Meet the 1st Grade Team

Dear Families,

We would like to welcome you to first grade and thank you for choosing HCES as your school. At HCES you will find a dedicated team of first-grade teachers. We have a vast background of teaching experience and skills, which we use to meet the needs of all first-grade students. Together we plan and prepare the curriculum that will meet the needs of all students in the areas of English Language Arts (and Spanish Language Arts for our Dual Language students), Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.

First grade is a crucial year for building readers and writers. Our daily schedule allows for a 90-minute reading block which includes a whole group lesson, small group guided reading with the classroom teacher, and reading center activities based on current and previously learned skills. In addition, we have time each day for whole group writing lessons in which students learn to write narratives, expository passages and passages stating their opinion. We also have an intervention block each day which allows us to focus on individual student needs, whether they are working at, above or below grade level.

Students will learn many new math concepts this year. We have 60 minutes of math each day. During that time, students are involved in a whole group lesson as well as small group guided math with the teacher, and center activities. Our math homework is designed to help students practice skills being currently taught and to review previously taught skills.

Students will also be engaged in Science and Social Studies activities throughout the week. Students will take part in science lessons and hands-on experiments/STEM activities throughout the year.

Communication between the family and teacher is vital as we are a team working to best educate your child. Should you need to contact your child's teacher, the preferred method is via email. You can email teachers with questions, concerns, or schedule a conference. Although we try to respond to all emails quickly, please allow your child's teacher 48 hours to respond. Since we do not access our email during the day or may not be on campus, please do not send emails regarding absences or changes in dismissal. Please send a hard-copy of these notes to school with your child or call the front office.

Again, we thank you for choosing HCES. We look forward to working with you and your child as we lead our students to success.


Your First Grade Teachers

 Teacher Icon

First-Grade Teachers

Ms. Pina - Team Leader

Picture of Ms. Pina

Click to email

Ms. Melendez - TWDL Spanish

Picture of Ms. Melendez
Click to email

Ms. Duarte - TWDL English

Picture of Ms. Duarte

Click to email

Ms. Mercado

Picture of Ms. Mercado

Click to email

Ms. Santiago

Picture of Ms. Santiago

Click to email

Ms. Aprile

Picture of Ms. Aprile

Click to email


 books icon

English Language Arts

What should my child know when entering first-grade?

  • Read 80-100 Kindergarten Sight Words (see OCPS sight word list link).

  • Identify all uppercase and lowercase letters.

  • Identify all letters and their sounds.

  • Read at Fountas and Pinnell Level D.

  • Follow 2-step oral directions (turn off the light and shut the door, etc.).

  • Write his/her first and last name correctly with capital and lowercase letters (Sam, not SAM).

  • Write a simple sentence that begins with a capital, ends with a period, has spaces in between words, and has a detailed illustration to match.

Students should be able to do the following by the end of first-grade:

  • Read ALL Kindergarten Sight Words and 80-100 First Grade Sight Words (see OCPS sight word list link).

  • Read at Fountas and Pinnell Level I or J.

  • Read fluently (60 correct words per minute).

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the concept of print and how it is organized and read.

  • Demonstrate the ability to separate and identify sounds in words (phonemic awareness).

  • Demonstrate the knowledge of the alphabetic principle and applies grade-level phonics skills to read text.

  • Demonstrate the ability to read grade-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate fluency (rate) and expression.

  • Develop grade-appropriate vocabulary.

  • Identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of the elements of a variety of fiction, nonfiction, informational, and/or expository texts.

  • Show mastery of all Reading Literature (RL), Reading Informational (RI) and Reading Foundational (RF) Florida State Standards.

  • Use pre-writing strategies independently (such as brainstorming, graphic organizers such as circle maps and tree maps, etc.).

  • Participate in the writing process through whole group, small group, and independent writing
    Create Informative/Expository, Narrative and Opinion pieces of writing.

  • Use appropriate spacing between letters, words, and sentences.

  • Apply listening and speaking strategies.

  • Show mastery of all Foundational Skills, Reading, Communication, and Vocabulary of the Florida B.E.S.T. Standards.

How can I help my child at home with reading?

  • Read a Variety of Texts: Build an at-home library of children’s stories, non-fiction texts, magazines, recipes, comics, etc.

  • Choose Appropriate Books: Help your child pick books that are not too hard but not too easy.

  • Read to Your Child Every Day: Model good reading strategies to your child by reading a few minutes each day.

  • Have Your Child Read to You Every Day: Spend 15-20 minutes listening to your child read to you before they are tired.

  • Talk About It: Ask your child questions about what they read.

  • Have them retell the story in their own words including a description of the characters and setting and what happens in the book (beginning, middle, end, problem, solution).

  • Practice Text Tracking: If your child is an early reader, encourage them to point to each word.

  • Reread Favorite Books: Repeat favorite books over and over to build reading fluency.

  • Reading Apps: Download reading apps for your device.

  • Practice Decoding Strategies: If your child is having trouble figuring out a word, remind them of the following strategies:
    • Eagle Eye-Look at the pictures for clues.
    • Lips the Fish-Get your lips ready and say the first sound.
    • Stretchy Snake-Stretch out the sounds and then shrink them back together.
    • Chunky Monkey-Look for chunks in the word that you know and then blend the words together.
    • Skippy Frog-Skip the word and then go back and re-read.
    • Tryin’ Lion-Try it again.
    • Helpful Kangaroo-Ask for help!

Parent Guide for Grade 1 English Language Arts

Click the picture below to access the parent guide

Click to access The Florida Benchmarks For Excellent Student Thinking (BEST) Standards Parent Guide for Grade 1 English Language Arts

First-Grade ELA Standards

Click the button below to access the Florida B.E.S.T. ELA standards.

Click to access the Florida BEST ELA Standards

First-Grade Sight Words

Click the picture below to access the OCPS Site Words.
Click to access the OCPS Sight Words

 Math icon symbol


What should my child know when entering first-grade?

  • Identify and read numbers from 0-20.

  • Accurately count up to 20 objects.

  • Count orally to 100.

  • Know basic Addition and Subtraction facts through 10.

  • Know basic two-dimensional shapes.

  • Skip count by 10’s.

  • Show mastery of all Kindergarten Florida Standards and Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.

Students should be able to do the following by the end of first-grade:

  • Model addition and subtraction situations using a variety of strategies.

  • Identify, describe, and apply addition and subtraction as inverse operations.

  • Create and use increasingly sophisticated strategies, and use properties such as commutative, associative and additive identity, to add whole numbers.

  • Use counting strategies, number patterns, and models as a means for solving basic addition and subtraction fact problems.

  • Compare and order whole numbers at least to 100.

  • Represent two-digit numbers in terms of tens and ones.

  • Orders counting numbers, compare their relative magnitudes (size) and represent numbers on a number line.

  • Use appropriate vocabulary to compare shapes.

  • Compose (join) and decompose (take apart) plane and solid figures.

  • Compare and order objects according to descriptors.

  • Use mathematical reasoning and beginning understanding of tens and ones.

  • Solve routine and non-routine problems by acting them out, using manipulatives, and drawing diagrams.

  • Show mastery of all B.E.S.T. standards in the areas of Number Sense and Operations, Fractions, Algebraic Reasoning, Measurement, Geometric Reasoning, and Data Analysis and Probability.

First-Grade Math Standards

Click the button below to access the Florida B.E.S.T. Math standards.

Click to access the Florida BEST ELA Standards

 Science Icon


Students should be able to do the following by the end of first-grade:

  • Understand that all matter has observable, measurable properties.

  • Recognize that energy may be changed in form.

  • Understand that types of motion may be described, measured, and predicted.

  • Recognize patterns in weather.

  • Know the basic needs of all living things.

  • Understand how living things interact with their environment.

  • Use the scientific process and habits of mind to solve problems.

  • Show mastery of all Science Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS).
  • First-Grade Science Standards

     Social Studies Icon  

    Social Studies

    Students should be able to do the following by the end of first-grade:

  • Use simple maps, globes, and other 3D models to identify and locate places.

  • Understand that history tells the story of people and events of other times and places.

  • Know how various symbols are used to show Americans shared values, principles, and beliefs.

  • Understand how individuals and businesses make choices about how to use resources.

  • Show mastery of all Social Studies Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.



    First-Grade Social Studies Standards

    Health Icon


    First-Grade Health Standards

    Pencil Icon

    First-Grade Supply List


    Click to access the 1st Grade supply list.

    Click to access the 1st grade TWDL supply list