Mrs. Behrends

1st Grade

I’ve been a teacher for 32 years. It is my life besides my husband, Roger, retired coach and P.E. teacher, and my grown children, Sam-24 and Jill-21. Sam is studying to be a Physical Therapist and Jill will graduate from the University of Wyoming with a teaching degree in May of 2019. She has followed in her mother’s footsteps. I have taught Kindergarten, First Grade, and 3rd grade. I love the excitement in a student’s eyes when they learn something new!

1st Grade Curriculum


Reading Mastery for 1st grade includes spelling lessons and fluency practice. The spelling lessons spiral and review every day, so there will not be weekly spelling tests or lists. Students will read many fiction stories in the Reading Mastery book. Students will answer comprehension questions on worksheets The DIBELS oral fluency rate goal for 1st grade is 34 words per minute in Winter and 67 words per minute in Spring. Students will complete writing projects connected to books they've read as well as animal reports and daily journals. Language for Learning/thinking is also an important part of the 1st graders day. They learn vocabulary, calendar facts, opposites, synonyms, cause and effect relationships, story retell, and problem solving. They will also learn and practice grammar skills focusing on nouns, verbs, adjectives, complete sentences, etc...


Math Expressions for 1st grade includes 8 units: Partners and Number Patterns through 10, Addition and Subtraction Strategies, Unknown Numbers in Addition and Subtraction, Place Value, Place Value situation, Comparisons and Data, Geometry, Measurement, and Equal shares, and 2 digit addition.

Math Expressions teaches the students many different strategies to solve a math problem; That there is not just “one” way to get the answer. It also encourages student talk, where the students get up in front of the class and justify their answer to a problem.


Mystery Science is a fun and hands-on program that is correlated to the new Next Generation Nebraska Science Standards, cultivating students' scientific thinking and problem solving. In 1st grade students will investigate four mysteries: Waves, Light, and sound; Space Systems: Patterns and cycles;

From Molecules to Organisms; and Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

We also use Scott Foresman Science.

Social Studies

We use Scholastic Map Skills and Harcourt Horizons- About my world textbook. Units include: Going to school; Good Citizens; The Land Around Us; All About People; Looking Back; and Jobs People Do

Saxon Phonics

Saxon Phonics builds foundational skills with a unique, research-based method. The explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, decoding, spelling and fluency can be used alone or to supplement our Reading Mastery program.


In Zaner-Bloser Handwriting, students will continue to practice the formation of the letters and printing that they first learned in Kdg. Practice makes permanent, so the more students practice, the easier writing will become.