• First Grade Notes and News - Feburary

    Posted by Kevin Oliver on 2/1/2017

    Febraury 1, 2017

    Dear Parents,

    February has arrived and we are beginning a very busy month.  Although, February is the shortest month, it does have its share of special holidays and events.  Today, on this very first day of February, it seemed serendipitous that we celebrated our 100th day of school. It was such fun to see the many “100 Day" projects the children brought to share. Your children are now officially 100 days “smarter” and hopefully wiser, too! 

    Tomorrow, February 2 is Groundhog Day.  Be sure to have your children check the news and newspapers for Punxsutawney Phil's predictions.  Please have your child bring a newspaper clipping or printout of the predictions to school on Thursday for us to share. 

    This Friday, February 3, the children have a school holiday while the teachers attend the annual archdiocesan conference at St. Cecelia’s in San Francisco.  Teachers choose classes that enable them to pursue specific topics of interest and gain knowledge about specific teaching strategies. 

    We will be celebrating the Chinese New Year with a luncheon on Tuesday, February 7.

    On this day, we will be preparing our own won-tons to be made into soup.  There will also be other delectable Chinese foods prepared for our enjoyment as we take this opportunity to become enlightened about the customs and foods of China.

    Of particular note this week, will be the the visit by the accreditation committee to evaluate and affirm St. Charles School as a supportive Christ centered environment where children grow in faith, pursue academic excellence, and serve others.  On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, February 8th ,9th  and 10th the people on this committee will be making classroom observations, meeting with administration, teachers, staff, students, and parents to collect evidence in support of the self-study document they have received from us.  This gives our children a perfect opportunity to demonstrate their St. Charles pride to these visitors in our community. 

    On Tuesday, February 14, we will be celebrating St. Valentine's Day with an exchange of cards.  Your child should bring a card for each child in class.  Please have your child write the card recipients' names on the envelope and be sure their own name is written on the card.   Please do not include candy or prizes with the cards.  The school policy provides for only cards to be exchanged.  Thank you for your cooperation.

    In addition to the holidays above,  we will also be preparing for Lent, remembering the important role of our presidents as we observe Presidents' Day, learning about the role black Americans have played in our history since this is also Black History Month, and lest we forget, it is also American Heart Month and Dental Health Month.  There are certainly more than enough holidays and observances to supply a multitude of activities.

    On another topic, thank you for th  kind sentiments expressed in the book made by your children for me for Teacher Appreciation Day.  They were all quite special and I will certainly enjoy a trip to the movies with the accompanying gift of Reese’s pieces and Dots.

    Wishing you all a great Super Bowl weekend. 


    Mr. Oliver

    P.S.  And 1 last thing; be sure to look for progress reports on Wednesday, February 15!                                                        


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  • 100th Day of School

    Posted by Kevin Oliver on 1/26/2017

    January 26, 2017 

    Dear Parents,

    The year is truly flying by and we are now approaching the 100th day of school. We  will be commemorating the day on Wednesday, February 1, 2017. The children are always excited to know that they have been attending school for 100 days  and to help them conceptualize the actual size of the number, we would like each child to bring in 100 objects or to create something that shows 100.

     Examples might include:

    *a baggie with 100 M&M's, Cheerios, Pennies, etc.
    *a piece of cardboard with 100 items glued to the board (the 100 items can even be in    the shape of the number 100)
    *a list of 100 different things (animals, countries, etc.)
    *a piece of clothing with 100 things attached
    *objects grouped into 10 groups of 10 

    Your child should bring his or her 100 items or project  to school on Wednesday.  We will take time to share each person's representation of 100 at that time.  This is a wonderful assignment in which your child's imagination can "run wild"!  It is always great fun to see what they each bring to school.

    Cheers and Happy 100th Day,

     Mr. Oliver 


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  • First Grade Notes and News - Homework

    Posted by Kevin Oliver on 10/14/2016

    October 14, 2016

    Dear Parents,

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the parents who have been so helpful over the last few weeks.  This week  has been an especially busy week.  We made the first clay project and we had our first field trip.  A special thank you goes to all of the parents who have helped with the clay and drove on the field trip.  It is only with your help that these activities can occur.

    Over the next few weeks, there are many special actives that will require your help.  This includes the Walk-a-Thon, the  Halloween Harvest Festival, and baking pies with dads.  Thank you in advance to all of you who have stepped forward to help.

    On another note, you will notice when going through the returned homework this week that a dictation component has been added to the spelling test. Please be sure to read the accompanying letter in the Friday Envelope that explains this new aspect in spelling.  

    As part of this week’s homework, you will find a copy of the Lord’s Prayer.  An oral exam will be administered next Friday, October 21, 2016, to be sure your child is able to recite this prayer.  Most children already can recite this prayer as a group.  The trick, however, is to be able to recite it as an individual.  At the same, I will also be checking to see that each child correctly makes the Sign of the Cross.   

    Included in the reading part of the homework packet, you will find several pages that can be cut and made into small reading booklets.  Please help your child put these booklets together and then practice reading them together.  Your child may bring the booklets to school to read to me and receive a sticker for their extra effort.

    And, as we rapidly approach November, I am pleased to note the class is beginning to fall into the routine of 1st grade.  I always consider Halloween to be the “turning point” at which time, the children truly become 1st graders and Kindergarten is just a distant memory.  I want to thank you for your support in appropriately disciplining your child when those less than satisfactory conduct grades come home on Friday.  I am finding that many children are successfully making the changes they need to  achieve success.   When children work together and are attentive to what is being taught learning can truly take place.

    I look forward to meeting with each of you at conferences in just a few short weeks.

    Until then, wishing you all a happy fall.


    Mr. Oliver

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  • First Grade Notes and News - Welcome to First Grade!

    Posted by Kevin Oliver on 8/26/2016

    August 25, 2016

    Dear Parents,

    I want to take this opportunity to welcome you and your child to first grade.  After a restful summer vacation, I hope you are as excited to begin the 2016-2017 school year as I am.  As many of you are already aware, preparations are being put in place for some wonderful changes that will take place on our campus over the next few months.   We are looking forward to the new learning lab that will provide a space to enhance opportunities for student learning at all grade levels.

    This is also an opportune time to welcome back my 1st grade assistants.   With me since 1986, Mrs. Theresa McNamara graciously volunteers her time as assistant reading teacher.  She will be on campus most Fridays, and will come in additional times when more help is needed.  Mrs. Janice Armanino and Mrs. Marianne Perata share aide times with me and one of them can be found in the classroom everyday.  I am blessed to have them as both my colleagues and friends and the children are blessed to have such dedicated and caring people working with them.

    As we begin the school year, you will find that 1st grade will present many new challenges for your son or daughter.  With our encouragement, it is my hope that your child views these challenges with excitement as he or she begins this most important year in the educational process.  First grade is the foundation upon which all future grades will be built and it is important that it be a happy and fulfilling year in your child's life.

    You can help your child transition to a new grade by making sure his or her bedtime allows for a full night's sleep before each school day.  At this age, an 8:00 P.M. bedtime seems most appropriate.  A child who lacks sleep is more apprehensive and less able to focus on the task at hand in the classroom.  A good breakfast is also necessary to fuel the "engines" before taking on the day.  Also, be sure to provide your child with a hearty snack for our morning recess.   This will help keep energy levels on an even keel.

    I am happy to note that everyone appears to be making the adjustment to a new grade quite well.  As we move into the new year, each day will present new opportunities and possibilities and learning the "lay of the land" can be quite demanding on your child's emotional energy.  If he or she seems extra tired after school, a nap may be order.  As parents, take time to remember the anxiety associated with starting a new career or move.  Your child may be experiencing similar angst as we make this transition.  Please know that this is quite normal and that maintaining a regular routine both in and out of school will help us all ease through this "getting acquainted" time.

    On another note, I will look forward to seeing each of you either on or before Back-to- School Night next Wednesday, August 31.  It was great to see so many parents in the classroom Tuesday morning, but I do need the opportunity to see you in less crowded situations so that I am able to connect a parent face to each child.  Please feel free to drop in for a few minutes after school to say hello and help relieve my angst!  I am available for impromptu meetings each day except Monday.  You may schedule longer appointments via e-mail or phone.

    Please note that I check e-mails before school and after school.  Due to my 28 charges, I often don't have the opportunity to check for e-mails during the course of the day.  If there is something urgent you must share such as sending your child to after school care, please phone the school office.  It is also important for you to notify me in written form about any health issues your child may have.  

    Again, welcome to 1st Grade and cheers to the new school year! 

    Sincerely yours,

    Mr. Kevin Oliver


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