1st Grade Curriculum
The first grade experience at NRCA provides academic excellence with an emphasis on Christian character development. Creativity, thinking, listening and writing skills are all encouraged in a loving and caring Christ-centered environment. Core subjects include Bible, Phonics, Grammar, Reading, Spelling, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science. Our curriculum continues to meet a standard of excellence as it accommodates a variety of learning styles and employs a variety of teaching modalities such as interactive Smartboards, iPads, collaborative and differentiated learning and creative centers. First graders benefit from reading, spelling and math homework, in an effort to develop skills in these areas. The first grade educational experience also includes weekly attendance at Music, Physical Education, Library, Spanish, Computer, and Art classes. Additionally, students are inspired through weekly chapels where the students can grow in their faith through worship, skits, prayer, special speakers and character development. Students participate in educational field trips, missionary and community service projects, and a yearly Christmas program. With a Christ-centered first grade education at NRCA, students will develop knowledge, character, and habits that will last a lifetime.
The first grade Bible curriculum relates familiar Bible stories to God’s gifts to His children. The concepts taught help the students view family, the world, salvation, church and life as God-ordained and directed. God’s Word comes alive through weekly chapels, colorful visuals, puzzles, games, skits, and songs. Scripture and worship song memorization are components of the classroom and chapel each week. Participation in Christian character education and an annual Christmas program provide students with an application of biblical concepts taught in the classroom.
Our second year using BJU Press history curriculum continues to produce a balanced overview of American heritage and promotes an understanding and an ability to discern connections between events. Not only has this approach provided students a strengthened knowledge of God, but has helped develop an interest in history, geography, citizenship, economics and culture. The BJU on-line tools such as maps, visuals, skits and activities have also heightened the social studies learning environment.
The mathematics curriculum of NRCA utilizes a logical method of instruction through a Biblical worldview. Concepts are presented using several resources such as manipulatives, Smartboard (interactive board), ipad applications, and challenging differentiated and collaborative learning activities. An additional resource that inspires an interest in mathematics are STEM related activities and labs. Abundant review and practice provide mastery of concepts and facts for the students. The program incorporates cross-curricular concepts: songs and poems, science, listening skills, reading, geography, patriotism, holidays, and seasons. The scope of the curriculum involves counting to 100, 200, and 1,000; addition and subtraction concepts; number recognition and dictation; calendar facts; place value; problem solving; money; geometry; logic; graphs; calendar; linear, liquid, temperature, and mass measurements; fractions and groupings.
NRCA’s science program is designed to stimulate the student’s interest in science through a Biblically integrated study of the wonders of creation. Hands-on activities help students to discover, classify, measure, predict, observe, experiment, interpret, compare, infer, examine, demonstrate, categorize, solve, organize, and identify. This year, we have added STEM activities and a STEM classroom and lab, to encourage student interest and involvement for science. Another outcome of our Science curriculum, is that students are provided many opportunities to integrate creative writing, drawing, reading, and math strategies. Additionally, students learn exciting facts about themselves and God’s world as they explore such topics as the five senses, living and non-living things, animals, plants, simple machines, magnets, weather, the human body and space.
The goal of first grade language arts is to equip the student with the tools necessary for reading success and to integrate Biblical principles through the strategies employed. Our program combines the core subjects of reading, phonics, grammar, spelling, and handwriting into a system that promotes phonemic awareness, word recognition, decoding, comprehension, and creative writing. Our phonics program is one that provides a skillful and interesting way to bring letter-sound correspondence through special sound application. Our special sound charts, Smartboard lessons, workbooks and manipulatives serve to make use of the student’s keen rote memory skills, and at the same time, increase the student’s vocabulary and word recognition. Our reading program hinges on the strong phonetic base and brings the student to a level that uses all the special sounds, sight words and spelling words that taught throughout the year. Reading comprehension is the primary goal of reading at this level, as well as, the skill of reading fluency and writing. We are enthusiastic about our new benchmark assessment system, which provides an objective format for determining reading levels of our students as they move from grade to grade.
Shurley grammar is the classical method that we employ to teach our students study skills, reading readiness, parts of speech, sentence construction, paragraph formation, and creative writing. Students enjoy the chants, poems and jingles that accompany this subject. Spelling provides the students with strategies that not only help them to spell words correctly but determine the meaning of words. Vocabulary enrichment and acquisition is the key to this spelling program. The final component of language arts comprises not only the emphasis on letter formation, spacing, and good penmanship, but on creative writing. Students are encouraged to write about many different topics throughout the year, and then maintain a writing journal.