First Grade Curriculum

Kindergarten is a gateway through which your child passes into school life. It provides a learning environment that stimulates curiosity and eagerness for learning. The aim of any great Kindergarten is to promote social, emotional, physical, and intellectual growth. This growth can best be accomplished by setting goals for each child.

Your child's progress will be reported through conferences and Standard-Based report cards. The report cards will indicate progress on the objectives identified in the Kindergarten curriculum.  Please find below a sampling of the Holy Cross Academy Kindergarten curriculum.  For a complete list of the standards covered in Kindergarten, please click on the Curriculum Map for Kindergarten, located on the left side of this page.

  • Character Education

    Character DevelopmentThe objective of character education at Holy Cross Academy is to shape, nurture, and develop the total child. Character development improves school and classroom climate by focusing on basic principles of character. This objective is achieved through daily actions and integration of the following principles of character education into the curriculum at all levels.

    Good Judgment - To choose worthy goals and set proper priorities; to think through the consequences of your actions; to base decisions on practical wisdom and good sense.

    Responsibility - To be dependable in carrying out obligations and duties; to show reliability and consistency in words and conduct; to be accountable for your own actions; to be committed to active involvement in your community.

    Respect - To show high regard for authority, for other people, for self, for property, and for country; to understand that all people have value as human beings.

    Good Citizenship - Obeying the laws of the nation and this State; abiding by school rules; and understanding the rights and responsibilities of a member of a republic.

    Service to Others /Kindness - To be considerate, courteous, helpful, and understanding of others; to show care, compassion, friendship, and generosity; to treat others as you would like to be treated.

    Courage -To have the determination to do the right thing even when others don't, and to have the strength to follow your conscience rather that the crowd
    Self-Discipline -To demonstrate hard work and commitment to purpose; to regulate yourself for improvement; to refrain from inappropriate behaviors; to be in proper control of your words, actions, impulses, and desires; and to do your best in all situations.

    Perseverance - To be persistent in the pursuit of worthy objectives in spite of difficulty, opposition, or discouragement; to exhibit patience and be willing to try again when confronted with delays, mistakes, or failures.

    Integrity - To have the inner strength to be truthful, trustworthy, and honest in all things; to act justly and honorably.

    Responsibility for School Safety - Helping to create a harmonious school atmosphere that is free from threats, weapons, and violent behavior; cultivate an orderly learning environment in which students and school personnel feel safe and secure; and encourage the resolution of disagreements through peaceful means including peer mediation


  • Religion

    Religion IconHoly Cross Academy's religious education is an on-going process to provide spiritual formation and instruction for all children. We believe that we are called to respond to Christian witness throughout our lives. The children will act in accordance with the basic doctrines of the Catholic Church while experiencing the faith community within our school.

    The rosary will be prayed frequently throughout the year, but especially in October and May (the months of Mary). Students will attend Mass weekly, either as a class or with the entire school. Service projects are built into the overall curriculum for each grade level. A specialized focus will be given to Mission and Vocation Awareness.

    • Demonstrate an awareness of God and an appreciation for His creation
    • Demonstrate active participation in daily prayer, both class and individual
    • Demonstrate an appreciation for the daily 'life of the Saint'
    • Demonstrate active participation in the celebration of the Eucharist
    • Demonstrate knowledge of prayers (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Sign of the Cross, Grace before meals, Spiritual Adoption Prayer)
    • Demonstrate respect for others in their classroom
    • Retell, act out, and/or illustrate Biblical stories
    • Plan and implement participation in Masses
    • Demonstrate respect and proper behavior while at Mass
    • Discuss and participate in seasonal events of the Church year
    • Apply the Church teachings to their daily lives
  • Language Arts

    Language Arts The Kindergarten language arts program focuses on the broad areas of oral language, reading, writing, and word study. Students will be introduced to a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction literature which will serve as a basis for instruction and practice reading.


    • Recognize grade level sight words.
    • Use a variety of reading comprehension strategies (i.e. predicting, inferring, making connections)
    • Read independently a variety of Children's literature
    • Respond to literature orally and in writing.
    • Follow print left to right, top to bottom, and return to the next line
    • Understand book concepts (i.e. front, back, first, last, word, letter, title, cover page)

    Written and Oral Communication

    • Write for a variety of reasons to various audiences using different formats
    • Form letters correctly and use appropriate spacing between letters, words, and sentences
    • Write with inventive and conventional spelling
    • Communicate ideas in writing using legible handwriting, punctuation, and capitalization
    • Demonstrate effective oral communication
    • Demonstrate attentive and responsive listening skills
    • Use technology as a tool to create a written product
    • Creation of a writing portfolio containing at least 4 pieces of independent student writing (one from each quarter of the school year)

    Word Study

    • Identify by name both upper-case and lower-case letters of the alphabet
    • Identify beginning sounds of pictures and objects
    • Identify letter sounds in the initial, medial, and final position in words
    • Recognize rhyming words
    • Use phonics skills to orally count word segments (syllables)
    • Demonstrate knowledge of first letter alphabetical order


  • Mathematics

    Math A high-quality mathematics foundation is essential since skill development is sequential. A wide variety of activity-based lessons are presented to improve each child's development of mathematical intuition and understanding. Integrating mathematics into everyday life experiences is an essential goal of this program.

    Number and Numeration

    • Count forward by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s
    • Count backward by 1s
    • Identify the number of objects in a set with 0-20 objects, count numbers orally, and write the corresponding number
    • Represent numbers with manipulatives and exchange 1s for 10s and 10s for 100s
    • Represent half of a region or collection using manipulatives
    • Use manipulatives, drawings, or numerical expressions to give equivalent names for numbers up to 20
    • Recognize the relationships between two sets of objects or two numbers: same; equal to; different; not equal to; less than; fewer; smaller; greater than; more; larger
    • Identify ordinal positions-first, middle, and last through tenth

    Operations and Computation

    • Solve addition and subtraction problems using manipulatives, number lines, and mental arithmetic
    • Estimate the number of objects in a given set

    Data and Chance

    • Collect and organize data to create tally charts, tables, and bar graphs
    • Use graphs to answer simple questions
    • Demonstrate knowledge of calendar time (days, months, seasons, today, tomorrow)
    • Describe events using certain, possible, impossible, and other basic probability terms

    Measurement and Reference Frames

    • Use nonstandard tools (i.e. hands, fingers, feet, pieces of string, paper clips, blocks) and techniques to estimate and compare weight and length
    • Identify standard measuring tools-length (ruler), weight (scale), temperature (thermometer)
    • Identify pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters, and dollar bills and their value
    • Describe temperature using words such as hot, warm, cool
    • Identify a thermometer as a tool for measuring temperature
    • Tell time to the hour and half hour


    • Identify, describe, and compare circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, spheres, and cubes
    • Identify representations of plane geometric figures, regardless of their position and orientation in space
    • Identify shapes having line symmetry

    Patterns, Functions, and Algebra

    • Extend, describe, and create visual, rhythmic, numeric, and movement patterns
    • Identify and use the symbols +,-, and =


  • Science

    ScienceScience skills and processes are developed within each unit of study. Children will use their five senses to explore the world through active discovery. Children will be able to apply responsible scientific knowledge to daily life. A deep respect for God's creation will be developed and nurtured. Indoor and outdoor projects are planned to help children learn science concepts while they engage safely in hands-on inquiry-based activities. Students will interact in cooperative learning situations in order to encourage sharing and clarification of ideas.  Students will also participate in experiments throughout the school year. 

    My Five Senses

    • Identify the five senses and the body parts responsible for each sense

    Investigating Magnets

    • Classify objects as being attracted or not attracted to magnets

    Sunlight and Shadows

    • Identify sources of light that can produce shadows

    Investigating Water

    • Identify examples of the different phases of water (solid-ice, liquid-water, gas-steam)
    • Observe and explain that heating and cooling can change water
    • Use science knowledge to participate in experiments

    Investigating Plants and Animals

    • Describe the life needs of plants and animals
    • Describe simple changes plants and animals undergo during their life cycle
    • Brainstorm ways to show respect for all God's creation followed by the participation in a service project directed toward assisting animals and the environment

    Respect for Self

    • Identify basic nutrition and healthy eating habits
    • Demonstrate knowledge of methods of safety (fire, earthquake, tornado, strangers)

    Patterns and Change in Nature

    • Observe and identify weather conditions
    • Identify and describe patterns in daily schedules at home and at school
    • Identify changes that people experience over time (i.e. height, weight, color of hair)
    • Describe how people cause things to change (i.e. construction and demolition of buildings, planting and cutting trees, building highways)
    • Describe how things change naturally (i.e. seasonal changes, weather, growth in plants and animals)


    • Give examples of objects that can be recycled and describe how to recycle these materials
    • Gain a respect for the Earth and resources through reading authentic children's literature
    • Participation in a recycling project


  • Social Studies

    Social StudiesStudents learn social studies concepts that build a foundation for learning independently and cooperatively with others. Students will demonstrate good citizenship through social awareness and community involvement. They will apply principles of Christian morality in dealing with ever-present world problems.

    • Recognize and respect himself/herself as an individual
    • Demonstrate beginning knowledge of local geographic areas
    • Shows respect for how individuals, families, and groups are similar and different
    • Describe and demonstrate an understanding of the rules to be followed in school, and the consequences of breaking them.
    • Identify and understand a Need as compared to a Want
    • Recognize that people make choices because they cannot have everything they want
    • Explain that people work to earn money to buy the things they need and want
    • Recognize there are many different kinds of jobs, and identify jobs performed by adults in school and community
    • Recognize and use maps and globes
    • Recognize the American flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the President of the United States
    • Identify key figures in history (George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Theresa)
    • Identify and develop an understanding of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, and Independence Day.
    • Demonstrate traits of a good citizen
    • Recognize the difference between past and present
    • Recognize things change over time
    • Use a variety of resources to gain knowledge of age-appropriate current events


  • Art


    • Students will recognize that art is all around and be able to identify visual qualities of natural environment and recognize art within the community    
    • Students will recognize that artists create works of art based on life experiences  
    • Students will be able to identify subject matter and details in a work of art    
    • Students will recognize that art is a form of communication and expression    
    • Students will create works of art from imagination and real life experiences to tell a story    
    • Students will talk about works of art using elements and principles of design (line, shape, space, color, form, texture, pattern, rhythm, movement, unity, emphasis,  balance)    
    • Students will create works of art that utilize space and demonstrate compositional  techniques    
    • Students will create works of art that explore line qualities and that express movement and visual texture    
    • Students will create paintings that mix colors and explore a variety of media and tools    
    • Students will create paintings using resist techniques  
    • Students will create prints using simple reliefs, mono-prints, and/or stamping  
    • Students will create 3 dimensional works of art using paper, fibers, various materials 
    • Students will explore properties of clay by creating coils and    simple pinch forms
    • Students will create works of art using mixed media and collage
    • Students will recognize and demonstrate good craftsmanship
    • Students will view works of art in a variety of settings
    • Students will identify that our creativity is a gift from God
    • Students will use art to praise God  

  • Music

    ArtProduct Performance

    1. SINGING
      • Sing with a head voice, matching pitch in a limited range (sol-mi, la-sol-mi).
      • Demonstrate loud and soft dynamics and fast and slow tempi while singing.
      • Sing a varied repertoire of songs, including patriotic (America) including folk, seasonal, spirituals, and sacred music.
      • Sing rhythm ostinati and speech canons.
      • Sing as a class and in small groups using a steady beat following the cues of the conductor.
      • Perform steady beat.
      • Echo play simple rhythmic patterns on rhythm instruments and/or body percussion.
      • Demonstrate fast and slow tempo.
      • Demonstrate proper mallet and un-pitched percussion.
      • Perform in groups using a steady beat following the cues of the conductor.
      • Improvise short rhythm patterns.
      • Compose rhythmic or melodic motives within given parameters.

    Elements of Music

      • Read simple rhythm patterns (using iconic or standard notation) consisting of: quarter note/rest and eighth note pairs.
      • Identify mi and sol scale tones and hand signs.
      • Read and identify materials with bar lines, double bar lines, and measures.
      • Identify and demonstrate a repeat sign while singing or playing an instrument.
      • Notate and transcribe from dictation short patterns of stick notation using quarter note, quarter rest, and two-eighth notes.
      • Notate and transcribe from dictation short patterns of sol-mi tone sets on a staff from a given so.
      • Recognize fast and slow tempi.

    Artistic Perceptions

      • Identify phrases as same or different.
      • Demonstrate through movement differences between music opposites, including:
        • high/low
        • fast/slow
        • long/short
        • smooth/separated
        • soft/loud
        • up/down
        • beat/no beat
        • same/different
      • Differentiate between male, female, and children’s voices.
      • Differentiate between accompanied and unaccompanied.
      • Classify unpitched percussion instruments according to timbre.
      • Identify unpitched percussion instruments by name.
      • Identify four levels of body percussion.
      • Recognize size of sound source equals pitch
      • Develop criteria to distinguish between quality and non-quality performances through listening and self-assessment with regard to the following musical elements: appropriate singing voice, loud/soft, steady beat, and posture/stage presence.
      • Describe personal reaction to a selected work using grade level terminology.

    Interdisciplinary Connections

      • Identify ways ideas are used differently in music, art, dance, or theatre.
      • Relate sound production to science and physics.

    Historical & Cultural Concepts

      • Identify characteristics of teacher-selected genres or styles and how elements of music are used:
        • Western and non-Western music
        • Circle games
        • Call and response
      • Describe Saint Saen’s The Carnival of the Animals through words and art using terms such as plain or fancy, same or different, smooth or bumpy.
      • Identify each movement during a listening test.
      • Identify music of now and long ago.
      • Describe the function of music in various settings and cultural events:
        • Western and non-Western music
        • Circle games
        • Call and response
      • Discuss and demonstrate appropriate listening behavior for school assemblies, concerts, and school worship assemblies both as a performer and an audience member.
      • Identify the ro le of a conductor and group participants.


  • PE

    PEPhysical activity is critical to the development and maintenance of good health. At Holy Cross Academy the goal of the Physical Education and Health program is to develop physically educated individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity.

    The Physical Education and Health program at Holy Cross Academy will be aligned with state requirements and guided by the six national standards for physical education. They are:

      1. Demonstrates competency in motor skills and movement patterns to perform a variety of physical activities.
      2. Demonstrates understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities.
      3. Participates regularly in physical activity.
      4. Achieves and maintains a health-enhancing level of physical fitness.
      5. Exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others in physical activity settings.
      6. Values physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and/or social interaction.

    A variety of activities will be provided, including team and individual games and fitness training/testing, which promote mental, social, and physical well-being. Areas that the program will be concentrating on include:

      • Skill Development - Students will engage in activities that help to improve movement concepts, body management, loco motor movement and manipulative skills.
      • Health Education - Students will address the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical dimensions of a healthy lifestyle.
      • Fitness Education - Impart knowledge of physical fitness concepts, such as flexibility, muscular strength and agility and help students understand the importance of fitness in everyday life.
      • Social Development - Students will exhibit perseverance, respect, responsible behavior and concern for others. Students will develop strategies to react to various situations, solve problems and make decisions.


  • Spanish

    Spanish Students of Holy Cross Academy are preparing for a world that is becoming smaller each day. Parents and educators understand the broad benefits received by learning a second language. By beginning early, the K-5 students of Holy Cross Academy will be prepared for the middle school curriculum, and later for the curriculum of the high school of their choice.

    Students will learn communication through three modes: listening and speaking, reading and listening, and speaking and writing. They will learn about the practices and perspectives of culture. They will learn to make comparisons among cultures and languages. Eventually they will make connections that reinforce and further their knowledge of the disciplines taught through the HCA curriculum. All of these will help them develop as members of a shrinking world.


  • Technology


    Empowered Learner

    Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences.

    1. With guidance from an educator, students consider and set personal learning goals and utilize appropriate technologies that will demonstrate knowledge and reflection of the process.
    2. With guidance from an educator, students learn about various technologies that can be used to connect to others or make their learning environments personal and select resources from those available to enhance their learning.
    3. With guidance from an educator, students recognize performance feedback from digital tools, make adjustments based on that feedback and use age-appropriate technology to share learning.
    4. With guidance from an educator, students explore a variety of technologies that will help them in their learning and begin to demonstrate an understanding of how knowledge can be transferred between tools.

    Digital Citizen

    Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.

    1. Students practice responsible use of technology through teacher-guided online activities and interactions to understand how the digital space impacts their life.
    2. With guidance from an educator, students understand how to be careful when using devices and how to be safe online, follow safety rules when using the internet and collaborate with others.
    3. With guidance from an educator, students learn about ownership and sharing of information, and how to respect the work of others.
    4. With guidance from an educator, students demonstrate an understanding that technology is all around them and the importance of keeping their information private.

    Knowledge Constructor

    Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.

    1. With guidance from an educator, students use digital tools and resources, contained within a classroom platform or otherwise provided by the teacher, to find information on topics of interest.
    2. With guidance from an educator, students become familiar with age-appropriate criteria for evaluating digital content.
    3. With guidance from an educator, students explore a variety of teacher-selected tools to organize information and make connections to their learning.
    4. With guidance from an educator, students explore real-world issues and problems and share their ideas about them with others.

    Innovative Designer

    Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.

    1. With guidance from an educator, students ask questions, suggest solutions, test ideas to solve problems and share their learning.
    2. Students use age-appropriate digital and non-digital tools to design something and are aware of the step-by-step process of designing.
    3. Students use a design process to develop ideas or creations, and they test their design and redesign if necessary.
    4. Students demonstrate perseverance when working to complete a challenging task.

    Computational Thinker

    Students develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions.

    1. With guidance from an educator, students identify a problem and select appropriate technology tools to explore and find solutions.
    2. With guidance from an educator, students analyze age-appropriate data and look for similarities in order to identify patterns and categories.
    3. With guidance from an educator, students break a problem into parts and identify ways to solve the problem.
    4. Students understand how technology is used to make a task easier or repeatable and can identify real-world examples.

    Creative Communicator

    Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.

    1. With guidance from an educator, students choose different tools for creating something new or for communicating with others.
    2. Students use digital tools to create original works.
    3. With guidance from an educator, students share ideas in multiple ways—visual, audio, etc.
    4. With guidance from an educator, students select technology to share their ideas with different people.

    Global Collaborator

    Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.

    1. With guidance from an educator, students use technology tools to work with friends and with people outside their neighborhood, city and beyond.
    2. With guidance from an educator, students use technology to communicate with others and to look at problems from different perspectives.
    3. With guidance from an educator, students take on different team roles and use age-appropriate technologies to complete projects.
    4. With guidance from an educator, students use age-appropriate technologies to work together to understand problems and suggest solutions.


  • Curriculum Map