First grade marks an important milestone for young children who finally feel like part of a "big" school. They now have the social skills they have worked so hard on the past couple of years and they are able to begin to choose friends on their own. The true magic of first grade happens as children develop the ability to understand what letters and numbers really mean. Once they learn to read, their learning takes off!

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 First Grade curriculum. Please find below a sampling of the Holy Cross Academy First Grade curriculum.  For a complete list of the standards covered in First Grade, please click on the Curriculum Map for First Grade, located on the left side of this page. 

  • Character Education

    Character Development The 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 Icon Holy 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.

    • Recognize God as Creator and Father
    • Recognize Jesus as Son of God and out brother and friend
    • Recognize Mary as the Mother of Jesus and as our mother
    • Demonstrate knowledge of rights and responsibilities through Baptism, as members of the family of God.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the Trinity by correctly making the sign of the cross
    • Planning and implementation of duties in Masses
    • Demonstrate an awareness of God and an appreciation for His creation
    • Participation in daily prayer both class and individual
    • Demonstrate an appreciation for the daily 'life of the Saint'
    • 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
    • Demonstrate knowledge that Jesus chose twelve apostles to spread the Good News
    • 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 first grade 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 in phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, and writing.


    • Read and comprehend different types of stories appropriate for first grade
    • Use a variety of reading comprehension strategies (i.e. predicting, inferring, making connections, drawing conclusions)
    • Monitor and self correct errors while reading
    • Choose appropriate level books and reads independently for 15 minutes daily to increase vocabulary, concepts, and reading stamina
    • Answer how, why, and what if questions about stories
    • Respond to literature orally and in writing.
    • Follow print left to right, top to bottom, and return to the next line
    • Understands book concepts (i.e. front, back, first, last, word, letter, title, cover page, table of contents, index, glossary)
    • Demonstrate the use of reading strategies (i.e. looking a picture, finding a chunk of letters within the word that is already known, rereading, asking "What would make sense?")
    • Use inflectional endings (-er, -est, -s, -es, -ed, -ing) to read words correctly
    • Discuss the author's purpose (to teach, to share, to entertain)
    • Identify and generate antonyms and synonyms
    • Identify main idea and topic of a text
    • Identify story elements by recalling facts and details from the text
    • Describe causes and effects of actions or events
    • Summarize /retell the story
    • Differentiate between real and make-believe
    • Identify beginning, middle, and end of story

    Written and Oral Communication

    • Write for a variety of reasons to various audiences using different formats (fantasy, realistic fiction, poetry, and non-fiction)
    • Generate and focus on a topic about which to write
    • Stay on topic when writing
    • Add details to writing to make it more interesting
    • Begin to compose a rough draft that focuses on major ideas and details, revises written work focusing on aspects of writing such as organization, word choice, and clarity, edits written work to use correct grammatical conventions, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation
    • Form upper-case and lower-case letters correctly and use appropriate spacing between letters, words, and sentences
    • Capitalize letters for the first words in sentences, names of people and animals, months, days, holidays, places
    • Writes 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
    • Creation of a writing portfolio containing at least 4 pieces of independent student writing (one from each quarter of the school year)
    • Hold writing tool correctly

    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
    • Spell grade level words accurately
    • Use phonics skills to orally count word segments (syllables)
    • Change beginning, middle, and ending sounds to produce new words
    • Use knowledge of sound/letter relationships to read unknown words including blends (such as pr, pl, st), digraphs (sh, ch, th, wh), word family sounds (-an, -am, -all, -ank, -onk, -ink, unk, -ong, -ung, -ang), short vowels, and long vowels.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of alphabetizing by first and second letter
    • Read compound words and contractions
    • Recognize nouns, verbs, and adjectives
    • Identify statements, questions, and exclamatory sentences
  • Mathematics

    Math Problem-solving is integrated throughout the first grade. The development of problem-solving skills is an essential goal at this grade level. Students have many opportunities to use the skills involved with computation, estimation, time, money, measurement, geometry, graphing, probability, and algebra to solve a wide variety of everyday problems.

    Number and Numeration

    • Count forward to 100 by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s (past 100) 
    • Count, identify, and estimate collections of objects and write the corresponding number
    • Identify the place and value of the digits of a number up to 1000
    • Represent one-half, one-third, and one-fourth of actual or pictured objects
    • Identify even and odd numbers
    • Read and write word names for numbers 1-10
    • Give equivalent names for 1-and 2- digit numbers using manipulatives, tally marks, drawings, and numerical expressions
    • 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
    • Compare and order numbers up to 1000
    • Identify ordinal positions-first, middle, and last through twentieth

    Operations and Computation

    • Solve addition and subtraction problems of numbers up to 2 digit using manipulatives, number lines, tally marks, calculators, and mental arithmetic
    • Demonstrate proficiency with +/-0, +/-1, +/- 10, and doubles
    • Calculate and compare the values of combinations of coins

    Data and Chance

    • Collect and organize data to create tally charts, tables, line plots, and bar graphs
    • Use graphs to answer simple questions and draw conclusions
    • Demonstrates knowledge of the differences in calendar time (days, months, seasons, today, tomorrow)
    • Describe events using certain, likely, unlikely, possible, impossible, and other basic probability terms
    • Record the results of probability experiments

    Measurement and Reference Frames

    • Estimate, measure, and compare weight, length, capacity, and mass using appropriate tools
    • Conduct investigations that build an understanding of balance and weight
    • Estimate and compare the volumes of two containers
    • Identify standard measuring tools-length (ruler), weight (scale), temperature (thermometer)
    • Identify and compare the value of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters, and dollar bills
    • Make exchange between coins
    • Identify a thermometer as a tool for measuring temperature
    • Read a temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius to the nearest even-numbered degree
    • Use a calendar to identify days, weeks, months, and dates
    • Tell time to the hour, half-hour, and quarter hour on an analog and digital clock


    • Identify, describe, and compare plane and solid figures including circles, triangles, parallelogram, squares, rectangles, spheres, cylinders, rectangular prisms, pyramids, cones, and cubes
    • Identify shapes having line symmetry
    • Complete line-symmetric shapes or designs

    Patterns, Functions, and Algebra

    • Extend, describe, and create visual, rhythmic, numeric, and concrete patterns
    • Sort and classify objects according to one or more attribute including color, size, shape, and thickness
    • Use the symbols +,-, =, <, and >
    • Solve story problems involving addition and subtraction
  • Science

    Science The first grade objectives stress basic science skills essential to understanding familiar objects and events. These science skills include observing, asking questions, measuring, classifying, predicting, recording information, and drawing conclusions. Students are expected to begin conducting simple science experiments. Students are introduced to the concept of classifying plants and animals based on simple characteristics. Students are expected to learn the basic relationship between the sun and the earth, between the seasonal changes, and plant and animal activities. Students will also develop an understanding of moving objects and the importance of natural resources.

    Motion and Sound

    • Describe how objects move (straight, curved, circular, back and forth, zigzag, fast, round and round, and slow)
    • Demonstrate that sound is caused by vibrations

    Interactions with Water

    • Identify and classify materials as one of the three different states of matter (solid, liquid, and gas)
    • Identify and conduct an experiment as to the solids and liquids that dissolve in water
    • Explore buoyancy properties of objects through experimentation

    Plants, Animals, and Nature

    • Distinguish between living and non-living
    • Identify environments (including local areas) that support living things
    • Describe the life needs of plants and animals
    • Determine the property of soil
    • Distinguish the size and shape of rocks, boulders, and grains of sand
    • Demonstrate knowledge of ways to group or classify objects by color, texture, shape, size, and hardness
    • Identify and label the parts of a plant, including root, stem, leaf, blossom, and seed
    • Classify animals according to certain characteristics (body coverings, body shape, appendages, method of movement, wild or tame, and habitat)
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the use of simple tools through experiments
    • Use science knowledge to participate in experiments
    • Apply morally responsible scientific knowledge to daily life
    • Brainstorm ways to show respect for all God's creation followed by the participation in service projects directed toward assisting animals and the environment

    Respect for Self

    • Demonstrate knowledge of personal hygiene, including dental health and the study of germs
    • Identify basic nutrition and healthy eating habits
    • Demonstrate knowledge of methods of safety (fire, earthquake, tornado, strangers)

    Investigating Night and Day

    • Describe the relationship between the sun and earth
    • Interpret the relationships between the sun's position in the sky to the earth and the general time of day
    • Demonstrate knowledge that the sun is a source of heat, light, and energy
    • Use science knowledge to participate in experiments

    Weather and Seasons

    • Identify types of precipitation as rain, snow, and ice and the temperature conditions that result in each one
    • Compare and contrast the four seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter in terms of temperature, light, and precipitation
    • Compare and contrast the four seasons and how they relate to people, plants, and animals (clothing, recreation, and plant and animal characteristics during each season
    • Use science knowledge to participate in experiments

    Investigating Resources

    • Identify natural resources and how they benefit people
    • Understand the need for conserving natural resources
    • Use science knowledge to participate in experiments
    • Gain a respect for the Earth and resources through reading authentic children's literature
    • Participation in a recycling project
  • Social Studies

    Social Studies In first grade, students will compare everyday life in different places and times. Students will construct simple maps and begin to use a map legend. Certain biographies and holidays covered in first grade will help to give the students an understanding of history. They will study the economic concepts of goods and services, buyers and sellers, and learn to make economic choices. Students will learn to apply the traits of a good citizen and recognize that communities in St. Louis include people who have diverse ethnic origins, customs, and tradition. These people make contributions to their communities and are united as Americans by common principles.


    • Interpret information presented in picture time lines to show sequence of events, and distinguish between past, present, and future
    • Retell the stories of American leaders (George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington Carver, and Eleanor Roosevelt) and their contributions to our country
    • Analyze the lives of people and events associated with selected holidays
    • (Columbus Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day)


    • Use maps and geographic terms to locate and describe places in the community
    • Recognize basic map symbols, including references to land, water, cities, and roads
    • Locate the United States, Missouri, and St. Louis on a map
    • Locate Washington D.C. on a map and recognize it as the capital of the United States
    • Locate Jefferson City on a map and recognize it as the capital of the state of Missouri
    • Construct a simple map using key map symbols
    • Analyze how the location of his or her community, climate, location, and physical surroundings effect the way people live


    • Explain the difference between goods and services and describe how people are consumers and producers of goods and services
    • Conclude that people must choose some things and give up others
    • Recognize that people save money for the future to purchase goods and services


    • Identify the traits of good citizenship and demonstrate them in the classroom, school, and other social environments
    • Identify school rules
    • Participate in decision-making by voting in the classroom
    • Identify the meaning of patriotism (showing respect for and love of country)
    • Recognize the symbols and traditional practices that honor and foster patriotism in the United States
    • Identify the American flag, bald eagle, Washington Monument, and Statue of Liberty as patriotic symbols of the United States
    • Recognize that citizens say the Pledge of Allegiance to demonstrate respect for the American flag and the United States
    • Recognize communities in Missouri have local governments and benefit from schools, families, and friends helping each other.