Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our Curriclum For First Grade

Daily review of phonograms and daily reading to work on fluency. We'll add formal spelling when reading is solid. I wanted to share a free formal spelling program and the free phonics program I found also includes spelling for K-2.

Leftover from last year RightStart math, free MEP math, and materials I find particularly helpful for my math struggling child like this on number parts/bonds and a lot more. Actually, I need to make a post of all the neat math sites I've found soon!


I’m using Karyn Henley Bible materials with the boys. I really love her materials. This year we're doing Day by Day Hope for Kids Devotions Daily and her 1st Grade Foundations curriculum as a family on the week-end. These are one of the few things I purchased for this year and I believe they are worth every penny.

Chapter Book Read Alouds and Narrations:

We are reading and narrating one or two chapters of a read-aloud book each day except on literature day in the plans. Here are some narration ideas.

We just finished The Adventurers of Chatterer the Red Squirrel this week and began Squanto: Friend of Pilgrims in anticipation of our upcoming history units.
While we read lots of picture books as well I only enjoy reading one chapter book at a time. My boys really love audio stories and so they also listen to audio chapter book recordings we get from interlibrary loan. They are listening to The Trumpet of the Swan the last few days and we’ve already enjoyed so many wonderful books. This allows us to cover more great literature even as I find that moving more slowly through our personal read alouds lets us sink into those books in an especially meaningful way.

Memory Work, Handwriting, Poetry:
Our memory work is a weekly bible verse. Handwriting is copywork. Poetry will be weekly and I'm doing an idiom of the week too as my spectrum child especially could use a little direct instruction in that area!


We sing kid songs together most days and also do weekly classical music exposure (this week Vivaldi Seasons) or more formal music appreciation/study specified in the Core Knowledge Sequence.

Science/History/Geography/Art/Formal Music/Formal Literature:
We’re using the free for download Core Knowledge Sequence especially the Baltimore Lesson Plans as our spine outside of the above basics. I found much of what I needed for this curriculum free online. I’m doing sort of a mix of things using those materials. I organized them into science units, history units, and geography units. I planned formal literature, art, and formal music as weekly lessons. For the art I added hands on artwork to the topics the Baltimore lesson plans used for art study as needed so there is something to “do” every week. I didn’t think to save my sources for the art activities but I will try to find them again as I go.

I used the lesson plans as a foundation though I found I had to add a lot to history and art particularly to make it engaging and memorable.

We are really enjoying this curriculum. I'm pleased and amazed to find all of this is available for free.

History Specifics:
This will be early US History primarily--early exploration and settling through the Revolutionary War, Lewis and Clark and Westward Expansion. We’re doing some general things as well including symbols, significant people, etc. We already began with Native Americans, Columbus, Balboa, Ponce De Leon, Aztecs/Cortes, Incas/Pizzaro, The Lost Colony of Roanoke, and Jamestown. I didn't think about adding those plans to this blog but I do plan to try to keep up from this point forward.

Geography Specifics:
Geography units include major oceans and the continents, directions, the equator, landforms, etc. Periodically through the year we will focus a unit on a particular continent covering all of them over the course of the year. I pulled some ideas from the Core Knowledge K Sequence. I wish I had discovered this curriculum last year and decided to use certain portions of the K this year for first grade.


I’m covering the Core Knowledge Sequence for 1st grade Science also in unit form. I did pick up a bit from the Kindergarten Core Knowledge curriculum as well.

My plan is to do Salsa Spanish which we started this summer and enjoyed but so far working it in has been a struggle this academic year.

In case it’s useful to anyone I think I’m going to go ahead and post a simplified “what we did each day” from this point forward with any links I used. I hope this works and is useful to someone.

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