First grade forms a bridge between kindergarten and the grade school. The universal imagery of first grade fairy tales gradually gives way to the reality of ideas and relationships. Fairy tales and legends provide the context out of which the language arts and arithmetic learning grow. The dreamy days of early childhood give way to a growing consciousness of the world. The first grade work lays the foundation not only for the child’s future work, but also for bodily growth, physical health, and moral development. Working through the progression of story to movement, to picture, to letter, the children slowly learn the alphabet; in addition, students copy out poetry and verse which they have learned by heart, experiencing the outer picture of sound and meaning which they have already possessed as inner content. The adventure of writing and reading has begun. The approach to mathematics begins in the will of the child. For the first grade child math is largely a kinesthetic experience. All four processes are addressed in the first grade through enlivened movement, imaginative story, verse and manipulative. The artistic work, such as form drawing, painting, beeswax modeling, eurythmy, recorder playing, handwork, singing, drama, and recitation, are all incorporated into the curriculum. It is also in first grade that the students are introduced to French, which is taught orally. Math In the first grade, arithmetic is taught largely through movement—walking and stomping, clapping, throwing a beanbag—and through lively oral games. First graders are introduced to the quality of numbers, and Roman and Arabic numerals; as well, they learn to count, first rhythmically, by ones, twos, threes, fours, fives, and tens. Students will learn number bonds one through ten, as well as doubles and halves from one through ten. Through imaginative stories, the four processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) are practiced. Students also learn to solve simple number problems, using manipulatives if necessary. The concept of place value is introduced. Language Having listened to their nursery and kindergarten teachers tell them stories and lead them in rhymes and verses, our students experience the richness of the English language long before they reach first grade. This experience fosters an appreciation for the beauty of speech and lays the groundwork for fertile imaginations, phonemic awareness and strong, varied vocabularies. The first grade begins with an introduction to “form drawing,” during which the children experience straight and curved lines in various combinations through movement, modeling, observations in nature and on paper. Precision and clarity of line, essential to good writing skills, are emphasized. Form drawing helps develop eye-to-hand coordination, the sense of uprightness in space, right/left and up/down orientation, and ability to mirror, all skills that are needed in reading. After this introduction, the children learn the consonants and vowels in imagery from stories, through the progression from story to picture letter. Next the story is constructed briefly as a class activity and written on the board by the class teacher. Students copy this story into main lesson books. Thus, writing precedes reading, and the main lesson books that the children create become their first readers. Phonics and basic sight vocabulary are learned through song, verse, speech exercises, games and drills. In addition, through the telling of fairy tales and the recitation of poetry, skills in listening, re-telling, sequencing, and diction are practiced.