Featured Image

First Grade

The first grade is an exciting year for learning. During the course of the academic year, students will:

  • Read for enjoyment and knowledge.
  • Write in many genres.
  • Broaden their mathematical minds.
  • Learn about the scientific and social world around them.
  • Become independent learners and critical thinkers.

In grade 1, instructional time should focus on four critical areas: (1) developing understanding of addition, subtraction, and strategies for addition and subtraction within 20; (2) developing understanding of whole number relationships and place value, including grouping in tens and ones; (3) developing understanding of linear measurement and measuring lengths as iterating length units; and (4) reasoning about attributes of, and composing and decomposing geometric shapes. Visit the District Math Department website to learn more >>

Visit the KLO Math Coach's Website >>

In Grade 1, literacy instructional time should focus on three critical areas:

Reading Workshop: Students read a variety of self-selected and teacher-selected texts during Guided Reading, Independent Reading, Shared Reading, and Independent Literacy Work. Students learn effective comprehension strategies that they apply to fiction and nonfiction text

Writing Workshop: Following the Cambridge Public Schools Writing Curriculum, which is based on Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study, students write in a variety of genres. Each unit addresses particular standards that are directly related to the content, skills, and application of the unit.

Language and Word Study: Students explore the sounds, rhythms, and details of language and words through interactive read aloud, interactive writing, shared/modeled reading, shared/modeled writing, handwriting, language/word play and letter/word study. They explore the different ways we use language, build phonological awareness and vocabulary skills, and learn the conventions of print, including letters, sounds, and words.


The science units in first grade include Weather, Living Things, and Balls and Ramps. Descriptions of each unit are provided below:

Students construct and use a variety of tools that help them learn to read thermometers, estimate wind, gauge rainfall and recognize cloud formations. They collect and record weather data and consider how weather phenomena affect their daily lives.

Living Things
Students explore nature outside and observe changes in a tree, as well as in the plants and animals around the tree. They consider the needs of living things as they build classroom terraria.

Balls and Ramps
Students observe and compare properties of different balls and experiment with them both on the ground and on ramps.

Social Studies
The first grade social studies curriculum focuses on the following topics:

  • Building Classroom Community
  • Character Education (school-wide)
  • Fall/Harvest
  • Winter Holidays
  • Heroes and Leaders
  • Culture Study (to be determined by students)