Notes from Mrs. Z week of 10.5

Hi parents,
I hope you have managed to stay dry during these great rainy days!! Please take a minute to keep up to date about all that is happening in 4th grade.

Homework at a Glance
Reading: Read and log due on Friday. 100 minutes. Take AR tests!!
Spelling: Lesson 3 Spelling Activities are due on Thursday. Test on Friday.
Vocab: Unit 3 book work (only 3 pages – NO BLUE pages) due Thursday. Test on Friday.
Math: 2-4 tonight and increasing by one each night. Please support the area model method tonight. If your child know the standard algorithm, then have them do both ways as practice. The area model is very important for mental math and will be utilized a lot in class as we progress through this unit. Also ALEKS 5 topics are due on Friday.
Spanish: vocab, pronouns, SER and TENER conjugation
Science: pages 5-9 Read and stop and answer questions.
  • Book Fair all week in the library.
  • Movie Night on Thursday at 5 p.m. in the senior yard. Free unless you want to purchase popcorn and a drink.
  • Student of the Month will be on Friday.
  • Send in a rosary – During the Month of October we try and pray a decade of the Rosary each day. If your child wants to bring one from home that would be wonderful.
  • NO EXTENDED CARE on Friday, October 9th.
  • NO SCHOOL on Monday, October 12th
Coming Up
Celebration of All Saints’ on 11/6.

  • Students will need to come dressed as a saint on this day. They will also have to pick a saint to research. Please start thinking about a saint. Their costume and saint choice do NOT need to match. Some people have invested a lot of money in a saint costume and might want to wear it again. I just ask for them to please research a saint that is NEW to them.
Skeleton Book Report
  • Directions will be going home tomorrow. If you want to challenge your child to read a mystery book for this book report it would be great. Other students might want to utilize a book they have read so far this year. That is fine as well.
Parent Conferences
  • I will be sending out a Sign Up Genius to sign up for your parent conference in November.

What is happening in 4th grade?

Religion: We are currently reading Chapter 3 – Sin in Our World. We recently discussed mortal and venial sin and how those impact our relationship with God. This week will learn about the Parable of the Good Samaritan and sins of omission and commission, as well as social sin.

Grammar: We have been learning about compound subjects and verbs and about the importance of capitalization.

Math: We are on Unit 2 – Multiplication. There are still several students that are struggling with their math facts. Today I gave several students some fact charts in order to best assist them since we are now learning about double digit by single digit multiplication. If you have time, please keep reviewing their facts with them especially the high 6s, 7s, and 8s seem to be the biggest area of struggle for them.

Social Studies: Our flour maps didn’t dry well, so we left them to dry over the weekend. This seemed to help them. It is my hope to be able to paint them and label different parts of California this week. We will be moving on in our books to Chapter 2 on the First Californians. This will be a project based chapter where students will be assigned a specific tribe in California to do a project on in class.

Literature: We are continuing to read War with Grandpa. We are focusing on characters and plot, as well as finding similes. Today we also had a brief debate on if grandpa’s reaction to Peter’s behavior was justified or not.

Writing: We are going to focus on opinion writing and responding to a prompt with evidence to support our opinions.

Mrs. Z

Last minute reminders and a quick look ahead

Just some last minute reminders:
Tomorrow is the LAST day to turn in the summer reading list. The ice cream social will be on Monday. I read off the lists I had to the class today so they were made aware if I had one or not. They will need to have read 7 books over the summer in order to qualify.
Tomorrow is SPIRIT WEAR day. This means if you have a field day shirt or a spirit wear shirt you can wear it with your uniform bottoms. Lost yours or need a new one? They will be setting up the ability to order some new designs tomorrow at Family Fun Night!!
Speaking of Family Fun night, it is tomorrow night in the junior yard! Come for the fun and stay to pie a teacher! Did I just say that? Yup, I did! Have your kids empty their piggy banks in order to try for an opportunity to pie some of the teachers that volunteered for this honor. Yes, I did volunteer!
There are two tests tomorrow – Spelling and Vocab! Make sure to study and review with your child!
Look at next week
Chapter 1 Math Test on Monday (practice test went home tonight and due tomorrow)
Chapter 1 Social Studies test on Wednesday (Use Study Guide to study. They will finish it and we will correct it tomorrow in class)
Mass Uniform on Friday for our first Friday mass – NO MONDAY MORNING mass next week!


Notes from Mrs. Z week of 9.14


Monday – picture day and Monday morning mass. Mass uniform required due to picture day. If heat is still present, I do recommend boys bring their polos and shorts for after our photo time.

Homework Help – I will be starting homework help on Monday from about 3:15-3:45. We usually get our math homework done and sometimes students can get started on other things.

Tuesday – Senior Yard Homework Help with Mrs. Amann for $15 dollars a time (please email her if interested at

Friday – Dollar Denim Day – pay a dollar and wear jeans or jean shorts with a free dress shirt and athletic shoes.

NO AR tests next week. We are merging our accounts with the Diocese and they have informed us that our access will not work next week while this change happens.

Missing Work in 4th Grade

Yesterday I finally inputted some grades in to SchoolSpeak. I am still learning the ins and outs of this program and need to change some categories and weights, but wanted to start to get grades in.

In our old program we were able to mark something missing and not have it hurt them. In this new program if something is missing it gives it a score of zero, which can obviously be alarming as a parent. Please know missing is simply to alert myself that your child is missing an assignment.

In 4th grade we have a variety of issues that could have caused work to be missing. It could be because they didn’t put their name on it. It could be because it happens to be in another bin of work. It could be because they aren’t done with it yet or it could be a victim of a dreaded desk shover and be temporarily in the wrong place. I have already seen a few of these desk shoving infractions take place and am working on it as we speak. There is also the chance of teacher error, so when work is returned to you (probably Mondays), I would encourage you to compare any work missing to returned work just to make sure I didn’t mess up. I told your children this as well today.

In 4th grade I want the STUDENTS to take responsibility for their missing work and once a week I will be printing out a missing work report and distributing it to the class. This gives them the opportunity to look in the “No Name” bin and all the other places and get it to me. Today students were notified of their missing work and several no names were reclaimed and unfinished papers were found and turned in. I try to enter them right away but sometimes this work will go in the missing work bin and I will do a mass entering of all the assignments at one time. If they tell you they found it and turned it in, please believe them unless you hear differently from me. Feel free to email and ask if you become concerned. Several students found the work that was missing and are still working on it. That is FINE! Please don’t worry. They are learning the importance of turning things in, better time management etc.

USS Midway Science Field Trip on October 1st

Mr. K is organizing this field trip. I know he is looking for drivers and I believe the cost for each student is 10 dollars. I need to confirm this though, but I DO know I have the right date.

Mission Decision

We need to start discussing what mission we want to go to. My first few years here we went to Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside. When they had to close it to retrofit it and such we moved our field trip to Mission San Juan Capistrano. I love this mission and would prefer to go to this mission. So we have two ways we can get there, we can drive to it or we can take the train. I think the mission tour and activity alone are about 15 dollars each. We then need to decide if we want to add the train. I think this adds about 20-35 dollars for a child/adult to the 15 dollars. We have done the train for the past 2 years and everyone has seemed to enjoy it. I will send a separate email to get feedback on this week.

Homework at a Glance

At least 6 students failed to do the required Spelling Activities this week. I went ahead and have already unlocked Lesson 2 Spelling on Spelling City. It won’t be due until Thursday, September 24th, but I am hopeful with more time maybe this will increase students taking this seriously. It is a 30 point assignment and really needs to be completed.

I shared with you that we don’t stop math on the weekend, so there is an assignment in ALEKS called Homework 2 that is due by Monday morning. I also tried to set ALEKS up to show the students that they have a 5 topic assignment each week. I am hopeful this will count down for them and make this part a little easier.

For the week…

Reading: Read and log for 100 minutes. Log due Friday

Spelling: Lesson 2 ABC order due on Friday

Vocab: Unit 2 Vocab cards due on Friday

Math: ALEKS Homework 2 due Monday. Five topics due by Friday

Monday: 1-9

Tuesday: 1-10

Wednesday: 1-11

Thursday: 1-12

Spanish: Students need to research Spain and be ready to take about what they learned about Spain for 2-3 minutes. Their presentation could highlight places, sites, food, facts etc. Native speakers will be asked to present in Spanish I believe. Students seemed to suggest that they could make a Powerpoint, print out pictures or make a video. I think they have 2 weeks for this assignment. I have emailed Senorita Loredana already to clarify.


Quick Note from Mrs. Z

Hi parents,

I hope you will enjoy your 3 day weekend. I wanted to let you know that I talked with the students today about sometimes using the weekend to get a head start on the week, especially when you know your week might be filled with extracurricular activities after school. I know as a mom I try to do some things in advance so the week goes a little more smoothly. So here is a snapshot of the week next week.
Homework at a Glance
Reading: read and log for 100 minutes. Log due on Friday.
Vocabulary: Vocab book work due on Thursday. Unit 1 test on Friday.
Spelling: Spelling Activities due on Thursday. Lesson 1 test on Friday.
Math: ALEKS homework assignment due Wednesday. ALEKs 5 topics due by Friday.
I asked them not to do page 12  because I would like to do that with them on Tuesday.
Spelling Activities
Students log in to Spelling City and use their username and password. On the top they will see a green assignment area. Click on the red arrow. They need to complete all 6 assigned activities.(I showed them this today.)
When they log in to ALEKS they should see HOMEWORK 1 on the left side. They need to do the 13 or 14 rounding problems I assigned. I gave them a quick quiz yesterday and rounding was the most missed concept, so I am giving them some more support and practice in this area. I set it up so they can redo the assignment as many times as they want to get the score they want.
In order to make sure your child does indeed complete 5 topics, it might be helpful to write the number in the middle of their pie down when you first log in. Add 5 and make sure that number is in the middle of their pie by Friday. Usually students would have a half hour of ALEKS on Monday to help them with this part, but since Monday is a holiday they are losing that time. I did take them to the computer lab today to finish their ALEKs assessment and many already started on working towards the 5 for Friday.
Okay, I just wanted to explain why they might have their vocab book and be talking about using their weekend and everything. It is up to you how you decide to complete the homework, but I like to give everyone a chance to have a lighter load during a hectic work week.
Have a good weekend!
Mrs. Z

Welcome to 4th grade!

Welcome to 4th grade!  I just wanted to thank you in advance for all the form filling 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 26th at 6 p.m. Yes, you read that right! We have moved Back to School Night to be earlier this year to better keep the parents informed on all that awaits them in 4th grade.  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 from me to help learn what is happening in 4th grade. If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at 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 August 28th, or e-mail it to me at  In the letter you might include a brief biography, problems, 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.

Mrs. Zack