St. John Berchmans






First Grade


Welcome to our First Grade Classroom Website! Here you will find pictures and details about our learning and growth. Thanks for stopping by!


Ms. Faucher

Field Trip

Last week the First, Second, and Third Graders visited the Emily Oaks Nature Center in Skokie. The First Graders were taken on a nature walk to explore and use their senses to allow them to discover new things. We rubbed items in nature with a special solution to smell them and matched colors of sticks and leaves using special "rainbow chips". We also played a fun guessing game with a partner using our sense of touch and learned how to listen carefully in the forest for a variety of sounds. Thanks again to our fantastic chaperones for making the field trip a success!

End of October

The First Graders ended October with a pumpkin investigation. We read the book How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? and each student was able to peek inside of a pumpkin during science, feel the insides, and take a handful of seeds to count.

Halloween was a success! The First Graders had so much fun at Halloween Fest, and were also treated to a fun party in the afternoon where they played Halloween bingo, read a pumpkin story, made Halloween trail mix, and created their own haunted houses. Thank you to our room parents for setting up and creating activities for the party!

With conferences coming up shortly after Halloween, the class thought it would be a fun idea to make our own version of "self portraits" to place at desks so it would feel like the students were in the classroom during their conference. The First Graders absolutely loved taking their time to create themselves and truly made it feel like school was in session during Parent Teacher Conferences.

It is crazy to think that November has already started, but we have so many wonderful learning activities ahead of us as we prepare for Thanksgiving. Looking forward to a great month!

Fall in First Grade

The First Graders are working hard and learning a lot this month!


We are learning new reading comprehension strategies to help us grow into stronger readers. The First Graders started out the month by making inferences. This is when they use their schema (what they already know) along with what they read in the text to "read in between the lines" and figure out what the author is really saying. We practiced this by taking a peek into my bag and making observations about several items. Students were able to make inferences about why I had these items in my bag, and also got to know a little bit more about their teacher in the process!

In our math class everyday, we use hands on activities and interactive lessons to allow students to gain a greater understanding of mathematical concepts. This includes using manipulatives, practicing our fluency, and working on our number sense. We also work with our math partners to practice the skill we have learned that day and show what we know by playing a fun game together.

In science we have been focusing on pumpkins! The First Graders worked on understanding the various parts of a pumpkin and the life cycle of a pumpkin. We will also be taking a peek on the inside of a real pumpkin to allow our science lessons to come to life!

Earlier this month we were treated to a visit from a real Chicago firefighter! Students were able to hear about the everyday tasks of a firefighter, learn more about fire safety, see what items they wear on the job, and ask questions.

Father Wayne came to visit us for a religion lesson. The First Graders were able to say a prayer with him, discuss what they have learned in religion, and ask him questions. They loved the visit and are already looking forward to when he comes back next month!

Stay tuned for more updates in Room 123. Have a great week!


We have been doing a lot since the start of First Grade! Here is recap of the past five weeks of school:


Classroom Community: It is incredibly important to me to create a safe, happy, and welcoming classroom environment for each and every child. Every day we have a morning meeting to build trust and acceptance and learn more about our peers while incorporating learning through the use of our calendar. We started out the year talking about the idea of kindness and bucket-filling. We focused on the idea of "sprinkling" kindness and created our own kindness donuts. We also read the story Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler and brainstormed acts of kindness that we could complete at school and at home.



Reading and Language Arts: We started the year with building up our reading stamina and developing our reading muscles, along with practicing our reading with a partner. We also began our Storytown reading lessons, and the First Graders took their very first spelling test! They have been doing a fantastic job understanding our new spelling patterns each week, which in turn will help them develop into stronger readers. In First Grade, we are working on different comprehension strategies that allow us to gain a greater understanding of stories. So far, we have worked on making predictions, identifying the characters and setting, and beginning, middle, and end.



Math: In our Firstiemath program, we started off with a focus on the numbers 0 through 10. We worked with ten frames, and found all of the combinations of parts that make up a whole number. We have moved onto addition of numbers 0-10, and the First Graders are having a blast collaborating with their math partners and participating on fun games to practice new math skills.


Religion: We began the year working on prayers and learning about all of God's creations. We also had the opportunity to meet with our Faith Partners and create a prayer book together on our "Faith Partner Fun Day".


Science/Social Studies: Throughout the year we will be switching between social studies and science each week. For our first unit of science, we learned about the parts of an apple and the stages of an apple's life cycle. In social studies we have learned about communities, schools, and family customs.


Stay tuned for more updates about the happenings in Room 123. Looking forward to a great year!


Ms. Faucher