Category Archives: 4th Newsletter


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Important Dates to Remember:

-Tuesday, June 6 – Buddy Booknic and Dress Down Day!

-Wednesday, June 7 – Cleaning Day, please let your students know what you would like them to keep and donate!

-Thursday, June 8 – Field Day and Picnic, room 114 wears white, room 115 wears red!

-Friday, June 9 – End of School Mass, Dismissal at 11:30am


The students enjoyed an awesome field trip to Naper Settlement. Chaperones, students, and teachers enjoyed the interesting things we learned. It was great to see the students’ faces light up when they got to see actual artifacts from the 1800s and a real-life blacksmith. Many of them enjoyed the strict school-teacher as well. The year is dwindling down and the students are working hard to cram in the last bit of learning we have prepared for them. We are all enjoying the 8th grade events and the beautiful weather.

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Check out the awesome things we’ve been up to below.


Reading/Language Arts:

  • In room 115…
    • The students have been extending their thinking and challenging themselves as we closely read two passages about baseball. One text was about baseball’s beginnings and the other was “Casey at the Bat”. The students read each passage a few times and analyzed different things, such as: the main idea, figurative language, author’s purpose, and comparing the texts to each other. The students worked hard to really understand the crazy language within each of the texts, extending the comprehension skills we’ve worked on all year. They then compared how the rules of the game have changed from “Baseball’s Beginnings” to now.
  • In room 114…
    • The students have gone back to using reading strategies to fully understand a text. In small groups, the students each read a text about inventions, being lost, and mysteries. They predicted, analyzed, and discussed the characters and settings in each book. They did a great job of feeding off each other to create summaries and discussions to further their thoughts.

The students were asked to write a letter to the incoming 4th graders. They were asked to choose one word to describe the year and they will include this word in each paragraph of their letter describing 4th grade. The future 4th graders will be enjoying these stories next year as they begin their 4th grade journey.

In spelling, the students have been working on making connections between their spelling words and the spelling patterns we have learned – beginning/ending sounds, rhyming, and synonyms/antonyms. We have also been working on how to add suffixes to base words and how those suffixes sometimes change the spelling of a word. The students were happy that we took our last spelling test of the year on Friday! We are also exploring the last part of speech, interjections!

Math: What a year in math! The students did a wonderful job working in their small groups to further their knowledge on each chapter. During these last few days of school, the students will begin to wrap up their study on shapes, lines, angles, and symmetry. Their Chapter 10 Test is this Friday (and once again, they’re VERY excited to know it’s their last). They will show their learning by creating a school, neighborhood, stadium, etc. using geometric shapes! This project will be completed in class. We will end the year by furthering our knowledge in geometry, completing hands on activities with measurement, and problem solving tasks.

Social Studies: The students wrapped up the year with a region study project! They were split into small groups, and assigned one  region. They were given a set of topics that they needed to research and present. The students did a wonderful job of finding great facts, working together, and creating an exciting presentation! With the last few days together, we will begin to study our fabulous state of Illinois. The students will create an iPad with nine apps connecting to different things about Illinois. We will end our year by presenting these iPad’s, as well as playing a few rounds of their favorite game – The State and Capital Game!

Science: The students finished up their Hot Wheels Speedometry unit on potential and kinetic energy this week. The last lab asked students to study how collisions affect potential and kinetic energy and how car engineers use this information to design safer cars. Students worked with a group to decide what experiment they wanted to conduct, how they were going to conduct it, how they would log data and then the students discussed the results to come up with what they discovered. This was a great way to round out their STEM learning for the year, To finish out the year the students will conduct a few labs exploring other types of energy like: electricity, wind, and solar energy, the most exciting lab being our end of the year Ultimate Paper Airplane Competition.

Religion: The students are working on exploring the other Commandments to finish up the year and creating a Ten Commandments mini-book. To end the year, students will be asked to create a class set of Commandments. In Second Step the students worked on using our problem solving steps to keep promises, make conversation, and avoid/resolve conflict.

As always, it’s a great day to be a cardinal!

Ms. Kasl and Ms. Gross


The countdown to the Kasl/Duffy wedding is on! All students and families are invited to attend the ceremony at St. Cletus on Friday, June 16! Students received invites in Wednesday envelopes last week, however Ms. Kasl has extras if they went missing :).

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4th Grade Spring News

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Important Dates to Remember:

-Field Trip to Naper Settlement- Thursday, May 25

-No school-Memorial Day, Monday, May 29

-8th grade clap out, Wednesday, May 31

-Graduation at 7pm, Wednesday, May 31

-Last spelling test-unit 13, Friday, June 2


The past week has been very busy in 4th grade! We heard all about the 8th graders and saw them receive their ribbons on Wednesday. Thursday was our big Battle of the Books championship, the 4th grade winning team (Agnes, Maeve, Sean, Gabe, and Isa) battled against the winning 5th grade team (Dominic, Gabi, Morgan, and Evie). It was a very close match, as the score was tied after multiple rounds. The game ended in a final tie-breaking bonus question and the 5th grade won. It was such a fun experience for all of the 4th graders, as it was the first time 4th grade participated in the annual event. A few pictures of previous battle can be found below.  Lastly, today we enjoyed 8th grade day as we cheered on siblings, friends, and teachers.

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Reading/Language Arts: The students just finished up their reading of Hatchet and many say they loved it! The students explored and analyzed Brian’s ability to survive, the changes he went through after what he experienced in the wilderness, and his range of feelings during his experience. The students are now working on projects that show their understanding of the text. They will be presenting these projects next week.

In room 115, students finished up their study of poetry with a concrete poem, some of which were created for their moms for Mother’s Day. They were asked to use all that they have learned about imagery and figurative language to explore the topic they chose to write about. They then moved on to thinking about their future in 5th grade and beyond with a little help from Dr. Seuss’s Oh the Places You’ll Go. The 4th graders were asked to use their excellent paragraph writing skills to explain: things they want to learn, places they want to visit, dreams they want to accomplish, and people they want to meet. We then put their answers together in a hot-air balloon figure. Check them out in our room! In room 114, the students wrapped up their Harris Burdick stories. These stories were based off a small phrase. The students did a great job transforming a phrase into a story! With the year flying by, room 114 thought back to their favorite memories and wrote them on kites. Check them out on our door!

In spelling the students just finished up their lessons on plural noun spellings in unit 12. The students will continue to look at these spelling patterns as they move into unit 13. In Shurley English the students continue to work on creating compound sentences to fix run-on sentences and helping verbs.

Math: Fractions, fractions, fractions! The students finally finished up the fraction unit with a quiz on multiplying whole numbers by fractions and mixed numbers. They then spent a day reviewing decimals with special guest teachers (Charlie Wangard, Reichan Ziemba, and Matthew Rife). We then moved on to geometry. The students have been exploring this topic throughout the year in math group assignments and activities, however we are digging into it with more detail now. The students reviewed types of angles and how to name, draw and write geometry figures. As we continue in this chapter the students will explore different two-dimensional shapes, classifying them by their angles, sides, and parallel or perpendicular lines. They are completing Simple Solution lessons, journals, area and perimeter dream houses, decimal activities, as well as practicing new geometry concepts like angles, measurement, and shapes.

Social Studies: The students were delighted to find out they’re done taking tests in Social Studies for the rest of the year! Now, they’re taking their knowledge on the U.S. regions, and creating an in-depth presentation. Each class was divided into 5 small groups (one group per region). They are working together, in class, to create a Google Slideshow on their region. They have requirements like events, celebrities, weather/climate, resources, and common jobs found in their region. They will begin presenting these projects on Tuesday, May 30th.

Science: The students and I have been so excited about our current unit-force and motion. The students have taken a few steps away from their textbooks and labs to explore using Hotwheels cars. The students are exploring potential and kinetic energy, the scientific method, and engineering through hands on experiments. Some of these experiments are assigned by the teacher, but many ask the students to design an experiment to test a certain variable. The students are asked to use math concepts like graphing, averages, and measurement, as well as language arts skills like research methods, communication and writing. It has been so wonderful to see the student’s excitement as they see how gravity and friction impact how things move in our world. Students were asked to create their own experiment, test it and then report and present to the class. The students did wonderfully and really demonstrated their knowledge of potential and kinetic energy. Their next experiment has them exploring collisions and how energy is transferred from one object to another. Check out a few action shots below.

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Religion: We are continuing our study on the Commandments, as well! This week in room 115, we’re focusing on the Third Commandment. The students are discussing how they keep the Lord’s Day holy by going to church, praying, spending time with family, and singing songs. The students of room 114 just took their test on the Third and Fourth Commandments! We will be moving onto the Fifth Commandment next week. We will discuss how all human life is sacred, and that the right to life is the most basic human right.


As always, it’s a great day to be a cardinal

Ms. Kasl and Ms. Gross

The countdown to the Kasl/Duffy wedding is on! All students and families are invited to attend the ceremony at St. Cletus on Friday, June 16! Look for invitations in next week’s Wednesday envelope, I hope to see you all there!

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4th Grade’s Spring News

Important Dates to Remember:

April 28 – Science Test

April 28 – Shurley English Test (room 115)

May 2 – Social Studies Test

May 3 – Math Test

May 5 – Spelling Test

May 9 – School Mass (May Crowning)

May 10 – Student Council Dress Down ($1)

May 12 – 8am Mass

May 17 – School Mass

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Reading/Language Arts: The students wrapped up their lit circle books before break. They each had the opportunity to read another book written by Kate DiCamillo. They met with their groups a few times a week to discuss characters, problems, and eventually the solution. In the end, students created multimedia projects to describe and illustrate the book they read. Now, the students are moving onto another class novel! They will be reading Hatchet. We will mix this book up with in class reading, partner reading, and reading to self with a packet. We will take a close look at new vocabulary words within the text, as well as visualizing, predicting, and connecting the text to other areas.
The students are continuing their study of classifying sentences in English by adding compound subjects, pronouns, and verbs. They are also learning how to identify different types of sentences – fragment, simple, and compound. We will also continue to edit sentences. In spelling, the students are focusing on Unit 11. We will touch on contractions, spelling patterns with soft-syllables, and suffixes. In writing, the students are furthering their knowledge with poetry. They are creating a 4th Grade poem book about the best part of them. Some students choose to write about their smile, eyes, feet or hair. We will be able to print this book so everyone can have one 🙂


Math: Fractions, fractions, and more fractions. The students are well into Chapter 7 and learning the difference between an improper fraction and a mixed number. They have been practicing how to change an improper fraction to a mixed number, and reversed as well. They are moving onto adding and subtracting mixed numbers in the next few days! We will be having our Chapter 7 test in the middle of next week. The students are still working with rotations during math. They are completing Simple Solution lessons, journals, fraction task cards, as well as geometry concepts like angles, measurement, and shapes.


Religion: The students were assigned a very fun religion project this week! They will be researching and learning all about their name and how it’s unique to them. Students will have the opportunity to tell their class about their name, how they got it, and what it means. We are continuing our study on the Commandments, as well! This week in room 114, we’re focusing on the Third Commandment. The students are discussing how they keep the Lord’s Day holy by going to church, praying, spending time with family, and singing songs. Room 115 is focusing on the Second Commandment. The students are connecting their study of their own unique and special name to the unique and special name we use for God.


Science: Everything matters, because everything is matter! Students have been exploring the substances that are all around us through our study of matter’s physical and chemical properties. Before break students explored how physical changes occur by creating Origami cups they also observed the similarities and differences between solutions and mixtures through an experiment where they mixed salt with water and salt with alcohol. This week students are exploring chemical changes, like rust, burning, and tarnishing. We will be taking our quiz on these chapters on Friday, which is on both chapters 7 and 8. Our unit next week will focus on physics. Students will explore motion and energy through experiments and inquiry using Hotwheels cars!


Social Studies: We are now traveling to the Midwest region! Before break, they students learned how to read and create bar and line graphs. They were assigned a state and had to research the average temperatures in each month. Together, they created a bar or line graph to illustrate the weather trends in their state. Now, the students are learning all about the different landforms, places and weather in our own region. We have discussed the different farms in our region, and how the land in the midwest is good for agriculture. We will end our study of the midwest by learning about the resources found there. On Tuesday, May 2, the students will have their Chapter 8 test on the Midwest region.


Thank you so much for your continued help and support.


It’s always a great day to be a Cardinal!

Ms. Gross and Ms. Kasl



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4th Grade March Madness

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Important Dates:

-Parent Teacher conferences Thursday, March 9

-No school Friday, March 10

-Bring the Change fundraiser March 13-17

-Planet Project due Tuesday, March 14

-Stations of the Cross Thursday, March 16

-8am Mass Tuesday, March 21

-Literature Circle book finished by Wednesday, March 22

-4th grade hosted Stations of the Cross Thursday, March 23

-Auction T-shirt dress downs: March 17, 23, 31

-St. Cletus Hoopla Auction Saturday, April 1

The 4th graders have been busy the past few weeks competing in Rock, Paper, Scissors, watching Ozma of Oz, and kicking off St. Cletus’ Bring the Change fundraiser. The students have also kicked off their last trimester by finishing up a chapter in math, beginning a study of Lent, and starting their first literature circle books. The students are truly taking control of their learning this trimester and we look forward to seeing how much they grow.

Reading: The fourth graders have been working on many different things within our reading block. We have been analyzing informational text: looking at the text’s main ideas and details, its vocabulary and text structure, and making connections between its contents and other texts or our previous knowledge. Students will continue to work on these skills both at home with their lit circle books and informational articles, as well as in small groups at school. Students have made their choice on which Kate DiCamillo book they would like to explore and planned a reading schedule along with their peers who also chose this book. The students will be exploring these books through specific jobs in which they analyze a specific area of the text. The students then meet and lead discussions about the text each week. We are also asking students to use their new Google Classroom skills to pose questions and discuss their reading online with their group.

In Shurley English students are learning about subject and possessive pronouns, coordinate conjunctions and compound sentence parts. They will also get the chance to review different types of sentences (simple, fragments, run-ons, and compound parts). The students have enjoyed exploring great writing though mentor sentences. We have seen the students further their knowledge in writing interesting and complete, fourth grade sentences.

We are currently in unit 9 in spelling, learning about prefixes, suffixes, and irregular verbs. We will be looking at the second batch of vocab words with our new vocabulary activities. The students have enjoyed expanding their knowledge of interesting words and we cannot wait to see more of them pop up in the students’ daily writing and speech.

In writing we explored how to use figurative language through writing color poems. The students are currently learning about how to expand their expository writing with details, craft organized paragraphs, and use graphic organizers to organize their prewriting thoughts. The students will be asked to try out these skills when they write about what makes an excellent friend. Students were asked to write a piece about this same topic earlier and will get the chance to compare their writing and see how much they have learned and improved.

Math: We have cruised through factors and multiples with ease and are now moving onto fractions! The past two weeks, students explored how factors and multiples can be used to solve word-problems, find prime and composite numbers, and identify patterns. These new skills will come handy, in the next few chapters, as we explore how to compare and order fractions, make equivalent fractions, and add fractions with like denominators. Students will continue to explore geometry and develop math writing skills through assignments on area and perimeter, classifying shapes, and converting measurement through journals, activities, and technology.

Religion: The students have begun discussing the ten commandments, and how we live them out everyday. We will take a closer look at each commandment individually to further our knowledge on how we’re expected to act as God’s followers. This week we also begin Lent. The students will discuss what Lent is and complete various activities to better understand the true meaning of the Lenten season. The students will be going to Mass on Wednesday, March 1 to receive their ashes.

Science: The 4th graders have made a trip into space and  landed on the moon. The past few weeks the students have been exploring the ways Earth moves in space and how this affects our lives each day. They then found out that the moon also moves like the earth, rotating in orbit, making it appear differently each night. The students were able to directly observe these movements by acting out the moon’s movements and singing about the different phases. The last portion of this chapter explores the different objects that move about in space, comets, moons, and planets. To expand their knowledge of the planets, students were asked to research a planet and design a vacation destination, including hotels, attractions, transportation, and nutrition. We are excited to see what creative ideas the students come up with! 
Social Studies: The students are diving into the United States regions! Throughout the next few weeks, the students will get a closer look at each region individually. This week, the students are learning about the Northeast, and how this area has incredible scenery and magnificent natural formations. The 4th graders just finished an in-class project on researching different parts of the Appalachian Mountain Trail. They did a wonderful job understanding the elevation, difficulty and surroundings of their part of the trail. We will move onto the resources the Northeast produces, as well as the vast bay life the Northeast offers.


Thank you so much for your continued help and support.

It’s always a great day to be a Cardinal!

Ms. Gross and Ms. Kasl

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4th grade February News

Important Dates to Remember:

February 9 – Science Test (both classes), Math Test (room 114)

February 10 – No School

February 13 – 8am Mass

February 14 – Valentine’s Day Parties!

February 15 – Band Breakfast, Math Test (room 115)

February 20 – No School

February 24 – 2nd Trimester Ends

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The students have been working hard these past few weeks to develop their informative writing, become familiar with Google, and deepen their division knowledge! Students have been writing their informative paper on the Bottle Buddy they created. Once their papers have been typed in school, they will present their Bottle Buddy! This past week was the 100th day of school! The students had an opportunity to think into the future. They wrote as if they were 100 years old, looking back on their profession, biggest accomplishments, and where they live now. Along with the activity, students took pictures that made their faces look as if they were 100 years old! These are displayed outside of the fourth grade classrooms, make sure to stop by and take a look!

Reading/Language Arts: After the students complete their Bottle Buddy project, we will be moving into Lit Circles! This year, each group will be reading a book written by Kate DiCamillo. The students will work as a group to complete a comprehension packet. Students will also have the opportunity to discuss their book with other groups to decide how the author wrote similarly or differently. This will give the students practice dissecting different texts by the same author. Lit Circles are a great way to introduce new books, and read as a group! Each group will have 3-4 students. Each student will have a specific job they need to complete that week. This assures that every student gets the opportunity to complete a different task throughout the book. We are very excited to read more Kate DiCamillo books since the students loved Because of Winn-Dixie!

The students continue to use spelling words in their daily Word Work. Each week, the students are expected complete a certain amount of Word Work activities using their spelling words. Soon, we will be switching off weeks with spelling and learning new vocabulary words. We hope this well help the students to develop a broader vocabulary to use in their writing. Just like spelling, students will have weekly quizzes on their new vocabulary words.

In Shurley English, the students recently took their Chapter 3 Test. Moving into Chapter 4, students will continue classifying sentences while including subject and possessive pronouns. The students will also begin to learn and classify coordinate conjunctions and compound parts. They will also get the chance to review different types of sentences (simple, fragments, run-ons, and compound parts). We have also begun using mentor sentences to further our knowledge in writing complete, fourth grade sentences. The students get one sentence each week. Everyday, the students look at the same sentence in a different way. At the end of the week, the students will get their sentence written incorrectly, and will have to correct it as we have seen it all week.

In writing, the students are moving into informative writing! The students read an informational text on a person they are interested in. This person has done something in their life to make them famous. The students have to use their notes and research to write a paper telling us why this person is important, what this person is like, and why we should know who they are. The students have had mini lessons on how to start a paper with an exciting phrase or sentence. They’ve also learned what should go into a paragraph, and how to organize their thoughts in a meaningful way. We’re excited to learn more about these people!

Math: Division has come, and gone. The students will be taking their division test this Thursday, February 9th. While going through the Chapter, the students have had the opportunity to extend their geometry thinking as well! Assignments on lines, angles, and symmetry have been incorporated into our math lessons. The students are having a lot of fun using protractors to measure angles! The students have also been working on developing their writing in math through weekly journals. As always, continue practicing multiplication and division facts at home!

Religion: The students will be working on Chapters 6 and 7 these next few weeks! They will develop a deeper understanding of the Liturgical Year. They will also get the chance to compare it to our calendars (using months and days). Are there any similarities between our calendars and the Liturgical calendar? Students will take their knowledge of the Liturgical Calendar while learning about Ordinary Time.  We will zoom in on that section of the Liturgical Calendar and learn about the different Saints celebrated during that time. While learning out of our books, we will continue our 2nd Steps lessons. We are moving into Impulse Control, and what to do when we want to react immediately. The students have learned different techniques to use in order to slow down – 1. Take deep breaths, 2. Think of a happy place, 3. Count backward, 4. Talk to yourself. The students will put these techniques into action when discussing different scenarios they may encounter at school.

Science: The fourth graders were “under pressure” while learning about how air pressure affects objects in our environment and the weather. We will then explored how cold and warm fronts affect our weather and see just what those meteorologists are talking about on the news. The students had the chance to map the weather on their own weather maps last week as well. Ask them to join you in watching the weather on the news, they will love to show off their knowledge. We just completed our test on Thursday, and next week will move into our study of space and our place in the universe. We will connect this chapter to our future field trip to the Adler Planetarium.

Social Studies: Throughout this past week, the students have been diving into the past and comparing it to our present day lives. Students worked in groups to create a timeline on transportation. They researched submarines, planes, trains, ships, and even horses! The students were surprised to find that transportation was so different, and slow, many years ago! We are now moving into technology and communication. The students will get the chance to research and read about ways people communicated in the past, compared to today. Aside from comparing and contrasting our lives today to those in the past, students will get a refresher on the United States map! The students will be practicing labeling states and capitals on a blank map, as well as big bodies of water. Soon, the students will have a quiz on labeling a United States map accurately.

Google: Both 114 and 115 students have Google usernames and passwords. They will begin using Google Docs, Slides, and Classroom more consistently throughout the rest of the year. Students are able to access their Google pages both at school and home. Using Google allows the students to write weekly journals and papers, without wasting paper. The students then share their final products with the teachers through their Google accounts. Our goal is to have the students submitting weekly reading journals through Google each week instead of in their writing notebooks. On our Google Classrooms, the students can write questions on homework or assignments, as well as respond to polls, prompts, and videos. We will begin using our Google Classrooms more intently when we begin Lit Circles. The students will be able to respond to each others questions about their books, as well as complete online assignments. The students have done a great job understanding what Google has to offer, now it’s time to get comfortable and confident with it!


Thank you so much for your continued help and support.


It’s always a great day to be a Cardinal!

Ms. Gross and Ms. Kasl

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Fourth Grade Festivities

Important Dates to Remember:

January 16 – No School, Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 19 – All School Mass

January 26 – Bottle Buddies Due

January 29 – Open House, 10:30am-12:30pm

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This was a very productive week back from Christmas Break! The students worked very hard on their Because of Winn-Dixie projects. They will be displayed in the classrooms for Open House! Since the students have been working on various projects in and out of class, we remind them that keeping organized is extremely important. We are very excited for you to see the finished dioramas, bottles, and advertisements that the students have been working hard on. Be sure to check out our dreams for our school, world, and selves in Morrissey Hall Lobby! 


Reading/Language Arts: The first classroom novel is in the books! The students loved reading Because of Winn-Dixie. The students used this text to further their knowledge in summarizing and retelling, as well as analyzing the different characters in the book. They also learned about similes and metaphors so they can include comparisons in their writing. The students furthered their comprehension of the book, and created dioramas, comic strips, maps, and scrapbooks to show a visual of the book. Next week, the students will get the chance to watch Because of Winn-Dixie the movie! This gives them the opportunity to compare a book to a visual product.

Within the next few weeks, the students will be working on other various in class projects. The first is Bottle Buddies. The students have received their assignment packets, will have until Wednesday to find a book on someone they’re interested in. They will be able to bring their famous person to life with their bottles! The students (and teachers) are very excited to see what the students bring in at the end of the month. The other project the students will be working on is persuasive writing connected to advertisements! Since the Super Bowl is approaching, the students will get the chance to view past Super Bowl commercials and how they persuade us to buy that product. They will then take that knowledge and create their own persuasive advertisement/commercial! These will be displayed on the SmartBoard during Open House as well. The students are extremely excited about these upcoming projects and can’t wait to show off their products.

In Shurley English, the students are working on perfecting their classification of sentences. We have added complete subjects and complete predicates, as well as prepositional phrases. We will continue to practice classifying sentences to fully understand each part of speech. We are continuing to practice subject-verb agreement within our writing and in English.

In writing, the students are moving into persuasion! The students have had some practice writing one paragraph papers persuading us of something. For example, the students had to persuade their audience if there should be homework, what is the best food, and if we should have to wear uniforms. These persuasion mini-lessons and practice will connect to their Super Bowl commercials at the end of the month. They will need to use their persuasion skills to plan, write, and produce a commercial of a product everyone should buy.

Math: The 4th graders have started working on Chapter 4, division! The students are starting to learn how to find remainders while dividing. They are also realizing how to use their multiplication skills to solve division skills. The students continue to complete rotations each week. This week, we incorporated a new geometry skill, classifying angles! The students were to tell which angle was acute, obtuse or right. We also had mini lessons on different types of lines (parallel and perpendicular). We will continue introducing new geometry skills each week. The students also had to complete Simple Solutions, a journal, and math on laptops. As always, continue practicing multiplication facts at home!

Religion: The students are beginning Chapter 5, furthering their knowledge on celebrating Penance and Reconciliation. We have had good conversations on what happens during Reconciliation, and why. The students have also dissected the Act of Contrition to think about what that prayer means to them. They had great ideas from cleaning our souls to gaining forgiveness. Next week, we will continue our study on Penance and Reconciliation by discussing how to be respectful connects to God’s mercy. Room 114 will be having their Chapter 5 test on Thursday, January 19th. Room 115 will be having their Chapter 5 test the following week.

Science: The fourth graders were “under pressure” while learning about how air pressure affects objects in our environment and the weather. The students will learn about the extreme weather people face each day through research of historic storms. We will then explore how cold and warm fronts affect our weather and see just what those meteorologists are talking about on the news. This chapter will then lead us into our study of space and our place in the universe. We will connect this chapter to our field trip to the Adler Planetarium in February.

Social Studies: After a successful Chapter Test, the students are moving onto Chapter 3! The students will be learning about our land as a useful resource, how we’ve traded over time, and how transportation and communication have grown. This past week, we discussed the differences between the Native Americans and European Settlers getting to America. We also discussed how those settlers started out in farm and rural areas because land was extremely useful. Over time, people started to see a growth in industries and technology, so they moved to urban (city) areas. The students watched a slideshow of images to discuss differences in rural and urban settings. Next week, we will begin discussing trade and how it was used in the past, and how it’s used now. Students will also get the chance to discuss needs versus wants, and makes lists of their own needs and wants.


Thank you so much for your continued help and support.


It’s always a great day to be a Cardinal!

Ms. Gross and Ms. Kasl

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Super Fourth Grade Festivities!

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Important Dates to Remember:

-Christmas Play, Thursday, December 15 2:00pm and 7:00pm (Students must meet at 6:30)

-Band Concert, Wednesday, December 21

-Family food basket donations due, Friday, December 16

-All school Mass at 9am, Friday, December 22

-$1 Christmas dress down day, Wednesday, December 21

-Christmas Break, Friday, December 23–Sunday, January, 8


We only have a few weeks left before Christmas break and the fourth graders are very busy. The fourth graders are looking forward to putting their acting and singing talents into effect! The students have started auditioning, practicing, and rehearsing the 2016 Christmas Program. They have done a tremendous job of working hard, while also being proud of their friends. We continue bringing this conversation into class meetings in regard to respecting others and our classroom. They are also cramming a few more things into their brains before the long break.

See what we’ve been up to this week below.

Reading/Language Arts: The students were so excited to start their next novel, Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. To start this book we began by making predictions based on objects associated with the book. We will continue to make predictions, using inferences, as we read and checking in to see if we were correct and if we need to change our thinking at all. Along with predictions the students will be learning how perspective and point of view influence a story, how to use context clues, and how to gather ideas and proof of theme and character traits. We will also be exploring how Kate DiCamillo used wonderful figurative language to bring the story alive. Studying her technique will serve as a mentor to the students as they use similes, metaphors and perspective to write stories and poems. The students are reading and completing a comprehension packet that works on these same skills and reviews others.

In spelling and Shurley English the students are working on /j/ sounds and they recognized e, i, and y change the sound of many consonants. Prefixes and suffixes are introduced in this unit and we will be continuing to practice these as the year goes on. We also began the next chapter in Shurley English where we will focus on prepositions/prepositional phrases, subject/verb agreement, and transition words.

In writing, as mentioned above, the students will be experimenting with perspective, personification, similes, and metaphors as they write a story or poem from the perspective of a Christmas decoration.

Math: The 4th graders have been working on Chapter 3, which works on double-digit multiplication. The students quickly gathered knowledge of multiplying with zeroes, rounding to estimate, and distributive property. The students were then shown how we can use the same methods for multiplying one digit to multiplying two digits or more. They learned both the partial product and regrouping methods and will be learning about how they can choose which they prefer to use; either with every problem or based on the numbers within a problem. We will be taking the Chapter 3 test on Wednesday, December 21. We will begin our next chapter, which focuses on division, after break. The students have had some exposure to this topic through simple solutions. Please continue to practice multiplication over Christmas Break, as this helps their division skills immensely.

Religion: Students got to practice and use their knowledge of conscience, reconciliation, and penance during reconciliation this week. We have been discussing advent and Our Lady of Guadalupe and will continue to talk about these topics and Christmas throughout the weeks leading up to our break. In Second Step the students will be finished up Unit 1 before break. Our last lessons will cover intentions and perceptions of our actions and words.

Science: The students jumped into the water cycle this week with a few hands on projects and review of the process of the water cycle. We will explore how weather and our planet are affected by this never-ending process of water movement in our atmosphere. After break the students will learn about the extreme weather people face each day through research of historic storms. We will then explore how cold and warm fronts affect our weather and see just what those meteorologists are talking about on the news. This chapter will then lead us into our study of space and our place in the universe.

Over break the students will be provided with an extra credit opportunity using STEM skills; a chance to build a catapult to solve a snowball fight problem. They will be provided with a packet outlining the problem, rules, design methods, and questions about how they catapult worked. Enjoy solving the snowball challenge along with them!

Social Studies: The students recently finished their study on the US government. We discussed the differences between the three levels of government and the three branches of government. The students also researched the freedoms and rights they have as US citizens. We created slideshows with information they learned to teach the class. The students also learned about the differences between our rights and responsibilities as US citizens. They had a great time discussing different ways we pay taxes, as well as how we serve on a jury. This week we will review our lessons as we prepare for the Chapter 2 Test. The test will be on Tuesday, December 20th.


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Thank you so much for your continued help and support.

It’s always a great day to be a cardinal!

Miss Kasl & Miss Gross

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Super Fall Fourth Grade Festivities

Important Dates to Remember:

-Halloween Movie Night 4-8 grades, Friday, October 28

-Halloween class parties, Monday, October 31 at 2pm

-UNICEF boxes/money due, Tuesday, November 1

-End of Trimester 1, Friday, November 11

-8am Mass, Tuesday, November 15

**Our Halloween celebration is Monday, October 31.  The students will come to school in costume and parents are preparing a celebration, and check SignUp Genius for ways you can help out. Please read the Scoop for Halloween guidelines

Last week we took our first field trip to the Chicago History Museum and the students loved it! They got to see the bed where Abraham Lincoln died, study the movement and affect of the Chicago Fire, explore artifacts from Chicago’s history and see the progression of bridges. This week we participated in the Living Rosary and celebrated Red Ribbon week. We spoke about staying drug free throughout the week and the students worked as a team to find cardinals that were hidden around the school. We dressed as nerds and rocked crazy socks and pj’s to celebrate drug free week as well. Students also created a positive message chain that traveled throughout the hallways, inspiring each cardinal that walked by. We also stopped by our buddy’s classrooms to share books and celebrate Halloween. The fourth graders have been busy learning many new things as well. Check out what we’ve been up to below.

Reading/Language Arts: The 4th graders are super excited to have finished Frindle.  They really enjoyed the funny characters and were surprised by the ending. Throughout the book, students worked on identifying story elements, following a plot and using rising and falling actions to make predictions, as well as observing how a character changes throughout the book. We have finished up reading Frindle and will be completing our end of book assessments. The students will show their comprehension of the novel, their knowledge of story elements, and their skills of summarizing through a story cube project and quiz. Each square on the cube will tell about an item we’ve been studying. This project will be completed completely in class. During our word work time students continue to work on spelling patterns of consonant sounds, homographs and homophones, and prefixes and suffixes. The consonant sound we will be working on are spelling patterns for /j/ using j, ge, dge, gi, and gy.

In Shurley English students are reviewing adjectives, article adjectives, and types of sentences. In writing students are working on organizing their writing into beginning, middles, and ends, and adding more details, description, and explanation to their narratives and hero pieces. These skills will spill over into their writing throughout the year.

Math: This week students worked on how to play with number bonds and solve problems using mental math, problem solving for multi-step multiplication problems, and how to write equations. Next week we will continue to learn a few more multiplication methods to solve multi-digit by 1-digit problems. Please continue to use for extra practice, help, or homework. Nina Nelson on Youtube is also a great resource for a quick reminder of each lesson.  Please remember as students work through this chapter it is important that they know how each new strategy solves a problem. By learning many different strategies, students will be able to find the way that makes the most sense to them. To help with these tougher multiplication topics it is important for students to continue to practice their basic multiplication facts, no matter how well they think they know them :).

Religion: In 2nd Step the students continue to work on empathy and how to identify other people’s feelings, how feelings can be perceived, and how intent plays into how our actions are perceived. Feelings, perceptions, and intent will continue to be our focus for the next couple of weeks. This week room 115 started chapter 3 and students focused on temptation and how we can avoid or not give in to temptation in order to stay away from sin. They studied this more in depth through public service announcements they presented in groups. Room 114 just completed their learning in this chapter, about how sin affects our relationship with God.

Science: We are currently learning about ecosystems, habitats, and niches. The students have explored how when living things want for basic needs it often caused competition within a habitat, just like in their homes! To explore this a bit further, students created a business card for a living thing, stating their address (habitat) and job/company (niche). To create these the 4th graders got acquainted with their Google accounts, creating a document and using their newly acquired technology skills from TLC. Next week they will explore food chains and food webs eventually making their own.

Social Studies: We have begun looking at how the U.S. became what it is today; from Christopher Columbus, to immigration and cultures that were brought here. Students were given the opportunity to read, study and become a professional on one area of the United States’ expansion. They worked in groups to teach their lesson to the rest of the class. The students did an amazing job teaching important facts, making the presentation look good, and asking follow up questions in the end! Students will now begin to focus on the government, and how citizens elect the representatives who make and enforce laws. Perfect timing for our upcoming election!

Thank you for all of your help and support this year.

Remember, it’s always a great day to be a cardinal!

Ms. Gross & Miss Kasl

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4th grade news

Important Dates:

-8am Mass October 19th

-Chicago History Museum Field Trip October 20th

-Living Rosary October 25th

-Halloween Parties October 31st

-No School November 4th

Our Halloween celebration is Monday, October 31.  The students will come to school in costume and parents are preparing a celebration, and check SignUp Genius for ways you can help out. Please read the Scoop for Halloween guidelines


What 4th grade has been up to:

The 4th graders did a magnificent job on the Grandparent’s Day Mass. Than you to all parents and grandparents who visited and attended Mass. We had a wonderful time meeting the students’ grandparents. The 4th graders are also very excited to visit the Chicago History Museum next week!

Reading/Language Arts:

Last week we began our very first class-assigned novel, Frindle, by Andrew Clements. The students are loving the silly antics that our main character, Nick Allen, is up to as he butts heads with his 5th grade teacher Mrs. Granger. The 4th graders are exploring how to annotate and track their thinking voice as they read. They have been exploring character traits and proving their thinking about the characters using evidence from the text. Next week we will continue to track the characters’ journeys, how to use context clues for unfamiliar words, and how an author’s description of an event can add to our visualization of it. The 4th graders will also take a walk in Nick’s shoes and create their own words for our class dictionary.

In spelling the students have explored the different sounds that consonants can make when combined with each other, tricky homophones like: their, there, they’re, and continue to work on vowel sounds. In Shurley English the students are exploring the different parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. They have used adverbs and adjectives to creatively add to their sentences by playing adverb charades and describing people and animals.

In writing the students continue to work on personal narratives and hero descriptions. They are adding interesting details using what they learned about adverbs and adjectives to write descriptive explanations of the people and events they are including in their writing. Students continue to work on organizing and writing purposefully in all subjects.


The students have been reviewing how to use the skills they already have to solve multiplication problems. They practiced rounding to estimate multiplication problems and using basic facts and base-ten concepts to multiply by 10s, 100s, and 1000s. We then began to explore how to use the Distributive Property to break down tougher multiplication problems to make them easier to solve. We will continue to build on this knowledge by applying it to multiplying using partial products and area models. The 4th graders will then attack the traditional model of multiplication and build to multiplying 1 digit by 4 digit problems. Please continue to have your students work on basic facts with online games, flash-cards, and card games.


The students explored plants and how they use photosynthesis to create food to survive. We finished up this week by beginning our final experiment that will finish up this chapter; the students will observe three different types of seeds begin to germinate in our classroom and they will then be able to plant these brand new plants at home. In the next chapter we will study ecosystems, habitats, and food chains as we explore how changes in a habitat, pollution, humans, and removing an animal or plant impacts an ecosystem. The students will take their first test in this chapter and will complete a food chain project using Chromebooks.

Social Studies:

The 4th graders are learning about early explorers from Europe, cultural riches, and immigration. The students are exploring the diversity of America and how we became that way. The students are currently working in groups to become experts in a specific area of the chapter and will teach the rest of the class next week.


In religion the students are exploring what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus. They are exploring how Jesus’ teachings bring us closer to God and our acts bring us closer to the Kingdom of God. They are also looking at the freedom that God gave to us and how important it is to value and respect all people and turn away from sin. In Second Step the students are exploring empathy and learning to read emotions in other people so that they can better interpret situations each day.


Thank you for all of your help and support this year.

Remember, it’s always a great day to be a cardinal!

Ms. Gross & Miss Kasl

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Fall News in 4th Grade!

Important Dates:

-4th Grade Grandparents Mass October 7th

-No School October 10th


-8am Mass October 19th


-Chicago History Museum Field Trip October 20th


-Living Rosary October 25th


-Halloween Parties October 31st


-No School November 4th

What 4th grade has been up to:

The 4th graders have been busy preparing for the Grandparents/Grandfriends Mass this coming Friday, October 7th! Make sure to check out our “family tree” in the hallway! The students have continued to work hard during Language Arts and Math rotations. The students have grown so much already through their small group and partner instructions!

Reading/Language Arts: We have been working on finding details within a text that connect to the main idea. We have practiced this strategy with multiple texts like, “Open Wide, Don’t Bite” from our reading textbook. The students are also working hard on close reading. This is where we tell the students to “mark up” the text with highlighting, underlining, and notes. We are starting to get into visualisation, and drawing what we see in poems and books!


In Spelling, the 4th graders are reviewing long vowel sounds and /k/ sounds. We are starting to discuss the differences between there, their and they’re. The students are doing a great job of using their spelling words to complete weekly word work in class. We are also working on creating detailed paragraphs that will translate into longer papers. In Shurley English, the students will be getting into parts of speech and classifying sentences. We continue to use “4th grade sentences” in all of our writing.


In writing, the students have focused on implementing the six traits of writing in their journals and papers. We are discussing personal narratives, and will begin writing them in class! The students have been working very hard on making their writing organized, creative, and purposeful.

Math: The students recently took their chapter 1 test and did amazing! We are now cruising into chapter 2, multiplying tens, hundreds and thousands. The students are continuing to complete in class packets that reflect what they learned in chapter 1, as well as what they will learn in this chapter. The 4th graders are mastering XtraMath, as well as classroom math games! They are enjoying working with small groups and partners to accomplish new learning. This is a great time to practice multiplication facts with flashcards at home every night!

Science: We finished exploring how scientists use models by building bridges and testing their weight limits. The students had so much fun learning about how bridges work and using their engineering skills to create their models. Next, the students will explore the structures of plants and adaptations of animals. They will conduct hands on activities in class and in nature around our school. The students will have the opportunity to observe the nature outside, as well as plant their own seeds.

Social Studies: The students have just finished learning about nonrenewable, renewable, and human resources. They were able to connect our region studies to the resources grown there. The students will take their Chapter 1 Test on Thursday, October 6th. We will complete a vocabulary match, jeopardy, and review questions in class next week. The students were also able to dive into some election talk. They learned and discussed general differences between Republicans and Democrats. We will continue learning about and understanding different parts of the election. On November 8th, the students will get the opportunity to cast their own vote to see if we agree with our nation!



Thank you for all of your help and support this year.

Remember, it’s always a great day to be a cardinal!

Ms. Gross & Miss Kasl

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4th grade Updates!

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Important Dates:

-Picture Day, Tuesday, September 13

-All school 9am Mass, Wednesday, September 14

-Homecoming Pep Rally, Friday, September 16

-Homecoming game, Sunday, September 18

-No school, Friday, September 2

-4th grade 8am Mass, Wednesday, September 21

-Chicago History Museum field trip, Thursday, October 20

What we’ve been up to:

The 4th graders have been busy learning our classroom procedures, jobs, and expectations. As we continue to practice we will begin to work like a well-oiled machine. Our literacy and math groups are up and running and the students have been enjoying the opportunities to practice their skills in different ways. We also love to see how much they learn while working in smaller groups with us!

Reading/Language Arts: We have been working on retelling and summarizing many different texts and we will be moving into reviewing story elements next week with our first story “The Lost Lake” in our reading books. The students are also busy discussing their inferences and using their background knowledge on the topics they read about.  

In spelling the 4th graders are reviewing long vowel sounds and practicing the words on their first spelling list. We will work on spelling lists for about two weeks, that way students have a lot of practice with the words and concepts before we move on. We began Shurley English by reviewing capitalization and punctuation. The 4th graders know that “4th grade sentences” will always have great punctuation and capital letters every time!

In writing the students have begun to gather their ideas for what they’d like to write about this year. They are learning who they are as writers and developing writing habits we will continue to work on and use throughout the year. As the next few weeks go on we will jump into learning about the Six Traits of Writing and begin to practice how to use these traits to “make it rain colorful writing” using examples from our favorite authors.

Math: We are in the middle on chapter one, focusing on rounding and continuing to practice place value. We will finish the chapter by reviewing addition and subtraction. Our test will be coming up in the next two weeks. The 4th graders have loved learning a few games that help us practice our addition skills: SKUNK and Rounding Off Big Time. These are great to play at home, so ask your student to teach you!

Science: Our junior scientists have jumped right into exploring their everyday science skills and their special scientist skills. We will have a little quiz about these concepts next Friday and move on to learning about engineering skills. Where we will put our STEM ideas to work. We’ve explored a variety of ways we will investigate science this year. As we learn about new science concepts we are also using our reading skills by applying our new knowledge by interacting with and writing in our awesome textbooks! Make sure to check out all of the new videos and lessons online too! 

Social Studies: The 4th grade historians have been working on learning about our former presidents and created president trading cards, on display in the hallway. They then began to look at the different regions of the United States. Ask your student the differences between each regions weather and climate, they’re experts!

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Thank you so much for your continued support.

As always, it’s a great day to be a cardinal!

Miss Kasl and Ms. Gross


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Welcome to 4th Grade!


Welcome back! We hope you had a fun and relaxing summer! We are so excited to see everyone at the Meet and Greet on Monday night. Get ready to sharpen your minds, and take an adventure in 4th grade! Fourth grade is a fun year filled with new and exciting opportunities like: switching classes for science and social studies, trying out band, and meeting new teachers and students. We look forward to working collaboratively with you and your student to make their school year and learning experiences bring out the very best of them, and we cannot wait to see what they will accomplish. Please email us with any questions or concerns throughout the year. Remember to follow the drop off and pick up maps!


As you are settling into a new school year, below you will find a few important dates that you can add to your calendar.


½ Day of School – August 23rd

9am School Mass – August 31st

No School – September 5th

No School – September 9th

Fall Fest – September 8th-11th


Specials Schedule:


Gross – 114

A: Art and Spanish

B: Science Lab and TLC

C: Library and Music

D: PE and Science Lab

E: Spanish and TLC

F: Music and PE


Kasl – 115

A: PE and Science Lab

B: Music and Spanish

C: TLC and Science Lab

D: PE and Art

E: Spanish and TLC

F: Library and Music


It’s ALWAYS a great day to be a cardinal!

Ms. Gross & Ms. Kasl

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