The Virtue of the Month for November is Patience: Waiting or enduring without complaint

We have a couple of busy weeks ahead!  I invited the students to write a note to receive a homework pass. In the note the student is asked to explain why they think they should get one of the passes. Three students have written a note and all three got a homework pass to use next week for one homework task! Remind your student of this opportunity!

Upcoming items to note:

Advent Prayer in Church Monday Morning: At 8:15 we will walk directly to the to the church for the Advent prayer.

Thursday, Dec. 13  Report cards come home!

Christmas Concert: Tuesday, December 18, 7pm : Bring your child to our classroom at 6:45. We will escort the class over when it is time for the Fourth grade to preform!

Friday, December 21 Noon Dismissal

Academics this week will include:

  • Religion: Advent; Nativity story
  • Math: Learn the “long awaited” traditional algorithm for long division; long division chapter 4 math test on Thursday
  • Reading: Sequencing and main idea
  • Writing: Writing an opinion paper
  • Science: Force and Motion


The Virtue of the Month for November is Patience: Waiting or enduring without complaint


 Advent prayer in church will happen every Monday morning. Classes will walk directly from the line outside to the church at 8:15. Tuesday – Friday we gather as an intermediate department to celebrate Advent morning prayer in the hallway on the second floor.

Reconciliation for Fourth Grade will take place this Monday. We will prepare the children by reviewing the Sacrament of Penance, completing an Examination of Conscience and saying the Act of Contrition in class.

Friday, Dec. 7 DRESS UNIFORM 9:00 Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. Please join us!


Math: Division. We are exploring a variety of methods and ideas. Encourage your child to open up to new ways of looking at division.  The traditional way is efficient but other methods are important to increase deep understanding and number sense.

Literature:  Book groups are underway. Students will continue with group work on books until Christmas break.

Language Arts: The class continues to build interactive notebooks. This week they will spend time reviewing language rules and take a short quiz Thursday.

Science: Students are working and exploring  energy. They were able to create a complete circuit and a switch circuit last week. We will discuss speed and motion.

Homework: Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about homework. Send a quick note if your child is having trouble understanding or completing any of the assignment.

St. John School Band welcomes students in Grade 4!  Students meet twice weekly and are instructed by Ms. Cathrine Stadulis.  The Band program is provided through Bishop Blanchet High School’s Music Department.  If your student is interested in this opportunity, please learn more and sign up today!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Although we only had a two day week the students worked hard! I was unfortunately out on Monday but the students had a wonderful time with Ms Kathy Kelly. She reported that the class was delightful!

On Tuesday the class finished reading comprehension stations, a friendly letter, two achieve articles and a main idea activity! The highlight was in science when students created a closed circuit to light a bulb. Many students took the next step and created a simple circuit with a switch to turn a light bulb on and off. So much learning in such a short amount of time!

Next week the class will begin new topics. In literature the students will begin book groups. They will work on these books over the next few week. In math our division unit is introduced. In writing we will focus on narratives.  Much of this work will continue until Christmas break.

Have a wonderful time with family and friends this holiday! I have attached a fun Thanksgiving Themed “Would you Rather” activity your family might enjoy!

FREEThanksgivingWouldYouRatherQuestionsforKids (2)


The Virtue of the Month for November is Humility:

Accepting your Limitations and God-given talents

I feel very humbled by the generosity and care I have seen this past week. People have donated to the supply drive, the food drive and demonstrated acts of acceptance and forgiveness.

On Tuesday, many students participated in the St. John Helps the Homeless Night. Many thanks to all the families that helped supervise and organize the event, especially Liz Overland, Chris Sourov and Kara Dacquisto.  It was a big success with over 506 kits created to help those in need!

Grandparents/Special friends Day was very special. The students sang beautifully and all enjoyed the event. Please send pictures if you have any that I can add to my post for the class to see.

Here are some items to note:

Monday is our Thanksgiving Mass, so please ensure that your child wears dress uniform or an appropriate free dress option if you purchased the “free dress” days from the auction. Join us at 9am in church, we would love to have you with us!

With all the excitement of our Supply Drive, many students have not donated to the Food Drive.  Please encourage your child to bring in nonperishable food items by Monday.


Speaker November 29, Dr Ann Steele

  • Benefits and risks of screen activities
  • Practical tips for parents to begin using at home
  • At what age to allow smartphones and access to social media
  • Expert guidelines for how much time, which apps or games
  • Solutions for battles over screen time
  • Answers to privacy and safety concerns
  • Warning signs for video game addiction






Class News

Día de los Muertos celebration was wonderful. Thank you to everyone who brought in food and volunteered time to help. The posters and presentations from the students were phenomenal. 

Our next important event is the 2nd Annual – St. John Families Help the Homeless.  This event is on Tuesday, November 13, 6:30pm in Egan Hall. A link to bring refreshments to the event is here.  It will be a meaningful evening and an opportunity for the kids to see service in action. We hope to see you there!

In Class:

Math: Students are learning various ways of multiplying. We have discussed the Area Model and Partial products to break apart numbers to multiply. Students will be working on the standard algorithm next week. Awaremess of the what and why of multiplication is important. Search Area Model Multiplication for many helpful videos. One video that works to explain the concept for parents is here.

Reading/Literature: Students continue to work with Achieve 3000 in class to focus on specific reading skills. We will begin book groups soon with student selected books based on interest and lexile level.

Writing/Grammar: Many students have been doing a great job with writing! It is exciting to see so much creativity. Students often want to type stories which I encourage. Student are always welcome to bring flash drives back and forth from school to home. Please help your child keep track on the flash drive so important stories are not lost!

Religion: The Virtue of the Month is Humility: accepting your limitations and God Given talents. We will discuss this concept focusing on ways to support one another with our strengths and recognizing we all have need of support in some areas of our life.


Important Dates to Note:

  • Monday, November 12 – School/XDC not in session, Veterans Day observed
  • Tuesday, November 13 – ST. John Families Help the Homeless, 6:30pm, Egan Hall
  • Thursday, November 15 – DRESS UNIFORM – Grs. 2-5 Grandparents & Friends Day



Helping the Homeless

Alyson Moon, a representative from  Mary”s Place, spoke to both Fourth Grade Classes. The students learned what Mary’s Place does to help the Homeless find permanent housing and work. She also discussed the impact homelessness has on families and children. Many of the students struggle to understand how  homelessness can happen in our community. Students want to help make a difference!

 The 4th Grade classes are sponsoring a supplies drive to build care kits for the homeless in our community. 

Please donate:

  • Socks, gloves, hats (small enough to fit in gallon Ziploc bags)
  • Individually packaged food items such as granola bars, crackers, tuna packs, instant oatmeal, fruit leather
  • Hand wipes (travel size; *no liquid hand sanitizer please)
  • Soap, shampoo, deodorant (travel size)
  • Individual tissue packets
  • Cough drops
  • Lip balm
  • Maxi pads (*no tampons please)
  • Hand warmers
  • Tea bags (individually packaged)
  • Plastic utensils
  • Gallon Ziploc bags
  • $5 denomination gift cards (McDonalds, Fred Meyer, Starbucks, etc.)
  • Cash donations are always welcome!  100% of cash and checks (made out to St. John School/Homeless) will be used to purchase additional goods

Then join us on Tuesday, November 13, for community, stewardship and cookies! There will be a short educational presentation on homelessness in our area and then each family will put care kits together. The goal is to create enough kits for each family to take 2-3 to give away to those in need.


I am looking forward to seeing many of you for your parent/student conference tomorrow. Please check  conferences (signup genius link) to be sure of the time. Due to construction noise conferences will be held in Egan Hall.

Your student is invited to attend the conference for a few reasons. In fourth grade kids are able to take steps toward becoming responsible for their learning. They are able, with support, to set academic and behavioral goals. Students are also encouraged to recognize academic and social strengths as well as struggles. It is important students trust the teacher/ parent partnership. Through shared discuss the student understands we will help them in working toward their personal best.

If you would like to talk about an issue separately from our scheduled conference please email me with your concerns or questions. I understand that certain topics require a problem solving meeting and often the student does not need to be present.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to meet.

See you tomorrow (or next Monday)!


Annie Martin





The students did a great job creating a prototype of a Pumpkin Pipeline! They are learning how to engage productively in the engineering design process. Students are also learning the important skill of working with a group!

Thank you for reviewing the progress reports with your child. I look forward to talking with you and your child at the student/parent conferences. Next week I will be having a conference with each student to prepare. We will set goals and review current work.  Each person is expected to work to his or her personal best. We have discussed this as a class and will continue the discussion in our conferences.


Here are some important reminders:

No School this Monday, October 22

  • Tuesday, October 23 – Individual Student Photos
  • Wednesday, October 24 – Unity Day!  Free Dress in ORANGE
  • Monday, October 29 Conferences
  • Monday, November 5 Conferences
  • Tuesday, November 13 Second Annual St. John Families Help the Homeless,  6:30pm Egan All ages are welcome to participate in this seasonal event. Fourth graders will lead the school in this service project in November. Thursday, November 29, 7pm, Dr. Ann Steel, M.D.,”Raising Kids in a Digital World” Egan Hall, Adults Only     You won’t want to miss this parent education evening.  Dr. Steel is “devoted to helping families, communities and professionals understand and manage the challenges that arise from personal technology use.

The Kids Made it Through the Maze!

The Fourth grade had a great field trip to The Farm at Swans Trail. Each group was given a scavenger hunt while going through the 4sq mile replica maze of Washington State.  After the scavenger hunt the kids were treated to ice cream and a pig show. Many of the kids said it was the best field trip they have ever been on! Thank you to the volunteers who made this a success: Betsy Rivera, Keely Schoonover, Jody Reich, Kari Aguila, Meagan Tomlinson, Teresa Campbell, Kelly Kasper, Courtney, Stefonick, Andrea Boorman, Sue MacMenamin, Keith Burrell, Ann Foley and Andrew Feudner.


In class next week:

Math:  The focus is multiplication and words problems. Students use tools such as charts and memory to find math facts. They are already increasing understanding!

Writing/Language Arts: Continued work on Haunted House Stories. Be ready for a scare! Students review the conventions of standard English including capitalization and punctuation.

Science: Students will create a prototype for a Pumpkin Pipeline. They are focusing on the meaning of constraints, criteria and prototype. Also the skill of productively working in a small group.

Religion: We will use parables to teach the importance of helping others. Students will begin work on the  Second Annual St. John Families Help the Homeless Service Project. Students will be making posters to place around the school, doing morning announcements, and classroom presentations to solicit help from the student body.

Reading: Novel study work on Bunnicula continues. Students are working to pick good fit books for independent reading. If you need help guiding your child to find a good fit book please let me know.

Items to note:

Wednesday, Oct. 17 Vision Hearing screening for k, 2, 4, 6

Thursday, Oct. 18 Cash-Grabbin’ Gecko at student lunch. Progress report day.

Friday, Oct. 19 Free Dress! Thank you for supporting the Jog-a-thon!

October 23  Individual Picture day

 Unity Day on October 24, a day that promotes acceptance, kindness and inclusion.  Since orange is the color of unity, students are encouraged to find something orange to wear on Oct. 24 (Free dress if you wear something orange!)

Tuesday, November 13 Second Annual St. John Families Help the Homeless,  6:30pm Egan All ages are welcome to participate in this seasonal event. Fourth graders will lead the school in this service project in November.

Thursday, November 29, 7pm, Dr. Ann Steel, M.D.,”Raising Kids in a Digital World” Egan Hall, Adults Only     You won’t want to miss this parent education evening.  Dr. Steel is “devoted to helping families, communities and professionals understand and manage the challenges that arise from personal technology use.

Please let me know if you have any questions!


Annie Martin