Welcome to 1st Grade!

Lacey Zinsu joined St. Frances Cabrini in 2021 bringing her experience working for the Department of Defense and in public and private schools. Today she serves as the first-grade teacher. When not teaching, Mrs. Zinsu enjoys spending time with her husband and three children exploring the Pacific Northwest, and visiting her extended family. 

Child Development


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 the Church is limited to his or her experiences at home and in the parish

• Imagines God as a human person


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.


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 body’s large muscles, and small motor skills involve using the wrist and hand.

Classroom Highlights

We are busy! First graders grow and learn so much during this formative year. We help the homeless with a Sock drive in September. We do a STEAM project for our Learning Fair; we pick a fairy tale and engineer ways to help our characters out of their predicaments. Our classroom has an island theme, and we have Surfer of the Week where our students are highlighted.

We study our sight words to help us with reading. It takes wonderful parent volunteers to come in twice a week to test students on their words. Students get rewards from the treasure chest when they know their words.

Service Activities

First graders CAN help. Many children think they are too little to do anything for their community. We are great helpers to our community! We can also sort and put together a “September Sock Drive” for Catholic Community Services’, Nativity House. Children love to help those in need.



In first grade, we learn how to be “Saints in the Making.” We read and watch stories about the Saints and how we can model ourselves to be like a Saint. We learn The Six Tasks of Catechesis:

  • Knowledge of Faith
  • Liturgical Education
  • Moral Education
  • Learning to Pray
  • Education for Community Life
  • Missionary Discipleship and Service.

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 Chromebooks/technology work and practice safe, legal behavior
• Learn beginning keyboarding skills
• Select and use common applications for learning and weekly testing

Enrichment:  Students attend weekly enrichment classes for library, music, PE, and Art.