The first grade program at Kruse Education Center is designed to make the children very active participants in their learning. In Reading and Language Arts, we will be using the Harcourt Trophies Series which includes instruction in Phonemic Awareness (the relationship between letters and sounds), Phonics (putting sounds together to form words), Oral reading and Fluency, Comprehension, Vocabulary, Listening, Speaking, Writing and Spelling. The children will be exposed to a wide range of literature in fiction, non-fiction and poetry. In Math, we are using the Trailblazers series developed by the University of Illinois, Chicago. This series emphasizes an understanding of mathematical concepts and develops problem solving skills. Students begin by experiencing concepts in a physical manner through the use of concrete manipulatives. Then they will label the concepts with the appropriate mathematical symbols. This connection between experience and the symbol is critical. During the year the children will work with patterns, numbers and numeration, fractions, addition, subtraction, money, time, measurement, geometry, problem solving, data collection and graphing. Our science program is FOSS. It also stresses a very hands–on approach to learning scientific concepts. We will cover units on plants, balance and motion and a unit on rocks, sand and silt. In Social Studies we will focus on beginning economics concepts, voting, customs, traditions and holidays, local communities past and present, maps and community helpers. Students within a class exhibit a wide range of abilities and styles of learning. Therefore lessons are designed to include activities that are appropriate for individual needs and differences. Students learn best when provided with various instructional groupings. Activities are planned for whole-group, small-group, cooperative groups and individual instruction.

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