Welcome to First Grade

First Grade Philosophy of Education

Education must be a hands-on learning experience that involves all of the multiple intelligences. There are many ways to transmit information to students and a good teacher is willing to adjust and modify their style based on the needs of their students. Standard Four 1.1 of the California Standards for the Teaching Profession addresses the topic of drawing on and valuing students’ background, interests, and developmental learning needs. I chose this Standard to focus on because in the First Grade classroom at Holy Family, I believe it is crucial in furthering my students’ development, and educational skills. In order to accomplish this goal in my classroom, it is imperative to teach to the different learning styles, and use real-life examples that are relatable to the age group I am teaching. Students learn and respond to material in various ways, some favoring visuals, music, the spoken word, bodily kinesthetics, and or logic. As a teacher, I make any effort to find different methods to assure the information and curriculum is being instilled and processed by the students. I utilize the teaching tools that I have acquired over the years, and positively interact with and inspire the children in my classroom.

First Grade Curriculum

Reading: Houghton Mifflin/ Harcourt –First Grade Reading

Develop strong readers with rich, authentic literature and content-area reading, student writing models, genre studies, and comprehensive test preparation.

Phonics: Pearson Modern Curriculum Press Phonics

Modern Curriculum Press “Plaid” Phonics celebrates over 50 years of successfully helping more than 55 million children learn to read. It’s proven scope and sequence, along with the abundance of practice, review, and application of skills, ensures comprehensive coverage and supports best practices in phonics instruction. MCP “Plaid” Phonics Level A helps students become fluent readers. Activities help students develop spelling (encoding), recognize words in context, and use phonics in word-building and personal writing. It provides a direct model for integrating phonics and reading through reading activities.

 Consonants

 Short Vowels

 Long Vowels

 Consonant Blends, Y as a Vowel

 Endings, Digraphs, Contractions

Handwriting-Zaner-Bloser Handwriting

 Getting Started: Writing positions, Basic Strokes

 Writing Numerals

 Writing Letter and Words

 Using what they have learned to write: Number words, Days of the Week, Months of the Year, a friendly letter, etc.

Small Reading Groups- Children will be pulled out in small groups during learning centers for additional small group reading practice once a week. We will be using supplemental First Grade Level Readers during this time. In addition, the children will be pulled out at different times of the week for Small Group Reading, and Phonics Instruction during Creative Writing time.

Mathematics– California Harcourt School Publishers

 Number Sense and Operations

 Addition and Subtraction Facts to 12

 Graphs and Numbers to 100

 Operations, Money and Time

 Geometry and Patterns

 Measurement and Operations

Religion-Be My Disciples

 We Believe-The Bible, God Loves Us, The Church,

 We Worship-We Follow Jesus, Signs of God’s Love, The Church Celebrates Jesus, We are Peacemakers, We Go to Mass

 We Live-The First Christians, We Love Others, We Live as a Community, Jesus and the Children, We are Children of God, Jesus Teaches about Love, The Our Father

Science- Houghton Mifflin Science-Discovery Works

 Kinds of Living Things-Theme: Systems

 Weather and Seasons-Theme: Constancy and Change

 Solids, Liquids, and Gases

 Keeping Fit and Healthy

Social Studies-Houghton Mifflin- History Social Science-School and Family

 People Everywhere-Family, Community, Leaders

 Where We Live-Our Earth, Our Land, Our Water, Weather and Seasons, City, Town, Suburb, Our Country, Our Country’s Neighbors

 World of Work-Needs and Wants, Goods and Services, All Kinds of Jobs, Getting Food to the Market.

 Everything Changes-Learning About the Past, The First Americans, Family Life, Going to School Long Ago, Moving People and Things

 Good Citizens- People Need Laws, Government and Leaders, Citizens, Heroes in Our Country, Symbols in our Country

Maestra Aceves

Middle School1Y01070 Spanish Teacher

Prior to becoming an educator I worked in banking and telecommunications for over 10 years. After my second son was born I decided to make a career change and pursue my passion for education. As a native Spanish speaker, I used my Spanish language skills routinely with my international business clients. Combining business background, my natural first language, and passion for education, I developed a custom Spanish language immersion program for all ages, Alegria Learning.  While working with Alegria Learning clients I also began assisting the Spanish program at Holy Family School in 2012. In 2014, I was hired as HFS’s middle school Spanish teacher.  

A strong focus of my teaching approach is to incorporate technology and other innovative methods to keep students engaged in their language learning experience. Emphasis is placed in improving the student’s level of proficiency in the target language.

In addition to the language itself, students are taught about culture associated with the Spanish language. During the year students learn about fun and interesting cultural traditions and events, such as Día de los Muertos, Hispanic Heritage Month, Los barriletes de Guatemala, Los Gauchos of Argentina, Inti Raymi Festival from Perú, and the list goes on!

I feel that my journey as an educator over the past six years has been a true blessing.


Holy Family School Library is open on Mondays from 8am – 3pm and TuesdayFriday from 10am – 3pm. The children are welcome to come during lunch recesses to take Accelerated Reader tests, study, read, check in/return books, or do homework. Many times there are digital resources available in the library that coincide with books or topics we discuss during class time that the children can use during their lunch break.

Children may check out up to four books each week. If they choose to have the books longer than one week they will need to bring them back for renewal. Fines are not charged for overdue books, but rather a reward is given in the form of stickers and bookmarks for remembering to return books. New books cannot be checked out until all previous books are returned. Testing for Accelerated Reader is also dependent upon all library books being returned or renewed.

It is tremendously exciting to see such avid readers here at Holy Family. Obviously they have been instilled with a love of reading at home and it truly shows in their enthusiasm.

Reading is our passport to ADVENTURE!

Renaissance Place/Accelerated Reader

AR Bookfinder is such a convenient tool! Click on this link for a list of ALL the Accelerated Reader tests that are available. You can search by book title, author, reading level or points.

You and your child can access so much more through Renaissance Home Connect. Home Connect  improves the school-to-home connection by allowing parents and students to log in and view the student’s reading and math practice, as well as progress towards goals. Parents can also specify up to six email addresses to receive automatic updates on their student’s math and reading progress.

If you are interested in Home Connect, contact Ms. Ericka Giordono to get started.

Volunteer Opportunities

There is plenty of opportunity to gain service hours in the library! It is a great time to not only earn your service hours, but to spend time with your child and their classmates. During your time, you will help check books in/out, maybe read a story to the class, or shelve or repair books.

The Holy Family annual Book Fair is held in the library during Catholic Schools Week in January. Volunteers are needed to help set up (Friday before Catholic Schools Week), work after masses on the Sunday of the Fair, and at ThursdayNight’s Open House.

Please contact Ms. Giordono to set up your volunteer time.


Our Mission Statement

The mission of Holy Family School is to instill Christian values and Catholic principles in students through the Gospel message of Jesus. We foster and nurture the development of the whole child and strive to achieve educational excellence. We are guided in faith and principle by our Schoolwide Learning Expectations, and we work toward enabling our students to grow and be successful in attaining them.

Our Philosophy

Holy Family students are nourished by liturgical and sacramental life in the environment of a faith community, where service, respect and concern for others are demonstrated.

In striving for academic excellence, we at Holy Family School take individual needs into account. Our students are encouraged to be self-directed. In addition, good citizenship, physical well-being, Catholic doctrine and tradition are integrated into the curriculum.

Mindful that parents are the prime educators, we at Holy Family School support and encourage parental responsibility in helping students to become involved Christians. Our purpose is to develop the Catholic faith in the present generation of children, and through them, to touch future generations. The development of the whole child is the essence of our teaching mission at Holy Family School.

Integrating a love of learning with Catholic beliefs and values that are centered in the Spirit, our students are instilled with a vision of hope.