December 16th News

What a busy week.

The children participated in Hour of Code with their 6th grade buddies;

They led a beautiful Mass; learned about Our Lady of Guadalupe; used what they are learning about multiplication to make Equal Group Christmas Trees; completed their amazing magnetic design projects; and ended the week with their first art class of the year in the Mezzanine-

This next week we hope to see you at the Winter Concert Tuesday 7pm in Egan Hall, and at our Engineering Design Open House Friday 9:15-10:00 in the classroom.

Have a blessed 3rd week of Advent.


December 1 News

Welcome to Advent!  I love this time of year and feel so blessed to work at a school where we get to focus, not only on the fun of Christmas, but the joy and hope of Advent.

Math: This last week the students continued to work on mastering subtraction and regrouping.  They worked collaboratively and independently, utilizing a variety of tools and strategies, to struggle with this challenging concept.

In addition to our hard work in subtraction, the class is beginning to engage with the concepts of multiplication and division.  Ask your child about our “how many crackers” math activity we did on Friday.  I loved watching the children problem solve how many ways they could distribute 36 “crackers” evenly amongst their friends.  The conversation following the activity was particularly engaging.  The children were discussing the relationship between equal groups, multiplication, division, and even fractions.  It was a great discovery lesson.

Reading: The children are continuing to be active participants in book clubs and our reading of Fish in A Tree.  They are working on compare/contrast, vocabulary, and character traits.  It is fun listening in on their conversations.

Writing: The children completed wonderful Fall writing prompts this week.  As they come home in folders on Monday (along with their creative fairy tale writing and the December job applications) take a moment to look over them with your child.  Are they using our awesome Rockin’ Beginnings, including 3 relevant details, and wrapping up their paragraphs with great Clincher Conclusions?  I am really enjoying reading their creative, well-structured, work.

Religion: This last week we had a great set of lessons about Reconciliation.  The children studied Rembrandt’s famous Prodigal Son painting and read/discussed the story of the Prodigal Son from Luke.  We connected this story to Reconciliation.  This Monday the children will have the opportunity to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a lead in to the Advent Season.

Art: On Friday I led the class in a lesson about synesthesia and Vasily Kandinsky’s art work.  We read the Children’s Book “The Noisy Paintbrush”, a historical fiction book about Kandinsky and his experience with synesthesia.  The children then listened to classical music and painted abstract paintings- using shapes, lines, and color to express how the music made them feel.  They are on display in the 2nd floor hallway if you have a chance to stop by and see them.

Science: Our unit on magnets is well under way.  With all of our “investigation” completed the students will move into the “imagine, plan, create” stages of the engineering process.  This week they will identify a problem and create a product, which uses magnetic property, to solve this problem.  The following week they will design/build this product in class.  This is one of my favorite units and I absolutely can not wait to see what designs this creative class comes up with.


Upcoming Dates:

  • Friday Dec 7th – Dress Uniform, All School Liturgy
  • Thursday Dec 13th – Trimester 1 Report Cards go home
  • Tuesday Dec 18th – 3rd-5th Music Conference
  • Friday Dec 21st – Noon Dismissal
  • Dec 24th – Jan 4th – Christmas Break


November 12th News

I hope you all were able to enjoy this long Veterans Day holiday weekend.

The children had a chance to wrap up our Social Studies Unit with a bang this last week.  From our Stem activity- where the children designed and built a canoe which needed to float and safely hold passengers(pennies).


To our fabulous Native Plants and Native Peoples field trip at the UW Botanical Gardens-

It was a great wrap up to a wonderful unit of study.

This week we start our first science unit- all about magnets!  The children will research magnetic property, investigate how it works, and design a solution to a problem utilizing  magnetic property and all they have learned.  At the end of this unit we will host an open house/science fair where you can come and see all of their products/designs first hand.  More information regarding date and time will be coming soon.

In math we will be moving onto 3/4 digit subtraction with regrouping.  Students will be introduced to a variety of strategies to help them solve these challenging problems.  We will incorporate a variety of visual math to help students really “see and understand” this difficult, abstract, concept.

The children are adding new comprehension strategies into their book clubs.  Many groups will be doing vocabulary searches this next week, building a robust vocabulary and helping them understand the text they are reading at a deeper level.

This week we will take a short hiatus from our all class read a loud of Fish In A Tree to allow more time for science investigations and the corresponding non-fiction reading books that are a part of our new NGSS aligned science curriculum.  I look forward to watching students dig deeper with these, content rich, leveled readers.


Thursday, November 15th: Grandparents and Friends Day- join us for a wonderful time of food, fellowship, and festivities.  Our lunch is from 11:00-11:45- children bring a lunch to share with their guests.  This is a DRESS UNIFORM DAY

Monday, November 19th: DRESS UNIFORM 3rd and 6th graders lead the school in our Thanksgiving Mass- we would love to see you there!

October 27th News

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are some shots of our week in room 25:

From learning about the properties of addition and creatively reteaching them-

Collaboratively utilizing new strategies to work through challenging addition problems-


Studying the geographical regions of North American Native People, completing a variety of graphic organizers in a jigsaw, and putting it all together reteaching each other-

Fabulous Halloween art led by terrific parent volunteers-

To the wonderful Halloween Carnival put on by our fabulous Middle School Department-

It was a wonderful, creative, and collaborative week in room 25!

See you all at conferences.

Upcoming Dates

  • Oct 29th, Nov 5th – Student Parent Teacher Conferences in Egan Hall
  • Nov 1st – All Saints Day Mass, Dress Uniform
  • Nov 7th – Field Trip to UW Gardens to visit Native People’s Tour
  • Nov 9th and Nov 12th – No School
  • Nov 15th – Grandparent and Special Friends Day
  • Nov 21st, Nov 22nd, Nov 23rd – Thanksgiving Break

October 12th news


What a gorgeous week!  We had a great week working on projects, creating art together and utilizing growth mind-set while learning new math concepts.

Social Studies:  The children wrapped up their Native American research projects and began presenting these projects to the class on Friday.  We will complete these creative presentations on Monday.  This coming week your children will become the experts and teachers as we take their knowledge of individual tribes and utilize it to learn about the Native People groups in the  5 regions of the US.

Math: We started off our addition unit with an exploratory lesson- “how many ways can you solve an addition problem”- it was great fun to see the children struggle and persist, challenging themselves to explore mathematical concepts in a more creative way.  We saw visual representations, creative uses of number lines, place value blocks, splitting strategies, etc.  This week we will build on these ideas,  continuing to learn the  properties of addition and specific strategies for addition.

Reading: In addition to our fiction reading in book clubs and Fish In A Tree, the children interacted with a number of non- fiction texts this week.  They completed Achieve 3000 articles, striving for 75%, 88%, and 100% accuracy.  They also interacted with non-fiction books and web sites to help them complete their SS research.

Religion: This week, in our Brain Talk self regulation series, we met Miss Hipp and The Professor.  Ask your children how Miss Hipp works together with The Professor to help us use the thinking parts of our brains to help us regulate, hit the pause button, and be deciders!

On Wednesday we attended our first all school Mass, it was a beautiful time of worship together.

This Friday is Jog-A-Thon celebration day!  We will have a celebration assembly and in the afternoon our class will celebrate running the most laps with a popcorn and movie party!  Thanks for all your help in making this such a successful event each year!

Reminder: The conference sign-up is now available-  

  • Oct 19th – Endowment Dinner
  • Oct 29th, Nov 5th – Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Oct 23rd – Individual Student Photos
  • Oct 24th – Unity Day. Please encourage your child to wear orange free dress on this day to honor the acts of kindness and inclusion.
  • Oct 26th – Youth Group Haunted House 5pm
  • Nov 1st – All Saints Day Mass, Dress Uniform
  • Nov 9th and Nov 12th – No School

October 6th News

We had another active and engaging week in 3rd grade.

Writing: The children used graphic organizers to help them prepare to write an opinion piece about school uniforms.  They will complete their paragraphs this coming week.  I saw some great ‘rocking beginnings’, wonderful supportive/relevant reasons tied together with fabulous transition/linking words, and clincher/conclusions bringing it all home.

Reading: We continued our all class reading of Fish in a Tree .  This is an excellent book and has led to wonderful class discussions about learning differences, treating others with respect, taking risks, and embracing our uniqueness.  This next week we will start to delve more into the rich characters in this book and the complexity of their actions.

Book groups are going well.  This week the children practiced the comprehension skills of “summarizing”, “connecting”, and “compare/contrast”.

Math: The children spent the week practicing rounding with a number of engaging activities.  They did “roll/make/expand/round” games, a scoot around the classroom, challenge by choice activities, and wrapped up the week with a rounding/place value assessment.  This coming week we will begin 4 digit addition.

Social Studies: Our Native American projects are well under way.  On Friday the children pulled out clay, fabric, cardboard, computers, poster board, tons of creativity.  I can’t wait to see the finished projects this next week.

Religion: In religion we are learning about utilizing the thinking parts of our brain to help us becoming “deciders rather than doers”.  Ask your children about Buster and Myg, this next week they will meet The Professor and Miss Hipp.

In addition to our “Brain Talk” lessons we had an engaging classroom discussion about how we can “Speak-up and Stand-up” for what is right!  The children came up with phrases they will use when the encounter gossip, rumors, or unkind comments.  I will be creating a poster with these phrases, look for it on our door in the next couple of weeks.

Art: On Friday we had our first parent led art class and it was wonderful.  Jen Bergman taught the students about Andy Warhol,  Roy Lichtenstein,  and the pop art movement.  The students had the chance to start working on their own pop art self-portraits.  We will finish these this next week and will have them on display for everyone to enjoy.  They are really cool.

We have an all school Mass this Wednesday- it is a Dress Uniform day for all students.

Enjoy this beautiful weekend and feel free to email me with any questions!

September 28th News

We had a wonderful week in room 25!  Your children are inquisitive problem solvers, kind empathetic classmates, and engaged learners- it is going to be an incredible year.

Math: In math this week the children utilized their knowledge of place value to explore the challenging concept of rounding to the nearest ten.  We created a number of tools to help the children visualize this difficult, abstract concept. We placed numbers on number-lines, made color coded hundreds charts, drew hills and stairs with round numbers, or benchmarks, as destinations.  This next week we will continue to build on these skills rounding 3 and 4 digit numbers to both the 10’s and 100’s.  Ask your child how they “see” rounding and which visual tool/strategy works best for them.

Writing: We are working on our opinion writing unit.  The children practiced writing Rockin’ BeginningsRelevant Details, Transition Words, and Clincher Conclusions.  This next week the children will use what they have learned to complete an opinion writing prompt.  They will read pro/con articles to help inform their opinions, use graphic organizers to map out their ideas, and write a clear, creative, and effective paragraph supporting their opinion.  It will be exciting to see it all come together.

Reading: This week in addition to continuing our “all class read a loud” Fish in A Tree, the children began book clubs.  Each child is actively participating in a book group, reading together in small groups and  actively participating in assigned discussions.  This week the children utilized the specific comprehension strategies of predicting, connecting, and summarizing. 

Social Studies: Our Native Peoples Unit is well underway.  Each child has been assigned a specific tribe, within one of the 5 regions in the U.S.  This week the children used specific websites and library books from the Seattle Public Library to research his/her tribe.  They will continue to research this coming week and then begin their individual, in class, projects.

Religion: This week we learned more about the Trinity.  We also continued to learn more about our brain and how we can utilize the thinking part of our brain to help us be DECIDERS INSTEAD OF DOERS!

Upcoming Dates:

  • Oct 10th – All School Mass, Dress Uniform
  • Oct 19th – Endowment Dinner
  • Oct 22nd, Oct 29th, Nov 5th – Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Oct 23rd – Individual Student Photos
  • Oct 26th – Youth Group Haunted House 5pm
  • Nov 1st – All Saints Day Mass, Dress Uniform
  • Nov 9th and Nov 12th – No School


Sept 14th News

Thank you for attending curriculum night last night, I enjoyed meeting so many new faces and sharing a snapshot into your child’s year in room 25.  It is going to be a wonderful year.

Today we wrapped up our week and a half on the brain, neuroplasticity, and growth mindset.  The children completed a “teach the teacher” project, which they will present to the class next week.  We had raps, skits, songs, posters, and written reports.  I loved seeing them engaged in learning in such an active way.  It was fabulous!

The children had a chance to put their growth mindsets to work with a very fun math logic/pattern problem.  Ask them how many ways “leo the bunny” could hop up 10 stairs, hopping only 1 or 2 hops at a time.  Here are some photos of the creative ways the children approached solving this problem.

Next week we will start into a more routine academic schedule:

Math: we will begin exploring place value to the 1,000 place- revisiting word form, expanded form, and standard form expressions of numbers.

Reading: we will begin our all class read -aloud “Fish in a Tree” and will start our book clubs

We will send homework folders home with your child on Monday, please look over this and initial the planner each day.

MAP testing begins next week!!  We will have our MAP reading test Monday 8:30-10:00 and MAP math Wednesday 8:30-10:00

I hope to see many of you at the Blessing of the Backpack Mass on Sunday at 10:30 am.  See the school newsletter for further information.

Keep up the great work raising money for jog-a-thon!  We are in the lead- stay strong!!!

Thanks for all you do, and as always, feel free to email me with any questions or concerns.

September 7, 2018 News

Week one is in the books!  The children did a wonderful job transitioning back into the routine of school.  I am sure they will be tired this weekend, I know I am.  🙂

We spent our first 2 1/2 days together getting to know each other, learning our routines, and exploring our classroom culture.  The school theme this year is “Rejoice in the Lord and Live in Harmony”.  In our prayer service Wednesday Mrs. OLeary spoke to the students about St. Paul’s message in 1Corinthians 12.  St. Paul reminds us that the church is one body made up of many parts, no one part is greater than another, the body needs every part to function, as does the church community.

Together, as a class, we used St. Paul’s message to build the foundation for our classroom community.  The children made their own unique name tags, they took learning style inventories, and had many discussions about how we are all unique and different, yet we are all created in the Image of the same God, therefor we are ALL special and equally important, no matter how we learn, what gifts we have, or how we look.  We will continue to explore this, essential, theme in the coming weeks as we dive into our lessons on Neuroplasticity, growth-mindset, and learning styles.  If you get the chance ask your child why Mrs. Mansfield’s favorite word is, “YET”.

Up coming dates:

Thursday, Sept. 13th: Curriculum night K-5!  7pm-8:15 . We will gather in the Church at 7pm  followed by 2 classroom sessions- 7:30-7:50 and 7:55-8:15

Jog-a-thon Information-  Packets went home with your child on Friday.   Please check the packet to see how your child can earn his/her way into free dress on Wednesday, 9/12.  This event is one of my favorites of the year, it is a wonderful community builder, promotes a healthy mind/body/spirit lifestyle, and raises a TON of money to support our fabulous school.  We are aiming for $80,000 dollars this year- let’s dig deep and make it happen!  The jog-a-thon will take place on Friday, Sept 21.  Check the St.John web-site for run times and volunteer opportunities.  

MAP Testing: 3rd grade will be taking our fall MAP tests will be – 9/17,9/19 and 9/25 

Welcome to the 18/19 school year

Welcome Back!  I hope you all had a wonderful break, mine was refreshing, relaxing, and rejuvenating.

I am excited for this year to start.  Third grade is such a wonderful year, the children move from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”.  They get to learn multiplication and division and become skilled problem solvers.  They transform into engineers, meteorologists, and, paleontologists as we tackle our fantastic Next Generation Science Standards.  Students will continue to stretch themselves in writing as they learn to write  for a variety or purposes and audiences.  Social studies is rich with cultural relevance and experiences as we study Native People groups, the 50 states, and the communities we live in.  Third grade truly is a fabulous year.

As we dive into teacher inservice this next week, please know that I am on campus and available to meet with you if you have any questions, or concerns, that you would like to discuss before the year begins.My email is, and I would love to hear from you.

Be sure to mark your calendars for Curriculum Night on September 13th at 7pm.  And I will see you all on September 5th.