Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Today is the Feast of St. Vincent DePaul.  Don’t forget to give any clothing and household goods that are in good condition, but no longer used to your local St. Vincent DePaul Center.

Here’s a summary of what happened today in Room 103:

A. Mass: Thank you Grades 2 and 3 for leading us at Mass.  Congratulations, Kindergarteners, for being more attentive at Mass.  Thank you, 4th and 5th graders, for guiding the Kindergarteners in learning appropriate Church behavior and how to make the sign of the Cross.

B. Announcements: Tomorrow we will have a lock-down drill at School.

C. Mathematics: Class began with a review of the parts of an equation.  We reviewed the following terms:

  • operation
  • constants
  • variable
  • expression
  • equation

Next, we used our Cuisenaire rods to help us work out the answers to some word problems. Then we did some word problems without the rods.  While doing them, we learned that insects can fly as high as 4000 feet.  We also learned that Karim Abdul Jabbar scored more than 11,000 points more than Michael Jordan. Finally, we finished worksheet #17 that we started last Friday.  We substituted values for the variables in the problems.  We collected this worksheet.

D. Reading: We discussed and answered questions related to Chapter 2 of My Brother Sam Is Dead. We did questions 1-7 together by writing the answers to the questions in sentences and by restating the question in the answer.  Tonight’s homework is to answer questions 8-13 on looseleaf.  Tomorrow we will do question #14 in class.


Here are tonight’s homework questions: 

8. What story did Tim relate (tell) about the man who ran his horse through a burial ground? 

9. What important message did Tom Warrups give Tim? 

10. What story did Tim tell Father before going to Tom Warrups place? Why would Father have been disappointed with him over this? 

11. Who did Tim see at Tom’s house? 

12. Why would taking Brown Bess be a problem for Father? 

13. At the end of Chapter 2 Tim had a mighty conflict going on inside himself.  Explain what this conflict was. 


E. Spelling: Both 4th and 5th graders took pretests on Unit 4 words today.  Papers were returned and the final test will be on Friday for these words.

F. Handwriting: We reviewed c and o which the substitute teacher introduced yesterday.  Today we practiced the words with c and o.  The practice words were: cocoa, ace, and stick.

G. Music: We had the first half of our music class with Mrs. Hammang and learned how to sing and act out the song, “The Noble Duke of York.” Then, a substitute teacher took us for music for the second half of the class.

H. Latin: Mrs. De Rocher helped us learn Latin today.

I. Recess: We enjoyed our playtime outside.

J. History: We learned the definitions of some of the vocabulary terms from the section on “Japan Reopens.” The words are: shogun, Tokugawa, Buddhism, and samurai.  We also saw some pictures of Buddha and samurai warriors.

Don’t forget: Book orders are due on Friday.  Altar server slips and drama slips are also due.

Have a good night!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Happy St. Matthew’s Day!  Today is the Feast of the tax collector who turned his life around to become a follower of Jesus.  Here’s a look at today’s activities:

A. Mass: Father Mark’s homily today focused on the fact that St. Matthew went to Jesus, the best person to cure him of his bad habits.  Father referred to God as a doctor that could cure us of our problems as long as we go to Him for help.  How can we do this?  The answer is to take advantage of the great sacrament of Penance.  When we tell our sins to the priest, God forgives our sins.

B. Mathematics: We began class with a short practice quiz on the table of 3’s. Tomorrow the children will take a graded quiz on the table of 3’s. Homework is to study for this quiz on 3X tables. 

Next, we reviewed the 3 properties of addition, the Commutative Property, the Associative Property, and the Identity Property.  We then added 2 new properties of Subtraction: the Identity Property that says that if we subtract zero from a number, you get the same number.  Or, if you subtract the same number from a number, the answer is zero.  The second property of subtraction is the Equality Property which says that if you subtract a given number from one side of an equation, you must subtract the same number from the other side.  In other words, one side of an equation must equal the quantity of the other side. After learning these 2 new properties, we practiced with some problems.

Last, for math, Grade 4 worked on worksheets 15 and 16. These pages help students practice simple adding and subtracting using the properties we have studied. Meanwhile, Grade 5 students worked with Mrs. Hammang. They first checked the work on pages 44-45 of the text on addition and subtraction properties.  They also finished worksheet #7 on the same topic.

C. Reading: Class began with the reading of stories from Scholastic News.  We finished the article we had started yesterday on Derby, the Dog, who walks with prosthetic front legs made from a 3-D printer. Next, we heard our classmates read about Freddy, the Tortoise, who had his burned shell replaced by one made by a 3-D printer. Later in the day, we had a special treat when Mr. Morris showed us a real tiny snapping turtle that he had caught. Wrapping up class, we read an opinion article presenting the 2 sides of whether cursive writing should still be taught in schools. Some of us expressed our opinions on the same subject.

My Brother Sam Is Dead was our next piece of reading material.  Students worked with partners to match vocabulary words with their meanings and to note the page numbers of vocabulary words found in Chapters 1-3. Homework is to finish this worksheet. 

D. Physical Education: We had a substitute teacher for Mrs. Kuhr today who is attending funeral services for her brother-in-law who was killed late Monday in an automobile accident.

E. A 10 minute recess, lunch, and after lunch recess followed.

F. Language Arts: We have been learning how to create a key word outline over the last couple of days. We have learned that we read each sentence in a paragraph, find 3 words to write to summarize what the sentence is about, and then orally share sentences about what the article was about.

G. Spelling followed this.  Students worked on pages 30-31 independently, but checked pages 26-28 with Mrs. Hammang.  Don’t forget tomorrow is Spelling Test Day!

H. Recess was a humid and hot experience, but nonetheless enjoyed by all.

I. Science: Scientific observation was our focus. We began by looking at a photo of a corn cob which had been partially eaten.  We made observations about the color, texture, smell, and size of the corn.

Then we began to read through an article on observation. We defined data as numbers or facts that are collected, interpreted, and recorded. We distinguished between 2 types of data: quantitative data and qualitative data.  Quantitative data results in numbers, while qualitative data is more descriptive.  Quantitative data might be something’s weight, mass, height, pH, volume, etc. Qualitative data uses more descriptive words, but still sticks to the facts, not opinion. This includes color, odor, texture, sound, etc.

We ended class and the day by agreeing that data should not include phrases like “It’s healthy or not heavy because these comments are too biased based on the speaker.

Have a great night!

Mrs. Hammang

Homework and Summary of Tuesday, Sept. 19

Here’s what’s happening in Room 103:

A. Mass: Father talked about responsibility.  Father gave the definition of responsibility and asked students to give examples of how they have to be responsible.  A second grader offered that he must feed his dog.  Connor T. said that we must do our homework. Returning to our room, we continued the discussion by saying what responsibility looks and sounds like.

B. Mathematics: We began class by:

  • playing the body game of the tables of 3 and 4.  This involves touching the right shoulder, left shoulder, and then the lap for 3.  Only multiples of 3 are said aloud. Then we did 4’s by touching the right shoulder, left shoulder, right knee and left knee.  Only multiples of 4 are said aloud.
  • Then, we reviewed the 3 properties of addition that we learned about yesterday.  Several students went to the Activ-board to label examples of the 3 properties.  We tried to see who could get 30 problems correct in the fastest time.
  • Following this, we did simple addition using a number wheel.
  • Grade 4 went to work with Mrs. Hammang while Grade 5 students worked independently by answering problems 1-15 on pages 44-45 of the book.  They also did worksheet #7 problems 1-18. This is their homework.  Fourth graders finished up some problems on rounding on a worksheet that Mrs. Hammang collected. Then, the children began working on worksheet #14. Tonight’s homework is to finish worksheet #14. 

C. Reading: We corrected the phonics worksheets on digraphs.  Homework tonight is to carefully read Chapter 2 of My Brother Sam Is Dead so as to be prepared to answer comprehension questions on Chapters 1 and 2 of the book.

D. Spelling: Both Grade 4 and Grade 5 students took pretests on Unit 3 words. Papers were checked and returned to students to study missed words.  We also worked on textbook pages 26-28.

E. Recess: Some students enjoyed playing a spirited game of football, while others played tag on the playground equipment.

F. Music and Physical Education were enjoyed.

G. Handwriting: We learned the downcurve stroke today and practiced it with the lower case letters a and d.  We also practiced these words: added and dial.

H. Mass Practice: With Mrs Bauer’s help, we prepared for our Mass tomorrow.  Please join us at 8:00 am.

I. History: We worked individually and as a group on a worksheet on the topic of the Sepoy Mutiny.  First, we worked alone, then with a partner, finally we worked alone again.


  • Tomorrow is our all school Mass at 8:00 am.  
  • Please sign the homework paper tonight.
  • Drama Club meets tomorrow from 3:10 – 4:10 pm. I hope to see everyone there.

Have a great night!



Today is Monday, September 18, 2017

Today was a very busy day for students in Grades 4 and 5. Here is a rundown of today’s agenda:

Mass: Deacon Hilker addressed us on intercessory prayer. He reminded us that sometimes when we need permission to do something, we turn to the parent who is more likely to be sympathetic to our cause. In the same way, we can turn to Mary, mother of Jesus, to intercede for us with God. Returning to our classroom, we decided on jobs and then talked about the virtue of responsibility which will be the focus of our work over the next 2 weeks.

Math: We received our tests back that we took last Friday.  We reviewed the answers and then the papers were recollected and will be placed in our green folders for parent review.  After this, we learned about 3 properties of addition: the commutative, associative, and identity properties.  We even had a chance to see how well we understood the lesson by practicing on a website.  To check understanding at home, look at this website: www.aaamath.compro74ax2.

Next, we had a breakout session for math.  Grade 5 worked with Mrs. Hammang on reviewing rounding and then did 10 problems using the new addition properties we learned.  At the same time, Grade 4 students completed problems 1-17 on page 69 of our book which is also on addition properties. This is homework for Grade 4 tonight. 

Reading: Monday is Phonics Day in Reading class. Today’s emphasis was on digraphs, 2 consonants put together that make a unique sound.  We practiced reading words with:

  • sh as in the word shovel
  • ch as in the word choose
  • ch as in the word chord /k/ sound
  • ch as in the word chef with an “sh” sound
  • th as in thimble
  • th as in though
  • wh as in whisker /hw/ sound
  • wh as in whole /h/ sound
  • ph as in photo with the /f/ sound
  • ck as in smack with a /k/ sound
  • ng as in finger
  • gh as in rough with the /f/ sound

We also worked on worksheets 14-17.  Both Grade 4 and Grade 5 students need to finish these worksheets for homework. 

Spelling: We started Unit 3 words today.  We began by writing each spelling word three times on looseleaf paper. Here are our words for this week:

Grade 4: aim, holiday, paper, station, able, crayon, flavor, lazy, brain, anyway, remain, favor, rail, grayest, trailer, lady, nation, relay, fail, radio, and digraph

Grade 5: humid, remove, prove, costume, rescue, unit, annual, suit, include, continue, future, beauty, movies, value, humor, museum, avenue, produce amuse, youth and digraph

History: Mrs. Hammang passed back our worksheets on Victorian England and the Great Exhibition. After we looked them over, she collected them back.  They will be in our green folders next time.

Next, we began to read and talk about the Sepoy Mutiny in India.  We listed as Mrs. Hammang read aloud from our textbook pp. 9-13. We also discussed what it would feel like to live in a country where another country controls the decision-making process. We tried to place ourselves in the shoes of the Indian people who had the British running their government.

Library and Latin were our two specials today.

English: Everyone in the class had a chance to tell the class their favorite type of composition to read and write.  Some picked historical fiction, science fiction, adventure, poetry, etc. We then used a sheet of looseleaf and just wrote an original composition during the last 5 minutes of class.

Recess: Our day ended with recess.


  1. All green work folders are due tomorrow.
  2. Please sign your child’s homework sheet tonight.






Friday, September 15, 2017

Dear Students and Parents,

Week 3 is now in the record books and the children are certainly getting into the routines of school.  I am very pleased with the overall work ethic of the room.  Our class discussions are lively and informative, classroom jobs are being performed with quality, and the children are learning how to work together with each other in cooperative groups.

Here’s what happened today in Room 103:

  1. Mass: Father talked with the children about Our Lady of Sorrows and reminded them that Mary is their mother too.  They can turn to her for help because she loves them too.
  2. Mathematics: Both Grade 4 and Grade 5 finished up with our units on rounding and took a Test today on standard, expanded, and word forms of numbers, place value, how to write decimals, and rounding.
  3. Reading: The children worked together in cooperative groups to read Chapter 2 of My Brother Sam Is Dead. The children took turns reading out loud to their group mates.  They also looked for key vocabulary words found in Chapter 2 and recorded the page on which they found each word.
  4. Spelling: Both Grade 4 and Grade 5 students worked on page 24 of Unit 2 today.  They also took a Unit 2 test if they did not earn 100% on the pretest taken on Tuesday.
  5. Science: We continued our discussion of the scientific method and the steps of it.  We also watched an informative film on the scientific method. The discussion that followed the film centered around the continuing need for scientific research.  After this, the children received their new science books and completed text pp. 6-7.
  6. Language Arts: Yesterday, we applied the rules of capitalization to a worksheet.  Today we checked that worksheet.  Then, we worked on a short quiz that required us to circle any word that needed to be capitalized that was found in a sentence.
  7. History: Once again we worked with our cooperative team members and completed a worksheet on Victorian England that was started earlier in the week.  We then checked and collected that worksheet. Class ended with students reading the text on the Sepoy Mutiny.
  8. Recess: Everyone was really tired after working so hard today, so we enjoy some outside recess time.
  9. Technology: We joined Mr. Lomas in the library to talk about the NWEA MAP Testing that starts next Tuesday.  We watched a video on how to take the test and then got on the new laptops to work on some practice questions.

Please don’t forget by Tuesday to look at and sign your child’s Spelling test which was put in a green folder.  In closing, it was great to see everyone on Wednesday night for Back to School.  Thanks for coming!  Please let me know if you every have any questions or concerns.  Have a beautiful weekend!


Mrs. Hammang

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

What a special day today was! The children were very excited to have their grandparents or a grandparent designee come to the classroom today to participate in class activities.  The children interviewed their grandparents and then spent time making hearts with their hands and tracing them to paper. The grandparents also traced hearts.  Thank you for joining us today, grandparents!

In other class news today:

A. Reading: The children reviewed the hard and soft sounds of the letters c and g.  They also checked worksheets distributed yesterday in which they identified the sound the letter s made in words.  The sounds are /s/, /z/, /sh/, and /zh/. After this, we read from our book, My Brother Sam Is Dead, and while doing so we located key vocabulary words from the story. We also discussed the plot of the story by comparing the role of children within the Revolutionary War family vs. the role of children within the modern family. Finally, we matched up some of our vocabulary words with their definitions.

B. Spelling: Pretests were taken today by both Grade 4 and Grade 5 students.  Grade 5 students already found out their scores and must get their pretests signed tonight by a parent.  Grade 4 students will get their pretests back tomorrow. Besides doing a pretest, both groups worked on completing text pages 20 and 21.

C. Recess was held this morning.

D. Today’s specials included Music and Physical Education.

E. Handwriting: The letters u and w were practiced during handwriting.  In addition, words containing these letters were also practiced.

F. Language Arts: The children were very excited to get their new English books today. Today’s lesson focused on the rules of capitalization. The children read through the 10 rules for capitalization. Then, they corrected sample sentences applying the first 5 rules by going to the board and fixing the sentences.

Special Note: Tomorrow from 6 to 7:30 pm is Back to School Night.  I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.  Have a great night!

Monday, September 11, 20

Today is the 16th anniversary of the terrible events that occurred in Washington, New York, and Pennsylvania in which airplanes were used to attack our government and business buildings.

At school today:

A. In Math: We learned about rounding of numbers in math class.  We defined rounding as making a number simpler, but keeping its value close to that of the original number.  We used a website to help us do some practice problems.  Here is the URL: You may wish to look at it for help. We also used our slates to help us review how to compare numbers. Grade 5 has no math homework tonight, but Grade 4’s work is to do pages 54-55 odd numbered problems 1-39 for homework.

B. Reading: We reviewed our skills related to the hard and soft sounds of c and g.  Then, we learned that there are 3 variant sounds for “s”: the “z” sound found in the word “bees,” the “s” sound found in the word “silent” and the “sh” sound found in the word “closure.” Tonight’s homework for both Grade 4 and Grade 5 is to complete worksheets 9-12 on c, g, and s.

C. Spelling: Unit 2 words were introduced to students today.  Both groups learned that a silent e at the end of a word can make the vowel in the word make a long sound.  Students were given clues by the teacher and then they identified the spelling word that matched the clue. All of the week’s words were written on special control paper.

D. Science: In science we reviewed the steps of the scientific method. We copied the definition of a hypothesis and talked about how often scientists have to change their hypotheses to reflect new information.  As a point to illustrate, Mrs. Hammang asked each child to come to the front of the room and write 1 word on the Activ-board.  Five of the children wrote animal words, three wrote words reflecting food, the rest of the words were not in a recognizable pattern.  Mrs. Hammang wrote a hypothesis on the board that she had thought might be true before the children wrote on the board.  She thought the children might write a part of their name because they write it so often. She pointed out to the children that this hypothesis was not supported by the data. As a result, she said, if she were to revise her hypothesis, she might think that more children might write animal words or food words. Lastly, Mrs. Hammang told the children that hypotheses are written in an if, then…because format.

E. Library: Today was our first library period.  The children anxiously took out their first books today.

F. Latin: Mrs. DeRocher met with the children in her new room, the Art/SMART classroom.  Children learned vocabulary words and their meanings.

G. History: The children finished a worksheet on Victorian England that they had started last week.  This was then collected.  Next, they located some places on the map of the British Empire that were participants in the Great Exhibition. Finally, they worked with a partner(s) to complete a review sheet on Victorian England.

The children were given a homework sheet to take home.  Please sign the sheet to indicate that the work was done.  Parents, please stop your child if the work entails working longer than 30 minutes. Just sign the form and write did not finish.

Reminder: Tomorrow is Grandparents Day. I hope to see our grandparents or a designated representative at school tomorrow from 8:00-9:30 am. Have a great night!