Happy Monday!

News You Can Use

  • I enjoyed meeting with many of you at Back-to-School Night. This is going to be a great year and I appreciate your continued support!
  • A permission slip and lunch order form came home last week for our first field trip! We are excited to explore rocks and minerals found along the James River. Please return the money and permission slip by Tuesday, September 27th.  Thanks to our three great parents for volunteering as chaperones!
  • Parent referrals for gifted identification will be accepted beginning October 10 to October 28, 2016.  Referrals should be submitted in writing (email is acceptable) to our resource teacher, Margo Clifford, at mecliffo@henrico.k12.va.us during these designated dates.  No referrals will be accepted after October 28.  Subject line of email should state Gifted Referral, and the email should include student’s first and last name, grade level, teacher, and area of referral (English, Math, or both areas).  An email confirmation will be sent within 48 hours.  If you do not receive an email confirmation, please call the school.  

In the Classroom

  • Reading/Language Arts: This week, we begin our Literature Circles in class.  Students will be assigned a novel as a part of our author study on Andrew Clements.  We will put together our folders and map out the schedule of meetings.  During reading stations, they will have time to work on their assigned jobs as well as a few other concept activities.  Students will also be working on their first Redskins Read assignment, due on Friday.  We will have our third installment of Greek and Latin Roots with SPEC words. 
  • Math: We are working on math word problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. We will start with a review of addition and subtraction.  Students will use estimation to help make sure answers are logical.
  • Science/Social Studies: We will continue looking at the scientific method this week and students can expect a check-up assignment on Thursday.  Then, we will begin our Earth Science unit on Rocks.  We will also spend some time this week looking at Henrico Country History in our County Workbook.


Week Three is Here!

Important Information

  • We will have our first set of signed papers come home this week. Please look over the graded papers together and return all papers with the signed Springer Check, which will also include any notes on behavior for the previous week.  Feel free to include any notes or questions on the back of the Springer Check. All signed papers are due by Friday. Thank you for your support.
  • Any math signed papers will come home in a separate stapled packet to be returned to each student’s math teacher.
  • Last week, a letter explaining the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAPs test, came home. We will be taking the reading MAPs test on Tuesday, September 20th and the math MAPs test on Monday, October 3rd.
  • Please join me for Back-to-School Night on Thursday, September 22nd. We will begin with a PTA meeting at 6:30 pm followed by classroom presentations to share information about the upcoming school year.

In the Classroom

  • Reading/Language Arts: Our reading in class this week will focus on short passages as we continue to discuss narrative elements and look at character traits.  As a reminder, students should be reading 20 minutes each evening as part of our “Two-a-Days” with the Redskins Read program.  This week’s weekly passage includes two non-fiction passages about the Scientific Method. Everyone did a great job with last week’s PED words.  This week, we will work with the Greek Root, MAN, meaning hand.  There will be nightly homework and daily review in class before a quiz each Friday.
  • Math: Students will continue to work on place value with whole numbers and decimals.  They will spend time rounding decimals and should expect an assessment sometime this week.
  • Science: We are switching to Science for this week and will be reviewing the scientific method.  Students will talk about lab safety and the process used when conducting experiments.

Happy Second Week!!

News You Can Use

  • Thank you for an awesome first week! Some of you received forms on Friday that were not filled out online. Please complete these forms as soon as possible.
  • Thursday, September 15th is Grandparents’ Day and to honor our grandparents, students may invite grandparents to lunch. Grandparents should check in with the office and join us in the cafeteria. Our lunch time is 11:50-12:20.
  • Each week, students will bring home the previous week’s graded papers in their yellow communication folder. Stapled to the front will be a behavior checklist mirroring the same expectations seen on the report card. On the back of the sheet will be a note from me with any specifics about your student. Please initial the chart and return the graded papers. This week’s sheet will not include any graded papers.
  • Please join me for Back-to-School Night on Thursday, September 22nd. We will begin with a PTA meeting at 6:30 pm followed by classroom presentations to share information about the upcoming school year.

In the Classroom

  • Reading/Language Arts:This week we will focus on the plot in narrative stories.  Students will read several passages as we explore the rise and fall of the story action.  We have started our Redskins Read Program with Mrs. Strait! More information about completing the first activity will be coming soon.  Students should be reading 20 minutes each evening as part of our “Two-a-Days”!  We are starting our version of word study this week with a list focused on the Greek Root, PED.  There will be nightly homework and daily review in class before a quiz each Friday.
  • Math: We have started switching for math. Our first unit will be a review of place value including decimals through the thousandths place. We will also practice rounding whole numbers and decimals.
  • Social Studies: This week, we will explore the geography of Henrico County. Students each have a Henrico County information booklet that should be used with their journals to study for tests and quizzes. Our first quiz will be on the geography of the county on Friday.

Great First Day!

We made it through the first day without any major hiccups!!  Yay us!!  Below you will find most of the information that came home on our weekly newsletter.  I will be posting information here each week to let you know about the happenings in our classroom.  For the first month of school, I will also send a paper copy home.  Starting in October, everything will be digital unless I receive a special request.  Please just let me know.

Important Information

Welcome back to school! I hope everyone enjoyed a relaxing summer vacation. I enjoyed meeting many of you at our open house and am excited to be working with you! We are going to have an awesome year together.

Thank you to everyone who has completed the back-to-school forms on ZippSlip. Soon you will receive any forms not completed online that will need to be filled out and returned. Please also send in the PTA forms as soon as possible. Thank you for taking the time to fill out all of these!

Please join me for Back-to-School Night on Thursday, September 22nd. We will begin with a PTA meeting at 6:30 pm followed by classroom presentations about the upcoming year.

Coming Up This Week

  • Reading: We will begin the year with several short stories in our reading textbook and StoryWorks magazine as students gain an introduction to reading expectations for the year, including literature circle jobs and discussion skills.  We will also visit the library to learn all about our Redskins Reading Program! Please look for more information about this incentive program to come home soon!
  • Math: We will be switching classes for math this year. After completing several pre-assessments, we will begin switching classes on Friday. Our first unit will be on place value.
  • Science / Social Studies: We will alternate between science and social studies units this year. We will start with a review of the scientific method and exploration of the geography of Henrico County. Students will receive a booklet that will be used throughout our studies of Henrico.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Sept 15th – Invite your Grandparents to Lunch
  • Sept 21st – ½ day for students, dismissal at 11:05
  • September 22nd – Back-to-School Night, 6:30 pm
  • October 10th – Student Holiday

Groovy Open House!

It was so great to meet all of you on Friday morning at our open house.  Parents and students, thanks for coming out to introduce yourself and get a sneak peek at the classroom.  I know we are going to have a fantastic year together as we wrap up elementary school.  Looking forward to seeing you all back on Tuesday morning.  Don’t forget to wear your tennis shoes – we have PE!!

One Month to Go

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend despite the rain and clouds.  A reminder as we enter this time of year, our last month together, that we are still working hard in class.  Please continue to encourage our students to complete homework, give their best efforts while at school both academically and behaviorally, and stay well prepared for our SOL tests that are almost finished.  I am very proud of the effort during the first three days.  Today we completed part 1 of math today and will take part 2 tomorrow.  We got this!!

In addition to the first rounds of testing being complete, we also have reason to celebrate with our final PTA performance.  This Tuesday, May 24th, the 5th grade will provide a musical treat before our Ice Cream Social.  Students are asked to wear jeans and a solid blue or yellow shirt Tuesday evening.  They should report to the classroom at 6:45 pm.  The PTA meeting will start at 7:00 pm, immediately followed by the social on the bus loop.

Coming up this week:

  • Language Arts: This week, we will continue writing our opinion essay about robotic pets.  Students will read several other articles in our current issue of Storyworks Magazine, continuing to hone skills, and we will work on another unit of Greek and Latin Roots.
  • Math: The big day is here.  Our Math SOL will be taken on Monday and Tuesday.  Students will be testing with their math teachers both days.  After testing students will continue to switch to their math classes as we work on hands on activities and extension projects incorporating the units studied throughout the school year. 
  • Science: Again, the focus this week will be on Social Studies.
  • Social Studies:  We have begun the last unit of study on the United States geographic regions.  Students began by drawing their own version of the West region and making a list of the 11 states and capitals.  This week, we will explore western geography and begin our virtual tour through the various states.

From the Latest Newsletter

Big Ideas

  • Thank you to everyone who came out to the “Spring Spruce Up” event this weekend! We appreciate you dedicating your Saturday morning to help the PTA Landscaping and School Beautification Committees make our school beautiful.
  • This week we will be taking the spring round of our MAPs tests. We will be taking the reading test this Tuesday and the Math test on Tuesday the 26th.
  • Career Day will be this Wednesday. Students are encouraged to dress as their profession! Don’t forget this is also a Half Day for students!
  • The Spring Carnival will be here this Friday, April 22nd.  Thanks in advance to everyone who already has and is planning to help out to make this event a success! If you have not signed up to volunteer for the event, the PTA will still use your help. The teachers & staff look forward to seeing you and your family there!
  • The 5th Grade Activities Committee is collecting pictures for the end of the year slideshow until May 15th.  Be sure to return the permission slip for your child to be included and submit any pictures to spesslideshow@gmail.com.

Inside the Classroom                                                            

  • Language Arts: This week, students will be finishing up our reading unit on the “Black Frontiers.” Our word study list for the week will look at the roots TRACT, which means pull.
  • Math: Students will display their knowledge of area & perimeter of various polygons. Students will also learn how to find the volume of these polygons.
  • Science: Students will continue to study sound.  They will have the opportunity to participate in several hands-on experiments in order to better understand how sound is created and travels.
  • Social Studies:  Students will be diving in to the Southwest region of the United States. The class will be taking virtual tours of several historic landmarks in this region.

Happy Short Week!

News You Can Use:

  • As mentioned last week, we have begun preparations for the transition for middle school.  Parents new to Henrico County’s Parent Portal will be asked to set up an account in Power School. It opens for elementary parents on January 20. If you already have an account, you will not need to create a new account.  Later this month, 5th grade teachers will be entering recommendations for middle school courses on Power School.  You will then be asked to select/approve the course selections during the parent window from February 15-19th.  Although you will set up your account in January, you will NOT be able to make any course request selections until Feb. 15-19. Mrs. Woody and Mrs. Otley, our school counselors, will provide a “Help Workshop” for any 5th grade parents who would like help setting up their account this Thursday, January 21st from 8:30-10:00am in the Springfield Park “CAVE.”  Please RSVP to Mrs. Woody at #527-4630 or email jdwoody@henrico.k12.va.us by Jan. 19th, 2016. 
  • We are also scheduled to have our Health Education Family Life classes this Wednesday.  Please remember to turn in the yellow form IF you do NOT want your child to participate.
  • Please don’t forget to send in order forms (orange half-sheets) if your child intends to eat lunch at school during next week’s half day.

A Look into the Classroom

  • Language Arts: We will return to our reading textbook this week as we look at selections that focus on the Southeast region.  Students will learn more about Everglades National Park and several legendary Jazz musicians from New Orleans.  In reading these stories, we will also discuss the characteristics of fiction and non-fiction literature.  We will also review the third unit of our Greek and Latin root study and take the unit test on Friday.
  • Math: Students will wrap up their units on adding and subtracting fractions before moving onto concepts of probability.  Students will look at tree diagrams and the various forms that one could write about the probable outcomes of a situation.
  • Science: This week’s science will focus on the groupings used to classify plants and animals. Students will look at what makes a plant vascular or non-vascular and discuss the difference between vertebrates and invertebrates.  They will extend their knowledge of classification through several taxonomy sorting activities.

Happy New Year!

News You Can Use

  • Welcome Back!!  I hope that you each had a restful break and some good times with family and friends.  The two weeks definitely seemed to fly by, but we are ready to get back into the routine of 5th grade!
  • Our next Young Science lesson is on Wednesday, kicking off another science unit on living systems and classification.
  • Over the next two weeks, we will also be visited by guidance counselors from our local middle schools. Yes, it’s that time to start thinking about classes for next year and what the transition will be like from elementary to middle school.  Hungary Creek is coming on Thursday, January 7th and Holman will be stopping by on Monday, January 11th.  Be on the lookout for school specific paperwork to come home over the next few weeks.
  • Coming home today are letters about our Health Education Family Life Classes on January 20th.  Please read about the curriculum that will be covered and complete the forms IF you do NOT want your child to participate.

In the Classroom

  • Language Arts: Students will complete their final Wizard of Oz activity as we work on writing a multi-paragraph compare and contrast essay.  We will pick back up with our weekly word study of Greek and Latin Roots.  Our reading focus this week will be on the idea of summarizing and using the text to support our ideas as we read about the influences that shaped our country with some cross-curricular work in our Social Studies textbook (Chapter 3).
  • Math: This week, we will review a few of the basic concepts covered with fractions before we left for break.  We will also complete computation and word problems where students will have to add and subtract fractions.  The more comfortable students are with their multiplication & division facts, the easier it will be to simplify and manipulate fractions.
  • Science: We will begin exploring living systems, discussing how scientist classify plants and animals.  Key vocabulary will include cell parts, vertebrates, invertebrates, vascular, and non-vascular.

Turkey Day is Just Around the Corner

Here’s what life looks like in the classroom this week:

Language Arts: We are almost half-way through our novel study with The Wizard of Oz.  Students are working nicely on their folders to keep up with the sequence of events and character development.  I am looking forward to seeing their thoughts as we move into more aspects of the book that are drastically different from the movie.  There will be no weekly story or word study during this shortened week.  We will begin again after the holiday.

Math: Students are working on rounding decimals as well as computation with decimals currently.  The different math classes are moving at slightly different paces, but all students should be reviewing their basic facts as we work on adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals.

Social Studies/Science: We will continue our discussions on the history of schools in Henrico County this week. Students will compare education of the past to the school system of today.  Next week, students will complete a review assignments on science topics covered so far before we begin our unit on Oceanography!