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The first grade is a very special year in the primary school. Of course, it starts with the wonderful tradition of the Schultüte on day one, but soon after the festive beginning, the class turns itself to the business at hand--learning.The children have their first experiences with full day learning, which proves tiring for many, both pupils and teachers alike. Everything is new, and nothing can be taken for granted. As important as the various school subjects--German, math, and the like--are, just as important is creating a positive classroom climate in which routines and procedures create a comfortable and conducive place to learn. Reading, writing, and arithmetic receive heavy emphasis, but so do social skills like talking with a quiet voice, taking turns speaking and listening, working with a partner or group, and solving conflicts in the classroom and on the playground. By Christmas the classroom is running smoothly, and the kids know exactly how the day and week progresses. In fact, if the teacher changes a routine or procedure, they are sure to hear it from the kids in the class.

Beginnings are important, and JACG prides itself in creating a first year experience that is both pleasant and developmentally appropriate for our new pupils. Our kids enjoy coming to school each day, and it shows on their faces and those of their parents.

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