Social and Personal Growth

During 1st grade, students continue to work on being part of a larger community, in which they can make their own decisions, respect the rights and opinions of others, build self-confidence while understanding the importance of rules and authority, and work and play cooperatively in a safe learning environment. They continue to learn more about the world around them and how their family, home, and school are a part of it.

Approach to Learning: Work Habits, Work Time, and Content Studies

Underlying the learning activities at Peck Slip is a spiraling learning process in which children imagine what they want to do, create a project based on their ideas, work with their creations, share their ideas and creations with others, and reflect on their experiences—all of which leads them to imagine new ideas and new projects. In doing so, they develop and refine their abilities to think creatively and work collaboratively. To participate fully in this process, students develop a positive approach to learning.

To focus and provide a context for their activities, the 1st grade class participates in three content studies. Students go on field trips, record observations, create non-fiction materials, and apply what they’ve learned. We believe that learning in all subjects is enriched by its connection to a central topic.


In 1st grade, students make progress as independent readers. They develop different strategies to read unknown words (decoding) and expand their understanding of what they are reading (comprehension). Students learn to read (and are read to in) a variety of genres, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and to discuss their reading with partners and in both small and large groups.


In 1st grade, students continue to work on a variety of opinion, informative and explanatory texts, as well as personal narratives. During writing workshop, they are exposed to models of writing, and are then given the time to write independently, and the opportunity to share their work with their classmates. Content studies are a resource for their work. They begin to use the writing process—planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing—to pace and structure their work.

Word Study (Spelling and Vocabulary)

Our word study program develops and teaches independence and confidence in writing and speaking. 1st grade students learn to use capitalization and punctuation conventions for sentences. They study conventional spelling and frequently occurring irregular words. They learn how verb tenses convey a sense of time, and begin to use frequently occurring adjectives, conjunctions and prepositions. They expand their vocabulary through using clues to the meaning of unknown words and distinguishing shades of meaning among similar terms.


In 1st grade, there are four critical areas. Students develop their understanding of addition and subtraction, including strategies for addition and subtraction within 20. They develop their understanding of whole number relationships and place value, including grouping in tens and ones. They develop their understanding of linear measurement in units. They also reason about the attributes of, and create and take apart, geometric shapes. Students continue to explore mathematical ideas through a variety of games and hands-on tools. They work independently and with partners to solve problems, practice counting and number operations, and explain their thinking.