First Grade

First Grade Announcements

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  • First Graders Seine at Hillsmere Beach

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    On a sunny day this September, the first grade class walked to Hillsmere Beach to seine for Bay organisms in support of their Science unit on Habitats. At the waterside, the students caught and observed many denizens of the Bay including crabs, silversides and other small fish. They learned blue crabs hold water within their bodies and circulate it to create air for breathing which allows them to survive outside of water longer than may other Bay creatures. First grade teacher Becky Fetters is shown safely holding a crab’s claws while placing it up to the ears of the children so they could hear the bubbling and gurgling sound of the water and air moving through the crab’s body. Click to see more photos.

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  • 1st Grade Amazon Rainforest Service Learning Project

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    The first graders have been actively engaged in studying the Amazon Rainforest; learning about the amazing animals, interesting plants and vibrant indigenous cultures of the region. In exploring the Rainforest, they have gotten a sense of the distance between South America and Maryland and delved into how Marylanders can help the creatures living in the Amazon. Click to view more photos.

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  • First Grade Math Explorations

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    Last week, the first graders were excited to welcome Head of School Matthew Nespole as a Math Explorations helper. Math Explorations is a program that brings in volunteers who help augment the students' everyday math lessons. The program consists of four stations where students investigate concepts with geoboards, which offer hands-on exploration of geometric shapes; pan balances, which help with algebraic thinking; a dice activity, which develops place value understanding; and a store where students can practice calculating with money.

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  • Collaboration at Morning Recess

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    A focused and determined group of First Graders spent a morning recess busily planning and building an intricate fairy village near the Amphitheater. Building materials were gathered from all across the Lower School playground. We love watching their collaboration and enthusiasm, not to mention ingenuity, in thinking about all the elements that would make a series of pleasant abodes for Key School’s mystical fairy inhabitants.

  • Let's Go Fly a Kite!

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    This spring, first graders studied the adaptations of animals living in the Amazon Rainforest, with specific focus on the unique characteristics of birds and how they are designed for flight. With their newfound knowledge of the four forces of flight: drag, thrust, gravity and lift, students learned what was needed to propel an object, man-made or natural, from the ground. While flying kites on the Manse Field, first graders enjoyed not only a first-hand experience with “lift” but also a celebration of summertime fun to come!

  • Teacher Letters in Haiku

    First grade teacher letters are now found in Haiku on Key's Parent Portal. Stories about first grade happenings will be coming soon.

  • New Desks for Chumbageni

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    Kindergarteners at Chumbageni Primary School in Tanga, Tanzania, are starting their school year off with new desks thanks to the members of Key’s Class of 2026.

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  • First Grade Butterfly Release

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    During their habitat unit, first graders learn about various species and study the elements of their respective ecosystems. Many alumni and older students may recall the butterfly lifecycle unit, culminating in several days of celebratory releases. Some of our homegrown monarchs are more reluctant to leave their Key School home than others…


  • Key First Grader is Finalist in Green Expo Poster Contest

    James Rizek ’24 won third place in a Green Expo poster contest sponsored by the Davidsonville Area Civic Association, earning $25 for Key’s environmental education program. Great work, James!

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  • Harvest Market Day Helps Key Eat Local

    Key’s most recent Harvest Market Day on Friday, October 26 was a tremendous success! Prior to the official opening of the market to parents, faculty and staff, Key’s first graders had the opportunity to speak with the owners of Blue Tomato Farms to learn about the sustainable horticultural practices of this environmentally friendly farm located ten miles from Key. This is one of many authentic real-world interactions that supports the students’ studies in science. The conversation with the farmers about their decision not to use pesticides, herbicides or genetically altered seeds was meaningful to the students who are currently learning about food sources.

    During the community Harvest Market, the atmosphere was festive, with locally grown pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, red and blue kale, eggs, carrots, beets, radishes, kohlrabi (cross between turnip and cabbage), and purple Peruvian potatoes from the farm on sale in the Smith House Yard. Buying local was never such fun!