Holy Week-April 10th to 14th

Dear Parents,

We had an unexpected, early deliver of my grandson, Miles Joseph Twining, on Monday, April 10th. This early bird changed plans and disrupted my Holy Week posting. However, babies don’t wait for schedules and calendars! He is doing well and is at home with his mom and dad. He is a blessing for our family!


Religion- This week and last week we have been taught by students as they share a song, quote, action word, prayer and special artifacts for the prayer table. They have been working collaboratively in teams. The students have enjoyed this Prayer Table Project very much.


Reading- On March 30th the students dressed and spoke as a favorite fictional character. The students shared their character trait charts with 6th grade buddies. Students read favorite parts of their books and played a,Who Am I? game. Check out the photos below.


Science- The field trip to the Burke Museum was a learning sensation. The students had a wonderful introduction to fossils. We will continue learning about fossils in class.

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Math– We are continuing with fractions and telling time to the minute. Students are reviewing math facts from 0-12 and taking a short quiz.

Please have a wonderful Easter and Easter break. I will see you all on April 24th.

God Bless!

Lisa Castillo


The Weeks of March 20th to March 31st

Dear Parents,

The Math celebration on Friday was a blast. The students loaded up with ice cream sundaes and then settled down to a movie about Balto and the Iditarod sled dog race. All students mastered their 0-12 times tables to earn the sundae. It was also St. Patrick’s Day and the students enjoyed green free dress. What a fun day for everyone!


Math- The students have a new math book to finish out the year. The old book was sent home and can be used as a workbook for the 3 chapters at the end of the book that reviewed  multiplication and division. The students are excited to learn more about Geometry. There are many more vocabulary words to know for Geometry. Look for fun at home Geometry activities coming soon.

Religion- The students are participating in a class Mass with their 6th grade buddies on Wednesday, March 22nd, at 8:20. Please join us in church if you can.

On Friday, March 24th, the class and their 6th grade buddies will lead the school in Stations of the Cross, at 2:30. Please join us if you can.

Iditarod-All mushers are in and resting in Nome, Alaska. The students were challenged each day to record data and journal about where their musher was on the 1,000 mile trail. Some mushers scratched and a replacement was then followed. The winner this year is Laurel , who picked Mitch Seavey as the winner. Our last place winner, The Red Lantern, was Rachel, who picked Cindy Abbott. The Red Lantern has a special job of turning off the Widow’s Lamp, to officially end the race.

The students are writing a retell of the Balto story and a congratulatory letter to their mushers. I will teach them the sled dog Hokey Pokey for a fun end to this wonderful learning experience.

Reading- Groups are finishing up novel reads and being text detectives to find out all of the most important parts of the story with evidence. Character Day is March 30th, students should dress like a character in a book that they are currently reading or have read in the past. Students need to have the book with them for Character Day. Appropriate dress up clothes are welcome for this special day.


One last reminder: class pictures are on the 29th, Wednesday and this is a dress uniform day. All order forms are due by this date and were sent home on March 20th. If you need another form please check the office beacsue I’m all out.

Thank you,

Lisa Castillo


The Week of March 6th to 9th

Dear Parents,

I am happy to tell you that the accreditation went very well and the visiting team found our school to be highly effective across all categories. More information will be coming from Mrs. O’Leary about the results.

Lent-A reminder handout about the 3rd grade Lent project is coming home next week to encourage a donation of brown rice for Northwest Harvest. Please give if you can.

Field Trip-We are going to The Burke Museum on April 4th. Will you volunteer to drive? A field trip form and request for $8, as well as a volunteer driver request, are coming home soon. I can take 6 parents with big cars to get us all to the museum and back. Let me know if you would like to go on this fun and informative field trip. It’s one of the highlights of the year!

Auction-The class auction item was created in the classroom and looks amazing. You will be impressed with this artistic string art depicting Washington state. It will enhance a room in your home and be a wonderful memory of this school year.

Also, Mrs. Mansfield and I are sponsoring a fun event you can bid on at the auction. We are hosting a cozy start to the day with a 7:30 breakfast of juice, fruit and a pastry. On May 12th students can come to the classroom with a stuffy, slippers and an appetite! We will eat breakfast and watch a  fun morning show. Look at the auction catalog for more information.

Math- Multiplication is drawing to a close. We are celebrating on March 17th with an ice cream sundae party. Look for the sign up genius to help out with supplies for the party. The next topic will be Geometry.


Iditarod- The Iditarod is off to a roaring start! The students are tracking the results and collecting data, listening to a read aloud about Balto and Pongo, writing a journal in the first person from their mushers’ point of view, recording weather, mapping checkpoints, and learning a lot about this 45 plus year tradition. Follow along with us at Iditarod.com

Paragraph Writing- The students are putting together excellent paragraphs with topic and concluding sentences, detail sentences and editing well too. The writing process of brainstorming, rough draft, revise and edit is becoming second nature to them. You can help by watching for writing assignments to edit together. You can ask questions such as, “Do you think that sentence needs punctuation?” or “Does that sentence need more details?” or “Do you think your topic sentence is broad enough or is is a detail sentence?”

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Dr. Seuss Day- The 3rd graders had a great time reading favorite Dr. Seuss books to their buddies. A great connection between the two groups can be seen as the 3rd graders develop into leaders and encourage verbal and social skills.

Love and Logic- Here are a few tips from the Love and Logic folks to help with parenting.


The third trimester begins on Monday, March 13th. Report cards will come home the 16th.

Thank you for all that you do for the class and the school!

Lisa Castillo



The Week of February 27th to March 3rd

Dear Parents,

This week will be a busy and rewarding one. After working on the Self Study for the Washington Catholic Educational Association since 2015, we are happy to welcome the visiting team to the St. John community!

The students have worked hard on the curriculum requirements to show what they know about weather, division and prayer. If you get a chance please pop in to see your child’s hard work. The weather books and brochures are packed with facts. The Apostles’ Creed rainbow is a sight to see. The students are very proud of their work.

Special Note about this week: Dress uniform is required for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Friday, March 3rd, is an early dismissal day, 2:00.

Math- Division and strategies to find quotients are tackled in chapter 6 of our excellent book, My Math, by McGraw Hill. The Common Core State Standards are aligned to this book to help the students achieve mastery of key topics. Please continue to help your child with multiplication facts each night for 15 to 20 minutes.

Math Note- We are planning a multiplication celebration with ice cream sundaes on March 17th. More information will follow.

Social Studies- Students are beginning to research  the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, which begins the 1,000 mile race on March 4th. Each student will follow one musher as she or he follows the trail to Nome, Alaska. Students will learn mapping skills, read, write, research, use math skills to graph, compare and contrast, and more. This is truly an all purpose unit of study that students love to engage in. The website is Iditarod.com if you would like to follow along at home.

Religion- The beginning of Lent, Wednesday March 1st, brings us into a special time of waiting. Students will go to Stations of the Cross each Friday at 2:00. Please join us if you can. In the classroom we will be preparing for Easter by focusing on prayer, giving to the poor and fasting (from negative habits). There is a prayer cross in the hallway for all students to write a prayer. You can too, just jot down your prayer and attach it to the cross.

Religion Note- The class is collecting brown rice for Northwest Harvest as a service project. Please send in a box or bag of brown rice if you can. One idea is to have your child save their own money to buy a box of rice at the grocery store.Every little bit helps someone in need.

I will be sending the Catholic Relief Services, rice bowls home on Wednesday. Please collect as you can and return to the church during Holy Week.

Thank you for all that you do for the school and your continued support of me, as I teach your wonderful children.

Lisa Castillo

The Week of February 6th to 10th

Dear Parents,

Catholic School’s Week was an affirming week of celebration for our class and school. Thank you for sending your children to school in their spirit wear each day. It was fun for them to have days in which they could wear hats, sweatshirts and crazy socks. Thank you to the acting principals, Declan and Gavin LaMotte, for all of their great ideas to make Friday so fun. The nacho bar lunch was a big hit.


This is our week in preview:

Religion– Students will continue to memorize The Apostle’s Creed in class. We are also working on kindness, patience, and friendship skills.

Writing– Students are learning the parts of a prodigious paragraph this week and next. They have improved their sensational sentence writing and are now ready to launch into the world of the perfect paragraph.

Spelling- Students will receive the National Spelling Bee list to practice for the school spelling bee on February 16th. The spelling bee is a no stress voluntary activity. Please know that this is the 3rd graders first year to join the bee. Think of this as a practice year.

Math- Students continue to memorize their multiplication facts. Please work each day for at least 15 minutes with flashcards, games, worksheets, songs, or whatever strategy works for your child. We are connecting multiplication with division in our daily lessons.

Social Studies- Students will begin the process of learning where all 50 states are located in the United States. We will also review geography place names, rivers, mountains and bodies of water in North America.

Science-Students wrapped up their weather unit by asking excellent science questions. Then they used I-pads to research and answer their questions.


Two items that are coming up:  Valentine’s Day on the 14th. Please give valentines to each child if you want to participate. Candy attached to the valentine is okay too. We will have a  party on this day, please see the sign-up-genius if you are interested in helping.

The spelling bee is  on the 16th. That is also a half day with no school on the 17th, 20th and 21st.