December 4th through 20th

Dear Parents,

This is a very busy time of year and I will update you here with all of the important details of this Advent season.

I had a conversation with a few students before Mass began on December 8th about the wonderfully warm heated floors. One student asked why heat floors? I said the practical answer, that it’s an alternate way to heat a room instead of a furnace. But one child said, “The warm floors must be for Jesus, because he wears sandals and his feet might get cold.” So precious!

Thank you to art moms, Ms. Howe and Ms. Kim, the students created beautiful water color images of flowers and shells after learning about Georgia O’Keefe.

Last week two students, Nika and Grace, brought in their violins to practice during music class. I asked them to play a few songs while the students ate a snack. It was a beautiful mini-concert in the classroom! Thank you to our young musicians!!


Our Advent service project will be to contribute toys to Toys for Tots. The deadline is a quick one, December 11th, this coming Monday. I will try to see if we can extend it to a later date.  A toy purchased this weekend for a needy child would be well loved. Thank you!

There is an Advent prayer service every Monday in the church at 8:30. Please join us in the church. If you are running late that day, come in the south side entrance.

This Friday is Mass at 9:00 for the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Please remember dress uniform and join us if you can. The class would love to have you sit with us, right side 5th row, facing the altar.

Holiday Concert- The Christmas concert for the third grade is on December 19th at 7:00. Please have your child dress in festive holiday clothes. Send them up to the classroom at 6:45 to meet me there and I will take them over to the performance. Coats should remain with you and the students will join you after the concert in Egan Hall.

Math– Students are investigating the meaning of multiplication. Please continue memorizing those addition and subtraction facts each night.

Reading/Writing– Students are enjoying, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! Many giggles and laughter can be heard as we read about the Herdmans. The students are responding to the reading by analyzing the plot, setting, problems and solutions. This is a great book for a character focus, as we read how Imogene changes over time. If you haven’t read this book in awhile, I highly recommend it for the humor and focus on the meaning of Christmas.

Science- The students are investigating weather around the world. Ask your daughter or son what the 4 types of erosion are. (ice, water, wind and gravity) We talked about the strength of a glacier and how it can pick up and move large boulders.

S.T.E.A.M.- Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math are combined in activities that explore a challenge. Students work collaboratively to solve a problem. This week the students asked, How do we build a better bridge? Here are the results.

Christmas break begins on Wednesday, December 20th at noon. I wish you a wonderful Christmas and New Year with your children. I will see you all again on January 3rd.

Look who came in for a visit.

Thank you for all that you do!

God Bless,

Mrs. Lisa Castillo


The Week of November 27th to December 1st

Dear Parents,

Report cards for the first trimester will be coming home in your child’s backpack. Please look it over with your child and discuss all of the growth and development. The Growth Mindset ideas come to mind when seeing how much the students have learned these last three months in the 3rd grade. “I can do difficult things. Feedback helps me improve. I don’t quit until it’s my best work.” are all concepts used in a growth mindset classroom.  Your children should be very proud of themselves. Please return the signed report card and the envelope. You keep one copy of the report card for yourself.

Scholastic book orders are due by Thursday, November 30th. Please remember to let me know if this is a Christmas present so that I can have you pick up the order from the classroom.

Last week the 3rd grade invited their pre-k buddies upstairs to the classroom. As part of our Achieve 3000 reading celebration, the students read and drew pictures with their little buddies. Thank you to the families that contributed juice, cupcakes, popcorn and rice crispy treats for the celebration.

The play Ada’s Violin, by Book It Theater, was a big hit last Tuesday. The students were touched by the true story of poor recyclers who create beautiful music from homemade instruments. On Wednesday the students will make instruments of their own. Stay tuned.


The students are beginning a weather unit in Science. They will be recording, graphing and learning all about the weather on the 7 continents. The students will create a rain gauge, a weather book and learn about the tools of a meteorologist. This is an especially good time of year to study weather in Seattle!

Math finds the students completing subtraction skills and beginning to investigate multiplication. Please continue to practice subtraction and addition math facts 1-20 so that they are known by heart. This skill will help tremendously when we begin memorizing multiplication facts.

Thank you for all of your continued teamwork and support. I appreciate all that you do for your child, the classroom and me.

God Bless! Look who visited St. John today!

Lisa Castillo


Monday November 13th to Tuesday the 21st

Dear Parents,

Grandparent and Special Friend’s Day was so much fun! The smiles on everyone’s faces showed the love and joy on that special day.  The student’s voices were beautiful. Thank you to all the parents who helped to make this a special event.

The students would like to invite you to a special all-school Mass on November 20th at 9:00.  We will be processing in with our 6th-grade buddies and sitting in the pews on the right side of the church, facing the altar. This Mass is special because the 6th and 3rd graders have prepared the welcome, readings, intercessions and will be bringing up the gifts. Please sit with us if you can. They are very proud of their preparations!

On Tuesday, November 21st, the Kindergarten through fifth grade will see a play entitled, Ada’s Violin, about a group of children who create beautiful music from instruments made from scavenged scraps found at the garbage dump.  The play begins at 1:45, join us if you can.

Each Friday in fall and winter students may bring slippers or fuzzy socks to wear during reading time. Slippers or fuzzy socks can come to school in a backpack and then they will return the same day. This is a fun way to get comfortable during reading time. Please don’t bring stuffed animals, pillows or blankets.

Our Reading Celebration will be on Tuesday, November 21st. Thank you for the contributions of food and drink to help us celebrate the hard work and accomplishments with the Achieve 3000 program.

Students are working hard on regrouping in subtraction in Math. Please continue to practice math facts by heart so that subtraction comes easily to your child. Flash cards, Mathletics, worksheets or other creative ways can help with the memorization process.

As we near Thanksgiving, the students are talking about gratefulness. What are you grateful for? It can be as small as a perfectly baked cookie from Chef Michael or as large as electricity that works on a cold and blustery day. This is a wonderful time of year for reflection. I am grateful for this inquisitive class of active 3rd graders. I am grateful for my family and my pets. Most importantly, I’m thankful for God’s continued love and guidance.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving break!

God Bless,

Lisa Castillo

Please remember the food drive continues from November 1st to November 21st. Also, the Homeless kits will be made in Egan on Thursday, November 16th at 6:00 pm.


The Week of November 6, 2017

Hello Parents!

This week is full of educational and fun activities that I will expand here on the webpage. If you have ideas for the webpage, needs or content ideas, shoot me an email. Thank you!

The students are reciting the Our Father prayer to Senora Blanca in Spanish class. The students are earning a popsicle surprise next Monday for the completion of this prayer. Great job with your Espanol students!!

The challenge of making beds in the morning has been a big hit in class. Many students have completed the task and have received the special prize. Because of the high-interest level, the challenge has been extended for another week!! Please remember, this is a fun challenge but not required. I hope this challenge has given your child encouragement to complete a simple task and then build on that positive feeling throughout the day. If you have any other task challenge ideas let me know.

Grandparent and Special Friend’s Day will be this Thursday at 11:00 in Egan Hall. The playground will open for cars to park at 10:30. Please come right up to the classroom to gather your child for this special event. It is a special day and one I always look forward to because the children are so proud to have their special family members visit their school. If you are unable to have a grandparent or special friend come, you can come instead. If that doesn’t fit into your busy day, please let me know so that your child can sit with a friend in Egan.

Proud Grandpa of a future St. John student, class of 2031.

Friday is Veteran’s Day when we remember all veterans who served the United States. I hope you enjoy your day off with your family.

God Bless,

Lisa Castillo

October 30th to November 3rd

Dear Parents,

Thank you for coming to conferences and bringing your excellent questions about Map testing and other aspects of the school day. I am always here for questions about the education of your children. I enjoyed getting to know each of you better and understanding the educational needs of your children. Please continue to check homework planners, double check written work, read the Achieve stories with your child and practice those addition and subtraction math facts.

The Scholastic book order is due on October 31st. I will send the order electronically on that day and it will take about 2 weeks to arrive at school. The website is and enter code RQPW4. There are many great books and Lexile levels are listed too, to help you choose good fit books. No checks or cash, please.

The students have an opportunity to collect money for Unicef while they trick or treat this year. Please consider contributing to this 70-year-old organization that raised $177 million dollars last year to support health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more to the world’s most vulnerable children.

Unfortunately no costumes this year for Halloween day. This is an administrative decision. Please have a fun time trick or treating and be safe. I get my first Halloween visit from my grandson this year and I’m very excited.

Please limit the candy in lunches and snacks.

November 1st is a Dress Uniform day for Mass. Please join us at 9:00 in the church if you can.

The annual food drive is beginning on November 1st and runs through November 21st. Please donate canned and boxed food for the needy in our community. No perishables, please.

Grandparent’s and Special Friend’s Day is on Thursday, November 9th at 11:00 to 11:45 in Egan Hall. Please arrange for grandparents or special friends to bring lunches for their child. They can pick up children beginning at 10:40 in the classroom and accompany them across to Egan Hall. In the event that a grandparent or special friend can’t make it, please let me know so that I can seat your child with a buddy from the class.

Native American research is wrapping up and students are creating posters or Power Point presentations to show their knowledge. The due date for the project is November 17th.

The Achieve 3000 program is proving to be a big success with the class. Please have your child complete 1 to 2 articles and activities, steps 1-2-3, each week. We have created a bulletin board in the hallway that shows the students in the Intermediate Department who have achieved 75% or higher on each article. Please come by and check it out.

Last week Miles Castillo Twining visited with my daughter Stephanie and both were a big hit. The students enjoyed the visit very much and hope that they return soon.

Take care and God Bless,

Mrs. Lisa Castillo