Grade 1 Curriculum

  • English Language Arts and Literacy: K-5

    The North Salem Central School District curricula are based on the current New York State Next Generation Learning Standards.

    Pequenakonck Elementary School is committed to using a balanced literacy approach as our instructional model for students to develop skills and strategies in the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.  

    Students engage in a comprehensive literacy program which includes the following components of effective instruction:

    Reading Instruction 

    Reading Workshop

    • Mini-lesson (explicit instruction includes modeling and demonstration)
    • Independent reading
    • Conferring
    • Small group instruction (guided reading and strategy lessons)
    • Read Aloud

    Shared Reading

    Close Reading 

    Fundations (K-3)/Word Study – phonics, spelling, and vocabulary     

    Heggerty (K-1) Phonemic Awareness & Phonics  

    Writing Instruction

    Writing Workshop

    • Mini-lesson (explicit instruction includes modeling and demonstration)
    • Independent writing
    • Conferring
    • Small group instruction
    • Share

    Shared and Interactive Writing Mechanics, spelling, grammar, and punctuation


    Our reading curriculum includes a balance of literature and nonfiction/informational texts.  Students read daily to improve their fluency, comprehension, and stamina. The level of text complexity increases throughout the K-5 years and assessments are used to match students with appropriate texts.  Additionally, students are taught how to self-select texts for identified reading goals as well as enjoyment. Explicit instruction focuses on foundational skills, fluency, and comprehension.


    The writing curriculum includes three main types of writing:  narrative, informational, and opinion. Students write daily to improve their stamina, volume, and craft.  Writing occurs across the curriculum and for a variety of purposes. Students engage in both the writing process and on-demand experiences.  


    Speaking and listening are also important components of the literacy program.  Students are taught how to effectively communicate with each other, engage in opportunities to think critically, and talk with each other about content, strategies, and original ideas.



    First Grade Overview


    Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

    First grade students work to become independent readers and writers.  They read a balance of literature and nonfiction texts daily to increase their stamina, fluency and comprehension.  Students are taught a variety of reading strategies that help them to decode difficult words; check the pictures, reread, get your mouth ready for the first sound, skip the word, look for chunks or smaller words in bigger words, and does it make sense or sound right.

    Our writing program focuses on realistic fiction, fantasy, informational and persuasive writing.  Students write daily to increase their stamina and improve their craft. As they write and speak, first graders will learn to use language appropriately, speak and write in complete sentences while accurately spelling words more frequently. 

    A multi-sensory program called Fundations is used to provide explicit instruction to build foundational language skills. The lessons focus on developing; areas of print knowledge, alphabet awareness, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, decoding, spelling, vocabulary and handwriting. Daily lessons provide opportunities for the students to practice these skills and transfer their knowledge into reading and writing.

    Some of what your first grader will be learning includes:

    • Using phonics and word analysis skills to decode words
    • Reading with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension 
    • Describing characters, setting and major events in a story details
    • Identifying specific information an author or illustrator gives that supports ideas in a text.

    • Identifying a main topic/idea in a text and retells important details

    • Making connections between self and text
    • Writing an informative/explanatory text to introduce a topic, supplying facts and provides a sense of closure

    • Writing an opinion on a topic or personal experience; gives two or more reasons to support that opinion

    • Determining or clarifying the meaning of unknown and multiple meaning words

    • Acquiring and using grade level appropriate vocabulary and applies correct spelling of grade level words in written work



    Pequenakonck Elementary School uses the hands-on and minds-on K-5 Math program, enVision Math2.0 as the instructional resource within our math workshop model to teach NYS New Generation Math Learning Standards. The program focuses on developing understanding and connects mathematical content and process. Students learn through investigation, small group instruction and class discourse around problem solving and mathematical concepts. The four major domains include: Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Numbers and Operations in Base Ten, Measurement and Data, and Geometry. Students explore grade level concepts with engaging materials, manipulatives, videos, online access and interdisciplinary activities that support student learning. The program is organized to promote focus and coherence each day. Assessments provide meaningful feedback to support student learning. 


    Mathematical Practices:

    • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them 
    • Reason abstractly and quantitatively
    • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
    • Model with mathematics
    • Use appropriate tools strategically
    • Attend to precision
    • Look for and make use of structure
    • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning


    Some of what your first grader will be learning includes:

    • Adding and subtracting within 20
    • Using strategies; counting on, doubles, open number line, make 10 to add, 
    • Working with addition and subtraction equations and understand the relationship between addition and subtraction
    • Extending the counting sequence to 120
    • Using place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract
    • Comparing numbers; 1 more, 1 less, 10 more, 10 less, greater than, less than, number lines
    • Comparing and ordering length, measure length
    • Writing and telling time to the hour and half hour
    • Reasoning with shapes, their attributes and fractions

    Social Studies

    New York State has adopted five learning standards that are the overall foundation for the Social Studies Curriculum K-12.

    • History of the United States and New York 
    • World History
    • Geography 
    • Economics 
    • Civics, Citizenship, and Government 

    First graders study four major units: Rules and Laws, We are Family, Unity in Community and Economics.  The focus is helping students learn about their roles as a member of a family, school community and the community where they live. 

    Some of what your first grader will be learning includes:


    Rules and Laws (Civics, Citizenship, and Government):

    • Class Rules
    • School Rules
    • Rights and Responsibilities
    • Symbols

    We are Family :

    • Families Alike and Different
    • Families change over time
    • Jobs within a family
    • Family and Cultural Traditions

    Unity in Community (Civics, Citizenship, and Government, Geography):

    • Different types of communities
    • Citizens and their roles 
    • Maps and map tools
    • Physical Environment of Communities

    Economics: (Economics)

    • Wants, needs and resources
    • Scarcity of resources
    • Goods and services of our community
    • Economic choices



    We use Science 21 as our instructional resource for teaching science. The science program is an inquiry based program. First graders use critical and creative thinking skills as well as problem solving skills to learn about the following three topics of study: Earth’s Systems: Patterns and Cycles, Waves: Light and Sound, Structure, Function and Information Processing.


    In our three units of study, first grade students will:

    • ask questions and defining problems 
    • make observations and predictions 
    • conduct experiments
    • record their observations
    • analyze and interpret data
    • communicate information  

    Earth’s Systems:  Patterns and Cycles

    • The sun and its changing position in the sky
    • Shadows; how they change shape and location
    • Hours of daylight throughout the year- looking at patterns
    • The moon; phases of the moon, orbiting around Earth
    • Patterns of changes in the sky: sun, moon and starts


    Waves:  Light and Sound

    • Sounds; can move matter, can be different and why they are made
    • Vibrations; different vibrations make different sounds
    • Using senses to determine if something is making sound
    • Objects that are illuminated or give their own light
    • How light behaves in transparent, translucent or opaque materials
    • Materials that will reflect light


    Structure, Function and Information Processing

    • Animal behavior; how they help their offspring, patterns in their behavior
    • Animals;  how offsprings are similar to or different from their parents
    • Physical characteristics of young plants and animals
    • How plants and animals survive, grow and meet their needs
    • Humans; mimicking plants and animals to solve human problems