Marist Brothers International School


Early Years

Curriculum overview

Grade 1

Grade one students will follow Lucy Calkins reading and writing workshop strategies. During reading time, students have mini-lessons and work together with their peers in small groups to become more strategic readers. Students will learn comprehension strategies, word solving, vocabulary, fluency, and author’s craft. They will develop their skills to read increasingly complex texts. At writing time, students will learn four types of writing; small moment stories, non-fiction, persuasive reviews, and fiction writing. Students will study “craft moves” author’s make that they try to put in their own writing. They will also learn to add details and feelings to make their writing more “fancy” and come alive. Students will follow the Words Their Way spelling program. Students will be focusing on word features instead of memorizing words on a spelling list. They are encouraged to think about letters, sounds, and patterns as they read, write and spell unstudied words.
By the end of grade one, students will understand and use the concept of ones and tens in the place value number system. Students will be able to add and subtract small numbers with ease. They will be able to take simple measurements and describe relative locations of objects in space. They will describe data and analyze and solve simple problems. They will also learn to use tools and descriptive media, such as manipulatives or sketches, to model problems found in the textbook as well as real-life situations.
Students will learn the scientific process by carefully conducting investigations. They will record observations and data with simple sketches, drawings, physical models, and written statements. They will recognize and understand the similarities and differences of plants and animals, and how their external characteristics enable them to survive specific environments. They will also plan and conduct investigations on the fundamentals of light and sound, and how it works. Additionally, students will look for predictable patterns in nature by observing the sun, moon, stars, and sky. Students will learn how these patterns can be used to predict the future.
Grade one students start out the year by learning about their responsibilities as a student and explore ways to get along in school. They learn the elements of good citizenship such as fair play, good sportsmanship, respect for others and the meaning of the “Golden Rule.” Students will compare and contrast schools and communities of today and the past, to gain perspectives over recent transitions that took place in our society. They will also read and construct simple maps utilizing cardinal directions and map symbols. Toward the end of the year, students will learn how all families are special, how they care for each other, and the ways families change over time.

Advanced Japanese

In this course, students focus on reading and writing 46 Hiragana and the Hiragana vocabularies including Dakuon(voiced consonant syllables), Han-Dakuon (p-sound), and Sokuon (small “tsu” “ya”, “yo”). The students are introduced to learn the Japanese language within the content areas of social studies, math and Japanese literature. During the first semester of Grade 1 course, students learn about their feelings, time, and Japanese money counting. During the second semester, students will read fiction short stories, with a focus on character and plot. By the end of the year, students are able to start organizing and expressing their thoughts in writing and speaking using the appropriate Japanese.

Beginners Japanese

Students learn about Japan and Japanese culture through many activities such as making origami and crafts based on particular cultural events. Although speaking is more focused than writing, they learn writing Hiragana. They also learn about my family, months of the year, days of the week, time and Japanese money. They will be able to speak simple Japanese and ask basic questions in Japanese.

First-grade students continue to improve their locomotor and non-locomotor skills by practicing skills using a variety of movement qualities. The first-grade emphasis is on the qualities of movement, especially the effort aspects of space and time. They continue to practice throwing, catching, kicking, and dribbling by using a variety of objects and practice striking by using various implements. They are learning to share, cooperate, and work in groups without interfering with others. They also learn that to prevent injury, proper body position must be used when they are exercising and that water, oxygen, and food act as fuel for the body. Students will also engage in lessons about grade level health and safety.

Students explore the 3 content areas of health: Development and Growth, Injury Prevention and Safety, Personal and Community Health. Teachers explain, demonstrate and encourage students to recognize and practice healthy behaviors. Students will learn to identify a variety of behaviors that promote healthy growth and development, analyze steps to take in emergency or potentially dangerous situations and discuss the importance of preventing the transmission of germs.

The Lower School Visual Art program engages students in making art, viewing and discussing art, learning about contexts in which art has been created, and pondering fundamental questions about art. Emphasis is placed on familiarizing students with a wide variety of studio materials, processes and a high level of fine motor dexterity. Through a variety of art activities students learn the fundamentals elements and principles of design such as line, texture, color, value, and balance. Students explore the art of many cultures and artistic styles throughout history.

First grade students continue on with the basic elements of music with more concentration on reading simple rhythms and rhythmic patterns (ta, titi, rest). Hand symbols for musical notes (mi-so-la) are also introduced. Folk melodies from various countries and cultures are employed along with various musical games.

The course aims to instill in the children a solid foundation of moral and spiritual values. Basic concepts covered in the class are the following; God made all people and living things, God has given all of us special gifts, each person is special, we must respect all people and all living things, families are based on love, and family members love each other, we all have the capacity for love and must care about each other. Most lessons will be presented using stories from the Old Testament through storytelling, movies showing and graphic organizers.

First-grade students read or have read to them a wide representation of grade-level-appropriate text. Students read poems, rhymes, songs, and stories. First-grade students respond to questions (e.g., those that ask who, what, when, where, and how). Students relate prior knowledge to information and are able to identify meaning from symbols and pictures in print and digital materials. First-graders learn to share information orally and creatively with other students and audiences. In first grade, students understand how to check out and care for a variety of library resources. They alphabetize to the first letter to locate books in the library. Students can identify the characteristics of fiction and nonfiction and can describe the roles of authors and illustrators. They can identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book, in both print and digital formats.