October 18th, 2019 Newsletter

First Grade Sea Otter News

What a week in first grade! Today was the Jog-a-Thon prize assembly, where we learned that we reached our school’s fund-raising goal!! Thank you to all of our amazing donors! We got to watch the fun silly string showdown between the 7th graders and Mrs. O’Leary and Senor Pablo. This week we also practiced our earthquake disaster drill, called the “Great Shake Out.” First grade did a great job covering their heads under their desks, and then exiting the building to the holding area. On Wednesday, we had the Fulcrum Foundation visit our school and attend mass, led by the first graders and their eighth grade buddies. The first graders did a great job! In religion, students continued to learn about creation. In math, first grade finished their first chapter about addition within 10. We ended the chapter with a test today. We continued our social studies unit on Needs and Wants. During Daily 5, we added a new choice this week: Listening to Reading. When we have extra helpers, first graders can take turns listening to a reading program on the iPads. Thank you for our volunteers this week who helped with Listening to Reading! This week I met with book groups but we did not have a lot of time to practice our new skills due to our schedule this week. Because of this, I will be sending home book bags next week. If your child meets with Mrs. McCarthy, they will be bringing home a book bag today from her.


Next week we will be taking the STAR standardized test. First grade students are given a variety of reading assessments throughout the school year. One test students are administered is the STAR reading assessment, which is given to first and second graders. The STAR reading assessment is a computer-based test that helps determine the level of books your child should read in order to make the best progress, this range is called the zone of proximal development (ZPD). A report will be sent home showing your child’s zone of proximal development, please keep in mind that these scores are approximate, but can offer you a guide for helping your child choose good fit books.  For more clarification on the terms in the test results please see: http://doc.renlearn.com/kmnet/r001316312gb442f.pdf

Conference Notes

Thank you to those who have already signed up.  Conferences will be held in the classroom for primary grades. These are parent, student, teacher conferences. Your child is requested to attend. Each conference is 15 minutes with a 5-minute passing period between. Parents and child will meet with Mrs. Costa to discuss the Thinking About Me form and an SLE (Schoolwide Learning Expectation) assessment teachers completed. Students will set a goal for the year and then listen to a story on the iPad while parents continue the conference. Click here to Sign Up: https://www.signupgenius.com/tabs/5317fd70fa2c3e95-studentparenttea

For more information about signing up for conferences, please click here: https://st-johnschool.org/2019/10/10/save-the-date-student-teacher-parent-conferences-2/

Touching Safety

If you would like to “opt your child out” of the Touching Safety Program that will be presented to the first grade students on October 24th, please sign the form attached to the email this week.  Our lesson focus will be on Boundaries—the limits that define one person as separate from another or from others. There are boundaries you can see (like a fence around a yard) and boundaries you can’t see with your eyes (like the comfort zone around us that we call our “personal space”). Boundaries vary depending on the relationship with the other person. For example, a boundary between a child and a grandparent is different than the boundary between a child and a teacher or coach.


St. John School and Parish are very excited to announce a partnership with Unbound-a charity that allows us to directly help children in need. The first grade will sponsor Neil.  He is from Lima, Peru and speaks Spanish!  He is 7 years old and loves to build with blocks, draw, watch movies with his family, and ride on a motorcycle to school.  I attached a photo of Neil in my last newsletter. Senora Blanca will incorporate lessons where she will create a class letter in Spanish to send to Neil throughout the year.  Every first Friday of the month your child is welcome to bring in a $1 donation and make cards or write letters to Neil.  If you have any additional questions, please let me know.  Thank you!  Your support will help Neil get a wonderful education and new pen pals from Seattle.


Thank to those who have signed up to volunteer in the classroom! We could still use volunteers for our morning Daily 5 time, we well as weekly library time (Wednesdays from 2:10-2:55). Please see the sign up genius created by our class room parent. Thank you!

Questions to Ask

-What does peace mean to you?

– Name a true or false addition fact.

– What new Daily 5 choice did we add this week?

Special Notes

– Star Sea Otter for the week of October 21 is Lucy

– Picture day: October 22nd (free dress or uniform)

  • No school on Monday, Oct. 28th and Friday, Nov. 11th for conferences.
  • School will begin at 9am on October 29th.
  • Halloween carnival on Oct. 31st. Please see attached flyer for more details: Halloween Carnival Flyer

 I Can…

– print my uppercase and lowercase letters. L.1.1

– punctuate sentences. L.1.2

– spell first grade words. L.1.2

– use context clues to help me understand a new word or words. L.1.4

– 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

– write to tell a story. W.1.3

– help my class write. W.1.7

– tell who, what, when, where, why and how after reading. RL.1.1

– tell the characters, setting, and what happens in a story. RL.1.3

– use words and pictures to help me tell about the characters, setting, and plot. RL.1.7

– 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

– use strategies to solve addition word problems. 1.OA.1

– use the commutative property of addition. 1.OA.3

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

– add facts within 20. 1.OA.5

– know what an equal sign means. 1.OA.7

– tell how many tens and how many ones are in a number. 1.NBT.2

– use manipulatives and pictures to help me solve problems within 100. 1.NBT.4

– find 10 more or 10 less in my head. 1.NBT.5


– We are Christ-centered people.

– We are active learners.

– We are empowered disciples.