The fourth graders are working hard to prepare for Our Lady of Guadalupe chapel.  The chapel will be on Friday, December 15 at 9:45 a.m. in the church. Everyone is invited to attend. Please have students wear a white blouse or shirt and navy bottoms. This is a beautiful chapel and we are all excited to be a part of it!

4B Happenings Week of November 13

Things to know:

Monday, November 20 Canned Food Drive ends. Please donate food or money for this wonderful cause.

Monday, November 20 – Social Studies Southeast States and Capitals test. A list of states and capitals was sent home with your child.

Friday, December 8 – St. Nicholas Concert.  1:00 PM.  Holiday dress for the students, please.

Friday, December 15, 4th Gr. performs Our Lady of Guadalupe in the chapel at 9:45 am.

Tuesday, December 19 – 4th grade will have a field trip in the morning for an archeological dig.  Stay tuned as drivers will be needed.  The facility is very close to St. Michael’s.


• We continue to read The Indian in the Cupboard, discuss, and answer comprehension questions. Students are writing a summary of each chapter.

• We will be learning a new way to write a summary focusing only on important details.


• We have completed the final drafts of our expository writing about Pueblo pottery.  We are now working on our final draft of our ‘picture’ story.  Students revised their work to improve word choice using muscle verbs and figurative language.  I did not go over this piece with the students .  I want to see where they are in writing without my assistance.

• We are learning about idiom, similes, and metaphors.

• Students are expected to apply all the skills in writing we discuss and practice in class.

• We are learning how to write a letter and will be replying to our pen pals in Pennsylvania soon.

Social Studies:

• We continue to learn about the Southeast.  We focus on the history of the Southeast, in particular the Civil War.

• Students will be focusing on the Civil War and creating a project – not sure what yet – still noodling on this. It will all be done in class.

• We are finishing up our Northeast travel brochures using Google Docs.


• We learned about homophones, contractions, irregular plurals, and possessive nouns v.s. plural nouns.

• Grammar is ongoing and incorporated in all the students’ writing endeavors.




Spelling for week of November 20


curve               surge

heard              expert

worry              search

further            purpose

perfect            certain

worth             thirsty

return           shirt



Tuesday: sort and write/type words according to their spelling.

Wednesday: Workbook, pages 54, 55, 56, 57


The fourth graders are already practicing for “Our Lady of Guadalupe” chapel which will be held on Friday, December 15 at 9:45 a.m. in the church. All are welcome to attend. The fourth graders will be doing a play, reading poems and singing special songs to celebrate this special feast day of Our Lady. A letter with more details will be in this week’s Eagle Express.

Current Event

Just a reminder to bring in a current event having to do with a science topic.  Students are to read an article, and present it in summary to the class.  Current events are worth 50 points and due once a month.

Students can use newspapers, magazines, or internet articles for current events.

Science Fair Update:

Variables and Hypothesis is due Wednesday, November 15.  Most students finished in class this week.

Resources for School Reports

In Computer Class this month students have been learning about reliable resources for school reports. The Arizona State Library and Public Records has collections of free databases where students can login using only an Arizona zip code to access materials ranging from informational text to biographies to language practice excercises.

To access these with your child just click here:

Although this list is labelled for Junior High and beyond, many of the resources are accessible and useful for younger students (particularly the databases Biography in Context, Powerspeak Languages, and NoveList Plus.)

Also, for more information on finding reliable resources for school assignments, check out Common Sense Media’s tips on where to look and other important considerations.

~Ms. Hawes

What’s Happening Week of November 6

Food Bank:

We are collecting food for the Food Bank and St. Michael’s pantry.  Grades 4 and 5 are also having a dill pickle sale to raise money for the food banks.  Dill pickles will be $1 and will be sold in the courtyard.  We will be selling pickles next week, too.

Busy Time of Year:

It will be a very busy next few weeks as St. Michael’s heads into the holiday season. Please check your calendars regularly for events and news.

Thursday, November 9 – Field Day – 1/2 Day.  I have the Field Day shirts and will give them to your child tomorrow morning. They can change into them at that time.


• We are learning how  to write summaries using only important details.

• We have learned the term ‘foreshadow’.

• We continue to read and discuss The Indian in the Cupboard.  This is not an easy book but is at 4th grade level.  When students read aloud, I am observing that they struggle using phonics to decode unfamiliar words.  This is something we have been practicing.  Students need to find word parts, words within words, prefixes and suffixes.  Some students have gotten into the habit of skimming over or omitting words they don’t know.  This affects comprehension. They must stop to decode.  It’s an important skill.

• We revisited how to completely  answer a comprehension question using the RACE formula.  Students have been told to write with specific language and not use vague terms or pronouns.


• We continue to look at Word Choice and Figurative Language.  We have done a lot of whole group/Smartboard activities to practice this new skill.  Students will be applying their knowledge when they revise a story they wrote a few weeks ago.

Social Studies:

• Students are creating a Northeast travel brochure on Google Docs. I am not going to lie – using Google Docs gives me grey hair. It’s not intuitive.  The students are doing a great job helping each other.  So far, their work looks great.

• We will begin discussing the Southeast.



Spelling Week of November 13

OR Words

port            course

force           order

source         explore

support       record

chore          border

report         landform

before       history



Tuesday: Write/type words alphabetical order

Wednesday: Workbook: pages 50, 51, 52, 53

What’s Happening week of October 27

What’s happening around St. Michael’s.

The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas are quite hectic at St. Michael’s.  Please check the calendar frequently for events and reminders about school.

Friday, November 3

El Dia de los Muertos Chapel at 9:40 am. This is always a beautiful and poignant celebration.

Wednesday, November 8

Spelling test on ‘must know’ words. There is no ‘regular spelling this week.

Thursday, November 9 = 1/2 day – Field Day

Friday, November 10 – No school – Grading Day.


• We continue to reading and discuss The Indian in the Cupboard.  Students are answering comprehension questions and we will begin delving into Characterization.

• We will be discussing inferencing.


• We have completed our expository paragraphs on pottery.

• Some students continue to struggle with sentence structure.  They need to read their work aloud to hear if it makes sense.

• We will be learning about Word Choice and how to add power and pizzazz to our writing through words.

• We will spiral back to our story using pictures to practice word choice and sentence fluency, too.


• We learned about possessive nouns. This concept takes some time to sort out. It can be confusing,  especially understanding the difference between singular and plural possessives.  Examples:

My friend’s house is really pretty.

My friends’ houses are really pretty.

The children’s books were on their desks.

The farmer’s sheep are grazing in the grass.

The farmers’ sheep are grazing in the grass.

• We also learned about irregular plurals.

Examples: man – men, woman – women, ox – oxen, etc.

• We continue  to practice understand the various possessive pronouns: their, your, its, and when to use them correctly.




Spelling Week of November 6

There is no regular spelling for this week because it’s a short week. However, students will have a ‘must know’ spelling test on Wednesday, November 8.  These are the words they must know.

finally             quiet           maybe

thorough        quite           beautiful

through          again           does

thought          usually        interestingly

because          certain

once                friend

known           question

quit                answer