The foundation has been built and our First Grade students are ready to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in reading, writing and arithmetic. Risk taking begins at this young age as students dive headfirst into challenging texts, begin writing clever stories, conduct developmentally appropriate research, and practice public speaking. Whether giving a speech as a community helper or being a docent at the First Grade Biome Museum, over and over again, the words “I can do it!” can be heard and confidence can be seen growing in each child.
A Double Dip of Academic Support
While each student at PS has a dedicated master teacher providing support and extension throughout the day, teachers also have access to a team of specialists trained in a diverse array of pedagogies who support and enrich instruction as needed. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) assist with assessments, monitor the development of foundational literacy and math skills, and join with the classroom teachers to further support academic development and foster critical and creative thinking. We lovingly call this extra bonus opportunity the Double Dip!
Kids Need to Move!
When was the last time you had to sit still for a long time? Hard, isn’t it? At PS we believe students should have many opportunities to move throughout the long school day, so we make PE and recess a part of every day. Brain research tell us that these breaks in the day are necessary for optimizing a child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. Where else can you build on fine and gross motor skills, learn patience waiting for a turn, negotiate rule interpretations, discover a new bug, or get lost in your own thoughts? PE and recess, it's not just about the fun.
See Specialists Every Day
It's not all just reading, writing and arithmetic. At PS, our team of specialists help our students to grow creatively, spiritually, and physically in Art, Chapel, Learning Commons, Music, and PE. By reaching their hearts and minds through chapel once a week, our students develop an understanding of what it truly means to reflect God's love into the world. Whether it's molding clay into original sculpture, blending their voices in song, or discovering a new author during the weekly instruction with our specialists, our students are challenged outside of their comfort zones to recognize just how much they can accomplish.
Navigating Social Well-Being
Young children, big emotions! At PS, we believe that we not only educate the mind but the heart as well. Teaching our students how to treat one another with respect, how to agreeably disagree, and how to show empathy and compassion is as important to us as the ABC’s. If a child makes a mistake, they are always reminded that tomorrow is a clean slate and another opportunity to make better choices. Focusing on the PS Core Values of Reflecting God's Love, Respect, Perserverance, Compassion, Courage, Integrity and Gratitude is what guides us as we grow young hearts and minds every day.
It's Not Just About the Test
We know that children learn by doing and that it is in the process where students learn the most. Going beyond the standard paper/pencil test, students are invited to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways. Students can be found building structures, writing plays, designing obstacle courses, giving a speech, writing lyrics, or debating a point all in an effort to share their learning. Learning is more than just supplying rote answers, it is about thinking deeply and creatively and then sharing that learning with others.
Learning in the Museum District
Who doesn’t love a field trip?! Leaving the classroom for a learning experience off-campus is exciting at all grade levels. Whether it is 5th Grade visiting Main Street Theater or 2nd grade going to a local farm, our faculty are eager to work with community partners to pair student learning with firsthand resources and experiences. The School's location in the heart of the Museum District enables students to easily get on the Metro Rail to head to the Medical Center or Downtown or walk across the street to visit the Museum of Fine Arts Houston or the Glassell School of Art. Walking to the Miller Outdoor Theater, Houston Zoo or the Museum of Natural Science is no problem either!
Helping our Community
First Grade partners with partnering with Kids Meals to decorate lunch bags for meal distribution and creating encouraging notes for the children served by Kids Meals. Since 2006, Kids’ Meals has been making and delivering free, healthy meals directly to the homes of hungry children. Since inception, we have given more than 7.2 million free meals to insecure children in 43 Houston-area zip codes. Kids’ Meals is a first-responder to children under age 6 facing debilitating hunger due to extreme poverty.
On Exhibit: 1st Grade Biome Museum
Houston is home to one of the largest museum districts in the nation and PS is located right in the heart of it. Our goal is to one day be featured as an official Museum of Learning in the Houston Museum District but until that happens, we will continue to create our own Presbyterian School Museums. Each year every grade in the School determines a focus, completes research, learns from local experts, and then designs, creates, and installs their own grade level museum on campus. Do you enjoy visiting a Natural History Museum? Then you won’t want to miss First Grade's interactive Biome Museum.
First Grade is traveling the world for a months-long study of the Earth's biomes. Each student chooses a biome to research, makes use of iPads and apps, and learns how to differentiate between fact and fiction as they discover more about their chosen biome. The study culminates in individual creations of a biome and native animal to be put on exhibit. Students also write an informative speech that is recorded to accompany their project. Be sure to check out the Biome Museum - you’ll have an ecospheric good time!