Teacher - Mrs. Julie Robbins
Welcome to 1st Grade!
I'm Julie Robbins, and I have been teaching at Immanuel for 6 years! I have 28 years in the classroom, with experience from preschool through 5th grade. My passion is sharing God's love with my students and giving them a firm foundation in reading, which leads to success in all other areas. What I love to see in my students as they leave 1st grade is confidence in their skills and excitement to learn!
Our biggest focus in 1st grade is reading, reading, and more reading! Along the way, we sprinkle in some singing and dancing between our lessons, while we also learn how to get along with others and share kindness just like Jesus did.
- Religion/Memory Work: We do 1 or 2 new Bible stories each week, learning about Old Testament and New Testament people and events. Each story also connects to our daily lives, and we learn to apply God’s Word as students memorize a Bible verse to be recited independently each week.
- Reading/Writing: We use a phonics-based curriculum to teach reading. In first grade, we go beyond the 26 basic letters and sounds, adding in the long vowels, along with blends and diphthongs (th, sh, ng, or). As we decode new words daily, we also discuss their meaning and expand our vocabulary. Our writing connects to our reading, and we practice writing basic sentences, friendly letters, narratives, writing about an event, and more. We visit the library once a week and have a large classroom library from which students can borrow books. First graders who need to be challenged can read books on their own and take Reading Counts quizzes in the computer lab. Each year I choose a different series of books to read aloud in class, like Magic Tree House or A to Z Mysteries. Many kids will get hooked and want to read other books in the series on their own. Students in 1st grade also gain mastery of 150 Rainbow Words, which are sight words that lead to success in reading and overall fluency.
- Spelling: We have a spelling list each week that connects to our reading curriculum. Words are assigned at the beginning of the week, and we have a spelling activity to complete as homework by Friday. During quarter 1 we have 6 words each week, during quarters 2 & 3 we have 8 words, and then during quarter 4 we go up to 10 words.
- Math: Our Saxon curriculum teaches concepts in a cyclical manner, not in isolated chapters. Concepts like telling time or measurement won’t just be practiced for a certain period and then students forget what they’ve learned. Once we learn and practice a concept, it keeps reappearing throughout the year. Each day, we have a large concept to focus on, but then we also do routine activities like finding the date, figuring out patterns, counting money, etc. Part of our daily work also includes starting to learn our math facts for addition and subtraction. Some of our other big concepts include word problems, shape, and number patterns, telling time, ordinal numbers, and using different types of graphs.
- Science: First graders love science! We start out learning about plants and animals, then we get into seasons and weather. Later in the year, we get to learn about states of matter (solid, liquid, gas). For our Curriculum Fair project, we connect animals with reading. Each 1st grader reads an animal book (fiction or nonfiction) and then builds a 3-dimensional “book float” using a shoe box turned upside down so it becomes like a float in a parade with a scene from the book.
- Social Studies: Our social studies curriculum takes us through many different topics. We begin with learning about rules and how we show respect, then we talk about using maps, globes, and models. As the year progresses, we focus on heroes, how we honor our country, and symbols of America. We finish the year learning about traditions.
- Handwriting: In 1st grade, we further practice the handwriting skills learned in kindergarten with correct formation of the letters. Our focus is on the size of the letters, the shape of the letters, and the spacing between letters and words as we write sentences. Learning the correct formation early leads to an easier transition as students start to learn cursive in grades 2 & 3.
- Art: We do an art project each week, and in 1st grade, we focus on some of the basic components of art like line, shape, and color. Some of our projects connect with other subject areas, while some are just for fun. For several of the projects, we use the Arts Attack curriculum. When we have our Art Fair in the spring, the 1st graders will typically select 2-3 projects for showing.
Our theme for the 2020-2021 school year comes from Matthew 20:28, which reminds us that Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. May we always be seeking ways to serve others, just like He did!