Grade One Curriculum

First-graders at Milton learn to find their voice in a supportive environment. As each child learns to become a successful, independent individual within the larger community, they learn how to own their choices and responsibilities. Eager for information—excited by new ideas, people and places—students begin to forge more meaningful connections to the world around them. Milton’s first graders grow in independence, as they explore the differences between making decisions and completing required tasks. They learn about time management through balancing activities and being responsible for their choices.

What makes up a community? How do we live and work together? These are essential questions we consider in Grade 1. Central themes—units of study that incorporate math, science, reading and writing curriculum—include occupations and avocations; habitats (deserts and swamps); and architecture, homes and mapping neighborhoods. Through these units, students learn important observation and investigative skills; they practice social skills and they develop a greater appreciation of our world’s diversity. With a strong focus on writing, including personal narratives, Milton’s Grade 1 students observe, journal, compare, research and read. Whether students begin the year as readers or develop into readers as the year progresses, students experience both positive challenges and success every day.

Studies and Skills

Language Arts
Developing reading comprehension

Reading for information

Developing phonemic awareness

Studying authors for style and structure of stories

Writing workshop: finding a voice and becoming authors by writing letters, journaling, creating directions for a task and authoring a non-fiction chapter book

Participation in guided reading groups

Learning grade-level spelling and grammar rules

Spanish Language and Culture

Developing listening and speaking skills in Spanish

Appreciating Spanish culture

Developing oral language skills through hands-on activities, games and songs

Building vocabulary

Learning to offer and respond to greetings, questions and commands

Computer Science and Instructional Technology
Introduction to iPads—used for language arts, math, social studies enrichment and special projects

Digital citizenship—handling devices with appropriate care, explaining rules for care to others

Identify, using accurate terminology, simple hardware and software problems that may occur during use and apply strategies for solving problems

Library and Information Science
Making connections between literature, personal experience and background knowledge

Finding books of interest and appropriate reading level, understanding library organization and sharing recommendations

Learning about responsibility—checking out and returning books

Using internet resources curated by a teacher or librarian to gather information

Modeling and solving addition and subtraction problems with one and two digit numbers

Counting and keeping track of two digit amounts by counting by 1s and by groups

Using standard units to measure and describe lengths

Telling time to the nearest hour

Identifying coins and their values

Using mathematics vocabulary to name and describe 2D and 3D shapes


Developing critical scientific skills: observing, measuring, collecting and recording data, forming hypotheses

Studying animals and their habitats

Studying weather and seasons

Studying plants and their life cycles

Woodworking and Design Thinking
Proper use and care of tools

Learning the function of simple machines and how to incorporate them into projects

Cutting angles with miter saw and miter box

Using standard and non-standard units of measurement

Learning how to generate ideas for projects and solve problems

Learning vocabulary related to architecture and design

Experiencing failure and learning how to revise ideas and methods

Introducing simple power tools

Practicing hand tools

Music and Performing Arts
Exposure to American musicians and composers as well as classical works

Learning about instrument families and orchestral instruments

Rhythmic and melodic note reading

Pitch matching and ear training

Interpretive movement, breath control and vocal technique

Visual Arts
Exploration, idea-generation, initiation and follow-through

Basic pottery techniques, rolling, cutting, design and under glazing

Self-portraits and color mixing as a connection to hair, skin, eyes and size unit

Artist study unit: one or two major artists per year

Physical Education and Fitness

Developing sport-specific skills and enhancing gross motor skills

Practicing sportsmanship

Developing teamwork and cooperation

Receiving an introduction to sports concepts and rules