Language Arts

Students in 1st Grade engage in direct instruction as well as differentiated learning groups. Students work together to strengthen and master a learning task by employing a multi-sensory approach and the Daily 5 Center Method. Students will read, at the end of the year, to reading level J. The Daily 5 Centers Method includes: -Independent development -"Word work" where a specific phonics skill is practiced -Grammar skills or reading concepts using software on our Chromebooks -Partner reading to foster cooperation and confidence -Small guided reading group with the teacher The teacher teaches a new skill or concept, and students are provided an opportunity to practice throughout the week in learning centers. These centers are heterogeneous. Students are grouped by ability for small guided reading groups. These groups are flexible and students often move between groups as they progress in their reading and language skills.


Math in first grade is taught with both direct, as well as differentiated instruction. Students are placed in center-based groups by ability and heterogeneously. Students work together in small groups in multi-sensory models to promote and encourage higher order thinking. The teacher has the opportunity to meet with students regularly throughout the week to provide assistance to those who need extra practice, as well as challenge those who have grasped the general concept more quickly. Concepts focused on include: -Counting and writing to 100 -Mastering adding and subtracting to 20 -Begin double digit addition and subtraction -Simple algebra -finding missing numbers -Data and graphs -Standard measurements (inches and centimeters)


First graders continue to expand their understanding of the foundations of Catholic faith, with special focus on God's Creation, the Trinity, and the practice of applying Catholic principles to interpersonal relationships. Students are taught the importance of God's presence in their lives. Teaching methods include singing songs, visiting the Church, weekly Mass, plays, Bible readings and discussions about faith to strengthen their understanding of our Catholic faith. Concepts include: -Gospels -Good News -Saints -Learning the objects in Church -Prayer


In science, students are actively engaged in exploring how the world works. They explore, observe, count, collect, measure, compare, and ask questions. They discuss observations and use tools to seek answers and solve problems independently and as a group. Hands on activities are continuously used to encourage independent problem solving. Academic goals include understanding the lifecycles of a human, insects, mammals and spiders. Students also focus on environmental science by studying the cycle of seasons and habitats. Learning methods include: -Hands on activities -Drawing conclusions from observations -Scientific method experiments

Social Studies

Students in 1st grade study the basic principles of civics and economics, comparing past and present, and learning about various national symbols. Students utilize partner and small group activities to emphasize the role of how we work together in communities and to encourage independent thinking and problem solving. Areas of study include: -Learning to use maps -Government and its major components -The role that we play as citizens in our government and society


The Lower School curriculum is entirely verbal. Classes are taught in Spanish and the teacher uses techniques that included the use of body language, flash cards, objects, songs, games, and dramatization. Students continue to strengthen skills begun in Kindergarten, including being able to recognize and use numbers, colors, and basic greetings. In addition to this, skills sets are introduced that include: -Clothing names -Food -Animals -Calendar (days of the week and months) Cross curricular connections are made with other classes during the year in other major subjects. This includes prayers in Spanish, Art projects that relate to Spanish culture, and Spanish songs.


Students continue to learn Internet Safety. This is an important focus so that students, no matter what age, are aware of proper use of technology. Students learn how to research a topic and the basics of Microsoft Word. This includes: -Typing and adding text to documents -Adding graphics to documents -Learning to save and retrieve documents from files Our computer teacher works hand in hand with other teachers in the 1st grade to ensure that cross curricular connections are made in other major subjects.

The St. Bartholomew curriculum complies with the Archdiocese of Washington's accredited curriculum standards.  

To find out more about our specific program at each grade level, select subjects to the left.