First Grade at Veritas Academy

“Toad, Toad, wake up,” said Frog. “Look at your garden!”

Toad looked at his garden. Little green plants were coming up out of the ground.

“At last,” shouted Toad, “my seeds have stopped being afraid to grow!”

“And now you will have a nice garden too,” said Frog.

“Yes,” said Toad, “but you were right, Frog. It was very hard work.”

First grade at Veritas is a truly wonderful season of blooming and growing...just like Toad's garden does in this excerpt from Arnold Lobel's beloved Frog & Toad children's book series, which this class reads together. And, just like Toad's garden, make no mistake it's hard work. The great thing about First Grade at Veritas Academy, though, is that the hard work really just seems like a whole lot of fun!



A love of reading begins early...and our first grade teachers are exceptional at sharing and instilling that love in kids each year! This is a period where students truly grow by leaps and bounds, setting them up to enjoy the Great Books education to come in later years of their Veritas journey. By the end of first grade, students will be able to confidently sound out unfamiliar words, grow immensely in comprehension, and be fully ready for chapter books.

Continuing in the phonics instruction that began in kindergarten, first graders will become familiar with more complex vowel and consonant blends, and will practice their phonics skills by reading their Veritas Press primers. These books, which progress in difficulty and subject matter, not only help kids practice decoding and understanding words, but they also teach them church and world history and introduce them to various genres of writing and illustration.

.Along with the Veritas Press curriculum, our students will enjoy reading books from beloved series like Nate the Great, Henry and Mudge, Amelia Bedelia, and the aforementioned Frog and Toad.

Learning Language Through Poetry

One way that our first grade teacher, Mrs. Strawbridge, helps awaken the wonder and joy of learning through language is by teaching and reciting poetry...all throughout the day! You'll hear the students reciting sweet poems with her as they wait in line, work on crafts, pack up to go home, and other times of the school day. Mrs. Strawbridge says that it helps keep them focused and all together during times that could otherwise be chaotic and scattered. These kids will learn dozens of sweet poems that parents love to hear!


In history we use Evan Moore Geography and introduce students to Pennsylvania history. They'll learn about the Native Americans who first lived on these lands, discover who William Penn was and how the Quakers came to "Penn's Woods," and talk about native plants and animals and our area's unique topography. They'll learn about the important roles our state played in America's early days, and about famous Pennsylvanians like Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross, all of which is brought to life when they end their year with a field trip exploring the sites of Philadelphia (like Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross's House, and Benjamin Franklin's first post office).

1st grade liberty bell 


First graders travel through the gospels and the Book of Acts, learning about the works and words of Christ, as well as the spread of the early church and the ministry of the Apostle Paul. Reading from A Child’s Story Bible, scripture, and other biblical fiction and nonfiction books, we build a timeline of biblical events covered in these books.



First graders love math for its active learning, which includes fast-paced games, flash cards, chants and songs. These kids love the thrill of finding answers to increasingly complex problems, racing their teacher and each other to come to the right solutions!

First grade math uses the Saxon 2 curriculum. Students learn time telling, adding and subtracting double digits through 100, multiplying 0-5, basic geometry and fractions, skip counting (by 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, and 25’s), finding the missing x factors, counting to 1000, and counting money.


Using Shurley Grammar I and Veritas Press Phonics Museum, first graders learn paragraph construction, contractions, synonyms/antonyms, parts of speech, sentence parts, and basic punctuation and capitalization. Chants and unison work in class help them accurately identify proper sentence construction and more. The children continue practicing and perfecting handwriting in preparation for learning cursive next year, paying careful attention to letter formation when writing their two-point paragraphs and reading comprehension paragraphs.


First graders will have one music, choir, art, and science class each week, where they'll learn new skills and facts with the teachers of each of these subjects.


  • Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area
  • The North Museum of Nature and Science
  • Brandywine River Museum
  • Harrisburg State Capitol Building
  • PA State Museum in Harrisburg
  • Philadelphia (various historical sites including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Christ Church, Betsy Ross's house and more)


  • Native American Thanksgiving Feast

Walk Through Our First Grade Classroom:

Meet the Teacher

Sharon Strawbridge

Mrs. Sharon Strawbridge

B.S. Special Education, University of Southern Mississippi

Sharon Strawbridge-1-271321-edited
Teaching first grade at Veritas for these 17 years has given me many reasons to love my job.  I enjoy the excitement, curiosity, and joy of children who walk through my classroom doors. I love building upon the foundation of language and learning that they have already begun in their short lives.  I love to read to them and we have soooooo many great books in our classroom! I love teaching them to love reading and words and ideas.
Children memorize easily and learn by talking, singing, chanting, and repeating songs, grammar jingles, math facts, history and geography songs, phonics rules, and poetry. This is what you will hear in our classroom when we are sitting, standing, jumping, dancing, passing out papers, lining up, and packing up.  
If you are looking for a good, fun, happy place for your child to learn and grow, consider first grade at Veritas Academy!

Mrs. Sharon Strawbridge

Mrs. Strawbridge is funny and she makes school easy and fun for us! I like when Mrs. Strawbridge reads books to us because I like to imagine it in my head, and I love reading in the cozy back of the room because I get to choose what book I want and read it with my friends. I like grammar because I like writing two-point paragraphs, and math because I love learning the math facts and taking tests! I like our two recesses, too!

Selah B. First Grade Student