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 12/02

Happy 1st Week of Advent, everyone!

We have had a very busy week! Thank you so much for all who attended St. Nick Night yesterday. It is always a great way to start off the Christmas season, and how cute were those 4th Graders?! I am so proud to be their teacher.

Here’s what we’ve been learning recently: 

In Math, we have moved on to the much awaited skill of long division!! It’s a tough chapter, but students started off with a generally positive attitude and will keep practicing their skills next week! The math homework next week will be a division packet.


In Science, we have started a unit on Energy! We are using an interactive science notebook. Next week, students will get to explore circuits and electrical energy! I can’t wait!

In Religion, students have been reflecting on Advent and the Life of Jesus. We have also set up our Nativity Scene and our Advent candles in the window!

Prayer table in our classroom.

We had a great time learning the basics of programming and algorithms during STEM time this week. I pulled some great resources from this website all about Computer Science Education Week, which starts on Dec 5th! We will definitely be participating! I have a great time learning new skills alongside the students.

This week during STEM time, students were introduced to programming and algorithms. They had a great time writing algorithms for grid paper drawings!
Students working together to interpret another group’s program.

Enjoy your weekend! I am flying off to Boise for a quick trip to visit friends. Looking forward to hearing about your child’s weekend as well.

♥Ms. DiGirolamo

Update 9/29

Hello 4th Grade Families!

Can you believe that next week is October!? There are so many things to be excited for!

In our classroom, we have been working hard to follow our classroom rules: Work Hard, Be Kind. These 4th Graders are so passionate about life, their school and their learning!

Two helpful students volunteered their recess to help pick up trash on our playground!
Two helpful students volunteered their recess to help pick up trash on our playground!

I have seen so many students trying their hardest to be self directed learners. I catch kids studying and working ahead all the time, and its amazing! I am so proud of the class for their passion for learning!

In Math, we have been working with numbers up to the ten thousands. Students are practicing their estimating and rounding skills. Although these may be skills students are already familiar with, they are important foundations for more complex math to come!

During our Math TIME, students get to participate in the following rotations:

Technology (XtraMath and Front Row in ipads)

Independence (assignments due at the end of the class period, usually a worksheet or task cards)

Making Meaning (playing math games with dice and cards that help them practice their skills)

Extension (Students work on math journal prompts or projects related to the chapter)

In Science, we are wrapping up our Earth Materials unit. Students so far have observed and analyzed mock rocks, performed scratch tests on minerals, tested rocks for calcite using vinegar, and next week they will use all the skills they’ve been acquiring to identify granite in a sample of rocks! We have had so much fun making observations, performing experiments and using real tools that geologists use!

In Religion, students have shown so much growth in their memorization of the St Francis Prayer for Peace! We will continue to take practice tests and eventually students will have an opportunity to show their mastery! We have also been learning about the Old and New Testament and how to read the Bible!

During our STEM time, students learned about technology and were able to access their Google accounts. We played around with Google Classroom and practiced completing assignments online. Please help reinforce that students are to use these accounts for school purposes only!

Please, PLEASE, please, do not forget that the SMS Move-A-Thon will take place next week on October 6th! Its imperative that all families help raise money for pledges to support our school. The top class wins a pizza party!! Please take some time this weekend to ask neighbors and/or family members for donations. It is much appreciated.

There are some items our classroom is in need of: We are looking for…

  • A class set of clipboards (~21)
  • classroom plants, always (houseplants really help make our classroom feel inviting)
  • book donations, always (preferably at 4th Grade level or higher)
  • legos and dominos for our STEM bins

Thank you so much for your continued support and guidance in your child’s education, I am so thankful to be apart of the SMS community and your child’s teacher!

♥Ms. DiGirolamo

Ps. Congrats to Liza for being nominated to “Keep the Quote” from last week! “Don’t wait to be friendly…do it now!”



Update 9/22

Happy Wednesday! What a great week we’ve had here in 4th Grade! Let me tell you about the highlights:

Our quote of the week: “Don’t wait to be friendly…do it now!”

In Math, I am excited to see our 4th Graders working hard to practice their place value skills. Just this week, they showed mastery in ordering, comparing and rounding numbers up to the millions place!  We are quickly moving past our place value chapter and onto multi-digit addition and subtraction. Please look in your child’s binder today for information going home about a great program called Front Row. This Math (and ELA) program is individualized for students and allows them to work at their own pace and at their own level. We will be using Front Row during Math, and its a great way for each student to be challenged and work at a pace that is best for them. I can give students assignments to practice specific skills and there are games available as well! Please check out the program at home and try to make Front Row a part of your nightly routine, if you can! I would love feedback on how that works for you! Also, please prepare for more math homework to come home each night. Students should be working on math for around 20 minutes at home!

In Science, students have observed crystals and identified the type of salt I used based on the crystal’s characteristic patterns and shapes! Students learned that we will be working with real earth materials (minerals) next week. They will be conducting many tests on the minerals, such as scratch tests and acid tests. We also had our first run at using STEM bins, a hands-on activity where students work in groups and “engineer” structures using various materials. This week, students worked with unifix cubes, index cards or base 10 blocks. It was so much fun and helped students work on their cooperation, compromise and teamwork skills!img_1715-1

In Religion, students took their first round of St. Francis Prayer tests. The tests are fill in the blank, and students worked together to complete the prayer. Its amazing to see how much progress they’ve made already!

Please remember that the Move-A-Thon is quickly approaching, and raising money for our school will benefit all! Please see the Thursday packets for more information.

There are some items our classroom is in need of: We are looking for…

  • A class set of clipboards
  • classroom plants, always
  • book donations, always (preferably at 4th Grade level or higher)
  • legos and dominos for our STEM bins

Did you see that I added some new pages to the website? Check out the following pages for more class info:

  1. Need Homework Help?
  2. Homework (where I talk about what your child should be doing each night)
  3. Your Fourth Grader

Thanks so much for your continued trust and support. I am so lucky to be your child’s teacher!

[bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-heart”] Ms. DiGirolamo


Update 9/16

Hello Fabulous 4th Grade Families,

Welcome back and I hope your school year has been off to a great start. Mine sure has! 🙂

Thanks to all the parents who made it out to Back to School Night yesterday. It was great seeing all of you and having the opportunity to share more about myself and our classroom. If you did not attend B2SN, please look in your student’s binder/backpack for some paperwork that I sent home. Thank you again! We are still looking for a parent to volunteer to be the Art Auction Project Volunteer for our school auction in April. This would be a pretty easy job, and I can give more detail if you’re interested. Last year, 4th Grade made a quilt made by my mom! Check out her website (http://www.fabriccreationsbykathy.com/)  if you’re interested. She specializes in T-Shirt quilts and does an AMAZING JOB!


This week, we really dove head first into academics. Here’s a brief summary:

In Math, students showed me their amazing place value skills by representing numbers in various ways-standard form, word form, and expanded form. They also practiced comparing numbers into the ten thousands! Next week, onto rounding numbers into the millions!

In Religion, students have been learning the many ways that God has revealed himself to us. First, through Old Testament and the stories of creation and the Covenant. Second, through the Old Testament and Jesus’ life. We are also reflecting on being saints for others, the school theme this year. I also introduced our first 4th Grade prayer–St. Francis’s Prayer for Peace. You can find a copy in your student’s binder!

In Science, our class of geologists have excitedly begun our Earth Materials Unit. We analyzed, observed and eventually took apart our “mock rocks”. We discovered that rocks are Earth materials made up of more than one “ingredient” or mineral. We have been doing lots of experiments regarding separating the ingredients of our mock rocks even further. More to come next week!

This week, our class quote was “lets all be BRAVE.” I wrote the quote on a piece of poster paper and displayed it in the classroom. Throughout the week, students tried to live out the quote, and today, we voted on which 4th Grade student really represented the quote as best as they could. Congratulations to Julie Grace for being our first student to Keep the Quote!

Thank you so much for reading!

Have an amazing weekend,

♥ Ms. DiGirolamo


Update 3/16/16

Happy Wednesday!

Since this weekend’s storms, our school has been struggling with our internet connection. Thanks so much for your patience and understanding that we may not be able to respond quickly to emails during the school day. Nonetheless, students have been working hard and learning lots!
In Math, we have been learning about function tables. Students are able to find the rule for input/output tables using their addition/subtraction/multiplication/division skills! Its been so much fun! We are ready, however, to move onto higher level multiplication…so hang on tight 😉
In Writing, students have been learning skills that will help them with their essays. We have learned about topic sentences, outlines and evidence based terminology. 4th Graders learned how to use phrases like, “This proves that…” and “Research shows…” and “For instance…” Its so amazing to watch their writing jump to the next level! We will continue to focus on our essay writing for the next 2 weeks, so please continue to support your child by helping them research, gather information and have a positive attitude for writing!
In Science, students learned that different types of plants have different water tolerances! A very useful thing to know and research when raising houseplants or studying terrariums.
In Religion, students read about their souls, and we learned that God gives us each a soul and creates us in His image. Our souls give us 2 things: Intellect and Free Will. I encourage you to check out our “Souls of Gold” Rainbows hanging in our classroom windows to learn more! 🙂
This month’s focus for our class is cooperation. I encourage you to converse with your child about what that means at school and at home!
Have a safe rest of you week and remember….. less than 2 weeks until Spring Break! [bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-tree-conifer”]
[bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-heart”] Ms. DiGirolamo
"What's your best quality?"
“What’s your best quality?”

Weekly Update 3/10

Hello There!

Thanks for checking in on this update! I’d love to see how many parents read this! If you’ve read this update, can you please shoot me a quick email letting me know? Thanks!

4th Graders have been working this week to learn expressions, patterns and function tables in Math. Solving for x is fun!

In Social Studies, students have been working on their government foldable. We are learning about the various types of government.

We took both Reading and Math STAR Assessments this week. Students did an amazing job, and it’s evident we are making gains!

Our next field trip will be to St. Vincent de Paul in April. What a great opportunity for us all to serve! Please donate at least 1 can of food.

Next week is a short week…no school on Friday (Teachers will be here!) Please remember also that this week marks the end of Trimester 2. Can you believe it!?

Please help your child research their essay topic this weekend. I have reserved some books at the library for students, but they will need to find research outside of school as well. Let me know if you have questions! Thank you!


Ms. DiGirolamo


Please remember to sell your raffle tickets for the Gala!!!!!


Weekly Update 3/03

Happy March, everybody! I can hardly believe we are into a new month and almost our LAST trimester together. I can’t bear to think about all our fun coming to an end…. FullSizeRender-2

This week, we learned a bit about Women’s History Month and Dr. Seuss. On Wednesday, PK-4th Graders celebrated the beloved Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a huge reading/activity party! Students made ‘Seustastic’ crafts, played with Cat in the Hat playing cards, and did LOTS of reading. We had a blast!

This week, we have continued our expressions unit in Math. I have written some secret messages to students using variables to replace numbers, and the kids did great deciphering my codes! 🙂 In Social Studies, we learned about various economic systems such as capitalism and communism. We learned this week that our next big writing project will be ESSAYS!  Please look for a paper sent home detailing what will be expected of the 4th graders in this unit.

Our most exciting times this week has been in Science! In order to determine the preferred environments for our isopods and beetles, we have been conducting some fun experiments. We learned that isopods prefer moist, dark environments, while the darkling beetles petered dry, dark environments! Next up…students create their own tests to determine what other types of environments the creatures will prefer! Stay tuned 😉

We are wrapping up our Art Auction project this week. Thank you to those who ensured that their students produced their best work. I believe the project will turn out beautiful!

I hope the update finds you all healthy and healthy. Only a few more weeks of Lent and we will be approaching Holy Week, Easter and Spring Break!

Thank you for all you do in order to make our 4th Grade family as special as it is!

♥Ms. DiGirolamo

Students were prompted to write their favorite part about being in this 4th Grade Class.

Weekly Update 2/25

Hello My Favorite Fourth Grade Families! 🙂

Welcome back from mid-winter break! What a fun week we have had so far! Our field trip on Tuesday was a huge success, and I am proud to say that 4th graders represented SMS very well. Their respect and engagement was impressive. (Check out our class Shutterfly page to see some great pics!) We thoroughly enjoyed the IMAX movie National Parks Adventure 3D. Our world, and our nation, is absolutely beautiful. I encourage you to go out and explore it with your family. In fact, I have FREE National Park Passes available for each of your children!! Once students complete their field trip reflection project, they will receive their free pass. It is valid in ALL National Parks until August 2016! WOO!

In Math, we have moved into our Algebraic Patterns Unit! Students will explore many new skills, including identifying patterns, finding the value of expressions, finding rules to write equations and identifying extra or missing information in an equation. It should be a challenging and engaging unit!

In Religion, students are writing entries in their Lent journals. We also learned the other day that God is LOVE, and that he shows his love for us in so many ways. I have encouraged students to give that love they receive from God to others, especially those in the margins. We learned that people in the margins are those who are not naturally in our lives, whom we are removed from. Recipients of the donations from our CRS Rice Bowls are a great example of giving to those in the margins.

In Science, we have some exciting developments. Last night after school, I received our class’ shipment of LIVE MATERIALS! Beetles and Isopods have entered our classroom, and we are ready to conduct some tests to find the preferred environments for our bugs! Students will conduct tests to determine which type of soil (dry, moist, wet) the bugs prefer. We will place them in our terrarium today as well, and let them explore that environment. What fun! (Lets hope none of them escape, Ms. DiGirolamo is not the biggest bug fan) 😉

Please be on the lookout for a paper I will send home tomorrow (Friday) regarding the 4th Grade Art Auction project. Students will be required to do some art over the weekend.  We have quite an exciting project to offer this year! Please let me know if you have any questions.

What great weather we’ve had the past few days. I hope you’ve had an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with your families.

Thank you for this opportunity to teach your wonderful children! I am, as always, feeling truly blessed to be in their lives.


Ms. DiGirolamo [bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-heart”]

Weekly Update 2/10

Happy Ash Wednesday Families!!

Thank you so much for all your help and support with the Valentine’s Day party, and for all those who helped make my birthday (2/9) so special! I told everyone that the best gift of all was having such a fabulous class! All your children are so dear and special to me.

These past 2 weeks, 4th graders have been busy! We celebrated Catholic School’s Week last week with many festivity and free dress days! In Science, we planted our terrariums and made our first entry in our Terrestrial Journals. The students (without any h11elp!) made plans to plant various seeds…radish, corn, peas, barley and clovers! We left for the weekend and then BOOM! Students saw Monday morning that their terrariums have come to life! IMG_8312It is so exciting to see their engagement and interest in the germination of the seeds. We are making predictions, observations and learning all about environmental factors! Such fun!!!

In Math, students are continuing to learn about multiplication.We made Factor Ninjas and Mulitple Monsters, and practiced our math facts by finding factors and multiples of numbers. Students did great, and we are preparing to move onto our functions unit. We will start with addition and subtraction functions, and move on from there.

In Social Studies, we started our Human Geography Unit, where we have been learning about population and migration. Its so interesting to explore concepts such as population density, population growth, and the reasons that people may move to or from an area. This unit will prepare us to learn all about explorers!

Please do not forget that next week is mid-winter break…no school! I encourage you to help your student use this time to recharge, read and spend time with friends! Lets pray for good weather!

Right after our midwinter break, we will be getting ready for our class field trip to the Pacific Science Center. Please look for more info to come, especially if you are going to be a chaperone. Also, we are officially scheduled to see the IMAX show National Parks Adventure 3D. I’ve heard its really great, and fits right into our curriculum! Score! 🙂

Thank you for continuing to be a spiritual role model to your children, especially during this season of Lent. Your example of prayer, fasting and almsgiving will make all the difference in your student’s life.


♥Ms. DiGirolamo