The faculty and staff of Our Lady of Mercy School are pleased that your family is interested in learning about our first grade curriculum. Located in the Early Childhood Center, our program offers a variety of developmentally appropriate opportunities for your child. We offer a well-rounded core curriculum, as well as Religion, Spanish, Music, Computer, Art, and Physical Education.
We staff a wonderful group of educators at the first grade level, including four full-time teachers, and two full- time classroom assistants. These assistants alternate between different sections of first grade daily, and assist students and teachers with activities.
Core Knowledge Sequence
The Core Knowledge Sequence is a detailed outline of specific content to be taught in language arts, history, geography, mathematics, science, and the fine arts. As the core of a school’s curriculum, it can provide a solid, coherent foundation of learning, while allowing flexibility to meet local needs. The Sequence, distinguished by its specificity, offers a coherent plan that builds year by year and helps prevent repetitions and gaps in instruction. Currently, the Core Knowledge Sequence is being used at all grade levels at Our Lady of Mercy School for the Social Studies curriculum. Plans are to expand this Sequence into other academic areas as well.
During the morning meeting, students review previous concepts and are then presented with the concepts and expectations that will be addressed during the day.
First graders take workstations to the next level. Workstations at the first grade level address all learning abilities with a variety of activities that are an extension of the core concepts. Workstations encourage independent work and students move from one station to another. The workstation activities at the first grade level are designed to focus more on academic growth than skills management. Class activities are left open-ended, allowing students to build upon the concepts presented during group presentations. Students follow through with activities in a variety of ways, to best suit the different learning styles.
First graders do attend computer class once a week in our school’s computer lab, and computers are available at the workstations within the classroom.
Religious goals continue to include giving children a sense of God, helping children discover God’s love for them, shaping attitudes of love and respect for self and others, and learning how to share with others. Children will experience God’s love through the beauty of creation, spontaneous prayer, song and dance. Bible stories will be read in order to bring about an awareness of God as their Father, Mary as the Mother of God, and Jesus as their loving friend and Savior.
Handwriting Without Tears
“Handwriting Without Tears” is a program designed to teach pre-printing, printing, and cursive writing. The program was developed by Occupational therapist and Handwriting Specialist Jan Z. Olsen, OTR. She has more than 25 years experience helping children, and training teachers and therapists. Handwriting Without Tears is an inclusive method for teaching children of ALL ability levels. Handwriting Without Tears continues through the fourth grade.
Assessment and Grading Policies
The first grade year includes ongoing assessments of all children and their progress. Report cards are given at the end of each nine weeks period. The first nine weeks report card will include narratives as well as progress charts. During the second through fourth nine weeks, report cards will include narratives, progress charts, and letter grades A-F in Reading, Math, and Conduct. A student must pass both Reading and Math to be promoted to second grade.
We recognize, as research has proven, that the early years of childhood are some of the most important of our lives. We work together to provide the best environment and best experience possible to make this a positive year for your child. We work to help a child grow as a whole person: spiritually, emotionally, socially, physically and intellectually. This is a time for exploring, inquiring, expanding horizons, and forging new friendships. We hope you will enjoy the journey.