First Grade

At Graham and Parks, students in grades 1 and 2 are part of multi-age classrooms that include students from both grade-levels. All students participate in a two-year curriculum cycle of Learning Expeditions and participate in math and literacy activities that are differentiated to meet the needs of kids in different stages of skill development.

Learning Expeditions
In Grades 1 and 2, learning expeditions are integrated into daily instruction. Over the two-year cycle, students explore a wide range of topics. Expedition topics vary by year and by classroom, but examples include:

  • Animal and Plant Life Cycles
  • Arthropods
  • Early Americans/Native Americans
  • Folk Tales from America.
  • Immigration
  • Islands
  • Seeds and Soil
  • Trees and Seasonal changes
  • US and World Geography

ScienceDuring these learning expeditions, children develop the skills to work cooperatively and independently. Our goal is for students to become thoughtful thinkers, critical observers and dedicated researchers. Many of our expeditions focus on the natural sciences. For example, in our study of invertebrates, we ask “How can we as scientists learn about and organize the data we have collected about the natural world?” We observe invertebrates, develop the scientific skills of classification, learn how to compare characteristics, and demonstrate content knowledge in a wide variety of genres including report writing, poetry, and narrative writing from the point of view of an invertebrate. 

Other learning expeditions focus on the social sciences. In our immigration unit, “E Pluribus Unum: From Many, One” we consider the causes and contributions of immigration to the United States. We interview new Americans and dig into our own families’ unique American histories.  We learn how to use maps and how to interpret data meaningfully. Finally, we apply what we’ve learned to the creation of our own books that tell our personal immigration stories and demonstrate our expository writing skills.

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