Earthquake Technologies

4th grade students have been taking on the role of engineers and building a four-story building with certain criteria and constraints.  Today, we had to stay within our $325,000 budget!  It was tough, but they are learning what is necessary to sustain an earthquake using real-life designs:

Cross braces



side extensions


Earthquake Technologies

4th grade students have been taking on the role of engineers and building a four-story building with certain criteria and constraints.  Today, we had to stay within our $325,000 budget!  It was tough, but they are learning what is necessary to sustain an earthquake using real-life designs:

Cross braces



side extensions


Jackson and Madeline determining if their building fits in with the budget

Lance, Niko and Kailee working on their Earthquake – safe building

Asa and Malina choosing technologies to help their building sustain an earthquake.

Trevor and Allison determining if the cost of their building is in the budget

Week of May 15

Things to Know:

Friday: Fine Arts Night – Friday, May 19

• Students wear a brown t-shirt and jeans (I believe)

• Please pick up your child from the Temple of Fine Arts at 3:30 pm (prompt) on Friday afternoon.

• There is no spelling next week.  We have completed the program.

Class Swim Party – Tucson Racquet Club

• Thursday, May 25th

• 11 to 2 pm

• Drivers needed


• We continue to work on converting  customary measurement


• We are finishing our story using the picture book The Wave.


• We are completing a Tiger Rising and some Scholastic News.  We did  a short assessment on a Tall Tale.

Social Studies:

• Test on the Midwest – May 18th.  A study guide was provided over 2 weeks ago.


• Students continue to delve into opening a pizza shop and  are learning what it takes to start up a business. We have learned about the following:

• resources – natural, human, capital

• raw materials

• marketing – target market, location, all aspects of advertising including social media, print, direct)

• Students did a class survey to determine popular menu items

• Students created a logo and slogan.

• Students will write a simple business plan.

(I am hoping we have time to finish this project, it’s getting tight).




5th Grade Beginning Band Info

4th Grade Parents,

I sent the following letter home as a hard copy last week in the Eagle Express but wanted to include some additional information. Tomorrow I will begin pulling students out of art class for a few minutes to try brass mouthpieces. This will help them to begin to narrow down which instruments they may want to play. Here is a great website that includes videos about each instrument. We did not watch this in class, but I told them that I would be giving it to you so that they can view the videos at home. Keep your eyes peeled for the beginning band/choir sign-up form in the June mailing!

Fifth grade is a special year – the year that the majority of band students across the country first begin learning their instruments. In fact, it’s usually the only opportunity that students get to learn the foundations of playing a band instrument. Joining band at an older age requires a great number of private lessons outside of school to get caught up.

Hopefully your child came home today excited to join beginning band next year because today they heard about the benefits of being in band and were introduced to the various instruments.

Before the end of the school year, each fourth grader will be given the opportunity to try brass mouthpieces, do some finger coordination exercises, and echo rhythms with me. These indicators will allow me to make instrument recommendations for each student. As I’ve told them though, the most important factor is whether or not you enjoy the sound of the instrument. If they would like to actually try a few instruments, stores like Instrumental Music Center on Speedway and Kolb will allow young students to try 2-3 instruments with their staff.

Over the summer, you will receive a beginning band/choir sign-up sheet. All 5th grade students participate in either band or choir, rather than the traditional music class.

According to a 2009 Gallup Poll, “85 percent of Americans who don’t currently play an instrument wish they had learned to play one.” The St. Michael’s band program is a great place to start! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Ms. Greynolds

Spelling Week of May 15

This is our last spelling list – Compound Words

highway              stoplight

football               sideline

classmate           crosswalk

skateboard         somewhere

motorcycle        grandstand

newspaper        brainstorm

background       scrapbook



Tuesday: write/type each word 2X.  Also, divide each compound word into its two base words. Write 5 more different compound words.

Wednesday:  Pages 139, 140, 141

Thursday: Review: pages 142, 143

Week of May 8

Things to know:

Friday, May 12 and Monday, May 15 – I will be away in Wisconsin celebrating my daughter’s graduation from UW-Madison.  Woo Hoo!  I am done – both kids out of college :). Ms. Burns will be subbing for me Friday and Ms. O’Shell will be my sub Monday.

Thursday, May 18 – Social Studies Midwest Test.  Students have been given a study guide.

Friday, May 19th – Fine Arts Night and Free Dress Day.  Please read the email sent to you from Dr. Antista and myself regarding dress, pick-up, and performance times.


• I have given quite a few quizzes in math. Please look for these in your child’s Eagle Express.

• We are learning about measurement: converting customary length, weight, volume.  I am allowing students to use calculators during these lessons.


• We continue to read and discuss The Tiger Rising.


• We learned about ‘voice’.  However, I have been discussing ‘voice’ in writing since the beginning of the year.  Students wrote a story based on pictures. They will be editing/revising specifically for ‘voice’.

• Our class  received their pen pal letters and will be writing back to their friends in Pennsylvania.  Please let your child know if they can supply their home address to their pen pal in case they want to continue to write to each other in the summer.

• We wrote short inspirational and caring notes to sick children at St. Jude, St. Louis, and Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s hospitals.  This was part of the Scholastic ‘Show Someone You Care’ initiative.  It was also to celebrate National Card and Letter Writing Month. I showed students videos of the children they wrote to.  🙁

Social Studies:

• Students have been given ample time in class to complete their electronic State Projects.  For those students who are not finished, they will have to complete the assignment at home.

• We have completed our Regions curriculum.  I have begun teaching economics.

• We learned about the different resources, product v.s. services, and what it takes to open a business.  Students will be completing a “Project Based” learning assignment that incorporates the fundamentals of economics, as well as some math applications. They will be opening up their own ‘pizza restaurant’. In this project they have to come up with a name, design a logo, choose a location,  menu items, price list, develop social media ideas and business cards, and design their own signature pizza.  They will also write a short and simple business plan.


Spelling Week of May 8

Easily misspelled words


believe                portrait

guess                   citizen

century                enough

machine              government

library                   biography

probably               especially

recognize               environment (added word)




Tuesday: cursive/type words in alphabetical order

Wednesday: workbook pages 135, 136, 137

What’s Happening Week of May 1

We are on the home stretch of 4th grade.  The students are really anticipating their summer vacation and this is beginning to affect their class behavior.  Please speak to your child about classroom behavior.  Many students have been talking way too much in class.  We are trying to complete our Civil War newspaper project. This project requires a lot of critical thinking and focus on the part of the student.  When they are constantly talking, they are not applying their best effort, and disturb others from doing their work, also.  At the end of the year, I give students unique projects to maintain motivation and engagement because I understand their excitement.  Thanks for your continued support.

We had a fabulous field trip to the Old Pueblo Archeology Center.  Students were very engaged and learned a lot about archeology and the Hohokam peoples.


• I am giving students some quizzes and we will be learning about volume and quadrilaterals.


• We continue to work on our newspaper writing and creating a Civil War newspaper.


• We have had some in-depth conversations about The Tiger Rising.  Students are answering comprehension questions.

Social Studies:

• I am hoping to finish the Midwest by the end of this week and have a test next week.  I will keep you posted.

• Students have a test tomorrow on the states and capitals of the midwest.  They were given a study guide two weeks ago.




–….-….-    ..—…-..

Samuel Morse

This week……

Students apply their knowledge of circuitry and electromagnetism to build a telegraph. They invent a code and use their telegraphs to send messages to each other. Finally, they take on the long-distance challenge by wiring two telegraph units together using long wires.

There will be a quiz on Friday, May 5.  A study guide will be given and a short review will take place on Wednesday.  Students are always encouraged to take their notebooks and textbooks home to help them study.


Spelling Week of May 1


happy   happiest  happier

cloudy  cloudiest  cloudier

ugly    ugliest   uglier

heavy    heavier    heaviest

pretty     prettiest    prettier


Tuesday: Cursive or type.  Write each of the adjectives using comparison sentences (er, test words only).  Underline the spelling word in your sentence.

Example:  The clown is sillier than the monkeys at the circus.

The clown is the silliest performer at the circus.

Wednesday:  workbooks pages 131, 132, 133