First Grade

Program & Curriculum

The Island School, a private school on Bainbridge Island, offers an engaging first grade program for students from the Kitsap Peninsula, including Poulsbo, Suquamish, Indianola, Kingston, Hansville and Silverdale.

Our school provides an excellent academic education as well as the social/emotional learning (SEL) that is just as critical to a child’s lifelong success in building relationships with others.  Social/emotional learning has been part of our educational program since The Island School was founded more than 40 years ago because, in our community, teaching children to be kind, respectful and inclusive is as important as teaching reading, writing and math.  It is part of our mission to inspire in our children a lifelong enthusiasm for learning AND an appreciation and respect for themselves and others because this is education of the heart as well as the brain.  We focus on the whole child, academically, socially and emotionally, while celebrating what makes each child unique.

Language Arts

Language Arts incorporates reading, writing, and oral language development. Students are introduced to a wide variety of reading materials including fiction, nonfiction, poetry and Reader’s Theater. Reading is more than the ability to pronounce words; our reading program balances phonics, comprehension and fluency. Children are encouraged to use their own experiences and knowledge to write creatively, as well as informatively. Students share their writing regularly through oral presentations. In first grade the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum is used.

In Reading:

  • Whole group instruction includes:
    • big books, charts, poems, songs, schedules, basic sight words
    • daily reading out loud
    • musical play performances
    • poetry
    • library program—weekly visits to the school library for browsing, selecting books to check out, and listening to a story (literature appreciation)
  • Small group instruction includes:
    • fiction, nonfiction, phonetic books, taped books, Reader’s Theater, fluency and comprehension, and more
    • work on phonic skills, as needed
    • introduction to table of contents and index
    • beginning research—reading to learn (tied in with science studies)
  • Individual opportunities include:
    • Daily 5 program includes:
      • read to self
      • read to someone
      • listen to reading (books on tape, CD)

In Writing Process, students:

  • Participate in Writer’s Workshop
  • Learn and practice the 6+1 Traits of Writing
  • Write, proofread with teacher, illustrate, share
  • Practice structured writing
  • Write field trip reports and thank you letters
  • Create class books – including nonfiction writing and word work
  • Write lunch notes
  • Complete assigned writing: letters, riddles, notes, goals, wishes
  • Write and publish poetry anthologies, poetry poster
  • Write Author’s Night story

In Writing Mechanics, students:

  • Begin using capitals to start sentences
  • Begin using periods and question marks to end sentences
  • Begin proofreading their own work
  • Recognize sentences, periods, question marks, exclamation points and commas
  • Receive handwriting instruction in upper and lower case letters
  • Print legibly on lined paper, learning the correct use of lines and spaces
  • Learn spelling patterns
  • Learn correct spelling of fifteen high frequency words, plus review ten lifetime words from Kindergarten

In Oral Communication, students practice:

  • Sharing writing
  • Sharing information or objects related to units
  • Reading one's own writing at Author’s Chair
  • Problem solving
  • Participating in drama groups
  • Contributing to classroom discussions by asking questions and making comments about presentations
  • Asking good questions
Social Studies