Welcome to First Grade

In addition to learning about the Sun and the Moon, the study of living things continues in first grade as students focus on animals and specific life cycles of insects.

The first graders take their school job of running the Blue Oak post office seriously by creating/selling stamps, advertising the open hours, and delivering mail to both the lower and middle school campuses. Using their knowledge of the school building and the people in it, students develop their own school-wide mail system. A hallmark of progressive education, Blue Oak makes math meaningful as first-grade students buy and sell stamps from the school post office and extend their learning into the community by marketing, selling, and donating the proceeds from a class business. Reading is expanded to include author studies and readers’ theater opportunities as well as publishing parties for creating their own written works. This is all part of how the first grade at Blue Oak learns about how they fit in not only the school community but the whole world as well.

First Grade Social and Emotional Standards (C.A.R.E.S.)

  • Cooperation: The ability to establish new relationships, to maintain positive relationships and friendships, to avoid social isolation, to resolve conflicts, to accept differences and to be a contributing member of the classroom and community in which one lives, works, learns, and plays
  • Assertiveness: The ability to take initiative, to stand up for one’s idea without hurting or negating others, to seek help, to persevere with a challenging task, and to recognize one’s individual self as separate from the environment, circumstances, or conditions one is in
  • Responsibility: The ability to motivate oneself to act and follow through on expectations; to define a problem, consider the consequences, and choose a positive solution
  • Empathy: The ability to recognize, appreciate, or understand another’s state of mind or emotions, to be receptive to new ideas and perspectives, and to see, appreciate, and value differences and diversity in others
  • Self-Control: The ability to recognize and regulate one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in order to be successful in the moment and remain on a successful trajectory
multiracial-elementary school boys studying while studying
First Grade Mathematics

A Blue Oak math classroom features a combination of whole-group, small-group, and independent activities that are problem centered. In first grade, students focus on addition and subtraction, place value, and shapes. As mathematicians, Blue Oak first graders use manipulatives to build and see numbers as they continue to sort, count, and find patterns. They also learn the formal procedures for addition and subtraction and learn about place value and currency, asking their own mathematical questions and solving their own equations through pictures, words, and numbers.

  • Recognizes, counts and writes to 120 with one-to-one correspondence
  • Counts by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s to 120
  • Understands place value of two digit numbers
  • Fluently adds and subtracts within 10
  • Mentally finds 10 more or 10 less within 100
  • Identifies coin names and values
  • Counts like coins and coin combinations within $1.00
  • Recognizes, describes and produces two and three dimensional shapes
  • Tells time to hour and half-hour
  • Uses calendar to determine day; reads and writes the date in a variety of ways
  • Measures and estimates using a variety of tools
  • Creates and solves word problems within 20 using objects, drawings, graphs and number sentences
  • Demonstrates an understanding of key concepts when explaining mathematical thinking
First Grade Literacy

Speaking and Listening

  • Speaks clearly and communicates effectively
  • Uses appropriate tone, volume and language
  • Makes statements on topic and asks questions that demonstrate relevant thinking
  • Listens to and reflects back other’s ideas
  • Links comments to the remarks of others
  • Participates in discussions and conversations appropriately (raises hand, doesn’t interrupt, allows others to finish, uses air time appropriately)


  • Distinguishes long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words.
  • Knows the spelling-sound correspondences for digraphs (th, wh, sh, ch)
  • Knows final –e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel words
  • Reads common grade level high-frequency words by sight (of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does)
  • Knows and applies grade level phonics and word analysis skills when decoding words
  • Uses words, illustrations and context clues to identify characters, setting and events
  • Reads with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension
  • Retells stories and demonstrates an understanding of the main ideas
  • Demonstrates an ability to use reading time for leisure, research and education
  • Uses reading time productively, chooses reading materials independently, shares and enjoys favorite reading materials with others


First graders use the elements of the writing process, learning to draft, edit, and illustrate. The writing in grade one expands to include stories and pieces that include a beginning, a middle, and an end.​​

  • Prints lower and upper case letters with appropriate directionality
  • Uses letter sound knowledge to spell words
  • Identifies and uses spelling patterns to spell words
  • Spells grade level high frequency words correctly in daily writing
  • Communicates ideas clearly in writing
  • Uses elements of the writing process (brainstorms, drafts, revises, edits, publishes)
  • Uses illustrations to match and enhance storyline
  • Writes for a variety of purposes
  • Writes a variety of pieces with clear topic, support, and a sense of closure
First Grade Science
  • Observes and describes characteristics, basic needs and life cycles of living things
  • Explores and describes observable properties of physical science and earth science (light, heat, sound, patterns and cycles of the sun and moon)
  • Makes hypotheses from observations and information
  • Seeks information through active investigation
  • Demonstrates understanding, articulates and communicates scientific information through oral and written communication, and visual representation
First Grade Social Studies
  • Participates in creating classroom rules and works to follow them throughout the school year
  • Participates in and takes responsibility for classroom jobs and school job
  • Creates a map, identifies continents, oceans and map symbols
  • Recognizes American symbols, landmarks, and historical figures
  • Understands and appreciates different perspectives and interpretations
  • Distinguishes fact from opinion in relation to social studies topics
  • Demonstrates understanding of content and key concepts in current unit
  • Formulates questions to direct learning in the current unit
First Grade Visual Art
  • Color: Understands and uses primary colors to make secondary colors
  • Observation: Begins to use observation in creative process
  • Creating: Engages in creative work in a self directed and collaborative way
  • Expression: Discusses thoughts, feelings and experiences expressed in artwork; Begins to discuss and reflect with peers about artwork
  • Connecting: Identifies and communicates work of art that connects to feelings, ideas and personal experiences
  • Tools and media: Explores the use of tools and media to create works of art; Uses art vocabulary to describe creative process
First Grade Library and Information Technology
  • Alphabetizes to the first letter to locate books in the library.
  • Identifies basic digital devices and parts of a computer.
  • Demonstrates correct procedures to turn computer off and on, and open and close applications.
  • Identifies characteristics of fiction and nonfiction.
  • Describes the roles of authors and illustrators.
  • Identifies services and resources of the public library.
  • Knows the difference between the roles of media to entertain and to inform.
  • Understands that the Internet is a way a computer is connected to the world.
  • Reads a good representation of grade level text, classic, contemporary and online resources.
  • Reads and recites poems, rhymes, songs and stories.
  • Recollects, talks and writes about materials read.
First Grade Spanish
  • Uses basic salutations and expressions of courtesy
  • Uses TPR with movements, visual, aural, and tactile approaches to infer meaning
  • Uses basic routine vocabulary, and builds upon previously learned vocabulary by including feelings, insects, weather and days of the week
  • Uses curriculum based vocabulary
  • Uses more than one word to communicate on familiar topics
  • Demonstrates comprehension of simple sentences in the target language
  • Responds accurately to yes/no questions
  • Practices cultural components through music, games and celebrations
First Grade Music
  • Singing: Consistently sings with developmentally appropriate accuracy, alone and with others
  • Pitch: Responds to and performs “high” and “low” while singing and playing
  • Rhythm & Meter: Easily demonstrates steady beat; echoes; performs and creates simple rhythmic patterns
  • Form and Design: Demonstrates an understanding of musical phrase in simple songs
  • Playing: Performs simple accompaniments on unpitched and barred instruments
  • Expressive Qualities: Explores and identifies dynamics, tempo, timbre
  • Movement: Participates in creative movement activities and performs folk dances with enthusiasm
First Grade Body and Movement
  • Shows spatial awareness
  • Plays cooperatively with classmates - developing games together
  • Shows locomotor growth (jogging, sprinting, skipping, galloping)
  • Explores use of various pieces of athletic and play equipment
  • Sustains continuous movement for increasing periods of time
  • Engages in focused freeplay without equipment
  • Demonstrates ability to balance
  • Practices Catching, Throwing, Kicking
  • Works with Partners and on a Team
  • Encourages and respects others
  • Accepts responsibility for own actions
multiracial-elementary school boys studying while studying