Loading

Welcome to Grades 1–2 AT BELMONT DAY SCHOOL

“It is during these years that children begin to feel like real students. They feel a certain pride and seriousness about their work. They begin to identify themselves as writers, readers, mathematicians, and scientists. Not only do children learn, practice, and master crucial foundational skills, they also learn how to be a student.”

—Minna Ham, Lower School Head

WHAT YOU CAN LOOK FORWARD TO IN FIRST GRADE

“Our theme in first grade is building independence. This is a special year because students are so present in the moment of their current activity.” —Cicely Gibson, first grade teacher

“one of the most important things any school can provide for young children is an environment of emotional safety on which an academic foundation can then be built. the adults in our school know our children well, And the children know they are known! Out of that sense of safety and visibility comes the ability to focus on learning, to take risks, and to grow.”

—Angela Robinson, parent

Honoring Foundational Skills

Emerging readers love to identify “just-right” books to fill specially-decorated book bags for reading at home. Parents come on the 100th day of school to celebrate students’ developing number sense by playing games that emphasize counting, measuring, and predicting.

Hands-on Learning in science and Social Studies

When studying weather, they build a measurement tool; when studying the Wampanoag, they craft toys in woodworking.

Physical, Social, and Emotional Learning

Our nationally recognized health and wellness curriculum guides first grade students in learning about birth and growth, safety and self-care, friendship and bullying, gratitude and kindness, and differences.

A Year of Firsts:

• First graders add woodworking and theater arts to their rotation of “specials”

• First graders make their debut in Coolidge Hall where they eat family-style with second graders and a faculty or staff member

• First graders hold the microphone—just like older students—and present during school sharing assemblies

• First graders take a field trip to the EcoTarium in Worcester

• First graders comprise the chorus for the combined-class play they perform with second graders

WHAT YOU CAN LOOK FORWARD TO IN SECOND GRADE

“SECOND GRADE IS A TIME WHEN CHILDREN DISCOVER THAT THEY CAN HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE WORLD AROUND THEM. WE WORK A LOT ON COLLABORATION AS THEY REALIZE THAT THEIR VOICE MATTERS.”

—Nancy Fell, second grade teacher

Becoming Young Authors

Create free verse and haiku • Use graphic organizers to draft stories • Write how-to books to showcase student expertise • Work with peer editors • Practice proofreading

“The writing and editing that occurs in second grade is impressive. BDS does a great job of academically challenging kids and taking learning at the appropriate pace.” —Jennifer Blecher, parent

Growing Stewardship in the Garden

Harvest corn that students planted as first graders • Dry, grind, and transform kernels into corn muffins • Study the water cycle • Investigate how food gets from farms to tables

Second grade students also take great pride in organizing a community service project. Through Read for Seeds, students raise funds for Gaining Ground, a nonprofit, organic farm that supplies food to local meal programs and food pantries.

“I loved when we were able to read for seeds to raise money for gaining ground. It was very exciting to go and plant the seeds we raised money for in a garden where all the fresh produce goes to communities that need healthy foods. I loved the fact that 70% of the gardeners were volunteers including volunteers from BDS!”

—Emma, sixth grade student reflecting on her experience at Gaining Ground

An Interdisciplinary Introduction to Research

Study endangered animals • Create brochures that explain why each animal is endangered and what people can do to help • Write a collective ABC about them in French • Create a sculpture of the animal in woodworking • Present work at the Endangered Animal Showcase

More Second Grade Highlights:

Design math games • Gain map skills and create three-dimensional maps • Build facility with addition and subtraction facts • Research a “change-maker,” someone who has made an impact on the world • Create the art and words for a bookmark to honor this change-maker • Try a speaking role in the combined-class play with first grade.

“These years represent a seismic developmental step as children transition from early childhood into elementary education. When our students leave second grade, they do so with a sense of completion and readiness for the next step.”

—Brendan Largay, Head of School