Abigail McBean » Welcome to 1st Grade!

Welcome to 1st Grade!

Hi! My name is Ms. Abi McBean and I am the first grade teacher at Mid City's Prescott School of Enriched Sciences. I love teaching first grade because of the growth I see in my students every year. My favorite thing to teach is literacy - reading, writing, and lots of phonics! It is also very important for me to build strong relationships with my students and their parents. I love our school because it is a small, beautiful, and diverse community. 
We have an exciting year ahead with lots of learning!
Parents, here is what you should expect your child to learn this year:
Social Emotional Learning 
Every morning we start the day with a Morning Meeting and end the day with a Closing Circle, which are engaging ways to build a sense of strong community and set every student up for success academically and socially. Throughout the year, we learn skills such as identifying our feelings, how to deal with conflict in friendships, how to have empathy and compassion for others, and how to appreciate and celebrate each other's differences. 
Your child will grow a lot in their reading this year. We will be using Amplify's Core Knowledge Language Arts Program, which is grounded in extensive research in the science of reading and has two strands - Skills and Knowledge. The Skills Strand strand teaches comprehensive instruction in foundational reading skills, such as phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, language skills (including conventions of English, spelling, and grammar). It includes explicit and systematic phonics instruction. Your children will read decodable texts and practice decoding (sounding out) sound-spelling patterns they have learned. The Knowledge Strand will help increase vocabulary and reading comprehension. These lessons are taught through read alouds and include a range of topics - from world religions, animal habitats, and the American Revolutionary War.
Your child will participate in Writer's Workshop, where they will learn how to stretch their story across four pages, adding details to each page. They will learn the writing process of first planning out their story, then drawing the pictures, and finally adding words and details. Students are taught how to use a Writing Checklist and create sentences with capital letters at the beginning, punctuation, and organization. Students are also taught the correct spelling of many tricky words (high frequency words such as the, was, what) and are encouraged to spell these words correctly in their writing. In first grade we do narrative, nonfiction, review/opinion, and fiction writing. At the end of each unit we have a Publishing Party where we celebrate each student's work.
We follow the California Math Framework and Standards and use Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI), which is a student-centered approach to teaching math. Your child will learn to add and subtract within 20, how to solve and understand word problems, understand place value, and use it to add and subtract within 100. They will also learn how to tell time to the hour and half hour, measure length, and interpret graphs. In addition, they will explore two and three dimensional shapes, and partition them into equal halves and fourths. We start most math lessons with a warm up, which either focuses on number fluency or provides ideas for strategies that students can use. Then the problem is introduced and students unpack the problem, with the guidance of the teacher. During independent work time, students try to solve the problem and are encouraged to do so in multiple ways. Then during collaborative work time, students work together in groups or pairs to ask questions, share, and revise their work. Finally, we all come together again to share. In CGI, students bring their math knowledge and what they already know to the classroom, and teachers use students' thinking to guide instruction.
Our Amplify Science units include Light & Sound, Animals & Plants, and Spinning Earth. Your child will be learning science through hands-on investigations, print resources, class discussions, and digital modeling tools.
Social Studies
Our social studies units include Citizenship: Rights & Responsibilities, US Symbols, Geography, Life Long Ago & Today, One Nation, Many People, and Economics: Goods & Services. The lessons are culturally responsive, teach students critical thinking skills, and focus on vocabulary.
Art & Health
We also have art & health lessons.
PE & Library
We go to PE and Library once a week!