First Grade  
At Our Lady of the Visitation School, first grade is an important year full of transitions. Children leave behind the play of preschool and kindergarten, but use the knowledge they have gained to begin to develop and master their academic skills. Their development will continue in reading, writing, and math, while broadening their horizons by adding lessons in science, social studies, and religion.

In art, each student has the opportunity to express their ideas using a variety of art processes and materials. Through children’s literature, students learn about art history and art criticism. Each new art experience gives our students the chance to fine tune their observation abilities, work on fine motor skills and learn about the basic elements and principles of design. In addition to art class, every student has the opportunity to be a part of many enriching art activities; including school-wide art shows, competitions, after-school art workshops and art camp.

In gym, students learn key developmental skills while having fun. Students work on developing many gross motor skills such as spacial awareness, running, jumping, skipping, and galloping. Physical ducation skills are mastered through various games and activities that are enjoyable as well as challenging for the students.

Our purpose for health in first grade is to introduce and make students aware of their emotional and mental health. Children will learn about their emotions and the qualities of a friend. The students are also made aware of their personal health and wellness. Students learn about germs as well as eating healthy foods through class discussions and “My Plate” manipulatives. We learn about fire safety and what to do in an emergency situation. Our goal is to strengthen our student’s awareness of his/her health.

Our first grade math curriculum continues to strengthen each student’s number sense and love of math. The first semester has a main focus of learning to develop a deeper understanding of addition and subtraction and various strategies to get to a target number.

Our second semester curriculum includes place value, measurement, time, data collection,graphing and two and three dimensional geometry. Throughout the year we continue to work each day to strengthen our understanding of whole numbers and the relationship ofnumbers.

We use various manipulatives and technology to enhance student learning. We integrate technology into our lessons with our classroom iPads and Clevertouch boards. Our hope is to instill a lifelong love of numbers and to have our students become critical thinkers.

In music class, first graders sing, dance, and play instruments. Children listen and move to music from different genres, time periods, and cultures. In the spring, the first graders perform a musical for the school and their families! We hope to foster a lifelong love and appreciation for music while learning the basics of rhythm, pitch, and musicality. In the later grades, students have the opportunity to join the church choir and/or the school band to broaden their knowledge and appreciation for music.

The reading and language arts curriculum at Visitation is multi-faceted. Reading groups are an integral part of our reading program. These groups are fluid and kids are assessed at least once a quarter to ensure individual needs are being met. Our reading and intervention specialists help further individualize student needs by working with small groups in the classroom as well. Each group reads a book, works on a target skill, enrichment, or the re-teaching of a skill. When a small group is not working with a teacher, they are working in the classroom in learning centers to build on skills taught in class.

Reading and language arts are also taught using a variety of other tools. The first grade uses a basal reading program during the week as well as a phonics program to help extend our weekly spelling units. During the school year, students are introduced to various skills such as nouns, verbs and adjectives. We strive to create critical thinkers by introducing reading skills such as inferring, predicting, text connections, plot, etc. Our goal during the first grade year is to have our students leave as skilled readers ready for second grade.

We are a faith based school community. In addition to going to Mass weekly, we pray in our classrooms and have religion class each day. The children have the opportunity to help plan and lead the school in the celebration of the Eucharist. Through a mission project, the children learn about the needs of others in our community. We believe that religious education empowers children to be aware of their abilities, goodness, talents and spirituality and to use these gifts to serve God and the community.

Our science curriculum includes the study of animals, the four seasons, and matter. Students will acquire more knowledge about the characteristics of each season. Students will be introduced to the basic types of matter. Next, students will observe and write about the life cycles of insects and birds. Our goal is to strengthen the curious minds of our students.

The purpose for social studies in first grade is to help students become aware of the world around them and the people who have influenced our history. We cover the four basic areas of social studies: geography, history, government, and economics. We learn how to locate places on a United States and world map. We talk, read, and write about historical figures that helped shape our country. We study and learn about the importance of jobs and the basic needs of all people. Our goal is to broaden the students’ awareness of the world and its history.

Spelling is large part of the language arts curriculum. A basic word list as well as a challenge list and enrichment words are used to accommodate the different abilities and needs of our students. Weekly practice includes whole group instruction, spelling games and centers, and the use of I- pads. Students also use their knowledge of spelling words and patterns to help enrich their writing skills on a daily basis. Peer and adult tutoring are available for remediation and enrichment.

Our students write on a daily basis both formally and informally. At the beginning of the year we focus on the basics of writing such as writing in complete sentences, using proper punctuation and capitalization. We then begin to introduce the writing process. The writing process includes brainstorming, writing a rough draft, conferencing and editing with the teacher, and then producing a final copy. Some examples of writing pieces the students produce include personal narratives, opinion pieces, persuasive writing and informational writing.



3180 South Road
Cincinnati, OH 45248

(513) 347-2222
during school hours 8:18 AM - 2:55 PM