaches and encourages multiple methods and strategies for problem solving. Partner and small-group activities help to solidify math concepts. As an additional resource, program is used to help reinforce addition and subtraction skills.


Science instruction is integrated throughout the first grade curriculum. Through hands-on activities, field trips, and guided reading groups, students are introduced to a variety of science experiences. Habitats and animals are explored and studied in depth. Related activities have students constructing different habitats, and completing animal research papers. Other units of study include weather; sound; heat and light; simple machines; and, the human body. All of these units incorporate hands-on activities and computer programs such as Kidspiration to inspire learning and enthusiasm. A highlight of the year is the opportunity for students to hatch chicks and watch them grow.

Social Studies

Social Studies in first grade is taught in units of study within the first grade classroom. Through guided reading, projects, and other hands-on activities the children are given the opportunity to learn different strands of social studies. All of these units include projects and hands-on activirties which are designed to stimulate learning. the study of maps and geography is supported by a project.

Moral Values

Moral Values

Physical Education

Increased proficiency in the performance of motor skills is the emphasis of the program. This is achieved through student participation in games and relays and individual activities such as aerobics, scooters, and tennis. Personal fitness and healthy living habits are also stressed.


Spanish is offered three times a week.


First graders experience a wide variety of art activities in the 45 minute art classes. Emphasis is on the development of each child's self-confidence. Projects are designed to allow students to practice and refine basic skills focusing on color, shape, line, value and texture. Students learn to make controlled strokes with many types of brushes. They learn to mix parimary colors to make secondary colors, make colors lighter and darker, use watercolors and make crayon resists. Students manipulate clay and learn to score and join clay pieces. First graders learn to recognize, appreciate and create the art of different cultures and styles and famous works of art.


Children continue to develop listening, rhythmic, and singing skills. Rhythmic patterns become more complex and the use of Orff instruments more prevalent. They develop the ability to accompany songs with various ostinati on pitched and unpitched percussion instruments. Musical notation is introduced.


Students participate in a library orientation and are introduced to using a computer to search the online catalog and to locate library materials. Students are introduced to biographies, picture dictionaries, encyclopedias, and students learn basic research skills. Book awards and literary elements, such as main idea, sequence, cause and effect, character and setting, are discussed. Students independently locate and select books based on personal interest through browsing. Students continue to be exposed to a variety of literature through read-aloud texts and other media.