Spring Forward

What a wonderful weekend of sunshine!  If the sun is shinning tomorrow we plan to bring the class outside for some of our learning time.

Reminders for this week:

Third Trimester begins this week and report cards will be sent home on Thursday.

Due to teacher in-service, school dismisses at noon on Thursday and students have no school Friday.

Monday, March 12 – Hot dog lunches will be served in classrooms due to a funeral reception scheduled for Egan Hall and Kitchen.

Tuesday, March 13 – French Toast, originally scheduled for Wednesday, will be served in Egan Hall (lunchroom).
Wednesday, March 14 – Beef Tacos, originally scheduled for Tuesday, will be served in classrooms due to a funeral reception requiring Egan Hall and Kitchen.


Math: I postponed our math test scheduled for last week.  Students needed more direct instruction on the concepts.  Tomorrow the students will get a study guide and the test will be given Tuesday/Wednesday.  The students are given two days for the math tests.  On day one the test is usually completed, and on day two I have them take a second look at their answers before it is graded.

STEAM/Science:  The class will engage in two STEAM activities. The students will construct a water filtration devise and be challenged to build a bridge made of pennies (3-5-ETS-1/2 Engineering Design).  The class will read science passages to address the standard *4-ESS3-2Earth and Human Activity:  compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.

English Language Arts: The class will engage in longer sustained silent reading and independent writing intervals.  I am encouraging students to type up their work and safely save it on a flash drive.  Please check in with your student to be sure he/she still has possession of said flash drive.  If your student needs a replacement flash drive let me know!

Social Studies: The class has learned a lot about the Oregon Trail.  The class will create a test this week.  The student generated questions will be used to monitor each person’s understanding of the material.

Religion:  We will discuss the Parable of the Prodigal Son and revisit this story later.  It is a fourth grade standard to understand the meaning of the parable. Many students struggle to grasp it’s message and multiple discussions help clarify the meaning.

If you would like to schedule a time to meet please let me know.  If you have questions or concerns about your child’s progress in school academically and/or socially I am available to talk!

Looking forward to a wonderful Trimester Three!

March Madness

There is a lot to look forward to this month!  The students will engage in a number of STEAM activities, continue to explore fractions, try to win the Achieve 3000 challenge and present Oregon Trail projects.

Math: The students will have a math test this week.  The concepts covered will be equivalent fractions, simplifying fractions and finding common denominators.  Math fact practice is really helping students feel successful.

STEAM: In teams the class will attempt to create space vessels that can safely transport supplies and an astronaut.  The supplies will be in the form of dried beans and the astronaut is a potato chip!

Social Studies:  We continue to collect information about the Oregon Trail from a variety of sources.  Originally all students were expected to write journals using this information.  However, some students are expressing interest in approaching the learning in a different way.  Your student may choose to write the journal or pick an alternate teacher approved project.  Perhaps your student will choose to research the various diseases pioneers encountered or the hunting and fishing methods used by the pioneers. All students will meet the following standards with either choice:

Integrate information from two texts on the same topic.

Explain events, ideas, or concepts in a historical text including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
Gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Language Arts: Continue to encourage your student to work on the Achieve Articles at home.  Our class is trying to win an Achieve 3000 challenge.  We are half-way to our goal!

Religion:  During lent the school attends Stations of the Cross.  This takes place every Friday at 2:30 in the church.  You are welcome to join us!

Item to Note:

  • Wednesday, March 7, Mass, Feast of St. Patrick, DRESS UNIFORM





I hope you all had a relaxing time during our mid-winter break.  Having a delayed start to school on Thursday due to snow was a surprise!  Please let the school know if you did not receive the text message alerting us of that delay. Who knows it might happen again!

S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Art, Engineering and Math): Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a wonderful STEAM workshop at the Pacific Science center, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and MoPOP.  The workshop highlighted the importance instilling continued curiosity.  We will continue our weekly STEAM activities.  I have a list of items we need for upcoming explorations.  If you have any of the following materials please send them in.  Do not purchase any items.  We are looking to reuse and re-purpose materials you may have around the house or in the recycle bin!

•  yarn or string

•  plastic lids

•  bottle caps

•  twist ties

•  small containers (such as yogurt or butter)

•  corks

• cardboard scraps and fabric scraps

• bubble wrap

• cardboard tubes (paper towel or toilet paper)

• buttons

• plastic bottles

•  foam

•  packing “popcorn”

•  pipe cleaners

•  any type of wheel

Math: Students are learning all about fractions. Here is a website with some ideas of how to support fraction understanding at home:


Students will be coming home with ideas for activities and games.  Some students may take up the challenge to create their own games that involve adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions!

E.L.A. and Social Studies: The class has started writing their Oregon Trail Journals.  Students will be invited to produce art work that accompanies the writing.  The length of writing will vary from student to student.  Also the “due date” is individual for each learner.  We hope to have the project completed by the end of March. If your child decides to type the journal entries this will be done at home and school.

Typing and Computer Use:   Students will begin to practice typing and computer skills at home.  They will be asked to set aside two at home computer sessions a week.  I would like the students to independently open up a word document, type and save the document to a flash drive. The document can be a story, a list, or their Oregon Trail Journal.  Students who are very comfortable with this activity will move on to creating power points.

Homework:  If the class is able to transition smoothly throughout the day we will have an opportunity for “study time” at the end of the day.  During this time students will be invited to ask questions about homework, practice math facts, review spelling words and read.  I hope this allows for extra time at home to play math games, work on computer skills and other creative outlets.


Virtue of the month: Honesty!

The students had a wonderful time during Catholic Schools week!  It was full of fun themed days and ended with a great Purple and Gold celebration.  Thank you to everyone who helped make this a successful week!

The 2018 Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14. During Lent, we are asked to devote ourselves to seeking the Lord in prayer and reading Scripture, to service by giving alms, and to sacrifice self-control through fasting. Valentine’s Day, will be celebrated in class on Tuesday, February 13.

The virtue of the month is Honesty. As we look forward to the excitement of Valentine’s Day, we also pause to reflect on the meaning of our virtue of the month: Honesty. We discussed the importance of speaking kindly and honestly about others.  Also the class has done some self reflections in class and honestly “graded” themselves on group participation in our STEM activities.  The students are beginning to learn that honesty enhances our interactions with others and it just feels right to be trustworthy and true.


Wonder: We have completed reading the book Wonder in class.  As one of our  closing activities we would like to show the movie that came out this year to the fourth grade.  We plan to watch the movie  Wonder this Thursday in class.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Spelling Bee:  The all school Spelling Bee is firmly planned for February 15.  We will have an in class spelling Bee this Thursday.

Math Facts:  Students will take a verbal or written assessments of math facts this week.  After the assessment your child will know what facts she needs to focus on to become more fluent with math facts.  The students will have the choice to do a verbal or written assessment.  This is designed to be low stress!

Oregon Trail:  Students will begin writing a journal about the Oregon Trail this week.  Each person is responsible to write one or two entries a week.  Your student is asked to bring an entry home during the week to get help with editing.  Be on the look out for an Oregon Trail journal entry!  These can be typed or hand written.  If the student decides to type the journal, most of the typing should be done at home.

We look forward to a fun and productive week!!


Catholic Schools Week


Here is a reminder of the festivities this week:

Monday, Celebrate Our Community Students are asked to bring one canned food item to school to help fill the St. Vincent de Paul cupboard. This is a free dress day for our students.

Tuesday, January 30 Celebrate Our Volunteers
Crazy Sock Day: Accessorize the school uniform with outrageous socks

Wednesday, January 31 Celebrate Our Nation
Choose your own Sweatshirt: Accessorize uniform pants/skort/dress with sweatshirt of your choice

Thursday, February 1 Celebrate Our Faculty and Staff; in Our Vocations
Students are invited to bring one flower for their teachers today, in appreciation of their service. Families of students in Grade 4 will prepare luncheon for faculty and staff.
Dress Like a Teacher Day! Yes, dress the way you envision a teacher to dress – be creative and have fun with this!
*If you would like to visit the class to share your vocation let me know!

Friday, February 2 Celebrate Our Students
Student Appreciation Lunch – Free for all students Show Your School Spirit: Purple and Gold Day – students may dress in purple and gold clothing, dress code appropriate.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembered

The class showed great growth mindset habits this week!  The students persevered when taking a division math test, a Wonder comprehension quiz and a level set test for Achieve.  The class also reflectively commented on the powerful words and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They deserve a relaxing three-day weekend!

Important items to know:

Field Trip on January 25 to the Pacific Science Center. The permission slip went home today with your child.  You can cancel your Hot Lunch order anytime until the end of the month.

Send in a shoe box with you child on Tuesday.  We will be creating a covered wagon to prepare for our study of the Oregon Trail.  If possible send in a shoe box or two on Tuesday.

Monday, January 15 school not in session. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday

Friday, January 19 Auction Wine Tasting, 7pm Egan Hall


Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Thank you for the generous scrip gift for Christmas.  I appreciate your support and kindness.  I hope everyone had a restful break!

Religion:  The virtue of the month is Gratitude.  The class has brainstormed what Gratitude means and is working on a strong descriptive paragraph.  The paragraphs will be displayed during our School Wide Open House.

Math:  Division continues to be our area of focus.  Please remind your child that it takes time to learn this concept!  I am encouraging continued practice of math facts.  Knowing math facts is essential for doing fourth grade level math.

E.L.A: The class will be working on a book report for the novel Wonder.  Also, each student will pick a book for a book group read.  This book will be read both at home and at school.  The choices will be made on Monday!

National Geographic Bee and the Scrips National Spelling Bee: The Geography Bee will be held January 17th and the Spelling Bee will tentatively be held on February 15th. The National Geographic Bee does not have a study list but here is a link to their study corner: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/bee/study. Here is the suggested spelling list: Combined List 1-8[4] copy


Date to remember:

Monday, January 15 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
School/XDC not in session

Happy Holidays!

Excitement for Christmas surrounds us and creates joyful anticipation in the hearts of the young!  The children look forward to Santa, family traditions and presents.  To encourage the spirit of giving and generosity the students have started a kindness campaign.  Through our study of the book Wonder, students have been introduced to the concept of paying it forward.  Sharing our generous and loving hearts through compassionate acts brings to light the true meaning of this holiday season.

I hope during this busy time, your family can enjoy the gift of peace and true joy!

Here are some items to remember:

Advent prayer in the church Monday morning 8:15
Tuesday, December 19, Christmas Concert  Grades 3, 4 & 5, Cantionis Choir, St. John School Band
Wednesday, December 20, noon dismissal
Thursday, December 28 – January Hot Lunch order portal

Free Dress Auction item for students all this week!

Christmas Holidays
December 21 through January 2, school not in session
December 21 through 26, XDC not in session
January 1 & 2, XDC not in session
Wednesday, January 3, school & XDC resume regular schedules

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Blessing to all of you this busy holiday season!  This upcoming week will be full of Christmas celebration and Joy.  As a class we will focus on our studies, as we hold in our hearts the true meaning of Advent.  Let us be kind, thoughtful and generous this week! As a class we will keep a list of the wonderful ways we bring comfort and happiness to others.


Here is a recap of the past week:

Religion:  On Wednesday, the class discussed St Nicholas and received Candy Canes with a special St. Nicholas Prayer. The prayer tells us the Candy Cane is a reminder of the Staff St Nicholas used as a Bishop.  When we see or eat a Candy Cane remember to be like St Nicholas and spread kindness and generosity.

We had a beautiful mass for the Immaculate Conception on Friday.  The students were complemented on their outstanding mass participation!

The intermediate department continues Advent prayer in the hallway each morning Tuesday-Friday.  Students will line up and go directly to the church Monday Morning at 8:15 for all school Advent Prayer

Math:  Division!  Students are learning the Standard Method for long division.  This is the one parents know! We will also be investigating alternative strategies to divide after the class has an understanding of the Standard Method.


English Language Arts:  We continue to read the book Wonder as a class. We are doing comprehension work, learning vocabulary and discussing social emotional issues throughout our study of the book.

The class will pair up with Eight Graders on Wednesday to share Narrative essays.  The Fourth graders have essays that are a work in progress. The sharing will be a fantastic opportunity to hear positive feedback on word choice and voice.  The students will get help editing their masterpieces as well!

Science:  Groups created educational posters answering the questions:

How do energy and fuels come from natural resources? How does using energy and fuels affect the environment?

Students will share their posters on Monday!

STEM: Students constructed tinfoil boats.  They tested how much mass their design could hold. We will continue our discussion of this on Monday.

Hour of Code: On Wednesday afternoon, we had four people from Code.org join us for our Hour of Code.  The students were able to work on a variety of coding projects with the help of Code.org professionals.  Encourage your child to code at home in their free time!  Instead of simply playing video games, they could be creating them!  Visit code.org or hourofcode.com to learn more.


Items to remember:

Friday, December 8 – DRESS UNIFORM
9am – Liturgy, Immaculate Conception
Wednesday, December 13
Hot lunch portal opens for January
Thursday, December 14
Christmas Concert, Grs. PK, K, 6pm, Church
Christmas Concert, Grs. 1/2, 7pm, Egan Hall
Upcoming Christmas Holidays: School will dismiss at noon on Wednesday, December 20, and will not be in session through Tuesday, January 2, 2018. XDC will not be in session Thursday, December 21, through Tuesday, December 26, and Monday and Tuesday, January 1 and 2. Both XDC and School will resume regular schedules on Wednesday, January 3, 2018.


Every year, Christians get ready to celebrate Christmas. The word Advent means “coming.” Advent is the four weeks before Christmas when we prepare for Christ’s coming. During Advent, we pray, fill our hearts with love and do good deeds. We can offer our prayers and good deeds as gifts to God.

Advent Prayer: On Monday, the children will go directly to church from the playground at 8:15. At 8:20, we will begin our whole school Advent prayer service.  We will do this the next three Mondays.  If you are late arriving and our line has already gone to the church, bring your child to church and stay at the back until the end of the service. It will last about 10 minutes.

Every other morning during Advent we will have a prayer service with 3/4/5 grades in our hallway.  It is a very special and meaningful time for all of us in the intermediate department.

Reconciliation: Fr. Crispin will hear the confessions of those students who have already gone through First Penance and they will receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  This will happen Monday after recess.

Christmas Concert: December 19
Grades 3/4/5 and St. John School Band, 7pm, Egan Hall

Report Cards: After you have looked at your child’s report card and have had time celebrate growth and success, please sign and return one copy to school.



Annie Martin