At All Saints, one immediately notices the lively chatter and joy among the six- and seven-years-old in our First Grade classrooms. First Grade is a time when children build strong friendships with their peers, and their friendships become just as important as their family relationships. They thrive on encouragement and have a tremendous capacity for enjoyment. Students often work in small groups to encourage social development and relationship building. However, the classroom also supports students who crave independent work. The room is set up to encourage independence and growth. Homework is now a daily activity, and students are expected to take seriously the continued development of their study skills and habits, as well as their sense of discipline and hard work. In the spring of First Grade, the class participates in their milestone project, the Waffle Inn. During this event, Early Childhood and Elementary students are treated to a special meal of waffles with all the fixings hosted by First Grade greeters, waiters, cashiers, and clean up crew. This longstanding tradition at All Saints allows social First Graders to work together cooperatively and to understand that each person in a business or community matters to the success of the whole.
First Grade is a time when students begin to recognize their own independence from adults and may begin to test relationships with authority, tease, throw tantrums and complain. These new behavior patterns coincide with extreme sensitivity and highly competitive behavior. First Grader are taught with compassion, encouragement and consistency, and are encouraged to demonstrate positive behavior. This approach helps First Graders at All Saints begin to understand how to master new social situations with greater ease. By the end of First Grade students are socially aware and are ready to work cooperatively with their peers.