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First Grade

A year of curiosity, excitement, and tremendous academic growth awaits first graders at Bright School. Young scholars unlock the written word with an innate desire to read and develop a passion for writing and illustrating. Working together, we build a classroom community and enjoy new-found independence to complete challenging tasks during our reading and writing workshops. Expanding on the foundations of number sense from kindergarten, first graders begin to apply operational tasks and problem solving skills in math. Social studies topics become the vehicles for practicing reading, writing, and making real-world connections. Through collaboration and sharing of ideas, students learn to be contributing members of small groups and productive partners. Highlights of the year include study of Africa, Antarctica and space and a special authors’ tea for students to read stories they have written to their parents. First graders attend all special areas on a rotation basis, including science.

Second Grade

Asking questions, reading to find the answers, and discussing how and why are what second graders do best! The joy of learning comes to life as second graders continue to grow as readers, writers, and thinkers. As energetic readers, they practice strategies to help them make sense of what they read. Building on their initial writing experiences, these imaginative writers continue to improve their spelling strategies and sentence structure. Their foundation for number sense and operations enables them to solve multi-digit problems and tackle word problems. Through friendships, small groups, and partnering with others, second graders learn to listen to others’ ideas, share their own thoughts, and work together towards a common goal. Highlights of the year include study of Australia and the coral reef and special visits by mystery readers.

First Grade Teachers

Denise Cooper

First Grade

Joined Bright faculty in 2004
B.S., Auburn University 
M.Ed., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Merrill Levine

First Grade and Social Studies Committee Chair

Joined Bright faculty in 1996
B.S., University of Pittsburgh 
M.Ed., University of Missouri

LeAnne Sharpe

First Grade

Joined Bright faculty in 2013
B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Second Grade Teachers

Denise Hurlbut

Second Grade

Joined Bright faculty in 2007
B.S., Tennessee Temple University 
M.Ed., Trevecca Nazarene University

Karen Smith

Second Grade

Joined Bright faculty in 2012
B.S., Tennessee Temple University
M.Ed., Walden University

MacKenzie Taylor

Second Grade

Joined Bright School in 2016
B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

School Affiliations