Weekly Update 1/29

Hello All! Can you believe January is just about over?  I hope 2016 has been good to you so far.

4th Graders have been busy this week! We started our Multiplication and Division Unit in Math. We started out by making multiplication cities! We used graph paper to make arrays that represented buildings. I was so impressed by their creativity. Check out our classroom windows soon for some examples! In Social Studies, we are studying Vegetative Regions of the World. Students put their illustrative skills to use and drew examples of plant types that are found in each region. It was so much easier to see the difference between the regions after that. We learned that rainfall greatly affects the colors and density of vegetation. We also made our own World Vegetative Maps to see which regions occur in different parts of the world. The students were super engaged and motivated to complete these assignments!

We will begin a new Science Unit next week–Environments. I think students will be super excited to see all the things they get to learn and do! We will be building terrariums, studying insects and even make our own aquariums!

Please not that next week is Catholic School’s Week. Information is in the Thursday Folders! Also, look for field trip info going home in the folders as well.

“If you have the right mindset and mental attitude, nothing can stop you from achieving your goals!”

Best, Ms. DiGirolamo ♥

Weekly Update 1/15

Hi All!

Happy Friday! Students have had an overall great week. I have had so many proud moments–but I think my top moment was at Mass on Wednesday. 4th Grade has been doing such a spectacular job with the Readings, bringing up the Gifts, saying the Intention, and being respectful. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to be their teacher.

4th graders have been learning lots this week! In Religion, (almost) everyone has passed their Memorare test! It is amazing to see the progress they’ve made with it. We started to learn the Nicene Creed. This one is tough, but we are taking it piece by piece and students are motivated to get started! In Social Studies, students are learning how climate affects vegetation around the world. We also discussed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and we will continue that conversation into next week as well. In Math, we are finishing up our Data unit by learning about Probability and Possible Outcomes. We will be taking our unit test next week, and I am confident that many students will show mastery in their data analysis skills! In Science, we have finished our Earth Materials unit. Students conducted various tests on rocks and minerals, just a geologist would do, in order to decide which minerals are in granite. It was exciting and engaging! In Reading, we practiced our verb usage and learned about action, helping and linking verbs. We analyzed some great MLK quotes and found all the verbs!

Thank you to all the parents that have volunteered at school this week, and in weeks past. Its great to see you in the lunch room, office, Mass and out at recess. Your presence is truly appreciated and helps makes teachers’ jobs easier as well!

Please remember that we have a 3 day weekend, so I will see all your kiddo’s smiling faces on Tuesday! Have a safe, blessed, rested weekend. I’ll be out enjoying the snow! 

“Peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Ms. DiGirolamo ♥

Weekly Update: 1/7 Welcome Back!

Hello Wonderful 4th Grade Families,

Happy 2016!!

I sincerely hope you all had an amazing Christmas and New Year. I know that I enjoyed seeing my family in Denver and Phoenix (although it wasn’t warm at all!) and appreciated the time to relax and refocus. I enjoyed hearing your children’s stories about the adventures they had!

We are coming back from break with new focus and energy! I am excited to say that we have been getting back into the school routine and I am impressed with the students’ maturity and responsibility. This month’s focus is INTEGRITY. We will be continually discussing what that means to us and how we can live it to the best of our abilities. I invite you to discuss with your child how they can show integrity at home as well.

In Math, we have been learning how to interpret, represent and analyze data using line plots, bar graphs and double bar graphs! They seem to really enjoy it and we are almost ready to move on to probability and prediction! Woo!

In Social Studies, we have been reading about Climate and Weather, and students did a great job of reading as a class yesterday.

In Religion, we are wrapping up our memorization of the Memorare, and many students are confident in their ability to recite it! Next week, we will begin to learn the Nicene Creed (its a long one!!) and I hope they will be just as excited. We also had a talk about our school’s SLE’s: Serve, Lead, Love and Learn. Students watched this awesome video and then made New Year’s Resolutions for each SLE. My favorite one was: “Learn how to build a robot!” And guess what? We did!! 4th graders got to visit Middle School’s Robotics class and assemble and control robots on Wednesday. It was so much fun and I have a feeling we may have some future engineers in our group 🙂

Lastly, I wanted to let all families know that we have 2 new, amazing students in our class…. Sam Boyd and Sofia Griffin. We are so lucky to have them and are thrilled they are part of our 4th Grade Family.


Your children are a blessing to me each day, and I am always thankful to be apart of this community. God Bless.

♥Ms. DiGirolamo

Weekly Update 12/04

Happy Advent Wonderful 4th Grade Families!

Last night was our annual St. Nick Night Christmas concert and all the SMS students that participated did AWESOME! I am so proud of all the students and it was a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. Thank you all so much for your support and participation.

This week, students have been hard at work learning new skills and practicing old ones. In Math, we shifted focus into data collection and organization. At the beginning of the week, each students created and conducted their own survey for the class, then displayed their data on tally and frequency charts. This organization allowed students to analyze the data quickly and pull information from it. For example, we learned that the 4th Grade’s favorite prayer is the Hail Mary and their favorite color is blue? Next, each student found the mean and mode of their data set. In Science, students learned that geologists test rocks in many ways to determine it’s properties. We conducted one of these tests in our own classroom–the Calicite Test–using vinegar. We watched as some of the rocks we tested reacted to the acid. A reaction told us that the rock contains the mineral calcite!

As we begin a new month, we also add a “focus” characteristic to our classroom discussions. In the past few months, we have been building citizenship, respect, self control, and now…patience! This week, we talked about the relationship between patience and self control, and discussed its importance. We also watched a great video on the “Marshmellow Test.” You can watch it here. It’s a great way to discuss delayed gratification and the benefits of patience and self control.

I hope you all enjoy the weekend and continue to wait patiently for Jesus’ coming at Christmastime. Happy 1st week of Advent.


Ms. DiGirolamo


Update 11/24

Hello 4th Grade Families,

Happy short week! It has been so lovely meeting with parents for conferences this week. I feel so blessed that you’ve all taken the time to discuss with me your student’s strengths, challenges and progress. SMS is truly blessed to have you here.

Although it’s been a short week, I have tried to squeeze in as much academics as I can! Students have been busy reading The Last of the Really Great Whandoodles in this class for Walk to Read. Its such a fun adventurous book! In Math, students created their own Scoot game on notecards with multi-digit addition and subtraction problems. We placed the questions all around the room and students “Scooted” around answering them. It was great to move around and solve problems our classmates created! We have also been busy studying the Memorare. Its amazing to see so many students so motivated to learn this new prayer. It has enhanced our Morning Meetings and I have noticed more engagement and excitement to recite the prayer. Our class has also been preparing for St. Nick Night (Dec 3rd, don’t forget!) by rehearsing our songs. It has really gotten us into the holiday spirit.

I hope you all enjoy the days off and time with family and friends. Please take this opportunity to remind your children that we have so much to be thankful for, and that it feels so great to give to others. Speaking of which, our Thanksgiving boxes went out today. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR DONATIONS. The family we are sponsoring will be so thankful.

As always, I feel beyond blessed to be your child’s 4th grade teacher. Thank you!

Ms. DiGirolamo

Update 11/12

Hi Families!

I hope you all enjoyed the 3 day weekend, I know that I did! This week, we have been working hard to finish our first Trimester strong! This Friday (11/13) marks the end of Trimester 1. (Can you believe that?!)

This week, we have been learning about Veteran’s Day and discussing the history behind it. We also looked at some pretty adorable “homecoming” pictures of soldiers reuniting with their families and loved ones. The students really enjoyed making predictions and observations about the photos before I showed them the captions. It was a great way to see all the great things your students know about veterans and how well they can make inferences from a simple picture.

Thank you to all that returned Parent-Teacher Conference Forms. You will be receiving information about when your conference(s) will take place in the Thursday folder. I look forward to meeting with everyone!!

I made cookies for the kiddos this week just because I like them so much. Many asked for the recipe, so I told them I would post the link for the Confetti Cake Batter Cookies here 🙂 I invite you to take this opportunity to bake with your children, discussing Math (fractions, measurement) as well as Science… cookies are just like ROCKS! They are made up of different ingredients (or minerals) and each one is unique.

This week we have shifted our Math focus to addition and subtraction of multi digit numbers. We have also been working hard to complete our “4 Regions of Washington” foldable. So many students are working hard to produce their best work! I can’t wait to see the finished products.

Thanks for sharing your amazing kiddos with me at school. I am so lucky 🙂

Ms. DiGirolamo

If you have any questions about anything, please let me know at conferences or shoot me an email at ndigirolamo@stmadsophie.org



Update 11/3

Hello Amazing 4th Grade Families!

I am happy to announce that we survived ITBS Testing week and Halloween and November is off to a great start! By Friday, we will have 9 weeks of school under our belts, can you believe it?

I wanted to say how proud I am of your students for their hard work during testing last week. They really showed a lot of maturity, stamina and respect! The results from testing should be out by the end of the month.

This week, we are back into our regular schedule. In math, we have moved onto our addition/subtraction unit, and we are learning about the commutative and associative properties of addition. Ask your student if they can teach you about it! In Social Studies, we are looking into the 5 regions of Washington. We are making a foldable graphic organizer to show all that we have learned. If your student is in my classroom for Walk To Read, we started our first novel, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Edwards. It is a wonderful fantasy tale that allows students to use their imaginations and really takes us on an adventure. I think the students will have a lot of fun with this one 🙂

We are starting to practice our songs for St. Nick Night (It is December 3rd, I believe) and in religion we are continuing to learn about our relationship with God and his role in our lives. Our November focus is Self Control. We will be talking about the importance of practicing self control, what to do when its hard to control ourselves, and we may even play some fun self control games to test our abilities! I believe self control is one of the most important fruits of the Spirit and has a huge impact on our happiness, success and health. Did you know that research shows that kids who displayed greater amounts of self-control at even age 4 went on to earn better grades, were more popular with peers and teachers, were less likely to report problems with drug use and earned higher salaries as adults? We are always working on self control in our classroom, but this month, it gets a special emphasis. Please chat with your kiddos at home about self control and how they are working to improve 🙂

Thank you, families, again for this opportunity to teach your children. I feel so blessed everyday to be apart of this SMS community and your lives. Please feel free to come to me with any questions or concerns you may have moving forward.

Here’s to a wonderful November!

Ms. DiGirolamo

Weekly Update 10/23

Hello Wonderful 4th Grade Families!

Week 7 was a success! We are finishing up our Place Value assessments, and many students have showed mastery in the various skills while working with a number up to the millions– writing in expanded, standard and word form, ordering, comparing and rounding, as well as working through word problems. It’s great to see students able to do things that just a few weeks ago, they could not!

This week, I introduced the students to GoNoodle. Its a great website full of videos that guide students through dances, meditations, stretching exercises and coordination activities. We use GoNoodle to help us get out our wiggles, refocus and as a “transition/brain break” activity between subjects. This is a free resource for teachers and parents, so I would encourage you to check it out! It’s a great (and safe!) site for kids to use and explore on their own or with friends/siblings! We sure have fun in class with it.

I would like to remind all families that next week we will be taking the ITBS standardized tests. It is very important that your students come to school well rested and well fed–breakfast and sleep is ESSENTIAL to your student doing their very best next week. The purpose of these tests is not to stress you or the kids out, so please remember, we use these tests to get feedback on the various learning areas and inform future teaching for the bulk of the year. I have tried to emphasize to the students that all I ask is that they do their best. If you find that your child is stressing about testing, please let me know, and I will do my best to ease their anxiety. I have a very fun week planned for us, and testing is just a part of what we will be doing 🙂

Speaking of plans….next week we will be celebrating Halloween as a class! Friday afternoon is our class party! Students may come to school in free dress (NOT in costume) and will be able to “change” into their costumes at the end of the day before the party. Any questions about the party can be directed toward our wonderfully fabulous room parent, Tricia Bertsch. Please send your student with a costume they can easily put on, preferably something that can slip on over their regular clothes. As always, costumes should be appropriate and reflect our school philosophy. Do not allow your child to bring weapons or masks of any kind. Thank you! 🙂

Have a super weekend!

Ms. DiGirolamo



Weekly Update 10/16

Happy Friday 4th Grade Families!

Our class had a super week, but it went by so quickly!! I can hardly believe we are starting our 7th week of school on Monday. We learned so many things this week. One of my favorite lessons was our “DEBUG” lesson, where we practiced strategies for dealing with conflict. Students decorated an index card and wrote on the back the strategy they want to focus on this week. Please ask them what DEBUG stands for and see if they can name them all!

D-Decide to Ignore

E-Exit/Move Away

B-Be Friendly

U-Use Firm Words

G-Get An Adult

We have been working in math on ordering, comparing and rounding numbers up to the millions. Its so exciting to see how much they are able to do already! Wednesday was World Math Day, so students participated in that by playing Mathletics with the help of some middle schoolers. It was pretty fun to play math games against students from all over the world. Be sure to ask your child which countries they played against! 🙂

In Science, we finally broke apart our Mock Rocks and divided all the materials into piles. We are learning that rocks are made up of various earth materials, and its a geologist’s job to figure out what! I was glad to see that the students were mature when using our geologists tools such as nails (our version of a pick axe) and hands lens.

In Religion, we are continuing the “Steps To Respect” program, so students are learning how to respond appropriately to friendly behavior, and how to foster friendships both at school and in the community. We practiced “good” and “bad” responses to someone giving us a compliment or trying to start a conversation.

Thank you again for your continued support of SMS! Just a quick reminder that donations related to the Move A Thon will be accepted until October 30th!

Parents, please remember to encourage your children to eat hearty, nutritious breakfasts, and pack a lunch that will help their bodies and brains! This is especially important as cold/flu season is upon us AND as we approach ITBS Testing (more on that next week).

Enjoy your (hopefully) sunny weekends and I can’t wait to see you again on Monday. I’m so blessed to be apart of your children’s lives, so thank you for that.

Ms. DiGirolamo


Weekly Update 10/9

Hi 4th Grade Families! 

We had a great first full week of October! Our big focus this week was Math Centers. We are finally getting used to all 4 centers and working our hardest at each one! I was so proud to see students working independently and respecting the expectations at each center. We are coming along in our place value unit, and lots of students are showing evidence of mastering that standard!

We also started our Map Grid Projects, and all students should have brought that home to work on. It has 2 parts, and can be a little big tricky, so please help your child to break the assignment apart if need be. It should be fun, however, as they can be creative, color, and design their own maps! In science, we began to make observations on our mock rocks, and the students are really excited to break them apart next week! We learned about the properties of rocks that geologists look for, and how we can tell rocks apart.

Parents, please remember that tomorrow is our annual MOVE-A-THON! Students should come to school dressed in athletic gear (weather appropriate) as well as running shoes! Please, please do not send your child to school in shoes that will be painful, unsafe or uncomfortable to move in! Thank you! They will be getting their t-shirts when they arrive at school on Friday.

Yesterday (Wednesday) I shared with the class some sad news–my childhood dog, Holly, will be put down on Friday, as she is very old. Some students may have come home mentioning it. I am so blessed to have your children as my students…many of them have brought me small gifts, made cards or notes, or given me a sweet hug to help me feel better. The empathy I see in your children is so very comforting and a true blessing to us all. Thank you, parents.

We had another great week, 4th grade! Thank you!

♥ Ms. DiGirolamo