Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear parents,
I hope today your were able to see the gratitude pumpkins we made in class. I am so thankful for all of your children, they truly are such blessings to me each and every day.
I won’t be here tomorrow as I will be beginning my 60 mile journey (20 miles a  day) and will be thinking of all of you as I walk. Thank you for your prayers and support. I feel so blessed to be a teacher here at SMA.
Tomorrow is Dollar Denim day if your child wants to participate in that. There will be a Student of the Month assembly where students that met their AR goal will be mentioned. The following students met their AR goal this last trimester:
Great job 4th grade!! 
Students asked me today if there would be homework over the holiday. I pretended that they were going to owe me a 10 page paper on Thanksgiving! They were laughing by the end of it, and NO, I DID NOT ASSIGN A PAPER!! I did tell them though that if they are looking for something to do, reading and reviewing those multiplication and division facts are always a good idea.
When we return, we will be going to the mission on Tuesday, November 29th. Know that students will need a sack lunch on that day and can wear jeans and athletic shoes, but they must wear their uniform polos and sweatshirts on the top!!
That same week, on Friday, December 2nd, we are also in charge of the mass with 5th grade. Your child might be reading or participating in some way. I will update you on Monday, November 28th as to what everyone is doing, but consider saving the date!! Does anyone have a Saint Patrick’s costume or a St. Nick’s costume? We also might be in need of a Mary costume. Let me know if you can help us out.
Don’t forget that the Christmas pageant is coming on Wednesday, December 14th!! Most students need to be dressed like citizens of Bethlehem – think shepherds!! On that same night, starting at 5:15 in the Parish Hall, the advisory board will be giving a State of the School address updating you about all the great things we have been doing at SMA and what we hope to do in the future. We hope you can join us as well as save your seat for the pageant immediately following.
Phew, I feel like the year if flying by and it will be Christmas break before we know it. Have a wonderful break!
Mrs. Katie Zack


Just a few reminders:
Your child has Spanish homework for Tuesday, assigned last Thursday. We realized that bringing home their yellow Spanish folder and Spanish notebook might be helpful, so they should have gone home yesterday.

For Tuesday:

For all the students:

Go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ocI9QCV1xM ,  sing the song and memorize it.

Go to: http://www.spanish.cl/juegos-vocabulario/paises-de-habla-hispana-capitales.htm , play the game and print out/ write down the score you got. Save your score in your carpeta amarilla.

Also, we will begin working on their Saint report in class this week. Please make sure your child has some information about their saint with them on Monday. This will need to be available over the coming weeks, so please leave it in the religion section of their accordion files.

Notes from Mrs. Z 10.10

Hi parents,
I hope you are enjoying your 3 day weekend. I am heading out in a few minutes for a training walk and figured I would take a minute to write to all of you and update you on a few things.
We have been learning about sin and how to make choices that lead us away from sin. Students used their bibles to read the Parable of the Good Samaritan and reflected on what this parable meant for them in their lives. They are working in groups to create a puppet show to share this story with each other and with our TK buddies.
We will be moving on to their saint project this week. Please take some time and determine what saint your child would like to learn about this year. This site might help you pick a saint if you move through their feast days. I will be asking what saint they picked on Thursday.
I shared with them yesterday that on Friday, November 4th they will need to come dressed as a saint for our All Saints’ Day celebration and mass. I told them they could wear a costume of a saint they already had, but I wanted them to learn about a NEW saint during class this year.
Spelling and Vocabulary
The students have asked to have the opportunity to play games and things on Spelling City. Please know their list for this week has been uploaded. I shared with them yesterday that instead of doing the packet this week they could choose to complete the assigned spelling activities on Spelling City instead.
Their vocabulary words are on there as well if they wanted to play games, but I will be uploading a link in to Planbook this weekend to help with studying for the test.
The students have continued to learn about prepositions finding them, finding the oject of a prepositional phrase and now know how to eliminate the prepositional phrase and find the subject and verb. Next week we will be learning about compound subjects and verbs.
Literature and Writing
We finished War with Grandpa this week. Next week we will review and discuss the book and take a test on the book. Students will be working on a personal narrative as well. Their narrative will need to have 3 main events, details and dialogue. They are anxious to be using the Chromebooks again for their final version of their essay.
Students were also given a sheet with their AR goal this week and where they were in regards to their goal. Many students were taking AR tests this week and I am sure they will continue to do so. When a student finishes a books they are reading independently they should come to school and take a test on it. This assesses their comprehension of the novel and moves them towards reaching their goal. We already have a few students that have met their goal for this trimester and are seeing how far they can get before November 11th!
We introduced the area model of multiplication this week and will be learning the shortcut method this coming week. Students should continue to work on their multiplication facts if this is an issue. Some students were struggling with their 6s, 7s, and 8s, so if you are looking for something to do this weekend consider having them play some multiplication games online. Students were asked to complete 2-3 ALEKS topics by Tuesday and were told there would be a prize for the person that completed the most topics this weekend.
Social Studies
It looks like students are hard at work learning about California’s native people. They were asked to draw a house of the native people I believe so maybe ask them about that!
Many students wanted to bring in their rock collections or something. If your child would like to bring something to share on Tuesday, please have them do so. We are still learning about one another and coming together as a class community and this could be a wonderful time to learn more about one another.
Okay, I better get going! Have a great one!
Mrs. Katie Zack

Note from Mrs. Z week of 9.12

Hi everyone,
I hope you are enjoying your weekend. I wanted to take a moment and remind you about some events next week and update you on what has been going on in class.
Dates to Remember
  • Monday, September 12th – Monday Morning Mass. Students gather in the junior yard at 7:45 am. We will find our TK buddies and head to mass. Please know students wear their regular uniform, NOT mass uniform.
  • Homework Help with Mrs. Z –  3:15-3:45 on Monday. Let me know if you want your child to stay. If you are not there at 3:45, your child will be escorted to Extended Care.
  • Thursday, September 15th – School Picture Day – Mass Uniform. Consider a change of clothes for after pictures depending on temperature.
  • STAR testing will start this week
General Announcements
Students have PE in the afternoon on Monday and Wednesday. Please make sure they have water bottles to stay hydrated during these warm months.
Several students are still missing their one book cover. This book cover is needed to cover their Social Studies book and is required in 4th grade. Also, a few students still don’t have scissors or art supplies.
By now, all accordion files are hopefully labeled. I will be checking them next week. Please know that the accordion file should have had 12 or more tabs. I believe we have a few with only 7. This is not enough to cover all the subjects and to make sure they have a place to put all their papers.
Students were assigned math homework over the weekend, 1-5. A lot of class time was given for this on Friday, so don’t be surprised if your child tells you they already completed it. Please know math will be assigned over the weekend as was discussed at Back to School Night.
Please make sure to check Planbook EACH night. Homework can change based off of what happens during instruction time during the day. We are asked as teachers to have a general idea for the week to assist parents and students in planning, but there needs to be some flexibility especially in regards to math. Mr. K will be adding science homework this week as well I believe.
What is happening in 4th grade?
Religion: This week we worked on Chapter 1 and learned about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
Reading: We focused on story vocabulary and the elements of plot. We will be starting our first novel on Monday.
Writing: Students completed a graphic organizer for their own tall tale and some students began their rough drafts. We will continue to work on these next week.
Math: Students were introduced to standard form, expanded form, and word form of multi-digit numbers. Students also learned to compare large numbers and how to round them. According to the quiz they took on Friday, more focus on rounding large numbers needs to continue to occur. We will be moving on the multi-digit addition and subtraction next week. Since students all seemed to have a strong grasp on multi-digit addition on the pre-assessment so we will quickly review this skill and spiral back for more time on rounding and move forward with multi-digit subtraction.
Word Skills: Students started to learn about prepositions. We also started our first lesson in spelling and vocabulary. Students will be taking their Spelling and vocab test on Friday. Students were given their logins to Spelling City if they wanted to play some games there, and I also uploaded a Quizlet for their vocabulary words on Planbook if this is a preferred way for your child to study. I will be helping students work through their first spelling packet and unit 1 vocab book work in class this week. Slowly this will become more of a homework focus, but I want to get them used to this idea.
Social Studies with Ms. Griffin: Students started working on Chapter 1. They learned about the four questions geographers ask and where in the world California is located.


Hello parents,
Thank you so much for attending Back to School Night. I hope you found it informative and left learning a little bit more about 4th grade. If you have any questions, please feel free to email.
In other news, I am still missing some parent letters and Google Apps Permission Slips. I would really like to begin using the Chromebooks next week and need your help to make that possible. I have attached the form in case you have misplaced yours in all the papers needed for the first week of school.
Today I discovered a few cell phones in 4th grade. Please know that the school policy is that cell phones will be collected at the beginning of the day and returned at the end of the day. They are not allowed to remain in their backpacks. Please have your child turn their phone into me on the days they are brought to school.
We are off to an amazing start in 4th grade. We have already completed two lessons in math and are beginning a tall tale unit to help with descriptive narrative writing in a few weeks. The students seem to really be enjoying it. Today the students learned about the steps needed to become a saint since Mother Teresa will be canonized this Sunday.
Students were given a reading log today in case they wanted to start reading for their homework next week. Remember students are asked to read 100 minutes a week, due to the Monday holiday students can only read 80 minutes. It would be good for them to continue playing math games to keep those multiplication and division facts fresh in their head.
Tuesday the 6th — Pizza Lunch
Wednesday the 7th — Pancake breakfast for the students that completed all 6 summer ALEKS assignments.
Picture Day is coming up on the 15th!!
Have a wonderful 3 day weekend!


Drop off School Supplies on Thursday!

Hi parents,
I wanted to invite you to stop by school and drop off school supplies either Thursday morning from 8:00-8:30 or Thursday afternoon from 2:00 – 3:00. Hope to see you then!
Mrs. Z

Welcome to 4th grade!

Dear Parents,
Welcome to 4th grade!  I just wanted to thank you in advance for all the form filling out and packet reading you are asked to do at the beginning of the school year.  I am looking forward to an exciting year getting to know your children. I look forward to meeting all of you on Back to School Night on August 31st at 6 p.m. New parents meet and greet will start at 5, so feel free to come welcome all the new families to SMA!
Please keep an eye out for weekly emails and news on my webpage to learn what is happening in 4th grade. If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at kzack@stellamarisacademy.org.

Growing up in Northern California and attending Catholic Schools myself, and now as a parent, I know how important it is to have your input and support as the year goes on.  No one knows your child better than you do.  As a parent, your perception of your child is a valuable resource for me.  The more I know and understand about your child, my student, the more effective I can be.   I would appreciate it if you would participate in a Parent Homework Assignment that will be of great value to me, and hopefully to you.  Sometime in the next week, please write a letter to me introducing your child, and return it to me by September 2nd, or e-mail it to me at kzack@stellamarisacademy.org.  In the letter you might include a brief biography, special abilities, fears, strengths, weaknesses, and past school experiences.  You may also tell me about your expectations for this year, from your child, the school, yourself, and me.  Tell me about the things that you want me to remember while I work with your child in fourth grade.

Please be honest and complete.  I think you will be surprised how heart warming this assignment will be.  I’m looking forward to reading your letters.  Thank you for taking part in this unusual but important assignment.  Your letters will remain confidential.  Please feel free to call if you have any questions.

Below I am attaching some information you can use to set up your child’s accordion file.
Mrs. Zack

Summer Work

Don’t forget that your child was asked to complete 8 assignments in ALEKs this summer. The assignments have been uploaded and are ready for your child to begin. Some assignments are staggered throughout the month of June. If your child receives a 90% or above on each assignment, they will be eligible to attend the pancake breakfast hosted by the math department in the fall.

Ms. Griffin also emailed and asked for your child to read a historical fiction book this summer. Please contact Ms. Griffin if you have questions about this assignment.

Have a wonderful summer. See you on August 29th!

Thank you!

Hi everyone,

I realized that I thanked the students this week, but I never thanked their parents that made my gift possible. Thank you so much for the beautiful tree. The kids think I might try and grow a jungle! Oh, how I love them.
Your generous gift to Amazon will truly make my summer. I already have several books on my summer reading wishlist and now when my library doesn’t have a book, I can get one without issue. I really want to read the Trials of Apollo and am so excited to order my copy!
Thank you for an amazing year. Your children are truly incredbile little people. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them this year and am sad to see them head upstairs. The good part is that I will get to see them still at recess and lunch and watch them grow as they continue their education here at SMA. Thanks for choosing our school. We are so blessed to have all of you.
Have a wonderful summer!