Homeroom Teachers


ART:  Mrs. Cassie Schaap

SPANISH:  Mrs. Kara Sall

MUSIC:  Mrs. Carmen Kruyf

PHYS. ED:    Mr. Dan Los

LIBRARY:  Miss MaryJo Staal


TECHNOLOGY:  Mr. Steve Schynders

ED. SUPPORT SERVICES:  Mrs. Jenny Gorter

SPEECH:    Mrs. Sue Courson



Students are immersed in stories of God’s faithfulness in which He works out His plan for his kingdom in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, He fulfills His plan through the story of Jesus and the church. These stories along with Bible memory, class devotions, prayer time, and communal worship help students build the foundation of their faith.

  • Spiritual Portfolio – The theme for the first grade spiritual portfolio is “God is.”  Students reflect on attributes and characteristics of God in a “God is” writing prompt in the spring.
  • Capstone Project – The capstone project for first graders is called “God’s Big Words.”  There are several words taken from the Bible that God encourages us to live by such as kindness, humility, self-control, truth and forgiveness.  Each word comes directly from Bible verses and we make connections though children’s picture books.  For instance, one of the many books for the word truth is called Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lieby Laura Rankin.  A little girl finds a small camera on the playground at school and pretends it is hers.  It causes all kinds of problems and eventually she realizes it is best just to tell the truth.  At the end of the year, we do a final project that involves using all of the words and what we have learned about them.

Language Arts

A large part of the first grade curriculum is devoted to learning how to read and write. Understanding that God created children with different learning styles, we use many methods in the teaching of language arts. Rich children’s literature is used to teach reading and writing skills and strategies. The teaching of phonics and sight words is implemented in a variety of ways. Our hope is that each child will develop a joy for reading and writing that will extend into his/her adult life.


First grade math is taught in a variety of ways, including the daily calendar, many manipulatives, learning games, and the Math Expressions curriculum.

Through these skills the students learn to see the order of God’s creation. Some of the skills covered are everyday uses of numbers, visual patterns and number patterns, thermometers, linear measures, clocks, number stories, practicing facts, geometry and attributes, money, fractions, and place value.


In first grade science, students make observations of patterns of objects in the sky and how they seem to move.  From these observations and data collection they are then able to predict these movements themselves.  In another unit they explore the relationship between vibrations and sound and design their own instruments or sound makers. Students explore light in terms of light traveling from one place to another.  They observe how different objects in the path of light makes this path change. The last unit allows for first graders is to explore some ways plants and animals meet their needs to survive and grow.

Social Studies

Students will learn how God places us in our families, supplies our needs, and entrusts us with resources so we can help others. In addition, first graders are introduced to map skills. They will also learn about their past and what it means to be a good citizen based on Core Democratic Values.

Study Skills

Students are taught study skills through each area of the curriculum.  Some of these skills include being responsible for a backpack and papers each day, math homelinks, memorizing Bible passages, practicing their reading, and working independently.


First graders are delightfully creative and able to sustain attention for further development in art. It’s possible to make use of several different types of media and also combine media. Art is a wonderful way for a young child to express his or her thoughts, emotions, and ideas. Those expressions are encouraged and developed in first grade art. Frequently art is tied in with the classroom studies.


Appreciation of literature is taught through storytelling and reading books aloud for the various genres by the librarian. Children are exposed to realistic fiction, traditional literature, fantasy, poetry and non-fiction. They learn about using atlases, globes, dictionaries, children’s encyclopedias and magazines. They are taught how to find books in the library and how to choose a book they will enjoy.


In first grade music children learn that music is fun and is a gift from God. This gift will be developed and discovered through tuneful, beatful, and artful activities. Tuneful activities focus on being able to think a tune and coordinate his/her voice to sing that tune. Beatful activities focus on feeling the pulse of the music and how it can be grouped into twos or threes. Artful activities give the student the opportunity to feel and be moved by the music. First graders are also introduced to new instruments each week to become familiar with their pitch, timbre, and general characteristics.

Physical Education

In first grade physical education we work primarily on the fundamental skills of throwing, catching, and kicking. Playing by the rules and dealing with winning and losing in acceptable ways are also important parts of first grade physical education.  In every activity, we try to show we are God’s children in the way we participate.


First graders will learn Spanish, appreciate culture, have fun and most importantly gain a better understanding of the diverse world that God created!  We will continue to practice our Spanish through praise and worship songs, vocabulary based activities and reading books. For more information, please refer to the HCS Spanish webpage.

Daily Schedule

7:50-8:30 – Devotions, Morning Routine

8:30-9:30 – Language Arts

9:30-9:50 – Snack/Recess

9:50-11:30 – Language Arts

11:30-11:50 – Recess

11:50-12:15 – Lunch

12:15-1:00 – Math

1:00-1:30 – Bible

1:30-2:00 – Science/Social Studies

2:00-2:30 – Specials

2:40 – Dismissal