The first grade class at JAIS is designed to be warm and supportive, as an introductory year to the Elementary school program. Instruction is tailored to the students‘ various learning styles and abilities. A number of teaching strategies are employed to help each child learn to the best of his/her ability. These include small and large groups based upon interest or ability, individualized learning packets, field trips, and one-on-one instruction. The curriculum has a strong yet age-appropriate emphasis upon the academics, especially reading, writing and mathematics.
The Language Arts program is designed to develop and reinforce the skills gained in the previous grades, to ensure that the students are on the path to becoming fluent readers and writers. This consists of phonics instruction, sight word recognition and mastery, guided reading, grammar, reading comprehension, literature appreciation, and creative writing. This is done through planning and modeling stories read, and creating whole class texts. Graphic organizers are introduced. Students plan and write their own simple stories. In addition, the use of non-fiction texts is developed as a method of finding information when researching a theme, extending into Science and Social Studies classes.
The Mathematics program is based on the AERO standards using materials from a wide variety of sources. The Math program combines a traditional approach to the teaching of math, as well as a conceptual theme-based program. This combined approach provides the students with concrete and abstract methods for the development of computation skills, problem-solving abilities. Units taught are: numeration and place value, numbers and number operations, number patterns and number theory, money, statistics, fractions, geometry and symmetry, measurement, and probability.
The Science units capitalize on children‘s natural curiosity and inquisitiveness by allowing the students to explore with hands-on activities. The curriculum stresses the acquisition of basic skills that are so important to the students‘ future academic success. In first grade students explore: new plants, pebbles, sand and silt; and the animal kingdom.
The first grade Social Studies units focus on holidays around the world (throughout the year) communities and homes, Antarctica, from farm to table, children and their lives through history, and map skills.
The following classes are taught to JAIS students by specialist teachers: physical education, music, art, Spanish or French and swimming.
Click HERE for a link to the JAIS curriculum.