First Grade Project

Strand Descriptions

A Variety of Patterns and Impressions:
Students will observe, create, and learn from patterns and connections while exploring language, art, movement, math, color, animals, environments, quilting and weaving.

Patterns and Impressions in Math & Science:
Students will explore patterns large and small: through numbers, architecture, design, sound, light, color, geometry, and literature. Students will take part in the work of mathematical and scientific investigators. 

Patterns and Impressions in Language Arts:
Using stories, books, and writing, this class will observe and create patterns. The students will study a variety of kinds of writing including poetry, tall tales, creative writing, riddles, bookmaking and more.

Patterns and Impressions in Fine Arts:
Students will experience and create patterns in movement, music, and art through exploration of sound, pitch, emotion, light, color, instrument families, and the work of famous artists.

Breakfast: Free breakfast is available each day for any students who are hungry. Stop by the cafeteria on your way to the classroom to pick up breakfast.

Drop off & pick up: Parents who drive children to Summer Academy are welcome to walk their child to class or to drop him or her off in the front of Highland Elementary between 7:30 and 8:00 am. At the end of the day, students getting picked up in cars will wait with teachers in the front of the elementary school to meet parents. You may park and walk up to meet us or drive through to pick up your son or daughter. It is not necessary to walk to the classroom to find us. Those who ride buses will be hand-delivered to the district buses at the end of the day.


Math and Science

Kathy Kolb      

Beth Fawley

Therese Tschida

Andrea Johnson


Suzie Olson

Anne Schwalbe

Language Arts

Kim Beck


What is Question the Expert?

Each day during Summer Academy, we practice questioning strategies by having an interview with one of our classmates. Each student is an expert for one day. A note is sent home during the Academy so parents can know what date the child has been assigned to be the expert. The topic we talk about is the Expert’s choice.

Students should select topics that they are familiar with. Normally this is a special interest or hobby. Good examples are things like Bengal tigers, floor hockey, beadwork, dinosaurs, or multiplication. Topics that don’t work so well might include: cats, drawing, sports, art, or reading. They don’t work because they are too broad for a brief conversation. Question the Expert sessions typically last between 5 and 10 minutes.

As a class, we practice asking questions that need more than a yes or no answer. It is important that all students participate in asking questions.

When it is your child’s Question the Expert day, he or she should come to Summer Academy with a few things to say about the topic of choice to help us know what to ask questions about. Students can bring examples or visuals, but it isn’t necessary. The focus of the time is on the conversation and questioning skills. We are trying not to have a show and tell time with items to pass around among members of the class.

Websites for first grade students

Good kid’s symmetry site to explore on your own out of school

Great fun! Symmetry drawing online for kids

Tangrams for kids

Tangram puzzles for home


Animal research site for use at home

First Grade Patterns and Impressions – Language Arts works with students to have them notice patterns all around us. Topics include:

Acrostic poems
Haiku poems
Fibonacci poetry
Tall tales
Tongue twisters

Yes, we are looking for chaperones for field trips during Summer Academy. Please call or email your child’s teacher to volunteer as a chaperone.

Math / Science Patterns Classes will cover a wide variety of topics. They include:

  • Plant and animal adaptations
  • Questioning skills
  • Graphing
  • Cells, atoms, molecules
  • Symmetry
  • Experimentation
  • Basic physics
  • Color – blending paint
  • Light
  • Sound
  • Math patterns in quilting
  • 2D vs. 3D
  • Life cycles
  • Native American artwork
  • Use of plants in everyday life
  • Algebra concepts
  • Native American Beadwork
  • Tessellations
  • Pascal’s triangle
  • Magic Squares
  • Logic puzzles
  • Multiplication with arrays
  • Tangrams
  • Pentominoes
  • The Fibonacci sequence
  • Asian Art
  • Hmong Story Quilts
  • Hmong Flower Cloths (Pan Dau)
  • Area, perimeter
  • Math puzzles and challenges


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