Week of November 12 – 16 and November 19 – 20 / Happy Thanksgiving!

Week of November 12 – 16 and November 19 – 20 / Happy Thanksgiving!

This blog update is going to cover both this week and the week of Thanksgiving.  I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!  Enjoy the time with family and friends!  🙂

*Important Announcements*

*Veteran’s Day Assembly:  Friday was supposed to be our annual Veteran’s Day assembly.  Due to the rain forecast, it was moved to this Monday Nov. 12.  It will be held outside this year on the lower grade playground.  Please check the weather forecast and make sure that your child has a jacket (and hat and gloves, if it is very cold!) to wear during the assembly.  Your child may also want to bring a towel or a blanket to sit on during the assembly.  We look forward to watching the 1st graders honor our Veterans.

*Treats for the Troops:  THANK YOU very much for all of your support with Treats for the Troops!  We collected hundreds of items to send to the members of the military serving both at home and overseas.  The students also worked hard in class writing cards to the troops!  It is always exciting to see if anyone writes us back!

*Square One Art:  On Thursday, Nov. 8, Mrs. Dornik sent home your child’s Square One Art order form.  Please go online to order any keepsakes you want by the deadline next Friday, November 16th.  All the ordering information is printed on the brochure. Feel free to contact Mrs. Dornik with questions! Thanks to the many families who have already ordered, I know you are going to love these one of a kind treasures! All money raised will benefit your child directly in the SPES Art program! Here’s is the website address: https://shop.square1art.com

*Thanksgiving Break Reminders:  If you know that your child will be absent either Monday or Tuesday before break, please let me know so that I can have your child complete any graded assignments before break. This will be so much better than having to study over the holiday break. Thank you for your help with this. Additionally if you know that you will be picking your child up early on either of these days, please send in a note because it helps the office staff stay on top of things. We greatly appreciate your help with this, too.

*What Are We Learning In Class?*

*Reading:

This week we will continue working on the important skill of making inferences when we read.  Students will continue practicing using this strategy that we learned last week.  To make inferences, readers need to use evidence from the text (“What I read”) + something that they know in their brain (“What I know”) to make an inference (“I infer/I conclude”).  Later in the week we work on using context clues to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words.

During small group rotations, students will meet with me in small groups and we will continue using comprehension strategies using leveled texts.  We will also learn about our word study features and discuss how to spell words with this feature throughout the week in our small groups.  Students will also read to self and work on their writing in their rotations.

Students will take an assessment on inferences on Wednesday 11/14.  There will be a short context clues assessment on Monday, 11/19.

We will also begin patterned word study this week. Students have a detailed description of word study homework expectations in the front of their word study notebook. Students will need to learn the word study feature and the meaning of the words.  Students will have 2 assessments during the week. On Thursday, they will be given 10 of their word study words that they will use to write sentences. They will need to use the words correctly and show the meaning of the word in their sentences.  Students will have their Word Study Test on Friday 11/16.  They will be assessed on how to spell their words and ALSO apply the word study feature to new words that are not on the list – but have the feature that we have been studying.

*Math:

This week we will begin our unit on multiplication. We will take a pretest on Monday so that I can determine students knowledge on the topic. We will also spend some time on Monday working on basic facts strategies. Please be working with your child on learning his or her basic multiplication facts.  A good way to focus on these basic fact strategies is to start with the 2 times tables, and then use those facts to figure out the 4 times and 8 times tables (by doubling and doubling a double).  Then work on the more challenging 6s, 7s, and 8s.  I think that it is helpful to stay with a certain times table so that your child can begin to see patterns within the table and learn to use friendly facts.  For example, if your child knows 9 x 5 = 45, then they can use that “friendly fact” to help them know 9 x 6 = 54 (add 9 more to 45).

During the rest of this week and into next week, we will learn the following topics of multiplication:

  • estimating products by rounding to the greatest place
  • 2 digit x 1 digit
  • 3 digit x 1 digit (including $)
  • word problems with multiplication – single and multi-step problems
  • 2 digit x 2 digit

Students will take a short multiplication quiz on Monday, 11/19.

*Social Studies:

We will be finishing our Jamestown unit this week.  We will learn about the interactions between the Jamestown colonists and the Powhatan Indians and how they changed over time. We will also review all of the Jamestown unit in preparation for the Jamestown Test on Friday 11/16.

*Science:

This week we will continue our unit on Virginia’s natural resources (SOL 4.9).  Students have their unit vocabulary and notes in their science notebook. Please be sure that your child is reviewing a little bit each night. We will review all of the natural resources unit this week, in preparation for the Natural Resources Quiz on Monday, 11/19.

 

Have a great week ahead!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of November 5 – 9

Week of November 5 – 9

We had a fabulous time on our Jamestown field trip!  The students enjoyed seeing all of the locations and learned some new information they would not have learned with me.  I’m sure they will remember this trip for a long time!  Thank you so much to our chaperones, Mrs. Perkins, Mr. Bell, and Mr. Martindale. It was so great to have their help throughout the day.  I also wanted to thank you all for your patience with our late arrival. A little bit of bus trouble really set us back and then we hit all sorts of traffic once we got on the road. I know that it was a long day for the kids, so I hope that they all slept well for you Friday night!

**Important Announcements This Week**

*Parent Teacher Conferences:  This week we will have our parent teacher conferences.  I look forward to meeting with many of you on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.  Please remember that there is no school for students on Tuesday 11/6 due to Election Day.

*Family Life:  On Thursday, Nov. 8 fourth grade students will participate in Family Life.  A letter went home a couple of weeks ago explaining the Family Life information that will be shared in the lesson.  An opt-out form was also sent home if you would prefer that your child not participate.  Please send this form back before Thursday if you would like to opt your child out of the program.

*Veterans Day Assembly:  Friday, Nov. 9 is our annual Veteran’s Day assembly.  It will be held outside this year on the lower grade playground.  Please check the weather forecast and if it is going to be chilly on Friday – please make sure that your child has a jacket that he or she can wear during the assembly.

*Treats for the Troops:  Short Pump Elementary has a tradition of collecting items to send to our troops overseas. We do this in collaboration with the Blue Star Families of Richmond, http://www.bluestarrichmond.org, a chapter of a national organization of families with loved ones who proudly serve our country. Each grade level is assigned specific items to collect. Our goal is to collect 200 of each item in order to complete 200 care packages for active duty military personnel in combat zones and various USO sites.

Here’s the breakdown by grade:

  • Kin:  Q-tips, travel size shampoo/conditioner, sample size Gold Bond foot powder
  • 1st:  dental floss, “wisps” (dental cleaners), toothpaste, toothbrushes
  • 2nd:  socks, travel size lotion, deodorant/antiperspirant (stick only)
  • 3rd:  instant oatmeal, individual snack packs (nuts, dried fruit, fruit snacks, trail mix), beef jerky
  • 4th:  power bars/granola bars, powdered drink mixes (Gatorade, coffee, Kool-Aid, Crystal Light)
  • 5th:  tuna/chicken in foil packages, crossword puzzle books, playing cards

Students can bring the items into their classroom any time between October 29 – November 9, 2018.

*Lunch Policy:  Please note that the county has a new HCPS Safety Lunch Policy: This year, HCPS has changed this policy to help make your child safer. Only adults who are on the child’s authorization for pick up list are allowed to eat with your children unless you have provided a written note to the school authorizing your permission. For example, Grandma, who’s from out of town, comes to visit your child and wants to eat lunch with him. The only way she can eat lunch with your child is if you have placed Grandma on the authorization for pick up or have written a note. Anyone who is listed on the Authorization to Pick Up list can always come in and eat. If someone is not on the list, please just send in a note letting us know who is coming in and that they have your permission to eat with your child. Thank you for your help with this new safety policy.

**What Are We Learning In Class?**

*Reading:

This week our reading comprehension strategy will be making inferences.  Students will learn that they will need to use evidence from the text (“What I read”) + something that they know in the brain (“What I know”) to make an inference (“I infer/I conclude”).  We will practice by using some picture books, and then at the end of the week we will begin to look even deeper as we analyze the dialogue between characters and the inner dialogue of a character in a short excerpt from a novel called Bayou Magic.

During small group rotations, students will meet with me in small group and we will continue our strategy work using leveled texts.  Students will also read to self and work on their writing.

We will take a week off from specific word lists for word study this week due to the short week with the Election Day.

*Math:

We will continue work with decimal computation and solving multi-step word problems involving decimals this week. Students will complete a decimal computation quiz on Thursday.  Then on Friday we will spend some time working on math equalities. We will work on understanding the meaning of an equality and determining strategies to solve various equalities.

*Social Studies:

This week we will continue our Jamestown unit (VS.3).  We will learn about the arrival of Africans (1619) and women (1620) to the Jamestown colony (VS.3e).  We will learn about the impact of the Africans and women and how they changed the future of the Virginia colony.  Other topics we will discuss this week are the hardships faced by the colony and the changes that the colonists made to ensure the survival of the colony (VS.3f).

*Science:

This week we will begin our next science unit which will be natural resources of Virginia.  We will be learning about the various resources in Virginia and the James River Watershed.  Students will have the unit notes glued into their science notebook. Please begin reviewing this information and the vocabulary associated with the unit.

 

Have a wonderful week!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of October 29 – November 2

Week of October 29 – November 2

We have a busy week ahead!  I wasn’t in school on Monday because my younger brother got married on Sunday!  I was so happy to be able to celebrate such a special occasion with my family and welcome my new sister-in-law to the family!  The substitute told me that the class did a great job and I am so proud!  🙂

*Important Announcements This Week*

*Jamestown Field Trip:  This Friday, November 2nd is our field trip to Jamestown!  We will leave SPES before the normal school day so you will need to bring your child to school that morning. We will leave SPES at exactly 7:30 AM and will return to school around 4:15 PM.  We would like for students to be there by 7:15 so that we can all board the bus and be accounted for and ready for our 7:30 departure.

Weather Reminders! — Please be sure to check the weather forecast for the Jamestown area and dress your child appropriately. It can get very cool and windy along the James River, so we would definitely recommend dressing in layers and wearing comfortable shoes for walking.  Our trip is rain or shine so your child may want to wear a rain coat and bring an umbrella if the forecast is calling for rain.

Food – Children will be asked to bring 2 nut-free snacks.  One snack for the morning ride to Jamestown and one snack for the afternoon ride back from Jamestown.  In addition, your child will need to pack a lunch and a few drinks. Please pack a couple of waters that have screw tops so that your child can drink “safely” on the bus without spilling.  If you need to purchase a school bag lunch for your child that day, you must let me know by Wednesday of this week so I can let the cafeteria manager know.

We will NOT be visiting the gift shop, so please do not send any money with your child.  Your child may bring a camera (not a phone), but it is their responsibility to keep track of it and carry it around all day. No other electronic devices are permitted on the trip.

*Treats for the Troops:  Short Pump Elementary has a tradition of collecting items to send to our troops overseas.  We do this in collaboration with the Blue Star Families of Richmond, www.bluestarrichmond.org, a chapter of a national organization of families with loved ones who proudly serve our country.  Each grade level is assigned specific items to collect. Our goal is to collect 200 of each item in order to complete 200 care packages for active duty military personnel in combat zones and various USO sites.

Here’s the breakdown by grade:

  • K:   Q-tips, travel size shampoo/conditioner, sample size Gold Bond foot powder
  • 1st:  dental floss, “wisps” (dental cleaners), toothpaste, toothbrushes
  • 2nd:  socks, travel size lotion, deodorant/antiperspirant (stick only)
  • 3rd:  instant oatmeal, individual snack packs (nuts, dried fruit, fruit snacks, trail mix), beef jerky
  • 4th:  power bars/granola bars, powdered drink mixes (Gatorade, coffee, Kool-Aid, Crystal Light)
  • 5th:  tuna/chicken in foil packages, crossword puzzle books, playing cards

Students can bring the items into their classroom any time between October 29 – November 9, 2018.  Thank you for your support!

 

*What Are We Learning This Week?*

*Reading:

During our whole group lessons this week we will continue to work on specific reading skills and strategies. We will continue our work with author’s purpose this week in both fiction and nonfiction. We will be analyzing two texts and looking deep into the text to analyze the choices that the author used.  We will also continue focusing on learning new vocabulary from our character traits list.  Understanding these new vocabulary words are a great way to improve our reading and writing skills!  During small group rotations, students will meet with me in small group and we will continue our strategy work using leveled texts.  They will also rotate through the “read to self” and “work on writing” rotations.

We will take a week off from specific word lists for word study this week due to the short week with the field trip.

*Math:

We will review on Monday for the Addition/Subtraction/Estimation Test, which is going to be on Tuesday, 10/30.

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week we will practice working on computation with decimals.

*Social Studies:

This week we will begin our unit on Jamestown (VS.3 notes).  The topics we will learn about this week are the reasons why England wanted to set up colonies in the New World (VS.3a), the economic and geographic influences on the decision to settle at Jamestown (VS.3b), the 3 charters that were given to the Virginia Company of London (VS.3c), and the beginning of government in the Jamestown colony (VS.3d).  We will not be finished with learning about the unit when we go to Jamestown, but the trip will be such a great way to reinforce what we have learned in class as well as experience everything else we will study next week!  As with all past units, it is very important that students begin reviewing the content that we cover in class a little bit each night.  Thank you for encouraging your child to review at home.

*Science: 

Our class will take the Weather Test on Wednesday, 10/31.  (As our class discussed, we would rather have our test on Halloween than on the day after Halloween!)

 

Have a great week!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of October 22 – 26

Week of October 22 – 26

Friday’s Trunk or Treat event was so much fun!  I enjoyed seeing some of you there, and I’m sorry if you were there and I didn’t get a chance to see you! (If you saw me, then you saw how busy I was being a mom and chasing my little ones around making sure I didn’t lose them!)  🙂

*Important Announcements This Week*

*Jamestown Field Trip:  Our field trip to Jamestown is next week!  The field trip to Jamestown will be on Friday, November 2, 2018.  We will leave SPES at exactly 7:30 AM and will return to school around 4:15 PM.  Please note that this means your child will NOT be able to take the bus to school that day.  You will need to drop your child off, and we are suggesting your child arrive no later than 7:20, so we can account for all children.  Thanks for your help with this!  Please be sure to check the weather forecast for the Jamestown area and dress your child appropriately. It can get very cool and windy along the James River, so I would definitely recommend dressing in layers and wearing comfortable shoes for walking. Children will be asked to bring 2 nut-free snacks – one for the morning ride to Jamestown and one for the afternoon ride back from home.  In addition, your child will need to pack a lunch and a few drinks. Please pack a couple of waters that have screw tops so that your child can drink “safely” on the bus without spilling. We will NOT be visiting the gift shop, so please do not send any money with your child.  Your child may bring a camera (it may not be a phone), but it is their responsibility to keep track of it and carry it around all day.

*Treats for the Troops:   Short Pump Elementary has a tradition of collecting items to send to our troops overseas.  We do this in collaboration with the Blue Star Families of Richmond (http://www.bluestarrichmond.org), a chapter of a national organization of families with loved ones who proudly serve our country.  Each grade level is assigned specific items to collect. Our goal is to collect 200 of each item in order to complete 200 care packages for active duty military personnel in combat zones and various USO sites.  Students can bring the items into their classroom any time between October 29 – November 9, 2018.

Here’s the breakdown by grade:

  • K:  Q-tips, travel size shampoo/conditioner, sample size Gold Bond foot powder
  • 1st:  dental floss, “wisps” (dental cleaners), toothpaste, toothbrushes
  • 2nd:  socks, travel size lotion, deodorant/antiperspirant (stick only)
  • 3rd:  instant oatmeal, individual snack packs (nuts, dried fruit, fruit snacks, trail mix), beef jerky
  • 4th:  power bars/granola bars, powdered drink mixes (Gatorade, coffee, Kool-Aid, Crystal Light)
  • 5th:  tuna/chicken in foil packages, crossword puzzle books, playing cards

*Stinger Fund:   Safety continues to be Short Pump Elementary’s number 1 priority, and this year, we hope that you can support us in this effort as well. Please consider donating to the Stinger Fund, which is comprised of direct donations to support instruction and this year safety as well. We need to raise over at least $15,000 collectively to reach our goal. The way we figure it is if each family in my class donates at least $25, it will cover instructional materials of my classroom that the PTA financially provides each year and allows me to have a walkie-talkie, an enhanced security measure. Thank you for your consideration!

 

*What Are We Learning In Class?*

*Reading:

This week we will work more with fictional text and continue to practice comprehension strategies.  The reading comprehension topic that we will continue working on this week is author’s purpose. We will dive deeper into fiction text by looking at the specific word choice that authors use.  We will review synonyms and antonyms and the “strength” of the different words that an author uses. Students will work in small groups this week to create “word webs” for synonyms and antonyms of common words.  During small group rotations, students will meet with me in small group and we will continue to practice using comprehension strategies using leveled texts.  While students are not meeting with me, they will read to self and work on their writing.  I look forward to see how they do with these stations that we have been working so hard on over the last few weeks.

We will not have new word study words this week.  Instead we will work on writing sentences using strong adjectives and verbs.

Students will also complete a reading comprehension assessment on Friday.

*Math:

We will continue with our unit on computation of addition and subtraction this week.  This week we are going to continue with subtraction. As I have explained to the class, it is very important that as your child regroups (or what many people call “borrowing”), that he or she is understanding what they are doing and what it means mathematically.  It is very important for students to be able to explain what it means when we cross a number out and make it one less, and then make another number 10 more.  Please encourage your child to talk through a few problems with you.  As I have explained in class, the other “must” for subtraction is that your child is checking his or her subtraction problems by doing an addition problem.  Please check your child’s homework and make sure there is an addition problem to make sure that he or she has the right answer.

On Monday we will pick back up with subtraction without crossing over zeros and then we will move on to what to do if there is a zero in our top number. Students will have math homework to practice these skills each night so please check in to see that your child is completing his or her homework neatly and correctly.

The class will take a short Computation Quiz on Thursday 10/25.  Then we will spend the rest of the day on Thursday and Friday working on word problems – both single and multi-step problems.  Multi-step problems can be very challenging, so we will spend a lot of time in class discussing the ways to think about these problems and how to solve them.

We will take the Addition/Subtraction/Estimation Test on Tuesday, 10/30.

*Social Studies:

The students did a great job on their test on Virginia Indians last week!  This week we will move on to our new unit on Jamestown (VS.3).  To begin our Jamestown unit, students will work on an inquiry lesson on Wednesday where they will be analyzing primary sources and asking questions about the documents.  Based on the questions that they create, I will group them into teams to research their inquiry topics. They will complete these independent projects over the next couple of weeks during our enrichment time.  Later in the week we will begin learning about the Jamestown content using notes.  We will start with the VS.3a section, which explains why England wanted to create colonies in the New World.  Please encourage your child to begin reviewing the content that we cover in class a little bit each night.  As with all social studies units this year, there is some challenging vocabulary that students need to review at home.  Thank you for your help with this.

*Science:

We will continue with our weather unit this week.  On Monday we will learn about different types of air masses and what happens when these air masses collide and cause fronts.  We will learn about cold fronts and warm fronts, and the type of weather each type produces.  At the end of the week we will review all weather information.  The Weather Test will be on Wednesday, 10/31.

Have a great week!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of October 15 – 19

Week of October 15 – 19

I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend and are enjoying this cool, crisp fall weather!

*Important Announcements This Week*

*SPES “Trunk or Treat”:   The PTA’s “Trunk or Treat” event has been rescheduled for this Friday, October 19th.  Hope to see you there!  Thank you so much to all of the families that have sent in candy to be used at the event.

*Jamestown Field Trip:  Just a reminder to please sign and return the Jamestown permission slips with payment for your child as soon as possible.  The field trip to Jamestown will be on Friday, November 2, 2018.  We will leave SPES at exactly 7:30 AM and will return to school around 4:15 PM.  Please note that this means your child will NOT be able to take the bus to school that day.  You will need to drop your child off, and we are suggesting your child arrive no later than 7:20, so we can account for all children.  Thanks for your help with this!  The cost of the trip is $33.00.  This fee includes the price of the charter buses, a tour of the Jamestown Settlement and a tour of the Historic Jamestown Site and Archaearium.

*Stinger Fund:  Safety continues to be Short Pump ES’s number 1 priority, and this year, we hope that you can support us in this effort as well.  Please consider donating to the Stinger Fund, which is comprised of direct donations to support instruction and this year safety as well.  We need to raise over at least $15,000 collectively to reach our goal. The way we figure it is if each family in my class donates at least $25, it will cover instructional materials of my classroom that the PTA financially provides each year and allows me to have a walkie talkie, an enhanced security measure. Thank you for your consideration!

*Volunteers:  Please be sure to complete the Henrico County Volunteer application that was included in the PTA folder that you received at Open House.  This form is required if you would like to be a chaperone on any field trips this year.  If you have misplaced that form or need an additional copy, you can find on online version at the website below:

http://henricoschools.us/pdf/Community/VolunteerApplication.pdf

 

*What Are We Learning This Week?*

*Reading/Word Study:

This week we will continue working on nonfiction comprehension strategies.  Last week we started learning about the various text structures we can identify in nonfiction, and we will continue this skill this week.  The class will learn about different structures that you often find in nonfiction.  We will analyze different passages and work together to identify which structure was used in the text. Students will also delve deeper into the text as we look at specific text features found in nonfiction, such as captions, labels, charts, diagrams, subheadings, bold words, and italics.

During small group rotations, students will meet with me in small group to continue practicing comprehension strategies using leveled texts, read to self, and work on their writing.

Due to Friday’s school closing, students will take last week’s Word Study Test on Monday 10/15.  Then on Monday the students will receive another list of commonly misspelled words to study this week.  Students will have homework associated with these words throughout the week. On Thursday your child will complete a word study sentences assessment where they will have to use the word correctly in a sentence and spell it correctly.  Then at the end of this week, students will take this Word Study test on Friday 10/19.  Please check in with your child to make sure that they are working on these words throughout the week. Thank you for your support with this.

 

*Math: 

Students did very well on their Decimals Test last week!  🙂   This week, we will begin our next unit which will be on computation of sums and differences. We will begin the unit by learning how to estimate sums and differences by rounding.  Then we will spend the rest of the week on adding and subtracting large numbers.  Thank you for encouraging your child to practice their basic addition and subtraction facts.

 

*Social Studies:

This week we will review all of the information from our Indians unit.  The class will take the VS.2d-g Indians Test on Wednesday 10/17.  I have enjoyed our class discussions during this unit.  The students have really enjoyed learning about Virginia’s history!

 

*Science:

We will continue with our Weather Unit this week.  Topics we will learn about this week are common cloud types and the weather associated with them, precipitation, and air pressure.  The Weather Tools and Clouds Quiz is on Friday 10/19.

 

Have a wonderful week!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of October 8 – 12

Week of October 8 – 12

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  Just as a reminder, there is no school for students on Monday, October 8th (it is a staff development day for teachers).

*Important Announcements This Week*

*Jamestown Field Trip:  Permission slips went home last week for our Jamestown field trip.  Please sign and return the permission slips with payment for your child as soon as possible.  The field trip to Jamestown will be on Friday, November 2, 2018.  We will leave SPES at exactly 7:30 AM and will return to school around 4:15 PM.  Please note that this means your child will NOT be able to take the bus to school that day.  You will need to drop your child off, and we are suggesting your child arrive no later than 7:20, so we can account for all children.  Thanks for your help with this!  The cost of the trip is $33.00.  This fee includes the price of the charter buses, a tour of the Jamestown Settlement and a tour of the Historic Jamestown Site and Archaearium.

*Picture Day:  Picture day is this Wednesday, October 10th!  Information was sent home last week about how to purchase picture packages. Please send in your order form and money on Wednesday.

*SPES “Trunk or Treat”:   This year the SPES PTA has decided to host a “Trunk or Treat” event this fall instead of putting on a Fall Festival. The Trunk or Treat will take place on Friday, October 12th from 6-8 pm.  Our room parents have contacted everyone to let you know that we need some help with the Trunk or Treat.  All families are asked to send in 1-2 bags of candy for the event.  Please consider helping out our class with this event. You can send in bags of candy with your child and I will collect them for our class. If you have any questions, please let me or our room parents know.

*Virtual Lesson with Virginia Museum of History & Culture:  This week the 4th graders students will take part in our first Virtual Lesson with the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.  On Tuesday we will sit in our classroom as we meet virtually with an educator at the museum, located in Richmond.  The instructor will use primary sources to help teach our class about the Virginia history.  Please ask your child what was specifically shared and what a primary source is.  We will take part in one lesson per month until May.  Thank you to our wonderful PTA for supporting this program!

*Stinger Fund:  Safety continues to be Short Pump ES’s number 1 priority, and this year, we hope that you can support us in this effort as well.  Please consider donating to the Stinger Fund, which is comprised of direct donations to support instruction and this year safety as well.  We need to raise over at least $15,000 collectively to reach our goal. The way we figure it is if each family in my class donates at least $25, it will cover instructional materials of my classroom that the PTA financially provides each year and allows me to have a walkie talkie, an enhanced security measure. Thank you for your consideration!

*Volunteers:  Please be sure to complete the Henrico County Volunteer application that was included in the PTA folder that you received at Open House.  This form is required if you would like to be a chaperone on any field trips this year.  If you have misplaced that form or need an additional copy, you can find on online version at the website below:

http://henricoschools.us/pdf/Community/VolunteerApplication.pdf

 

*What Are We Learning This Week?*

*Reading:

This week’s reading skill we will learn about is using text features and text structures in nonfiction. Students did a great job last week working on the strategies we learned called “stop and jot” and “boxes and bullets.”  This week, students will learn about 6 different structures that you often find in nonfiction. We will analyze different sample texts and work together to identify which structure was used in the text.  Students will also delve deeper into the text as we look at specific features found in nonfiction such as captions, diagrams, subheadings, and bold words.  Students will have notes in their notebook.  During small group rotations, students will meet with me in small group and we will continue our strategy work using leveled texts with me, participating in “read to self” at their seats, and working on their writing.

In word study, we will continue working with commonly misspelled words during word study. The first lists that your child will receive are not patterned lists like the ones that we will do throughout the year. Instead we like to start with lists of commonly misspelled words that fourth graders should know how to spell.  Students will have homework associated with these words throughout the week. On Thursday your child will complete a word study sentences assessment where they will have to use the word correctly in a sentence and spell it correctly.  Due to the shortened week, I will give students their Word Study Test on Monday, October 15, instead of this Friday, to allow them extra days to study.  Please check in with your child to make sure that they are working on these words throughout the week. Thank you for your support with this.

 

*Math:

On Tuesday we will review all decimal concepts in preparation for the Decimals Test on Wednesday 10/10.  Later in the week, we will begin our next unit which will be on computation of sums and differences.  We will begin the unit by reviewing estimation of sums and differences and then next week we will work on sums.  Students will also take a pretest to determine if they are already proficient in these skills.

 

*Social Studies:

We will continue with our unit on Virginia’s Indians this week (VS.2defg notes).  Students will take the VS.2d Quiz on the tribes and language groups on Tuesday 10/9.  Later in the week we will move on to the last part of our unit, which is about the current day tribes of Virginia and how they live (VS.2g).  We have tentatively scheduled the VS.2d-g Indians Test for Wednesday, 10/17.  Please encourage your child to review a little bit each night in preparation for the test.

 

*Science:

This week we will begin our next unit which will be on weather. We will begin the unit by looking at the tools that meteorologists use as they create weather forecasts.  Students will learn about several weather tools and what they measure.  We will also learn about some of the common cloud types.  Students will need to know what the cloud looks like and the weather that is associated with each cloud type.  All of this information will be glued into your child’s science notebook.

 

Have a great week ahead!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of October 1 – 5

Week of October 1 – 5

Happy October everyone!

*Important Announcements*

*Assembly: We will be having a school-wide assembly this Wednesday, 10/3.  We will be watching a performance of “The Frog Prince.”

*Jamestown Field Trip:  On Monday the students will bring home a permission slip for our field trip to Jamestown.  Our trip will be on Friday, November 2nd.  We will be leaving school promptly at 7:30 am and will return by around 4:15 pm.  The cost of the trip is $33.  This cost includes the following: the fee for the charter buses, admission to the Jamestown Settlement (morning tour), and admission to the Historic Jamestown Island with a tour of the Archeararium (afternoon tour).  If you would like to be considered to be a chaperone for this trip, please indicate this in the bottom section of the permission slip.  In order to be fair, due to the number of parents who want to be chaperones, I will randomly draw names.  Thanks for your understanding!

*Picture Day Next Week:  Next Wednesday, October 10th, is Picture Day!  Your child will bring home a flyer/order form this week with information about different picture packages that you can purchase.

*Trunk or Treat:  Short Pump will be having a “Trunk or Treat” event this year!  It will be help on Friday, October 12th.  Fliers went home with your child last week with more information.  We hope you can come!

 

*What Are We Learning This Week?*

*Language Arts:

Our whole group reading skill this week will be a continuation of reading nonfiction text and identifying the main idea and important details.  We will continue practicing our “Stop, Think, & Jot” strategy to help us understand the text.  The class did a great job of this last week!  Throughout the week, I will also continue to assess students’ individual reading levels, while the rest of the class rotates through reading and writing rotations.

This week students will also receive a list of words to study and learn how to spell.  This first list will be on “Commonly Misspelled” words for 4th graders.  We will glue this list into our Word Study notebook, and students will have written homework assignments to help them spell the words and use the words in sentences.  The students will take their Word Study Test on Friday October 5.

 

*Math: 

We will begin a new unit this week – Decimals.  This week we will learn about decimal place value, how to read and say decimals, understanding how decimals can be represented using picture models, and how to compare and order decimals.  Students will take a pretest on Monday to help me determine prior knowledge of this information.

 

*Social Studies:

This week we will continue our unit on Virginia’s Indians (VS.2defg).  This week we will learn about how the American Indians were able to adapt to their environment and meet their basic needs throughout the year (VS.2e), and about the archaeology and Werewocomoco, the ancient Powhatan Indian headquarters (VS.2f).  Please encourage your child to review these notes a little bit each day.

 

*Science: 

We will be finishing up our Scientific Investigations 4.1 unit this week.  We will spend time reviewing how to analyze experiments and determine the variables and constants in these experiments.  We will review the labs we have done in class also.  Students will take a quiz on the Paper Towel Lab on Tuesday October 2.  **They will be able to take their lab paper home to study it.  The class will take the 4.1 Scientific Investigations Test on Thursday October 4.

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of September 24 – 28

Week of September 24 – 28

I can’t believe that it’s already the end of September!  I am very proud of this class for putting forth so much effort in school, and being kind, responsible students!  Also, it was nice seeing so many parents at Back to School Night on Thursday evening.  Thank you for all of your continued support!

*Important Announcements For This Week*

*MAP Testing:  We will conclude our MAP testing this week.  The MAP tests stand for “Measures of Academic Progress,” and are personalized assessments adapted to each student’s learning level.  We will take the Math MAP test on Wednesday 9/26.  Your child does not need to study for these tests.  We will begin testing promptly at 8:30 each day.  Thank you for your help with this!

*Important Forms Needed:  Some families have important forms that still need to be completed and sent back signed.  I put out copies of these forms on Thursday night, or if you were unable to come on Thursday night they were sent home with your child on Friday. Please return the green Student Information Record and/or the HCPS Code of Conduct on Monday.

*Stinger Fund:  Safety continues to be Short Pump Elementary’s number 1 priority.  This year we hope that you can support us in this effort.  Please consider donating to the Stinger Fund, which is made up of direct donations to support instruction as well as safety.  We need to raise at least $15,000 collectively to reach our goal. The way we figure it is if each family in class donates at least $25, it will cover instructional materials of my classroom that the PTA financially provides each year and allows each class to have its own walkie talkie, an enhanced security measure. Thank you for your support with this!

*Gifted Information Meeting for Parents:  Our school will hold a Gifted Identification Information Session for families on Wednesday, 9/26 at 9:00 am in the cafeteria.

 

*What Are We Learning In Class?*

*Language Arts:

During our whole group lessons this week we will continue to work on specific reading skills and strategies. This week we will begin working on identifying the main idea in nonfiction. We will learn a strategy called “VIP” where students will learn to look for a “Very Important Part” and not focus on the small details that may not be as important. I will model this for students while we read a text altogether, and then they will have the chance to practice using a graphic organizer. Later in the week we will use the “boxes and bullets” strategy to organize our main idea and details. This is a great strategy for students to use as they read nonfiction and one that I hope to see them use throughout the year.  I have found that it really helps students understand nonfiction text when they can organize their thoughts into a graphic organizer.

On Friday, students will complete a nonfiction comprehension assessment on the computer.

During the week, we will also continue practicing our small group rotations.  We will practice “Read to Self” and “Work on Writing” in class, remembering the expectations that we discussed last week.  While students are in these rotations, I will be pulling students one at a time to assess their beginning-of-the-year reading level.  So far I see that my students LOVE to read!

 

*Math:

We will continue with our unit on Place Value this week.  We will review rounding to the greatest place on Monday, and then learn how to round to a given/specific place in a number.  Students will take a Rounding Quiz on Wednesday 9/26.  Then I will assign the class a “Working Study Guide” that we will check in class on Thursday.  The class will take the Place Value Test on Friday 9/28.  As a reminder, the unit tests we do in 4th grade will all be done on the computer with a program called “PowerTest” (they used this program in 3rd grade also).  However, students will ALWAYS have scratch paper on their desk to use during the test.  We will have a class discussion about the importance of using paper to write things down, and not just doing everything in our head.  This is going to be an important skill to practice this year!

We will also continue with our “Mad Minute” activity in class to begin our Math block.  Thank you for helping your child practice those basic math facts!

 

*Social Studies:

We will be finishing up our VA Geography Unit this week!  Students should be reviewing nightly in preparation for the VS.2abc & VS.10b Test on Tuesday, 9/25.

At the end of the week, we will begin our next unit which will be about the Virginia Indians (VS.2defg).  We will learn the names of the three major language groups, the three tribes that spoke these languages, and where each tribe was located in Virginia.  I will be teaching the class another “brain trick” to help them remember this information, so be sure and ask your child what this is on Friday.

 

*Science:

This week we will continue with our unit on Scientific Investigations (4.1).  On Friday we learned about the tools that scientists use when completing experiments.  Your child will need to know the name of the tool, what it measures, and the units that the tool is measured in.  There will be notes about this in your child’s science notebook.  We will also complete a tools sort in class to see if the students can determine which tool would be used in different real-life scenarios.  This sort will be glued into your child’s science notebook.

 Also, we will conduct another experiment in class.  We will be testing paper towels to see which one absorbs the most water.  Ask your child to explain to you what his or her hypothesis was, and if they can tell you the independent variable, dependent variable, and the constants in the lab.  The class will be completing a lab sheet on this lab, and at the end of the week, your child will take a short quiz on the lab.  Students will need to study the lab sheet to help them for this quiz.

Finally, students should have been working on learning the scientific method vocabulary for the last 2 1/2 weeks.  This week, students will take the Scientific Method Vocabulary Quiz on Wednesday 9/26.  Please check in with your child to see how he or she is doing with learning the meaning of these very important vocabulary words.

As always, thank you for all of your support!  Have a great week!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of September 17 – 21

Week of September 17 – 21

Hi everyone!  I hope all of my students had a nice long weekend.  It’s such a relief that the Richmond area was not hit hard with the storm as they previously thought.  My thoughts go out to everyone being affected by the hurricane.  I also wanted to say what a wonderful class I have this year!  I am enjoying getting to know them and I am very impressed with their positive behaviors and great effort in class!  I know we are going to have a great year!

**Important Announcements for This Week**

*Half-Day of School on Sept. 19th:  Please note that this Wednesday, Sept. 19th will be a half day of school, with dismissal beginning around 11:35 am.  Your child already brought home 2 purple forms regarding dismissal that day.  If your child will be going home a different way than they normally do, please complete the small purple form.  You do not have to send back the note if your child is going home their normal Wednesday way.  The other form that was sent home is about a “Grab and Go” lunch for the 1/2 day.  If you would like to purchase a lunch for your child to take home on Wednesday, please return that form asap.

*MAP Testing:  This week we will begin our NWEA MAP tests.  The MAP tests stand for “Measures of Academic Progress,” and are personalized assessments adapted to each student’s learning level.  Students will take the NWEA MAP tests in the fall and again in the spring.  We will use this data to monitor your child’s progress in reading and math.  The Reading MAP test is on Thursday, 9/20, and the Math MAP test is on Wednesday, 9/26.  Your child does not need to study for these tests.  We will begin testing promptly at 8:30 each day, so please have your child arrive to school on time.  Thank you!

*Back to School Night:  Back to School Night is this Thursday evening, Sept. 20th at 6:30 pm.  Your children will have some things for your to see!  I hope to see you on Thursday night!

*Gifted Information Meeting for Parents:  Our school will hold a Gifted Identification Information Session for families on Wednesday, 9/26 at 9:00 am in the cafeteria.

*Friendly Reminders:  If your child hasn’t already done so, please have your child bring in an art smock and an old sock for us to use with dry erase markers.  Please write your child’s name on both the smock and the sock.  Thanks!

 

**What Are We Learning This Week?**

*Language Arts – This week we will continue to review the important reading comprehension skills of identifying the problem and solution, as well as making predictions in fiction text.  During the remainder of the week we will be reviewing important language concepts, including nouns and verbs.  We often discover that students are able to state what a noun and verb are, but they struggle with applying these skills in context, such as identifying these parts of speech in a sentence.  This year we will work to be able to apply our knowledge of skills instead of simply restating information.  Throughout the week, we will focus on common vs. proper nouns and singular vs. plural nouns, and we will focus what a verb is and how to identify a verb in a sentence.  We will also review subject and predicate and how we can use those skills to find a verb in a sentence.  During our small group rotations, we will continue to practice “Read to Self” and “Work on Writing.”  We won’t start breaking up into small group until we have spent time practicing these routines and understand the expectations for each rotation.

*Math– We will continue our Place Value Unit this week.  Topics we will cover this week are comparing and ordering numbers, and rounding numbers.  Students will take a short Place Value Quiz on Thursday 9/20 (it will not include rounding questions!).  I will teach the class a phrase to help them understand how to round:  “5 and above, give it a shove; 4 and below, let it go!”  Also, please continue to review the difference between the place of a digit versus the value of a digit.  This can be a confusing concept for some students.  Students will complete a Rounding Quiz next week.  We will have our Place Value Test on Friday, Sept. 28.  

*Social Studies –  This week we are continuing our Unit on the Geography of Virginia.  This week we will learn the products and industries that are found in each region.  This is actually the VS.10b section of Virginia Studies, but we include it with the VA Geography unit because it fits in well with that information.  Students will complete a short VS.2 Geography Quiz Thursday 9/20, which will cover the 5 regions, 5 bordering states, and bordering waters of VA.  Then we will spend some time reviewing all of the content we have learned on Friday.  Please encourage your child to study their social studies notes a little bit each night.  The VS.2abc/VS.10b Test will be next Tuesday 9/25.

*Science –  We will continue our unit on Scientific Investigations this week (SOL 4.1).  Students have 20 vocabulary terms in their ziploc bag, and they should be able to use the cards to play a matching game to help them study.  I strongly recommend that students play this matching game each night in order to work on learning these important scientific method vocabulary terms.  Thank you for your support with this!  This week we will continue to work on using our scientific method vocabulary words in context.  This week we will complete another experiment in class called “The Great Ketchup Race!”  We will be working to determine which temperature ketchup will move the fastest down a plate.  Students will complete a lab sheet in class which will be graded.  Later in the week we will learn about important science tools and the measurement units used with these tools.  We will work through additional lab scenarios and specifically focus on identifying the independent variabledependent variable, and constants in an experiment.   As explained last week, it is so important that your child is able to apply their knowledge of the scientific method vocabulary words instead of simply restate definitions.  The students will take their Scientific Method vocabulary quiz next Wednesday, 9/26.

 

Have a great week, everyone!

-Mrs. Jacobsen

Week of Sept. 10 – 14

Week of Sept. 10 – 14

Hi everyone!  What a great first week of school last week!  I am so proud of the entire class for being ready to work hard and give their best effort in class.  I have enjoyed getting to know all of my students, and I am thrilled to see their love of learning!  The kids have already been showing that they “R.O.C.K.!” (showing the characteristics of being responsible, showing ownership, being considerate, and displaying kindness).  They have been very kind to each other, as well as to me.  Our class is awesome!  I’m looking forward to an awesome year!!

**Important Announcements for the Week**

*Extra supplies:  If your child hasn’t already done so, please have your child bring in an art smock (old t-shirt) for Art class, as well as an old sock to use as an eraser when we use dry-erase markers.  Please write your child’s name on both the smock and the sock.  If you know your child still needs to bring in any other school supplies, thank you for sending those in as well.

*Back to School Night:  Back to School Night will be next Thursday evening, Sept. 20th.  Your children will have some things for your to see!  I hope to see you on Thursday night!

*Half-Day of School on Sept. 19th:  Please note that Wednesday, Sept. 19th will be a half day of school, with dismissal beginning around 11:35 am.  Your child already brought home 2 purple forms regarding dismissal that day.  If your child will be going home a different way than they normally do, please complete the small purple form.  You do not have to send back the note if your child is going home their normal Wednesday way.  The other form that was sent home is about a “Grab and Go” lunch for the 1/2 day.  If you would like to purchase a lunch for your child to take home on Wednesday, please return that form asap.

*Gifted Information Meeting for Parents:  Our school will hold a Gifted Identification Information Session for families on Wednesday, 9/26 at 9:00 am in the cafeteria.

 

 

**What Are We Learning This Week?**

*Language Arts:  This week we will begin our Word Study pretests, and I will use the results to determine your child’s word study level for our weekly words.  Word study homework and tests will not start this week because I will need to analyze the data to make the groups.  This week we will also begin learning about reading strategies.  To begin, we will spend a lot of time learning the procedures for our literacy rotations and the expectations that I have during our small group reading time.  As the students work at the table with me in our small reading groups, the rest of the class will work independently throughout the rest of the room.  The first reading skill this week will focus on identifying the problem and solution in a fictional story.  We will analyze different picture books and short texts this week to identify the problem and the solution.  Later in the week, we will again use fiction stories to work with the skill of making predictions.  We will discuss what it means to make a prediction, and then read more of the story and then revise our predictions.  Finally, as the story concludes, we will discuss what it means to confirm our predictions.  As you read with your child at home, please practice these skills of making, revising, and confirming predictions.  At the end of the week, I will give the students a short reading comprehension assessment.

*Math:  On Monday, we will finish up our short unit on graphs.  We will review the differences between bar and line graphs, and the class will complete a short classwork grade on graphs.  After graphs, we will being our unit on Place Value and Number Sense.  We will learn the place of a digit up through the hundred millions place.  Then we will learn how to determine the value of a digit in a number.  Other skills in this unit will include comparing and ordering numbers, rounding numbers, and how to identify the standard, written, and expanded form of numbers.

*Social Studies:  The class will take the Continents and Oceans Quiz on Tuesday 9/11.  Students will need to be able to identify the location of each continent and ocean on a world map.  Later in the week, students will get back into small groups with a Virginia map and discover some new landmarks on the map.  We will continue with learning about the geography of VA (VS.2abc notes).  We will learn about the 4 major rivers in the state that flow into the Chesapeake Bay, as well as some major cities that developed along each of these major rivers.  I will also be teaching the class two new mnemonic devices to remember the order of the rivers and which city is on each river.  Students will have this information in their Social Studies Notebook to help them study.  Students will also complete a classwork grade on VS.2b and VS.2c this week.  Thank you for encouraging your child to study their notes a little bit each day.

*Science:  This week we will really get started on our Scientific Investigations Unit (SOL 4.1).  We will be completing the “Suds Lab” this week, because we just didn’t have time to complete it last week!  As we complete the lab in class, I will introduce many important vocabulary terms to the students.  Our scientific method unit has a lot of new vocabulary words associated with it and it will be very important that they study nightly.  This week we will begin learning the unit’s vocabulary terms a few at a time.  We will be creating flashcards in class for each of the words.  As we discuss each word, we will connect it to the “Suds Lab” that we did in class.  The goal for the vocabulary words is that your child understands the word and its meaning and is able to explain the meaning. not just memorize and restate the definition.  We will work on the vocabulary terms all week, and will complete additional labs throughout the unit to work on applying these new terms in context with real-world science!  The students always enjoy doing these experiments in class!

 

Have a great week, everyone!

-Mrs. Jacobsen