Welcome to 1st Grade!

1st Gr QuiltWelcome to our Fantastic First Grade Classroom where your child will continue to develop a lifelong love of learning!



My name is Peggy Kennel and I am in my tenth year at SFC, teaching fulltime for 8 years and 2 years of job sharing both kindergarten and 1st grade. I taught in the Michigan public schools for 10 years. I hold a Masters in Special Education-Learning Disabilities.



St. Frances Cabrini School has high expectations for all its students and I set high goals for my 1st graders, actively engaging them in learning. Using positive motivation and constant encouragement, the students consistently reach their goals and continually “reach for the stars." God wants us to always be the best that we can be! Upon entering the classroom, there is a visual reminder of how we should always begin our school day: “Love God and Love Others."

Child Development



The main focus of first grade is that God is our Father who created us and loves us and we praise God’s goodness. It’s a wonderful time to remind them of how special they are and how each person is a precious child of God.

  • Prayer comes naturally; enjoys ceremony and ritual
  • Interprets Bible and other stories literally but cannot derive symbolic meaning
  • Comfortable with formal and spontaneous prayer
  • Awareness of Church is limited to his or her experiences at home and in the parish
  • Imagines God as a human person


  • Becomes more adept at paying attention, following directions; develops better techniques for exercising self-control.
  • Continues to prefer structured activities; predictable routines are sources of security.
  • Learns how to work together with classmates although conflicts among peers may be frequent. Friendships are unstable.
  • Enjoys taking on new roles and responsibilities but still requires much direction from adults and frequently asks questions to ensure that they are completing the tasks the right way.
  • Becomes more attuned to the concept of fairness and justice; needs to win and will change rules to fit own needs.
  • Finds it difficult to accept criticism, blame, or punishment; child is center of own world.


Although far from proficient in motor skills, it doesn’t dampen their enthusiasm for trying new activities. Hand-foot-eye coordination is developing, so skills like throwing, catching, kicking are still emerging. Sedentary children will not mature as quickly as those who participate in activities like team sports or backyard play.

First Grade Highlights

First Grade is an exciting and busy time for learning, exploring, discovering, and 1st Gr_2012 Applegrowing. One of our beginning-of-the-year activities is our Apple Orchard field trip (actually a trip to my home which has lots of apple trees). This is a great community builder for both students and parents attending this hands-on approach to learning. We take part in the Christmas pageant, the school wide Science Fair, attend children’s plays at the Olympic Junior Play Production, and set personal goals to become members of a variety of 1st grade clubs. One favorite is membership in the Kennel Club!

Service Activity

This year’s service activity will focus on actively supporting our U.S. military men and women. The students will reach out to show love, support, and appreciation to our presently deployed soldiers through frequent letters, drawings, and thank you notes.


Religion: In the tradition of the Catholic Church, children will grow in understanding…

  • The Church: sacraments, liturgy, prayer
  • The Holy Spirit; Jesus is the Son of God
  • Signs of God’s love; Creation, Living God’s love

Reading/Literature: In first grade, children transform into true readers. They apply their knowledge of how print works and practice strategies to decode unfamiliar words. They learn to …

  • Read aloud with fluency, accuracy, and understanding.
  • Read for pleasure - stories, informational texts, poems; develop a love for books and reading!
  • Identify parts of a story and use character setting, conflict/problem and main idea.

Language Arts- Grammar, Writing: Students will…

  • Identify parts of speech: naming words, action words and describing words.
  • Identify and use contractions, plurals, word endings: s, ed, ing
  • Write stories, notes, and letters. brainstorm, draft, edit, revise, publish & share writings
  • Print manuscript with proper: alignment, slant, shape, spacing

Mathematics: Students will…

  • Recognize, understand and add sums to 20 and subtract differences to 20.
  • Graph information
  • Explore: money, time, fractions, units of measurement, place value, counting patterns
  • Learn and apply problem solving skills

Social Studies: Students will…

  • Use maps, charts, and other geographic tools
  • Read the Pledge of Allegiance, learn patriotic songs/poems and recognize national symbols
  • Recognize traits of responsible citizenship; what it means to be a member of a community

Science: Students will explore and learn about…1st_Spring

  • Plants and animals and where they live
  • The earth, weather, sky, sound, light, and heat
  • The human body- the senses, growing and changing, personal health, personal safety

Technology: Students will…

  • Understand how computers/technology work and practice safe, legal behavior
  • Learn beginning keyboarding skills
  • Select and use common applications

PE, music, enrichment: Specialists teach these subjects