St. Francis of Assisi School

"Celebrating Over 65 Years of Quality Catholic Education"

21-18 46th Street Astoria, NY 11105 - (718) 726-9405 - Fax: (718) 721-2577


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About 1st Grade

female teacher
Teacher:  Miss Filomena Pascarella
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Welcome to the First Grade!

At St. Francis of Assisi School, we are committed to quality Catholic education. The Early Childhood program begins by initiating the love of learning through literature, music, and fine arts. As a child progresses through our school and into the primary grades, age appropriate skills are emphasized. In the First Grade, children participate in a variety of group and independent learning experiences that help to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills that will assist them in the real world. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) guide us in preparing our students to be career and college ready.

The First Grade English Language Arts curriculum includes the study of the alphabet and various phonics skills, such as consonant sounds and blends, and short and long vowel sounds. The students are taught to use these to sound out and write new words. Parts of speech including nouns, verbs, adjectives, and pronouns are taught and used in writing practice. We work on opposites, contractions, compound words, and alphabetical order. Students are submerged in literacy through our reading program, and practice our skills using the CCSS mandate of a balance of fiction and non-fiction reading. The students are exposed to a leveled, differentiated classroom library, weekly visits to the school library, and independent reading. Good reading skills and habits are modeled and encouraged throughout the year. Daily writing begins with words, followed by sentences, paragraphs, and letter writing.

In math, we work on developing an understanding of whole number relationships and place value for numbers from 0 to 100. We also spend much of our year developing an understanding of addition and subtraction concepts for numbers within 20. Through practice, group work, and the use of manipulatives the students take ownership of these topics and use their knowledge to build number sense. We all work on measuring in both standard and non-standard units to develop an understanding of the meaning and processes of measurement. We work to compose and decompose plane and solid figures as we begin our study of geometry. We focus on math vocabulary and real- world examples of these topics so that the student centered learning experience is deep and meaningful for all students.

Our social studies curriculum introduces and familiarizes students with the world around them, globally by learning about our world, and then more intimately as we learn about our community. The students learn about their role in their family, as well as the roles of various community helpers. We discuss rules in all aspects of society and how these rules allow communities to run smoothly. We learn about leaders of our world and community and their contributions.

In science, hands-on activities are incorporated as we learn about the four seasons, the stages of water, animals and their habitats and their needs. We discuss plants and their parts and the life cycles of many living things including butterflies, which we host in our classroom and watch first hand as they transform. Continuing with living things, we learn about ourselves, our health, our nutrition, and how we grow and change.

The lessons and teachings of Jesus Christ are learned in and out of religion class. We attend Mass as a class at least three times a month and have classroom visits from a priest several times a month. A Christian attitude is modeled to the students in all that we do; it is expected in the way we treat ourselves and others and the students are reminded of this through words and actions. We learn prayers and pray together at the beginning and end of each school day as well as before and after meals. Through our text, the students learn about the parts of the Mass and the church, about how God made the world and us, and about the Church calendar. Students are encouraged to learn more about their faith each and every day.

In addition to the core subjects mentioned, learning is enhanced through weekly visits to Art, Music, Library/Resource, Italian, and Physical Education, and Technology classes. Technology is also used for whole group lessons and the students participate in the Breakthrough to Literacy program which allows them to work independently on the computer to enhance their Reading and Phonics skills.

It is our goal at St. Francis of Assisi School to instill a love of learning, good study and work habits, and a sense of responsibility in each student. We encourage them to grow and to become “dedicated scholars who serve all of society”.