Go Fish

Go Fish was an experience I’ll never forget!  Visually the costuming was vivid and kept my attention as I identified the creative and colorful ocean creatures.  Third graders stole the show!  They sang and acted their best offering a sweet story of friendship.  I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing with joy at the many surprises throughout the show.  I am proud of all the students for accomplishing a complex production.  Kuddos to Mrs. Faltico and her students for a Fine Arts Night to remember as the BEST EVER!

In the classroom, only five weeks of school left!  I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown.  As the second half of the third trimester flies by, I expect children to continue their strong work ethic through to the very last day of school.


Chapter 8 Math continues to build on the foundation of factors and multiples and prime and composite numbers.  Equivalent fractions and simplest form algorithms are supported with fraction tiles in lessons 4 and 5.  Then students explore comparing fractions using least common multiple and benchmark fractions on a number line.  An assessment is schedule after completing lesson seven.  My Math online materials are supportive of the learning we are accomplishing in the classroom.  Click on the My Math Link for easy access here;  http://connected.mcgraw-hill.com/school/b7c0

Language Arts Unit Six “Past to Present” finishes this week.  Review of concepts should be a part of nightly homework focusing on reading comprehension and grammar concepts.

Reading Comprehension

  • Classify Details; Visualize
  • Analyze Language; Visualize and Sequence
  • Steps in a Process; Visualize
  • Visualize; Determine Theme and Use Visuals; Determine Theme


  • Pronouns and Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement
  • Subject and Object Pronouns
  • Demonstrative Pronouns
  • Indefinite Pronouns, Possessive Pronouns, Pronoun Agreement


Please, no germs!

…a, a, a, achoo!

We are feeling allergy miseries as we cough and blow our noses until they are chapped. Extra bathroom breaks are necessary, because we are drinking a lot of water to sooth our sore throats.  Chapped lips are another common aliment this time of year that can be comforted with a little Vaseline-type product.


The water coolers are very convenient for refilling our water bottles. Drinking extra water is important as our spring climate loses its moisture and dries up.  Please, make sure a refillable water bottle is available in the classroom every day.  Additionally, I strongly recommend that students apply sunscreen daily, and  wear a hat to minimize sun exposure at daily recess and during outdoor P.E. on Tuesday and Friday.


  • Following Math Lesson 7; assessment over lessons 3-7
  • April 27; Language Arts Unit 6 Assessment
  • May 2; Tucson History assessment pages 25-28
  • May 2nd; Noon Dismissal
  • May 18th; Relaxed Dress
  • May 18th; Art Expo






Everyday Is Earth Day

by Kelly Roper

Everyday is earth day,
Or at least it should be.
We should take steps every day
to save our planet, don’t you agree?

Try walking when it’s practical,
And skip driving a car.
It will help cut down emissions
And raise air quality by far.

Reuse, renew, recycle,
Think of how much you throw away.
Our earth can only hold so much trash,
One day there’ll be the devil to pay.

And when it comes to littering,
It’s not enough to clean up after yourself.
Leave places better than you find them,
And pick up litter left by someone else.

Don’t spray your garden with pesticides,
Protect the birds and the bees.
Choose natural ways of deterring pests,
That won’t carry poisons in the breeze.

These are easy things we all can do,
To protect the earth for future generations.
If we continue to ignore all the warning signs,
We’ll face sad and irreversible ramifications.


  • April 16th; Reading Log and Poster due
  • April 20th; Weekly Language Arts Assessments
  • April 20th; Fine Arts Night
  • May 2nd; Noon Dismissal
  • May 18th; Relaxed Dress
  • May 18th; Art Expo

Mid Trimester

Look for your child’s mid-term Progress Report this week, Wednesday. Please, review your child’s progress and chat with him or her, praising strengths and brainstorming strategies for improvement.  Students can be proud of their progress this school year as they have grown a great deal since August.  Their cursive writing is developing fluency, they understand long division, and can analyze and comprehend their reading with a variety of strategies.  The third term will finish strong with a growth mindset to learn all we can academically, socially, and physically.

Practice daily sun protection!

Warmer weather is an excellent reminder that refillable water bottles, hats, and sunscreen are valuable tools for our daily comfort while in school.  Additionally, children with allergies may want their own small supply of throat lozenges when increased coughing causes throat irritation.  

Language Arts continues the theme from past to present. First, students will read a biography of blues legend Blind Lemon Jefferson who added to the musical heritage of the United States.  Then, they will compare the song lyrics and the biography texts noting their similar ideas and the differences of literary vs. informational.  Next, grammar studies include pronoun agreement for subject and object pronouns.  Last, students will practice giving and following instructions and writing flow charts.  Access the spelling words here,  http://stmichaels3a2014.edublogs.org/

Math continues to build on the foundation of division as Chapter 8; Fractions, begins this week reviewing factors and multiples as well as prime and composite numbers.


  • April 10; Chipotle Fund Raiser 4-8pm
  • April 11; Progress reports go home
  • April 16th; Reading Log and Project due
  • April 18th; Meeting for incoming 4th grade parents 5-6pm
  • April 20th; Fine Arts Night 7pm
  • May 2nd; Noon Dismissal


Today, the students make twirly birds (flying spinners) that create motion from the interaction of the forces of gravity and air friction (air resistance).

First they created a standard twirly bird; then the class focused on science practices as they investigated variables. Students took their twirly birds outdoors to find out if they fly the same.

Science = fun today!

Standardized Testing

When we return from Easter, Standardized Testing will take place in the morning.  Chewing gum  will be available for the students to chew while we are testing.  When testing ends for the day, the gum is tossed into the trash.  There is actually science behind the benefits of gum chewing while high attention and focus are necessary.  If there is a specific chewing gum brand, type, etc. that should be considered to accommodate everyone, please, let me know at your earliest convenience.

Chewing gum and Standardized Testing; a good team

Chewing gum and Standardized Testing; a good team

Be on time, well rested, and well fed for the best testing stamina.  If you are tardy and the “Testing: do not disturb” sign is posted, please, wait outside until the door is opened for you.

Warm weather is an excellent reminder that refillable water bottles, hats, and sunscreen are valuable tools for our daily comfort while in school.



From Past to Present

From Past to Present is the title of our next unit in Language Arts. Unit 6 explores the big question “How can we preserve our traditions?” Week one shows how dance and music are ways that cultures express their traditions. Week one, students will read song lyrics that express a young girl’s thoughts and feelings about a famous singer named Celia Cruz.  Reading comprehension covers classifying and visualizing details.  Grammar practices pronouns and pronoun-antecedent agreement. Writing free verse and rhyming poetry will be introduced and practiced.  Unit projects are previewed so they can think about which one they will choose.

Sisters of St. Joseph with Native American students in Arizona


Students received a study guide for Sisters of St. Joseph.  A multiple choice assessment is scheduled for March 21st.  Pioneer Schoolrooms will be an open book assessment where students use their Tucson History notebook as a resource to match a teacher’s name to facts about the man.



Access the classroom blog here;



March 1; Enrollment contracts 2018-2019 were due

March 22; Math quiz; lessons 7 – 9

March 21; Tucson History assessment, pages 21-24

April 3 – 6; Standardized Testing

April 20; Fine Arts Night; K – 3




March 12 – 16

This week students built on their experience with magnetic force and explored students explore other pushes and pulls. They expand their understanding of force to include a force’s strength and direction, and more about the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces.

There will be a short quiz on Friday, March 23.  Study guide will be given out and reviewed on Monday, March 19 and Tuesday, March 20.


Hold Yourself Higher

May I encourage you to complete your St. Michael’s enrollment for 2018-2019 school year.  Third grade is currently full and there is a waiting list of new families wanting to join our fourth grade community.

Friday’s field trip to the Sweetwater Wetlands was an exciting experience!  Exploding hoses, a family of five raccoons crossing the trail several times, a hot spot from the Thursday burn flaming up, and Mrs. Dovi-Smit and Mr. Wilson showering the fire with water enriched our learning.  Our Project Wet hosts kept our safety their top priority and we appreciated their lessons about water and respecting the planet we share with plants and animals.

Language Arts theme Mysteries of Matter finishes this week and an assessment covering the unit is scheduled for Friday.

Throughout the week, we will read about changes in soil.  The main selection is an interview with Maycira Costa.  Dr. Costa studies the Pantanal region, one of the largest freshwater ecosystems in the world.  The region features marshes, forests, rivers, and lakes. Students will determine Dr. Costa’s viewpoints about the subject wetlands.  The vocabulary strategy this week is that some synonyms have different shades of meaning. Grammar concepts covers possessive nouns and possessive adjectives.  The spelling list is available on the classroom blog.

Access the classroom blog here;




March 1; Enrollment contracts 2018-2019 were due

March 12; Reading Log and Mobile Magic Project due

March 14; Tucson History test, pages 17-20

March 16; Language Arts Unit 5 assessment

March 21; Tucson History assessment, pages 21-24



Love Reading

Paws for Books theme kicks off Love of Reading.  Students prepared several adorable cats and dogs reading their favorite books which are on display on Foundations Courtyard bulletin boards. I invite you to stop in and if you have a favorite picture book you would like to read with us, please let me know.  We’ll arrange a time that works.

Book boxes will be placed near our classroom for collecting gently used books.  They are going to the Angel Heart Pajama Project again this year.  “Angel Heart Pajama Project a 501c3 non-profit organization provides new pajamas and books to children in need.  These Children are homeless, abused, abandoned, in shelters and foster care.”  It is a very worthy cause and I encourage students to clean their bookshelves and donate gently used books.

Friday, March 9th, is our field trip to Sweetwater Wetlands.  The date moved up from March 23rd.  Students may wear appropriate relaxed dress.  Please, students should also wear sunscreen and a hat, and carry a water bottle. We will be outside all morning and return in time for lunch.

While at the Wetlands students will explore the question “Where does water come from, and where does it go?” The earth’s water is constantly being used and reused through the water cycle in an endless movement of water around the planet’s earth systems. Earth’s natural systems constantly move and use water. Powered by the sun and the force of gravity, water as a liquid, gas or solid travels over, under, above and on the surface of the earth in an incredible journey called the water cycle.  Children will imagine themselves as a drop of water in an activity exploring the water cycle journey.  Students also imagine themselves as watershed managers planning how to control watershed on a land form model. After learning wise personal water management strategies, the water conservation relay is always a big hit.   Teams compete to move the most water in the shortest amount of time without spilling a drop. Encourage your water experts to share their field trip adventures with you.

Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies links or pages are available on the classroom blog.  Access the classroom blog here;  http://stmichaels3a2014.edublogs.org/


March 5; Long division “check my progress” quiz

March 6-8; Scholastic Book Fair in Smith Parish Center

March 9; Field Trip to Sweetwater Wetlands

March 12; Reading Log and Mobile Magic Project due

March 14; Tucson History test, pages 17-20





Our 3rd graders will have a test on Water and Climate this coming Wednesday, March 7.  A study guide went home today and we went over it this morning in class.  Students were encouraged to take their science journals home for study.  Monday will also be review and introduction to the next unit “Motion and Matter”

Please help remind the students to bring BACK their journals for science class on Monday.   



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