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.