First Grade

English Language Arts

The goal of the Cocalico School District's English Language Arts program is to provide a rigorous curriculum designed to meet individual needs while preparing critically literate students who can achieve proficiency on local and state assessments and become literate citizens. The district has completed aligning the curriculum to the PA Core Standards and has developed systems for assessing students in all areas of English Language Arts. McGraw-Hill's Wonders materials are used in the classroom.


The Cocalico School District elementary division is currently using Curriculum Associates’ iReady core program. iReady is a robust mathematics program that helps students become strong, independent mathematical thinkers. The program uses a different approach to math instruction that focuses on learning through problem solving. The use of daily embedded learning routines allows teachers to guide students through instruction as they strengthen their conceptual understanding of mathematics. These routines ensure that all students develop problem-solving skills needed to become independent and confident mathematical thinkers. iReady focuses on the PA Standards as well as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)’s Effective Mathematics Teaching practices. In iReady, teachers facilitate conversations and monitor student thinking using a Try-Discuss-Connect routine. Students explore, question, model, represent, and discuss, and they also learn and apply important math strategies to deepen their thinking. Through daily Math Discourse, students explain their methods and, in turn, become more fluent in them. Mathematics content, routines, and models connect and build across the grade levels in iReady to provide a progression of teaching and learning. An iReady classroom offers supporting resources to be used in lessons through a blend of print and digital components to increase student engagement and build confidence. There are multiple tools available online for students and their families. 


The Harcourt HSP program is a Pennsylvania-specific curriculum that is aligned to the PA Standards. Each grade level will complete instructional units in the areas of Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science. Within each unit the following chapters will be addressed: plants, animals, habitats, earth, space, weather, matter, energy, force, and motion. Each chapter contains investigations, experiments, or Insta-Labs that provide students with an opportunity to enhance understanding of concepts through an experimental approach and to put into practice the step of Science Inquiry. These labs give our children the opportunity to construct content level meaning through an experiential approach. The knowledge obtained from this experiential-based learning will subsequently be solidified through text-based reading and class level discussions. Assessments for each of the Harcourt chapters will be administered at the culmination of the chapter and will be comprised of short answer, matching, multiple choice and open-ended questions.

Social Studies

Harcourt Social Studies is a comprehensive elementary curriculum designed to engage and motivate students through the stories of intriguing people, exciting places, and fascinating events. Students learn the social studies themes and skills they need to become informed, participating citizens who consider diverse points of view, use critical thinking skills, and are active in their communities. Within each grade level, students are exposed to history, geography, economics, and government in alignment with the PA Standards. The discussion of current events is also an integral part of each grade level. Students are taught how to read informational text, use technology, and apply study skills within the context of Social Studies. Teachers incorporate cooperative learning strategies, decision-making skills, and higher-order thinking in their unit development. Assessment is varied and applicable to the real world. The study of Social Studies is often integrated within the study of English Language Arts and media research. 

Related Arts

Elementary students participate in a varied related arts programs including instruction in library information/computer skills, art, music, and physical education. Weekly library lessons include stories, large group discussions, and time to choose books to take home and enjoy with family and friends. Students also participate in digital learning in the library. During art class, students complete a selection of projects, participate in class discussions, and explore the cultural arts through books, PowerPoint presentations, and/or videos. In music class, students explore proper singing voice and melodic patterns, demonstrate the ability to keep a steady rhythm, respond to music and sounds with movement, learn the expressive qualities of music, and discover different musical styles. Physical education classes help to develop students physically, mentally, emotionally, and intellectually through various activities and sports. Each related arts class meets for 45 minutes on a four-day cycle.

Please click on the links below to access Grade 1 Curriculum Documents.