Welcome to 1st Grade!

I graduated from Pepperdine University. I have taught preschoolers at Cedarsong Nature School on Vashon Island where I fostered social and emotional intelligence in the children, promoted their critical thinking skills, and supported them as emergent earth stewards. I taught the 4th and 5th grades at the Tacoma Waldorf School with specialty classes such as zoology, watercolor painting, poetry workshops, local geography, and Norse mythology.

God appointed me caretaker of a treasure chest, my daughter. She and I are blessed to have a second home amongst the humble, kind people of Costa Rica. I love mountains, hiking, hot yoga, and extremely competitive baking contests with my daughter. (My father judges. His granddaughter always wins.)

I feel honored to be on the faculty of St. Frances Cabrini and am delighted to teach the first grade because I can help lay the foundation for a lifetime of kindness, strong character, and love of learning.

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.

PHYSICALLY

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.

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.

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.

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

"My daughter has only been in school here for two weeks. In this short time, however, she has already displayed some signs of Christian growth.  The questions she asks about life and death are probing and complex.  As parents these questions enhance our Christian growth, as well."
"By attending St. Frances Cabrini School, my child will gain the continuation of respect, tolerance, self discipline and the caring for others."
"The school's greatest strengths are many, but discipline and keeping parents informed of student progress seem to stand out."
"The school gives great attention to the needs of its students, plus it is relatively small. The school has high standards of achievement."