Last Blog :(

Well, the year has come to an end.  Can you believe it!?  Thank you for sharing your kiddos with me throughout our 4th grade journey.   They have grown so much both academically and personally.  As the year progresses, we really do develop into a ‘little family’.  Saying ‘goodbye’ is difficult.  However, I know that they are ready for 5th grade and the new challenges and adventures that await them.

Thank you for all of your support this year.  Parents are the backbone of a child’s success. I would also like to express my gratefulness for my lovely gifts.  I was  very spoiled. 🙂 .

Finally, I hope you had the opportunity to peruse their portfolio of work.  This is just a sample of what your child accomplished throughout the year.  I hope they feel a sense of pride in their work and can see a change in themselves.

Have an amazing summer.



Mrs. Tomiak

What’s Happening Week of May 13

Wow, it’s difficult to believe that the school year is almost over.  We are on the finishing touches of a writing project and some fun math projects.


Art Expo is this Friday beginning at 5:30 p.m.  There will be food trucks and booze.  Come and see the wonderful art work your child has created this year.  Also, A HUGE THANK YOU to Amy Haskel (Presley’s mom) and Al Gyuro (Presley’s grandfather) for creating 4B’s Art Expo project.  Thank you for your time and effort in creating something unique for 4B!  I can’t wait for parents to see it Friday night.

I also want to give a HUGE SHOUT OUT to my homeroom parents, David Daniell (Linnea’s dad) and Tawanna Wilson (Kalyn’s mom) for making this year special.  They assisted in party planning and other activities.  You made our year a success.

Finally, THANK YOU to all 4B parents for helping to guide your child through 4th Grade.  Your dedication to your child and their academic achievements does not go unnoticed.  Thanks for all you do!


We are working on some deeper thinking area and perimeter projects. Students are required to draw interiors and exteriors of buildings based on given areas and ensure they all fit on one piece of graph paper.  It’s challenging and fun!


We are reading the Whipping Boy.  Students are practicing visualization, reading aloud, and summarization for each chapter.  We’ve had engaging discussions about the medieval era.


• Students are writing their “Most Wanted” biography about an outlaw from the Wild West.   This has been a motivating project for the end of the year.

• We will be creating a portfolio envelope with all of your child’s work from this year.  It will be completed next week and sent home.  I think you will be surprised by your child’s growth and the work they have accomplished!  It always amazes me.

Social Studies:

I am in the midst of grading the West Social Studies test.  This was the last assessment for the year.


Students have been exploring light and color for their last unit of study.  We are wrapping it up this week and will have a test on Monday, May 20.   A study guide will go home on Wednesday, May 15 and we will review both Wednesday and Friday before the test.

What’s Happening in 4B Week of May 6

First off, thank you so very much for my lovely teacher appreciation gifts.  I brought some of the delicious Nadine cookies home, otherwise I would have eaten ALL of them!   I don’t do enough Zumba to burn off that many calories.  I used my beautiful Starbucks Arizona travel mug this morning.  It kept my coffee very warm on the drive to school.    Also, thank you for the Starbucks gift card.  I will definitely use this to purchase my favorite drink, an almond milk misto with a dash of cinnamon.  Finally, the Barnes and Noble gift card goes a long way since I belong to a book club.  Thanks again for your thoughtfulness.   4B families Rock!

End-of-Year Party:

Our End-of-Year Party will take place on Thursday, May 23.  Please sign and return the Playformance Client Info and Waiver that is in your child’s Eagle Express.  A pizza lunch will be provided by Empire Pizza.   It promises to be a fun and engaging experience.

PS.  I will require drivers so please let me know if you can drive and how many kiddos you can take.  We will leave directly after Mass that day around 11:45ish.


We are spiraling back to revisit addition, subtraction, order of operations, division and multiplication.  Students are working on solving longer calculations.  We will be having a short quiz on multiplication and division.


We are writing the final draft of our ‘journey’ stories. I was pleased that so many students worked hard to develop their word choice and transitions.  They also had much better fluency in this piece. We will be creating a small art project to go with this creative story.

Students will be making a portfolio the last week of school and all of their year’s work will be included in it.

Finally, we do not have time to research the Civil War.:(  However, because we are learning about the Western Region, students are researching notorious characters from the Wild West, including women.  They will be writing a short biography for their final writing assignment.  I have never done this assignment before.  It sparked a lot of discussion and enthusiasm as the students read about their bad guys and gals!


In your child’s Eagle Express, you will find their Shiloh comprehension questions.  To clarify, one or two chapters of Shiloh were read each week and discussed.  Students then had to answer the questions.  You will notice that most chapters had only 2 questions with the exception of chapters one and two.  Most students knew the answers but failed to follow comprehension guidelines: answer the question in your own words, cite text evidence to support your answer.  Some students gave me evidence that had nothing to do with their answer.  The evidence and answer should sound similar or match.  I didn’t care too much about restating the question in this instance since students were answering directly on the worksheet.

Furthermore, I observed that students do not pay attention to the details of a story or write enough of the details to answer a question in full.  As they develop and mature, comprehension skills will be honed.  Reading requires focus and not speed.  It also requires students to stop and think about what they are reading and to reread if they do not understand.  Reading aloud also helps students develop comprehension and fluency.

Students are enjoying reading The Whipping Boy. They are practicing visualization and identifying important details.  We are reading this book whole group.  Students take turns reading pages aloud.  They are learning a lot about medieval life.  Ask them why the book is called The Whipping Boy.

Social Studies

Test on the West – Tuesday, May 14.

Research – Notorious Characters from the West, Biography Writing

Must Know Spelling Words

Here is the list of the Must-Know Spelling Words

Test: Friday, May 10

thought            each

though             which

through           where

because           were

could                any

would              Tucson

should             Arizona

very                  build

every                 among

important        said

about               brought

once                 while

known               first

finally               school

quite                almost

quit                  sometimes

quiet                 something

usually            always

certain            whole

friend            government

question         complete

answer            notice

people          toward

other             figure


There is no specific homework for these words. The students need to memorize them in a manner that suits their learning style.

What’s Happening Week of April – May 1

There are only a couple of weeks left in school.  Seriously, the year has flown by!  We are working hard to complete our phonics book and we have finished the last Spectrum spelling unit.  However, I will be giving some ‘must know’ words for students to learn.  They will be in my Spelling Blog and a hard copy will be given to students today.

Renaissance Testing

Students completed another Renaissance testing series: math and reading.

Human Growth and Development:

Once again, Nurse Huff will be speaking with the boys and girls (separately) about Human Growth and Development. The boys’ class will be today from 9:42 to 10:30.  The girls will be with Nurse Huff on Friday from 9:42 to 10:30.  Much of the discussion is about body changes, eating well, exercising, and personal hygiene.

Tucson Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday, May 2 – Our students will enjoy a concert by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.  The program is geared to a younger audience, and helps develop an appreciation of classical music. We will be taking buses down to the TCC in the morning and return by lunch.


• We have completed reading and discussing Shiloh.  We are now reading short fiction and nonfiction pieces with comprehension questions.   We may have time to sneak in one more short book for reading pleasure and discussion only.


• We completed one last writing piece.  Students wrote a creative story based on pictures.  Ask them about it. We are currently revising and editing same.  Good copies will be written and students will create some art to accompany their work.  Students were expected to include everything they have learned about the 6 Traits of Writing.

Social Studies:

Friday, May 3 – Test on the West states and capitals.

We have learned a lot about the importance of the Transcontinental Railway and its impact on the growth of the United States.

There will be a test about the West on Tuesday, May 14.  I will have a study guide ready soon.  Please note that there will definitely be a question about the Transcontinental Railway.

Sadly, I don’t think we have time to research the Civil War.  I will see how next week progresses.




Things to Know:

May 17 – Art Expo – 5:30 p.m. Come see the wonderful art your child has created this year.


Spelling Week of April 29

This is the last regular spelling from our Spectrum book.

highway .            sideline

football               crosswalk

classmate            somewhere

skateboard          grandstand

motorcycle          brainstorm

newspaper           scrapbook

background         notebook


Tuesday: Write each word 2 x, then write again, separating the into the two smaller words:

Example: football  – foot     ball

Wednesday: Pages 138, 139, 140, 141

Thursday: Review: pages 142, 143, REVIEW

What’s Happening Week of April 23

Welcome back from Easter break.  I hope everyone had an enjoyable rest from the daily grind.

Things to Know:

May 2 – Thursday: Young People’s Concert – 4th grade will be taking a field trip to the TCC to listen to the Young People’s Concert by the Tucson Orchestra.  We will be returning in time for lunch.

May 17 – Art Expo – beginning at 5:30 pm. This is an opportunity to see your child’s art work for the year, as well as purchase a piece of artwork to support the school.  There will be food and musical performances, as well.

April 26th – Author Study is due!


To supplement our novel studies, students are also reading short passages to develop and practice various literature skills such as character analysis, context clues, inferencing, compare and contrast, and sequencing.


Students wrote a story from pictures. We discussed how stories are basically pictures put to words. They are required to incorporate the writing skills we have learned so far. These are reviewed and noted on the board for student reference.  Ask your child what ‘good writing’ requires!


We are now learning about capacity and how to convert units of measurement.  This process is a nice review of multiplication and division.

Social Studies:

We have now ventured into the West.  Students are taking notes on various vocabulary words and important people.  They have also written out the states and capitals.  A test on the states and capitals of the West will be Friday, May 3rd.  

What’s Happening Week of April 15

First off, I hope everyone has an enjoyable and relaxing Easter break.  When we return, there are only a few weeks left of school. This time of year, students become antsy with anticipation of the end of the year.  I try to do different projects or research to maintain engagement.  Students will be researching and writing about the Civil War. And, I will have at least one or two more writing assignments.


• Students are delving into the land of customary measurement.  Understanding what measurement tools to use, when to use precise measurement and how to use rulers, measuring cups, etc. are fundamental in a child’s understanding of measurement.

I will be giving students another area/perimeter assessment.  Many did not do well on the first one. I will review the concepts again. The challenge seems to be relating area and perimeter and remembering the formulas.  I am also going to spiral back to multiplication and long division – as a refresher.


• Students completed a comprehension piece about a tall tale.  They will be given short reading passages to practice different types of comprehension skills that incorporate all areas of the elements of literature.  These include cause and effect, characterization, main idea/detail, summarizing/vocabulary and sequencing.


• We completed a short poetry session about Earth Day. Students learned about a ‘shape poem’, Tanka, and free style.  They are already familiar with Haiku.  I showed several videos about Earth Day. We learned it was started by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin.  He began the movement in 1970.  Today, over 130 countries around the world celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd.

We also wrote our ‘miss you’ letters to family and friends.  In a time of emails and electronic messaging, it’s nice to receive a hand-written note from someone with a message of love and caring. It is much more personal and sentimental.  I hope that students continue to hand-write notes, cards, or letters to the important people in their lives.

Social Studies:

Currently, I am grading the midwest tests.  They will be returned after Easter break.

We have begun learning about our final region: the West.  This the ‘gold rush’ region

Students continue to understand the courageousness of settlers moving west in covered wagons.  They have seen several videos showcasing the hardships and successes of settling new land in unfamiliar territory.  They are currently drawing pictures representing the Diary of a young Pioneer girl.


Spelling Week of April 22

Spelling will not resume until after Easter Break.  The homework will be due Tuesday, April 23 and 24. The workbook pages will be due Wednesday, April 25. Test Friday, April 26.

FYI, there are only two spelling lessons left.  After that, students will be given ‘must know’ words as part of our spelling unit.

Lesson 30 – Easily Misspelled Words

believe .             question

guess                 portrait

century              citizen

machine             enough

library                 government

probably              biography

recognize             especially

separate              environment (added word to book list)

Tuesday: Cursive or type – alphabetical order

Wed.: Workbook pages 134, 135, 136, 137