Stephen Olney Elementary

1378 Douglas Avenue, North Providence, RI 02904
Phone: (401) 233-1160  |  Fax: (401) 618-5631

Principal:  Janine Napolitano

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Grade 1

First-grade at Stephen Olney is a time where the cognitive and neurological development of our students blossoms. Building on the social skills they learned in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, 1st-grade students start to understand they are part of a “bigger” school, not just their classroom they’ve come to know. Similar to taking their first steps, students enter 1st-grade with a basic understanding of literacy, math, and science, but become more confident and vigorous in their approach to subject areas.

Like learning to walk, grasping these topics takes time, but with patience, persistence and enthusiasm from Stephen Olney educators, 1st-grade students not only learn about this content, but embrace it. Students in our classrooms are encouraged to be the leaders of their learning and find answers by trial-and-error. What’s most exciting about 1st-grade at our school, you ask? Students make a break-through and find that there’s a real-world purpose for their work in school, and are excited to contribute to the Stephen Olney community.


Grade 1 Mathematics

Math in 1st-grade yields rapid growth of math skills, analyzation methods, problem-solving techniques, and general understanding of math. In 1st-grade, students are guided through not only measuring and identifying shapes, but learning about shapes by building and deconstructing them. Using innovative technology and hands-on lessons that allow students to work with tangible objects while learning about value, size, and space concepts, better establishes these math skills students will need to incorporate throughout their lives.

With the direction of our educators, students work on pattern recognition, measurements, and predictions, and use several tools including visual elements to make the math problems come to life. For example, students are taught to find solutions to problems in several ways, including drawing a picture, or using objects like blocks as counting tools to show how they found their answer. We lay the groundwork for these vital skills.

Grade 1 English Language Arts

In 1st-grade, students start to open up – through books, their minds, and expression. The phonetic wheels are always turning in the mind of a 1st-grade student, who is paying attention to sound, style, and the meaning of words. Students start to learn about how to craft a story, about personification, and how the world revolves around stories to learn about people, places, and history.

Language, students start to realize, is a powerful tool that yields mutual understanding, the sharing of ideas and important stories, and connects the dots to questions they have. With the assistance of their teachers, first-grade students at Stephen Olney start to sculpt their auditory, visual, and kinetic approaches to literature, reading comprehension, and language as a whole.

Grade 1 Science

In 1st-grade at Stephen Olney, children hit a “gold mine” in terms of scientific exploration. They’ve learned – many times literally – how digging around will lead to answers, but also more questions. They also start to see how much beauty there is in that. At a young age, students at our school are taught with a blended learning model, which pairs traditional teaching and tangible objects with personalized learning and the incorporation of technology.

We teach the scientific method, the importance of working as a team to find a collective answer, and how shared information leads to a wealth of knowledge to make more discoveries. Through hands-on work, class discussions, and individual explorations, students realize that what they find matters. First-grade students are eager to show off what they see, and we encourage that.

Grade 1 Social Studies

“You’re so old!” That’s not necessarily something educators, nor parents, want to hear, but that signals something – a child learning about time, age, and history. In 1st-grade, students begin to pick up on time references, take more responsibility for themselves in their classrooms, and follow the “rules” of their community. First-grade students at Stephen Olney become accustomed to routines, and become more self-sufficient and socially aware.

Through thoughtful and considerate conversations in class, 1st-grade students learn about diversity, about how events of the past relate to present day and the future, and start to grasp the importance of timing and how communities push for and adapt to changes. Our educators make history come alive, and promote productive conversations about why historical figures matter, and how significant historical shape societies. Using age-appropriate curriculum and relevant topics that students care about, we’re able to show students how they too can impact society.

Grade 1 Teachers

Mrs. Joyce Federici

Mrs. Karen Pezza

Alacyn Testa: