Weekly Update 12/17

4th Grade Families–

Woo Hoo! We’ve almost made it to Christmas! I hope this update finds you well. This week, students have been working hard! In Math, we have been using line plots to represent and interpret data. Its been so fun! We have also been writing a lot and students are excited to use the computers to type up their personal narratives. We have been preparing for Christmas in many ways and are anxiously anticipating the birth of Jesus! Students have learned that Advent is a time of patience and waiting, as well as rejoicing!!


Please have a fun, safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


See you all in 2016! I can’t wait. Its going to be a FABULOUS YEAR!

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 11/18

Hi Everyone!

We have been having a nice week so far! We had quite the “adventure” yesterday with the power outages, but the students handled the change very well! They were still hard at work in the dark, using iPads and flashlights to complete their Maps and Globes books. I am glad that everyone was able to stay safe (and dry) through the weather. Let us continue to pray for those who were less fortunate.

Students have been working hard in Math to add and subtract multi-digit numbers. We are focusing on subtracting across zeros, which can be quite challenging at times. In Science, we are learning about mineral properties, and conducted scratch tests on 4 special minerals. Students learned how to identify the minerals based on “hardness” using tools such as fingernails, pennies and paper clips. They were excited geologists! 🙂 In Writing, we are continuing our Personal Narratives and learning how to edit, revise and add details.

Just a reminder that Scholastic Book Orders are due on FRIDAY! Our Class code is PHHW7. Please consider ordering online.

We are very sad as a school to say goodbye to the Josey family, as they will be venturing off to Australia. Gianluca, you’ve been such a wonderful addition to our 4th Grade Family and we will not forget you! 

Thank you all for your support at home. Your kids bring so much joy!

Stay Warm,

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



World Math Day Results


I am so proud of all our hard work and dedication to competing in World Math Day at school and at home. Nice job 4th graders!

Also, a special shout out to the one and only Kelbin, who had the 2nd highest score in the whole school.

So proud.