1st Grade


This is such an exciting year for students. We have high expectations and work hard to create a positive, warm learning environment where all children succeed. First grade is so important: this is the year when children acquire a basic foundation in reading and study skills, two things that will help them do well throughout their schooling. 

We are very busy in first grade. Each day is filled with active, stimulating, engaging activities that foster constant learning. Our students are tired by the end of the day! We practice differentiated instruction in our classrooms, so whether children are gifted or struggling or somewhere in between, you can be sure each one is challenged. We constantly modify and adjust our lessons to meet individual needs. We also tap into our knowledge of multiple intelligences and different styles of learning so no child falls through the cracks. 

All of our curriculum reflects current best practices in education and has been through the district’s stringent curriculum review cycle.

Lauren Parlin
651-403-8152| lauren.parlin@isd197.org | about me

Ellen Pommer
651-403-8148| ellen.pommer@isd197.org | about me

Maureen Skelly 
651-403-8116 | 
maureen.skelly@isd197.org webpage

Heather Wilsey
651-403-8131 | heather.wilsey@isd197.org | webpage

We believe every child can read, and our goal is to ensure all of our students are good readers and writers. Reading, like almost anything, requires patience, practice and desire. 

Our literacy block consists of guided reading, writing, grammar, and spelling. During Guided Reading, small groups of students are challenged at the same reading level. They meet with the teacher to work on decoding strategies, sight words, reading comprehension and writing. As the children gain skills and confidence, they work on fluency and expression. Quite often, students reread books several times so reading them becomes automatic. Students are supported by their teacher and each other as everyone becomes a confident, independent reader. 

During this time, other students are engaged in literacy centers that follow The Daily 5 model. They love the opportunity to visit the five centers: "Read to Self," "Read to Partner," "Listen to Reading," "Work on Writing," and "Word Work."

We use the acclaimed Everyday Math curriculum to teach the Minnesota State Standards. This curriculum features hands-on learning and develops basic skills, math concepts, and mathematical thinking. Students are encouraged to play games to reinforce basics skills and concepts. These games are available in a variety of formats including manipulatives and online. We utilize the GEMS computer lab, laptops in the classroom, and our classroom Smartboards to reinforce mathematical skills and thinking.

We have specific 1st grade goals that fall into the following program goals flowing from Kindergarten through 5th grade. We engage the kids mentally, building upon concepts as the year progresses.

Students are exposed to basic skills and concepts as well as real-life applications in the following content areas:
• Numeration
• Operations and computation
• Patterns, functions, and algebra
• Geometry
• Measurement and reference frames
• Data and chance

Using the environment as the integrating theme throughout our curriculum, traditional “science” has become part of our reading, writing, math, and social studies lessons. Students are engaged in activities to become investigators of their environment, learning the skills of observing, describing, questioning, comparing, and predicting. 

In addition to our formal Dodge field trips and science curriculum, we have extensive opportunities with our resident naturalist, the Dodge site, and the Garlough property to develop our skills as investigators. We go outside on a regular basis and it is expected that students are dressed to go outdoors everyday. We take advantage of any teachable moments and students need to be prepared.