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1700 Saunders Avenue
St. Paul


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First Grade

Hello and Welcome!

Ms. Lisa Apel-Christianson, Ms.Kaitlynn Mackie, and Ms. Emily Cook are preparing for an exciting, fun and rewarding first grade 2023-2024 school year! We can't wait to meet your child to learn more about them personally. For now, please read this important information about what our achievement goals are for 1st graders. These standards are stated more explicitly in our HPE Compact.    

First grade is a year full of extraordinary growth and change as children work on building their academic and social selves. We take pride in working with each and every child to help them become a well-rounded learner.  

Our IB/PYP Curriculum includes the following:

Reading: We follow the Reader's Workshop model. Students meet in small groups in addition to core instruction to meet their specific needs. We teach the Phonics Curriculum, read shared stories in whole group and have Guided Reading Groups for small group instruction and reading practice. First grade focuses on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency and comprehension. A big part of fluency and being about to read well is by recognizing whole sight words. Our school uses the Fry Word List, along with the Science of Reading "heart" words. These are words that are mainly on the Fry List as well, but are introduced during lessons relating to a skill. You will find a copy of this in your child's Learning Folder/ also called their Thursday Communication Folder/Binder. It's used as a homework folder. It has valuable resources for your child to practice at home to support learning important skills. We use it during the day as well, so it needs to be returned daily.

Writing: We follow the Writer’s Workshop model. This model encourages all students to write at their own level while building on the foundation skills taught in kindergarten. Some of our units include: question and answer books, persuasive writing, and small moment stories.

Math: Students will explore and begin to understand the relationship numbers have in our everyday lives through our St. Paul Public School newly adopted Math curriculum.  We use the St. Paul Common Core and State of Minnesota Standards to guide our instruction. 

Inquiry: First graders explore, inquire and learn through our six IB/PYP Units of inquiry. Learn more about IB/PYP by clicking on the website of our PYP Coordinator, Mrs. Michelle Strecker. 

Specialists:  First graders rotate through for a week each at a time: Art, Science, Physical Education. We will also have a Music Specialist this year!