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First Grade

Our curriculum is driven by the Diocesan Standards which align with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).


Our curriculum focuses on the parts of the Mass. Within each lesson there are Bible stories that relate to each topic. First Graders also develop a greater awareness of relationships and community by learning that: 1) God communicates with His people through the Bible 2) Each person belongs to many groups such as family, parish and school 3) We worship together through prayer and liturgy and 4) Every person deserves love, care and respect.

English - Language Arts

We work on these reading skills decoding and word recognition, reading fluency, comprehension skills, and literary elements such as character, setting, plot and theme. The reading program includes the basal reader, shared reading books, independent selections, story time in class and during library time, and leveled literacy groups.

Our writing skills include grammar, sentence structure, parts of speech, and the mechanics of the sentence. In First Grade, we focus on sentence structure and then on developing a paragraph with a good topic sentence, supporting details, and a concluding sentence. The writing genres include: narrative, expository, descriptive and letter writing. Throughout the year we learn D’Nealian handwriting.


We adhere to the California Common Core Content Standards for Mathematics. At the beginning of the year we focus on mastering basic addition and subtraction math facts. By the end of the year we are adding and subtracting two-digit numbers. We also focus on ones and tens, odd and even numbers, time, shapes and measurement.


We follow the Next Generation Science Standards and go the school’s 1600 square foot Science lab once a month for a lesson with the full-time science teacher. Some of our science topics are: states of matter, the planets, cloud formations, sound and light.

Social Studies

First Graders study maps to locate their community as well as others communities, learn about their families and different types of families in the present and in history, gain an understanding of the importance of rules, citizenship and democracy and they learn about American holidays and important events and days.

St. James School educates the whole child. Therefore, First Graders also attend classes in Music, PE, Art, and Library.