Welcome to First Grade! 

First grade is magical! The doors of letter sound recognition open wide and learning to read progresses from short vowel words to long vowel words to sight words to sentences to real meaning! Children are in awe as their mastery takes off with the first books, they can read to chapter books by year’s end. Children realize they can read for entertainment and for learning. The directions in their math book become reading material. Science text can be read in small groups. Holiday stories unfold for the students. The world of learning opens, and First graders are thrilled! 

Our class is busy and begins with morning Circle time providing social interaction, extensive instruction including topics like, calendar, seasons, days of the week, even place value. Review and new learning take place during the morning meeting. Direct phonics instruction is given every day. Reading time is everyday and varies with small group instruction, concept work and activities. We use a Harcourt Brace series for our Reading book. We also use Level Books, a Book in a Bag homework program, choice reading and reading across the curriculum to fully immerse every first grader in engaging text all day. First graders are proud of their accomplishments and literally skip with happiness. First Grade uses the Big Ideas Math program that is adopted to the Common Core standards. We use Fusion Science from Houghton Mifflin and the We Believe series for our Catholic instruction. 

Instructive units of study on bats, penguins, historically significant people and holidays enhance our learning and have fun projects to go along. The Share Fair, science fair is fourteen years in the running and is a culminating project during the Third Trimester.    

Ms. Dowd is an experienced teacher originally certified in California, then Massachusetts and now here in New Hampshire. She earned her Master of Education degree from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Other professional work includes a sales career in Senior Living. Ms. Dowd loves to help provide the tools people need to believe in themselves and work towards their best life. Ms. Dowd loves teaching First Grade!