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Welcome to Mrs. Rizzo's Grade 1 Class
“Grade 1 Is Fun” is the motto that best describes the grade one class at Monsignor John Corrigan School. The Ministry of Education Curriculum Expectations for grade one are covered in numerous enriching experiences for the students.
The year begins with a Belonging Party that usually takes place in late September or early October. The students are involved with the teacher in the planning and preparation of this in class celebration. Students learn through this joyful experience that God loves them and that they belong to God and to each other. Parents are invited to come and celebrate with the class in the singing of songs, praying and sharing the scrumptious food and refreshing drinks that the parents kindly send to school. Students also are involved in reading prayers over the P.A. System, and they also have the opportunities to participate in class celebrations that help to enhance the sense of belonging to our family, friends and to God.
In the Fall, the pupils visit the farm and they participate in a variety of meaningful and fun activities. Making home-made pizza, baking cookies or making their own gingerbread houses at Christmas are rich and rewarding experiences that the students participate enthusiastically in.
As part of the Social Studies study of the local community, the students visit and interview the school community helpers such as the principal, secretary and the head caretaker. This sets the stage for a simple research project where each pupil completes their own community helper project. They can choose to interview their doctor, dentist, a police officer, a firefighter, a nurse, or any other community helper who might be a family member or a friend. Students gain knowledge in the type of work that the helper does and they also reflect on the community helper they would like to be when they grow up.
Many hands-on materials are used to enrich the areas of study in Language, Math, Social Studies, Science, Physical Education, Health, and Art. Many arts and crafts projects are completed that reflect the various themes and special holidays. To increase the students' reading and writing skills, the Book Bag/Book Journal program is implemented throughout the year. Pupils take part in the writing process where they publish class big books, shape books, and even create their own pattern book. New words and common familiar everyday words are learned through various word wall activities, phonemic awareness games, songs and rhymes. Students are also engaged in shared and guided reading lessons. Leveled books are matched to each student's ability. Their needs are met at their ability level through meaningful and challenging activities.
They celebrate and learn the importance of our Canadian heritage and holidays by using a variety of materials and resources that are found in the classroom. In Science, they learn about seasonal changes and the characteristics and needs of plants and animals through visual and concrete aids.
The physical environment of the classroom consists of learning centres such as the art/painting centre, computers, puppet centre, listening, reading, and writing centres that are used at various times during the day. This spring, the class will be visiting the Science Centre where they will learn and create their own structures. The end of the year usually includes a trip to the Metro Zoo or the Harbourfront or the Conservation Area.
Whatever the learning expectations are, one can be assured that they are being learned in enriching experiences for the students because "Grade 1 is Fun" at Monsignor John Corrigan School!!
Team Work
I dreamed I stood in a studio
And watched two sculptors there
The clay they used was a young child’s mind
And they fashioned it with care.
One was a teacher- the tools he used
Were books, music and art.
The other, a parent worked with a guiding hand,
And a gentle, loving heart.
Day after day, the teacher worked with touch
That was deft and sure.
While the parent standing by his side
Polished and smoothed it o’er
And when at last their task was done,
They were proud of what they had wrought
For the things they had moulded into the child
Could neither be sold nor bought
And each agreed they would have failed
If each had worked alone.
For behind the teacher stood the school
And behind the parent, the home.
Author Unknown