Academics: First and Second Grades
In first and second grades, reading and writing, which began as an initiation, become full-fledged subjects.
In first grade, our students formally learn how to read. Our reading instruction method combines a global and phonetic approach. Our goal is for our students to learn the mechanics of reading and to understand the meaning of what they are reading. Our students begin to learn how to read in French in September. Cursive writing is taught in first grade in French class.
In English, during the first part of the year, we focus on the development of oral skills and mathematics. When our students have mastered the mechanics of reading in French, which usually occurs by January, we formally teach reading in English. The English curriculum uses a balanced program which incorporates the whole language approach along with phonics. At that time, our students are able to transfer the skills that they have learned in French into English and learn how to read in English very quickly.
Mathematics is taught in both languages, emphasizing basic operations including addition and subtraction, geometry, numeration (0-99), and problem-solving. Social Studies introduces basic concepts in history, geography and civic instruction, in both French and English.
Poetry, short stories and literature-based materials are used to teach Language Arts in both languages. A systematic approach is used to ensure that all grammar, spelling, vocabulary and conjugation concepts are introduced.
Creative writing is a widely used tool for reinforcing and refining these skills. For example, the specific grammar skills that our students have studied in class will be used to write letters, newspaper articles or other kinds of texts. The grammar skills also will be reinforced in oral presentations.
Math is taught in both languages through exploration with the use of manipulatives, the focus being placed on logical thinking and problem solving. The concept of multiplication is introduced.
Social studies and technology also are taught in French and English. In keeping with our goal of maintaining a balanced program, all opportunities to reinforce a theme across curriculum areas are utilized.