5th Grade Beginning Band Info

4th Grade Parents,

I sent the following letter home as a hard copy last week in the Eagle Express but wanted to include some additional information. Tomorrow I will begin pulling students out of art class for a few minutes to try brass mouthpieces. This will help them to begin to narrow down which instruments they may want to play. Here is a great website that includes videos about each instrument. We did not watch this in class, but I told them that I would be giving it to you so that they can view the videos at home. Keep your eyes peeled for the beginning band/choir sign-up form in the June mailing!


Fifth grade is a special year – the year that the majority of band students across the country first begin learning their instruments. In fact, it’s usually the only opportunity that students get to learn the foundations of playing a band instrument. Joining band at an older age requires a great number of private lessons outside of school to get caught up.

Hopefully your child came home today excited to join beginning band next year because today they heard about the benefits of being in band and were introduced to the various instruments.  

Before the end of the school year, each fourth grader will be given the opportunity to try brass mouthpieces, do some finger coordination exercises, and echo rhythms with me. These indicators will allow me to make instrument recommendations for each student. As I’ve told them though, the most important factor is whether or not you enjoy the sound of the instrument. If they would like to actually try a few instruments, stores like Instrumental Music Center on Speedway and Kolb will allow young students to try 2-3 instruments with their staff.  

Over the summer, you will receive a beginning band/choir sign-up sheet. All 5th grade students participate in either band or choir, rather than the traditional music class.

According to a 2009 Gallup Poll, “85 percent of Americans who don’t currently play an instrument wish they had learned to play one.” The St. Michael’s band program is a great place to start!  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Ms. Greynolds


–….-….-    ..—…-..

Samuel Morse

This week……

Students apply their knowledge of circuitry and electromagnetism to build a telegraph. They invent a code and use their telegraphs to send messages to each other. Finally, they take on the long-distance challenge by wiring two telegraph units together using long wires.  

There will be a quiz on Friday, May 5.  A study guide will be given and a short review will take place on Wednesday.  Students are always encouraged to take their notebooks and textbooks home to help them study.  

Field Trip

Fourth grade students will be taking a field trip on Thursday, April 27.  We will be going to the Old Pueblo Archaeology Center in Tucson.  Students will participate in the excavation of Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s OPEN3 model archaeological site.  Permission slips will go home next week.  Thank you to all who volunteered to drive!

Declamation Day Part 2

The students did a great job with their poems yesterday for Declamation Day!  They were eager to recite and nervous at the same time.  It was a wonderful experience for them!  The student from 4A who will be reciting on Friday is Alex Nordstrom!  Congratulations, Alex, on a job well done!


Students read about energy today and explored evidence of energy when sound, heat, and light are produced, and when objects are in motion.  They watched a candle burn (time-lapsed!) and produced their own sound using vibration and melted ice in their hands to see the evidence of heat.
Later this week, students will explore series and parallel circuits and compare the functioning of the components in each circuit. They formulate and justify their predictions, based on their observations of electricity transferring energy to produce light and motion. D-cells and solar cells are used as energy sources. Students also learn about alternative energy sources.

Declamation Day

Declamation Day for grades 4 and 5 is Tuesday, March 28, from 1:30-3:00 in the Parish Center. Students must select and memorize a poem written by a literary poet such as Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Browning, etc.  We do not want children reciting  poems by poets such as Silverstein or Prelutsky.  Poems should be at least 12 lines in length and no longer than 18 lines.  If a student chooses a longer poem, they may recite a portion to meet the requirements.  Students will have limited practice time in the class.  It is suggested that they memorize the poem in chunks such as two or three lines per night.

Students should understand the poem and recite it with the correct feeling, tone, and inflection.  They will be doing their recitation in front of third, fourth, and fifth grade classes.  Parents are invited and encouraged to attend.

Most of the students in 4A have chosen a poem and are encouraged to begin memorization as soon as possible.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Enrollment Contracts

Enrollment contracts are due Wednesday, February 15, 2017 for the 2017-2018 school year.  Students will be able to participate in a free dress day for having contracts in by that time.  The date for this will be announced.

Valentine’s Day

Tuesday, February 14 is Valentine’s Day.  Students may bring valentines to share in class.  If your child chooses to bring valentines, they must include a valentine for everyone in the class.  There are 14 students in class.  Students may also share with 4B students as long as they include everyone in 4B (14 students).  We will decorate bags for valentines on Monday, February 13.  This is also a relaxed dress day.  Students are encouraged to wear “valentine” colors such as red, pink, purple, etc.

Spanish news!

¿Qué día es hoy? This is just one of the many questions we have been learning to ask about the calendar.  We have also been reviewing the days of the week as well as the months of the year. We are also working with the verb “ir” so we can talk about going to different places.  Next, it is time for a puppet show! Students will be making puppets and producing a show in Spanish!