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.

 

Best,

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

Weekly Update 10/11

Wow! Thank you so much to all who volunteered/participated at our Move-a-Thon this year! It was so much fun. I had a blast running with students past and present, and definitely woke up sore on Friday morning! We are blessed to have this community.

This week, students are having lots of fun learning! In Math, we are focusing on multi-digit addition and subtraction. Here’s a photo of students using technology in the classroom (Front Row) to practice their math fluency skills. Please encourage your child to use Front Row at home, too!

Using Chromebooks in the classroom

In Social Studies, students are still learning all about our earth! They are studying time zones and climates! In Writing, students continue to gain skills in order to write personal narratives.  This week, we are focusing on writing hooks. We’ve had a lot of fun rewriting “boring” hooks to make them more exciting for our readers! In Religion, we are beginning a unit on The Ten Commandments.  Students are gaining skills each week in Coding. I encourage you to check out TechSmartKids to see what your coder has been up to!

As a class, students are still focusing on having self control, acting with integrity and being respectful to all. I encourage you to have a conversation with your child about what they can do to practice these values this week.

– Maya Angelou

Here is a list of upcoming events to keep in mind:

  1. Our Gala Kick-Off party is THIS Friday, October 13th, 6:30 – 9:30 PM. I hope to see you there! Cheers! 
  2. The Global Reading Challenge book are going to be here on Thursday! Yay! I am so glad to report that a very large majority of 4th Graders are participating this year. It’s going to be a blast!
  3. Its that time of year again… students are getting sick! Please help us all out by ensuring your child gets enough sleep, washes their hands, and stays home to recover if they become sick. Thanks!

Thank you all for reading! I hope you have a great rest of your week. Thank you for your continued support.

♄Ms. DiGirolamo

Update 10/03

Yesterday, as the class was having morning meeting, one student suddenly realized it was October. And I mean he suddenly, loudly, innocently exclaimed in disbelief, “Wait, its OCTOBER?! Why didn’t anybody tell me?!? Are you SERIOUS?”

It was hilarious, and I can totally relate. I cannot believe it is already pumpkin-spice-Halloween-winter-coat-season! We have a lot going on this time of year, so I hope you’re ready for it!

On another note, in the wake of this week’s tragedy in Las Vegas, I just wanted to take the time to remind families that I truly care for each and every one of your children, and I am doing my best to instill love, compassion and bravery in each of them. These are all amazing kids and I hope a generation to help bring peace to our world.

 

♄ Ms. DiGirolamo

Update 9/27

Hello Families! Wow! Can you believe we are almost done with our 4th week of school? Time has just flown by. It has been great getting to know each of the students and bonding as a class! Each of my updates will include a little bit about what they are learning/doing in class, anything specific the class is focusing on, as well as reminders about upcoming events or activities!

This week, students are having lots of fun learning! In Math, we are focusing on our place value skills. Students also learned about the Properties of Addition. We even came up with an easy clue for each of them:

  • Commutative Property – “flip flop rule”
  • Associative Property – “the buddy rule”
  • Identity Property – “the me rule”

In Social Studies, students are learning all about our earth! They are studying maps, globes and how geographers study our earth! In Writing, students are learning how to write personal narratives. They are writing their narratives on a small moment in time, focusing on our recent field trip. I can’t wait to see what they come up with! In Religion, they are still studying the St. Francis Prayer.

As a class, students are focusing on having self control, acting with integrity and being respectful to all. I encourage you to have a conversation with your child about what they can do to practice these values this week.

Here is a list of upcoming events to keep in mind:

  1. Our Move-A-Thon is always a great time to help contribute to our school. Ask friends, family and neighbors to donate here. The Move-A-Thon is next Thursday, October 5th, but donations are being accepted until 10/27. We are so close to reaching our goal!
  2. No school on Friday, October 6th. Teacher inservice.
  3. Our Gala Kick-Off party is on Friday, October 13th, 6:30 – 9:30 PM. I hope to see you there! Cheers! 
  4. Commitment forms for the Global Reading Challenge are due on Monday. I HIGHLY encourage all students to participate. It’s so much fun and encourages reading, teamwork and a little friendly competition 😉
  5. Its that time of year that students are starting to get sick. Please help us all out by ensuring your child gets enough sleep, washes their hands, and stays home to recover if they become sick. Thanks!

Thank you all for reading! I hope you have a great rest of your week. Thank you for your continued support.

♄Ms. DiGirolamo

I have the best 4th Grade class!

 

Update 1/26

Happy Thursday, Fourth Grade Families!

I am excited to update you on all the things the students have been up to these last few weeks! With Catholic School’s Week approaching next week, we have been busy reflecting on our favorite things about SMS!

Students used a program called Tagul to create these images for Catholic School's Week! They had so much fun customizing the art.
Students used a program called Tagul to create these images for Catholic School’s Week! They had so much fun customizing the art.

 

In Math: We finished up the unit on Algebraic Expressions and Patters and moved on to Geometry! Students have been exploring 2D and 3D shapes and are able to identify the number of faces, edges and vertices. Next up…(and one of my favorite Math chapters) angles!

In ELA: We are deep into idioms and figurative language. Its been such a blast using idioms we discovered from other languages. Check out our classroom for some stories containing the students’ favorite idioms!

In Religion: A lot of our religion focus these last few weeks have been on peace. We started with a read aloud of What Does Peace Feel Like? (See our classroom for what 4th Graders think peace feels/smells/looks like) We learned about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s influence on our country and how his message of peace is a lesson we can apply today. We also ready multiple stories of peace  including The Peace Tree of Hiroshima  and The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq. We have also started reading about how we are all created in God’s image. God gave us souls with allow us to use our intellect and free will.

In Science: We are finishing our unit on Energy. Student have learned about Electrical, Light, Sound and Thermal Energy! There will be a short quiz next week, so students should study their Science Notebooks.

***

PLEASE SEE TODAY’S THURSDAY PACKET FOR INFO ON CSW! Each day has a different theme and dress up day! Also, the school could really use volunteers for the pancake breakfast on Wednesday. If you’re interested in helping, please let me know! Thank you!

I hope this update finds you well. Thank you for you trust and continued support!

♄ Ms. DiGirolamo

Update 1/06

Hello 4th Grade Families!

I hope you all had a restful, memorable Christmas break! I had a great time relaxing in the Arizona and Florida sun, but was excited to come back to school to see so many smiling faces. I loved hearing stories of what students did over break with their friends and families.

Although it was a short week, students stayed focused and busy. In Math, they learned a new division strategy called “partial quotients.” Although many of you may have been unfamiliar with the strategy, I hope you learned a lot doing the parent partner math sheet for homework earlier in the week. We are wrapping up our division unit on Friday and will start Algebraic Patterns on Monday!

In ELA, students have been working on Figurative Language such as personification, metaphors, similes, hyperbole and more! Its so fun to see students recognize these expressions in other reading, too!

In Religion, 4th Grade has been focused on our January responsibility of leading Mass. Students have been busy writing saint reports, coordinating skits and practicing the readings. I hope you get a chance to attend Mass this month to see your child’s hard work!

 

Thank you for all the sweet gifts and cards given this Christmas season. It is greatly appreciated.

Kindly,

Ms. DiGirolamo