We believe that first grade is a very important and exciting year, both academically and socially. It is a year of "firsts" that offers students many opportunities to experience feelings of accomplishment. The First Grade Team teaches content through engaging thematic units that incorporate reading, writing, and technology standards. Good work habits and core skills form a strong foundation that will benefit our students in years to come. We see each child as an individual with unique qualities and we strive to provide them with a multitude of successful and fun learning experiences.
Our team consists of six first grade teachers: five classroom teachers and one part-time academic support teacher. This staffing gives us the flexibility to meet the academic and socio-emotional needs of all of our students.
Cottonwood first graders are exposed to a wide variety of reading materials including fiction and non-fiction genres. Students have access to a large selection of leveled reading books that challenge readers of all abilities. Children are also encouraged to read non-fiction magazines and children's newspapers, and they are offered many opportunities to practice reading through the use of technology.
Daily writing is an important part of the first grade curriculum. Cottonwood Creek implements the K-5 Lucy Calkins writing program, which includes units of study in opinion, information, and narrative writing. As students practice each type of writing, they strive to make each piece better and better. They will write small moment stories, teaching books, non-fiction chapter books, and express written opinions and judgements. English grammar, mechanics, and spelling are incorporated into these writing lessons.
Bridges in Mathematics is our district-wide math program. The curriculum focuses on developing students' deep understandings of mathematical concepts, proficiency with key skills, and ability to solve complex and novel math problems. Students will practice a wide variety of math concepts in the context of real life situations. Material is presented linguistically, visually, and kinesthetically in order to challenge students of all abilities.
Social Studies and Science:
We integrate many social studies and science themes into our daily literacy activities. Our thematic units give us the opportunity to design engaging, hands-on experiences for our young learners. The Colorado Learning Standards are addressed within these themes. FOSS Science is implemented district-wide in Cherry Creek, and first grade units include, Solids and Liquids; Pebbles, Sand, and Silt; and Insects and Plants.
Technology is an incredible educational tool. When used properly, it enhances learning in all curricular areas. Our students benefit from multi-sensory presentations of concepts through the use of interactive whiteboards, document cameras, computers, and Chromebooks. Students can access many of our lessons and links at home to provide extra practice and mastery of skills. In first grade, technology tools play a vital role in teaching, production, communication, and assessment.