First Grade

First Graders build on exploration experiences, connections with integrated learning and begin to see themselves as agents of innovation and creativity. Project-based learning becomes a familiar and comfortable space of discourse, inquiry, experimentation, refinement and reflection. Students see themselves as a community of learners eager to explore with their teacher and classmates integrated units of study that help them develop their curiosity, creativity, critical thinking and reasoning skills and collaboration or team-work strategies and behaviors. First graders read, write and communicate meaningful messages with conventional wisdom and conventional modes using scaffolding from expert teaching to find their individual Zones of Proximal Development. Gradually, teachers release responsibility to students for their experimentation as students become more proficient, confident and independent as seekers, meaning-makers and explorers of truth and reason. Action research by first grade is a familiar and wonderful place of wonder and innovation as PBL expands collective perspectives to help solve problems and answer questions of wonder within units of study. Friendships are solidified, better understood and shared in more meaningful and articulate manners as students express themselves and find joy in community and service to others.