St. Andrew-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School

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Week of November 12-16

It is hard to believe that we are in the final week of our first trimester. Time is slipping by quickly! At this time we have routines and schedules in place to carry us through the rest of the year successfully...that is until the holidays come around and interrupt everything! We will be beginning Advent when we return from Thanksgiving break. With that comes our Fourth Grade Christmas Pageant preparations. Look for information to come home from Mr. Powers shortly after break.
In the mean time, here's what we look to accomplish in the next week:
Religion- We have completed our study of the Saints and have made some great observations about how they lived their lives with fortitude and faith. Such great examples for us! This week, we head back into our book and take a look at sin; venial sins, mortal sins, sins of omission,and sins of commission.
Language Arts- 
     Reading- We are continuing to work our way through Because of Winn Dixie. We are learning a lot about cause and effect, and theme as we get to know these characters more. We hope to finish the book by next week.
     Written expression-  Our spelling words this week are words with oi and oy. Our WOW  is diligent.  We will evaluate our own work habits and decide if we have been diligent enough this first trimester or if we need to up our game.
Math-  This week we find ourselves working on more word problems as well as dividing with a remainder. This will set the stage for long division which will be coming our way shortly.
Science- We are finishing our study of weathering and erosion. There will be a short quiz on Friday. Information can be found in Chapter 5 lesson 3. We will begin our life science unit after Thanksgiving.

October was certainly full of extra celebrations and activities outside of the classroom! We made it through with some learning along the way. A big thank you to  Lori Figart, Alma Fath and all of the wonderful parents who planned and executed a fun-filled Halloween Party for us last week. A great time was had by all! As we work our way through the activities of November and December, we will work hard with thankfulness and gratitude in mind.
RELIGION-  Last week we had a wonderful All Saints Day celebration. Your children did a wonderful job with their presentations of the Saint shield both in the classroom and at Mass. We have been working on our rough draft for our saint reports. We are working to complete the first writing and the revising and editing process, so we can produce the final copy.
LANGUAGE ARTS - Reading "Because of Winn Dixie" has been keeping us entertained. It's been an enjoyable book to read as we recognize character traits, settings, and themes. Our WOW for the week is fortitude. Our prompt this week will actually be a revised edition of the third paragraph of our saint report. The word "fortitude" will have to be infused strategically as we tell the reasons the researched saint became a saint. The spelling list this week will include many of the contractions we use in our writings.
MATH - The division facts are creeping into the picture. Fact fluency will increase confidence as we develop deeper math skills as we move forward. Your child should be practicing both multiplication and division facts on a regular basis.
SCIENCE- This week we are working with some hands on activities as we learn about forces that shape our land. We will look at the effects of weathering, different forms of erosion and depositions.  

October 29-November 2

Last week we celebrated Everybody Counts Week. Thank you to Mrs. Burkhardt and Mrs. Fath for spending time with us last week teaching us about physical adisabilities. We then had a wonderful visit from Nancy Hake, Mrs. Voto's sister. She shared with us her story of how she had to rehab after she was severely burned and how she has gone on to become a Physical Therapist. Ask your children about it ~ it was quite an ispirational story of perserverance that we all learned something from. This week will be a crazy week. In between extra activities of watching our Third Graders perform their "NUTS" show, working with our Little First Grade Buddies, the Halloween Party, All Saints Day and All Soul's Day masses, we will attempt to push on through our studies. Here's what we will be working on:

Religion-  We are working on our rough draft of the Saint report. Our hope is to have the finished product by the end of the week! Shields are due in tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct 30) so that we can spend some time in class talking about them in preparation for Thursday's mass. Please try to join us for mass at 9:00. 
Language Arts-
      Written Expression- This week's spelling words are irregular verbs. They might need a little extra practice :). We will not have a WOW this week while we work on writing our Saint Reports. They are also working on writing a descriptive paragraph about their Art work ~ a haunted house.
      Reading- We hope to be able to sneak in a few chapters of Because of Winn Dixie this week. Our focus will continue to be on character development. 
Math- This week we find ourselves working on the associative property of addition,  as well as honing our skills with word problems and multiplication. 
Science- As time permits this week, we will be looking at how weathering and erosion affect our landscape. 

Week of October 15

What an exciting week we had! Thank you to all who helped out with our Run4Fun fundraising and all of the activities on Friday. We surpassed our classroom goal! We will keep you posted about all of fun prizes and when they will be awarded. I'm looking forward to meeting with all of you during Parent- Teacher Conferences this week. If you somehow forgot to schedule, please do not hesitate to contact me. Mrs. Fields and I still have a few open time slots that we can plug you into. Whenever possible, we have tried to consolidate our schedules so that you are able to meet with both of us at the same time. 
Here's a peek at what we will be up to in class this week:
Religion:  We are beginning our study of the Saints. Research will continue to be done here in class. Directions for the Shield project will be sent home by the end of the week.
Language Arts: 
       Written Expression: This week our Spelling words are words with ow and ou. Our WOW  is defiant. We have decided that this week will be our NO PROMPT award. Students will still be responsible for the word and definition and for the vocabulary quiz on Friday, but they will not have to write about it! 
       Reading: We have started our next class novel, Because of Winn Dixie. The author conveys great descriptions of character development, cause and effect and how the setting influences the events of a story.
Math: We are working hard at our multiplication facts as well as writing and reading numbers in the hundred thousands through the millions. 
Science: We should finish our study of the layers of the earth and types of rocks that make up the crust by the end of the week. We will do some hands on work with identifying types of rocks based on their characteristics: color, luster, texture and hardness. 

October 9-12

Thank you all for the amazing support this year's Run4Fun! I believe we have surpassed our classroom goal! Students will get to "cash in" on our class rewards starting next week.  
As a reminder, with our Blue Ribbon Celebration scheduled for Friday morning, students are to come to school in their best school uniform. They are to bring clothes to change into for the Run4Fun. As usual, a hot lunch will be available for purchase through Milford Nutrition Services or your child can bring their own lunch. 
Although it is a short week, we are squeezing in some academics!
In Religion we are beginning our look at the lives of the Saints. We will be assigning each child a Saint to research. They will be doing that here at school. We will send home information regarding the Saint Shield project next week. That is to be done at home and brought in by October 30. We will process in with them for our All Saints' Day Mass on November 1.
In Language Arts this week, our Spelling word list consists of 30 words that they have already had. There is no WOW word or prompt this week. We are reading short articles about famous people and identifying character traits that exhibit a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset.  We are also working on idioms and the distinguishing figurative meanings from the actual meaning. In Math we are working on mixed numbers on a number line and measuring to the nearest 1/4 inch. We are beginning to work on multiplication fact fluency and mastery. Make sure your child is practicing their facts nightly. 
In Science we are working on understanding the characteristics of different rocks and gaining an understanding of the rock cycle. We have walked through the rock cycle with starbursts ~ ask your child to explain. 
Have a great week!

October 1-5

Where has the time gone!  It is hard to believe that by the end of this week we are halfway through our first trimester of the year!  We have many things going on over these next few weeks. Next week we will celebrate our Blue Ribbon status with an All School mass, followed by our special program and then finish our day with our annual Run4Fun! Wednesday is another turn in day as we raise funds through pledges for this fun run! Look for more information about all of those activities in our Titan Times!
In the mean time, here's a peek at what we hope to accomplish in the classroom...
RELIGION - We've finished our study of the Beatitudes, or our "Be Happy-tudes". We have learned how Jesus wants us to be truly happy,  and how if we live by these beatitudes, we can be. We are ready to move into our study of the lives of the saints. We will start with understanding just what it takes to become one.  
LANGUAGE ARTS - We will finish Stone Fox this week and learn of the dramatic ending Willy faces. Our vocabulary word of the week is "Repulsive". Don't be alarmed if you get a letter from your son or daughter this week complaining about food that you have cooked that is just repulsive, because that's what our prompt is all about! Don't take offense, it's a teacher driven assignment.  We will be practicing our letter writing skills and learn how to address a real envelope. Spelling words this week contain words that have the "j" or "soft g" sounds.
MATH - Our focus this week revolves around fractions, naming fractions, drawing pictures of fractions, naming mixed numbers, and understanding that cents are a fraction of a dollar.
SCIENCE- We have learned about the layers of the earth and what they are made of. We will be looking at, and investigating, how the rocks that make up the earth's crust are made and how scientists identify rocks. 

Week of September 24

We had a wonderful, educational, and sacred experience yesterday as we took our Virtual Pilgrimage to Lourdes. Hopefully your children came home excited to share their experience and Lourdes holy water with the entire family! This Thursday is our Fall Picture Day.  Students are to come in uniform for these individual and group pictures that will be used in the yearbook.
Here's a peek at the rest of our week:
Religion: We will be wrapping up our study of the Beatitudes. We have been discussing what they really mean and what they would look like if we were living our lives by them. There will be a quiz on Friday, September 28..
Language Arts:
      Reading: We will be working on character point of view and sequencing of events as we continue reading our class novel Stone Fox.
     Written Expression:  Our spelling words this week is composed of words with spelling patterns for the sound. Our WOW for the week is perplexed. Your child will be challenged to explain how they solve an issue when they are perplexed.
Math: We are working this week at using inverse operations to find the answer for a missing number in a subtraction problem. We will also be working on finding key words in subtraction word problems. Please be sure your child is practicing their addition and subtraction facts. Multiplication and division is right around the corner!
Science: We have spent a considerable amount of time on the variables in an experiement. So, we are ready to move on into our Earth Science unit. We will be discussing the layers of the earth, and how to identify different types of rocks and minerals before we move into how our land is shaped and how it changes. 

Week of Sept 17

It was so good to see and meet many of you last week at our annual Meet the Teacher night. I feel so blessed to be working with your children each day! They are a sweet, loving and fun group of children. Thank you for sharing them with us. This week should be a relatively "normal" week as far as weeks go! We will spend a little time preparing the kids for the Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage that will be at St. Andrew on Sunday evening and then here at the Seton Campus on Monday September 24 at 10:00. Check the bulliten for information about the Sunday experience as well as the Titan Times for any updated information.
Here's a peek at our week:
Religion:  We are working our way through the Beatitiudes. We are learning that these are the "rules to live by" in order to be truly happy. We will spend a little time "re-writing" them in order to understand them more fully. Ask your child to tell you about them. There will be a test next week.
Language Arts: 
     Reading:  We are into our second novel, Stone Fox. This is a great story about a young boy, his grandfather and his dog. In this story the young boy faces some diffficult times, but shows his determination to push through despite being told he is too young. We will be working on understanding character development and sequencing of events. 
     Written Expression:  This week's spelling words are words with the long sound. There will NOT be a spelling menu this week, but there will be different activities each night for them to complete. We will also get them on Spelling City. They will be able to access that from home as well to practice their spelling words. Our WOW for the week is rickety. We will identify what makes something rickety and write a descriptive paragraph describing a rickety object.
Math:  We have decided to take a slightly different approach with the math series this week. Be aware that we will NOT be doing all of the lessons in order, but will be trying to group the lessons according to topic. With that in mind we will be working with some geometry. We will be identifying shapes and using a compass to draw a circle with a given radius, finding diameters, identifying lines, line segments and rays as well as identifying parallel and intersecting lines and segments.
Science:  We will spend time this week doing a couple of M&M experiments so that we can identify the independent, dependent and controlled variables in our experiments.

Week of Sept 4

Welcome back! The fourth graders are off to a great start! They are readily accepting the challenges we throw their way each day. As we worked our way through some team building activities, they learned to work together to put tooth paste back into its tube, build tall towers with marshmallows and spaghetti, they created a song about a chapter in "Freckle Juice", and have warmed up their math brains with a few activities as well. The students have learned lessons, built memories, and had fun doing the activities. That tends to be our philosophy in fourth grade, to involve the students in activities that will teach them the necessary curriculum. It is our hope that the fourth graders will learn from their successes and continue to be curious and determined learners as they journey through the years of their education.
Her's a peek at what we are up to this week:
Religion: We are finishing up chapter 1 in our book. We are learning that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. This will be the foundation to understanding our role as disciples.
Language Arts: 
     Reading:  This week we will be finishing our look at Freckle Juice. We have introduced the students to the study of the characters and their traits. We are also working on sequencing of events and creating a story map in order to fully understand and remember tthhe story.
     Written Expression:  Last week we had our first spelling unit of the year. They accepted the challenge and did quite well with it. We will continue to build upon their knowledge of spelling patterns throughout the year. Once they have had a word in a spelling list, they will be expected to use it and spell it correctly the rest of the year. This week we are introducing our routine with the WOW words for the year. Our word is ability.  Students will use the dictionary and thesaurus to find the meaning as well as some synonmys and antonyms. We will be working through the writing process with a prompt. This work will be done in class this week to make sure they are understanding the process. After this week, they will be responsible for doing their final copy at home to be turned in on Thursdays. 
Math: Your children have great Math brains! We will work on speed and accuracy of their Math facts ~ the foundation needed for all other math work. There will be Math homework every night. It should take no longer than 25 minutes. Please let me know if that is not the case. This week we will work on finding the missing number in a subtraction problem; adding three digit numbers; and subracting two digit and three digit numbers. 
Science:  This week we will be finishing our look at the scientific method/ process that will be used throught out the rest of their science career! We will also have the opportunity to do a STEM project along the way.  

May 21-25

It is hard to believe we have entered the final stretch of the school year! It has been an amazing year. This will most likely be my last "real update" for the year so I would like to take a moment to thank you for such an incredible year. We have grown in so many ways; we have learned together, we have laughed a lot, we have cried together and we have lifted each other up in prayer.   Thank you for partnering with me throughout this year and for entrusting your child to us here at SASEAS. Know that I will forever hold this group of fantastic students and families in my heart and feel blessed to have been a part of the journey. 
While we are winding down, there are still a few loose ends to tie up before we call it done! Here's what we will be doing for the next couple of weeks:
Religion:  We will finish our study of each of the Commandments. They will have a test over all 10 Commandments next Wednesday.
Language Arts: 
      Reading:  We have finished "Book the Third: The Tale of Miggery Sow". This week and next we will see how their lives intertwine and discover what becomes of this mouse called Despereaux, the rat named Roscuro, Miggery Sow and the Princess Pea.
     Written Expression:  This week each child has their own Spelling list. We looked over the list of "Core Words" that all fourth graders should know by the end of the year and allowed them to choose 30 that they are still struggling to spell correctly. They will have activities to do on Spelling City each night. Our WOW for this week is dexterity. We will not be doing a "normal" prompt, but will once again incorporate a little art and creativity.
** Mystery book reports are due on FRIDAY May 25.
Math:  As we tie up loose ends here in Math, we will concentrate on two digit by three digit multiplication, dividing by a two digit number and simplifying and reducing fractions. 
Science: We will wrap up our study of electricity this week and take a quick look at simple machines. 

May 13-18

Thank you to all who came to chaperone for our field trip to Coney for the Appalachian Festival! We couldn't have done it without you! It was a beautiful day AND they did learn a few things about pioneer life! This week we have an early dismissal on Friday. Today, Principal Spialek announced an out of uniform day for Friday! Thank you Principal Spialek :)!
Here's what we are doing this week :
Religion: We are continuing to work our way through the Commandments. This week: the 6th Commandment and the 7th Commandment.
Language Arts: 
     Reading: We have finished "Book the Second Chiaroscuro" in the Tale of Despereaux. We have compared our two rodents, Desperaux and Roscuro. We have been introduced to Miggery Sow. Book the Third will tell us a little bit more about Mig, her life and how she fits into the message of this story. We are hoping to finish this 3rd Book by week's end, and then finish the rest of the story next week! 
     Written Expression:  Our WOW this week is luminous.  Students will be illustrating an luminous object and crafting a well written sentence to accompany it. Spelling words this week are common homophones. You might recognize that some have appeared on previous lists. These can be some of the most incorrectly spelled and used words. Hopefully this week will help to clarify the words and their correct usage.
Math: This week has us focusing on fractions. We will be taking improper fractions and making mixed numbers, finding equivalent fractions and adding and subtracting fractions.
Science: We will be working to gain an understanding of simple circuits this week. 

May 7-11

Thank you for thinking of me last week during Teacher Appreciation Week. The daily treats of  coffee, breakfast, lunch, taking my recess duty (on an indoor recess day at that!), the flowers, the spiritual bouquet, and the gift card are things that every teacher appreciates. I feel so blessed to work with and for such loving families. Thank you!
REMINDER: Friday is our field trip to the Appalachian Festival at Coney Island. For those of you whose children suffer from allergies...the air at Coney is ALWAYS thick with pollen! Be sure to remember the allergy medicine in the morning. I know I have forgotten a couple times in the past, and ended up miserable by the time we returned. 
We're still moving ahead with strong, steady steps to complete our goals for the year. Here's what's happening this week: 
RELIGION - Our plan is to complete our study of the Ten Commandments before the year ends. Presently we are studying the Ninth and Sixth Commandments.
LANGUAGE ARTS - We are working hard to follow the adventures of a little mouse, as we read "The Tale of Despereaux". The students are being made aware of the sequence of events through timelines made for the main characters. There will be no spelling list this week, but we will have a vocabulary word to create a story around. Our word this week is "heirloom".
**In case you missed it, your child should have a MYSTERY book for our May book report. They should be reading on their own each evening. DIrections will be sent home later this week. 
MATH - We're touching on review topics this week. We will try our skills at averaging, finding mean, median and mode and recognizing geometric solids and prisms.
SCIENCE - This week we will focus our attention on electrical energy. We will "play" with static electricity and learn how to make a simple circuit. 

April 30- May 4

Happy May! Mass, May Crowning and Grandparents' Day was a beautiful way to start this month off! As I flipped over the calendar for today, it struck me how little time we have left. Next week we will have Muffins with Mom plus our field trip to Coney Island for Appalachian Festival. The following week we will have an early dismissal day, and the week after that we will have our annual Field Day, followed quickly by Memorial Day! So, although it appears that we are winding down in many ways, the reality is we still have lots of learning left to do. This lovely group of scallywags have been working hard and it shows. Ask them about their bountiful loot they are receiving for completing work, following the rules and pitching in with extra help to keep things in top ship shape. We will continue to reward these little buccaneers who are managing to keep it together during these final weeks!
Here's what we have going on this week in the classroom:
Religion-  We are finishing up the 5th Commandment and will begin the 6th. The 6th and 9th Commandment generates LOTS of questions from this age group. Heads up! ~There will be some questions that I respond, "Talk to your parents about this." 
Language Arts-
     Reading-  We are working our way through the Tale of Despereaux. There are many examples of allegory mixed in throughout this tale. We will be working this week to identify some of those hidden meanings. We will also be working on identifying the major events in "Book the FIrst" and will be creating a picture timeline.
      Writing-  This week's WOW is spontaneous.  This week's prompt will be focused on expressing and opinion and trying to persuade their audience about which is better, a spontaneous activity or a planned activity. 
Math-  We have been focusing on word problems, estimation of multiplication and division problems. We will also be working with two step problems about a fraction of a group.
Science-  Now that we have the basics of an understanding for "transfer of energy" we are moving into thermal energy. We will work to identify good conductors and then move into solar and electrical energy.

April 23-27

Time is just flying by here in 4th grade! As we enter into the final stretch of the year we are buckling down and raising expectations for time management and homework in preparation for 5th grade. It becomes a bit of a struggle when the weather gets nicer and spring sports and activities kick in, but it will be well worth it if we stick together and help them stay focused on the tasks at hand. We look forward to seeing many grandparents here next week. We are also anticipating a fun filled, adventurous, educational field trip on May 11. Look for a note regarding chaperones that will be sent home by Friday. We are excited about touring the new library next door. We will use the opportunity to help your pick out a book for our May book report.
Here's what will be happening in the classroom this week:
RELIGION - We're concluding our study of the fourth commandment . Hopefully, you are beginning to see the fruits of our labors here as your child learns how to live out these commandments!  We will be moving on to the fifth commandment and we will learn that even as nine and ten year olds, they do have things they can do to follow that commandment.
LANGUAGE ARTS - The students are enjoying the book The Tale of Despereaux, a tale about a mouse and a princess. As we progress through "The Tale of Despereaux" we will watch how the characters' lives intermingle. Our focus will be to follow the time line of several characters and understand how they end up at the same place by the end of the story.
The W.O.W this week is scrumptious. The prompt will not be a normal writing of a paragraph, but an advertisement to show the scrumptiousness of a product. The theme behind the spelling list this week is words ending with y that have along i or a long e sound. You may have seen some of these words on previous lists, but they are still common spelling errors for many. Be sure your child is practicing their words nightly. Spelling City should be used in addition to any other spelling work assigned. 
MATH - We have various skills to brush up on this week. The newest skill will be to identify mixed numbers and improper fractions. The areas to be reviewed will be decimal place value and classifying quadrilaterals. We are practicing our Math Facts daily. Mastery of the basic facts is critical to grasping the harder concepts of double/triple digit multiplication and division.
SCIENCE- We have had used our knowledge of potential and kinetic energy to construct roller coasters and will do one more activity using different types of balls. We will then formulate the idea that energy transfers into other forms. We will begin looking at thermal energy this week.

April 16- 20

While mother nature seems to be completely unable to make up her mind as to what season we are in, she is helping to keep us somewhat focused in the classroom! It is always tricky after Easter Break to bring them back and keep them focused on academics when the weather begins to warm up. We will be working hard to accomplish all of our goals for the year before it warms up too much! There will be plenty of fun learning opportunities during our last half of this third trimester!

Here's what's happening in our classrooms:
RELIGION - We are learning about the Spiritual and Corporal Works of mercy as an extension of the third commandment. We will also begin to understand what the fourth commandment requires of us. Hopefully, their understanding will follow though at home.
LANGUAGE ARTS -  Our next novel to tackle will be "The Tale of Despereaux", a fantasy about a mouse, a princess, and a spool of thread. We will spend a little time getting to know the author first. Kate DiCamillo has written quite a few great children's books in the last 18 years. Ask your child if they can tell you how many!
Spelling words this week are easy to spell, but require an understanding of the words' meanings because they are homophones. Our word of the week is "enthusiasm" and our prompt is to describe the enthusiasm they will need to finish the year.
MATH - Our main focus this week will be to learn how to multiply a two-digit number by a two-digit number and to understand how to use remainders in a division story problem. We are only just beginning on this adventure, and for some it is tedious and frustrating. Please bear with us as we work our way through. While we teach the traditional method, I will be introducing an alternative way to multiply multidigit numbers that has proven to be quite accurate for those who are stumped and frustrated by the traditional method. I am allowing the students to choose which method works best for themn right now and will move them toward the use of the traditional method as they begin to grasp the concept better. They do NOT have to use the lattice method if they prefer traditional.
SCIENCE- We are moving into our unit on the transfer of energy. We are concentrating this week on the understanding of and relationship between potential energy and kinetic energy.  Hopefully you've all recovered from their late April Fool's Day homework ~ the rattle snake egg note! We are constructing roller coasters this week out of pipe insulation, and tape while using a marble as our coaster!