First Grade

Wheeling Country Day School offers First Grade for children five and six years old. We want your child to think independently, create unimaginably, and communicate effortlessly.

The bedrock of the first-grade curriculum is learning how to read. This goal is reached through a predominately phonics-based curriculum which also emphasizes writing. Phonics is taught and applied in a systematic manner. 

High frequency and sight words are also utilized. Differentiated instruction is used to meet the needs of the students. Big Books, leveled readers, and a classroom library are also utilized to meet the interests of all learners.

Science and social studies are integrated through the subjects touched upon in the reading series. Seasonal and stand-alone units based on the students’ professed interests are also a part of the science and social studies curriculum. Essential science skills of observing, hypothesizing, testing, and recording are highly-valued and presented.

Mathematics in the first grade is taught primarily through the use of manipulatives. By the end of the year, the students are expected to know the addition facts up to 18 and addition and subtraction strategies. They will also explore place value, number patterns, geometry, fractions, and coins – including: pennies, nickels and dimes as well as telling time. First graders also receive an introduction to multiplication.

Literacy and Language Development

Throughout the year, the first-grade class emphasizes literacy and language development. The students work on building their reading and writing stamina, participating in reader’s theater, and reading stories to their peers. They continue to explore poetry and have fun with alliteration, creating sentences based on the first letter of their names. The class engages in various language-based activities to enhance their communication skills and foster a love for reading and writing.

Creative & Skill-Based Courses

In addition to the traditional subject areas, students participate in fine arts, physical education, foreign language, and technology classes. An emphasis on the fine arts has been a part of the school since its inception. Biweekly classes in art and music are highlights in the children’s experiences. Daily physical education classes enhance physical development, while the morning intramural program fosters team relationships across grade levels. Children learn to use both the library and the computer as valuable resources for information. 

Science and Nature Exploration

The first-grade class has numerous opportunities to explore science and the natural world. They learn about animal communication and the importance of the sense of smell for animals. Through interactive experiments, they use their own sense of smell to track matching scents. Additionally, the class observes the growth and development of tadpoles and has hands-on experiences with the chicken neighbors on the campus. These experiences nurture their curiosity about the natural world and foster an appreciation for scientific exploration.

An Emphasis on Character Development

Character development instruction highlighting respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship complements the academic offerings. Each teacher weaves this special program into the class’s regular curriculum.

Mathematics and Money Skills

Mathematics plays a significant role in the first-grade curriculum. The students practice addition and subtraction facts, review coins, and learn about the value of money. They engage in money-related songs and activities, gaining a better understanding of counting coins and their relative values. These activities aim to strengthen their mathematical skills and develop a foundational understanding of money concepts.

Technology & Culture

While being part of the Wheeling Country Day School community, children prepare for an increasingly global, technological society with language and culture classes as well as technology instruction. Students explore the rich cultural heritage represented by the school’s families. Special school-wide and classroom activities throughout the year expand this understanding of the relationship between self and community. At the same time, students receive computer instruction preparing them for the world’s technology and their participation in it.

Outdoor Learning and Physical Activity

The first-grade class embraces outdoor learning and physical activity. They take advantage of the beautiful weather and explore the outdoor campus during science lessons, incorporating nature into their learning experiences. The students also participate in field day activities, wearing field day shirts, and enjoying games and outdoor play. Outdoor learning and physical activity not only support their academic growth but also encourage a healthy and active lifestyle.

First Grade Teachers & Staff

Danielle Fuentes

1st Grade

Karen Mead

First Grade

Before & Aftercare Programs

Our before and aftercare programs are designed to help the student and the parent. Drop your students off early or pick them up a bit later and feel comfortable knowing they are safe and still learning.

Tutoring & Multisensory Learning

Edge at Wheeling Country Day School is an on-campus instruction center for students with language-based learning differences. 

Second Grade

For students ready to graduate from First Grade, Wheeling Country Day School offers exceptional Second Grade education.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the key subjects or areas of focus in first grade at Wheeling Country Day School?

In first grade at Wheeling Country Day School, key subjects and areas of focus include literacy and language development, science and nature exploration, mathematics and money skills, and outdoor learning and physical activity. The curriculum emphasizes building reading and writing skills, exploring the natural world, developing mathematical abilities, and encouraging an active lifestyle.

How does the first-grade curriculum promote a love for reading and writing?

The first-grade curriculum at Wheeling Country Day School promotes a love for reading and writing through activities such as reader’s theater, where students engage in dramatic readings of stories. They also explore poetry and have fun with alliteration, creating sentences based on the first letter of their names. These engaging activities help foster a joy and enthusiasm for language and literacy.

How does Wheeling Country Day School ensure effective parent-teacher communication?

At Wheeling Country Day School, parent-teacher communication is highly valued. Regular channels of communication include weekly newsletters, parent-teacher conferences, and email updates. The school also maintains an open-door policy, encouraging parents to reach out with any questions or concerns they may have.

What measures does Wheeling Country Day School take to ensure the safety of first-grade students?

The safety of first-grade students is a top priority at Wheeling Country Day School. The school implements various safety measures such as controlled access to the campus, visitor sign-in procedures, and surveillance systems. Additionally, staff members undergo regular safety training and emergency drills are conducted to ensure preparedness for any situation. The school also maintains clear communication channels with parents in case of any safety-related updates or protocols.


Apply Now

Applying online is easy with WCDS. Complete and submit your online application. This application confirms your interest and prompts the school’s consideration of your child. You can download and submit the records release form if your child currently attends kindergarten or above. 

Schedule Your Visit

Schedule Now

The school takes great pride in the fact that the Head of School meets with each family to engage in a mission/philosophy conversation. Admissions Events offer this group opportunity or you can contact the Admissions Office for special arrangements. 

Experience WCDS by coming to the campus for an age-appropriate visit with faculty and peers. 

Diversity Statement

Learn More

WCDS seeks to purposefully build an environment that reflects and honors diversity. We honor the dignity of every human being, and we respect and value differences including but not limited to socioeconomics, race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, and family composition. Our community is committed to ongoing dialogue, education, and reflection to develop understanding and inclusion of every member.

Experience WCDS

Schedule a School Tour or Classroom Visit

Observe our curious and engaged students and teachers in their classrooms and throughout our spacious campus with its grass playing field, classroom courtyard, and outdoor amphitheater. Sit in on classes that give great attention to a curriculum that matches the optimum times for learning within a child’s first ten years.

Upcoming Elementary Admission Events

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