First Grade Curricula

      Newell Elementary School

        Grade Level Curriculum Overview


Innovamat Math Overview

Innovamat is a competency-based educational program for teaching and learning mathematics. Learning based on practices generates knowledge that is more solid, connected, critical, and long lasting; developing a comprehensive mathematical experience. Innovamat focuses on the processes of Problem Solving, Reasoning and Proof, Connections, and Communication and Representation. 

Students will build knowledge while exploring manipulative and digital materials, collaborate and discuss multiple ways to answer challenging questions, and strengthen strategies by working in meaningful contexts. 

Language Arts:

Reading and writing workshops are deliberately designed to offer a simple and predictable environment so that the teacher can focus on the complex work of observing students' progress and teaching into their needs.

Reading units include decoding, story elements, nonfiction, character study, and author study. 

Writing units include narrative, opinion, informative writing, and poetry. 

Each session begins with a mini lesson

The mini lesson ends with the kids being sent off to their own independent work.

As students work, the teacher confers with them and leads small groups.

Partway through independent work time, the teacher stands and delivers a mid-workshop teaching point.

The workshop ends with a share.


  • A multisensory structured literacy program that presents all skills in a systematic and sequential manner

  • Skills include:

    • Consonants and vowels

    • Digraphs

    • Blends

    • Bonus letters

    • R-controlled vowels

    • Suffix -s, -e, -ed, ing

    • Long vs. short vowels


In science, we use a program called Mystery Science. Mystery science is a program that involves exploration and education of science concepts.  Each lesson has a corresponding exploration activity. The topics we cover are plants and animals, sun and shadows, the moon and stars, and light, sound, and communication.  In the plant unit, students explore the different parts of plants and how those parts are essential for plant survival.  In the animal unit, students explore how the external characteristics of animals are essential for their survival. Students also make observations of parents and their offspring, determining how they are similar and how their behaviors help offspring survive. In the sun and shadows unit, students make observations of the Sun and shadows throughout the day and across the seasons. They use their observations to understand patterns that occur throughout the day. In the moon and stars unit, students explore the Moon and stars. They observe and record the appearance of the Moon to determine its cyclical pattern. They also determine why stars are only visible at night. In the light, sound, and communication unit, students investigate light and sound! They explore how materials vibrate and how vibrating materials can make sounds. They also investigate light and illumination and use those investigations to create simple devices that allow them to communicate across a distance.

Social Studies:

Unit 1 Civics: sing and act out how to get along. Practice talking and listening with a partner. Find a game to find out why we have rules. Piece together puzzles about cooperation. Visit stations to learn about different types of groups. Conduct an inquiry to explore ways to learn about others. 

Unit 2 Economics: Learn about different jobs at your school through your school. Purchase items in a marketplace based on your needs and wants. Observe neighbors doing good things for one another. 

Unit 3 Geography: Use a compass rose and map to solve a puzzle. Go on a road trip to discover special places about the United States. Visit different places to learn about how geography affects how people live. 

Unit 4 History: Analyze pictures of schools from long ago. To discover ways that school was different from and the same as today. 

Characteristics of a Successful Learner: In this area NES staff focuses on teaching students to be–

Effective Communicators by listening attentively and speaking 

clearly with appropriate volume.

Self-Directed Learners by taking initiative and works independently,

uses time effectively, and preservers in task completion.

Collaborative Team Member by working cooperatively with peers,is

respectful of  the ideas, rights and feelings of others.

Creative and Practical Problem Solver by taking learning risks and 

Consider multiple solutions to problems.

Mindfulness: Focuses on empowering students to:

develop self-awareness tools

develop self-management tools

to be calm

to be focused

to be connected

to be energetically balanced

These skills are taught through breath, movement and mindfulness practices in order for students to be ready to learn.