Mrs. Arico's First Grade Jungle




It is a privilege to teach your child and to welcome your family into my classroom! I would like to take this opportunity to share a little bit about myself with you.

My Education

My name is Chrissie Arico. I have lived in the North Rockland community for my entire life and am presently beginning my 20th year of teaching in the North Rockland Central School District. I taught first grade for 12 years and second grade for 6 years at Stony Point Elementary School. This is my SECOND year at West Haverstraw Elementary School teaching first grade! I LOVE FIRST GRADE! It is such a magical year in your child's life! It is so exciting to teach in the elementary school that I attended as a child! To add a special twist to my teaching adventure...I am teaching in the classroom that I was in as a third grader!

Here is a link to my West Haverstraw Elementary School Page. Please check it out!

I graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education (N-6), Special Education (N-12), and Psychology. I obtained my Master's degree as a Reading Specialist (K-12) and continued to earn an additional 60 credits through CCNY and Adelphi University in Literacy, Health Education, Multicultural Education, and Technology. I am currently studying to become Google Certified, as technology is a passion for me!

I am actively involved in the school community. I am an UBD/ELA curriculum writer for the North Rockland School District, a member of SIPT (School Improvement Planning Team), a union rep, and a co-president of the Sunshine Club.

My Family

On a personal note, I am blessed to have two beautiful children, Michelle (14) and Joey (12). I've been married 18 years to my high school sweetheart, Paul. When I am not in the classroom, you can usually find me on the soccer field, Little League field, or rooting my children on in basketball. I volunteer my time for many community-based programs and in the past, I have also been a Girl Scout Leader.

My Interests

In my free time, I enjoy exercising, taking long walks/jogs, reading, vacationing (the Disney Cruise and LBI rank as my favorites), decorating my home, shopping, and working on my website! The picture above is of my children as they walked to the beach at Long Beach Island.

Last summer, I took an exciting trip to Costa Rica! Since our classroom is based on the jungle, I can't wait to share my rain forest adventures with your children! Below I have included more about me! I can't wait to learn more about you and your family!

If you ever need to reach me, I am always available by email. Here is a link to it!

This is a photo of me and Marc Brown, the author of the Arthur book series! Mr. Brown came to our school last year and spoke to the children!

Favorite Color
Blue...Blue...Blue (I find it very calming) You will notice that our classroom has a lot of blue!
Favorite Animals

Dogs (I have an adorable grey miniature poodle named Buddy) and I also love toucans!

Favorite Numbers
7 & 11
Favorite Foods
Sushi, shrimp, fish, pizza, avocados, grilled veggies, salads, fresh fruit, grilled chicken,
Favorite Beverages

Starbucks & Dunkin Donuts coffee, unsweetened iced tea, and lemon water

Favorite Place to Go
THE I can look at, listen to, and swim in the ocean. I love playing in the sand! It is so relaxing there!
Favorite Children's Book
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst and Marc Brown Books (above you will see a photo of me and Marc Brown!)
Favorite Local Restaurants
Gilligans, Pasta Cucina, Union, & Mount Fuji
Favorite Seasons
Summer & Fall
Favorite Candy
peppermint gum (if I am feeling crazy, I may eat dark chocolate covered acai berries)
Favorite Dessert

fresh fruit (pineapple, berries, watermelon, bananas)

Favorite Activities
taking long walks/jog, going to the gym & snorkeling in the ocean

I love this You Tube Video! I hope you find it just as beautiful as I do!

My Philosophy of Teaching


As your child's teacher, I will set high expectations in my classroom. Be assured that I will do my best to make this year an enjoyable one for your child and your family. I promise to provide a fun learning environment that nurtures all my students' strengths, abilities, and ambitions. Every child is unique, therefore I will provide instruction that is differentiated and supports their various learning styles. I believe that every child is capable of learning and they need to be encouraged to succeed. Children construct learning and knowledge through experiences. They need to be involved in their learning using a hands-on approach. In my classroom, I establish clear guidelines and procedures to prevent opportunities for misbehavior. I strongly believe in establishing and maintaining good communication. Your child's education is a partnership between home and school. By working together, we can make second grade a positive experience where all children can succeed. I am always available to discuss your child's needs and to answer your questions. If you would like to speak to me early in the day, please send a note in your child's agenda, or if a reply can wait until after school, please email me directly at

Thank you for your support!


Here is a picture of 2 very close people to me! -- Ms. Susan Koudelka and Mrs. Kelly Guenther.

Ms. Koudelka and I have team taught together for 20 years. We have an "open room" together.

Mrs. Guenther teaches second grade upstairs from us. The three of us have taught together at Stony Point and West Haverstraw Elementary throughout our careers.

Mrs. Arico's Email

Here are some inspirational quotes about teaching! Enjoy!


I am looking forward to a fantastic school year!

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