1/7-1/11 see IMPORTANT DATES for testing info!

HOORAY! We made it through a full week!!! It has been a long time since that happened.

Thank you for your patience in lack of weekly behavior communicators. With the short snow week, winter party week, and our short week after return– this is the first week behavior communicators have come home in a while! Please know that this is our doing, not the kids! If you happen to have that behavior communicator at home from the last time it came home, please send it in on Monday. Students NEED this behavior communicator to earn access to the PAW Behavior Incentive Party on January 25th! This is their proof that they are responsible for their materials and that they have had an awesome quarter! Our PAW Achievement party is going to be a fun one! Look for more details next week!

In Reading,  students learned about reading strategies that readers can use to help better understand a story. Our class read a few poems and non-fiction passages. We learned a lot about poetry including important vocabulary (stanza, line, rhyme, rhyme scheme, alliteration) and how poetry is different than normal writing (prose). We looked at some poems and analyzed what they were about using some new strategies we discussed. We broke the poem down into stanzas and summarized what each part was about. We talked about how this helps us summarize the entire thing. Try this strategy next time you are reading at home.

In Virginia Studies we wrapped up VS4 where students focused on slavery, agriculture, how culture reflects origins and affects things, why the capital moved from Jamestown to Williamsburg before finally landing in Richmond and the economy in the colonies! We also focused on what everyday life in the colony was like. We started our new unit this week which will bring us up to the causes leading up to the American Revolution!

We spent this week reviewing the importance of understanding author’s choices when reading. Authors must make many decisions when creating a piece of writing, including why to write (purpose), what to include (elements), what to write (form and genre), and how to say it (word choice). We analyzed characters in stories that we read and how their thoughts, actions, and dialogue help us to understand them as a whole.

In social studies we continued our study of the southeast. During writing, we are incorporating this focus by writing a narrative story that takes place in a major city in the southeast. Students have to use details from their research to describe the setting and help their story come to life with vivid details about where they are and what they are doing. We are also going to wrap up by completing projects about each state.

4th Reading: We will continue looking at nonfiction text and focus on comprehension strategies and how students can monitor their comprehension when reading. Our class will read various  texts to make connections and check their comprehension.
4th VA Studies:
We will continue our study of the causes of the American Revolution by focusing on all those TAXES King George imposed on the colonists. The students will really start to understand why the colonists shouted, “NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION”. We will take a look at major players in the American Revolution and major battles!! Click here for  VS-5 – the study guide to preview/review/study the information.
****Please be aware that Biography Bottle Buddy projects came home last week!! These are due JANUARY 24th! We will also be sending home information for a African American Achievers project that will be due in February. We want to make sure that students have enough time to prepare!

5th Reading: Cumulative review and reading summative
5th SS: Southeast partner writing and independent projects

January 18- Reading Summative PowerTest
January 21- No School: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 24- Biography Bottle Buddy Project due (4th grade)!!
January 25- PAW Achievement Party
January 28- No School for students
January 31 & February 1- 4th Grade Reading Benchmark/5th Grade Math Benchmark
February 5 & 6- Reading Benchmark 5th grade/Math benchmark 4th grade
February 7- Family Life lesson rescheduled
February 8- VA Studies Benchmark for 4th grade/Science Benchmark 5th grade
*African American Achiever Project (4th grade)– more details this week- due mid-February!

January 3-4

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a relaxing winter break and enjoyed the bonus time with family! I spent my break in New York, Savannah, and Atlanta, but I sure am happy to be back and settled into our normal routine at school!!Next week, fourth grade will have a SS quiz on Wednesday. This study guide came home last week. Extra copies are available on the board in class (students know where) and can be found HERE if you want to print one at home. These can be signed and returned on Wednesday for bonus.

In both fourth and fifth we will be preparing to take a benchmark assessment at the end of January. These are given by the county and help prepare us for SOLs at the end of the year by testing all standards we have covered. This will allow us to see any gaps students might have and determine areas for review. Fourth and fifth will both take a reading assessment. Fourth will also take a Virginia studies assessment. I will send home a VA studies study guide to review everything we’ve covered so far this year as well as review in class!

I am looking forward to our normal, full week next week! We will definitely be getting a lot done!


WOW! It’s December! As we work our way to winter break, we are getting so much done! In addition to our standards based learning, we are getting to do a lot of activities too like fire safety with the Henrico Fire Department and our enviroscape activity this week to look at watersheds!This week in reading fourth grade focused on author’s purpose again. We reviewed the reasons author’s write and tied this in to our writing lesson!! In fifth grade, we looked closer at fact and opinion. Students differentiated between fact and opinion. It is important for readers to understand whether the author of text is presenting facts or personal opinions about a given topic. Facts can be PROVEN  true or false, while opinions are personal beliefs that CANNOT be proven. We read an article about Black Panther and students identified opinion statements. Next week we will continue to look at this article and decide what reasons the author has for stating that opinion and what their purpose is for sharing.

In writing, we focused on different types of writing! We looked at informational writing and have just started a writing piece where students will write to EXPLAIN! We started by sketching a snowman. Students will not have to write directions for how to draw the snowman. Finally, next week, we will give those directions to someone in the other class and see if they can draw the snowman using the directions. We will compare originals and see how important detailed instructions are to a reader!
In social studies, fifth grade took their states and capitals in the southeast test. We also worked on songs to help us study. Students will record final versions on Monday. We can’t wait to share! Fourth grade continued our study of Jamestown– taking a closer look at agriculture, slavery, and the spread of the colonies and how that affected the New World.

READING: Students will learn about facts and opinions in fiction and non-fiction texts. Students will learn that facts are true and can be proven, opinions are statements that involve someone’s own thoughts and emotions. In addition, students will learn about affixes: prefixes, root words, and suffixes. We will discuss how prefixes and suffixes affect the meaning of a word.
WRITING: Students will continue working on their “How to Draw a Snowman” Project. We will focus on transition words, writing in sequential order, and being descriptive to help the reader understand exactly what to do. 
SS: Fourth will continue to talk about money, bartering, credit, debt, and savings in colonial time. We will also discuss everyday life for the colonists with regards to clothing, food, and housing. Lastly, students will learn about the rights and ownership of land for the colonists and slaves. We will probably try to take a mini quiz before we leave for break so students don’t forget everything we’ve learned. Look for an update on Remind early next week. Fifth grade

Tuesday December 11: 5th Grade MAP Reading; 4th grade Fire Safety lesson
Wednesday December 12:
Family Life Class (Information came home about this last week. If you need more information feel free to reach out to me by email or remind!)
Thursday December 13:
4th Grade MAP Math
Friday December 14:
5th Grade MAP Math; 4th grade Lesson taught by the Math and Science Center
Winter Break – Thursday, December 20th to Wednesday, January 2, School Reopens on the January 3, 2019.



It is so hard to believe that November is over!! We have had a really productive month, and I feel like this was one of the best so far. We had a busy week! We had two visits from the Henrico Fire Department to kick off our fire safety lessons, and Young Scientist visited our classroom to talk about planets and the solar system! Lastly, we had some super students join us after school on Tuesday night to perform the Veteran’s Day program for the PTO meeting. THEY DID AN AWESOME JOB! I’m so proud.


Reading: Fourth grade wrapped up our focus on making inferences/drawing conclusions. Fifth grade finished up with text structure and started to look at fact and opinion.

Writing: We took another look at why writers write and will start our new focus on informational writing next week. We spent the week talking about all of the uses for commas! We talked about six specific rules (see below) and how to apply them in our writing. This led to discussions about simple and compound sentences and how we can mix up our sentence length and type to make our writing more interesting.

SS: Fourth grade wrapped up VS3 and will start fresh with VS4 next week! Click here for an overview of what we will cover. Fifth grade continued learning about the Southeast. We studied our states and capitals, and we learned about the climate and natural resources. Look for a quiz on this next week! Review using THIS WEBSITE!

READING: 4- Author’s Purpose with informational text, 5- fact/opinion; reference materials
SS:  4– explaining the importance of agriculture and its influence on the institution of slavery in Jamestown;
5– The student will use maps, globes, photographs, pictures, or tables to locate and describe the location of the Southeast Region of the United States: Coastal Plain and Appalachian Mountain System; locate and identify the land features, water features, and climate important to the early history of the Southeast Region of the United States: Mississippi River, Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean, and Gulf of Mexico. 


  • Saturday December 1-  5:30-7:30. Ashland Skateland 516 N. Washington Highway. The cost is $5 per child, $2 for parents and teachers, $2 skate rental! Do not miss this fun!
  • Monday December 3- Fire Safety Lesson in the classroom.
  • Tuesday December 4- Reading NWEA MAP test. This is a test that the students took at the beginning of the year and will take again in the spring. We get excited to take this test in the middle of the year to see how much students have grown and to also get a closer look at areas we can focus on to promote growth! 🙂
  • Wednesday December 5- Vocab quiz! Students have graded work and flashcards to study. (see words below)
  • Wednesday December 5- WAFFLES WITH SANTA!! Starts at 5:00 🙂
  • Thursday December 6- Watershed Lesson/Enviroscape in classroom activity!
  • Winter Break – Thursday, December 20th to Wednesday, January 2, School Reopens on the January 3, 2019.


November 27 PTO Veteran’s Day performance for fourth grade. We are asking students to get here at 5:45 and wear red/white/blue with jeans or khaki pants. Their outfits for our school performance were perfect!

November 28 5th grade** GYSA applications are due to Ms. Bushey. Please call or email her (blbushey@henrico.k12.va.us) with any questions.

November 29- 4th Grade VA Studies quiz. Send in signed study guide for bonus points!
November 30- 5th grade vocab quiz! Students have graded work and flashcards to study.
December 5- 4th grade vocab quiz! Students have graded work and flashcards to study.


READING: Fourth grade wrapped up making inferences/drawing conclusions in fiction text this week. We will continue with this skill while focusing on nonfiction text next week! This week we looked at a variety of texts, including our guided reading books, to make inferences about the characters and story plots. Fifth grade continued to look at text structure. With our short week next week, this will roll over into Monday and Tuesday as well. We will take a reading summative assessment on the computer in both fourth and fifth on Monday.

WRITING: We are wrapping up our traditions writing book project! Students have worked so hard to create a book that a reader would want to read. We brainstormed a variety of topics and got to hone in on what really makes a tradition. While some traditions are more elaborate, others are the simple things we do weekly, monthly, or annually with the people that are important to us. With the holiday season among us, I am definitely excited to see how our books turn out. I sent home order forms this week. If you are interested in ordering, please do so!! I am sure that this will be something special for each student to have. If you are not interested in ordering, I completely understand! Your child’s work will still be published as long as you turn in the order form with the box checked YES or NO! 🙂 Thank you for your support on this!!

SOCIAL STUDIES: Fourth grade is wrapping up our Jamestown standard. We will finish up by identifying the importance of the General Assembly (1619) as the first representative legislative body in English America, identifying the impact of the arrival of Africans and English women to the Jamestown settlement, describing the hardships faced by settlers at Jamestown and the changes that took place to ensure survival, and describing the interactions between the English settlers and the native peoples, including the role of the Powhatan in the survival of the settlers. While it was our hope to get this covered before Thanksgiving break, it looks like this will roll over until after break! Look for a study guide to come home after break. Here is a link to help you study if you want to study during any travel/down time! 🙂 Also — The students really enjoy this song about Jamestown!!  Fifth grade is starting our look into the regions! We will start with the southeast!


  • Friday 11/16: IB applications due for fifth graders! PTO Spirit Night at Panera!
  • Monday 11/19: Picture Day! Reading Summative Assessment!
  • Tuesday, November 20: Report Cards Sent Home
  • Tuesday, November 20: Award Celebration 1:30
  • Wednesday, November 21st to Friday, November 23rd: Thanksgiving Break
  • November 24th: On  our class will have a second visit from the Young Scientist program. I sent home reminders with students today (Friday) about who has already paid and who has not so that when permission slips come home, you will be aware if you have already covered it!
  • November 27: PTO PERFORMANCE FOR FOURTH GRADE!! If you can join us, be here at 5:45 in red, white, and blue clothing.
  • Christmas Mother: Trevvett is collecting non-perishable food items November 12-16 to support Henrico Christmas Mother. We need canned food, crackers, cereal, pasta, and peanut butter. Please send in what you can!  Click here for details.


Quarter one is done! This year is flying by so quickly. It is always incredible at this time of year to stop and think about how far we have come and realize that we still have so much time left to enjoy!!

Thank you SO MUCH to all of the families that made the time to come out and see Ms. Poland and I for conferences over the past few weeks. We realize everyone is busy with work and/or family obligations, but we really do appreciate getting to know each of you. Spending some time face-to-face discussing the incredible things our students have done is invaluable to us and to our students!

Thursday Megan Wise, meteorologist from NBC12, stopped by to share about her job measuring the weather and reporting on TV!  Check out our students on the morning news Saturday morning or visit Megan Wise’s Facebook page.

In Reading, fourth grade learned how to draw conclusions/make inferences in a fiction text. Inferences are educated guesses about something from a text where students will need to use their prior knowledge and clues from the text. Conclusions are judgments or a decisions that is made after reading a text. The students enjoyed reading books like How I Saved My Parents From Green Beans and The Strange Case of Origami Yoda to make inferences and draw conclusions. Fifth grade started looking at TEXT STRUCTURE. This is a fundamental standard that will come up again and again. It is also often seen on reading assessments! Text structure refers to how the author organized the text to help convey his/her message to the reader. There are five main organizational patterns that we will look at: chronological order/sequence, description, problem/solution, cause/effect, and compare/contrast. While not every text has a clear structure, we are looking at what key words we can identify to help us determine the main structure of the text.

In writing, both groups are working on making a class book of our writing. These will go out to be published on November 23rd. More details will come home soon if you are interested in ordering a copy as well. Students are writing about their favorite holiday traditions. I have loved getting to hear about the unique and fun things that families do together.

In social studies, fifth grade wrapped up Henrico History by presenting our advertising projects. Fourth grade is in the middle of our Jamestown unit. We took our quiz on standard VS3 a-c! This covered reasons for colonization, why they chose Jamestown, and the charters. The students really enjoy this song about Jamestown!! 

Next week: 
4- We will continue looking at drawing conclusions/making inferences.
5- We will continue our study of text structure while looking at cause/effect, problem/solution, and description.

WRITING: Continue our tradition writing project.


4- We will continue our Jamestown unit by looking at the government of Jamestown, the arrival of women and African Americans, and hardships faced by the settlers. Here is a study guide for our entire Jamestown unit in case you want to discuss it at home!
5- We will continue discussing the five themes of geography.


  • Monday, 11/12: PAW Achievement Trip to see Junie B Jones play at Hermitage HS!   This is a FREE trip, but students need signed permission forms (sent home Wednesday). Parents are welcome to chaperone.  Please contact me if interested!
  • Tuesday, 11/13: Veterans’ Day Assembly
  • Friday 11/16: IB applications due for fifth graders! PTO Spirit Night at Panera!
  • Monday 11/19: Picture Day!
  • Tuesday, November 20: Report Cards Sent Home
  • Wednesday, November 21st to Friday, November 23rd: Thanksgiving Break
  • November 24th: On  our class will have a second visit from the Young Scientist program. I sent home reminders with students today (Friday) about who has already paid and who has not so that when permission slips come home, you will be aware if you have already covered it!
  • Christmas Mother: Trevvett is collecting non-perishable food items November 12-16 to support Henrico Christmas Mother. We need canned food, crackers, cereal, pasta, and peanut butter. Please send in what you can!  Click here for details.


I cant believe it is already November! This week we had a lot of big fun, but it did not keep us from getting some great learning done!

In reading, fourth grade wrapped up author’s purpose. We discussed the different reasons authors write (persuade, inform, entertain, explain, or describe). We looked at different texts that were explicitly chosen to teach each skill and then discussed how we can determine the author’s purpose for text in everyday life. Fifth grade worked on roots and affixes! We challenged each other to come up with new words.

In writing, we wrapped up our spooky writing!! Students used the five senses to incorporate precise details to help readers imagine the setting and plot of the story. Fourth grade writing is displayed in the hall if you have time to check it!

In social studies, fourth grade started digging deeper into the settlement of Jamestown— we looked at the motives and charters. Next week we will continue with a look into the House of Burgesses and how the early form of government worked and didn’t work with a role playing activity. Check out this site: http://www.solpass.org/z-site/va/Games/columns-jamestown/framepage.php?section=study-3

Fifth grade finished up Henrico Advertising projects while looking at Henrico economy of the past. Next week we will take a test before moving on!


Upcoming Events and Reminders:

11/5- Social Studies Quiz (4th/5th)

11/5- Beginning of the second 9 Weeks


11/19- Picture Day