Week of September 19th

untitledDear 4A Families,

Happy Monday and first day of fall this Thursday. WestFest was great fun even though the weather did not cooperate on Saturday. It was fun seeing many of you Friday night. This event is made possible each year by the many volunteers that work so hard both behind the scenes and at the event. Thank you all for your support of this wonderful community celebration.

untitledPicture Day! Tuesday the 20th is picture day. Students may enjoy free dress for their picture, or wear their uniforms. Order forms were sent home last Monday. Extra forms are available in the office.
There is an all-school Mass on Wednesday the 21st at 8:45 Students should come in perfect uniform for Mass. Please feel free to join us if you are able.
: We are beginning our study of saints in preparation for the All Saint’s Day Mass, which will be held on November 1st. Each student will have a copy of The Prayer of St. Francis in their filer on Monday. Memorization of this prayer is no later than October 27th. We will practice at school most days, but review at home will be necessary as well. This is a wonderful bedtime or morning prayer. You can access extra copies of the Prayer of St. Francis under the Religion tab in the “Prayers to Know” section. Please read the attached section at the bottom of this newsletter or in the Saint section above regarding the upcoming Saint reports.  I will be adding to this section as we move forward with our saint work. The students will have a hard copy of this information as well.

Fr. Oakland will be visiting the students of 4A on Thursday. His topic will be an introduction to Saints.

Steps to Respect:  This week we will be working through some lessons on friendship, conflict and joining groups.  This Parent letter gives a brief introduction to the program and upcoming lessons.

Social Studies: Corrected continent and ocean tests were sent home last week. The students did very well. The students will be learning to use latitude and longitude to locate places on maps. They will also be able to understand and use elevation, population and rainfall maps of the United States. Students will be able to label a blank form of this simple map with a provided word bank for a quiz on Friday, September 23rd.

zz0bc008caEvery Kid in a Park: Many of you already know about this program, but I want to also include a plug for this amazing offer.  Every 4th grade student (and their families) can have free access to National Parks for an entire year though this program.  Check it out!  They also have some great teacher resources that I will be incorporating into my SS lessons this year.

Math: We are finishing up our chapter on place value. Monday’s homework will be a practice test. The sheet should be completed at home and returned Tuesday. We will go over it in class Tuesday prior to taking the test. On Wednesday will move into addition and subtraction of large numbers along with work on measurement, area and perimeter.

ZZ535F1D92XtraMath: Thank you for signing your child up for XtraMath.  As I mentioned last week, XtraMath will be a regular part of homework to build fact accuracy and fluency. By signing up at home I am able to monitor progress. Remember, for some students their will be initial frustration with either the speed or keyboarding.  That is expected, students should persevere as it will get easier with regular, focused sessions. Remember, it is better to go slow than randomly guess as the program will adapt to each student’s level and put extra emphasis on the facts that are not yet fluent.  Guessing or just typing in any numbers to finish will greatly affect progress monitoring.  Thank you for helping to provide a consistent, quiet time (less than 10 minutes is needed) for practice.  Students should visit the site at least 4 times per 7 day week.  One time per day is best (multiple sessions in one day are not as effective).  Let me know if you have questions.

zz65bced86Reading: After finishing up some work on our stories from last week, we will move into our first novel, E.B. White’s masterpiece, Charlotte’s Web on Tuesday. Even if your child has read this book before, we will delve into the themes and vocabulary that will both inspire and challenge the students. Charlotte’s Web is a beautiful expression of true friendship. The story is also masterfully written to reinforce and build vocabulary and comprehension skills. The book lends itself perfectly to our reading standards and target skills—and never ceases to enchant! (You can probably tell I love this book! 🙂)

Spelling:   Lesson 26 word lists were sent home last Friday. On the back of the word list in your child’s filer you will also see an overview of some basic latitude and longitude vocabulary. The students will need to be able to label the same images with terms from a word bank. This will be a separate quiz from the spelling test, but some of the terms are also optional challenge spelling words.


 Have a wonderful week!  Please continue to read below about our upcoming Saint reports.

Don’t forget to sell those magazines—Tally Tuesday!




Dear 4th Grade Families,

It is that time of year when we begin to prepare for our saint reports and the wonderful All Saint’s Day Mass. This week in class we will be doing some introductory work related to saints and give the students an overview of the saint project.

There are often questions as to how the saints are selected and if specific saints can be requested for this project. Hopefully the following will answer any questions you have.

Over the years we have created a large collection of “saint packets” of many wonderful saints. The packets contain kid friendly biographies/information on these saints that are perfect to use when writing the reports. Next Monday we will pass out a saint packet to each child—girls will have girl, boys will have a boy. Once each child has a packet they have the option of trading with classmates or selecting from the extras we have. Our goal is to have no duplicates in a classroom, but students in 4A and 4B can have the same saint. This process generally works well, and it is often very fun to learn about a saint you know little or nothing about. We do try to give students saints that have their name if possible.

If you have a particular saint you have your heart set on there are a few things we will need from you. First, email us (this week) and let us know your choice. If we have that saint as part of our packets-that should be easy. If we do not, it is important that we are able to access quality, kid friendly material to use for the report. We will do our best to assist in this process, but you will need to locate information at home as well and have it to school no later than this Friday the 23rd to have your saint approved. All students will officially be assigned their Saint next Monday the 26th.

Please be understanding of our goal of having no repeats in each classroom. Every saint has a wonderful story—and it is a privilege to be able to honor them with the reports and the Mass.

So, to sum things up:

  • All students will be assigned a saint next Monday the 26th.
  • If you have a particular saint you would like to request, please do so no later than this Friday the 23rd.
  • Thank you for being understanding—and supportive of the process.

Looking ahead…

  1. Plan on being available to help your child with some saint report prep work homework next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (26th-28th) This is a pre-writing step that will help the students become “experts” on their saint and more confident as they complete their reports at school.
  1. The All Saints Day Mass is Tuesday, November 1st. Each student/family will need to create a costume to emulate their saint for the Mass. Look for more information in upcoming newsletters.
  1. Please let us know if you have any questions. This is a very special project and event for the 4th graders!

Thank you!

Ms. Simpson