Rodeo Break is a week of purposely slowing down for me.  I will take my time and enjoy each day’s adventures and tasks with family and friends.  I’ll return refreshed and ready for school to resume February 25th and continue our third grade journey.

Looking forward, Language Arts lessons begin our next unit Mysteries of Matter.  “What causes matter to change?” That is the big question we are exploring in this unit. To answer it, we are reading, writing, and talking about what happens when materials change from solid to liquid to gas. This week, we’re reading Melt the Snow! by Marisa Montes. In this play, a snowflake falls on a little ant. How will she get free? Reading comprehension focuses on Character and Plot.  Grammar looks at adjectives and comparison adjectives.  Writing lessons explore scripts and the challenge of writing dialogue.

St. Michael’s Church feeds needy, hungry folks.  Once a month, the church prepares 500 lunches for Casa Maria.  St. Michael’s students help by providing hard boiled eggs.  Every month a different grade is given the opportunity to help the church with their food program.   Parishioners make egg salad sandwiches Friday evening in Parish Center.  Then, the sandwiches are packed into 500 brown bag lunches which include fruit and cookies.   The lunches are delivered by church volunteers on Saturday to Casa Maria.  March 1st is third grade’s turn to provide eggs.  Each student may bring one dozen hard boiled, peeled eggs.  The eggs may be brought to school on Thursday or Friday.  In addition to donating eggs, all are welcome to join St. Michael’s parishioners in the sandwich making and brown bag packing Friday evening.  Thank you, in advance for your support.

Please, if your child borrowed, clothing, accessories, or a mason jar for our fabulous field trip to the Tubac school house, return the items cleaned at your earliest convenience.  I’ve posted a few pictures of the field trip, shared by a parent, here

If you would like to add more pictures, send them my way and I’ll add them to the blog.


March 1; Casa Maria-one dozen, peeled, hard-boiled eggs

March 7; Noon Dismissal

March 1-14; Parent Teacher Conferences

March 22; Field Trip Sweetwater Wetlands Project WET

Spelling words with Long i; ie, igh

  1. dried
  2. flashlight
  3. flight
  4. fried
  5. frightful
  6. higher
  7. lied
  8. lightly
  9. nightmare
  10. pried
  11. sigh
  12. slightly
  13. sunlight
  14. tried
  15. untied

Watch-Out Words

  • die
  • dye
  • cell
  • sell


February 11, 2019


Tubac Schoolhouse

Tubac Schoolhouse Field Trip excitement is ramping up as we finalize our plans to recreate an authentic 1880s school day.  This week we will learn about  a typical 1880s day at school which includes a Spelling Bee with unit 4 words between girls and boys and recess with authentic games.  Boys and girls in the 1880s were seated separately in the classroom.  Girls and boys were also not allowed to play together during recess.  Discipline includes a dunce cap.  Last year’s students were well behaved and teachers didn’t have any reason to cap a child.  However, we all had a good laugh when one of our parents was dunce capped for using their cell phone in the classroom.  Mr. Kramer will join us to photograph each class with an authentic camera from that time.  He will also share a lesson on the camera and how it differs from photographs today.


February 11; Reading Log due

February 14; Valentine Exchange

February 15; Field Trip Tubac School House

February 18-22; Rodeo Break

March 1; Casa Maria-one dozen peeled hard-boiled eggs

March 7; Noon Dismissal

March 1-14; Parent Teacher Conferences

March 22; Field Trip Sweetwater Wetlands Project WET

Spelling Unit 4 Review

Words with Long a: ai, ay daydream, exclaim, failure, gains, mainly, painful, payment, playful, raising, saint, straight, stray, unpaid, vain, x-ray

Words with Long e: ee, ea; Long o: oa, ow appeal, asleep, beast, borrow, cheap, follower, healing, lowered, meek, overthrow, repeat, roam, teenager, tomorrow, unload

Verbs Ending in -ed arranged, blessed, calmed, comforted, commanded, completed, eased, emptied, included, joined, opposed, planted, pitied, provided, worried

Verbs Ending in -ing announcing, attending, beautifying, collecting, considering, doubling, educating, erasing, forgiving, gathering, hiring, mistreating, notifying, realizing, spreading

Watch-Out Words lay, lie, plane, plain, some, sum, we’d, weed, raise, rays, son, sun, bring, take, where, were

Tubac Information Letter

January 23 , 2019

Dear Third Grade Families,

On February 15, 2019, third grade will spend the day at the old schoolhouse in Tubac Presidio State Historic Park located at 1 Burruel St, Tubac, AZ 85646.  We will recreate a school day as it might have been in the year 1889.  The students will assume the names and activities of actual 1880s – 1890s Tubac students.

Thank you to parent volunteers who signed up to drive.  Drivers have the option of spending the day at the school house observing the children’s activities or taking the opportunity to visit Tubac on your own once the children have entered the school house.

The students encouraged to dress in period clothing.   The girls may wear long skirts with blouses, or long dresses.  The boys may wear long pants or denim jeans and a buttoned-down shirt.  Several clothing items are available to borrow from Ms. Stalkfleet. T-shirts are not permitted, as they would have been considered underwear during the period being recreated.  Acceptable accessories for the girls are straw hats, bonnets, hair ribbons, and shawls. Acceptable accessories for the boys are straw hats, suspenders, and neckerchiefs. If possible, students should not wear athletic shoes.   Leather shoes or boots would be more appropriate. Additionally, all parents who signed-up to chaperone on this field trip are welcome to dress in period clothing as well.

Students and parents provide their own lunches.  To create the most authentic experience, all foods should be wrapped in wax paper, cloth wrapping, or plain brown paper.  Plastic wrap, baggies, and aluminum foil did not exist in 1889 and therefore should not be used. The lunch should be packed into a container such as a small metal bucket, plain brown paper bag, or a cloth bag/bandana.  Please, no modern lunch boxes or plastic containers.

Suggestions for lunches:

Beef jerky            Fresh vegetables

Bean burro            Tamales

Jelly sandwich        Biscuits

Refried beans        Tortillas

Bacon sandwich        Potato chips

Hard boiled eggs        Cookies; oatmeal, molasses, raisin, sugar, gingerbread

Fresh fruit            Hard candy

Beverage suggestions:






      Way back in 1877, the first school in Tubac was held in a store!  There were about thirty children in school at one end of the store, and business was held as usual at the other end.  The teacher was paid about $30.00 a month. At this time, most of the people who lived in Tubac were people that had been born in Mexico.  The United States had only recently acquired this part of the country as part of the United States. It was not yet Arizona as we know it today, but a territory.  The people who lived there were ranchers and also grew small amounts of crops such as tomatoes, chilies, and melons. All the homes were made of adobe just as the Presidio had been made in 1753.

      The community of Tubac became a town in 1884, and everyone that lived there all worked together to build a school.  While it was being built, the teacher taught the students in the hotel. The school was finished in 1885 and was made of adobe bricks.  These were then covered with stucco and painted. By the time the school was finished, there were about forty-five students. Because just about all of the students were from families that were born in Mexico, there was a language class teaching the children proper Spanish.  There were also classes in reading, arithmetic, grammar, history, and geography. There were a lot of rules, and the teacher was very strict. You could get swatted with a big stick for a lot of things. For example one licking, which means swatted, for girls and boys playing together, or three lickings for calling each other “íll names,” which means calling each other bad names.

      Apaches raided the towns and ranches quite often back then.  They would sneak in and grab cattle, sheep, crops, and sometimes children.  It was pretty scary back then. Because of that, the people that lived in Tubac organized a group called the Tubac Scouts.  This group protected the town’s residents from the Apaches.

      In the year 1900, a change occurred.  The Tubac School District had some name changes and district number changes along with teacher changes.  Sarah and John Black had been the only teachers that the Tubac students had ever known before. They had taught there for fifteen years.  But in 1889, John Black’s license to teach was taken away from him after he failed to answer a summons to appear before the board of examiners concerning charges of “unprofessional conduct.”  So, the students got a new teacher, Miss Dell Johnson. She taught for two years. After that, the school had a new teacher every year until 1913. At that time, a teacher made about $80.00 a month. That’s about $2.66 a day.

      The school house that you are going to be in was remodeled in 1907.  An extra classroom and indoor plumbing, meaning a water faucet and toilet, were added.  Before that, people had to go outside to the water pump for water and to the outhouse for the bathroom.  By the year 1913, there were 65 students enrolled at this school and grades 1-3 were in one room and grades 4-8 in the other room.

      Now, you know some of the interesting things about this old school house.  Have fun while you pretend that you lived way back in 1885.


Sincerely, Ms. Stalkfleet and Mr. Gould


8:15 – 9:15 Travel to Tubac Presidio Historic State Park Schoolhouse

9:15 – 9:30 Students and parents walk one to two blocks to school yard

9:30 – 9:50 Students play in school yard, while supervised by parents / teachers inside setting up school room

9:50 – 10:00 Pledge and rules

10:00 – 10:15 DOL on front board

10:00 – 10:45 Reading / Writing / Poetry

10:45 – 11:15 Math / Facts on chalkboard

11:15 – 11:45 Spelling Test

11:45 – 12:45 Lunch

12:45 – 1:45 Story / Sketching / museum

1:45 – 2:45 Travel to St. Michael’s


Fantastic February 2019

The first full week of February is an amazing week at St. Michael’s.  The Incredible Edible Car Race on Monday begins Science Fair Week and Friday is STEM Night.   I’ll be in Tankersley Hall helping with the K-3 activities.  Then, the second week of February is also full of fabulous events.  Thursday, February 14th, is relaxed, Valentine’s Day themed dress and third grades’ celebrate with a valentine exchange.  Valentine’s Day valentines are exchanged with all students in both third grade classrooms.  The next day is our field trip to Tubac.  You may read the information letter here

We recently played board games with our kindergarten buddies from Mrs. Sanders class.  The games were cooperative and required the players to work together to accomplish something.  On future game days, we plan to practice sportsmanship when we play games that have “winners and losers”.

Playing board games has many benefits.  One side effect of playing board games is laughing. Laughing has been shown to increase endorphin.  Those are chemicals that bring up the feeling of happiness. Sharing laughter and fun can promote empathy, compassion and trust with others.  Positive feelings and thoughts, like the laughter and enjoyment that always comes with board games releases some chemicals that fight stress and boost your immune system. Other benefits of playing board games are developing logic and reasoning skills, improving critical thinking and boosting spatial reasoning.   Encouraging children to play different types of board games can also increase verbal and communication skills, while helping develop attention skills and the ability to concentrate and focus for longer periods of time.

Next week, we finish Language Arts Unit 4 with assessments covering concepts learned throughout the unit.  Student materials to review are the anthology, daybook, workbook, worksheets and online covering the following concepts.  Online access is here


  • determine theme
  • describe and compare story elements
  • identify opinions and evidence
  • determine author’s purpose
  • distinguish viewpoint
  • determine importance

Vocabulary and Spelling (list is at the end of this post)

  • use domain-specific and academic words
  • use prefixes to determine word meanings
  • classify words
  • spell verbs ending in -ing
  • use commonly misspelled words correctly

Grammar and Writing

  • use present-tense words and action words
  • use subject-verb agreement
  • use helping verbs
  • use forms of DO
  • link opinions and reasons


February 4; Edible Car Race

February 8; STEM Night

February 11; Reading Log due

February 14; Valentine Exchange

February 15; Field Trip Tubac School House

February 18-22; Rodeo Break

March 1; Casa Maria-one dozen peeled hard-boiled eggs

March 7; Noon Dismissal

March 1-14; Parent Teacher Conferences

March 22; Field Trip Sweetwater Wetlands Project WET

Spelling  Verbs ending in -ing

  1. announcing
  2. attending
  3. beautifying collecting
  4. considering
  5. doubling
  6. educating
  7. erasing
  8. forgiving
  9. gathering
  10. hiring
  11. mistreating
  12. notifying
  13. realizing
  14. spreading
  15. spreading

Watch-Out Words

  • bring
  • take
  • where
  • were



Students have been exploring the forces of magnetism and gravity.  They made observations and looked for patterns in data to predict how far the magnetic field extends around two magnets. Students then collected data for one and three magnets, measuring the distance at which paper clips are attracted. They used those data to predict how far the magnetic field extends around two magnets.

Building on their experience with magnetic force, students explored 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.

Next week they will build a wheel and axle system and explore the challenges about how their configurations affect the motion of their vehicle.

Join us for STEM Night on Friday, February 8.  The fun begins at 5:30pm

January 28, 2019

Little Mermaid was a great show Friday night!  Cast, crew, sponsors, and volunteers provided a wonderful theater experience. Don’t miss out and attend Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.  Tickets are available online here

Now, it’s time to gather those little BoxTops!  Bring them in any day and earn free money for our school.  We’re having a friendly competition between grades and third graders want to to be the grade that collects the most BoxTops!  Make sure 3A and a name are on each Box Tops label. THANK YOU in advance for your support.

“What’s the best way to get things done?” That is the big question we are exploring in our Language Arts unit. To answer it, we are reading, writing, and talking about how working together can make things better.

What We’re Reading

  1. “Mama Panya’s Pancakes” by Mary and Rich Chamberlin. This story tells how a boy organizes a feast by getting everyone to contribute to it.
  2. “Ba’s Business” by Grace Lin. This story tells how two sisters help their father with his business.
  3. “A Better Way” by Juan Quintana. In this persuasive article, the author describes the work of two Explorers who teach farmers.
  4. “The Ant and the Grasshopper” retold by Shirleyann Costigan. In this fable, Grasshopper learns why it’s important to plan for the future.


Valentines are exchanged with all students in both third grade classrooms.

February 1; Dragons Love Tacos play

February 4; Edible Car Race

February 8; STEM Night

February 11; Reading Log due

February 14; Valentine Exchange

February 15; Field Trip Tubac School House

February 18-22; Rodeo Break

March 1; Casa Maria-one dozen peeled hard-boiled eggs

March 7; Noon Dismissal

March 1-14; Parent Teacher Conferences-signup genius coming in February

March 22; Field Trip Sweetwater Wetlands Project WET

Spelling Verbs Ending in -ed

  1. arranged
  2. blessed
  3. calmed
  4. comforted
  5. commanded
  6. completed
  7. eased
  8. emptied
  9. included
  10. joined
  11. opposed
  12. planted
  13. pitied
  14. provided
  15. worried

Watch-out Words

  1. some
  2. sum
  3. we’d
  4. weed

The Little Mermaid

Tucson Presidio 1848

Thank you parents for volunteering to drive and chaperone on three field trips this winter.  We couldn’t do it without you!  Most recently, during our Tucson Presidio Field Trip, the children were immersed in learning about life as a child in early Tucson.  Pictures of last Friday’s field trip are posted on the classroom blog; click here.  If you have additional pictures and would like to see them posted on the blog, please, send them my way.  Coming up, we travel to Tubac and learn more about the life of children in the old pueblo.

Six third graders are performing in St. Michael’s production of The Little Mermaid January 25-27.  Our classmates, Zoe, Kaylin and Jonathan would love to see you in the audience enjoying their performances!  Tickets are available online at and in front of the school before 8:00am and after 3:10pm.


  • January 21; No School- MLK Jr.
  • January 25-27; Little Mermaid musical
  • February 15; Tubac Schoolhouse Field Trip; period costume needed
  • March 1st;  Parent Teacher Conferences Begin
  • March 22; Sweetwater Wetlands Field Trip


Words with Long e: ee, ea; Long o: oa, ow

  1. appeal
  2. asleep
  3. beast
  4. borrow
  5. cheap
  6. follower
  7. healing
  8. lowered
  9. meek
  10. overthrow
  11. repeat
  12. roam
  13. teenager
  14. tomorrow
  15. unload

Watch-Out Words

  1. raise
  2. rays
  3. son
  4. sun

Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize for leading the black struggle for equality in the United States.  He said the prize was not just for him, but for “all men who love peace and brotherhood.”  This week, third graders will learn about his life and and why we celebrate his life with a national holiday.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has inspired millions of people to serve and give back to their communities. Join them by finding a volunteer opportunity in your community this year.  Third graders volunteer  to help St. Michael’s church prepare lunch bags for Casa Maria and manage Foundations Courtyard’s Lost and Found.

Spelling Words are from this week’s reading materials about Martin Luther King Jr.

This year lower school (grades K-3) will be conducting parent teacher conferences beginning March 1st. In previous years lower school aligned their conferences with intermediate and middle school grades (4-8) in January. Parent suggestions and teacher feedback prompted this change. Report cards will be handed out during these March conferences as we will have just completed our 2nd trimester. We look for these later conferences to provide students with ample time to make improvements and strengthen their skill set from the previous progress report, and assist in setting specific goals for the third and final trimester. Look for conference sign ups in February. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me or Ms. Hart. We are really looking forward to talking with you about your child’s amazing achievements!!


  • January 18; Tucson Presidio Field Trip
  • January 21; No School- MLK Jr.
  • January 25-27; Little Mermaid musical
  • February 15; Tubac Schoolhouse Field Trip; period costume needed
  • March 1st;  Parent Teacher Conferences Begin
  • March 22; Sweetwater Wetlands Field Trip



  1. January
  2. Americans
  3. freedom
  4. separated
  5. children
  6. equal
  7. civil rights
  8. religion
  9. nonviolent
  10. justice
  11. peacefully
  12. protection
  13. fair
  14. victory
  15. remembered

It’s Easy to be Kind

Zoe, Welcome Back to School!   I’m looking forward to greeting the children and hearing all their news. I’ve missed everyone and I’m ready for the structure of school life routines and learning new ideas with the children.

A recent Scholastic News was about kindness.  Six kids were featured and all are elementary students who noticed a person or group of people in need of support. They all showed empathy by caring about other people and then took action to help.  In the article, expert Karen VanAusdal suggested that kids practice understanding people’s feelings. She says they can pay attention, listen carefully, try talking to more people, and take action when someone needs support.   

The article’s message to help when you notice a need for support coincides with a community service project that we will begin in January.   We noticed the condition of the Foundations Courtyard Lost and Found bin was in need of help.  There was too much clothing piled up making it almost impossible to search for our misplaced stuff.  The food containers could only be described as something you wouldn’t want to touch without gloves.  We proposed that we would take action and manage the mess.  One of our goals is identifying labeled items and returning them to their owners.  Another goal is sorting the unlabeled items and hanging them up for easy access when families want to search for misplaced clothing, etc.   The last goal is preparing any unclaimed items for the uniform exchange or donation.    Managing the Lost and Found provides the children a community service experience not only to families in our school, but to students in TUSD school district and families in our neighboring country, Mexico.  After several conversations in class about the logistics, we’re excited and ready to start.

Sue Peyron, a St. Michael’s parishioner and school parent of four alumni, visited during the week before break to say “Thanks for helping.”  She organizes the church’s Casa Maria feeding program and wanted to share her appreciation for our help each month.  She gave every student a thank you card, each with a unique message.

Our upcoming field trip visits Presidio San Agustin Museum which is a re-creation of the Tucson Presidio built in 1775. We will travel back in time on January 18th to learn about life as early Tucsonans. Students will experience a child’s life in Spanish Colonial Tucson through hands-on activities. They engage in daily activities like soldier’s drill, Colonial era household chores, Colonial era games and much more.  Mrs. Baxter of the Tucson Presidio Trust Foundation visits third graders prior our field trip, in order to prepare us for experiencing the fort.  She will mesmerize the children through her excellent story telling and use her stories to help the children know what to expect and what is expected of them while at the fort.  Field trip drivers are needed and a sign-up is available on the classroom bulletin board.

Tickets for Little Mermaid go on sale January 9th.   Our third grade classmates, Zoe, Kaylin and Jonathan, will take the stage January 25-27.  Don’t miss out!


  • January 7; Reading Log due
  • January 10; Progress reports issued
  • January 21; No School- MLK Jr.
  • January 25-27; Little Mermaid musical

 Field Trips

  • January 18; Tucson Presidio
  • February 15; Tubac Schoolhouse; period costume needed
  • March 22; Sweetwater Wetlands


Unit 4, Week 1 Words with Long a: ai, ay

  1. daydream
  2. exclaim
  3. failure
  4. gains
  5. mainly
  6. painful
  7. payment
  8. playful
  9. raising
  10. saint
  11. straight
  12. stray
  13. unpaid
  14. vain
  15. x-ray

Watch-Out Words

  1. lay
  2. lie
  3. plane
  4. plain

Happy Holidays

Thank you for your generous donations for the Humane Society of Southern Arizona during this busy holiday season.  You’re donations provide needed resources and holiday spirit to the many HSSA workers who care for needy dogs, bunnies, and cats.  The students and teachers appreciate your support.


Our field trip to Tucson Museum of Art was top notch.  Our docents knew their Tucson history and brought it alive for the children and parents.  The TMA art project asked children to imagine Tucson’s future and design their vision with a variety of art materials.  We shared our projects with each other when we returned to school.  The student’s view of Tucson’s future included teleporting transportation, beautiful buildings with abundant landscape plants, and play spaces designed for our furry friends.  For photos click here.



  • December 17; Unit 3 Language Arts assessments
  • December 21; Las Posadas
  • January 7; Reading Log due
  • January 10; Progress reports issued
  • January 25-27; Little Mermaid musical

Field Trips

  • January 18; Tucson Presidio
  • February 15; Tubac Schoolhouse
  • March 22; Sweetwater Wetlands

Spelling Resumes January 7, 2019