"One of the greatest dignities of humankind is that each successive generation is invested in the welfare of each new generation."
Pre-First is a transitional year between Kindergarten and First Grade. The purpose of Pre-First is to give children developmentally young but academically advanced another year to refine their social skills.
One of the most important goals of this program is that children feel accomplishment and a sense of self-worth. Classes are smaller and instruction is given in smaller chunks. Developing confidence in each child’s ability is the heartbeat of this program.
Social Studies: In Pre-First grade, students learn about their classmates and their school community. They learn about the earliest settlers in our country and their resourcefulness in meeting their wants. Pre-first graders learn about the goods and services available in local communities and develop a basic understanding of the people and events celebrated in national holiday. At the end of the year, they compare the lives of children living in Mexico and two other countries with their own.
Reading:The reading program in Pre-First is phonics-based and offers experiences rich in language and literature. Students continue to use sounds and spellings to create words. They also work on phonemic awareness and blending, and learn to recognize context clues and high frequency words. Students are taught to predict, interpret, and make connections between what’s being read and what’s already known to further enhance their skills as readers. Children enjoy a wide variety of reading materials including easy-to-read stories, folk and fairy tales, fables, fantasies, realistic fiction, expository text, plays, poetry.
Physical Education: The Pre-First physical education program continues to force on the improvement of fitness, coordination, listening skills, and cooperation through a sequential emphasis on the following areas: Advanced movement exploration activities centering on fine and gross-motor skills. Low-organizational games that encourage cooperation in game situations. Specific activities that target diverse skills such as throwing, catching, kicking, running, and so on. Noncompetitive individual and group activities. Fitness activities are incorporated into every class.
Mathematics: The Pre-First grade math program uses an exploratory, hands-on approach to help students reason mathematically, communicate mathematically, develop multiple problem solving strategies, and make mathematical connections. Computational practice is an integral part of instruction. The program builds on previous experience, offers repeated exposure to mathematical concepts, incorporates technology, and integrates math into ongoing daily routines across the curriculum with a special emphasis on Science and Social Studies. Units in Pre-First focus on counting by ones, twos, fives, and tens forward and backward up to and beyond 100, identifying place value (one’s, tens, and hundreds), determining fractions, adding and subtracting number facts to twenty and with tens from any number, identifying and writing number models for story problems, creating and graphing data, naming geometric figures, measuring in centimeters and inches, reading time in hours and minutes, determining number operations and values, identifying and counting coins (pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters), making money exchanges, and determining money equivalencies.
Writing: Students use learned sounds and spellings in their own writing. They work on developing sentences with an emphasis on capitalization, punctuation, appropriate word usage, and proper sentence structure. Writing assignments include dictation, group stories, individual writing projects, and journal writing. Students are encouraged to proofread and self-correct.
Science: In science, Pre-First graders continue to develop previously introduced skills and concepts through hands-on activities and simple laboratory experiences. The program focuses on the three major science disciplines and includes the following topics: Earth, the Moon, rocks and fossils, properties of matter, forces, organisms and habitats.
Music: The emphasis in Pre-First grade music is on listening to music, dancing, and moving to a variety of styles of music, and singing with the incorporation of chant, finger plays, sign language, and repetition. Rhythm activities use classroom instruments and cover various periods and expression of music.