Happy Holiday Season!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving break. We have three weeks to enjoy learning until Christmas break.

To celebrate Advent we will have daily morning prayer with all the classes in our department (grades 3-5)  If you are running late during Advent remind your student to come upstairs quietly and join in with the prayer.

Religion: This week we begin to prepare for the birth of Jesus. Our classroom Advent project will involve learning about and writing to Maria, from Costa Rica, our UNBOUND friend. Next week students will be asked to reach into their personal treasures and give some money to help Maria and her family with her education. More on this in the future.

Math: We will focus on problem solving over the next few weeks. Help your student work on learning multiplication and basic division facts daily. Minutes a day make a big difference!

Reading: The students will focus on specific skills with Achieve. I notice that many students are rushing through the articles and getting scores below 75%. Please encourage slow and careful work. If a student does not get 75% or higher the first try, they are asked to do another article/activity until a score of 75% on the first try happens.

Writing: Christmas writing will be fun and focus on self editing and word choice. We will tie in a lost of Christmas themed of grammar work.

Science: Our next unit is electricity. With the help of Mrs Ocampo, the fourth grade will make a trip to the makers space for an interesting project.

Important:  Report cards go home December 5. Please look for the report card this Thursday!


Fourth Grade Service Project and Grandparent/Special Friends Day!

This week the students have the opportunity for a service project at school. Tuesday evening at 6:30 pm the students are invited to come to a PTA/Fourth Grade sponsored event to help the homeless. We will watch a short video and hear some excellent fourth grade speakers educating us on the needs of the homeless in our area. The students have made signs about the event and made short presentations to each classroom. I hope you can join us Tuesday evening!

Grandparent Special Friends Day is this Thursday 12:15- 1:00. Please send your child to school with a lunch for both themselves and their guest(s). Dessert, water and coffee are provided. The 3-5 grade class will each do singing performance at the event.


This week in class:

Reading: Continued novel study on The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The students read the chapters in class and then answer comprehension questions. We will also be doing vocabulary work this week.

Social Studies: Reading, responding to comprehension questions, analyzing a timeline and finding text evidence are the goals for the week. The students will have an open book social studies test on Chapter 2.

Math: Multiplication in a variety of ways is our task this week. Next week the students will have a test on Chapter 3.  Please let me know if your student will miss Monday or Tuesday of school next week.

Science: Engineering and Technology continue to be the focus. The class had the opportunity to engage in a dynamic activity lead by Mrs Ocampo in the Makes Space Friday where they put engineering and creative planning into action.

Religion: The class will begin to learn and use the Prayer of Saint Francis. I don’t want them to worry about memorizing the prayer. I hope they can read and understand the meaning and find solace in the message.

Peace Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.




I hope you had a wonderful long weekend. It is a busy time of year and a gift to have a few days to rest.  This week is a four day week filled with a lot of learning!

Upcoming Events:

St John Families Help the Homeless PTA/Fourth Grade Sponsored event November 19 6:30pm.  We hope you are able to join us for this informative and service filled evening. Please see NewsViews for more information.

GRANDPARENT’S AND SPECIAL FRIENDS DAY November 21. Please check in NewsViews for the details and to sign up guests for this special day! All intermediate classes have prepared songs for the event.

Canned Food Drive on-going until November 25. Help us stock the pantry for those in need.

In class this week:

RELIGION: We will focus on Gratitude and Kindness.

MATH: Our work in Chapter 3 has begun. Students will do 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication using a variety of strategies.

READING:The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe novel study.  Students will be learning how to refer to the text for evidence.

GRAMMAR: Two lessons for this week: Ordering adjectives and progressive verbs

SCIENCE: (tied to writing and reading informational text) We begin our study of Engineering and Technology by learning about criteria and constraints.

SOCIAL STUDIES: (tied to writing and reading informational text) Reading about Native Americans of the Northwest Coast


“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama

The class was wonderful at our first all school mass last week. The students received compliments on their great participation and singing.  Way to go!


Multiplication:  We have been focusing on learning various strategies to multiply multi-digit numbers by a single digit (6 x 4572).  The kids are doing great. Please work on basic facts for a few minutes daily at home. A stress free way for kids is to look at flash cards with the answer and say the fact aloud.  “8×9 is 72”  saying the facts out loud and seeing the answer will help with memorization! Try to keep it simple, stress free and consistent! Really 5 -10 minutes a day is perfect.

Conferences: If you have not yet signed up for conferences please do. I am looking forward to talking with you and your child. Your child participates in the conference so make sure your fourth grader is present.  Kids get worried about the conference. There is nothing to worry about!  We will focus on how to help the student. We discuss strategies so the student will be responsible for their own work and learning. We cover tips on how to ask for help, suggestions  to stretch learning with challenge by choice and using a growth mind set with persistence when things seems hard.

The Annual Fall Holiday Food Drive kicks off early this year, due to a greater need.  Students are asked to bring to classrooms, non-perishable items for our neighbors in need.

Tuesday, October 22 Individual Picture Day: This is a free “dressy” day; clothing should be appropriate for portraiture. Please refer to the parent handbook for any questions about dress code on free dress days

Monday, October 28 : School not in session:  Conferences for all students, PreK-8th, noon-8:00pm

Tuesday, October 29: School in session:  Late start for all grades, PreK-8th, 9:00am

Thursday, November 21st Grandparents’ & Friends’ Day:  This is a dress uniform day for the entire school.  No hot lunch will be served. Please find RSVP on school webpage.


The class is so fun to be with everyday!  Thank you for all you do to support their growth and learning!






A Week of Celebrations!



“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”       Lao-Tzu


This will be a week of many celebrations!

Tuesday, October 15: We will celebrate and reflect on Hispanic Heritage Month. The class will review the  accomplishments and lesson  from the Hispanic leaders, artists, activists and celebrities we studied. Students will also enjoy an extra recess as part of the day.

Wednesday , October 16: We have our first all School Mass of the year. Mass is at 9am. You are welcome to join us. Please be sure your child is in dress uniform.

Thursday, October 17: Progress reports go home. Celebrate your child’s learning and the goals your student will set for the rest of the trimester!

Friday, October 18: Jog-a-thon Celebration Day. We will have a student Assembly, cash grabbin’ gecko at lunch and free dress. In addition our class is invited to bring in a stuffy and a cozy item such as a blanket and/or pillow.



Students are growing and learning each and everyday.  They are a joy to work with! Their growth is a celebration!


Four Day Week!

This week we will focus on routines, expectations and empathy. Together we can do so much to help our classroom and greater community!

 Homework: Check in with your student and read through the homework sheet for the week.  Review the vocabulary/spelling words. The test will be on Thursday. Students are to complete one Achieve Article at home.  They must strive to get 75% or higher on the Article.

Reading: We continue to read Bunniclua. Students do comprehension work along with the reading in class.

Writing: Students will work on the final draft for the Narrative Project. In class we are not able to use computers to type stories at this time. The kids will write out the final drafts. Students who want to type are welcome to do that at home.

Math: Students created pictures/models to solve comparison problems today. An example of comparison problems was sent home for homework.

Religion: All School Mass is on October 16. Join us if you are able! It was fun to see two of our Fourth Graders serve at the 8:30am Mass! Thank you K ans M for doing a wonderful job!

Thank you for all you do to support your children at home.

Thank you for all you do to support our classroom and the school.

You are appreciated!




Just Breathe!

MAP Testing started this week. The kids are doing a great job. They are focused and doing their best work. My advice is to remind your child that this is only one data point. Many students get stressed out about the test. We let them know that they are doing great because they are dong the best they can!

Many acts of kindness and care are witnessed daily. Encourage your child to continue to use kindness as a guide in making choices.

This week in academics:

Writing: Focus continues on Narrative stories. We will begin a final draft on the computer after MAP is finished.

Math: Chapter One is coming to a close.  They will have one more check point before we move on to Chapter 2.

Reading: Students have read many small pieces about Hispanic Americans. This will continue along with Achieve.

Religion: Students have begun learning the Hail Mary in Spanish for Senora Blanca. Volunteers lead us in class. Remind your child to do kind acts during the week!

Social Studies: We have our Washington Stamp Posters on display. We will delve further in to the Washington Adventure book.


Items to note:

Monday and Wednesday Morning MAP Testing

Sunday, October 6 Hip Hop and Lobster Endowment Dinner


Jog-a-thon Success

The students had a great time at the Jog-a-Thon!  Fourth graders had a chance to run with preschool buddies in the morning and then do the “Big Loop” in the afternoon.  What a fun and active day!

This week the students will start the MAP Test. The school was able to move our test date up to begin Wednesday morning. This is great news, because now the students will have a built in make up day! Fourth grade MAP Test dates are now  Reading Wednesday, Septeber25,  Language Use Friday,  September 27, Math Monday, September 30 and Science Wednesday, October 2.  Friday, October 4 will be a make up day.

This week for the curriculum:

Reading: Students will compare and contrast two Hispanic American leaders using a Venn Diagram. The use of Achieve will continue at school and the kids are expected to do at least one article at home in addition to our class work.

Math: Chapter One test will happen Tuesday. The test will review the concepts of rounding, addition, place value and numbers in expanded, written and standard form.  Over the next two weeks we will focus on multiplication practice using a variety of games, songs and flash cards. We will begin Chapter 2 after MAP Testing

Social Studies: Students created Washington State Stamps highlighting important facts about our state.  These will be shared this week and come home to you Friday. We will use the Washington State History book as our guide for learning more about Washington.

Religion: We pray daily and the kids have shown a great amount of respect during contemplation. Students will learn about the Fruits of the Holy Spirit this week.

Writing/Grammar: Personal Narrative writing will be our focus the next few weeks. We analyze example writing as students work on their own masterpieces.  Grammar in class will focus on Relative Pronouns and Relative Adverbs. We also continue to discuss sentence structure: simple, compound and complex.

I am really enjoying getting to know the students!  They are a sweet and fun group of kids!


Annie Martin

Off to a Great Start!

The students are settling into fourth grade beautifully!  I hope that curriculum night answered many of your questions about what to look forward to this year. I will strive to update my teacher page every Sunday and will send you a link weekly.

The curriculum this week:

Math: We began Chapter One! Place value, addition and subtraction to one million is the focus. Be on the look out for nightly math homework.

Reading: It is Hispanic Heritage Month. We will be reading about the contributions of famous Hispanic Americans. Students will be doing Achieve 3000 regularly beginning this week.

Religion: Students learned about the Cardinal Virtues. This week we will discuss Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Writing: A unit on Personal Narrative writing is beginning this week. Most of the work will be done in class, but your child may want to do some typing at home.

Social Studies: The Washington Adventure book will be introduced to the class this week. We will read some of the information as a class and begin a project in school.

Items to note:

Jog-a-Thon this Friday! Students have free dress this Friday for the event.

Welcome to a great new year!

Welcome to your new adventure of Fourth Grade learning. Together students, parents and teachers will share, question, wonder and grow!

Fourth Grade is a fun and exciting year. Students learn many new skills and concepts. Fourth graders read a lot of non fiction, write interesting essays, make scientific discoveries and deeply explore  spirituality.  This is a year of academic, emotional and social growth. It is exciting that our school theme this year is “Be Kind”. This theme will greatly benefit the students in their development in all areas of life!


A  few reason why kindness is important for kids to learn and practice at school and home

Kindness is a path to feeling good about yourself, others, and the world around you. As Mr. Rogers taught us, when a child does a kind act they discover something special about themselves.  Science has shown that acts of kindness, big or small, make the giver, and even lucky bystanders, happier. When we teach a child how to do a kind act, we are giving them a powerful tool both for personal well-being and to make a measurable impact on the world around them. – Kindlab (where kindness meets science)

It’s proven that kindness and giving act like a natural anti-depressant because they release serotonin in the brain. Serotonin plays an important part in learning, memory, mood, sleep, health and digestion. It provides children (and adults) with a heightened sense of well-being, increases energy and gives wonderful feelings of positivity and self worth. – Ripple kindness project

 Kind words are like honey— they cheer you up and make you feel strong. -Proverbs 16:24