An independent JrK-12 college preparatory school 
located in Concord, North Carolina
First grade is an exciting developmental year, which provides students with a foundation for a lifetime of learning. Homerooms typically have eighteen students along with a lead teacher and a full-time assistant. This allows small group and one-on-one interaction on a regular basis to best meet the needs of each child. Along with the focus on academics, we also recognize the importance of learning through play. Learning is presented through actively engaged lessons and activities.

Adaptive expertise is the foundation of all learning where children are encouraged to be curious, creative, willing to take risks while being reflective about their learning. Communication of one's thinking and respectful collaboration with others is part of each day’s learning. Through this process, students learn more about themselves and their own abilities, allowing teachers to challenge and enrich by meeting the needs of all students.

Curriculum - click on subject for more information

List of 10 items.

  • Art

    The first grade art curriculum is designed for the developing child. Art elements are examined by focusing on line, shape, color, pattern, and texture. An introduction to the cultural world includes a trip to the art museum and learning how to look at art. Lessons in drawing, painting, collage, and clay works help to improve fine motor and technical skills of the children. The work of important artists is also integrated into the program.
  • Computers

    Technology is integrated into classroom curriculum units to promote information literacy, creative work, and critical thinking. Students complete computer projects that enhance the overall learning experience. In first grade, students combine pictures and text using graphic organizer software, continue to develop their computer drawing and graphics skills, and are introduced to word processing. Students also use quality learning software appropriate to their developmental level in the areas of literacy and reading, and in math and problem solving.

    An information literacy curriculum is used in the Lower School that emphasizes comprehension, communication, organization, and research skills. This program helps students increase their sophistication levels in currently available technology, but also incorporates "learning to learn" in a way that will transfer to the technology tools of the future.
  • Language Arts

    The foundation of the first grade language arts program is focused on learning and applying phonetic patterns. Phonetic spelling patterns are incorporated in both reading and writing instruction. Students learn and practice these skills through cooperative group activities, small group instruction, individual practice, and guided reading groups.

    Books used for guided reading, as well as independent reading, are selected based on a child's individual reading readiness. Independent reading is strongly encouraged and daily opportunities are provided for children to explore books based upon their own interests.

    Opportunities to develop writing skills are incorporated through journal, responsive, and creative writing activities. More formalized writing is taught using 6+ 1 Traits of Writing.
  • Library

    We continue to foster a love for books and reading throughout the first-grade year. Students continue to cultivate their reading, listening, discussion, and story retelling skills. They study the components of fiction (character, setting, plot, style, etc.) and of non-fiction (contents, index, etc.). In first grade, students begin learning how to locate resources using the call number system. As a result, they learn how to identify and access materials in every major section of the library. In partnership with the Technology Department, research techniques are also introduced using the Cannon Five: Be Curious, Be Strategic, Be Creative, Communicate, and Be Reflective.
  • Math

    Everyday Mathematics is a spiraling math curriculum that provides first graders with early exposure to concepts that they will encounter and build upon in later grades. Students are encouraged to use the basic skills they are taught in a variety of situations; this allows higher order and critical thinking skills to develop as they explore strategies for problem solving. Through using a variety of manipulatives, SMART Board activities, as well as working in small groups, students have the opportunity to share their creative and strategic thinking while feeling safe to take risks among their peers.

    Concepts explored include: counting, relationship of numbers, measurement, time, money, exploring data, geometry, patterns, and basic addition and subtraction. These concepts are practiced throughout the year allowing students to gradually master these skills. Teachers incorporate fun, hands-on activities such as building straw geometric shapes, shopping at student set-up stores, building base-10 block structures, collecting and analyzing data on student made surveys, as well as a variety of games that are played on a daily basis.
  • Music

    In first grade music, the development of the singing voice continues. The use of solfege games and the playing of Orff and other instruments serve to increase the students' awareness and understanding of simple melodic and rhythmic patterns found in varied songs and listening selections. Emphasis is placed on helping each student experience the confidence and enjoyment of producing music vocally and instrumentally. Timbre, dynamics, and other basic musical concepts are studied in more depth. Movement is used to reinforce the concept of musical form. During the course of the school year, students learn to write rhythmic notation and to experience confidence in reading and writing rhythm notation. First-grade students perform at their Christmas concert in December and at the annual Arts Jam in the spring.
  • Physical Education

    First- through fourth-grade PE classes experience a vast exposure to sports of all kinds, all designed to improve coordination, flexibility and strength with an age appropriate emphasis. Students are instructed in the areas of fitness, technique and teamwork. Such activities as Nitroball (volleyball, with a twist!), volleyball, soccer, gymnastics and tumbling, scooter activities, softball and baseball, track and field, basketball, badminton, running/jogging, tennis, and marshmallow ball are introduced throughout the year. Our goal as a Lower School Physical Education Department is for all students to be equipped with appropriate knowledge of varying sports and to develop a lifelong love for fitness.
  • Science

    First graders begin their study of science by sorting, classifying, measuring and understanding the difference between living and nonliving things. Their study turns to baby animals and their unique differences, inside and out. They then transition to a study of human body systems. They conclude with a study of world habitats with their various plants and animals. Students complete a special project on animal adaptations and the causes of animal extinctions. Lastly, a study of properties of matter (solids, liquids, gases, atoms in motion, magnetism) is explored. First grade is a packed, fun-filled year of science exploration!
  • Social Studies

    First grade focuses on "my community" using the Social Studies Alive! curriculum. Students are active participants, experiencing social studies through innovative teaching practices that include role-playing, creative simulations, dynamic group projects, and writing activities. Some of the topics include: What is a community? What is geography? How do people use the environment? Who provides services in a community? How can I be a good shopper? How can one person make a difference in a community? What does a good citizen do?
  • Spanish

    The most important goal of first-grade Spanish is to make children comfortable with the new language. They sing, play games, and role-play as they learn names of animals, things, foods, people, colors, days of the week, etc. They also learn how to express simple needs and wants. In first grade, students begin learning about the history and culture of Spanish-speaking countries around the world.

Classroom Teachers

Amanda Connell
First Grade Teacher

Stuart Coale
First Grade Teaching Assistant

Jill Moore
First Grade Teacher
Sally Trufant
First Grade Teaching Assistant

Amy Hall
First Grade Teacher
Bev Kungl
First Grade Teaching Assistant

Co-Curricular Teachers

Jennifer Calvert

Judy Campbell
Physical Education

Kelvin Drakeford
Physical Education

Barb Falkenbury
Reading Specialist

Krista Johns

Jaimee Mendrinos
Media Specialist
Aimée Pfitzner

Brandon Powers

Kathie Riley

World Language

Tracy Wade
Learning Specialist

Cannon School

Phone: 704-786-8171 | Fax: 704-788-7779