Lower School
Spaces and Places: "The Specials"

First Grade


First grade is transcendent.  Eager to come to school each morning, first graders are becoming “the big kids” but still need to practice balance and hand-eye coordination.  It is a year of many firsts: they have lockers to store their belongings in and eat in the lunchroom for the first time. They use the larger playgrounds where some try out tag games, basketball and soccer. Still many continue to inhabit a world where fantasy play and magical thinking are very real, and it’s important they have opportunities to engage in both kinds of play.

We see first grade as a time of robust energy and excitement. It is a time filled with learning new skills and solidifying many skills while “trying on” others.  It is also a magical time in which students experience an explosion of learning while the beautiful sheen of childhood is still upon them.

List of 6 items.

  • Art

    Instructor: Elisa Garcia

    First graders visit Swartley Art Center once a week for a 45 minute art class. Here they learn about the elements of color, line and shape through drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, printmaking and digital art.  Students work independently and collaboratively and each child creates a collection of work to represent their understanding of the medium and concepts taught.
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  • Health and Wellness

    Instructor: Kim Franco

    The goal of the Health and Wellness program at Dwight-Englewood School is to educate students with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to make healthy lifestyle choices. In first grade, the primary focus is on understanding the basic terms and concepts for each lesson.
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  • Music

    Instructor: Mary Heveran

    Students attend music class twice a week for 30 minutes each time. Basic skills and concepts such as steady beat, rhythm and pitch are reinforced using body percussion, drums, and other hand held instruments.
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  • Science

    Instructor: Beth Lemire

    Habitats become relevant as first grade students learn about human houses and homes in their classroom social studies unit.  They gain understanding of animal adaptations in their environment and make comparisons of the way humans make their homes and the way animals make their homes.  They formulate questions and create tiny homes for animals and insects outdoors.
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  • Spanish

    Instructor: Sandra Harrison

    In grades Preschool 3 through Grade 2, students are introduced to Spanish through our FLEX (Foreign Language Exploratory) program and meet with Señora Harrison twice a week for 30 minutes of instruction.
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  • Technology

    Instructor: Christine Nicolaou
    The goal of the Lower School technology program is to develop activities and projects that make connections to the themes and curriculum that are covered in each grade level. Using a variety of apps and programs kids learn the skills they need to move on to middle school and beyond.  The projects challenge students to think critically, organize their ideas, and present them using a variety of media.
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Mailing Address: 315 East Palisade Avenue Englewood, NJ 07631
gps: 81 Lincoln Street, Englewood, NJ 07631
201-569-9500 Email:
Located in Englewood, New Jersey, Dwight-Englewood is a greater New York City area private school with a rigorous college prep curriculum for boys and girls in preschool through grade 12.