Two in the Books!

We’ve made it to the end of another good week and the students are settling into our routines.  Here’s a little recap of our week:

We reread Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and had our first shot at reading stations as we talked about synonyms, antonyms,and story elements.  In social studies, students have discussed the need for a government, it’s role in creating our laws, and how we can serve as citizens of our community.We have continued to work with bar graphs, pictographs, and line plots in math, and students worked in groups to chart data collected about favorite colors, bed times, and number of of pets.  Students also interviewed one another as star reporters in order to write friendly letters to Miss Atkins about their classmates.  Mr. Favale even paid us a visit and taught us some tips about using our new DELLS this year.  It’s been a busy and productive week!

Here are a few important announcements about what’s coming home in the Red Folder today:

  • Gator Check: Today, they are orange.  Please review your child’s papers, initial on the back and return the entire stapled pack on Monday.  I keep all the papers until the end of the marking period.  There are three graded papers and several checked homework assignments.
  • MAPS Testing: The letter from Mrs. Harris will explain the purpose of MAPS testing which occurs three times throughout the year.  Our first run will be in two weeks on Sept. 29th and 30th.
  • Short Pump Mile:  Support Gayton by participating in this friendly race on September 28th!  Details are on the yellow flyer!

And finally, a look at what’s coming up next week:

  • Math:  We will wrap up graphs at the beginning of the week with a test on Wednesday.  Please review the application of transferring data to a graph and then answering questions when reading a graph with your child.
  • Social Studies: We will review patriotic symbols that students have learned in previous years, talk about our country’s supreme law on Constitution Day (Sept. 17th), and take a Civics test on Thursday.
  • Reading: Will will finish stations with Officer Buckle, complete the reading comprehension quiz, and visit Mrs. Hedrick in the library.
  • BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT is Thursday, Sept. 18th at 7:00 pm.

Fabulous First Week!

The first week of third grade ran pretty smoothly.  We tackled a lot of information concerning safety drills, classroom rules, and behavior expectations.  Students patiently completed pre-assessments in key academic areas and had a chance to share a little about their summers.  We will finish up the last of our pre-assessments next week as students continue to read aloud to Miss Atkins.

You will notice that homework and classwork papers were checked this week and sent home with the students’ Gator Checks.  Each week I will mark areas for improvement on the front and type specific comments about your student on the back.  I just ask that you initial on the back once you have looked over the papers with your child and then send the whole stapled packet back to school on Monday. I will keep the papers until the end of the quarter when students will review their progress and work on compiling their third grade portfolio.  At the end of the year, each student will have multiple examples that show how he/she has grown from September to June.

Please be sure to check your child’s red communication folder every Friday for special flyers and graded papers.  Today you will find the monthly third grade newsletter, information about Mrs. Wright’s 20/20 Club, a flyer about this year’s Reflections Program, and Mrs. Swartz’s Art Newsletter (along with a sheet to be signed and returned).  Several students are also waiting on a few supplies in the classroom to make sure they are ready to go for a successful third grade year.  Thanks for all of your help to make this happen.  Hope that you all have a wonderful weekend, and please feel free to contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns.

It’s that time of year again!

Summer is coming to an end and the school bell will be ringing loudly in just a few more days.  My helpers and I have been busy at work setting up a new classroom and are looking forward to showing it off Thursday at Open House.  The third grade adventure awaits us all…looking forward to meeting all of my new faces.

And then there were two…

Can you believe we are down to the final two weeks?  It has been quite an adventure this year and I hope the students have found a few ways to have fun along the journey.  As we wind down the year, we will be wrapping up a few more units, but hopefully still learning some new things along the way.  I have been pushing several of the students to continue digging and connecting to their novel study characters as they read and respond.  This week, students worked in groups to create commercials for some popular western cities and completed a sound circus to explore more aspects of our recently covered topic.

In the next week, students can expect a few more assessments as they take their 50 State Geography Test on Tuesday, their Math SOL on Wednesday and Thursday, and their Novel Study Quizzes on Friday.  I also plan to use the computers next week to allow students one more opportunity to research and develop state trading cards.  Students will wrap up their Poetry Portfolios mid-week and hopefully we will share many of their creations the last week of school.

Just a reminder about a few important dates:

  • Monday, June 2nd, we will be enjoying an afternoon BMX bike show sponsored by our PTA.  Please have your student bring a towel to sit on while enjoying the show.
  • Next Friday, June 6th, is our 5th Grade Party.  Invitations went out in the last two weeks.  Students are encouraged to wear Gayton spirit attire and bring a beach towel.  Parents are welcome to attend.
  • Sunday, June 8th, you are all invited to a small tradition my first class and I started six years ago.  We meet at Meadow Farm Park for a sunny picnic and some chill time just to catch up on life.  Another teacher from Rivers Edge will be there along with a variety of former students I have taught.  You bring a lunch and chair, I bring some popsicles, and we all bring a game or smile to share!
  • Thursday, June 12th, is our 5th Grade Awards Assembly from 8:45-9:45ish in the MPR.  Students are asked to dress up for this event as they will each be walking across the stage to receive their 5th grade certificates of achievement.   Please avoid jeans, shorts, and tennis shoes.
  • Friday, June 13th, is our final day of school, and it is a half day.

One month to go!!

I can not believe how quickly the year is coming to a close!  We are truly in wind down mode.  With that being said, we are still working to maintain a sense of normalcy as much as possible over the next four weeks.  So, we will still be completing assignments, taking quizzes, and sending home Friday Folders.  Here’s what next week is looking like:

Science:  Monday and Tuesday will be review days for our SOL on Wednesday. Then, we will continue working on some enrichment with Sound and Light before our Test the following week.

Reading: For the next three weeks, students will complete a novel study contract both in class and out of class as needed.  The students received their contract today with information about their choice projects to be completed.  We will select stories on Monday and then get started right away.

Writing:  We will continue working through our Poetry Packet and work with our final word study list.  Because of SOL Testing, the schedule has been knocked back a day.  Sentence HW will be Monday, reference work on Tuesday, and the quiz on Thursday.  Our final unit test will be Wednesday, May 28th.

Social Studies:  We will spend limited time working with the West.  The following week, we will complete review activities for the whole country.

Students are bringing home invitations for the 5th grade party this afternoon!  Please be on the lookout for the small white envelopes.  Hope you all have a great weekend!!!

First Field Day Success!

Despite the changes, I think that the kids really enjoyed their Field Day!  They did a great job with the Cupid Shuffle and Happy Dance during Opening Ceremonies, enjoyed some water and team building relays, danced some old favorites in the cafeteria, played some PE Bingo with Mrs. Hedrick, and showed off their parachute and limbo skills.  The weather was absolutely beautiful for a nice picnic lunch.  I will be uploading the pictures on the Shutterfly site soon.  Thanks to those of you who came up to join in the fun today!  Hope you had an enjoyable time as well!

As we look ahead to next week, I hope to get back on track with our Social Studies and Poetry Units.  We will begin looking at Sound and continue reviewing Reading strategies in preparation for our SOL testing beginning May 15th.  Please review the dates posted from last week’s update for further information.  Have a great weekend!!

Happy Friday!

I’m going to make this week brief and give you a list of important dates coming up.  All work in class will be in an effort to prepare the kids for upcoming assessments and transitions.  Our final units to cover this year include Sound and Light, the USA’s Western Region, Poetry, one final word study unit, and a short novel study.  Please be on the lookout for review activities as part of homework in the next few weeks.


  • Tuesday – Matter Test
  • Wednesday – Math MAPS
  • Thursday – Visit to Pocahontas 9:30-11:00 am
  • Friday – Field Day and Spaghetti Dinner

Other Important Dates (SOL Dates are Tentative)

  • May 15th – Reading SOL
  • May 21st – Science SOL
  • June 4th-5th – Math SOL
  • June 6th – Fifth Grade Party 10:30 am – 2:00 pm
  • June 12th – Graduation Ceremony 8:45 – 9:45 am

We made it to Spring Break!!

Happy Spring Break!  Below are some words from me this week as we look ahead to some much needed rest.

  • Today, the students are coming home with only their report cards.  As a grade level, we have chosen to wait and send graded papers and Gator Checks home on the Monday we return so that all the papers don’t get lost in the shuffle.  Inside report card folders are a couple of reminders from the PTA, so take a moment and check those out.  Anyone still looking to buy Field Day T-shirts, our class is ROYAL BLUE!
  • Yesterday, students brought home individual spring pictures.  Take a look and decide whether or not you want to keep them.  If so, please send in the correct amount of money for Strawbridge Studios.  If not, just send them back to me.  Class pictures haven’t made it back to school yet but are sure to be here soon.
  • The week we return will be a busy one with Earth Day Celebrations Tuesday and our Field Trip on Thursday.  Check out Mrs. Reams blog and the latest Gator Gab for service projects connected to Earth Day.  Then, be on the lookout for a field trip email to come out once we get back with some important reminders.
  • Academically, we have wrapped up our latest reading short story, Elena, with a quiz today. We will continue to hit key skills after the break and hopefully fit in one more novel study after SOLS.  Also after break, we will review key concepts in our Matter Unit (Test on the horizon for April 28th) and wrap up work with the Southwest Region (Quiz planned for April 25th).  We will complete one more unit of Word Study, beginning April 29th and running for 5 weeks.  Then, the review and testing will hit us hard before we know it.  These last two months of 5th grade will fly by.

I have reminded the kids that while I know their excitement for middle school grows with each passing day, I still need them to focus on finishing this year strongly.  Let’s make it a great ending to their elementary careers!  For those of you traveling, please be safe!  Enjoy your break and I’ll see you on the flipside!

Happy Friday!!

We’ve reached the end of another week!   The week has been full of group activities where we’ve mapped out the Southwestern Region of the United States, explored the properties of matter and how they mix together, and discussed the narrative elements of our short story, Elena.  Next week, students will continue to look at matter as we dive into the characteristics of atoms and the periodic table.  We will talk about figurative language and how it is used to create imagery in short stories.  A quiz on Elena will be given on Friday.  Students will take a tour of the Southwest Region, exploring more of the geography, history, and economy of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma.  They can also expect to continue working on language skills in all areas of the curriculum.  We have discussed numerous times this week about knowing the rules of writing and how they apply to all aspect of our work.

Looking ahead to next week, here are the important dates to keep in mind:

  • Wednesday: Field Trip Permission Slips and Money are DUE!
  • Thursday: 5th Grade takes MAPS Reading Test
  • Friday: 3rd Quarter report cards go home

Enjoy your weekend!

Three Quarters Down

Can you believe that we’ve made it through three quarters of 5th grade?  Time is flying, and the end will be here before we know it.  The kids all worked very hard this week on their Writing SOL tests and were good sports about completing other assessments as we wrapped up a few units.  Next week, we will begin new units across the board.  In Science, we will start exploring matter and all its properties.  In Social Studies, we will move into the Southwest (a much smaller region when looking at the number of states).  Our next Reading story will correspond with this region as we look at Elena.  And finally, writing is not over.  We will continue to brush up on skills from here until the end of the year.  Next week will also be a review of our fourth unit of word study with a test on Thursday or Friday (I will let the kids know on Monday).

Other tidbits of news you can use:

  • Blue permission slips came home for our trip to the VA Beach trip today.  With the wonderful response of chaperones, the cost of the trip is now $36 a person, and all money is due April 9th.
  • The students and I talked about the importance of wearing proper footwear during recess.  They will need to follow the same rules they use for PE when it comes to what they can wear on the playground.  Of course, I have assured them that they can still wear the fancy shoes to school and change into the tennis shoes before heading outside.