Curriculum Night Packet

Mrs. Peoples’ First Grade Sea Otters

Curriculum Night


Mondays and Wednesdays

1:45-2:15 Music

2:15-2:45 PE (wear proper shoes)


1:45-2:15 Spanish


12:50-1:20 Art (every other week)


Library begins in late fall due to construction

Parent Led Art

Please contact me if you are interested in leading or volunteering approximately one Thursday a month.

A First Grade Day


8:15-Students arrive

8:20-Morning Work/Calendar

8:30-ELA hour


10:00-Math hour




12:20- Social Studies/Science

12:45- Spelling

1:15- Snack/Recess


2:45- Pack Up

3:00 Dismissal

Classroom Expectations

You OTTER love one another!

-Raise your hand to speak

-Always be prepared

-Follow directions the first time given

-Work and play safely

-Respect God, His people, and His stuff

Each student has a clip with their number on it. After two reminders about a specific behavior their clip will be moved down from “blue” to “green”.   If the behavior or interruption continues after two more verbal warnings their pin will then be moved to “yellow” and so on down to red. Here are the consequences that correspond with each color:

Green: 5 minutes lost from recess

Yellow: 15 minutes lost from recess and a note or call home

Red: call home with the principal, possibly sent home

Positive Reinforcement

Our positive behavior reinforcement in the classroom includes a class marble jar and individual sticker charts for students who are going above and beyond in their behavior. After a student has filled up their sticker chart they have the choice of one of the following rewards; no homework that night, bring in a show and tell the next day, or play learning games on iPads during seatwork.


SLEs(Schoolwide Learning Expectations)

These expectations are the goal for a graduate of St. John School. Primary grades focus on the three main headings: Active Learners, Empowered Disciples, and Christ-centered people. We will refer to these expectations throughout all of our lessons. We will evaluate these expectations each trimester, through student reflection and teacher evaluation. Please familiarize yourself with the SLE’s.

Virtues in Practice

Virtues in Practice is a program for children in grades pre-k through eighth to grow in virtues and see the virtues as concrete expressions of their Catholic faith. The Year of Hope focuses on God’s plan for us in this life since we know that He loves each of us uniquely and has a particular plan for us to glorify Him and find our way to heaven.  This provides an opportunity for the students to focus on discovering their talents, and strengthening these talents through practice, so that they are prepared for the vocation to which God calls them. It is a great idea for parents to reinforce the virtues and saints as heroes by asking their children to tell them about the saints and virtues they are studying each month.

Second Step

We will be using Second Step program in the classroom. Here are the skills the first graders will learn this year:

1-Skills for Learning: Students gain skills to help themselves learn, including how to focus their attention, listen carefully, use self-talk to stay on task, and be assertive when asking for help.

2-Empathy: Students learn to identify and understand their own and others’ feelings. Students also learn how to take another’s perspective and how to show compassion.

3-Emotion Management: Students learn specific skills for calming down when experiencing strong feelings, such as anxiety or anger.

4-Problem Solving: Students learn a process for solving problems with others in a positive way.

For more information about the Second Step program please visit

School Counselor

Mrs. Denise Russo works closely with classes and individuals on Mondays and Tuesdays. She will be teaching problem solving strategies using Kelso and Second Step. She will also focus on self regulation skills in the first grade classroom.

Star Sea Otter

Please see my website for Star Sea Otter dates and look for your child’s name in the weekly newsletter and reminder email. When your child is Star Sea Otter they will complete an “All About Me” poster (provided by teacher) and bring a show and tell everyday to share with the class. As well as take home the class pet “Elizabeth” for the week and journal about all the fun they had together.

Daily Schedule

Please see my website for a detailed weekly schedule under “Class Schedule”. 

Snack and Water Bottles

Please send a filled water bottle and a healthy snack everyday. Keep snack separate from lunch. Remember the classroom is a “Nut Free” zone due to allergies.

Daily Folder

The students are responsible for bringing their Daily Folder everyday. Please check the folder for any notes or announcements as well as daily work. Homework will be sent home every Friday. If an item is on the “KEEP” side of the folder please keep it at home, if it is on the “RETURN” side please complete and return to school. Thanks!


First grade homework is sent on Friday of each week and due the following Friday. This allows families time to work on homework during the week and weekend. According to the St. John Family Handbook, no more than 20 minutes of homework each night is expected.

Homework Expectations:

-Read for 10 minutes per night (this includes parents reading to their children and children reading to their parents)

-Work on any activities/worksheets (math, phonics, or spelling) for 10 minutes per night.

-If the family is spending more than 20 minutes per night on homework during trimester 1, please contact me

-Reading bags will be sent home on Fridays to review stories read and strategies learned from the week. Mrs. McCarthy’s reading group will be given special reading folders to practice skills (keep papers at home).

How Can I Help My Child?

Spelling- Word Study

Word study teaches students to look critically at words so they can build deeper understanding of spelling, sounds, and meanings, rather than simply memorizing (then forgetting) a list. This is accomplished by sorting words into categories based on shared features.

I will give spelling assessments each trimester to determine student spelling levels: letter-name-alphabetic (short vowels/blends), or within word pattern (long vowels/patterns). Students will be given leveled, weekly spelling tests from these spelling stages.


Math can also be practiced daily. It can be something simple as counting cheerios by 2’s or solving problems on your way to school like how many ways can you make 8? How many years older is your sister?

There are also several math websites we will use this year that can also be accessed at home for additional practice (XtraMath, Mathletics, and Prodigy)


Students will learn how to choose “good fit” books. Please see the handout in the parent packet for more information on “The Daily 5”. For homework students will read for about 10 minutes each night. This can include them reading you, you reading to them, or taking turns reading alternating either sentence by sentence or page by page (depending on reading ability and type of book). When your child is struggling with a word, ask them if they would like time or help. If they say “time”, give them a chance to sound out the word with one of the strategies learned. If they say “help”, then you can tell them the word.

Other Information

Volunteers in the Class

I love having parent volunteers in the classroom. I will have a Sign Up Genius link on my website beginning in October. The times will be either during our ELA block, in which you will practice reading or sight words with students, and Science/Social Studies and Art block. Before you volunteer, you will need to have a background check, go through Safe Environment training (VIRTUS), and sign the policy agreement. Please see Mrs. Q for more information (especially if you are new to the school). Volunteers, please remember to check in at the office and wear a Visitors badge while in the school. Thank you for following these procedures to keep our children safe!

Please let me know if this is something you are interested in and/or you have talents you would like to share with the class. Any help is greatly appreciated!


EMAIL: The best way to contact me is by email at

WEBSITE: My class website is accessed by clicking on Classrooms, then Peoples/1 on the St. John School homepage. The weekly newsletter will be posted there each week as well as the Star Sea Otter, Class Schedule, and other amazing resources for reading, writing, spelling, religion, and math for you.

PHONE: (206) 783-0331 phone x334 I am usually unable to answer the phone during the school day but will return messages after school.