Grade 1 Team

Team Leader: Melanie Zimmerman

Tel: 781-786-5328

Teachers: Elaine Caramanica, Krista Thorne, Melanie Zimmerman, Breana Vivier

Welcome to first grade and the beginning of an exciting year at Woodland School. First grade is a time to experience important transitions and acquire new skills. It is a time to get reacquainted with old friends and make new friends. During the month of September, our goal will be to create a classroom community that focuses on safety, kindness and learning. Please join us for Back to School Night. This is an opportunity to become acquainted with your child’s teacher and learn how we can work together to help our students succeed.


Reading:  In first grade, students are immersed in literacy concepts during the reader’s workshop which includes shared reading, small group instruction and independent reading. The year begins by reinforcing children’s learning from kindergarten as they work to become more strategic as readers. Students will be exposed to both fiction and nonfiction texts, while learning comprehension strategies, word solving, vocabulary, fluency, and author’s craft. As the year progresses, students will read increasingly complex texts and learn about story elements and the skills that are foundational to literal and inferential comprehension, including empathy, character study, and interpretation.

Writing:  Students in first grade will write a variety of texts throughout the year.  During the narrative unit students take the everyday events of their young lives and make them into focused, well-structured stories. They then move to write procedural and informational texts. They finish the year with persuasive reviews of all sorts—pizza restaurant reviews, TV show reviews, ice cream flavor reviews, and finally book reviews that hook the reader, clearly express the writer’s opinion, and bolster their argument in convincing ways. Through an interdisciplinary approach to writer’s workshop, students will learn to draft, revise, edit and publish pieces of writing.

Phonics:  First grade phonics reinforces the basic skills that were learned in Kindergarten and progresses further into the study of word structure. First graders work to spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions. In addition they read and spell the first 100 high frequency words, including irregular words (trick words) and identify word structures such as blends, digraphs, base words, suffixes, syllable types (closed and vowel-consonant-e syllables). These skills are closely connected to the learning in both reading and writing workshops.

Handwriting: Letter formation is taught and reinforced throughout the year. Children learn to use lower case letters and spacing in their writing and use the lines on the page as a guide.

Math: First-grade students explore big ideas that include: developing understanding of addition, subtraction, and strategies for addition and subtraction within 20; developing understanding of whole-number relationships and place value, including grouping in tens and ones; developing understanding of linear measurement and measuring lengths as iterating length units; and reasoning about attributes of, and composing and decomposing geometric shapes.

Science: Students learn to become scientists through exploration, observation,  data collection & analysis, and recording of information in their science journals.  They make predictions as they collect seasonal data.  Each class adopts a tree to study throughout the school year and compares how trees are similar and different from one another.  Through hands-on exploration, students learn about  sound and light.  They also continue to learn about similarities and differences by investigating animals and constructing explanations about their findings.  

Social Studies:Students explore unity and diversity by studying families and Ghana and determine similarities and differences. They also further study citizenship and are introduced to the concept of leadership by examining leaders in history and everyday life and start to construct the attributes of effective leadership.