Week of May 22nd

ZZ2FF5F814Dear 4A Families,

The bake sale was a great success and great fun! Thank you all for your support—the delicious baked goods—and help before, during and after the sale. We are really on the home stretch now. Hard to imagine that we only have three weeks of school left!

Attached to the bottom of this letter, and well as in hard copy form in your child’s filer, you will find my “Summer Speech” about the importance of summer practice and review. Thank you for taking time to read the letter.

ZZ5118A314Field day at Hiawatha is this Friday. Students should dress for a day of activity and wear appropriate athletic shoes. Students should also bring water bottles. We will pray for sun! Remember, this is also a half-day. 4A is wearing blue and green as their main colors for the day.

If you have not turned in your permission slips for field day (green) please do so by Tuesday. Thank you.

ZZ02684493The buy one, get one free Book Fair begins this Friday after Field Day. The book fair is a great time to pick out some good books for summer reading. Research shows that students who read regularly during the summer have better retention of skills and are less likely to have that “summer loss”. I’d like to see all 4A students read no less than five “just right” books this summer-more would even be better. I can’t stress enough the importance of regular reading during the summer!! Hopefully, all 4A students will take part in Mrs. Harris’ Summer Reading Challenge as well. The students will also have a presentation from the Seattle Public Library this week to talk about their summer reading program. The librarian that comes to speak to the students always shares lots of great book ideas.

ZZ0B651878On Monday (22nd) the 4th grade students will be given a private band recruitment concert by the Holy Rosary Band students and Francis McKamey. Francis will give the students a preview of the types of instruments that are available to the students so they can start thinking about band for 5th grade.

Reading/L.A.: There is a spelling test this week for Lesson 20. Lists were sent home last Friday. Our whole class novel study of The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is getting very interesting and nearing the end. We are enjoying this fun mystery/adventure as well as building our reading and vocabulary skills.

Mystery Books: The students should be done, or nearly done reading their mystery books at this point. They will be sharing their books in class next Thursday and Friday (June 1st and 2nd) I will be giving them directions for their sharing. Those that chose to do extra credit work will share that as well.

Social Studies: The Washington City Map test takes place tomorrow (Tuesday). The students will be learning about the early history of Seattle, and the arrival of the Denny Party at Alki Point. We will also learn about the days of downtown Seattle—which will lead us to the reason we have an underground tour! The Great Seattle Fire and the Klondike Gold Rush will be included in this early history our city. Seattle has a very interesting early history that is always a crowd pleaser!

This Thursday we will get to visit the 6th Grade Wax Museum, which is always a fun and educational event. The students will also be sharing their Flat Stanley Journals with the students of 1A.

zz5c2a9a21Have a great week everyone!  I encourage students to bring in water bottles on these warm days.  Thank you!

Enjoy the Memorial Day Holiday!


  • Washington City Test on Tuesday
  • Spelling lesson 20—The test is on Thursday this week!
  • Math homework Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
  • Mystery book (finish all reading this week)

Important Dates:

Buy One, Get One Free Book Fair begins this Friday and ends next Friday June 2nd. Look for hours of operation in the eFC this Thursday.

ZZ4B238AEEMay 22nd: Band recruitment concert for 4th graders 10:45-11:15.

May 23rd : Washington City Test

May 25th: 6th Grade Wax Museum and Flat Stanley sharing.

May 26th: Field Day and noon dismissal. Wear blue and green!

May 29th: Memorial Day—no school

June 1st: Happy Graduation to the 8th Grade Students!

June 1st and 2nd: Mystery Book Presentations

June 7th: Underground Tour and picnic at Alki Beach: free dress

June 6th and 8th: Cleaning days. Bring in rags and bags!

June 8th: Half day. Finish cleaning, final lessons. Free dress

June 9th: Final Day! Mass and dismissal. Dress nicely.


untitledSummer Review and Practice 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 some 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. 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 daily in 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.

Mrs. Harris 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 Library will also be here this week to talk to the students about their summer reading program as well. She 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. https://www.hamlinrobinson.org/programs/summer


Every 4th grade student needs to take time this summer to review and practice the many important skills we have learned this year. Students must have their multiplication and division facts mastered for fluent recall as they begin 5th grade. 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 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. I will be sending a separate letter about a Mathletics Summer Certificate program that I encourage all students to take part in.

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 Reading information.

I am also happy to run of some paper/pencil math packets if you prefer. Just let me know.


Journal writing, pen pals, letters, creative stories, online programs like 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. Keyboarding practice is also highly encouraged. As the students move into the upper grades many of their final papers will be typed. There are quite a few free online programs out there that teach keyboarding. Have your child help select one they enjoy using.

For spelling, vocabulary and writing review, you might want to check out the special summer program offered by Spelling City. It 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! They have both web and app access.

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 4th Grade. 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 will have a Summer Practice Site on our 4A Webpage up and running at the end of the year 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