Week of June 4th

Dear 4A Families,

Happy June and second to last newsletter of the year!  The “Graduation” celebration for Mrs. Harris was lovely and fun.  She was very touched by th outpouring of love she received from all.  If any students wanted to make a card but did not get time to do so they can send them in this week and I will be sure she gets them.  The Corpus Christi Procession on Thursday was also a very special event.  If you didnt get a chance to see the picture and article in the Mrs. Horton sent out last week you can access it here.

I am sorry I did not get the Summer Letter sent home last Thursday as promised. It is attached at the bottom of this newsletter (and was also included in the email).  If you look at the tabs above I have added the Summer Links for Math, Reading and Wriitng that I mention in the letter.  Please use them if you are in need of ideas or inspiration for summer review.

On Wednesday afternoon the students will enjoy a special visit from the Doughnut Truck which is the reward for the 4th graders coming in 1st for the Magazine Sale.

Mystery Book Reports:  The students will be making their mystery book report presentations this week.  Students should be prepared to present with a clear order and organization to their talk.  The rubric for the presenation is here.  If you have Power Points or Google Docs send them to me and I have them set up for the Smart Board.

Social Studies: The Washington City test will take place this Thursday.  Last week we learned all about the Denny Party, and this week the students will learn about the building of early Seattle and the crazy events that led to the reason we have an Underground Tour!

alkiPray for sun!! Our final field trip of the year will take place next Wednesday June 13th. Hopefully the weather will cooperative and give us a rain free day. We will learn about the early history of Seattle on the very entertaining, and historical Underground Tour. For those of you that have been on the public tour before, please know that this tour is geared for school age students and very appropriate! Following the tour we will we will head to Alki to eat our lunches and have some playtime together on the same beach that the Denny Party landed on in 1851. Pizza lunch will be provided.  I do encourage students bring a water bottle, especially if it is hot. If you signed up to drive/chaperone you will be getting an email later this week with some specific information.

 ZZ382DC87FCleaning Days next Tuesday and Thursday! All students are asked to bring in a sturdy bag or two so that they can bring home the contents of their desks, as well as some rags for cleaning. Thank you! . The majority of desk items will be sent home on Tuesday. I have been keeping a portfolio of some of the bigger and more “special” projects and assignments this year. These items will come home on Thursday in a separate large “portfolio folder” the students will make. Don’t throw away this portfolio without taking out what you could like to save!

Our classwork this week will consist of finishing up units of study and tasks. The work we do this week is important and will be included in their final grades. Thank you for helping keep your children rested and ready to do their best to finish out the year. The students are working on a reader’s theater called Blame it on the Wolf that they will present to the third graders later in the week.  Look for math homework each night this week.

Enjoy this first full week of June everyone!  

Keep reading below for the Summer Letter:


Dear 4A Families,

I wanted to take this opportunity to express how proud I am of the progress the fourth grade students have made this year, academically, socially and spiritually.  Learning to take on big projects, work independently and be productive group members are all skills that will help make their transition into the upper grades successful.  Your support this year has been tremendous as well.  I will truly miss this class next year.

As you well know, the students have learned (and will continue to learn) many challenging and important skills this year. They have grown significantly in their reading, writing and math skills.  I understand that it is often quite difficult to motivate children to dedicate time to reading, reviewing math skills or writing during summer vacation.  The research is clear however; when students to not regularly read, practice math and writing skills over the summer, they lose a significant amount (up to three months) of the progress they made during the school year. This is especially true for reading and math skills.

Please note, I consider one of the most important aspects of summer to be time to play and be a kid!  Being outside and taking advantage of all the wonderful adventures summer has to offer plays a very important roll in both physical and mental growth. Summer is “battery recharge” time and we all need that! The summer review I am encouraging is not intended to be long and laborious.  In fact, the best practice sessions are short, but very focused and consistent. A regular skill practice routine will build and refine skills and work habits. What we do not want is a “low academic battery” when school begins next year.  That being said, here are some suggestions for avoiding the “summer slide.”

To help you out with summer reading here are a few options:


Building strong reading comprehension and vocabulary skills have a positive affect on all subject areas.  Students should be reading dailyin books at their instructional reading level (not too easy—not too hard).  Choosing books from a variety of genres, fiction and non-fiction is the best way to build strong, well-rounded reading skills. Don’t neglect oral reading!  Opportunities to read orally to build fluency, expression and pace should be included in summer reading time.  Reading a picture book aloud to a sibling is a great way to get some oral reading practice. What could be better than relaxing with an ice-cold lemonade and a great book on a warm summer day?

Holy Rosary will be offering the annual Holy Rosary Summer Reading Challenge, which I highly recommend. The Summer Reading form will be in the report card envelope.  Leslie Sumida from the Seattle Public Librarywill also be here this week to talk to the students about their summer reading program as well. Their summer reading program officially launches on June 15th.  Leslie always shares some great book ideas to get the students excited about reading.

For those of you interested in having your child take part in a more formal program Hamlin Robinson also offers several well-regarded summer camps and summer workshops for reading, language and math as well as some great enrichment opportunities.


Every 4thgrade student needs to take time this summer to review and practice the many important skills we have learned this year. The students have worked hard on their math facts this year, and most have them mastered. All students must have their multiplication and division facts mastered for fluent recallas they begin 5thgrade, and those that do have them mastered should review so that they keep the facts fresh. There are several sites linked to our webpage where you can run off your own math practice sheets.  One site I use often to get extra math fact and skill practice for the students is a site called commoncoresheets.com. Scroll down to “math drills” to run off time test sheets.  Check out the other resources on this site as well.  If you do choose one of the online programs I mention below, I do also recommended a mixture of paper/pencil and flash cards along with online work as the hand/mind connection is important when reviewing and building skills.

This summer once again Mrs. Heuer will be offering the Summer Math Challenge.  You will find information about this program in the report card envelope along with the Summer Readinginformation.

I am planning to send a math packet with all students.  It will be a review of many of the concepts we have covered this year.  Students are not required to complete the packet, but those that do can come visit me the first week of school for some special prizes J. This packet can also count for time on the Summer Math Challenge.


Journal writing, pen pals, letters, creative stories, online programs like Scribblitt,  Story Jumper,  and Storybird are fun ways to include writing over the summer.   I will be putting links to several fun and useful websites for writing ideas on the webpage especially for summer use as well.

For spelling, vocabulary and writing review, the students can continue to use Spelling City all summer.  This site also offers self-paced lessons (learning activities and games) for grades 1-12, it is customizable, you can review the completed grade or get a head start on the next grade!.

I am happy to run off packets of work for reading, math or writing if you like. Costco and Amazon both sell a very good workbook called Scholastic Success With 4thGrade.  It has excellent review skills in all subject areas and is less than $8.00 for way more work than you can complete!

As mentioned I have the Summer Practice Links above for Math, Reading and Writing up and running that you can access all summer for great links to support summer practice.

It has been an amazing year, but we are not done yet. Your support in helping your child keep focused and on track during these last important weeks of the school year is very important—and appreciated.  If you have any questions or ideas to help with summer studies, let me know.


Mary Simpson