First Grade

Ms. Rottler's First Grade Classroom

“Blessed are the merciful!”

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Welcome to the 2016-2017

Year at

Saint Joan of Arc School!


Contact info:  Ms. Suzanne Rottler, s.rottler@stjoansk-8

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Monday: PE         Tuesday: Library/Media & Computers           Wednesday: Spanish

Thursday: Art           Friday: Music




ILA/READING STREET SERIES  scroll down until you see the red heading labeled Parent Pages and click on the first grade section (if you have children in other grades up to 6th, there are resources for them, too!).  Click there and that will take you to yellow and black plaid page with all that you could need for our reading stories, spelling and high frequency words, etc.  CLICK ON FREIDA LEWIS for SPELLING CITY, too!  Just scroll down and you will see a tab.

SPELLING:  Play fun online interactive games like Hang Mouse, Read-a-Word, Word Unscramble, etc. and take practice quizzes on our Reading Street words

PHONICS:  A free website to teach children to read with phonics. For preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. Exciting phonics games and online interactive books.

RELIGION:  We Believe, School Edition – review games, learn about saints, this week’s liturgy, etc.

MATH:                                                                                                                                   Games to practice addition and subtraction…                                                          

Skip counting videos…                                                          

Telling Time Games…                      game-grade-1-game.html

More websites to come in the days ahead…





Live Bald Eagle Cam – Florida:

Live Bald Eagle Cam – Washington DC:





Mr. Nussbaum’s Pretzel War:



LIVE WILD ANIMAL CAM: We have been enjoying many of the featured animals in their natural habitats!






WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14  God bless our 1A family!  Thank you for your love and support this year.  I am blessed to have had the opportunity to work with your children and to share in their learning experience.  If you haven’t seen it yet, I sent home a special letter the other day in your child’s green folders.  Please take a peek for it! 

Thank you for your generous end of the year gifts!  Your thoughtfulness is so appreciated. If you happened to have given me a tall black bag with tiny yellow polka dots, could you send me an email?  I want to be sure to send a thank you note to the right family!

God bless and I hope to see you over the summer.  Stay safe and see you in September!

With love and prayers,

Ms. R.

TUESDAY, JUNE 13  Good afternoon!  We just finished our last full day of first grade and had a great time!  Your child’s backpack is full of more items – the only thing that should come back tomorrow in it is their Green Folder for any last minute mailings home.

Have a great night and I hope to be able to see many of you at our final school liturgy of the 2016-2017 school year tomorrow at 9 am.  Dismissal is at 11.  Please be sure to send notes for any changes of transportation!

God bless!

MONDAY, JUNE 12  Happy last week of first grade!  🙂 / 🙁  We had a great day at the Talent Show and signing yearbooks with prayer partners and friends on the first floor. The only thing in your child’s backpack that needs to come back to school tomorrow (and the next day) is their Green Folder. There’s a note in there for you! Also in their backpacks are large portfolios full of work from this year.  Enjoy checking out their progress!

As hot as it is outside, the gym is nice and air conditioned chilly, so your kids may want their SJA sweatshirt to wear while we are in there for retreat tomorrow. Have a great night!

God bless!

FRIDAY, JUNE 9  Our last Friday together in 1A…last Funny Friday, last Friday Dance during calendar time…I’m going to miss your children!  Ask them about the great workshop we had this afternoon on being “Watershed Rangers” and protecting our land and waterways from pollution and chemicals.  

The only backpack items that need to come back on Monday are the Green and Yellow folders.  Please be sure to sign off on all tests and return them on Monday.

The kids have asked to be able to exchange phone numbers with each other before summer vacation.  If your child doesn’t know his/her home phone number, please send it on Monday if you are comfortable with them exchanging numbers.

Have a wonderful weekend!

THURSDAY, JUNE 8  Our countdown is truly on!  Just 3 full days and 1 very short day left of first grade…where did our year go?!  Your kids are busy working on a memory book and today they saw printing samples from the first week of school.  You should have seen them comparing with each other – so sweet!

There are a few children who owe Miss Gliick some unfinished Health work that she will be collecting tomorrow. It will be on the “Return to School” side of their folders.

Have a blessed night and don’t forget – the kids can wear any SJA t-shirt with their gym shorts for the remainder of the year. 🙂

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7  Good afternoon and congratulations to our 8th graders (and their families) who took their final dismissal walk down our hallways today!  We had some very sad first graders who love their safety and big kid helpers so please remind them that our graduates always come back and visit!  God bless our graduates!!!

No homework for the remainder of the year!  We are wrapping things up and started sending home desk items today.  Thanks to the moms who came in today or did prep work to help with a Father’s Day craft!  It’s much appreciated.

Have a good night!

TUESDAY, JUNE 6  Hello 1A families!  We spent a good part of today assembling and presenting our Doctor Dolittle Science/ILA posters.  I’m so proud of your children and the work that they did!  We learned so many interesting facts today!

We are have some Room Moms coming in tomorrow to help with a Father’s Day craft and they are supplying soft pretzels for Brain Break.  If your child likes pretzels (and I’m not sure there are any who don’t!) no need to pack a morning snack.

TONIGHT’S HOMEWORK only applies to children who need to make up assessments. Those re-testing on time telling and those missing ILA tests will be doing them tomorrow, so be sure to review tonight.

Have a blessed night!

MONDAY, JUNE 5  Welcome to our last full week of school!  Agh!  I can’t believe it!


MATH:  Tomorrow is our counting coins test.  Please do problems 1 & 2 on page 408 and review the chapter tonight.  Also, reviewing the problems on the worksheet in the Green Folder would be a good idea, as well. This will be our last assessment of the year, except for kids who will be retesting on anything that they need to try again on.

Have a great night!

FRIDAY, JUNE 2  Happy Friday!  The class really enjoyed our Pizza Party lunch out under the picnic tents!  Hope to see many of you at this weekend’s PARISH PICNIC!  It’s a great chance to meet other families and enjoy a great (and FREE) lunch. It’s immediately following the noon mass on Sunday.

Looking ahead to next week, we will have our counting coins test on Tuesday and children who have been practicing telling time to the half hour will also be retested next week.  We are finished with ILA spelling and reading tests and will be finishing up with our Doctor Dolittle, some science and religion work next week.

Have a great weekend and see you on Sunday!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 31  We had such a great FUN DAY today!  Ask your children about Mad Science, the magician, relay races, and BINGO!  I am taking a personal day tomorrow, so Mrs. Sheerin will be in with the class.  This Friday we will celebrate Lauren Diorio Day!  Kids can dress down in ORANGE clothes.  We will attend 9 am Mass, plant a memorial bush and have some other special events during the day.

Our class pizza party is also on Friday, outside under the big Parish Picnic tent!  The kids will each receive a slice of pizza, a drink, and a snack.  If your child does not want to have pizza, please be sure to send an alternate lunch from home.  We will not be going to the cafeteria.


ILA:  Spelling and reading assessments tomorrow on Simple Machines.

MATH:  There is a two-sided counting coins practice sheet in your child’s green folder on the “Return to School” side.  This is due on Friday.  Please be sure that we have it by Friday.  The math counting coins test will be next Tuesday.

Have a great night and I’ll post again on Friday.  God bless!

TUESDAY, MAY 30  Oh my goodness…tomorrow is already the last day of May and then the countdown is REALLY on!  Tomorrow is our Fun Day for our great fundraising efforts with the Race for Education.  All children should wear gym shorts with any SJA t-shirt and be prepared to have a great time!


ILA – Fantastic job with the Dr. Dolittle worksheets.  We have started taking our information and transferring it to brightly colored paper for our posters.  We will be doing a bit each day for a while!  Tonight, please study spelling words (oi/oy) and re-read Simple Machines.  These tests will be on Thursday.

MATH – Text page 407.  Please try to provide your child real coins to practice with.  We are using plastic coins in class.  Test on counting coins will be on Friday.

Have a great night!

THURSDAY, MAY 25  Good afternoon – the Field Day countdown is on!  Don’t forget to have your child wear his/her Field Day t-shirt or a gold gym shirt.  Looking forward to seeing many of you tomorrow!  We placed a Mary statue facing out the window and are praying for drier weather!  Tomorrow is a half-day so aftercare students will need a packed lunch!

Test folders came home today.  A number of children haven’t yet mastered telling time to the half hour, so if your child’s test is noted as “can retest,” please practice with your child and I will retest them next week.  The biggest challenge is for them to remember that with half hours, the “little hand” or hour hand is between the two numbers, not on the number, for the hour.  They were permitted to draw a dotted line for them to line up the hands on the test, but many who struggled did not use that strategy…I really recommend it!  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

The only homework is to continue work on the Doctor Dolittle worksheet.  Please remember that the due date is Tuesday and this is a graded assignment.

1A won the Race for Education Pizza Party for the lower grades, so we will have a special treat on June 2!  Thanks for your support!!!

God bless and have a good night!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 24  Hello 1A families!  Our “fossils” are finally dry – your kiddos are so excited to show them off to you!  Tomorrow is the Feast of the Ascension – hope you can join us at 9 am Mass.  


RELIGION:  Just a couple of kids need to complete a coloring page and return it tomorrow.

MATH:  In your child’s green folder – please be sure your child has completed the ripped out text book page 403/404 from class today and return tomorrow. HW:  pg. 96. Practice coin counting with quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies – use the real thing or games!  (see yesterday’s post)

ILA/SCIENCE:  Continue work on Doctor Dolittle worksheet – due next Tuesday.

Have a great night! 🙂

TUESDAY, MAY 23  Good afternoon!  Here are two new coin counting games for your kids to try at home:


ILA/SCIENCE:  Work on Doctor Dolittle worksheet a bit each day – due next Tuesday!

MATH:  Counting coins – HW pg. 95

Have a great night!

MONDAY, MAY 22  Thanks so very much to those of you who came out to cheer us on this morning!  We had a great time even though we had to race indoors, and I know we raised a lot of money for SJA!  Your support of this fun event means so much!  Race for Education prizes were sent home today, as well as Field Day t-shirts for Friday!  Orange mailers continue to arrive at SJA daily – thanks to you and your generous donors!


ILA/SCIENCE:  In your child’s green folder is information about our Doctor Dolittle poster project.  We will read our last chapter tomorrow and are set to learn about the animals mentioned in the novel.  Today, each child had the chance to pick from among the more than 75 animals mentioned.  That animal is noted on your child’s worksheet.  Feel free to remove the half-sheet of directions.  Your child will return the completed worksheet no later than next Tuesday, May 30.  Your child may need assistance with the research, but please remember it is his/her project and all writing should be done by your child.  After looking over the information, if you have any questions, please feel free to just ask!

RELIGION:  Please have your child print his/her Baptism date in the homework copybook. If your child has not been baptized in the Catholic Church but has had another type of christening or dedication ceremony, please feel free to use that date!  Feel free to disregard the assignment if it doesn’t apply to your child.

MATH:  Counting coins – HW pg. 94.  Be sure to always have your child begin counting the coins with the highest value coin first and working his/her way down.

Have a great night!

THURSDAY, MAY 18  Happy long weekend!  (I’m a little jealous!)  Our “fossils” still aren’t quite firm enough to send home, but hopefully by Monday they will be ready to go.  Hope everyone has a great weekend and that some 1A moms will win tonight at Handbag Bingo! Don’t forget, Monday is Race for Education day!  Pray for sunny, cool weather!

God bless!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 17  Good afternoon!  Tomorrow is our brown bag/WaWa lunch. Please be sure that your child knows if he/she is getting a hoagie or not – it’s sometimes a stress for kids who don’t know (or just need a reminder).  Thanks!


ILA:  Spelling test tomorrow -ly and -ful words plus because and across.  Reading test on Henry and Mudge.

Here’s some info on the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival that’s going on right now. We looked at some incredible photos and related it to our reader story The Lady in the Moon, which is about a Chinese festival.

Have a great night!

TUESDAY, MAY 16  Hello 1A Families.  Just a reminder that this Thursday is a brown bag lunch or previously ordered WaWa hoagie day.  School is closed this Friday for a teacher in-service day.


ILA:  Practice spelling words and Re-read Henry and Mudge for Thursday’s assessments.

MATH:  HW pg. 93.  Please practice counting coins at home and practice counting by 5s, 10s, 25s, & 50s up to 100.

MONDAY, MAY 15  Good afternoon!  We made dinosaur and plant “fossils” last week and they are still firming up.  The class is anxious to bring them home, but we just have to be patient at this point!


ILA:  Review spelling words.  Test Thursday.  Do PB page 117.  Re-read Henry and Mudge – Test on Thursday.  Check out the “Blue Danube Waltz” video above – you should have seen the dancing in 1A today! 🙂

MATH:  Practice coin counting and counting by 5s, 10s, and 25s at home!!!

Have a great night!

FRIDAY, MAY 12  Happy Friday!  Happy Mother’s Day to all of the fantastic 1A moms! Your children love you so much and can’t wait to share a little surprise with you. 🙂

Looking ahead to next week:  In ILA, we are working on the story Henry and Mudge. We will test on the week 6 spelling words and the story next Thursday. Video links are posted above – some are retro Electric Company and School House Rock that you might remember! In math, we will be focusing on counting coins and drilling with addition and subtraction facts. Please be sure to always be practicing committing addition and subtraction facts to memory.  In religion, we are working on the Family Life book.  Just 23 school days left and not all of them are teaching days!  Our year just flew by!

Have a blessed weekend!

THURSDAY, MAY 11  Good afternoon!  Our Doctor Dolittle adventure is getting very exciting!  Ask your child if s/he has a new favorite animal from the story and have them tell you about the Barbary Dragon and Doctor Dolittle’s sinking ship!  Test folders are home tonight for review and signatures.


MATH:  Test tomorrow – Telling time to the hour and half hour.  Your child’s text has many pages with an “x” at the top – no need to do those pages now, but if you wish they can be done over the summer for fun.  PAGES/QUESTIONS TO BE COMPLETED TONIGHT FOR REVIEW: Page 383, #s 1 & 2; Page 385 – full page; (yes, I know it’s the test – I am using an alternate assessment tomorrow)  Page 386, #s 11-12.  We are not doing the calendar pages because we do calendar work every single day of the year and elapsed time is not part of our first grade curriculum.

Have a good night!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 10  Hello – PTA meeting at 7 pm tonight – so NO HOMEWORK! Looking forward to seeing you tonight.  Sr. Pat is hoping for a representative from each family.  It’s time for the end of the year slide show – you won’t want to miss it!!

We’re adding songs to our classroom May Crowning and went from the traditional Hail Holy Queen to the Sister Act version today and by popular demand, it’s posted above! Enjoy!

Have a great afternoon!

TUESDAY, MAY 9  Good afternoon!  What a beautiful day!  We are enjoying celebrating Mary this month with daily May crownings!  Thanks so much to those who have been able to send in some garden cuttings for our prayer table.  Tomorrow is our May liturgy and we will be learning about Our Lady of Fatima – hope to see you at 9 am Mass!

In your child’s green folder is the last Scholastic Book Order form of the year – all orders are due by 5/25 and will be received in time for summer reading.  Thanks for your support with orders – we have earned more than 70 brand new books for our classroom this year and some great math tools, too!


MATH:  HW pg. 85 – telling time to the half hour.  Please practice counting coins with your child and telling time to the hour and half hour, too.

Get out and enjoy the sunshine!

MONDAY, MAY 8  Today was school day 153 out of 180!!! The year has gone incredibly fast!  Our in-room schedule is changing up a little bit.  In order to cover more math concepts, we are having a morning and an afternoon session, covering different topics. We are continuing with telling time and we are also counting coins. We will not be fully covering or assessing each of the remaining reader stories but will touch on them and will review the spelling and phonics words that go along with them.  I will keep you up-to-date with how we are covering each story.


ILA:  Study for tomorrow’s spelling (long o, spelled oa & ow) test and the reading test on Mister Bones.

MATH:  HW pg. 84, telling time to the hour.  Time and coin videos are posted above!

Have a good night!

FRIDAY, MAY 5  Happy Cinco de Mayo!  We had the chance to read a cute picture book called Cinco de Mouso! and learned a bit about this Mexican festival that many US adults like to celebrate! (lol!) Please look above at the new video links in the science and math sections – fossils, dinosaurs, and telling time are featured.  

Looking ahead to next week, we will have our Mister Bones reading and spelling tests on Tuesday.  We will probably be ready for telling time to the hour and half hour test by Thursday.  We will also be working with counting coins next week, so practice with counting by 5s, 10s, 25s, and 50s to 100 will help a great deal with this skill!

Have a wonderful weekend and please say a prayer for our special second graders who receive First Holy Communion tomorrow! (It snowed on their day last year!!!)

God bless!

THURSDAY, MAY 4  Brown Envelopes are home today – please be sure they come back tomorrow – again, sorry for the delay!  Test folders came home today – please review with your child and sign off on each assessment.  They are always welcome to pull off the stickers and put them on their folders – I tell them this all the time. 🙂

ILA:  Pre-read Mister Bones.  This is a great biographical story about Barnum Brown, the man who discovered T-Rex!  See the video above.  PB pg. 87.  Review today’s Decodable Reader and continue reviewing spelling words.  Tests will be next Tuesday.

MATH:  We are beginning to work on telling time to the hour and half-hour.  Videos are posted above.

Enjoy the beautiful weather!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 3  Hello 1A Families!  * SORRY – I missed sending brown envelopes home – they will come home tomorrow for sure!!!*  Looks like we may have a couple of rainy days ahead of us – if you want to send in any games or small toys for possible indoor recesses, that would be great.


ILA:  Unit 4, Week 3 spelling words are long o words, spelled with an oa or an ow.  We won’t be testing on these until next Tuesday.  PB pg. 86 for tonight’s homework.

MATH:  Study for tomorrow’s place value test.  Highlighted vocabulary words have been circled and re-highlighted in your child’s book.  Please complete the Quick Check page 286 as a good review!

Have a good night!

TUESDAY, MAY 2  Good afternoon!  I think I’ve forgotten to mention that we have started our end-of-the-year chapter book The Story of Doctor Dolittle – an abridged version of the 1920 Hugh Lofting classic.  We read a chapter a day and are keeping track of every animal mentioned in the story – so far we already have 33 and we are getting ready to begin chapter 7.  At the end, each child will select an animal and will do a basic science research project on it.  The vocabulary in the story is fantastic and there’s humor and adventure all throughout the book.  Ask your child what his/her favorite part is so far!


MATH – HW pages 69 & 70.  Begin to review for Thursday’s test!  I would encourage reviewing basic addition and subtraction problems whenever time allows!  Use flash cards, play a game, print worksheets from online sites – whatever works for your family is fine – just keep practicing!

Have a great night!

MONDAY, MAY 1  Happy May!  We began our month of honoring Mary today with our first mini May Crowning.  If you have a garden at home and want to send in little bunches of flowers to put around our beautiful statue, that would be wonderful!


ILA – spelling and reading tests tomorrow on The Dot.  Be sure to practice writing COMPLETE sentences for the 2 open ended questions!

MATH:  Pages 67 & 68.  Place value to 100 test will most likely be on Thursday.  Be sure to practice counting by 5s and 10s!

FRIDAY, APRIL 28  Happy Friday!  Hope everyone has a beautiful weekend.  Looking ahead to next week, our reading and spelling tests will be on Tuesday and we will probably be ready for a place value math test by Thursday or Friday.  It’s hard to believe that we begin May on Monday – only 33 school days left!  In 1A in May, we honor Mary each day with a little May crowning ceremony that all the children will have a chance to take part in.  If you have a flower garden and want to send in some little bouquets that would be lovely!

Thanks so very much for all of the prayers for Lauren and the Diorio family.  Please keep them going, the family needs them now more than ever.  Lauren’s funeral was an absolutelybeautiful tribute to a beautiful soul.

God bless us all!

THURSDAY, APRIL 27  We had a wonderful time at the DisneyNature movie Born in China today and continued celebrating God’s creation of our world all afternoon, as well.  We checked in on our eaglets and decided to look at our planet Earth from a distance as we watched live footage from the International Space Station.  The kids saw an astronaut in action outside of the ISS and had lots of questions about life both in outer space and inside the ISS, so we watched a great documentary about that.  We concluded our Earth Day celebration with planting some corn for our school-wide service project of helping out some community gardens in Camden get their season started.  This was a wonderful opportunity to pray for our not-so-far-away neighbors who do not always have access to fresh vegetables the way we do.  We know we are blessed.

There is no homework tonight.  Readers are home in case the kids want to do some more reading of The Dot.  Just a reminder – the spelling and reading tests were postponed until next Tuesday.

Have a good night.