Welcome back!

I hope that you had as nice an Easter break as I did! It was nice to have time to spend with friends and family.

This week, we will resume our work in language arts that was begun last week. Spelling and grammar can be found here. In our reading work, students are examining how to identify the steps in a process. In writing, our focus is on rewriting details from an article in our own words.

In math, we are reviewing making equivalent fractions, writing fractions in simplest form, and identifying common factors and multiples. Our assessment for this chapter will be on Thursday.

In social studies, students continue to make progress on their timeline projects for Tucson history. They will be working in groups to create a short video of their timeline to share.

Upcoming Dates:

May 8; Noon Dismissal

May 17; Art Expo

May 23; Year-End Party and Awards at Tucson Racquet Club

May 24; Noon Dismissal

Spelling and Word Work 4/22-4/26

Spelling: Words with oi, oy, ou, ow

  1. appoint
  2. coins
  3. countdown
  4. crowd
  5. enjoyable
  6. loudly
  7. noisy
  8. ourselves
  9. proud
  10. rejoice
  11. rowdy
  12. royal
  13. tryout
  14. voice
  15. vowel

Watch-Out Words

  • rap
  • wrap
  • read
  • reed


Grammar: Demonstrative Pronouns
Demonstrative pronouns point our specific people, places, things, or ideas.
For something that is near, use this (singular) or these (plural).
For something that is far use that (singular) or those (plural).


Vocabulary: Social Studies and Academic Vocabulary:
artist, carve, storyteller, tale, tradition, wood, communicate, generation, preservation, process, represent

Spelling and Grammar 4/8 – 4/12

Spelling: Words with y

  1. community
  2. cycle
  3. diary
  4. everybody
  5. family
  6. glory
  7. identify
  8. library
  9. memory
  10. rhymes
  11. style
  12. supply
  13. worry
  14. yourself
  15. youthful

Watch-Out Words

  • chance
  • chants
  • chord
  • cord


Grammar: Subject and Object Pronouns
subject pronoun takes the place of the subject of a sentence. (I, you, he, she, it, we, they)
An object pronoun comes after a verb or words such as to, from, for, by, at, with,  and of (me, you, him, her, it, us, them)


Vocabulary: Playful Language
Writers use playful language such as idioms, and alliteration to make writing interesting. Readers should consider literal and non-literal language to help understand what is being said.

For example: He is all ears means that he listens carefully, not that he is covered in ears.

Guest Author Visiting Monday!

On Monday morning, we will be treated to a visit from guest author Jennifer Ward. Ms. Ward is the author of many great books for kids, both fiction and nonfiction. Some popular books of hers include Way Out in the Desert, There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea, and many more. You can check out her work at http://www.jenniferwardbooks.com/.

As part of Ms. ward’s visit, students will be asked to vote on a charity to help support (she will be donating a portion of her engagement fee to whichever group the kids choose). Please take a moment to look at and discuss these options with your child:

Tucson Audubon Society

  • We speak for wild birds and their homes.
  • We create sustainable wild bird habitat.
  • We help connect people with wild birds, supporting bird-focused education and outreach programs for all.
  • We study and protect wild birds in their habitat.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

  • We believe in the power of birds to ignite discover and inspire passion.
  • We study and reveal how nature works, fostering inquiry and education for children and adults.
  • We bring together scientists, students and people from all walks of life to generate knowledge and conserve our shared, natural world.

Coalition for the Protection of the Sonoran Desert

  • We advocate for protected open spaces, both on public and private lands.
  • We work tirelessly to re-connect our threatened open space preserves. Along with continuing current projects, we’ll be shifting our sights to the Interstate 10-Davidson Canyon wildlife linkage area.


Spelling, Grammar, and Vocabulary for 4/1-4/5

Spelling: Words with r-controlled syllables: ar, er, ir, or, ur

  1. adore
  2. artworks
  3. birthday
  4. border
  5. chorus
  6. circle
  7. current
  8. margin
  9. murmur
  10. nervous
  11. normal
  12. purple
  13. usher
  14. verses
  15. version

Watch-Out Words

  • acts
  • axe
  • hour
  • our


Grammar: Pronouns
pronoun takes the place of or refers to a noun.
Singular pronouns are : I, you, she, it, me, her, him, it
Plural pronouns are: we, you, they, us, them

Social Studies and Academic Vocabulary Words:
heritage, region, music, rhythm, vary, express, feelings, perform, popular, style, classify, visualize

The week ahead

We had a lot of fun on our field trip to Sweetwater Wetlands on Friday. The kids learned a lot about wetlands, water conservation, and protecting natural habitats. I hope to have some photos available soon!

This week, we will be finishing our fifth language arts unit and will be taking unit assessments at the end of the week. For spelling, students will choose words to review from the unit 5 word lists: week 1, week 2, week 3, and week 4. In addition, we will find time to finish work on the fantasy book projects that students started last Friday.

In Social Studies, we will begin working on our final Tucson history project. Students will work with a partner to select ten events that impacted the growth and development of Tucson over the years. They will create a timeline and presentation to explain what they’ve selected.

In math, we will review our work from chapter 7 and will be starting chapter 8, exploring fractions. Students will learn about equivalent fractions, writing fractions in simplest form, and comparing fractions.

In addition to our class work, we have several other activities planned. On Wednesday, we will have a chance to enjoy a presentation from the Tucson Symphony Orchestra string quartet. On Friday, we will have a relaxed dress day and will have a popcorn, Eegee’s and movie celebration as a reward for our work collecting box tops and for the math-a-thon. (We’ll also be sure to have popcorn alternatives for kids with braces!)

Upcoming Dates:

  • March 27; Tucson Symphony Orchestra quintet visits
  • March 29; relaxed dress and Eegee’s (from Math-a-thon); popcorn party (from Box Tops)
  • April 10; Progress Reports come home
  • April 12; K-3 Fine Arts Night at 7:00 pm

Field Trip and Book Project Reminders

We will be taking our class field trip to the Sweetwater Wetlands tomorrow, March 22. We will leave school around 8:15 and will return in time for lunch at school.

Students will need:

  • St. Michael’s uniform (red polo and khakis)
  • Close-toed shoes/sneakers
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen and/or hat
  • Small snack for the morning

In the afternoon, we will be working on our fantasy book report projects. If possible, students should bring their fantasy book to school. The project description was sent home previously. A copy is attached.

Students should be prepared with

  • Any special materials they need for their project
  • A summary of the story (main characters, problem, major events)

We had a fun-filled, but busy time last week! Starting with a visit from Wilma Wildcat for Monday Chapel and ending with cookie decorating, wetland environmental demonstrations, and leprechaun trap building with kindergarten on Friday, we packed a lot in! Here are a few pictures from our week.

Thank you, also, to everyone for making time to come in for second trimester conferences. I enjoyed our conversations and am looking forward to the months ahead. As always, please continue to be in touch if questions arise.

Finally, a huge thanks to everyone who helped make last week’s Love of Reading week so fun! We had a blast decorating our door in a pirate theme and really love all of the books that were donated from the book fair. Thank you!

Here’s what’s coming up this week (in no specific order!):

  • Friday Field Trip to Sweetwater Wetlands 8:15-12
    Thank you to people who have offered to drive. Students should be sure to wear close-toed shoes and sunscreen and/or a hat. We will be outdoors all morning. We will be back at school in time for lunch, though.
  • Fantasy Book Report Projects
    On Friday afternoon, students will be constructing a mobile that represents the fantasy book they read last month. They should bring in any materials that they think they will need. I’ll have some basic supplies available (colored paper, tape, markers).
  • Chapter 7 Math Test Thursday
    We are concluding our work in chapter 7 this week, examining sequences, patterns, and equations. Students are working on performing functions and solving expressions by following the order of operations.
  • Mass Apostles Tuesday
    Our class will be helping during Tuesday morning’s mass. We haven’t assigned roles, so it will be first-come, first-choice on Tuesday morning!
  • Language Arts finishing Unit 5
    This week and next, we will be finishing our fifth unit: Mysteries of Matter. This week, students are examining what causes matter to change and will read science articles and short books on the topic. We will look at how the text features in nonfiction writing help us understand the writing better.

Upcoming Dates:

  • March 22; Field Trip to Sweetwater Wetlands
  • March 27; Tucson Symphony Orchestra quintet visits
  • March 29; relaxed dress and Eegee’s (from Math-a-thon); popcorn party (from Box Tops)
  • April 10; Progress Reports come home
  • April 12; K-3 Fine Arts Night at 7:00 pm

Spelling, Vocabulary, and Grammar for 3/18-3/22

Spelling: words with r-controlled vowels: /ar/ air, ear; /ir/ ear,eer

  1. affairs
  2. bearing
  3. beard
  4. clear
  5. deer
  6. disappear
  7. dreary
  8. gear
  9. pairs
  10. peered
  11. rear
  12. smear
  13. upstairs
  14. wears
  15. yearly

Watch-Out Words

  • ate
  • eight
  • faze
  • phase


Vocabulary Strategy:

Synonyms are words that have the same or almost the same meaning. You can use a synonym that you know to help you understand a new word in context.



possessive noun tells who or what owns something.

  • singular nouns add ‘s
  • plural nouns add an apostrophe

possessive adjective can replace the owner’s name. (my, your, his, her, its, our, their)