Harvey Archibald - Year-End Report, 1st Grade

A look at some of what Harvey did during his 2015-2016 school year.

beginning the year


The single biggest chunk of our time this year was taken up with math instruction and practice, based mostly on number theory and algebraic thinking. Harvey worked on composing and decomposing numbers to the 100s place, adding three-digit numbers with regrouping, subtracting two-digit numbers, and modeling multiplication and fractions. We practiced a variety of mental math strategies and talked through different ways to solve problems. We looked for opportunities to solve "real-world" math problems, and towards the end of the year as Harvey became confident in his reading he worked on figuring out story problems. We also practiced telling time on analog and digital clocks, describing and classifying shapes, and measurement (weight and length with Imperial units).

Assessment, independent work, 3-21-16

Other Math Work Samples


Harvey loves books, and over the year we shared countless books as read-alouds, and practiced making text-to-text and text-to-life connections. In the first half of the year he practiced narrating wordless books and we talked about beginning, middle, and end in storytelling.

Harvey spent the year slowly increasing his confidence in decoding text. Most of his reading is in comic books and familiar titles, but in the last month he started to think about reading unfamiliar chapter books. He's also begun reading aloud to his little brothers.

We started the year with Harvey dictating his stories, then in the spring he started writing them down himself. Most of his writing this year was personal narrative, but he also did a little informational non-fiction.

We did a unit on poetry, and read several anthologies together, looking especially at the variety of poem forms and talking about what features—rhythm, rhyme, assonance, figurative language—make something a poem. Harvey practiced writing poems, concentrating mostly on the technical aspect: meter, stress and syllabification, and rhyme.

Harvey had lots of chances to practice talking to adults, and he's recently become much more confident when talking about familiar subjects. He's working on organizing his thoughts to be able to converse—and to be clear and intelligible—when he's less certain about the topic

collaborative poetry practice, April 2016

Other ELA Work Samples


Harvey observed, described, and drew natural phenomena (plants, dead animals, rocks). We talked about weight, density, and buoyancy and did experiments with sinking and floating. We practiced identifying wild and garden plants, and predicting the weather based on current conditions. We talked about life cycles of plants and animals, and started seeds and raised chicks. Harvey experimented with baking and worked on figuring out what he should add to flour and water to make it into tasty food.

observation of a sprouting day-lily, March 2016

experimenting with buoyancy, September 2015

Social Studies

We worked with timelines, on both historical and geological scales. We studied the Pilgrims, and the American Revolution, and in less detail Vikings and Westward Expansion in the US. We worked to include stories and voices of Native Americans in our US history explorations. Harvey participated in field trips to cultural and historical sites including the Lowell Mills, Plymoth Plantation, Walden Pond, Sturbridge Village, and Minuteman National Park.

visiting Minuteman National Park

Physical Education

Harvey can easily walk a mile at a fair pace, and bicycle five with even less trouble. He can run, skip, and gallop. Over the year we worked on over- and under-hand throws and two-handed catching, practiced soccer skills and endurance, and learned how to play rugby.


We listened to lots of music: jazz, classical, opera, bluegrass, and pop. We talked about the instruments used for each and ways that they're alike and different. We sang together and played rhythm games with percussion instruments, and we did a little bit of practice with solfege.


Throughout the year Harvey had lots of time to draw and work on developing fine motor control. We practiced drawing from life as part of our science studies. We started the year by talking about color theory, and we came back to it every once and a while. Harvey learned hand-weaving and experimented with weaving patterns, and also started learning to knit.