Hello and welcome to first and second grade at PHCS! My name is Danielle Navé. I have been working here at the school for two years as a teacher to this fantastic set of grades and have been in education for over a decade previously. What I love about teaching this age group is their desire and drive to explore. I love shepherding and guiding this age group as they experience life moments such as building friendships, coming to know more about themselves, building confidence apart from home life, moving though challenging learning moments, using their strengths to help others, learning how to sit in a chair, how to take turns with others, how to release the need to be perfect, how to know what their best is, how to walk through hurt or angry feelings and ultimately learning who God says they are. They are loved! The goal of my classroom is to teach children how to enjoy the journey as learners, to find joy in their strengths, to have grace filled endurance when they are confused, to see them as they are uniquely designed by God, and to inspire them to see each other in that same way so that we create a loving, safe, stable, joy filled, self-controlled, patient, honest community.
We have daily explorations in to God’s word and study the stories of Jesus in the Bible while also doing character conversations where we learn about different types of character and then role play scenarios to practice wise and positive behavior. We praise God for giving us emotions, knowing that He has them as well. We praise God for showing us how to control those emotions and be wise with them.
In first grade your students’ eyes will be learning that the world they live in starts with who God has made them to be, living in the home they do, to the city they live in, to the state, country, to the hemisphere, the planet and then the galaxy! They will learn how to write every letter of our alphabet through formal instruction with cute stories to help them remember how each letter is formed. They will then use that knowledge to write journal entries about our observations across many areas of study. They begin how to read. First, by blending phoneme sounds into blends and then to short one syllable words, then longer two syllable words and finally they begin to read stories through a hands on program called All About Reading. We will read the Bible, fables, poems, folklore, comics, fantasy and so much more. I will introduce your emerging readers to stories that span special seasons, animals, character topics, etc. In math they will learn how to add and subtract numbers, visualize math quantities, subitize, compare values, time, money, and so much more through a number of tools like an abacus, base 10 blocks, 100s charts, number bonds, story problems, games, math balances, etc. through a hands on program called Right Start Mathematics.The main way we apply our math skills is through a variety of games that your child will learn and play each night to keep their skills sharp.
In second grade they flex their developed first grade muscles and bulk up! They add a myriad of high frequency words to their recognition, add a plethora of vocabulary words into their internal dictionaries and they learn how to alphabetize words by the first three to four letters and they enter into a new world of chapter books and dictionary usage. They engage in three genres of books beyond the books we read in reading groups or in read aloud time in class to introduce and guide them into the wide world of information. They will be reading more than they ever had before which requires them to build their stamina in increments. As writers, they are moving away from sounding out words phonemically and writing them that way to spelling with accuracy utilizing dictionaries to check their work. In math they move from adding and subtracting, to fractions, multiplication, division, geometry, money, telling time to the quarter hour while utilizing tools like an abacus, base 10 blocks, 100s charts, expanded form, games, rulers, math balances, geoboards, counting chips, etc. through a hands on program called Right Start Mathematics. The main way we apply our math skills is through a variety of games that your child will learn and play each night to keep their skills sharp just as we do in first grade. We will play a variety of games that will focus on basic math facts to make sure they have a strong foundation before heading into third grade.
History and science come alive through in class experiments, salt dough relief maps, living history days, STEM projects, lap books, mobiles, virtual field trips, field trips and guests visiting the classroom to talk about the community jobs they hold, model building, music and chants such as the water cycle chant, state sound off, pilgrim play, presidents of America chant, etc. The children always love having their parent, grandparent of good family friend to come and share about their jobs.
Danielle taught at Little One’s Preschool for one year in the three year old classroom. She also taught third grade at Harvest Christian School for one year and was a teacher’s aide at the same school four years previously. She joined the PHCS team in 2020 as a student teacher of Grand Canyon University to complete her studies to receive her BS in Elementary Education and is currently completing her induction process to finalize her teaching credential. At PHCS she also was the school teacher’s aide, yard duty and PE teacher.
She was born and raised in Sonoma County and is currently learning about the new community that is beautiful Sebastopol.
She has always had a heart for children and remembers the many times during elementary school and beyond, helping various teachers in their classrooms. She taught grade schoolers Sunday school class at church for 10 years and AWANA Sparks group for 3-4th graders for one cycle. After getting on-the-job training with her first mentor, a kindergarten teacher, she started the process of earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis on Science from Grand Canyon University in Arizona via a distance learning, while working during the day. She took a break from education during that time to take care of her grandparents in their final days and also do some work in retail.
Learning was difficult for Danielle for most of her life. When she was in high school her biology teacher made the discovery that she had a visual processing disorder. Danielle wishes that she would have received help and tools earlier in her life as a learner so that her capacity to learn could have been realized and developed when she was young. This experience is why she teaches the whole child in her classroom, carefully walking through lessons, checking for understanding and meeting each child’s learning needs. She loves making learning come alive for her students and seeks to engage each child throughout the entire day. Danielle spends time enjoying the outdoors, creating art, fine tuning her teaching skills, learning more about her students, reading, watching inspiring movies and sitting on her hammock.
Her favorite verse is in Psalm 46:10a “Be still, and know that I am God.” While the world tells us to race around from one event, party, coffee date to another, this verse encourages her to stop, slow down and know the God who holds this world, her heart and all things in His hands.