December 6th, 2019 Newsletter

December 6, 2019

First Grade Sea Otter News

Welcome to December!  We are busy as elves in first grade.  One of the main Social Studies standards in first grade is to celebrate different family traditions.  The students are learning how different countries celebrate Christmas.  This week they learned about Australia, China, and Germany.  Did you know that in Australia, Santa comes by boat and kangaroos help out so reindeers can rest?

The first graders finished their unit on addition to 20.  The workbook packet will come home next week.  We will start subtraction to 10 next week.  Do you know that first graders love games?  Tensies is an exciting dice game that develops math skills.  Dominoes (Mexican Train) helps with number sense and enhances addition skills (adding past 10). Both games are great Christmas stocking stuffers.

The new fruit of the Holy Spirit is patience.  The first graders learned that patience is waiting without complaining. We talked about how we wait in lines, for special events like birthdays and Christmas, and that we have patience when learning a new skill like basketball.  St. Nicolas and Juan Diego are our saints of the month because they had patience as they spread the good news of Jesus in their countries.  Today we celebrated St. Nicolas and made holy cards with a prayer asking to help us be patient.

Report Cards

On Thursday report cards went home in your child’s folder.  Please sign the purple copy and turn it in with the envelope as soon as possible.  The white copy and SLE rubric are for you to keep at home.

International Christmas Luncheon

Our luncheon will take place on Wednesday, December 18 in the first grade classrooms.  This year we will use the hallway to serve our delicious food and then turn our classrooms into restaurants.  I need your help to make it special and amazing! Please return completed Luncheon sign up forms (in child’s folder) by next Friday, December 13th.  Mrs. Jessup and I will review the forms, see what is needed to round out the list, and send home a confirmation next Monday, December 16th. Thank you in advance for your contributions!

Please keep an eye out for a volunteer sign up genius from the room parents for the day of the luncheon. We will have about 18 volunteer jobs total for both classes.  Set up Jobs require you to help decorate the tables and classroom, as well as get the food ready to serve (10:15-11:00).  Serving Jobs require parents to help serve food (buffet style) and drinks (11:00-11:30).  Clean up Jobs require parents to put the classroom back and clean up the food area, as well as help supervise students in the playpit for recess.

Christmas Concert

First and second graders will perform on Thursday, December 19th at 7:00pm in Egan Hall. We will meet in the classroom between 6:40 – 6:50 pm. Please do not drop your child off before 6:40 p.m. teachers will not be there to supervise. If you are late (arriving after 6:50) please meet us in Egan Hall. The first graders take the stage first, followed by the second grade performance of the Nativity story. Your child will be directed to come sit with you following the first grade concert. You are welcome to stay for the second grade performance. 

Advent Service Project for First Grade

Hello St. John school parents,

We are so grateful to the administration and teachers for agreeing to sponsor one child per classroom through the Unbound program.  It’s a gorgeous addition to our student body and our global awareness.

Thank you to all of you who have been contributing to your sponsored friend.

In order to ensure that each child gets adequate support, we need every child in the school to bring in one dollar every month.  I will be going to each classroom on the last day of school before Christmas break to collect the December dues.  Please make sure your child brings one dollar to class before December 20 (or $2 if you missed last month).

Thank you for your participation!  If you have any questions, I am always happy to answer them.

Happy advent and blessings on you and your families,

Kristin Kent

Coordinator of Faith Formation, St. John Parish  


Absence Notification

Please notify me if you know your child will be absent during any of the days before Christmas break.  We have lots of Christmas activities, gifts, and celebrations and I want to plan accordingly to make sure as many students as possible are included. Thanks!

Questions to Ask

– What country began the tradition of decorating trees in homes?

-Tell me about the Advent wreath.

-What is our fruit of the month?

– What is one cool fact about Christmas in Australia?


Special Notes

– Star Sea Otter for the week of December 9 is Van

All School Mass is Monday, December 9 (wear dress uniform)

– Christmas Luncheon Thursday, December 18th

– Christmas Concert Thursday, December 19th.

– Noon dismissal Friday, December 20th.


Did you Know…

Muscles sometimes are tense; often hold pencils near the point with three-fingered, pincer-like grasp that they find difficult to relax.  This is why they complain of being tired when they start writing a lot.  What can you do?  Check and see if they have tight grips and tell them to hold it like a feather.


I Can…

– spell first grade words. L.1.2

– sort words into categories and tell why they belong there. L.1.5

– follow rules for discussions and talk with others. SL.1.1

– speak and write in complete sentences. SL.1.6

– help my class write. W.1.7

– revise and edit my writing. W.1.5

– publish my writing. W.1.6

– understand how words in a story can tell about feelings and the senses. RL.1.4

– read and understand first grade fiction. RL.1.10

– tell the number of syllables in words. RF.1.2

– use digraphs and vowel pairs to help me read. RF.1.3

– count to help me add and subtract. 1.OA.5

– subtract facts within 20. 1.OA.6

– use manipulatives and pictures to help me solve problems within 100.

-tell about people, places, and things. SL.1.4

-engage in discussions to learn about how families live around the world. 5.3.1



– We are Christ-centered people.

– We are active learners.

– We are empowered disciples.