Check out our great courtyard! We had a door decorating contest and all the doors looked amazing.

On Friday we listened to a guest author – Jackie Alpers!

Portrait of Jackie Alpers

Jackie Alpers is an award-winning professional food photographer and the author of Sprinkles!: Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicous Desserts.


3/11 – 3/15 Weekly News

Dear Families,

This week we are celebrating Love of Reading Week.  We kicked this off in chapel this morning with  Wilma the Wildcat and Mandy Hart reading a story to us.  We will have various activities throughout the week including a guest author on Friday.  To go along with this, we will have our annual Book Fair.  The Book Fair hours are Tuesday (7:30-6:30), Wednesday (7:30-5:00), Thursday (7:30-5:00), and Friday (7:30-3:30).  This is a great place to pick up a new book.  If any parent has a couple of free hours, your help is needed in staffing the Book Fair.  Let me know and I can put you in touch with Susie Huerta.


  1. Chapter 9 Social Studies test will be on Thursday.  Hopefully, your child has been studying.  They review a little bit in class each day.  Ask your child about Ms. Garcia’s “Jeopardy” game.
  2. Author Larry Lincoln will be speaking here at school on Tuesday from 5-6:30.  He has written a book on self-care and self-awareness.  This for parents only.
  3. We are celebrating “Pi Day” on Thursday.
  4. Friday is “Green Day” in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  Students have ‘relaxed dress’ with a theme of GREEN.
  5. Chapter 5 Math test is next Tuesday on March 19th.

We are in the process of picking a 16-24 line poem written by a published author.  Students will memorize their poem, and then say it for 5th grade.  We only have a little time to practice in the classroom so most of the poem will need to be memorized at home.

Stop by to see our Love of Reading decorated door.  All of the students had a part in planning this, and we will vote on our favorite door in the courtyard later in the week.

Wilma also helped Mrs. Beault get the students excited for ‘Pi Day’ on 3/14!

How far to the right can you recite Pi???? Ask your student tonight!

Thank you for all your support.

Lots of Reminders for 3/4 – 3/8

Dear Families,

  1.  We will celebrate Mardi Gras on Tuesday with a free pancake and sausage lunch for all students.  We will also listen to the steel drum band during our lunchtime.
  2. Because of Ash Wednesday, we will flip-flop our Wednesday and Thursday schedules.  Thursday will be our noon dismissal day (it is usually on a Wednesday).
  3. Please remember to sign and return the report card envelopes.
  4. There will be a vocabulary test for Sophia’s War on Friday.  Students have started to study vocabulary words.  It is much easier to study for a few minutes every day than to wait until the night before.
  5. There will be a Boy Scouts bake sale on Friday in front of the school.  Sale times are 7:30 to 8:00 and then starting again right after school.
  6. Chapter 9 Social Studies test will be on Thursday, March 14.  Students should have their chapter notes, vocabulary, and Practice Book information so that they can begin to study.  Again, a little bit of studying time each night really pays off in the end.

Congratulations to Finn Hawes who qualified for the State Geography Bee.  His love of maps has really paid off!!  Go Finn!!

Thank you for all you do to help your child be successful.

News from 5B

On Monday we had a special visit from the Tucson Boys Chorus. Next Monday all boys in Grades 3 – 6 will get more information about Tucson Boys Chorus. It was an amazing performance.

On Tuesday we had our 4th visit from Mrs. Scovil, the docent from Tucson Museum of Art and the class learned about Pablo Picasso. Stop in and see the amazing piece of artwork they created.


Important Days – February 27th and 28th

Dear Families:

Having used the Stanford standardized testing program for more than a decade, St. Michael’s has decided to implement a new suite of tests this year. After several months of researching and comparing different options, we have unanimously agreed to implement the Star 360 test from Renaissance, a company whose products are used in more than a third of schools in the United States.

The Star 360 testing works a bit differently than the classic pencil-bubbling routine of Stanford. First of all, it is conducted online, using student Chromebooks in grades 4 – 8. Second, it is a “computer-adaptive test,” meaning that each student receives a unique set of questions based on previous correct or incorrect responses. This feature allows students to be challenged by questions more precisely gauged to their skill level, and for a valid measure of their abilities to be achieved in less time. As a result, the testing for Reading will take only 30 minutes on average, and the Math portion only 20 minutes on average.

Because the testing takes so little time, we will be able to administer the test several times per year in order to assess student progress within a school year as well as between school years. Furthermore, the results are available to the staff of the school immediately. Teachers will thus have a wider array of data with which to guide reteaching and differentiation.  We will institute a second round of tests in early May, and next year we may administer three rounds. Remember, each round only takes about 50 minutes in TOTAL.

The first set of Reading and Math tests will be conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, February 27 and 28. We don’t want students to be anxious about the testing–it’s not the sort of test one can prepare for in advance–but it would be a good idea for them to be especially well rested on those days!

We are excited to undertake this new program and are optimistic that it will lead to additional insights into our students’ academic abilities–and opportunities to meet their needs as learners.


This week, students make a saturated solution by adding salt to water until no more salt will dissolve.

There will be a test on Friday, March 1.   See study guide for topics.  Students are encouraged to take their journals home to study.


Next week:  Continuing to learn about saturation and solubility, students will also make a saturated Epsom salts solution. Using a balance scale, they will compare the solubility of the two solid materials by comparing the mass of the salt and Epsom salts dissolved in the saturated solutions. Students use the property of solubility to identify an unknown material.