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Ricks Center

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Curriculum and Beyond

1st and 2nd grade

by the numbers

  • Our 1st and 2nd grade classrooms have 20-22 students and 2 full time teachers.
  • Our 1st and 2nd grade teachers have more than 50 years of combined teaching experience!

2017-2018 theme and Units 

Through an integrated, student-centered curriculum, each class spends up to 16 weeks delving deeply into a theme-based unit.  Each unit encompasses all major subject areas, including language arts, science, math, and social studies. With three units covered each academic year, students investigate community connections, keep journals, and experience authentic learning as architects, scientists, reporters, and much more. If not fully incorporated into the thematic unit, essential writing and math skills are taught explicitly.

Theme: Systems

When looking at systems, the students will be able to recognize patterns, plan inquiry, and solve problems.

2017-2018 Units include:

  • Human Body
  • Water
  • Ecosystems

Throughout each unit students will be engaged in the processes of inquiry and investigation within the real world context. They will be working cooperatively and independently to explore topics through problem finding and solving, within authentic learning tasks. We will focus on scientific and cultural traditions, historical content, and current issues. We believe learning tasks are authentic when students use their content skills (what they understand) along with their knowledge skills (what they will be able to do, creating). When our students truly under-stand, they will be able to explain, interpret, and apply the knowledge that they have gained, developing a deeper understanding of each subject and continuing their journey on becoming life long learners.

 An Environment of Risk Taking, Openness, and Self Awareness

We believe the key to successful academic growth is integrating social emotional learning with academic learning. We believe how children learn is as important as what they learn. To be successful academically and socially, children need to learn a set of social and emotional skills that include cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control. Students will participate in "Morning Meeting" so as to start each day on a positive note building a strong sense of classroom community. This will allow students to approach learning with open minds and a willingness to take academic risks. Students will be involved in planning service learning projects and kindness projects along with developing their social emotional comprehension and competencies through targeted lessons for whole group, small group and individual needs. We will have many activities and discussions that will give the students the opportunity to participate in community building in the classroom, throughout the whole school, and in the community.

Beyond the basics

Connections Classes (Specials)

Students in 1st and 2nd grade will have Spanish, PE, Art and Music

Students in 1st and second grade will enjoy multiple unit related field trips and in-school visitors to enhance the learning experience.