• May 30

    Posted by Elizabeth Marsh on 5/30/2019

    Hello Parents,

    We are nearly to the end of the year.  While we are able to engage in more creative ways to learn, we are still working on skills.  This week we are finishing end-of-year assessments.  I am so impressed at the growth this class has shown.  Many students are clocking 2+ years of growth in reading and math.  I will send home reports next week, so you can celebrate the accomplishments of your kid--and that just on the stuff with objective measures.  I have seen such perseverance and growth mindset changes in these students.  They are willing to take risks, make mistakes, and embrace the struggle.  Thanks for all of your trust and support!

    Gold Rush Day was a fun way to experience 1849.  Thank you so much for your help!  We appreciated all of the food, leadership, spirit (parents got into character with costumes!), time, and energy.  Today we will be making the Gold Rush dish "Hangtown Fry" in the garden--this was a typical delicacy in rough and ready gold country.

    Celebration and reward will continue next week.  Our Million Word/#reading goals party will take place at lunch on Wednesday.  So far, students meeting their goals are Adrien, Jake, Cade, Ashley, Luca, Holly, Alexander, Angelina, Anna, Luke, Lola, and Kaylin.  I will treat the kids to lunch that day, so no need to pack one.  On Thursday, we'll have our beach party, and lunch will be provided.  

    As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


    All my best,


    Comments (-1)
  • May 15

    Posted by Elizabeth Marsh on 5/15/2019

    Dear Parents,


    I hope you all enjoyed May Festival and Mother's Day!

    Once again, I'd like to relate that these students showed amazing perseverance and focus during SBAC testing.  Well done!

    Thank you for the bevy of riches you provided for me last week!  I had a great birthday/teacher appreciation week.  I appreciate the teapot, tea, flowers, yummy staff lunch, cards, and wishes.  Thanks for spoiling me!

    Students are getting spelling words today, so we'll be back in our routine.  Thanks for helping kids study so they can ace their tests next Wednesday.

    I will look forward to seeing you next week for Open House on Thursday, 5/23,  from 5:30-7.

    All my best,


    Comments (-1)
  • May 1

    Posted by Elizabeth Marsh on 5/1/2019

    Happy Mayday!

    I am so proud of how hard students are working on the SBAC test!  In your conversations at home, when testing comes up, you can comment that I see most students persevering, managing their time and stress level well, and focusing.  There are a couple of students I talked to about trying their hardest, even when the task seems daunting.  It is natural to try to avoid hard work, so to see nine and ten-year-olds being gritty is inspiring.  Whether we like it or not, standardized testing is part of the educational journey.  Seeing these kids take ownership of their effort level, and apply test taking strategies is encouraging.

    A couple of notes about the tests: there are four parts of the test: two written and two multiple choice.  Students have an unlimited amount of time.  We test for a maximum of 90 minutes per day.   Some perks: no homework for two weeks, snacks during the test (thank you for those), "party bags" with treats and tools (thank you Foreman family for those!), gum allowed (in the room and during testing blocks only), and not too much heavy lifting during non-testing blocks.

    Please let me know if you would like specific info on your child's attitude/attack of the test.  While the score of the test is what we tend to focus on, I think it is important to recognize the hard work dedicated to a difficult task. 

    Thank you for your help and support!


    Comments (-1)
  • April 22

    Posted by Elizabeth Marsh on 4/22/2019

    Hello Parents,

    I hope you all had a lovely spring break!  We have lots of events this week:

    (1) We will celebrate the students earning their Bingo prize with a dessert buffet and (optional) water balloon activity TOMORROW.  If you have the easy to fill water balloons on hand, and can send some to in, it would be appreciated.  I will bring in some treats, and again, if you have some on hand, and can send them in, we would love it.  I think the forecast is for a warm-ish afternoon tomorrow, hence the late notice.  Students should bring extra clothes, if possible.

    (2) Students will not have spelling words this week.  There is a kelp forest creature assignment on the homework.  We will try to get that assigned, but if not, the assignment may be skipped.

    (3) We will have our 4th grade musical on Wednesday @ 6:30.  Students should wear all black (or as close as possible--no need to get anything new).  The classroom will be open @ 6:20.

    (4) Twin Day is Friday.  Remember our class is dressing as "Prom" or "Fancy."  Thank you!

    See you soon,


    Comments (-1)
  • April 12

    Posted by Elizabeth Marsh on 4/12/2019

    Dear Parents,

    Thank you to Lindsay Peelman and Paul Rasmussen for your invigorating, inspiring presentations!  The students, and I enjoyed hearing about how you've had to persevere!  Sorry your own children were not present, but I hope they appreciate how hard-working, determined, grateful, and accomplished their parents are.  Your time, energy, and message were appreciated.

    We completed our "Sweet Sixteen" book battle yesterday.  The students got really fired up about their books, and were fierce debate competitors.  I was impressed with their ability to argue, stay flexible in their thinking, and figure out crafty ways to win.  I gave the students time to journal and discuss some of the ideas that came up, and I hope this was a healthy challenge for them.

    Check out this article on reading: https://www.renaissance.com/2018/01/23/blog-magic-15-minutes-reading-practice-reading-growth/  

    Or I will summarize it: kids who read 15 minutes or more per day perform significantly better than their peers who read less.  58% of American kids read less than 15 minutes per day.  We have a bit more time this year to ingrain the habit of reading.  Thanks for continuing to support/champion/encourage/force reading.  It will pay off!

    Twin Day is Friday, April 26th.  Our class will be Prom Twins.  Please do not spend money on this theme.  Kids can dress "fancy," with items you already have around the house, and I will bring some items they may wear.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this theme.

    Have a wonderful vacation!


    Comments (-1)
  • April 5

    Posted by Elizabeth Marsh on 4/5/2019

    Hello Parents,

    I hope all goes well as we move into spring!  We had a really sweet talent show today, as well an assembly on Responsibility--congrats to Jake for earning the character award for that pillar.

    I hope to see you at our Volunteer Breakfast on Wednesday from 8-9.  We will have child care and a yummy breakfast buffet for you.  Thank you for all of your help this year!  While on the subject of volunteering, I need 2-3 chaperones to join us for a field trim to the Museum of Modern Art and Colton Hall on Thursday, May 9 from 9:30-12:30.  Thanks for considering!  Finally, thanks for Lindsay P and Paul R for coming to talk to the class on Thursday for Career/Grit Day!

    State testing is quickly approaching, and we are doing quite a bit to get the kids prepared.  We have data for each kid, from practice tests, and we're able to individually tutor them.  We are going over some items they got correct, so they can analyze the skills they have, and reviewing some of their errors, so they can get more insight into strategies and the rigor of the test.  During testing weeks (April 29-May 10) I like to offer snacks.  I'd love to have some help with that.  Please let me know if you can help coordinate.  A large part of testing is tenacity and endurance, and it helps to have breaks and nutrition.

    Our class is doing book reviews in a format inspired by the NCAA Basketball Championship.  We had 16 books that were nominated and ranked.  The first round of games were completed, and now we are on the quarter finals.  Ask your child about their favorites.   

    Twin Day will be April 26th.  For this spirit day, the class is supposed to dress alike.  The students have some fun ideas, including: secret agents, Ghostbusters, Pokemon, Mrs. Doubtfire, Ken and Barbie, just Barbie, minions, Mr. Marden, candy (and I would be a vending machine), Mr. and Mrs. Marsh, Thing 1-22... I think our current fave is prom (tuxedos and fancy dresses).  I am considerate of your resources, and want to make this low to moderate in maintenance level.  Could the prom theme work without expense or too much work?  Cowboy/girl is generally pretty do-able, how would you feel about that?  Please weigh in!  Your kids are usually pretty generous in offering up your time--please advocate for yourself : )

    This Tuesday was International Autism Awareness Day, and we talked about autism, which led to questions about dyslexia and ADHD.  A parent shared a great video with me, that I showed the class, in which a scientist explains why genes for ADHD and autism are part of our gene pool, and how that DNA has helped us as a species.  After more conversation, I was able to introduce the class to my 10-year-old second cousin, Kaden, who spoke to the Colorado Legislature about the need for more funding for dyslexia and ADHD in schools.  Kaden is also an American Ninja Warrior.  I have nothing to do with his success, but you are invited to check him out: he is the chatterboxninja on Instagram, and he'll be in the semi-finals of the ninja competition on Universal Kids Network tomorrow @ 5pm.  Some of your kids thought he was pretty interesting, so I'm passing along the info.

    As always, please let me know if you have questions or comments!

    Have a great weekend,


    Comments (-1)
  • March 20

    Posted by Elizabeth Marsh on 3/20/2019

    Dear Parents,


    It was such a pleasure to meet with each of you last week!  Your honesty, openness, and partnership are so appreciated.  I hope you felt as if there was much to celebrate, as each child in Room 15 has progressed so far.   Yet, I hope you still feel like there were goals to work toward.

    There are several event approaching that you might like to note:

    Week of April 1-5: Turn Off Tech Week

    April 11: Grit/Perseverance Day (please let me know if you are interested in sharing your story of perseverance with us--thanks!)

    April 24: 4th Grade Musical

    SBAC/State Testing: April 29-May 10 (we hope you might be willing to send in snacks : ))

    May 10: May Festival and Minimum Day

    May 23: Open House

    May 24: Gold Rush Day

    June 6: Beach Party

    June 7: Last Day of School; 6th Annual 4th Grade Lip Sync Battle

    As always, please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.


    Have a great week!


    Comments (-1)
  • March 5

    Posted by Elizabeth Marsh on 3/5/2019

    Dear Parents,


    I look forward to meeting with you all soon! 

    Two notes:

    (1) Homework: The goal of homework is to foster habits of responsibility, give families an idea of the concepts we are working on, and provide practice.  I did a quick survey of students yesterday, and some of them told me their homework is taking over 45 minutes per night.  Here is (I hope) a solution/review of homework policy. Students are expected to: (1) read for 20 or more minutes Monday through Thursday, (2) Practice spelling until they are prepared to get 100% on the spelling test, (3) Complete the homework packet as accurately as possible NEW POLICY: if a student is spending more than 15 minutes on a particular homework page, they may (a) stop, (b) write a short phrase such as: 3-5-19: I spent 15 minutes on this page, and (c) get an adult's initials.  I will continue to differentiate spelling for everyone, and provide alternate assignments as useful.  Please let me know if you have questions on this policy.  Thank you for your help and support!

    (2)Our puberty education for the fourth grade girls will take place on March 22.  Nurse Melissa, and Counselor Veronica will lead "the talk," and the other female teachers will be present.  This is your official signal that if you have not yet started to talk to your child, male or female, about body changes, it is a good idea to begin.  FYI, your kids are already pretty curious, and I have communicated that body changes are scientific, not a secret, and not ammunition for teasing.  FYI, we've had the body odor talk a couple of times already, as it was necessary ; )  Thanks for your partnership!


    Have a great week, and I'll see you soon,


    Comments (-1)
  • February 14

    Posted by Elizabeth Marsh on 2/14/2019

    Hello Parents,


    Just a quick note with two items:

    -We will pass out Valentines tomorrow


    -Please sign up for a conference: https://www.carmelunified.org/Page/3207


    Thank you!!


    Comments (-1)
  • January 3

    Posted by Elizabeth Marsh on 1/3/2019

    Happy Vacation!

    I hope you are all enjoying vacation with your families.  My goal is not to make you think about school too much just yet, so two quick things:

    -Thank you so much for all of the generous, thoughtful, sweet gifts!  I have been enjoying the flowers (still alive!), plants, gift cards, treats, luxuries, and cards immensely.  I am excited to visit the spa!  Such an indulgence--thank you!!  I also appreciate you thinking of Mrs Connolly, Romani, Crane, and Peterson!

    -A scheduling reminder: no school for students on Monday.  On Tuesday, we go to the aquarium. Please be sure your child: brings a lunch from home, dresses in layers, and brings in a permission slip (I individually emailed a copy of the slip if I have not received yours).  Thank you.

    All my best,


    Comments (-1)
Last Modified on May 30, 2019