Week of December 9

Hello 4A Friends!

On Friday, we got to celebrate St. Nicolas’s Day and put out a shoe for a fun surprise. I didn’t even think about putting one of my shoes out, but the students were certain he would leave me something. They were right, he left me some spiced tea bags and a candy cane! What a wonderful St. Michael’s tradition.

This week:

Spelling- Spelling City would not allow me upload the words this week because they are all possessive nouns. I am including them here on the blog. Students will have to do without Spelling City for this week.

Lesson 14 words:

















As we continue our study of geometry, students will be: dividing irregular polygons into two shapes that have equal areas, using symmetry and congruence to identify equal areas, and finding the area of polygons using square units. The kids are having so much fun with this unit!

Language Arts-

Students used a graphic organizer on Friday to brainstorm a story about getting stuck in a snow globe. They are coming up with some imaginative ideas about how they got stuck, and their plan to get out. This week we will begin writing our essays. One area of focus is using a hook in the introduction in order to entice the reader. We are also using our five senses to give juicy details about life in the snow globe. I am hoping we can complete this before Christmas break.


Last week we read an article called ” I Live in a Refugee Camp,”  from StoryWorks Magazine. Students learned about the life of a young girl from Somalia, and some history about why the camps exist. In the coming days, they will look closer at the article, and answer some critical thinking questions.

This week we will also be reading a fiction story about a 10 year old boy who is trying to earn his orange belt in karate. We will be focusing on character analysis, figurative language, and cause and effect.

Social Studies-

The social studies Arizona State Project was due on Friday. We will be taking a vocabulary and map test on the Southwest Region on Monday December 16. I will be sending home a study guide with students on Monday. Included is an example of a United States map. One thing students will need to do, is identify and locate the four states in this region and spell them correctly.

This week we will also be moving on to learn about the Northeast Region.

St. Nick performance-

Students will have their St. Nick performance on Friday December 13th from 2:00-3:00

Please have your student come to school on Friday in their uniform. Send their “fancy Christmas attire” in a separate bag, and we will change before the performance. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Week of December 2

I hope this evening’s post finds you relaxed and ready for December! I had a wonderful Thanksgiving break, and thoroughly enjoyed only being in charge of making the mashed potatoes this year! I hope your turkey day went off without a hitch.

4A had a lot of fun last week performing our Readers’ Theatre play, The Thanksgiving Table, and making treats with 4B for local animal shelters.

This week:

Math – We will continue our study of geometry with students using protractors to create and identify angles. Later this week, we will begin measuring area.

Social Studies– The Arizona State Project is due this Friday. Many students have already submitted their work, but those who still need some time will have the opportunity to work on it during technology tomorrow.

Language Arts- This week we will be reading out of our StoryWorks Scholastic magazine. While reading, students will practice identifying the author’s point of view. We will also conclude our novel study this week on Strider with a comprehension assessment.  In grammar we will be identifying adjectives and articles (special adjectives). Spelling words for this week have been uploaded to SpellingCity.

Have a lovely week!

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear 4A Families,

I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! As I count my blessings this year, your children and St. Michael’s are at the top of my list. I feel grateful to be in such a wonderful, supportive school. I hope you have a fun, family-filled break. We spoke about Thanksgiving traditions, memories, and all the things students are looking forward to this upcoming week. The kids were equally cracking me up and warming my heart with their stories.


Our canned food drive will wrap up tomorrow morning. Our class is about 55 cans short of our goal, but I do believe we can still make it! Tomorrow we will be celebrating at all school chapel, presenting our collected food items, and sharing ways we are thankful.

We also will be working together with 4B later in the morning on making dog and cat treats for the Hermitage Cat Shelter and the Humane Society.


On Friday we began working on angles in our geometry unit. We used our power polygons to both identify and create 90 degree angles. This week we will look at the relationship between the degree of measure of an angle and rotation in a circular arc. I will also be introducing how to use protractors to measure angles.

Language Arts

All of last week, students practiced the Readers’ Theatre play, The Thanksgiving Table. Small groups will be performing their play to the lower school classrooms on either Monday or Tuesday. This has been an engaging and fun way to practice oral presentations. Students will also be finishing a reflection packet on the play which includes writing an ending to the story.

Social Studies

Students have been given a good amount of time to get started on their Arizona State Project. This is not due until December 6th, and anything that is not completed at school needs to be completed at home. Students will also have time during the next two technology classes (Mondays) to work on their Google slides. Please let me know if you have any questions.


We will not take a spelling test this week.  However, the list has been uploaded for the week of December 2nd, for students who want to get a head start.


Have a lovely week!



Reminder that November’s Current Event is due on Monday, November 25.   I invited students to come to the science room during lunch to use an iPad so they could get their article done before Monday if they haven’t already, and only 3 students took me up on the offer.   There are lots of exciting things going on in the world of science; here’s a website that is a fun one to look up Current Event Articles.


Have a wonderful weekend…


4th graders are working on their Materials and Procedures lists for their science fair project.

Individual conferences were held on Monday, November 18 to go over each student’s project and answer any questions.  There are some due dates coming up:

Wednesday, November 20:  Materials and Procedures due

Monday, November 25:  Current Event due

Students who are working with people, animals, or hazardous materials (such as mold) were given a Science Review Form (SRC Form) to fill out, have signed by parent/guardian and returned to school BEFORE any data collection can begin.   The St. Michael’s Science Review Committee will review your student’s project and approve, deny or make recommendations.   I have received only 1 returned form as of writing.   I have a list of students that I gave the form to.  If you are not sure if your child is on that list, please ask them or email me.  ljamison@stmichael.net


There will be no science fair project due dates or Current Event in December.

Week November 18


Happy Sunday 4A! What a beautiful weekend to get out and enjoy the sun and blue skies!

The week ahead:

Canned Food Drive – We continue to collect canned food until November 25th. Thank you to all who have donated so far!

Tuesday: TERC Math Info Session with Miss Hart and Ms. Gould 6:00-7:00

Wednesday: Half day- dismissal is at 12:00

Thursday: Students will have the opportunity to enjoy a string quintet from the Tucson Symphony at 10:45 in the Parish Center

Math: This week in math we continue our study of geometry. We will be combining polygons to make new polygons, and we will be classifying quadrilaterals and triangles by their attributes (relative length of sides, size of angles, presence of parallel or perpendicular lines).

English/Language Arts: We will continue practicing our Readers’ Theatre play, The Thanksgiving Table. Students will also be working with specific vocabulary from the play, and will be writing a story extension.

Social Studies: Do you have the catchy tune Fifty Nifty United States stuck in your head yet? Students have been having fun learning/memorizing the names of all the states with this song written by Ray Charles. We are still learning about the Southwest Region, and students will continue to work on their Arizona state project. Many students have been working on their Google slides at home in addition to what they have started in class. Please email me if you have any trouble logging into student accounts at home.

Have a fantastic week!

Week November 12

Greetings 4A. A big thank you to all veterans who have served our country! I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend. Friday’s field day was a fun event, and hopefully you got a chance to see some of the pictures on the school’s Facebook page.

Canned Food Drive: Our Canned Food Drive has begun! The fourth grade has a goal of collecting 470 cans/dollars, which is reflective of the geographic area  in square miles of South Africa (divided by one thousand). Thank you to those of you who have started dropping off food.

Math: This week in math we continue our work on measurement and classifying shapes. We will specifically be working on solving problems involving perimeter.

Reading: We should be done with our novel study of Strider by the end of the week. I am also introducing a Readers’ Theatre play called The Thanksgiving Table this week. We will be splitting into small groups and working on individual reading parts. Students will have the opportunity to perform their play for lower school classrooms during the week of Thanksgiving.

Writing: Some students are still finishing up on their personal narratives. We will also be working on writing a story extension to our play, The Thanksgiving Table. This should take us through Thanksgiving.

Social Studies: We will continue our study of the Southwest region this week. Additionally, I will be introducing the requirements of the Arizona State Project. Information will be sent home in the Eagle Express this week, and the project will be due on Friday December 6th.

Have a fantastic week!


Week November 4th






Dear 4A,

I hope you all had a nice weekend. I got to celebrate my youngest child this weekend as he turned 18! When he was little, we always used to bake pumpkin bread together right after Halloween. This year that is what he wanted for his “birthday cake”.

Our Halloween party on Thursday was a blast with root beer floats, treats, and some pretty cool slime, thanks to Mrs. Downer, Mrs. Wolert, and Mrs. Kramer. We also enjoyed being able to join in the parade at the end of the day. Dia de los Muertos on Friday was a beautiful and moving experience. I am so happy the 4th graders were able to participate during this chapel hour.

This week:

  • Starting this Monday we will begin our Canned Food Drive. It will run until November 25th, and cans can be dropped off in our classroom.  Our class will be discussing this in more detail tomorrow.
  • Friday- Field Day. This is a half day, and students will be dismissed at 12:00. Students will be receiving a field day t-shirt this week.
  • Monday November 11- No school for Veteran’s Day

Math: We will be starting Unit 4- Measuring and Classifying Shapes. This week we start with linear measurement. We will be using measurement tools, converting measurements, measuring lengths, and determining perimeters.

Social Studies: We have been studying the Southwest region of the United States. We used a strategy called jigsaw last week where students worked in teams and reported back to the larger group on what they learned. We will continue our study of this region this week. Students will also be asked to complete an Arizona state report in the coming weeks. I am going to have them complete this using Google Slides, which we used for an early project this year. I will be sending home the details/expectations of this project the week of November 12th.

Language Arts: We are continuing our novel study of Strider this week. Our focus will be on citing text evidence when answering questions, along with using context clues to help determine the meaning of words. We will also continue our narrative writing.

Have a great week!


Week October 28


Happy Sunday 4A!

We had a fantastic field trip to the Reid Park Zoo last Thursday where students had the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes. We spent time in the kitchen where we learned about animal nutrition, and what it takes to feed over 250 animals. Students also spent time in the animal hospital area where surgeries take place, and got to interact with various small animals.


Wednesday we will be visiting our 1st grade buddies to do a fun Halloween activity.

Thursday we will enjoy root beer floats with 4B at 1:00, and then have a fun activity in our classroom prepared by our room parents. 4th grade also gets to join the Halloween parade this year which will begin at 2:45. K-3 will begin the parade in their courtyards and then we will join them for the tail end of the parade. I’m looking forward to a fun day!

Costumes may be worn to school on Thursday, however masks and accessories must stay in backpacks until the parade. No face paint, fake weapons, or gore are allowed. Thank you for your help with this.

Friday we will attend the Dia de los Muertos chapel from 10:00-11:00

Environmentally Friendly Lunch Changes

Starting November 1st, plastic water bottles will be eliminated as a choice for drinks. Students will still have the choice of white or chocolate milk. Students are encouraged to bring their reusable water bottles from home, and please make sure their names are clearly labeled. The lunch program is also transitioning to 100% biodegradable and recyclable containers, and plantware compostable utensils.


This week we will complete our unit on relating multiplication and division, and by the end of the week we will begin our study of geometry.


We began our novel study on Strider, and students are doing a nice job of identifying different types of figurative language. As we get deeper into the book, students will continue working on using text evidence to answer questions.


Personal narratives are getting closer to completion, and most students are in the revision and editing stage. I have been asking students to have another student read their paper back to them. It is often helpful to hear your own writing being read in order to catch mistakes. I am also asking students to weave different types of figurative language into their essays.

Social Studies

This week we begin our study of the southwest region, with a focus on geography – describing physical features of the Southwest, and understanding how people in the region use natural resources.






Current Event due October 30!

We are researching our topics for Science Fair Projects.  They are due at the end of class on October 30.

Please ask if there are any questions.