Mrs. Diane Greif

St. Catherine Laboure School excels in education for all classrooms. In all areas of the curriculum, students are encouraged to express themselves, ask questions, be creative, engage in critical thinking, and participate in a variety of learning experiences. First grade provides an exciting curriculum that consists of the following:


First graders are taught prayers, songs, and important regligous concepts in order to acheive high moral values. Students are encouraged to be kind to others and care for all of humanity. Students enjoy learning about the life of Jesus and about how to be respectful during mass.

By the end of first grade students will:

  • understand that we receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism
  • recognize that the Bible is the written Word of God
  • understand Catholics are part of the world community
  • know attending Mass is an important part of our Catholic identity
  • identify the three parts of the Holy Trinity
  • recognize we can please or displease God through our behavior


The math program at St. Catherine Laboure uses the Go Math! program from Houghton Mifflin. Students practice important math concepts using manipulatives and worksheets, and learn using white boards, iPads and a school textbook. Students are always learning in different ways and enjoy the multiple options for their learning.

By the end of first grade students will be able to:

  • use a variety of strategies to add and subtract within 20
  • understand the relationships between addition and subtraction
  • count and use models to represent numbers to 120
  • compare, add and subtract two-digit numbers using symbols or models
  • order objects by length
  • tell times and write times
  • compare, make and analyze different types of graphs and charts
  • identify, describe and compose two and three-dimensional shapes


First graders are exposed to a rich content of literary works. First grade students engage in a variety of activities that help them develop their oral language, reading and listening skills. These skills help them to begin to read and write.  Each student’s reading level is determined through Fountas & Pinnell’s Benchmark Assessment.  Our Reading curriculum includes: Listening to theme based stores, identifying, learning and practicing reading skills, creating a variety of individual and classroom books, and concentrating on word families. First graders enjoy their classroom libraries throughout the year.

By the end of first grade students will be able to:

  • recognize an author’s purpose
  • know the difference between cause and effect
  • be able to compare and contrast different elements of a story
  • make reasonable conclusions about what they have read
  • understand the difference between fact and opinion
  • be able to differentiate the main idea and details in a story
  • be able to put a story in sequential order
  • be able to tell the plot of a story
  • use graphic features of a story to help better understand the story
  • recognize the theme of a story
  • provide evidence through the text and pictures that they understand story characters
  • identify the setting
  • think deeply about what they read


First grade students engage in a basic Phonics program that develops and strengthens letter recognition and sounds.  Phonics is the foundation for becoming a good reader by using a set of decoding rules.

By the end of first grade students should know:

  • short vowel sounds
  • long vowel sound
  • blend
  • diagraphs
  • suffixes
  • prefixes
  • r controlled vowels


Writing is an important and critical part of the first grade curriculum.  Grades kindergarten through third grade use “Writing Pathways”, a writing program designed by Lucy Calkins.

By the end of first grade students will be able to:

  • stay on topic with their writing
  • develop complete ideas
  • have a beginning, middle and end of a story
  • use capitalization and punctuation
  • include vivid verbs, strong adjectives, and specific nouns
  • write independently with confidence

Social Studies:

The First grade Social Studies program explores the basic principles of citizenship and communities. They learn about America’s past and presidents. Activities are integrated with language and reading skills. Further emphasis is placed on our countries celebrations and Famous Americans.


The Science curriculum consists of three main areas: Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science. Life Science consists of plants, animals, and how plants and animals work together. Earth Science consists of soil, rocks, landforms, bodies of water and caring for our Earth by recycling and reusing resources. Lastly, Physical Science consists of exploring the different states of matter as solid, liquid, and gas. Motion is also explored by identifying how things move.


In addition to the above curriculum, first grades attend:

  • gym twice a week for 45 minutes
  • music twice a week for 30 minutes
  • computer twice a week for 30 minutes
  • art once a week for 40 minutes
  • Spanish once a week for 30 minutes
  • recess daily for 20 minutes (outdoor weather permitting or in the gym)