BIBLE: First grade Bible includes six areas of emphasis: learning Bible truths, using Bible study skills, memorizing Scripture, applying biblical principles, prayer, and Christian character qualities. These areas of focus are presented through a sequential study of familiar Bible stories in both Old and New Testaments with seasonal emphasis at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Resources from ACSI Bible curriculum are used for first grade.
LANGUAGE ARTS: In language arts the first grader is actively involved in five areas of English: reading, language, writing, speaking, and listening. Reading instruction begins with a strong multisensory phonics technique in which students first learn the sounds of letters, and then build these letter-sounds into words. Students use visual, auditory, and kinesthetic associations to remember the concepts in three different ways. Reading instruction then progresses with reading fluency, vocabulary development, and comprehension applications. Sequencing and finding the main idea with details are also included in reading comprehension. Spelling instruction is integrated with phonetic reading skills through dictation. Other first grade learning activities include creative writing based on life experiences and subject matter. Speaking and dramatic presentations in chapel, Thanksgiving/Christmas programs, ACSI Speech Meet, and other listening assignments enhance the development of effective communication skills. Open Court Reading, Modern Curriculum Phonics, EPS Primary Phonics, D’Nealian Handwriting, resources from McGraw Hill Basic Goals in Spelling, quality literature, and other supplements are used for curriculum in the language arts areas.
MATH: In first grade math, six areas of study will be emphasized: whole numbers, time and money, measurement, geometry, fractions, and problem solving. Throughout the year, counting, number recognition, and learning addition/subtraction facts up to 20 is a main focus. Basic math concepts, problem-solving strategies, recognizing patterns, place value, grids, counting, and shapes are introduced using concrete materials and manipulatives. Daily drills and exercises in computation reinforce basic mathematics skills. Harcourt Math Curriculum and resources from Saxon Math are used.
SCIENCE: Although life science and health/safety are the subjects most emphasized in first grade, earth and physical science are also introduced with God's creation highlighted in every unit of study. Basic scientific principles and vocabulary of the life sciences, especially animal life, are the focal point of the first grade science program. Students will have opportunities to classify animals according to their characteristics, habitats, and adaptations through observations and hands-on activities, such as the annual field trip to the Dallas Zoo. Other studies include a unit on the earth and its seasons. Minor studies in physical science centering on matter, liquids, solids, and gases are introduced using hands-on observations, demonstrations, and activities. First grade science curriculum includes resources from Scott Foresman.
CITIZENSHIP/HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY: In citizenship/history first graders will focus on God's plan for the family, home, church, school, community, and nation as well as selected events and leaders in American history. The understanding of patriotism, national symbols, holidays and living environments will be demonstrated through hands-on projects and activities. For example, observations on the annual field trip to Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth reinforce concepts learned about life in colonial times. First graders will also be introduced to basic concepts in economics and geography with a special focus on map skills. Bob Jones Heritage Studies for Christian School Curriculum is a resource used in first grade citizenship/history and geography.
SPECIAL SUBJECTS: Every day, first graders enjoy participating in special classes that provide extra enrichment. Weekly special subjects are music, library, computer, art, and Spanish. Daily physical education classes are also scheduled. First graders will take a special P.E. field trip to the bowling alley for Bumper Bowling where they will learn bowling etiquette/rules, practice eye-hand coordination, and reinforce sequencing skills.
DISCOVERY DAYS: Discovery Days are experienced at each grade level. These exciting and fun days involve hands-on activities that culminate a science or social studies unit. Students have the opportunity to personally “discover” historical lifestyles and events. First grade students experience life as a Mayflower Pilgrim by dressing up, milking “cows”, grinding corn, baking bread, digging for clams and harvesting vegetables from a garden. A Thanksgiving Feast concludes this exciting day. Later in the year, first graders experience colonial life when they visit the Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth. Here they meet historical interpreters dressed in period costume who discuss history, 1800s furnishings, pioneer life and/or demonstrate crafts. They will see a working gristmill, candle maker, spinner, weaver, a blacksmith and more.