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1st Grade Curriculum

In 1st Grade, students continue to build upon the fundamentals and lifelong love of learning begun in Kindergarten.

Language Arts

1st Grade students advance in The Daily 5 curriculum with extensive reading opportunities that provide a rich opportunity for comprehension, discussion, phonics, and writing projects. Students publish books and stories of their own creation throughout the year, sharing their ideas and creativity with classmates.


Through the incredibly interactive Singapore Math curriculum, 1st Grade students grasp increasingly complex math concepts in computation and equation solving. The curriculum provides hands-on opportunities for students as they tally, weigh, measure, estimate, graph, and problem solve. Students learn to apply math concepts to real world situations, becoming expert problem solvers.


1st Grade students build upon the foundation set in Kindergarten with more challenging experiments and concepts, all led by a discipline-specific science teacher in a lab setting. 1st Grade science focuses on the environment, meteorology, and the concept of energy and matter.

Social Studies

1st Grade social studies focuses on the need for laws and rules, as well as geography. Students explore national symbols and landmarks and discuss relevant current events. 1st Grade students participate in the annual Academic Fair, presenting an original research project on national monuments.

Health & Fitness

1st Grade students build on hand-eye coordination, motor and skill development, and basic athletic skills developed in Kindergarten. Activities and games integrate skill development into play as students develop physical fitness, useful physical and athletic skills, good sportsmanship, and an enjoyment of physical recreation. P.E. activities are often integrated to make connections across disciplines and with school activities, such as African dancing and martial arts during Rivermont's annual school-wide International Week.

Computer Science

Computer science is an essential part of Lower School curriculum as technology is increasingly introduced into classrooms and lessons. Lower School is outfitted with iPad carts that can be transitioned from classroom to classroom bringing the creative tools, interactive books, and endless educational apps of the iPad anywhere at any time. Lower School students also utilize their own computer lab outfitted with PC desktops for a wide variety of lessons and projects.


Specifically, 1st Grade students build on digital citizenship, internet safety skills, and keyboarding techniques developed in Kindergarten. Students also learn the basics of Microsoft Office tools, including Word documents and presentations.

Visual Art

1st Grade students advance to more complex techniques as they grow in their ability to control their media. Art projects connect with picture books as students study illustrations and artists, whose work and techniques they explore more in-depth and incorporate into their own pieces.


1st Grade students share their artwork with a large audience during the annual Family Art Night and All School Art Show.

Foreign Language

At Rivermont, students are exposed to foreign language beginning in PreSchool and begin formal foreign language study in Kindergarten. Kindergarten and 1st Grade students study Spanish, 2nd and 3rd Grade students study French, and 4th and 5th Grade students choose between the two.


1st Grade students explore customs and holidays from around the world which are appreciated and respected as different from their own. Through songs, games, and hands-on activities, students discover that learning another language is fun. Students in 1st Grade use Arcoiris: Spanish for Children to learn greetings, numbers, colors, food, animals, clothing, body parts, weather, and more.


1st Grade students continue to develop the singing channel of their voice, alone and in a group, through simple folk songs, rounds, and Solfege (scale tones with hand signals). They listen to, identify, and feel the steady beat of music through games, recordings, movements, and playing rhythmic patterns on percussion instruments.


Students learn to work together as an ensemble through rhythm bands, reading from charts, counting the beats, and performing simple rhythmic notation. They improvise accompaniments with percussion instruments and learn the concepts of tempo, dynamics, style, and mood. Through selected music recordings and videos, they learn to describe musical elements and identify the sounds and names of different instruments.


1st Grade students use illustrations and other visual elements to understand text and learn to make connections between stories and their background knowledge. Students make predictions to understand text and learn to recognize basic story structure and define the various types of literature, both fiction and nonfiction.