SchoolFamily Voices

Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Here’s What Makes a First Grader Thankful

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In preparation for Thanksgiving, my 1st grade class had a discussion about what we’re thankful for this holiday. I wanted to share my student’s thoughts because their 6- and 7-year-old perspectives are sweet and innocent, yet surprisingly profound. 

  • Many children said:  “I’m thankful for my family.  They are so nice to me.”  “They care about me.”  “They love me, and I love them.”


  • “I’m thankful for trees because they are good to climb, and they give us oxygen, too!”


  • “I’m thankful for my little sister, because she’ll walk soon.”


  • “I’m thankful for the sun because it makes my face warm.”


  • “I like the sun, too.  It helps plants to grow.”


  • “I’m thankful for my kitty, because when I pat her soft fur it makes me happy.”


  • “I’m thankful for all the good food…except the carrots!”


  • “I’m thankful for my brother Corey. He’s a Marine, and he’ll be home for Thanksgiving…and I can’t wait to see him!”


One student’s thought really got to the heart of the holiday. He said, “I’m thankful for blessings…even though I don’t see them every day.”

So, here’s to hidden blessings!  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.





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