First Grade

Welcome to First Grade!

Language Arts: The 1st Grade curriculum follows the California Common Core. Our reading program combines whole reading and phonics. We use guided reading with trade literature and big books. Reading is taught in a whole group and in small ability groups with leveled readers. Each week, we read stories that are focused on one concept; other subjects such as phonics, spelling, vocabulary, grammar and creative writing flow from that particular concept. Many other reading skills are taught through activities such as reading poetry, choral reading, and partner reading. We use LEXIA, an adaptive online phonics program, twice a week.


Math: The main focus in Math is number sense, addition and subtraction, place value, measurement and geometry. There is a strong emphasis on problem-solving that runs throughout the curriculum. We do a lot of partner work and hands-on activities with manipulatives. Several days a week we also work in ability groups to better accommodate each child’s skill level. We use DreamBox, an adaptive online math program, during group time.


Religion: Prayer is a central theme at St. Joseph. We begin each morning with prayer at Morning Assembly. The children attend First Friday Masses, participate in many Prayer Services and liturgies led by student body members. We end our day with a Prayer Circle in the classroom. We also stress service to others by participating in many Reach Out projects. The major topics discussed are Our Church Community, Our Loving God, God’s Son Jesus, The Holy Spirit and Jesus’ followers. 


Science/Science Lab: We use the Mystery Science Curriculum which is aligned to the NGSS. Students use an inquiry-based process to focus on exploring, explaining, and evaluating the three major categories of science: Life (parts of animals & plants, animal & plant survival, protecting the young, animal & plant trait inheritance & variation), Earth (patterns in space, seasonal patterns), and Physical (sound, light, communication). The children go to the science lab once a week to participate in hands-on science experiments. 


Social Studies: We learn about Citizenship, People and Places, Our Country, Changes Over Time, Cultures, and Goods and Services. 


Computers/Technology: Technology is fully integrated into all areas of the curriculum. iPads are incorporated into the Math and Reading curriculum. During lab time, students are introduced to applications like Word and Photoshop. They learn to save, print, format, and insert graphics into word documents, as well as use KidPix.


Fine Arts: Music and Fine Arts classes are offered once a week led by our Fine Arts Director. Focus is on liturgical music, preparation for the Advent Prayer Service, and performing the play, American Symbols (the class level year-end performance). 


Art: Weekly classes introduce basic art terms with a focus on the elements of art. Students are exposed to a variety of media while continuing to improve fine motor skills. Projects include topics that support the classroom curriculum. 


Physical Education: Children participate in Physical Education one hour every week, developing age appropriate basic movement skills, emphasizing team building opportunities, practicing sportsmanship, and learning how to be fit and healthy! 


Spanish: Listening is the first step toward any language acquisition. Therefore, our main focus is getting the students used to the sounds in Spanish. We do this mainly through songs and games.


Library: Students enjoy time with our librarian every week.

Our Teachers

Mrs. Carmona is a credentialed teacher and has been with St. Joseph’s since 2006. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and joined the SJC staff after bringing her son to SJC in 2005. Throughout her time at SJC, she has aided in various grades and has taught Primary Spanish and 7th grade Social Studies. 


Aide:  Mrs. O’Boyle is the full-time aide and is an SJC alumni parent and volunteer since 2003. She has a BS degree in Computer Science and manages the software for the school auction.

Apply for First Grade