First/Second Grade

August 2020
In the first and second grades, we aim to educate, care for, and embrace each child that walks through our door.
We consist of two classrooms which are team-taught by Hayley Zoerheide and Debra Walton-Strong. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the health precautions being taken for the 2020-2021 school year, the classrooms will continue to be mixed-age however will be self-contained until further notice. As teachers, we will continue to plan and work together in order to ensure the best learning environment possible for our students.

We place a strong emphasis on literacy in our classrooms – teaching and modeling the love of reading and writing is a critical piece of our curriculum. Our students take part in daily guided reading groups, practice independent reading, partner reading, confer with peers and teachers after reading, practice grade-appropriate word work skills, compose daily journal entries, and practice narrative, opinion, and informational writing. Children inherently love telling, reading, and listening to stories; we give them the opportunity to enhance and build upon their natural skills and abilities. 

Math is also of great importance in our school and classrooms. We use the Envisions curriculum to guide our math focus, tailoring, and enhancing as needed for each class and the individual child. We aim to build each child’s number sense as well as their confidence and ability to work fluently with numbers when adding and subtracting. We utilize IXL, an online math resource, as well as many games in our classroom each day. 

Outdoor Education
Outdoor education also plays an important role in our classrooms. Every Wednesday we spend half of the day outdoors for Woods Wednesday. Much of our science curriculum is based on our outdoor time. Our learning includes, but is not limited to: plant and animal behaviors and habitats, weather and solar observations, the effects of heat and fire, and creating structures and STEM experimentation. While outdoors, our students routinely demonstrate curiosity, grit, and determination, kindness for others, creativity and problem solving, and a passion for learning that is unrivaled. 

If you have any questions or need further assistance, do not hesitate to contact either of us: or