Grades 1 and 2 – Year 2013-14
For year 2013-14, Julie Ludwigsen will be teaching a combined First and Second Grade

Grade 1 and 2 Overview

Julie Ludvigsen

Julie Ludvigsen
Grades 1 and 2

All of our academic work in the first and second grade will be introduced through story. Truth and virtue will be met through the beauty of the story. Stories of Saints and People of Virtue will reflect the true goodness in the world around them. Classic fables from Aesop and other cultures will show the tricksters at work and the hurt they cause to others through their mischief. Similar to the fairy tales of first grade, Celtic tales, including “The King of Ireland’s Son,” will bring grand adventures with the archetypical “good” and “evil” characters. Stories about plants and animals in nature will begin the year and set the stage for all of our trips to Sacred Mountain Sanctuary.

The first block of the year, Form Drawing, is intended to bring the students back into themselves after being out for the entire summer. The form itself is derived from one of our stories. Although complicated and difficult to replicate, by working slowly and carefully, the child brings her art and herself back into focus.

Recitation plays a large role in our work. Several hundred lines of poetry, including our play will be learned by heart, played as games or simply recited by the children. Much of this poetry is classic rhymes, tongue twisters, and images of beauty from literature. Memorization requires attentiveness and a strong will. The joy foxandstork_grade2is great when the entire class can recite poem without error (but also with much feeling!)

From these lines that we learn to recite, we begin to write and then read our writing. Throughout the second grade, the reading abilities will begin to shift with many of the students. We will all work together using simple rhyming books in the classroom, as well as begin to read using the same reader later in the year. For those whose reading level moves further on, more challenging books to read alone or to a friend will be offered.

In our writing, the first grade will focus on using the upper case block letters, while the second grade will begin to learn the cursive letters. In the first half of the year, the amount of writing will be very different between the first and second grade. The second grade will continue to write short summaries involving many sentences, while the first grade focuses on single letters and then words. In the second half of the year, the first grade will move into writing sentences while the second grade continues to write longer summaries and poems. The second grade will also begin to focus on capitalization and punctuation in their writing.

sixswans_firstgrademathTo continue building reading comprehension skills, including memory and vocabulary, students will retell the stories of fables and people of virtues’ lives. The retelling is done each day after a new story and is often a favorite time of the students to show what they have remembered from the story.

Spelling in the first grade will be the basic phonetic sounds of the consonants, and the short and long vowel sounds. This will build in the second grade as the students will learn many ways to spell vowel sounds, blending consonants at the beginning of words, and add common endings to words.

children2_knittingIn mathematics, we will begin with a review of the four processes of Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division that were first learned last year by the first grade. Great stress will be laid this year on knowing the Multiplication tables up to 12 x 12, both through recitation and writing. We will work with these tables regularly in our circle time with rhythm, song, and movements. Going through the tables backwards also strengthens memorization and will be practiced regularly in the class.

Later in the year we will expand the work with the Four Processes to include larger quantities of countable objects, and we shall stress on the relationship between the processes – e.g. multiplication as an extension of addition, division as a partner with multiplication. Problems to be solved by division, for example, will always be of a social nature, so that students can see the relationship of the problem with practical life. Story problems, which are often a struggle for students in public school, will give life to the math problems and give the students a context to always work with. Work with Place Value will coincide with the Four Processes as we learn to borrow and carry in subtraction and addition problems.