First Grade

The first grade teachers at Housman work closely as a team in order to provide children with a happy and safe learning environment. In first grade, students take learning into their own hands through the workshop approach and individualized instruction. We believe in hands-on learning, small group instruction and cooperative learning groups, as well as whole group instruction.

*The step from kindergarten to first grade is significant.
New responsibilities are expected from each child. Some responsibilities include:

  • demonstrating self control
  • demonstrating respect for others
  • managing lunch money
  • managing class time effectively
  • managing a homework folder, reading folder and conduct folder
  • being responsible for library books, home readers(from reading folder) maintaining a clean work area and managing school supplies
  • demonstrating active listening skill



Language Arts
A very important part of first grade is becoming a fluent reader with strong comprehension skills. First grade teaches language arts through the balanced literacy program. It includes phonics, spelling, reading and writing.  In reading, the children enjoy a variety of literature such as leveled books, chapter books, poems, songs, chants, storybooks, big books and non-fiction. We work in large groups as well as small groups to meet the individual needs of children. Reading instruction is taught in a small group setting through guided reading. The children are taught reading strategies that focus on visual and structural cues, phonics, and comprehension. Work stations are utilized during this time to enrich skills that have previously been taught. Weekly spelling tests are given which include high frequency (sight) spelling words and phonetically spelled words. Another very important area of the curriculum is writing. The children write their own stories and are instructed in different forms of writing such as: personal narrative, how to, descriptive, retelling and friendly letters. The teacher utilizes Writer's Workshop as a way of meeting individual children's needs. Teachers are able to instruct, edit and conference with individual students to assist their writing. The first grade children at Housman are introduced to the "Six Traits of Writing" that are utilized in Spring Branch ISD. The six traits include: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and conventions. Letter formation is introduced, and proper handwriting is reinforced throughout the year in all subject areas. The students in Spring Branch ISD are taught D’Nealin (or Modern) handwriting.


Math is taught through a hands-on approach using manipulatives, math games, computer games and centers as well as paper and pencil. Students use logical reasoning and mathematics to solve problems related to everyday experiences. Mathematical language and symbols are introduced. The math curriculum includes:

  • Whole numbers
  • Fractions
  • Geometry
  • Measurement
  • Probability & statistics
  • Algebraic thinking


Social Studies
Social studies integrated units include:

  • History - customs and holidays, historical figures of the U.S.A. and Texas
  • Geography - map and globe skills, land forms, natural resources and weather
  • Economics - goods and services, wants and needs
  • Government - rules and laws, leaders
  • Citizenship - voting, national and state symbols
  • Culture - comparing family beliefs, customs, language and traditions


The study of science emphasizes Scientific Inquiry using experiments, investigations, journals, projects, critical thinking and problem solving. The Science units are:

  • change/cycles (humans, animals, insects and seasons)
  • senses
  • natural world - rocks, soil, water, plants
  • matter - solids, liquids, gases



  • Maria Garza - Team Leader
  • Michelle Pratt
  • Caridad Salazar 
  • Rachel Acosta