Science Fair Week

Monday, February 12 is the kick-off for our Science Fair Week.  Student’s projects will be displayed after Chapel in the Student Center.  Judging will be all week with our announcement of winners at our STEM Night.  Thursday, February 15 is St. Michael’s STEM Night.  Hopefully by now, you’ve seen yesterday’s Eagle Express where it tells all about the family fun we have in store for everyone.   In the Express, it says that welcome the 4th graders to be available from 6:00 – 6:20pm to present their boards to visitors that are walking around.  Last year, it was a lot of fun, so I hope to see you there.



The fourth graders did a great job on their puppet shows! We are finishing up our unit on the calendar and numbers.  There will be a short quiz next Tuesday, February 13. A study guide has been given with all of the information for the quiz!


Sra. Van Straalen


This is a reminder that parents or anyone picking students up at the end of the day are allowed into 4-5 courtyard no earlier than 3:20.  Teachers are with students and teaching until that time.  Parents may be in Foundations Courtyard or outside of the gates.

If you bring lunch for your student please take it to the office and your child will be notified to pick it up.  Parents are not to deliver lunches directly to the classroom.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Week of February 5 News

Last week the 4th graders went to Pima Air and Space Museum.  Many had not been there before and we all learned from our wonderful docent, Jim.  Thank you to all of the parents who drove!

Students are presenting their projects in science class and will also present their projects during STEM night, Thursday, 15 from 5:30-7:30.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

Monday, February 12 is the Edible Car Race.  If your student would like to participate they must register no later than 4 pm Thursday, February 8.  The race will be during Monday morning chapel.

Tuesday, February 13 is Mardi Gras.  There will be a pancake lunch for all students.

Wednesday, February 14 is Ash Wednesday.  Please let your child know if they are to receive ashes or a blessing that day.  We will follow our Thursday schedule on Wednesday. Wednesday schedule will be followed on Thursday.

The Arizona State Project is due this Friday.  Students were allotted time in class to research the information.  They were to complete the actual project at home.   An information paper was sent home a couple of weeks ago in the Eagle Express.  All information gathered on the research paper is required on the project.


Monday, January 29  and Wednesday, January 31

4th graders will be putting together their science fair boards in class.   They are due on Friday, February 2 at the end of class.  By that time there should just be a few finishing touches.  Thank you for bringing in your materials this week to prepare for putting them together.  

Current Event is due for the month of January on Wednesday, January 31.  Thank you to those students who bring them earlier in the month rather than wait until the last minute.  






We are almost finish with our science fair projects!  Next week (Wedesday, January 24) their conclusion is due.  We will be working on our conclusions at school.

The week of January 29 – February 2, students will be putting their science fair boards together.  Please have your student bring the following to class:

1.)  Tri-panel Science Fair Board.  They can drop them off in the science room in the morning.

2.) Letters to glue on to the board for title display

3.)  Science Fair Categories to put on the board (Question, Hypothesis, Materials, Graph(s), etc……  See for examples.  Students were shown examples of what a science fair board looks like

4.)  Any decorative materials, (border, background graphics – optional)

The week of February 5 – 9, students will be presenting their projects to their class.

St. Michael’s Science Fair is the week of February 12.  Projects will be judged during this week and awards will be presented during our STEM Night, Thursday, February 15   Look for information to come home about this evening of science fun!

Electric Circuits

Students have also been exploring the world of electric circuits.  We just finished learning about series and parallel circuits and are making a Matching Circuits game.  After Science Fair week, we will move on to static electricity and electromagnets.  Stay tuned!

4A News January 17, 2018

Field Trip

The fourth graders will be going to Pima Air & Space Museum on Thursday, February 1, 2018.  The trip will be in the morning.  Students will eat lunch at school. I  need parents to drive and chaperone.  If you are able to help out please let me know.  The fee for students has been paid and we have a limited amount of tickets for parent drivers.

Arizona Project

Students brought home a sheet in their Eagle Express about the Arizona project.  The research will be finished in school this week.  We encourage students to begin typing the information now so that it is ready to be put on the project.  Please encourage your student to begin planning for the project as soon as possible.  The project is due February 2, 2018.


Please contact me if you have not signed up for a conference.  I will share your student’s mid trimester report with you at the conference.


January 22    Math-A-Thon Kickoff (see Eagle Express)

January 23    Test on Midwest States and Capitals (students have a study guide)

January 24   Conclusion for Science Fair due

January 26-28   School Musical

February 1    Field Trip to Pima Air & Space Museum

February 2    Arizona Project due

February 2    Casa Maria (bring one dozen hard boiled eggs)




¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Happy New Year! The fourth graders are starting a unit on “el calendario”. We are reviewing the days of the week, months of the year and learning various phrases relating to the calendar. Singing songs in a different language is a wonderful way to learn new vocabulary. This week the students worked in groups to create their own tunes to help remember the days of the week and months of the year. Next week we will be writing our daily schedules in Spanish!

¡Hasta luego!

Sra. Van Straalen

Welcome 2018!

Welcome back to school after a well-deserved two weeks off!

Here is what is happening this new year:

Students were introduced to the State of Arizona Project that is due on February 2, 2018.  Students will work on the research at school and do the project related to the research at home.  Students may use posters, shadow boxes, mobiles, or anything they can imagine for the project.


This week we are reading and writing about  Martin Luther King Jr.

Next week we will begin our next novel study Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary.

Students are finishing addition and subtraction of decimals and will soon begin decimal multiplication.

Parent-Teacher conferences is the time to pick up your child’s mid-trimester report.  Please sign up for a conference time  outside the classroom door.  Since there is a faculty meeting on Wednesday, I will not be able to schedule any conferences Wednesday afternoon.  Please contact me if you need an alternate time that is not on the schedule.

Monday, January 15  No School

Tuesday, January 23  test on states and capitals of the Midwest states.  Students started the unit shortly before Christmas break.

Friday, February 2  State of Arizona Project due

Just a reminder to please write your child’s name on their clothing…especially jackets and outwear.  We want to make sure that lost items are returned to their owners and not spending time in Lost and Found.


We are starting our new unit today that will take us into February 2018.  Electric Circuits!

Students will  investigate electric current and circuits, the pathways through which electricity flows. They work with a variety of components—D-cells, solar cells, lightbulbs, motors, switches, wires—and explore conductors and insulators. They observe energy transfer that results in heat, light, sound, and motion. Students are introduced to sources of energy and components that store energy for later use.