Holy Week

Tomorrow we will have a special Shadow Stations of the Cross at 2pm.  You are all welcome.  After the Stations of the Cross we will leave school silently at 3pm.  It is a powerful and meaningful experience.

In observance of “Day to Unplug”  I will not be checking emails tomorrow.  If you need to contact me on an urgent matter please call the school office.

Let’s join together in a unified devotion of faith and take a day to unplug, from sundown Holy  Thursday to 6 pm Good Friday.

What does Day to Unplug look like?
At Home:
Consider shutting down your electronic devices. Abstain from social
media, Netflix, Internet, phone calls and texts. Take extra time to
reconnect with each other. Unplug unnecessary electronics such as
lamps, chargers, and non-essential devices in a concerted effort to
save electricity.
At School:
While each school will set their limits for school safety, the school day will
be “unplugged” with limited use of lights and technology. School office
phones and email will remain open. No unnecessary technology will be
used in our classrooms, where the emphasis will be on human interaction,
empathy, and compassion.
A Day to Unplug is our opportunity to recharge our faith and our connections to each other.


Update March 24

We pray for sunshine and feel blessed when we can get outside for recess!  The class has been lucky to have most days outside for recess.  But it is a challenge on rainy days.  Let’s hope for sunshine next week!

The students have been great about turning in work.  Late work is accepted up to two weeks past the original due date.  Please encourage your student to come talk to me about any missing work.

Math:  Some students have completed the mid-chapter check point for chapter 6.  The rest of the fourth graders will take that quiz on Monday.  There will be support for students who have any confusion.  Math will continue with fraction work for the next couple of weeks.

Social Studies:  The Oregon Trail writing continues.  Students are allowed to bring social studies home if they want to catch up or have long entries to write.  However we need the accordion folders in class each day to continue work on landmarks as a group.

Science:  Wonderful work on the STEM projects!  We are all looking forward to the Snowball Saver presentation on Monday. Three students presented their savers today and did a great job modeling excellent projects.

Religion:  We continue to meet as a school for Stations of the Cross every Friday at 2:30.  Please join us and sit with our class.

Literacy and E.L.A.:  The students presented the book work projects.  This is an incredibly creative group of kids!  I think everyone now has more ideas of what to read!  Students will continue to do Achieve Articles at home.  Please encourage your student to spend time answering the thought questions completely.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the outdoors!


Dates to Note:

Friday, March 24  Soup Supper, 6pm followed by Stations of the Cross

Wednesday March 29 Dress Uniform for class and club pictures

Thursday, March 30, Middle School Science Fair, 5pm, Egan Hall

Friday March 31 Photo Essay Deadlne

Wednesday April 5 Family Literacy Night 6:30 – 8:30

Easter Holidays – April 17 – 21, 2017


Update March 17

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  The class spent the day working on a challenging St. Patrick’s Day Math packet, a fun Lucy Charms math activity and presenting creative projects for the St Patrick’s Day Gold Bridge science extension.

Our fearless and creative parent Art Leaders guided the class on the Fourth Grade Auction Project.  The beautiful piece is inspired by the art work of the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky. The title is: Expressionist Circles.  It will be a gorgeous piece of art. Maybe it will be in your home soon after the auction!  Remember to log onto the Auction Website and buy your tickets for 80’s Prom.

And here is what’s happening academically:

Thank you for looking over the Fourth Grade contract of work expectations for Third Trimester.  The students have already risen to the occasion.

Math:  We are having fun with fraction.  We will continue to find equivalent fractions, simplify fractions, compare fraction and much, much more!  The Kahn academy has a great website that clearly explains fractions.  Also I have manipulates the students are welcome to check out for use at home with homework.  Visuals, such as drawing pictures, really help when working with fractions too!

Social Studies:  The students have begun writing their own diary of being on the Oregon Trail.  This project will last multiple weeks.  Most of the work will be done in class.  However if your student begins to fall behind with in class work, it will be sent home for homework.

Science:  We had fun doing the St. Patrick’s Day Bridge project in class.  This coming week students will explore science that can be done at home.  Stay tuned for more to come!

E.L.A. Students turned in their personal narrative essays.  Wow, what amazing writers!  We will be doing cross curriculum work with writing and social studies for the next few weeks on the Oregon Trail Project. Students will be doing one Achieve Article at home next week instead of two.  The students will be graded on their thought questions and use of a graphic organizer that I will provide.  I will assign the article.

Religion:  Today we participated in a beautiful Stations of The Cross Prayer service lead by the Fifth grade.  You are invited to join us every Friday in Lent from 2:30 – 2:55 in the Church for Stations of the Cross.

Dates to remember:


  • Saturday, March 18:  March Crabness! 4pm, Egan Hall
  • Tuesday, March 21:  Parent Association presents “Screenagers” at 7pm, Egan Hall We are advised this is appropriate for parents to attend with fourth graders and older! Please see link for more info: http://www.screenagersmovie.com/
  • March 29th – Class & Club Picture Day (Dress Uniform)
  • March 30th – Middle School Science Fair
  • April 5th – Author Day
  • Auction April 28!


Update March 3

Thank you for a wonderful week!  The accreditation team visited every classroom this week.  They were impressed by the amazing students and commented on our cohesive and exceptional community.  We are all so fortunate to be part of the St. John family!

This week in class:

Social Studies:  The Oregon Trail work continues.  We discussed a lot about what provisions to bring, what the cost of the journey will be and how long it will take.  We will begin learning about each of the landmarks next week.

Math:  Students will have the Chapter 5 test this week.   Then we move into fractions.  Fractions are fun!

E.L.A.:  Students are writing and revising their personal narratives.  These will be completed by Friday.  Each person has also chosen a novel to read (a good fit book).  In class students are taking notes on the characters, setting and vocabulary.  Students will complete a book project that will be presented in a few weeks.

Religion:  Students continue to share what their personal plan is for Lent.  This is a time for prayer, alms giving and fasting.  In fourth grade we talk a lot about what we can do for others to honor this special season.

Dates to Note:

Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, March 9, 11 and 12 – Middle School Musical – Alice in Wonderland

Friday, March 10 – School not in session

Save the Date – Saturday, March 18 – March Crabness

Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age

St. John School is hosting a screening for parents and students of the documentary film, Screenagers. Join us on Tuesday, March 21, at 7pm in Egan Hall for a free, must-see presentation.

Update February 24

The class accomplished a lot this short week!  I hope everyone enjoyed the time off for President day.  We will be very busy the next several weeks with a lot of wonderful work.  Also it will be a special prayerful time since Ash Wednesday is this week.

Religion:  We will celebrate Ash Wednesday Liturgy at 9am.  all are welcome.  The students will begin discussing lent this week and will be looking inward to find the right way to do better during these important 40 days.

Math:  Fourth grade is working on Factors and Multiples.  If the homework is ever too confusing we will help your student at school.  Please practice math facts or make up your own multiplication/division problems as an alternative.

Language Arts:  Students will continue writing narrative essays this week.  The essays will be typed and revised throughout the week.  These narratives will be completed by Friday, March 10.

Social Studies:  Fourth grade began work on their own Oregon Trail story by completing a “family” page.  Ask your student how many brothers and sisters he/she has and what type of wagon the family will use for the trip. Students will write paragraphs about each of the 20 landmarks on the Oregon Trail!  It will be an exciting adventure.

Science:  Come see the beautiful bulletin board outside our classroom.  Both fourth grade classes worked on exploring how to construct a tin foil boat that would hold the most mass.

Dates to remember:

March  1, 2, 3 – DRESS UNIFORM

Accreditation Site Visit March 1 

Liturgy – Ash Wednesday, 9am

Friday, March 3 – Dismissal at 2pm

Friday, March 3 – Soup Supper, Grs. 7 & 1 host, 6pm

Update January 10

Starting the week off with a snow day was exciting for everyone. What a gift to be able to enjoy the snow right out your own front door!

English Language Arts:  The class began writing activities for the narrative essay project.  All the students have excellent ideas.  We are reading mentor texts for inspiration.  Students are learning how to use precise words, descriptive phrases and sensible organization of ideas.

Social Studies:  The students will take the social studies test next week on information they have collected about the Oregon Trail.  They have prepared for the test in class this week and are ready.  Following the test the class will begin the Oregon Trail Simulation activity.  This means each person will write a journal from the point of view of a child on the Oregon Trail.  This work will be done in class unless a students chooses to do extra work at home.

Science:  The class designed boats using aluminum foil.  The boats were then tested to see which designs held the most mass (number of pennies).   The students will discuss improved designs with small groups during our next science class and test the new boats.

Math:  Students spent a lot of time working on long division.  The students will continue this concept and will work on multi-step word problems this week.  Your student should be proficient enough to do long division and word problems with minimal help.

Religion:   The virtue of the month is Prudence and the Saint of the Month is John Newman.

Valentine’s Day will be celebrated in class on Tuesday.  Students are invited to bring in a Valentine for classmates.  If you choose to send in baked goods to share please also send a list of the ingredients so we can alert students who may have an allergy.  The Valentines’ Day celebration will be at the end of the day on Tuesday.

Dates to note

Thursday, February 16 noon dismissal

Friday, February 17 school /XDC not in session

Monday, February 20 school /XDC not in session

Tuesday, February 21 school not in session


The last day of school will be on Friday, June 9, 10:30am.  This is a change from Tuesday, June 13.





Update February 3

Catholic Schools week was a tremendous success with fabulous festivities!  The students were amazing this week, keeping the mood in the classroom and halls productive and fun-filled.

This coming week will be more predictable for the students.

Math:  The class will continue to work on division CCSS.Math.Content.4.NBT.B.6.  If your student is struggling with homework please know I set aside time to answer questions every morning.  If your student is overwhelmed or confused by a concept, I am sending home an optional packet of review homework that the student can do instead.   Math homework should be helpful for review and practice not produce confusion or frustration.  We are here to help!

Social Studies:  The students created a test as a class.  They will work on studying for the test in school.  We will learn how to take notes and use notes. We are also moving forward on the Oregon Trail!

E.L.A. (English Language Arts): For the next two weeks students will work on a narrative CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3.  This project will be completed at home and school.  Inspiration and re-writing may be done at home.  Editing and final draft writing will be done at school.  The students are not required to type this piece, but many may choose to type it.

Religion:  Father Crispin visited our class recently.  He answered many questions from the students.  The class was engaged and respectful during his visit.  We will discuss Pope Francis this week and other spiritual leaders and role models.

Science:  We will design a boat that will float the most mass without sinking.  Students may desire to explore this further at home and report findings using a variety of materials. Science Standard 3-5-ETS1-2.

Valentine’s day will be celebrated in class on Feruary 14.  Students may begin decorating a box to bring in for our Valentine exchange.  Class list will go home next week for those who want to get an early start!  Bring a valentine for each perosn- everyone loves a Valentine card!

Dates to remember:

State of the School for returning families is next week.  Pick up your registration packet and sign up for a Facilitation appointment. Attend one of the options below:

Tuesday, February 7,  7pm in Church

Thursday, February 9,  8:45am in Egan Hall

Thursday, February 9, 7pm in the church

Facilitation will be held February 12, noon – 4pm and

Monday February 13, 4-8pm

Coffee with the Principal and Vice-Principal for parents of students in grades 3, 4, 5 Wednesday, February 8!

This is a great opportunity to clear up confusion, build community and chat!

All school Spelling Bee February 16 / In class Spelling Bee February 9.

Greenwood Library will close for renovations beginning February 13

If your student goes to Greenwood Library for tutoring or to do homework, be advised the library will be unavailable for 6 – 8 weeks.


 Thank you parents for all your support on an ongoing basis.  The love and care you show for your children and our school makes St. John a very special place!

Update January 27

Catholic Schools Week begins this Sunday, January 29 through Saturday, February 4.

The events begin with our community mass this Sunday at 10:30 followed by the all School Open House.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Here is a list of what will be happening the rest of  Catholic Schools week:

Monday: This is a free dress day for students – please bring one canned food item for the Saint Vincent DePaul food cupboard
Tuesday: Crazy Sock Day: Accessorize the school uniform with outrageous socks
Wednesday: Choose your own Sweatshirt: Accessorize uniform pants/skort/dress with sweatshirt of your choice
Thursday: Crazy Hat Day: Accessorize the school uniform with a hat of your choice. Hats in the building permitted!
Friday: Purple & Gold Day/Spirit Day: This is the favorite day of the school year for our students! Purple and gold clothing is encouraged (dress code appropriate) – this is the one day of the school year, face paint and hair paint is allowed!
Students will be treated to a Nacho Bar Student Appreciation Lunch – FREE to ALL students!

Due to the amazing activities planned and the fact that the all school spelling Bee is right around the corner, there will be no spelling test next Friday.  The all school spelling bee is Wednesday, March 8.  We will have the classroom Spelling Bee a few days prior.

Please visit our classroom this Sunday to see the wonderful Oregon Trail Wagons the students created!!

Update January 13

What a great week!  The class is amazing and has wonderful ideas and insights.  The students have done a lot of work this week in all subject areas and deserve a rest this three day weekend!

Math:  We will continue our work with division.  If your child is having trouble with the concept, using counters or creating models (pictures) can help.  Also continue to practice those math facts!

Reading: The students are doing a group project to describe a character from a book they read in small groups.  As a class we are reading a book about the Oregon Trail called If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon. 

Social Studies: We began constructing our own Covered Wagons.  We will continue this project next week.  The wagons will be on display for the All School Open House on January 29.  We are also working on our class created Social Studies test.  The students will be able to study for and take the test during the week of January 23.

Religion:  The students will work on a project titled, ” How I Will Make Ordinary Time Extraordinary!” The students will create a poster, power point, poem, essay or any other creative tool to teach others something about the Catholic Church.  We have discussed this as a class.  The assignment is officially due January 27. Students will bring home a copy of the assignment and rubric Tuesday.

Science:  We have finished out “pet rock” project.  Next week students will engineer a boat that will be tasked to float in water and hold pennies.  The boat will be constructed out of limited material I give the students in class- that will be the challenge!

MAP Testing will take place Thursday and Friday mornings next week.  The students will be tested in the areas of Reading and Math.


Items to note:

No school on Monday! We will see the students Tuesday January 17.

January 19 Parent association speaker event. “Helping Your Child Love Their Body: Building Healthy Body Image in a Thinness-Obsessed Culture” presented by Dr. Angela Doyle. This will prove to be a great event, hope you can make it!

January 23 We have a site visit from the Accreditation Team.  This is a dress uniform day.  It is also a 2pm dismissal day.

January 29 All School Open House and the beginning of Catholic Schools Week.



Happy New Year

The New Year has brought new energy and excitement to Fourth Grade! The class was so happy to reconnect with friends this week.  It is fun to be back in the classroom with the students and I am glad to see them all happy and healthy.  The class has readjusted to the schedule of school and we look forward to the busy coming weeks.

Math:  We continue to work on math facts.   Please spend a few minutes a day reviewing these.  You can use flash cards or Xtramath.  We are starting division next week.  The stronger your student is with math fact understanding the easier division will be.  Yes- we will learn the traditional algorithm as we move into long division!

Reading:  We will begin a group book about the Oregon Trail.  This will set us up nicely for our work in Social Studies.  The class will begin work on a collaborative project based on their small group book novel.

Social Studies:  We are beginning our Oregon Trail Unit.  This week we will learn facts about the Oregon trail and begin to create our own covered wagon!  The class will also participate in creating a test on what we learn.

Science:  Students are creating a “pet rock” and habitat.  They are learning how to work in a group to make collaborative decisions, use limited resources and manage limited time.  Team work and design at it’s best!

Language Arts: The class is continues to write on a specific topic each week.  This week the students worked on self reflection to understand how each individual’s characteristic traits make us unique and special to God.  We will continues to revise this next week.

Religion: The students discussed Epiphany today.  Each person thought of a gift he/she will offer to God this New Year.  The students are learning the Prayer of Peace and will have it memorized by January 22.

Items to note:

The GeoBee is in February.  There is a link on my Teacher Page to the National Geographic Study guide.

The school wide spelling bee is in March.  Students have lists of words to study if they wish to participate.

 Catholic Schools Week begins Sunday, January 29 with an all school mass and open house.  Plan to join the fun!