First Grade Team

Christine Tschida
1A Teacher
“I strive to build a strong foundation for learning by supporting each child intellectually, spiritually, and morally.”
Michelle Malhas, MA
1B Teacher
“I believe integrating academic and social-emotional skills creates an environment where students feel valued and can do their best learning.”
Betsy Braymer, M.A
1C Teacher
"My mission is to inspire in children a joy for learning and build confidence in their limitless ability by cultivating a loving, positive classroom environment."

First graders take the first steps into an academic world designed to meet the individual needs of each child. In reading, students engage in fully differentiated activities to strengthen the emerging reading skills developed in kindergarten. The course of study focuses on developing fully independent readers. Students practice phonics and comprehension skills essential to all good readers. All students work in small groups to receive instruction on the reading level that best challenges the child.

In addition to the reading component, the first grade Language Arts curriculum includes a Writer’s Workshop program designed to foster independent writers. Students become familiar with rules of grammar and syntax as they develop their skills writing journals, paragraphs, thank you notes, poems, and stories among other formats. In addition to the Writer’s Workshop, students participate in Word Study as the spelling program. Word Study uses a multi-sensory approach to phonetic rules and structural principles of spelling.

Religion covers the Liturgy and the Sacraments along with Christian Prayer and the Commandments. Students also gain a deeper appreciation of the role of Mary, the Mother of God, as well as an understanding of Angels and the Trinity.

Math continues the basic skills concepts introduced in kindergarten. Students apply strategies to solve real world problems. First graders become more proficient in counting, sorting, and comparing objects; recognizing patterns, identifying 2 and 3-dimensional shapes; measuring and fractions. Additional emphasis is placed on addition and subtraction of one and two digit numbers, no regrouping.

The first grade science curriculum gives students the opportunity to discover the characteristics of living and non-living objects. Students will study plants and animals and participate in science fair activities that deepen student understanding of the needs and adaptations of living things. Included in the curriculum are topics such as the human body and its systems, earth science, including the rotation of the earth and movement of objects in space. Students participate in hands-on lab activities to reinforce all concepts.

In Social Studies, students explore neighborhoods and communities, examine the traits of good citizenship, and develop an awareness of and respect for cultural diversity. Famous Americans are introduced and students recognize the importance of contributing to the greater good of the nation and make connections to the importance of contributing to the neighborhood and school community.


Students have the option to bring a packed lunch to school or to order lunch through the STS Cafeteria.  Fourth graders also have the opportunity to enjoy a packed snack in their classrooms during the day. On the Nurse’s Office page, there is a list of the allergies in your student’s classroom that may require special attention to food brought during snacktime.


A weekly folder with important information is sent home on Fridays to be signed by parents and returned.  Students also receive a planner to help them organize upcoming events and assignments.  The best way to reach Mrs. Tschida, Mrs. Malhas and Mr. Scoffone is through email, by phone, or through a scheduled conference.  Classrooom news and announcements are posted on their teacher pages.

Methods of school-wide communication include Friday Update emails, Teacher Page updates, and our Principal’s Tuesday Tidbit emails.  Emergency and last minute announcements may occur via our school messaging system which allows school-wide announcements from the principal via email and phone call. Please ensure that your contacts are up to date to receive these notifications!