Dear Families:

I was very impressed with the oral presentations last month. It is not easy to stand up in front of your peers, but they did a wonderful job and we had a great time learning about other great books.

The second book report is due on June 5th. Same guidelines. I will be sending home the form again today.

A few thoughts for improvements on the 2nd book report:

  • The students are supposed to get their book choice approved by me. It must be a minimum of 100 pages and it cannot be a graphic novel. If they want to use a book they are reading for book celebration, that is just fine. The book needs to be one they are currently reading or will read before June 5th. Not one they have read in the past or has been read in class. They have two months for this because the expectation is to read the book and then do the project. Otherwise I would make the due date in a couple weeks.
  • In the summary, they need to follow the directions and include everything that is listed. The rubric for grading will be the same as this past one.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: I want the KIDS to do the writing. Please do not write it for them or have them write it in a style that is not theirs. It should be in their voice – the voice of a fourth grader ready for fifth. Not the voice of a high school/college essay. Please help them edit and make suggestions, but let the report be their work.


Dear Families:

As we approach spring break, I’d like to thank you for the support you give to your children in helping them be successful this year. This class is a wonderful group of children and it is a pleasure to spend time with them.

If you are in town this week or looking for things to do with the families on the weekends, I would like to suggest some wonderful Civil War sites in Richmond and the surrounding areas.  If your child visits one of these places or another Civil War site that I don’t list, he/she can earn extra credit in social studies by adding ten points to their lowest grade (not including tests). To earn these 10 points, they just need to visit a place and then write a paragraph about the experience.

In Richmond:

Tredegar Iron Works   https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/richmond/tredegar.html

White House of the Confederacy/Museum of the Confederacy     https://acwm.org/

Richmond Slave Trail   https://www.virginia.org/Listings/HistoricSites/RichmondSlaveTrail/

Hollywood Cemetary    https://www.hollywoodcemetery.org/


Surrounding Area:

Appomattox Court House    https://www.nps.gov/apco/index.htm

Crater Park Battlefield     https://www.nps.gov/pete/index.htm

Harpers Ferry, West VA    https://www.nps.gov/hafe/index.htm

These are just some of my favorite places. However, there are many battlefields and other historical places in Richmond and Henrico. I hope you’ll be able to take advantage of our rich history during the month of April!





Dear Families,

I have been noticing a few items occurring with my class lately that I would like to nip in the bud:

  1. Students are forgetting to bring back the notebooks they took home the night before
  2. Some students are missing supplies. Please check with your child to see if they have their scissors, highlighters, and crayons.
  3. Students are not taking home the required supplies at night. Each day the board has homework listed and what notebooks need to be packed up. If they have homework in a subject, then they are to take the corresponding notebook home. Remember, homework is listed on my blog daily.

I have an amazing class that works wonderfully together. They are kind to each other and hard workers, thus my reason for wanting to reach out and take care of some slipping I have noticed.

Thank you for your help – together we can help each student reach their full potential.


We had a wonderful time on our field trip today! They were excited to see the actors in their colonial costumes and were excellent participants in the play. We even had Richard Henry Lee and Benjamin Harrison in our rows and right behind us was Thomas Jefferson!  Toward the end of Patrick Henry’s speech, the class joined in and send the famous last lines along with Mr. Henry. What a wonderful display of history! So proud of my students, too!


Today, your child is bringing home a permission slip for our field trip to St. John’s Church in Richmond to see a private re-enactment of Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” speech. Chaperones are not needed on this trip. We will be taking a school bus to see the re-enactment and then returning to school to finish our school day. The fee for the trip is $8.00. Please submit the permission slip and payment as soon as possible.


The social studies showcase will be on February 21 from 6:00-7:00. My students had a choice between two different projects, Bottle People or Revolutionary War Battle Poster. The projects will be completed IN CLASS. However all supplies needed to complete the project are due on Thursday, February 8. Please have the supplies in a bag for easy storage.