First Grade

1st grade teacher reading to a group of kids

A Part of Something Bigger

Developmentally speaking, first graders are moving away from an egocentric self and becoming aware that they are part of something bigger; part of a community. In first grade, we continue to work on a better understanding of and empathy for others, and self-regulation. In addition to a focus on regulating emotions, managing one’s body in space as well as one’s own personal belongings are important for first graders.

Being able to open and close one’s snack and lunch containers, tie one’s shoes, pack up one’s backpack at the day's end help a student feel strong and capable. We focus on expanding language skills that promote self-advocacy as well as a shared sense of community. A first-grade mantra is: Together we’re better because we’re better, together! There is much to learn across the content areas, so another important goal centers around taking perceived risks. We aim to help students develop a positive outlook toward “trying something that feels tricky” and welcoming a potential mistake. In fact, we think that mistakes are such an important part of learning that we have developed a “mistake dance” in order to celebrate them!

First Grade Highlights

  • Community and Identity
  • Writing Workshop
  • Flashlight Friday
  • Thinking like a Scientist


Why Westside?

"The biggest takeaway from our initial tour of Westside was that all the staff seemed genuinely happy to be at Westside and truly love being surrounded by kids. To my husband and I that translates into excellent teaching, creative thinking and a strong community of care for students, teachers and staff. Our oldest daughter is in 1st grade, and we look forward to our youngest daughter joining Kindergarten next year. We cannot recommend Westside enough and we tell all our friends it is one of the best decisions we've made."