The week ahead: December 16 – 20

Congratulations to all of the lower school kids who sang their hearts out at last Friday’s St. Nicholas Performance. What a great job they did! It was a great way to head into the weekend.

This week, we are wrapping up our Language Arts Unit 3 and will be completing our assessment work. There is no spelling list this week. Time permitting, we will do some activities reviewing words from the past lists. In writing, students will be working to synthesize information from two information sources by identifying and grouping main ideas and details. We will also be writing summaries of our realistic fiction books from November’s reading. Students should have a mystery book selected this week for their December genre work.

In math, we will continue to investigate strategies for adding and subtracting three-digit numbers. Students are exploring ideas about place value and developing strategies for estimating sums and differences.

In social studies, we will be continuing our study of Tucson history, learning about some of the early American pioneers who came here in the late 1800s. We have two exciting field trips coming up in January: on 1/10, we will be going to the Fort Lowell Museum and on 1/24 we head to the one-room schoolhouse in Tubac to reenact life in the 1800s. Please check the driver sign-ups outside the classroom if you are able to help.

For the Tubac field trip, students should begin to think about period clothing that they can wear. We’ll talk in class about ideas and will send home suggestions this week.

This Friday will be St. Michael’s Las Posadas chapel with a procession reenacting the nativity story of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter at the inn in Bethlehem. Following the service, we will have an early dismissal at noon. There will be no aftercare provided on Friday.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Friday 12/20: Las Posadas, Noon Dismissal
  • Monday 12/23 – Friday 1/3: Winter Break, Happy Holidays!
  • Friday 1/10: Fort Lowell Museum Field Trip
  • January 13 – January 27: Parent Teacher Conferences (sign-up genius schedule coming soon)
  • Friday 1/24: Tubac Schoolhouse Field Trip

St. Nicholas Day Performance 12/13

Please see the following note from Ms. Allen regarding the St. Nicholas Day presentation on Friday, December 13. The kids are excited to share their songs!

Dear K-4 Families,

Happy December!  Our St. Nicholas Day / Christmas performance will take place on December 13th at 2:00 PM.  The performance features your children singing beautiful Christmas songs.  The students have been working diligently on memorizing their songs and learning stage placement and timing.  It should be a fabulous show!

Please have your child wear “Fancy Christmas attire”.  I have explained to the boys and girls that I’d like them to dress up.  For example, church attire or what you would wear when dining at a nice restaurant for the holidays. I have shared with the students that the girls may wear nice dresses and/or pants and a fancy top.  I want the boys to wear pants and a button down.  Many of the boys asked if they could were ties and I would love that!

I have spoken with the K-4 teachers and the students can come to school dressed for the performance or you can send your child’s clothing with them to change into after lunch.  Please check with your child’s homeroom teacher to see what he or she would prefer.

Thanks for your help making our St. Nicholas / Christmas Show a success.


Karise Allen (Ms. Allen)

Word Work 12/9 – 12/13

Spelling: Plurals with -s and -es

  1. acres
  2. bananas
  3. branches
  4. bulbs
  5. bunches
  6. bushes
  7. carrots
  8. floods
  9. labels
  10. meadows
  11. melons
  12. messes
  13. patterns
  14. recesses
  15. speeches

Watch-Out Words

  • sew
  • sow
  • so

Vocabulary Strategy: Suffixes

A suffix is a word part that comes at the end of a word. It changes the word’s meaning.

Some common suffixes are:

-y (full of)

-less (without)

-ness (the state of)

-er (someone who)

-tion (state of)

-ful (full of, with a lot of)

-est (the most or best)


Grammar: Noncount Nouns

A noncount noun: cannot be counted, has one form that does not change,

Do not use  or an before a noncount noun.

Use a singular verb with a noncount noun.


Highlights of the week

Here are some of our highlights of the week back after Thanksgiving:

  • class tickets and Friday raffle
  • visit from St. Nicholas to leave treats in our shoes
  • started thinking about gifts we’ve received (not things!) during Friday choice time
  • Friday compliment cards
  • Friday spelling and language arts tests
  • sang songs together
  • Science test about human bodies
  • continued studying Tucson history and learned about the first Americans to come to Tucson
  • learned a new math game “Go Collecting”
  • practiced rounding numbers to the nearest ten or hundred
  • Mr. Gould started reading from “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”
  • school sweatshirts
  • practiced songs for our St. Nicholas Day presentation next week
  • talked about highlights of the week!


3rd graders are wrapping up our Unit on Structures of Life this week.  There will be a final quiz on Friday, December 6.  A study guide will be reviewed and sent home on Wednesday, December 4.

Our new unit will be Water and Climate.  Look for more detailed information to come home next week!

Word Work for 12/2 – 12/6

Spelling: Words with VCe and long and short vowels

  1. alive
  2. awaken
  3. decorate
  4. entire
  5. grape
  6. hike
  7. lonely
  8. mole
  9. prune
  10. quite
  11. roses
  12. spruce
  13. stake
  14. twice
  15. volume

Watch-Out Words

  • rose
  • rows
  • die
  • dye


Grammar: Irregular Plurals and Noncount Nouns

Some nouns show the plural in different ways (ex: child – children, foot – feet, mouse – mice).

Some nouns use the same form for singular and plural (ex: deer, fish, sheep, moose).

Some nouns cannot be counted. They have only one form for singular or plural (ex: wood, snow, rain, sunshine).


Scientific and Academic Vocabulary: city, desert, rainforest, vine, weed, main idea, details, diversity, environment, organism, protect, unique