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Welcome Message and Monthly News Bulletins






Dear Parents,


Well, here it is, the last News Bulletin of the year, and a bittersweet one it is.


As a souvenir of our year together, we are asking the children to bring in a plain white or light-colored t-shirt for all of us to autograph.  We are planning this activity for the morning of June 11th.  We have permanent markers/fabric markers the children can use, but they are certainly welcome to bring in any other embellishing supplies they want.  Also, cleaning day is scheduled for Mon., June 8.  Please have your child come with a rag/sponge and/or bucket. 


June Schedule:


Tues., June 2         Math exam

Wed., June 3         Religion exam

Thurs., June 4       Kindergarten graduation (siblings only will attend)

Fri., June 5            First Friday Mass


Mon., June 8           Grades 1-4 ONLY; Library book sale; Cleaning Day; Movie Day

Tues., June 9          NO SCHOOL FOR GRADES 1-4

Wed., June 10         Spirit Day (students will come to STJP then walk to Reninger Park.  Students must walk back for closing ceremony at school)

Thurs., June 11      HALF DAY:  T-shirt signing & Ice Cream Party

Fri., June 12           Closing Prayer Service at 9:30; Dismissal around 10:30


In closing, we just want to thank you for your help, kindness, and most of all, support during this year.  We wish you a wonderful, fun, and relaxing summer.  If we can be of any assistance to you in the future, just let us know. Take care, and God bless!




Maureen Phillips and Lori Dolan



Dear Parents,


Can you believe it?  Just 30’some (depending on when you read this) more days of school, and that includes May Procession and Field Day.  It’s not over till it’s over though, so please bear with us as we work through these next several weeks while managing all those special interruptions in our schedule.  Here we go:


   Religion:  We are working on Unit 4,  We Are Called to Discipleship and will complete Chapter 23.  During the month of May, we will be discussing some “Mary” information that the children are required to know.  With the exception of just a few feast dates, they seem to already know most of their facts about Mary.  Then, it’s on to EXAM REVIEW!   Watch for the Study Sheets.


   Math:   After we finish Two-dimensional Shapes in Chapter 12, it will be on to REVIEW!  Please don’t forget that fluency in times tables is required for 3rd grade.  The Mad Minute exercises that you will see brought home are a good indication of how well your child knows his/her tables.

      One other thing about math, and this is just a suggestion:  The Math Maintenance papers that the children will be doing in class and sometimes may be assigned for homework as review, contain a sampling of problems that the children are expected to be able to solve at this point.  A good study practice would be to make up a few extra examples based on the ones your child may have incorrectly answered.    

Reading:  Our last unit, which we will begin in a few weeks, is titled Freedom.  This theme includes a narrative nonfiction selection, a realistic fiction piece, a photo essay, an animal fantasy, and a legend.   Although we won’t have time to cover them all in depth, the comprehension skills are review (cause/effect, fact and opinion, graphic sources, literary elements and generalizing), and the new word analysis skills will be taught.


Language/Writing:  We will continue to review skills learned throughout the year.


Spelling:   We will continue our Spelling Lists until time runs out (or we do J). 


As we get closer to the end of the year, we will be sending home information about Year- End Assessments.  We will do our best to make that as painless as possible for all concerned.  Study Sheets for Spelling and Religion will be sent home.


Please come see our School May Procession if you can.  It’s always a beautiful tribute!  It is scheduled for Friday, May 22nd at 10:30.  Children are to wear their winter uniforms, unless otherwise directed.


Happy Mother’s Day, Moms!  Your children are treasures.  We have truly enjoyed working with them this year, and we’re not just saying that!  Take care.  You too, Dads!


Mrs. Maureen Phillips                         Mrs. Lori Dolan


Dear Parents,


  It’s hard to believe, but it is April.  Hopefully, some nice weather is BOUND to be coming our way!


Religion:   We will continue to work on Unit 2 We Are Members of the Church, after we have discussed and studied Holy Week and the Easter season.  Each day the children have been reciting part of the Apostles’ Creed, which is in their Religion copybook.   A sentence or 2 will gradually be added to our daily recitation until the prayer is mastered. 


  Math:   Even though we are moving ahead, PLEASE keep practicing Time, especially elapsed, (as well as ‘times’ Tables).  Measuring length, volume, and weight/mass are the next topics we will cover before we move on to Area and Perimeter.


Reading:   Next week, we will begin Unit 5, Cultures.   Skills to be reviewed include Author’s Purpose, Sequencing, Drawing Conclusions, and Fact/Opinion.  Adjectives and adverbs will be introduced.


Writing/Social Studies:  The children will be integrating themes from the Reading Unit into their writing as they research one of the continents.  They will be using reference books as well as the IPads with selected Internet sites.   This project will be described in more detail after Easter.



Miscellaneous items needed: 

  • Newspapers (for an Art project)



  • Empty clear or green 2-liter soda bottles



  • A sheet of posterboard for Social Studies project



We hope you have a wonderful Easter break with your family!


                        Mrs. Maureen Phillips                        Mrs. Lori Dolan



Dear Parents,


Happy Almost Spring!!   As time “marches” on, and we approach the Third (final!!!) Trimester, here are some of the things we’ll be doing—weather permitting!


Religion:  Over the next several weeks, we’ll be discussing sacrifice, The Stations of the Cross, and the Easter Season as we move through Lent. However, we’ll also begin Unit 2 in the text, We Are Members of the Church.


Math: We will spend the next few weeks on fractions, and then begin Measurement. Although we have moved away from multiplication/division, PLEASE continue to work with your children on developing automaticity with the times tables. It is imperative for Fourth Grade Math that they memorize these facts instead of relying on strategies such as arrays/drawings/tables/fingers. We will continue drilling them in school, but are depending on you to reinforce at home, according to your child’s needs.


Reading: We will continue with Theme 4, One of a Kind. In the selections, the children will see how each one of us is unique with our own talents.   The pieces include three biographies, an expository text on ‘extremes,’ and a folk tale. We’ll be working with skills such as pronouns, irregular plurals, contractions, and prepositions, while continuing with reading comprehension skills.


Terra Nova testing begins Friday, March 20 and continues throughout the following week. The children will be taking the InView portion on the 20th. The Terra Nova itself will be administered during the mornings of March 23rd-March 27th. The best preparation for these tests is a good night’s sleep the night before, and a good breakfast. Students should also have 3 sharpened pencils with good erasers each day. We will proceed with Math and Religion instruction that week; however, homework will be minimal.


Take care, Happy St Patrick’s Day, and ThirdTrimester, here we come!


Mrs. Maureen Phillips and Mrs. Lori Dolan


Dear Parents,

Well, we put up some hearts in the classroom, but the snowmen and snowflakes are staying!  Here is some of what we’ll be doing the next few weeks, weather permitting:


Religion:   In Unit 1, we have 2 more chapters to cover which explore the beginning of the Church, and the Apostles leading the Church.  After that, we will begin Unit 2; however, we’ll be pausing at the end of one of these chapters to revisit Lent in the Liturgical year.  


Math:   We will be continuing with division in Chapter 7, even though we are assigning the last few lessons as independent work with followup checking.  Our instructional focus in Chapters 8 and 9 will be Fractions.  It is our goal to expose the children to more math topics as we get closer to Terra Nova.

Some of the children are becoming very fluent with their multiplication facts.  We’ll be doing timed drills with set goals to help the others with their automaticity, as this is a standard to be mastered in third grade.  At home, flashcards and computer games are excellent ways to practice.   Knowing multiplication facts fluently will help them succeed in division.


Reading:   We are looking forward to starting Theme 4 – One of a Kind.  These stories encompass 3 biographies, an expository text, and a folk tale.  This unit goes nicely with our Biography Report and Wax Museum, which will be scheduled for mid-March.  Information on this project will be coming shortly, but the children should be looking for and begin reading a book about a famous person.  Skills to be covered in the new unit include pronouns, contractions, prepositions, generalizations, graphic sources, fact & opinion, and cause & effect.  We are taking a break from oral reading this month, to allow the children to work on their book reports.


Social Studies:  We will be reading about and discussing famous persons in history whose holiday/birthday is celebrated this month.  We will also be practicing map skills and discussing landforms in geography as we learn about communities.


Science:  The children will be doing projects and experiments with the water cycle.



  1. Love is in the air and we’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day with a small party on Friday, February 13.  Please send in a shoebox for Valentines anytime after February 10.  We ask that you cover the box with white, red, or pink construction paper so that they are ready to be decorated.  We will supply the decorations, however, many of the children are creative so you may certainly send in personalized supplies if you wish.  The children may bring in cards beginning February 12th, but not distribute them until the 13th.  Room 205 has 17 students (11 boys/6 girls); Room 204 has 19 students (14 boys/5 girls).  If you are sending in cards, we ask that you include all students in your homeroom so that we can avoid hurt feelings.
  2. Terra Novas will begin Friday, March 20 and continue through the following week. The only preparation needed is a good night’s sleep, healthy breakfast, and sharpened pencils.

As always, we thank you for everything you do and for dealing with our barrage of e-mails!  Believe it or not, you will only have 3 more monthly newsletters to read – that puts things into perspective!  


            Mrs. Maureen Phillips            Mrs. Lori Dolan       




Dear Parents,


We’re back and in full swing!  We hope everyone had a relaxing vacation, and that all our little flu and virus absentees are well and raring to go.   Thank you all so much for your generous gift given through the Home & School Association.  It was more fun shopping AFTER Christmas at those wonderful sales!


 Well, here we go: 


Religion:  We will continue with Unit 1, Jesus Gives Us the Church, Chapter 2.  The children will be learning more about the ministry of Jesus, living as His followers, the Kingdom of God, the gift of faith, Jesus’ second coming, the beginning of the Church, and the Apostles leading the Church.  Look for Catholic Schools Week activities beginning Sunday, January 25th.  Please note that prayer participation, both in the classroom and in the responses at Mass, will be part of your child’s Religion grade this trimester.


 Math:  Division will be the topic of the next three chapters; however, PLEASE do not forget to drill those multiplication tables.  It will make division less painful!  We will continue multiplication drills by playing games like Beat the Clock and Bingo.  


ELA:  We are continuing Theme 3, People & Nature.  Reading comprehension skills will continue to be a focus.  We will be doing our Biography Wax Museum with the 4th grade sometime in February or early March.  Once a date is confirmed, we will let you know.  More information will be forthcoming about this biography book report, but it is a requirement that your child read a book as opposed to obtaining information from the internet.  Please start to discuss/look for books about people your child is interested in and would like to impersonate.  Keep in mind that costumes as well as memorization will be required.  

Writing:   When children are writing sentences for vocabulary/spelling, please encourage them to ‘step it up’ a notch and begin adding describing words and expanded vocabulary, as well as different kinds of sentences.  Hopefully, this practice will be extended to other forms of writing such as reports, poetry, and journal writing.


Social Studies:  The beginning months of the year lend themselves well to the study of many famous people and groups of people.   We will be using the iPads to research and report on several historic characters.  


Geography will also be our focus as we study maps and landforms.


Science:  The Water Cycle will be explored through projects and experiments.  In keeping with our upcoming stories, we will also be discussing constellations.


Handwriting:  We will begin to increase our cursive writing across the curriculum. 




1.   Please label clothing! 


2.   Stock up on pencils, crayons, etc. for the new year.


3.   School Uniform Policy:  Children should have SWEATERS, not hooded sweatshirts for the classroom, except for gym days.


4.  Hopefully, January will allow us some outdoor recess!  Please have children bundle up! 



Finally, from our families to yours, we would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy, Healthy, Blessed New Year!  Take care and stay warm!                                                   


                                                     Mrs. Maureen Phillips                    Mrs. Lori Dolan



Dear Parents,

We hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was wonderful!  Try to keep the next few weeks stress-free (haha)!    Here is a rundown of what we’ll be doing these next few weeks:


Religion:  Between now and Christmas we will be learning about the Liturgical Year, specifically Ordinary Time, Advent, and Christmas.  Following this, we’ll begin with Unit 1--Chapter 1, God Sends Us His Own Son. 


Math:   We will continue working with multiplication in Chapters 4 and 5, followed by division in Chapters 6, 7, and 8. Since addition is the basis for multiplication, PLEASE continue to drill your children on basic addition facts, as well as the multiplication tables.  Many are still using fingers to count sums up to 20 – these should be automatic by now.  These drills can be done in short car rides, posting number sentences in bedrooms or refrigerators, computer games – BRIBERY WORKSJ! 


ELA:  During this first week in December, we will be finishing Theme 2.  In Theme 3, People and Nature, the children will be challenged through reading and discussion to learn how people and nature are connected.  Skills to be covered include contractions, verbs, prefixes, suffixes, critical thinking, and higher reading comprehension skills.  Poetry will be on the list of planned writing activities.


3rd Grade Reminders:

  • Monday, December 1: Santa’s Secret Workshop shopping/purchasing: The H&S provides items from the dollar store for purchasing. Children bring a list (ex., family members/pets) whom they would like to buy for – voila, your shopping is done!
  • Monday, December 8: Mass for the feast of the Immaculate Conception at 10:30.


  • We will have a Cookie Exchange for our Christmas celebration on Friday, December 19. Each child should bring in 6 to 10 cookies to share—we supply the hot chocolate and marshmallows. More to come on this in a couple of weeks.
  • Would you like to be a Teacher’s Elf? Although the kids do not agree, pencils, crayons, markers, and glue sticks make excellent stocking stuffers (and an easy way to replenish school supplies for the next trimester)! Idea: plastic travel-sized soap boxes are great for holding crayons. These containers don’t tear or break easily, so the crayons are less likely to get stepped on and broken.

      Remember:  If you have questions about our schedule, you may find your answer on our 3rd grade calendar located on the classroom websites.


     We hope that your HOLIDAY SEASON is joyful and filled with much happiness and many blessings.


     Thank you for all your help and cooperation. Take care!                                                  


      Mrs. Maureen Phillips and Mrs. Lori Dolan        

November News Bulletin



Dear Parents,


Well, thank goodness this year’s weather so far has been more on the milder side than last year!   Thank you for taking the time to meet with us.  It is always so nice to have some one-on-one time. 


Religion:  The children did a great job with their saint projects and presentations!  They really enjoyed learning not only about their particular saint, but also about those their classmates researched.  Working on the Ipads was a perk, and they are already looking forward to the next project.  In our textbooks, we will be continuing with the sacraments (Chapter 19).


Math: We have completed Chapter 3 (Understand Multiplication) and are heading into Chapter 4 which will concentrate more on multiplication facts and strategies. Now is the time to begin practicing and memorizing those multiplication facts!  It is helpful to use flash cards and games.       


Reading: The children did a great job on their October Oral Reading. Thank you for having your child well- prepared. 

We have started our second theme called Smart Solutions. During these five stories, we will be discussing intelligent ways humans solve problems and how plants’/animals’ structures help them do the same. 


Writing:   We will be writing a seasonal compare/contrast paragraph.


In case our paths do not cross again over the next few weeks, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you for everything.   Take care, and we hope to see you at out First Friday Mass later this week!






                                               Mrs. Maureen Phillips       Mrs. Lori Dolan




Dear Parents,        

Thank you so much for your support and cooperation during these first few hectic weeks of school. It was wonderful meeting you on Back-to-School Night, and we look forward to conferencing with everyone at the end of this month. Your prompt response to requests for supplies and the completion of all the necessary beginning-of-the-year paperwork is very much appreciated.  It seems like just yesterday the September News Bulletins went out, but according to the calendar, it’s October already, so here we go:


Religion: In Chapter 16, we talked about the Mass as the celebration of the Eucharist.  We’ll explore the parts of the Mass in more detail in Chapter 17.  Since October is the month of the Holy Rosary, the mysteries will be introduced as we say a decade each day.  The children are welcome to bring in a rosary if they have a special one of their own.  We will also be talking about several saints who have feasts in October.  Third grade will be responsible for the November 1st First Friday Mass.  We would love for you to join us, if possible.  More information will be coming your way as we get closer to that date.


Math:  We will begin Chapter 2 (Analyzing Data) and will be working with several different types of graphs.  Although we are leaving addition/subtraction, PLEASE continue to practice basic math facts.  We will be starting multiplication in Chapter 3 and knowing basic facts will be helpful.


Reading: We will continue with Unit 1 – Living and Learning – for another two weeks.  Unit 2 is titled Smart Solutions and will encourage children to think about how problems can be solved in fair and timely fashions.  Genres include Expository Text, Realistic Fiction, and Fantasy.  Skills include: reading comprehension skills, nouns (common/proper, plurals, etc.).  Don’t forget those Reading Logs—they earn a sticker for their card. 


Writing: The Writing Process will be our focus these first weeks of October.  The children are working on a personal narrative. There will be a Grammar test mid-October, which will require identifying and punctuating the 4 kinds of sentences, and sentence structure (subject and predicate).


Spelling:  Some weeks the words will be difficult.  Just a suggestion: A good way to study for the test is to start on Monday, 7 words a night, and then review on Thursday for the test.




Field Trip: Our third grade Fall trip is to Crystal Cave.  This ties into some of the stories we will be reading in our series this year.  Friday, October 10th is our planned date. 


Reminders:   -- Stationery ($9.00) and Headphone Set, if not purchased last year ($10.00).  Thank you so much!

                    -- Save those Box Tops! Classroom competitions have begun!


Thank you for everything and Happy Fall! Your children are awesome, so spirited and cheerful.  Take care!


Mrs. Maureen Phillips and Mrs. Lori Dolan






September 4, 2014


Dear Parents of Third Grade,


Welcome to 3rd grade.  We are very happy to have your child in STJP and look forward to a wonderful year!  YOUR homework for tonight is to read this Bulletin and the Welcome Bag that came home with your child today!   Also, please fill out and return the e-mail information in your child’s Take-Home folder.  You may need a refreshing glass of ??? in order to get through this!


Please have children bring their summer work by Wednesday, Sept. 10.


Below is some important information to have as we get started:


  1. Specials:   Tuesday:  Art, Spanish (Rm 205);   Wednesday:  Music;    Thursday:  Gym, Spanish (Rm 204);   Friday: Library/Technology

    2. Homework (HW):  HW will be written in the Homework Assignment Book.  This should be signed by the parent/guardian each night in the space provided.  It is not necessary to sign each page of written homework, but please review it with your child.  If your child has difficulty with the HW, please jot a note in the HW Book so that we will see it the next morning – the book is stamped each morning.  Homework should take no longer than 50 minutes, including 15 minutes of mandatory reading time.  Studying is a significant part of HW this year.

        a.  Abbreviations in the HW Book (ex., MPB p.6 = Math Practice Book p. 6):

             RWNB:  Reader/Writer Notebook                 EX =  Exercises In English workbook

             MPB =  Math Practice Book                         HO = Handout

        b.   Religion & Math:  Homework will reinforce work covered in class that day.

        c.   Spelling:  M-W homework will vary.  Thurs. HW will be to study for weekly test given on Friday.

        d.   English/Reading:  A workbook page or HO (handout) will be assigned most M-Th for homework.  Remember, reading (or being read to) for 15 minutes is part     of your child’s daily homework.  Scheduled book reports will be assigned at various times of the year.


   3.  Testing:  Ample notice of tests will be given via the Homework Assignment Book.


  4.  Book Covering:  Please cover the Homework Assignment Book, Family Envelope, workbooks, and copybooks in clear plastic to prevent tearing.  Please cover these as they come home during the first two weeks of school – thank you.


  5.  Website:   Below is a list of information you will find on the STJP Website for 3rd grade.  Go to:   www.stjpschool.org website homepage, Classrooms (under Quick Links on right hand side), choose Room 204 or 205 apple icon to find:

       Home:  This general information is very important.  It tells you our curriculum, classroom policies, including homework, behavior management, specific school policies, etc.  This will stay up all year for your reference.  Please try to review as soon as possible so any questions can be addressed on Back to School Night. 

     Class Information:  Each 4-5 weeks a Bulletin will be published for the purpose of letting you know what is happening in the classroom.  “Bulletin” will be written in their HW Assignment Book to let you know it’s updated.  These will be kept on the site all year.  This is your first of many!

     Calendar:  Information pertaining to our classroom/school such as days off, due dates, scholastic orders, field trip money, pizza money, special events.

     Galleries:  The kids’ favorite button; they love to see themselves!  Pictures of different events, projects, and trips that we do in the classroom will be posted.

     Homework:   Homework will be posted each night on this button by 5:00pm.  We do admit that we forget sometimes, but we do our best!

     Links:   Each month beginning in October, your child will read a book of their choice to the class.  This button gives you the day/date of their scheduled reading and you can also print a copy of the Question Sheet (2-sided) that needs to be done for their reading day.  More information will be sent out as we get closer to October. 


  1. LUNCH TOWELS:  Please include in their lunchbox a dishtowel or something the kids can spread out on their desks.  This will be returned each day in the lunchbox.

    7.  TAKE-HOME FOLDER:  Each child chose a take-home folder and will bring that home each night.  Please empty papers out and return any notes/papers needing to be returned to the classroom or office via this folder, not the family envelope. The Family Envelope should ALWAYS be returned empty!


   8.  CORRESPONDENCE:   If you have concerns throughout the year and need to speak with us, you may contact us by e-mail, send a note in with your child, or phone the office.  E-mail is the quickest and most efficient way to contact us.  E-mail addresses are:  Mphillips@stjpschool.org or Ldolan@stjpschool.org. We try to review mail several times a day.


  9.  STATIONERY:    Information on prices of copybooks and theme tablets will be coming at a later date.


We know this can seem overwhelming, but we will all get through it.  We are very excited about our new school year and hope you share our enthusiasm!



            Mrs. Maureen Phillips                                     Mrs. Lori Dolan



         Third Grade

September News Bulletin




This note is just a really brief outline of what we’ll be doing as the year begins:


Religion:  The focus of our beginning work in Religion will be a review of the sacraments, in particular Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation, and the Mass. You will notice that we are not following the chapters in order (we’re starting with Chapter 15), because it is in Unit 3 that these topics are studied.  We will also be reading about and discussing various saints on their feast days. 

The children went to confession during this first week of school, so we’ll be going over the words (not exactly the same as the first time) as well.  In addition, we will be attending Tuesday 8:30 Mass each week. 


Math:  Our school will be using the series Go Math!, which is aligned to the Math Common Core State Standards.  The lessons incorporate many hands-on activities and real world problem investigations.  Chapter 1 explores Addition and Subtraction within 1000, using patterns, properties, place value, and estimating.


Reading:   In Theme I of our Common Core State Standards Reading series, Living and Learning,genres to be read include a narrative poem, a fable, a tall tale, an expository text sample, and a realistic fiction piece.  We will be working on strategies for decoding long words, narrative elements, sequencing, and comparing and contrasting.  Vocabulary skills such as homonyms, compound words, multiple meaning words, and prefixes and suffixes will also be practiced. 


Spelling:  Each weekly word list consists of 20 words.  Fifteen of these words reflect the focus Phonics skill for the week, and five are more challenging, sometimes taken from the story we are reading. These words can be found listed on the website on the “Homework” button at the beginning of each week. 


Writing/English:  Identifying complete sentences, the structure of sentences (simple/ compound), and the 4 kinds of sentences will be our grammar focus these first few weeks. Our goal with Writing in Sept./Oct. will be to write a paragraph.


Social Studies: We will begin with geography and map skills, including vocabulary and how to read a map. 


Science: During the first weeks, we’ll be learning about scientific tools, the scientific method, followed by soil/rocks/minerals with a field trip to Crystal Cave.


Spanish:  Hola!  We are very fortunate to have Spanish as one of our Specials once a week.  This subject is for enrichment purposes, and will not be graded.


Special Schedules:  Tuesday:  Art, Spanish (Rm 205);           Wednesday:  Music;                         Thursday:  Gym, Spanish (Rm 204);         Friday:  Library and Technology


This will take some getting used to for all of us.  Hang in there, everybody!



                       Mrs. Maureen Phillips                                   Mrs. Lori Dolan




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