Welcome to 1st Grade!

My name is Mrs. Michelle Curry, and I feel blessed to have been called to teach 1st grade at St. Frances Cabrini School since 2018!  I attended WGU for a BA in Education. I also attended Catholic schools during my formative years, which inspired the strong faith and values I work to model for my students. My husband Mike is an Agency Director for Catholic Community Services. My children Katharyn and Mike attend the Honors College at CWU. Our family enjoys hiking and the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Hello! My name is Agnes Burns, and I am excited to be part of Saint Frances Cabrini School. I was born and raised here in Washington. Growing up in a family of ten children, I remember spending a lot of time helping take care of my nieces and nephews, and that’s where my love for working with children began. After I graduated from Bellarmine, I pursued my degree in early childhood education at Tacoma Community College and continued my education at Pierce College, where I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science in Teaching. In my spare time, I love a good backpacking adventure, hiking, and spending time with my family. I am beyond excited to be part of this wonderful school!

Child Development

Spiritual

The main focus of 1st 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

Social/Emotional

1st graders are typically egocentric but have the capacity to learn how to care for others and demonstrate caring behavior.

• Play may be solitary but some are ready to work in pairs and eventually in small groups.

• They will learn and practice how to have positive peer interactions and resolve differences with peaceful resolutions that are taught and modeled.

• Interest is sustained if the activity is something they like.

Physical

The 1st grade child’s development relies on good health, proper nutrition and a safe environment.

• The ability to do simple tasks gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment.

• Large motor skills involve using the large muscles of the body and small motor skills involve the use of wrist and hand.

Classroom Highlights

We are busy! But, we have so many wonderful things to look forward to. First graders will read at Mass for the first time this year. We have a Christmas program and a Learning Fair. We have a Student of the Week, and Geographer of the week.

We also have wonderful parent helpers. They come and read with the students and help them with their sight word challenges. They help with Math Centers and artwork. The parent helpers love being such an important part of their child’s development.

Service Activities

First graders CAN help. Many children think they are too little to do anything for their community. Not so in this class. We are great helpers to our community! We make applesauce for the Seniors with our own hands. Our little fingers learned how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless. Those same fingers tied together fleece blankets for the Humane Society, and made dog treats. We can also sort and put together necessities for Nativity House in bags that we decorate. Children love to help, and we give them the classroom to do it.

Curriculum

Religion: In the tradition of the Catholic Church, children will grow in understanding through following the Archdiocese of Seattle Catholic Schools standards to include The Six Tasks of Catechesis.  
• Knowledge of Faith
• Liturgical Education
• Moral Education
• Prayer Life, Community, and History of the Church
• Missionary Spirit

Reading/Literature: In first grade, it’s exciting when students 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: Common Core Standards to include:
• Reading literature
• Reading informational text
• Reading foundational skills
• Writing

Math Readiness: Common Core Standards to include:
• Operations and algebraic thinking
• Numbers and operations in Base
• Ten Measurements and data
• Geometry

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…
• Plants and animals
• 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, art, enrichment programs: Specialists teach these subjects