First Grade Language Arts Essential Skills

The grade 1 language arts program integrates the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students are immersed in a language-rich environment. The reading program is conducted in a literature-based guided reading approach. Writing is a daily activity and is done for many purposes. Students will learn to:

  1. Listen and speak effectively
  2. Use phonics to decode and spell words
  3. Identify sight words
  4. Read for literal and inferential comprehension
  5. Write simple and complex sentences

First Grade Math Essential Skills

The grade 1 math program is a hands-on approach to mathematics. Students are encouraged to be problem solvers, to communicate mathematically, and to develop reasoning ability. The language of mathematics is developed throughout the day. Exposure to theses concepts serves as the foundation for their future learning, nudging them toward becoming successful critical thinkers. Students will learn to:

  1. Understand number sense and numeration by skip counting by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s, identify place value to 100, identify patterns, and read graphs.
  2. Perform mathematical operations and solve problems by mastering addition and subtraction facts from 1-20, estimate, solve word problems, and solve simple algebraic equations.
  3. Use measurement and geometry by telling time, counting money, reading graphs, identifying shapes, and measuring capacity.

First Grade Science Essential Skills

Science is an integral part of the total curriculum and incorporates problem solving with learning about the world around us. First graders will learn to:

  1. Apply the scientific method
  2. Collect, predict, record, and discuss data
  3. Create and use models and projects

First Grade Social Studies Essential Skills

The grade 1 social studies program is an integral part of the total curriculum and incorporates student awareness of the world and the people who live in it. Students will:

  1. Discuss current events and holidays
  2. Identify oceans, continents, and countries on maps and the globe
  3. Research and compare cultures
  4. Make and use models and projects

Meet Valerie Rico

Valerie Rico has taught at Park since 2001. She taught kindergarten for the first three years and has been the first grade core teacher ever since. She also serves as the Lower School Dean of Faculty.
Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Valerie holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Buffalo State College, and a Masters in Elementary and Reading Education from the University at Buffalo. Her professional experience encompasses working in both public and independent school systems. Her experience includes core teaching in grades prekindergarten to sixth grade, planning and implementing curriculum, incorporating classroom management techniques, building rapport with students and parents, curriculum mapping, and administration. As an administrator, she collaborates with School administrators on curriculum development, school events, sub placements, overseeing agendas for Lower School divisional meetings and faculty observations, and evaluations. In addition, she is currently working with team members in the areas of AIMS assessment for Lower School students, Responsive Classroom practices, and integrating iPads into the classroom.

Founded in 1912, The Park School of Buffalo has the distinction of being one of the oldest Progressive schools in the country. Park is an independent, co-educational school serving approximately 300 students enrolled in prekindergarten (3 and 4 year olds), lower school (kindergarten through grade 4), middle school (grades 5 through 8), and upper school (grades 9 through 12). Park is uniquely situated on 34 beautiful acres in Amherst, New York. The School’s campus – formerly a farm – includes a pond, marsh, gardens, and a greenhouse while being located just minutes from downtown Buffalo and easily accessible from many communities throughout Western New York. Park’s educational philosophy embraces active, student-centered learning, delivered by exceptional teachers who design and continuously update a robust curriculum. Faculty members approach each student as an individual within the context of a kind and respectful community. From the preschool years through college preparation, The Park School of Buffalo helps learners realize their own unique potentials and prepares them to be confident, successful, life-long learners.

The Park School Of Buffalo

4625 Harlem Road
Snyder, NY 14226
Receptionist: 716-839-1242
Voicemail: 716-839-1243
Fax: 716-839-2014