Update 2/02

Happy Friday, all! What a week we just had. Catholic School’s Week is always one of my favorites but can feel pretty crazy!

Here’s what we’ve been learning this week:

In Math, students are working on Chapter 6: Multi- Digit Multiplication! They are learning multiple strategies for solving multiplication problems. In Science, we have been exploring erosion and types of rocks. Students loved learning about the Rock Cycle and making comic strips to show how sediment becomes sedimentary rock. They have also been working in groups to make stream tables, where they witnessed how water erosion deposits sediment. The 4th Graders also came up with models to prevent erosion after learning of the challenges humans face due to erosion. So fun! In Reading we started a new Novel “The Name of This Book is Secret.” Its so fun and mysterious, and they are hooked already. The class is still exploring Growth Mindset and this week learned about the “Power of Yet.” The idea is that there are many things they cannot do YET, but with practice and patience, they can get there. Here are a few notable examples:

Here are some upcoming dates to add to your calendar:

Feb 13th – Valentine’s Day Celebrations

Feb 14th – Ash Wednesday (Lent Begins)

Feb 16th – NO SCHOOL

Feb 19-23 – Midwinter Break


Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!


♥ Ms. DiGirolamo

Update 1/12

Hello Families & Welcome Back! I have a short update for you today. Since we returned back from Christmas break, students have been working hard to get back into the school routine. As a class, we came up with 3 big goals for the rest of our school year together. Each day, I remind the class of our goals and refer to it in times of challenges. Please review the list with your child and discuss which rules they are most successful at and which is the biggest challenge for them.

2018 Class Goals

In Math, students have been exploring Algebraic Patters. They learned about expressions, variables and input/output tables. Next, we will move onto multi-digit multiplication. How fun!

In Science, we dove head first into the Rock Cycle. Students used crayon shavings to “create” their own sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks. It was a great way to get hands-on in Science.

In Writing, we are still working on the Role Model Writing. Students are excited to practice their typing skills!

In Religion, our focus this week has been on baptism. We read about Jesus’ baptism and we even blessed ourselves with holy water in the classroom!

Upcoming Events:

January 15th – No School, MLK day!

January 23rd –  Global Reading Challenge! You are invited to attend this great event at 1pm in the Koinonia Room. Email me with any questions.

January 26th – Hanna Boggen visits. I would HIGHLY suggest seeing her speak here at SMS. She is truly amazing. She will be offering an hour-long workshop for our parents on emotional regulation for kids in grades PK-5 at 8:45 am. She’s been a great resource for our school in supporting all kids.  Read about her involvement here.

January 28th – Open House!

January 29-Feb 2 – Catholic School’s Week. Please see the Thursday Packets for information on each day’s theme.

Update 12/09

One more week to go! We can do it!

Thank you to all who came to St. Nick Night this past Thursday. Mr. Sherman said it was the best one yet, and I’d have to agree! Wow, those 4th Graders on recorder were really something. You can tell they’ve been working hard in music (and at home as well I’m sure 😉)

Although Christmas break is in the near future and we all have holiday music stuck in our heads, the students in 4th grade have been hard at work. Here’s a summary of what we’ve been up to:

In Religion, we are still focused on role models. Jesus is our most important role model, but students were challenged to choose their own role model that helps them live as Jesus would. We are using that idea to write an informative essay all about that person. I’m excited to see where their writing takes them!

In Science, students focused primarily on volcanoes and earthquakes this week. They plotted the plate boundaries and then found that the most famous earthquakes and volcanoes in the world are in the same place. Amazing!

In Math, we celebrating finishing Ch 4 with a puzzle activity!

Factors & Multiples

On a more personal note, you may have heard that I adopted a rescue pup this past weekend. His name is Moby and I am obsessed. I shared some photos with the students and they now ask about him every day. So sweet!

“Ms. DiGirolamo, who am I?”😂

Here are some things to keep in mind for next week:

  • The annual Diaper Drive ends on Dec 13th. All sizes of diapers are welcome. Please consider donating!
  • Friday the 15th is a FULL day of school. We will also have our 4th Grade cookie swap that afternoon. Please plan to send your child to school with 40-50 cookies. They should also have a large container to bring home their swapped cookies in! Please send recipe pages to me ASAP (I make a book for the kids each year). Also let me know if your will be at school but plans not to attend for any reason. Thanks!

Have a great weekend!

Tired of Diary of A Wimpy Kid?

At conferences, I heard many parents express frustration or dissatisfaction over their child’s book choices. Many argued that books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid were not only below their child’s reading level, but did not foster positive, respectful behavior. I agree. I have been doing my best to encourage the students to find better, more vigorous books, but its been difficult. I’m thrilled they’re motivated to read. However, there are some sites I’ve found that offer other suggestions. I’ve read many of the books on the list and I think they’d be great! This list on Goodreads provides a good variety.

Series I recommend and their descriptions:

  • The Books of Elsewhere by: Jacqueline West
  • The Borrowers by: Mary Norton
  • The Penderwicks by: Jeanne Birdsall
  • The Hero’s Guide series by: Christopher Healy 

Hope this helps 🙂 If your child is reading a a great series that you’d recommend, please let me know! I’d love to purchase some for our classroom and pass the suggestion along to other parents.

Update 12/01

Happy December!! Can you believe its here already? Here are a few updates on what we’ve been up to in 4th Grade:

In Science, students are busy learning all about the layers of the Earth. We have explored plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes. They even learned about the Ring of Fire!

In Religion, we are learning about Jesus, Our Role Model. We’ve explored what a role model is, and the qualities they possess.  Next week, students will be writing about their role models. Please discuss this with your student this weekend so they come to class ready to share!

In Walk to Math, students are wrapping up the chapter on Multiplication and Division facts. We created factor “stockings” and multiple “ornaments” to decorate the classroom and had so much fin learning about factor ninjas and multiple monsters! This is just a preview for the full unit on long division and mulit-digit multiplication. Its so fun to watch them acquire these new math skills!


Factors of 16 and multiples of 100
Students love to creatively show what they’ve learned!
Anchor Chart for remembering factors and multiples


A few reminders:

  • The class is also busy preparing for St. Nick Night, which is Thursday December 7th at 7 pm. Please plan to arrive at 6:30.
  • The annual Diaper Drive is now until Dec 13th. All sizes of diapers are welcome. Please consider donating!
  • Our last day before break (Dec 15th) is a FULL day of school. In the past, it has been a half day. It is also our 4th Grade Cookie Swap. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns.
  • I’ll be sending out one more scholastic booklet before break. Please consider buying books for your child for Christmas. Every student purchase gives our classroom points, and I can use those points to buy more books for the classroom. Its a win-win!
  • Next week, there will be NO Mass on Wednesday. Mass will be on Friday instead, as it is a holy day of obligation (Feast of the Immaculate Conception).


  • Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!


Ms. DiGirolamo


Update 11/13

Hi All! Hope you enjoyed your 3 day weekend! I sure did 🙂

Here are some important updates:

  1. Information about our annual Thanksgiving Boxes is going home today. Please have your item turned in by this FRIDAY. Here’s more info:

Every year our school community helps to provide families in need with the means to celebrate Thanksgiving. Our classes are working in teams to collect goods for one of the five families that our school is sponsoring through St. Vincent de Paul this year.

“We are a family of five from Puerto Rico. Our Daughters are (16) and (13) and Grandmother lives with us
too. We went through the devastating ‘Hurricane Maria’. Although our apartment wasn’t badly
damaged, we didn’t have food or water. Our Grandmother has many health problems and was not able
to get her medicines which she needs to survive. We were blessed to get a medical survival plane to the
States and are in Bellevue where we have a cousin who is a member of St. Madeleine Sophie parish.
Many people from St. Madeleine’s are helping us with household items as we could leave Puerto Rico
with only one carry-on each. We are so grateful that you are giving us a Thanksgiving box of much
needed food. Our prayers are for all of you.”

2. Conferences begin this Thursday. Dates/times should have gone home on Thursday. I can’t wait to meet with each of you.

3. Students are really working on being positive classmates this week. Here’s an anchor chart to highlight what that means.

Student generated anchor chart.

In Math, students are learning about Probability and Determining Possible Outcomes. In Science, we have focused on Earth’s Layers. Students made multiple models of the Earth, and we are moving into learning about plate techtonics. Next, volcanos and earthquakes! So fun! In Religion, we are nearing the end of Unit 1. Unit 1 Test will be on Monday, Nov 27th. Right now, students are working on making “advertising posters” to encourage other to be good stewards in their homes, community, and more. In Writing, we wrapped up the Personal Narratives. This week, students will get to share their writing with the class.

Thank you for your continued support and involvement in your child’s education. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.



Ms. DiGirolamo

Update 11/01

Phew! We made it through testing week AND Halloween! I am proud of how hard  most students worked last week to tackle the ITBS Tests. They were so focused, and I’m excited to have their scores back in time for conferences.

Here’s an update on what we’ve been learning this week:

In Reading, students in my Walk to Read class started their first novel study of the year! We are reading The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. This is sure to be a favorite, especially to those readers who enjoy a little fantasy and adventure! In Math, we are still working on our unit of Organizing and Analyzing Data. Students are enjoying making line plots, bar graphs and more. In Social Studies, we are wrapping up our Geography Unit. We will soon switch into Science, where students will be learning more about the Earth. We will learn what shapes and changes Earth. Stay tuned! In Religion, students are learning more about the Lord’s Prayer, and how it reinforces what they’ve learned in the Ten Commandments.

As I mentioned in the last update, students are working on applying various conflict resolution strategies, including DEBUG:

D- Decide to Ignore

E- Exit/Move Away

B- Be Friendly

U- Use Firm Words

G- Get an Adult’s Help

I have seen many students working hard to use these strategies as a replacement for hitting, kicking, yelling and using unkind words. But I have also had students express their concerns about continued cussing on the playground. Under no circumstance is it okay for students to use inappropriate and disrespectful language at school. Please, talk to your child about this and encourage them to speak positively at school. The words that we, the adults in their lives, use can have a tremendous affect on their behavior. Thank you for your continued support and reinforcement.

Upcoming Events/Things to Keep in Mind:

  1. Students are only allowed to bring ONE piece of candy to school per day. No candy during snack time! Thank you 
  2. I wanted to extend a warm welcome to our newest student in 4th Grade… David Min!
  3. Many students have asked if they can bring a computer mouse to school on Tuesdays to use for coding, and I think that’s a great idea!! If you send one to school, please make sure it has your child’s name on it.
  4. I look forward to meeting with all of you at conferences to discuss your wonderful students! Here’s what that week will look like:

Thursday, November 16th – 3:00pm School Dismissal
Conferences 3:30-6:30pm

Monday, November 20th – Noon School Dismissal
Conferences 12:30-3:30pm

Tuesday, November 21st- Noon School Dismissal
Conferences 12:30-8:00pm

Wednesday, November 22nd – No School!


Thanks for reading!

♥ Ms. DiGirolamo

Happy Halloween!

Weekly Update 10/20

Happy Friday!

This week, students have been hard at work as they entered a new Social Studies Unit. They are learning about Climate and Weather, and next week we will learn about Vegetative Regions of  Earth! In Math, we started a new chapter on Organizing and Analyzing Data! Students created their own survey question and then made frequency charts to represent the data.

Students ask each other questions

They also found the median, mode and outlier of the data set. Next week, they will learn how to graph the information on bar graphs as well! In Religion, we are learning about the 10 Commandments, and we studied the first 3 in depth this week. In Writing, students are still writing their personal narratives. I’m so excited to see how they turn out. On Nov 2, Gary Teale from Avivara will be at SMS to give us an update on our Sister School, Valle De Durazno, in Guatemala. This school holds a special place in my heart, as I visited 2 summers ago. As a school, we are preparing a book to give to the students at Valle De Durazno about out SLE’s (Serve, Lead, Love, Learn). I was so thankful to have student volunteers from all grade levels come in and help me translate the book to Spanish. If you would like to attend the assembly on Nov 2, please let me know! We will be presenting the book and having students from each grade read it aloud.

A few things to keep in mind:

  1. ITBS Testing starts next week, so please make sure your child is well fed, rested and arrives to school on time. Thank you!
  2. Many students have asked if they can bring a computer mouse to school on Tuesdays to use for coding, and I think that’s a great idea!! If you send one to school, please make sure it has your child’s name on it.
  3. We are still working on our DEBUG strategies. Please help reinforce this by encouraging students to use the strategies at home as well. Perfect to use when there are sibling conflicts!
  4. Next week, students will be getting access to their school provided Google email account. We use Google Classroom often, and students can share their work with me that way. They can also access links I share in class and take online quizzes. I will send more information out next week about specific expectations and how they should be using these accounts at home.


Have a great weekend!


Ms. DiGirolamo