Weekly Updates

Week 37: May 28th – 31st

Hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend!

This week will be focused on Reading and Science. It’s that time of the year to do our end-of-year Reading assessments and finish our science units that we didn’t complete due to VA Studies SOL review.

Reading – cursive writing; figurative language; F&Ps. I will be administering F&Ps throughout the week, so students will be completing their cursive writing activities and their figurative language presentation. These are not due until a further date (planning on cursive due Friday, FL Presentation due next Tuesday, 6/4). The project is going TBD, based on time.

Science – we are finishing our animal adapations and living systems unit. We will be completing our STEAM project for next week’s STEAM night (Friday, June 7th). We will be making Food Web Mazes – students will be able to tell you more next week!

We will move into our final science unit, Plants,  by the end of this week into next week. Since I am having to teach these units so quickly, grades will be flexible. I will be giving students opportunities to redo some of the assignments. Thank you for your understanding in this.

Friday is Field Day! Please dress your child comfortably – it will be hot!! And extra water bottles are encouraged for the day. Also, your child should wear his/her class tshirt or a royal blue shirt.


Week 36: May 20th – 24th

Reading: We will be working on cursive writing (yay!) and figurative language. The students will continue working through their packet and will begin creating a powerpoint/presentation of their own. This will be done IN school, nothing is to be done at home.

Math: We will continue doing review concepts, but mostly through games and STEM activities. A lot of our math skills will tie into the activities will be in doing in Science.

Virginia Studies: SOL is on Wednesday!!! We will review most of the day Monday and Tuesday. Per my email last week, I posted plenty of social studies review on Schoology. Students can work through whichever activities they want! Nothing is graded, but they will receive a participation grade for completing some of them.

Science: 4.5 Animal Adaptations and Ecosystems. We will begin our second to last science unit and discuss animal habitats, adaptations, ecosystems and food webs. In addition to this unit, we will begin working on our STEAM project for the school-wide STEAM night and Cub Celebration on June 7th!


Upcoming events:

Wednesday, May 22 – Virginia Studies SOL

Friday, June 7th – CTES STEAM night and End-of-Year Cub Celebration


Week 35: May 13th – 17th

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!! And I hope you enjoyed the gift from your students!

Here is what is in store for this week:

Reading: We will pick back up with our figurative language unit,  and will review similes, metaphors, personification, alliteration, onomonapeia, etc. We will work on this over the next few weeks and finish with an in-class presentation!

Math: We have our Math SOL Tuesday and Wednesday. We will spend Monday reviewing.

Virginia Studies: VS. 9 and 10. We are moving right along in our VS units, unfortunately rather quickly. We will NOT be assessing VS. 8, 9 or 10. I will be doing a combination of new material and review material.

I am sending home information for an AT HOME project that is due next Tuesday, May 21st. It is a tshirt project on a key person from the 20th century. You will see the information and rubric on Monday.

Science – we will begin science again next week!

Have a great week!


Week 34: May 6th – 10th

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! I love what I do and appreciate all you do to assist your children throughout the year!

Monday – Reading SOL Part 1

Tuesday – Reading SOL Part 2

Friday – Chorus Concert at 1:45pm in the Gymnasium (no evening concert)

Reading: After the SOL, we will continue working on Figurative Language. We will review similes, metaphors, personification, alliteration, idioms, etc. The students will begin a project next week, that will be completed in class, on figurative language. Students will receive more details on this when we get closer to beginning.

Math: 4.15 Patters and 4.16 Equality/Associative Property – these are our final two units. We will not be testing these units. I am taking it day by day, but hope to finish teaching these by Thursday, and will use Friday and Monday of next week to review for the SOL. We are reviewing daily now, but our days will be largely focused on Math once the reading SOL is over.

VA Studies: VS. 8 Reconstruction, VS. 9 Civil Rights Movement – we are going to finish our Reconstruction unit by discussing Jim Crow Laws and then will move into the Civil Rights movement/1960s. It is a lot of history in a short time, but I will not be assessing these units either. We will begin reviewing all of Virginia Studies (Geography, Jamestown, Revolutionary War, Establishment of U.S., Civil War, Reconstruction, Civil Rights Movement,  Government and key Virginians throughout our history) this week as well. It seems like a lot, but I know the students can handle it!

Science – we will begin science again next week!


Week 33 – April 29th – May 3rd

Field trip to Pamplin Park was today (Monday) and it was a great time! There was lots of walking, and the kids got a little impatient for lunch. But overall, I thought it was very eye opening to how the soldiers lived during the Civil War.

Here is the plan for the rest of the week:

Reading: SOL Next Monday and Tuesday!! The testing window has arrived. We will continue working on test taking strategies, but also try and relax a bit for the upcoming tests. I want to ensure the students are working but are not burnt out before the actual testing days. If you’d like additional practice for your child at home, please let me know and I can assign different passages on Readworks.

Math: Finishing 4.8 Measurement – we are testing on WEDNESDAY. We will be testing identifying the appropriate unit of measurement for Length (customary and metric), Weight/Mass, and Volume (customary and metric). We will also be converting within each type of measurement (we will not cross – i.e. finding the number of pounds in grams). When we finish measurement, we will be going through our Patterns unit. I plan to finish patterns within 5 school days, and will give a QUIZ at the end of the unit. I will NOT do a test.

Virginia Studies: VS. 8 Reconstruction – we have now completed our Civil War unit, but are moving into the Reconstruction period which was right after the war. We will be discussing the changes made in lifestyle, the resistance to the changes and Jim Crow Laws which continued to create segregation despite slavery being illegal. It continues to be a touchy subject but it often creates wonderful conversations.

Science: There are currently no grades in the online gradebook for science due to us focusing on Virginia Studies. This will change once we finish our Reading SOL. I will begin teaching Science again next week! We also have a Young Scientists lesson on Thursday!! 🙂


Week 32 – April 23rd – 26th

I hope everyone had a great long weekend! I know I did – one that was filled with a lot of family time.

Here is the plan for this week –

Reading: Test Taking – we will be reviewing ALL skills from this school year, as we prepare for the SOLs with test taking strategies. We will also continue figurative language, where we will discuss homophones, synonyms and antonyms this week. I will be adding passages on readworks again and will be taking them for a CLASSWORK grade. The students will have a chance to correct their mistakes,  but he original score is what will be added into the gradebook.

Math: 4.8 Measurement – we will review length and weight/mass on Tuesday and will begin Volume on Wednesday. This is unfortunately a quick unit – I plan to assess on Friday. If anything changes, I will email you all!

Social Studies – we are finishing our Civil War unit. We will be discussing key battles in Virginia from the Civil War and will also be reviewing for our test. I was planning to test Wednesday, but I am not confident that the students are ready. I am going to plan to test Thursday now.

Friday is the school Talent Show and we have 2 performers! Come out to see all the talent of CTES!


Week 31 – April 15th – 19th

What a busy Monday we just had!! Here is the plan for this week –

Reading: Test Taking strategies continued – this will most likely be for the majority of this quarter until SOLs are over. Wednesday is our Reading MAPS test!! And the Reading SOL is May 6th and 7th. We will be in testing mode through May 🙁

Math: Measurement continued – we are reviewing Weight/Mass and Volume this week. We will be working on identifying appropriate units of measurement and conversions for each unit. Math MAPS is on Thursday, April 18th and Math SOL is May 14th and 15th. We will assess Measurement on Friday, April 26th.

Virginia Studies: VS. 7 Civil War – we are discussing key leaders and battles of the Civil War from Virginia. We will have plenty of review days, but I will be assessing VS. 7 on Wednesday, April 24th. We have our VA Studies SOL on May 22nd.

After the MAPS tests, I will be posting testing practice on Schoology. I held off until the SOL because the MAPS test is a different format. I’ve been doing a lot in class and with Readworks, so those should be very helpful. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me!

Have a great week!


Week 30: April 8th – 12th

Welcome back from Spring Break!! Hope everyone was able to have some fun and relaxation.

Here is what’s in store for this week –

Reading: Test taking strategies! We will incorporate all skills with test taking strategies, as we prepare for the MAPS and SOL tests. Just a reminder – Reading MAPS is on Wednesday, April 17th. There is not as much preparation for this, as it assesses how much your child has grown in their reading comprehension, which comes with reading over time. But hopefully the test taking strategies will help. I will begin assigning Readworks for homework this week. Please see the homework google doc for updated homework assignments.

Math: 4.7 Measurement (Length) – We are starting our measurement unit, beginning with length. We will discuss the appropriate units of measurement for a given object in both customary and metric measurements. We will also begin measuring items to the nearest 1/8 inch, 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch and whole inch. We will also begin conversions between measurements (customary to customary; metric to metric – we do not cross measurements!).

**Reminder – we will have our Math MAPS test on Thursday, April 18th.

Virginia Studies: VS. 7 Civil War – we began our civil war unit today. We will discuss the reasons for the war, North vs South, key people of the war, key battles of the war and the creation of West Virginia. It is a lot of information, and we are short on time, so please be prepared to see a lot of information quickly. I talked with the class today about this. Everyone will be fine!!

Science – we are going to be on a break from science for a few weeks. BUT, after SOLs, we will be doing tons of Science fun!!!

Have a great week!


Week 29: March 25th – 29th

Last week before spring break!!! Students have a half day on Friday, so please be aware that they’ll be arriving home early!

Reading: 4.5c Main Idea – we are continuing main idea…if you can’t tell, I’m trying REALLY hard to get the kids to master this skill. We are going to work on both fiction and nonfiction in whole group and small group reading. I will also be teaching figurative language throughout the week (similes, metaphors, synonyms, antonyms, homophones).

Math: We will wrap up Probability on Monday (we missed a day last week due to the 2nd grade performance). On Tuesday, we will begin our Measurement unit – SOL 4.7 Length (we review customary and metric measurements and conversions). We will start this unit, and I will do informal assessments (classwork grades) throughout the week to assess. But we will review this after spring break.

Science: Finishing our 4.3 Electricity unit. We will have a quiz on Thursday. After that, we will do some review of Force and Motion and Electricity together before the break. The students should expect to see circuits (series, parallel, open, closed), static electricity and scientists.

Virginia Studies – we will begin our VS. 7 Civil War unit when we return from spring break.


Week 28: March 18th – 22nd

Reading – 4.5c Main Idea/Details continued; 4.5i Making/Revising predictions – we were never able to get to predictions last week, so we are going to be working through making and revising predictions this week. I will continue to work on Main Idea/Details in my small group reading.

Math – 4.10, 4.11, 4.12, 4.7 Geometry: We will have our Geometry test TUESDAY. We will be testing points, lines, line segments, rays, angles, quadrilaterals, polygons, and area and perimeter of polygons. Once complete, we will do a VERY short unit on Probability – we will finish by Friday. I will NOT be testing Probability – but I am planning to give a quiz on Friday just to assess how the students do with it.

Science – 4.3 Electricity: We were not able to complete our force and motion quiz on Friday due to needing an extra day to complete review assignments, but we will quiz Monday. On Tuesday, we will start our electricity unit, discussing insulators and conductors, series and parallel circuits, and scientists.

Virginia Studies – We will now start our Civil War unit AFTER Spring Break.


Week 27: March 11th – 15th

Reading – 4.5c Main Idea/Details continued; 4.5i Making/Revising Predictions – we are going to continue Main Idea/Details throughout the rest of the quarter. I am going to make this a focus in small group and do whole group lessons periodically. I am putting a big focus on this skill as it was what the class struggled the most with as a whole on the benchmark.

Also – I have started doing regular passages with the students. I am using Readworks.org and each student has an account. I will, in the near future, be using this online resource for homework. Currently, I am trying to expose the students to more passages and questions, in hopes that will help them come SOL time. I will assign the students passages on their reading levels, as well as 4th grade passages, to allow for practice reading and answering comprehension questions.

Math – 4.11 (2-D and 3-D planes and figures); 4.7 Area and Perimeter of Polygons – we are going to finish our Geometry unit this week. I will be providing hands-on activities to help students understand 3-D figures. I am planning to assess this unit NEXT Tuesday, March 19th. It will cover our entire geometry unit – Lines, Quadrilaterals, Polygons, 2-D Plane figures, 3-D solid figures, area and perimeter.

Also – I am still reteaching Fractions and still want to continue to review during P.I.E. time. I appreciate your patience with me in waiting until I am more confident in their understanding of fractions. I will notify you all when I have the students retest. I am hopeful that it will be this Friday, but we will see how the week goes. Thank you for your understanding.

Science – 4.2 Force and Motion – We are continuing our Force and Motion unit. We will be discussing push and pull, potential and kinetic energy and complete an in-class Force and Motion STEM project (Straw darts). I plan to QUIZ this unit on Friday of this week.

Virginia Studies – We will begin our VS. 7 Civil War unit next week, after we complete our Force and Motion unit.


Week 26: March 4th – 8th

Reading – 4.5j/4.6g Cause and Effect continued. I am going to do a few more lessons and practice with Cause and Effect before I move on to our second unit of Main Idea/Details. I will give a quiz sometime this week, either Wednesday or Thursday. I will ONLY quiz Cause and Effect. I am going to start reviewing Main Idea and Details in our small group reading.

Math – 4.10, 4.11, 4.12 Geometry (lines, polygons, plane and solid figures). We are going to continue working through our Geometry unit. We have finished up lines and are moving into polygons. The students learned most of this in 3rd grade. The only new thing to them will be the plane and solid figures. I am going to start this on Wednesday. I am planning to test Geometry next Tuesday, March 12th.

Virginia Studies – VS. 6 New Nation – I will be quizzing this on Tuesday (tomorrow). It’s a short unit, so I am not making it a test. We will spend Monday reviewing and will also review before the quiz tomorrow.

Science – We will begin our Force and Motion unit on Wednesday! I know the kids are anxious for another science unit!


Week 25: February 25th – March 1st

Field Trip on Friday!! This is an easy field trip to prepare for – no snacks needed, we’ll be back in time for lunch, and the students come to school and go home the same way they do every day. The only thing is that the students wear their Class Tshirt,  or something in the royal blue family, so they’re in our class color.

Here is what’s in store for the week:

Reading: 4.5j/4.6g Cause and Effect: We are continuing cause and effect. We did not get through even half of what I had planned, so I am going to continue this skill into next week. We will look at cause and effect relationships in fiction and nonfiction texts. We will also discuss vocabulary used to help us identify whether a statement or action is a cause or an effect.

Math: 4.10 Geometry/Lines – we will learn the different types of lines and the sets of lines (line, line segment, ray, angle, point, parallel lines, perpendicular lines, intersecting lines).

Virginia Studies: We will continue VS. 6 – A New Nation. I plan to QUIZ this unit on Friday. It’s another short unit, so I anticipate it going quickly. I will update you on whether the quiz will be pushed back or not.

Science: We will begin another science unit once we complete our VS. 6 unit.

Have a great week!


Week 24: February 18th – 22nd

We will have a full week of clas, with no scheduled interruptions. Yeah!! We should get ourselves all caught up and hopefully ahead in some areas.

Here is what is planned for this week:

Reading: 4.5j/4.6g Cause and Effect Relationships – we will be looking at cause and effect relationships within fiction and nonfiction texts. NO cause and effect Quiz today or tomorrow!

Math: 4.2 Fractions – We started comparing fractions on Friday, and each student grasped the concept before the day’s end. That is an awesome sign for ordering fractions! Since we are combining all that we have learned in our fractions unit, comparing and ordering should move quickly. We will be learning adding and subtracting fractions as well, but I think this should go fairly smoothly. I am planning to give the 4.2 Fractions test THIS Friday, February 22nd. Please look for review homework all week in preparation of Friday’s test.

Virginia Studies: VS. 5 Revolutionary War – we will TEST our VS. 5 unit this Tuesday, February 19th. It will review the reasons for the War (Colonists vs. Parliament), key Virginians and the roles they played in the war, and key battles in the war. We will review on Monday and students can bring the review home to study.

We will move into VS. 6, New Nation on Wednesday following the Revolutionary War. I am planning to finish this unit in 5 school days and hopefully give a QUIZ on Tuesday, February 26th.


Week 23: February 11th – 15th

We will have Young Scientists on Thursday – Electricity lesson!! This is always a lot of fun, so I am sure the students will enjoy it!

Reading: 4.4c Reference Materials – On our benchmark, Reference Materials served as the hardest skill. I hadn’t taught it much before the benchmark, so we are going to spend this week focusing on them. We will also incorporate text features using nonfiction texts. I will be focusing on Main Idea and Author’s Purpose with different groups in my small group reading lessons, so we will begin reviewing these skills as well. These skills were also difficult for most of the class on the benchmark.

Math: 4.2 Fractions, Simplifying fractions and comparing/ordering fractions – I am taking my time with this unit because it is very difficult. We will continue simplifying fractions into the beginning of the week. On Wednesday, I will begin comparing fractions and will move right into ordering fractions if the students are getting it. I do not have a final test date scheduled yet for this, but I am planning to do a quick quiz Wednesday on simplifying fractions and I am planning to assess comparing and ordering fractions on Friday, February 15th.  As long as students grasp fractions enough, I am planning to assess the fractions unit on Friday, February 22nd. I appreciate your flexibility with this.

Virginia Studies: VS. 5c, Key Battles of the Revolutionary War – This year, we will discuss the Lexington and Concord battle (start of the war), Battle of Great Bridge (first battle in Virginia) and the surrender at Yorktown (end of the war). I don’t expect to need more than 2-3 days. I plan to assess this unit Next Monday, February 18th. It’s a lot later than I originally intended, but I think I can make up for time with VS.6. I will go right into VS. 6 following the VS. 5 test, and will continue science before the Civil War unit.

I would still like to do the STEM Catapult project, so please send in those materials as soon as possible. Thank you!!


Week 21: January 29th – February 1st

We have a lot scheduled throughout the week that will break up our schedule a bit:

Wednesday morning – Family Life; Wednesday afternoon – Coding lesson with Mrs. Franklin; Thursday morning – MSiC lesson (electricity)

On Friday, the students took a quiz on VS. 4. It appeared difficult overall, so I will be revisiting the test. The students were expected to APPLY the information we have been learning in class – however, due to the snow days and interruptions in our schedule, I went through the unit quickly and it is obvious the students hadn’t mastered the material. I let them use their notes on the quiz, but it was still difficult. I will be spending time with the students during P.I.E. time to discuss the more difficult questions. I will adjust the scores after I review the test questions again and see which ones were difficult. This will go on the 3rd quarter. Thank you for your understanding.

Here’s the plan for this week:

Reading: 4.5h Making Inferences/Drawing Conclusions – the students showed on the benchmark that overall, they are really strong with inferencing. I am going to continue this skill for one more week and will have a short assessment on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1st. It will be a quiz on inferencing.

Math: 4.2 Fractions – Fractions on a number line, Equivalent fractions, comparing fractions – We are continuing our fractions unit. I am going to finish our fractions on a number line section, begin equivalent fractions as well as comparing fractions by Friday. Our Math block is uninterrupted this week. I would like to give a quiz on TMonday on Fractions. The students’ homework will be based on what we are currently doing. I am only going to assess basic fraction sense, benchmark fractions and equivalent fractions.  I will NOT assess comparing fractions until later.

Virginia Studies: VS. 5 Revolutionary War – we finished last week discussing the reasons why the colonists wanted independence from Great Britain (the King). We will continue discussing this very important topic this week, and move into discussing key Virginians the roles they played in the Revolutionary War (Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Patrick Henry, James Lafayette and Marquis de Lafayette).

Have a great week!


Week 20: January 22nd – 25th

This is the final week of the 2nd quarter. I will be working with students to collect any missing work before Friday.

We also have our benchmark testing this week. Tuesday and Wednesday will be Reading Parts 1 and 2, Thursday and Friday will be Math Parts 1 and 2.

I will not be collecting many classwork assignments this week due to testing. I will also notify you of your child’s benchmark test scores after the county testing window is closed. Please do not anticipate hearing any results in regards to benchmarks until February. Thank you for your understanding with this.

This week’s objectives:

Reading: 4.5h Making Inferences/Drawing Conclusions – we will continue working on making inferences using character’s actions, dialogue and identifying themes (main idea) of a texts to help us infer.

Math: 4.2 Fractions – this week, before the benchmark, we will focus on equivalent fractions. We will also continue reviewing identifying fractions and using benchmark fractions throughout the week.

Virginia Studies: VS. 4 Colonial Virginia AND VS. 5 Revolutionary War – we will be finishing up our VS. 4 unit on Wednesday. There will NOT be an end of unit assessment for this unit. We will continue reviewing the vocabulary throughout the year. However, I will do a classwork assessment to see how the students did with this unit. I plan to do this on Wednesday, but I am not going to stress it too much as I don’t want students to be worried about this during benchmark tests. Once we complete this classwork assignment, we will begin our Revolutionary War unit.

Reminder: Our CTES Multicultural Night is on February 21st.

Reminder: Parent/Teacher Conferences are on February 7th from 3:30 – 6:00pm. I will contact parents who I feel it is necessary to meet with. If you do not hear from me, please let me know if you would like a conference.


Week 19: January 14th – 18th

January 14th – Unexpected Snow Day!!

Reading: 4.5h Making Inferences – we are continuing to practice making inferences with fictional texts. We will be focusing on different strategies to use to make inferences and draw conclusions. Mrs. LeClair, our librarian, will be joining us for a lesson this week! It’ll be nice to have another teacher here for the students, as sometimes its beneficial for them to hear things from more than one person. I will be giving a short quiz on Friday, which will be inferencing only. The students will receive practice in reading centers that will expose them to questions similar to what they will see on the quiz.

Math: 4.2 Fractions – We will begin looking at fractions as division statements, and quickly move into benchmark and equivalent fractions. This is a difficult unit, but hopefully the students will pick up on it fairly quickly. We will have our fractions unit split into two different units, which will hopefully help with mastering the skills. The pretest showed me that students are not strong in fractions, so we are going to be working from the basics as whole group – with the exception of two or three students (who I will have as helpers during independent work!).

**FYI – the Divison quizzes were great!! I had to take one question out, as everyone but one student missed it – this will be something I will review during PIE time, but removed it from the quiz. They really impressed me with their division skills!

Virginia Studies – VS. 4 Colonial Virginia – We are going to finish this unit in ONE WEEK!! I am going to quiz this unit next Tuesday. It is a short unit that is a follow-up to Jamestown, so it is an easy one to go through quickly. We will cover a topic each day, and a study guide is going home today (Tuesday, the 15th) for them to study throughout the week – the study guide is due Friday.

**We will begin VS. 5 Revolutionary War next Wednesday – this is one of my favorite units to teach, so I hope the students enjoy as much as I do!!


Week 18: January 7th – 11th

Back to a full week!

Reading: 4.5h Making Inferences/Drawing Conclusions – this tends to be the most difficult skill for students. I’ve seen more students struggle with this skill than with main idea/details and Author’s purpose. With that said, I plan to spend a few weeks on this skill. We are going to spend the first two weeks learning the different ways to make inferences and draw conclusions within fiction and nonfiction texts. I plan to give a quiz on Friday, January 18th, assessing Inferencing only.

Math: 4.4 Division and 4.2 Fractions. I will be reviewing division Monday and assessing on Tuesday, January 8th. It will just be a short quiz. Wednesday, I will give a pretest on Fractions to assess if students have had any exposure to fractions. THIS IS NOT FOR A GRADE. After I look over the pretest, I will begin teaching fraction vocabulary and reviewing identifying fractions from 3rd grade. I hope to begin comparing and ordering fractions by the end of the week as well, depending on how students are doing.

Science: 4.8 Solar System – we will wrap up our solar system unit this week. We will be making moon phases with oreos and reviewing key astrologists and facts about the earth, moon and sun. My plan is to finish on Wednesday. We will NOT have a test for this unit – the Solar System Newpaper project will count as the unit test.

**Planet Newspaper Project due on Friday!!**

**We have Young Scientists on Thursday**

Virginia Studies: VS. 4 Colonial Virginia – On Friday, we will begin our VS. 4 unit. We will start with an introduction to vocabulary. This is a heavy vocabulary unit. If time permits, I will begin discussing/reviewing the influence of slavery on the colonies during this period, in regards to agriculture.


Week 17: January 3rd-4th

Even though it’s a very short week, and we are returning from winter break, we will get right back to work – we still have to make up for the snow days before break. I will be giving homework tomorrow, so please be on the lookout for this. I am not going to restart a reading log until next week. Please see the “Weekly Homework” link for Thursday’s homework.

This week’s plan:

Reading: SOL 4.6h Fact or Opinion – I wanted to spend this short week reviewing this skill. We will review how to break down a sentence and determine if it is a fact or opinion.

Math: SOL 4.4 Division/Word Problems – we are going to spend Thursday reviewing division. I am expecting students to need extra review and practice with just the skill of division. Friday, and next week, I will practice word problems. We are going to have a division quiz on Wednesday. I will incorporate word problems into the quiz.

Science: SOL 4.8 Earth, Moon and Sun – we are going to start our unit on Earth, Moon and Sun. We will finish this unit next Wednesday. Please remember the Planet Newspaper project that is due on January 11th. Information on this was sent home before winter break. This will count as the assessment for SOLs 4.7 and 4.8. NO TEST will be given.

Virginia Studies – We will begin VS. 4 Colonial Times after our Earth, Moon and Sun unit.

We are going to have a watershed lesson led by Lindy Durham who works for Henrico County. We will have this on Friday. It is a fun lesson, so be sure to ask your child about it!


Week 15/16: December 10th – 14th; 17th-19th

I am going to combine by blog post for this week and next week. Considering they’re two short weeks – wow, what a snow storm! What an exciting way to kick off winter!

Due to the missed days, we are going to be behind in Math and Science. As far as Reading goes, I am going to continue fact and opinion, but I know we’ll get caught up since we review the skills in the third and fourth quarters. Here is what I am planning for this week and next week:

Reading: 4.6h Fact and Opinion – We will continue using Fact and Opinion to help us identify the author’s purpose and the main idea of a nonfiction text. Last week, we focused on how to identify and explain the author’s purpose of a nonfiction text using the author’s opinions. This week and next week, we will review this skill and begin using facts and opinions to help us narrow down the main idea of a nonfiction text. We want to see the students furthering their knowledge of the skill by being able to support their ideas.

Math: 4.4b-d Multiplication and Division – we will review multiplication for homework and independent work. Small group instruction will be focused on division. We are using an area model method to solve division, instead of the long division method. It’s the same process, but incorporates a box like we did with multiplication. I started this last week, and the students seemed to like it as a whole. I will use this method only, as we are short on time for division due to the snow days.

**Note – there will NOT be a test for multiplication and division. Due to the timing of the unit, I will only be giving the quizzes as an assessment for this unit. So far, the students have taken 2 multiplication quizzes. I plan to give 2 division quizzes as well. I will quiz next TUESDAY (December 18th) and will give my second assessment the Tuesday AFTER winter break (January 8th).

Science – SOL 4.7, 4.8 Planets, Solar System – we started 4.7 Planets before the snow storm, and we will continue reviewing this week and next week. I am hoping to start 4.8 Solar System before we leave for break, but we will see how 4.7 goes. 4.7 reviews the order of the planets – they need to know the order of closest to farthest from the sun, farthest to closest from the sun, largest to smallest in size, and smallest to largest in size. We will also learn one or two facts about each, but this unit is not very big. 4.8 Solar System covers the phases of the moon, facts about the sun, and more facts about the Earth. I will give more specific information on 4.8 in my next blog post (for after winter break).

**Note – I will be sending home information on a Planets/Solar System project this Thursday. This will take the place of a test/quiz. I will only be grading classwork for this unit and the project will count as the final project grade.

Social Studies – We will begin our VS. 4 unit after our Solar System unit. I plan to begin this unit January 14th.


Week 14: December 3rd – 7th

Here’s the plan for this week:

Reading: Author’s Purpose – the quizzes we took last week were not as good as I had hoped. We will spend another week on Author’s Purpose. I will work with the students in a small group setting to review Author’s Purpose within an assessment. We will also work on Main Idea/Details and Author’s Purpose in our guided reading groups.

**Update: We will have a comprehension quiz on Friday**

Math: 2-digit by 3-digit Multiplication; Division – we will continue working on multiplication, but will spend the first half of the week practice 2-digit by 3-digit multiplication. If I feel comfortable enough with how the students are doing on multiplication, I will start division.

*Note – the quiz we took on Friday showed me that students are making simple mistakes when doing both the traditional and box method/area model solving strategies. I will continue working in small group with these skills. I will also pull small groups during PIE time to continue practicing this skill. I am hoping with additional practice in the classroom and homework, the students will fix these mistakes.

**Update: We will take another multiplication quiz on Friday**

Virginia Studies: TEST ON TUESDAY! We will review Jamestown on Monday. Please note the test will cover the ENTIRE unit – Charters, reasons for colonizing in America, reasons for choosing the Jamestown site, hardships faced by settlers, relationship between the Englishmen and Native Americans, why the Jamestown site was a poor choice, government, arrival of africans and women, as well as Werowocomoco and its importance. We will move into science after the test.

Science: Planets – we will begin our Science SOL 4.7. We will discuss the names of the planets, the order of the planets, and facts about each planet. After our planets unit, we will cover Science SOL 4.8 to discuss the Solar System (moon, sun, moon phases, etc.).


Week 13: November 26th – November 30th

Welcome back from the long weekend! I hope everyone was able to rest and is ready for the short 3 weeks before our next break. We will still be working very hard in the coming weeks, so please continue to attend school regularly and come prepared, ready to learn!

Reading: Author’s Purpose – We will review author’s purpose of fiction texts. The students were taught P.I.E.E.D. (persuade, inform, entertain, explain, describe). The struggle with this is deciding whether the author was explaining or describing, and not informing or persuading. We will quiz on Wednesday to see how the students are doing, and I will remediate author’s purpose of fiction texts in small group and PIE time. We will hopefully begin author’s purpose of nonfiction texts on Thursday.

Math: Multiplication of 2-digit by 2-digit and 3-digit numbers. We are going to be learning the “box method” or “area model” strategy for multiplication. I will review traditional method with the students and let them choose which one they prefer. We will be doing lots and lots of practice, so be prepared to see that with homework.

Virginia Studies: Government in Jamestown; Werowocomoco – we will finish our Jamestown unit this week, learning about how the government established itself. As well as the importance of Werowocomoco and its role in the relationship of Indians and settlers. We will test on Jamestown NEXT Tuesday, December 4th.


Week 12: November 19th – 23rd

Thanksgiving Break starts on Wednesday!! Hope you all have a fabulous long weekend!!

Monday = Jamestown field trip. We will not be in school long enough for instruction, so the field trip will serve as our instruction for the day.

Tuesday = We have a busy day lined up for Tuesday. We have our Turkey Trot in the morning, book buddies in the afternoon, and we’re finishing our weather stations at the end of the day. We will have reading and math instruction for the day.

Reading – Author’s Purpose. We will continue to work on Author’s purpose of fictional texts. The students will also finish their word study activities from last week.

Math – Multiplication. We began multiplication last week, and worked on multiplying 2-digit and 3-digit numbers by a 1-digit number. We will continue working on this Tuesday. I am showing the students the “box method” or “area model” ways of multiplying – students may need to bring home their notebooks to share with you. I am showing the students this week, but we will begin practicing using this model when we get back from break.

**Looking ahead: We will move into 2-digit by 2-digit when we return from break.



Week 11: November 12th – 16th

Reading: Author’s Purpose continued – we will continue working on identifying and explaining the author’s purpose of fiction texts. Students will used P.I.E.E.D. as a graphic organizer to help students explain the author’s purpose using details from the text. We will continue working on Main Idea/Details as well, but the primary focus will be author’s purpose.

Math: Estimating Sums and Differences; Multiplication – we will spend two more days working on estimating sums and differences, which will allow for more practice of adding and subtracting numbers through the millions place. On Wednesday, we will take a multiplication and division pretest, to help me with instruction of these two units. We will begin with Multiplication instruction on Thursday. We will review multiplication 1-digit by 2-digit numbers and by next week, we will multiply 2-digit by 3-digit numbers (i.e. 123 x 45)

Social Studies: Jamestown continued – we are moving right along in our Jamestown unit. We will begin discussing hardships faced by settlers after they were in Jamestown for some time. By the end of this week, we will also discuss the government of Jamestown.

Science: We have young scientists this week.

Have a great week!


Week 10: November 5th – 9th

Reading: Author’s Purpose; Problem/Solution in small group reading – We will be beginning our Author’s Purpose unit this week. I expect to spend 3-4 weeks on this skill, covering fiction and nonfiction texts. We will continue reviewing summarizing using problem and solution in our small group guided reading, along with our main idea/details strategies.

Math: Addition and Subtraction; Estimating sums and differences of whole numbers and decimals – After jumping into estimating sums and differences, I realized that students need additional practice with adding and subtracting six and seven digit numbers. We will be spending the beginning of the week reviewing these skills, and I will move back into estimating sums and differences later in the week. Please continue to review decimal place value and strategies at home (using money or cooking in the kitchen) as we move forward with our next unit.

Virginia Studies: VS. 3 Jamestown – the kids seem VERY excited about this unit. We have started reviewing reasons for colonization and charters. This week we will focus on why they chose the Jamestown site, and how the settlement expanded through government and families/slaves.

Science: We will begin our next science unit after Jamestown

Writing: We have been writing to our pen pals at Montrose Elementary School in Richmond (Henrico county public school!). The kids are LOVING it!!! Ask them about their pen pal 🙂

Have a great week!


Week 9: October 29th – November 2nd

Reading: Problem and Solution – we will continue summarizing texts using problem and solution. We will continue reviewing Main Idea and Details and tie it into problem and solution.

Math: Estimating sums and differences of whole numbers and decimals. We will use this week to review adding and subtracting, using estimation (rounding) of whole numbers and decimals.

Virginia Studies: VS. 3 – Jamestown. We will begin talking about why the English settled at Jamestown.

Science: we will finish our weather unit in the beginning of the week, before moving into our next Virginia Studies unit.


Week 8: October 22nd – 26th

I have moved the Place Value/Decimals test to this FRIDAY, October 26th! We also have Fire Safety on Tuesday, and will have two assemblies this week – a Robotics assembly on Wednesday and Zach Daniel, Meteorologist for channel 6 will be here on Friday! It’s a pretty fun week ahead 🙂

Here’s the plan for the week:

Reading: Main Idea/Details/Summarizing: this will be the last week with this skill until we review it later in the year. We will be doing a combination of both fiction and nonfiction summarizing. I will requiz the class using the same quiz from the first time to see if they grew in this area.

Math: Comparing/Ordering Decimals; Review: we will learn the last part of this section with comparing and ordering decimals. Then we will spend some time reviewing for our test on Friday. I will send home a packet on Tuesday and it will be due on Thursday so we can review any concerns for Friday.

Science: Weather: this will be our last week of science until our next unit. We will finish this unit with a cumulative in-class inquiry-based activity. The students will use what they’ve learned about weather and complete an activity that has them planning for a family visit, analyzing weather data and preparing a list of things they need. This will count as their final assessment.

We will begin Virginia Studies VS. 3 next week – Jamestown! It’s a very long unit, so we will be spending quite a bit of time on it.

Have a great week!


Week 7: October 15th – 19th

I’m glad everyone stayed safe in the hurricane on Friday! What a crazy fall we are having weather wise, but hopefully the hurricane weather is behind us. It feels like it with the awesome fall temperatures!

Here’s what’s in store for this week:

Reading – Summarizing: we are summarizing Nonfiction texts this week using the “Who, What, Where, When, Why and How” method to identify the Very Important Part of a text (you might hear them say “V.I.P.”)

Math – Decimals: this week we are finishing our place value unit with decimals. We are working on Decimal place value and rounding decimals. Friday we will review all skills taught this week. I plan to assess Decimals NEXT Wednesday, October 24th. We will review comparing/ordering on Monday and review for the test on Tuesday (this is for next week).

Science – Weather: The students are completing their weather projects while we do our weather unit. I told them it was quite the exciting time to be starting this project! It will be due on October 29th. We will be reviewing weather phenomena, instruments, precipitation, high/low pressure and warm/cold fronts. LOTS to learn! They will have a project as their unit assessment, so there will not be a test for this unit.

Key dates:

Wednesday, October 24th – Decimal test

Tuesday, October 23rd – Fire Safety

Friday, October 26th – Zach Daniels (meteorologist) visit

Art Orders are due by November 1st. Please try to order online.

End of the first 9 weeks: November 5th


Week 6: October 9th – 12th

I hope everyone got lots of rest on their day off! The teachers were hard at work throughout the day participating in a professional development, which will benefit the students. I learned a lot that I plan to carry into my classroom!

Here is what’s on tap for this week:

Reading – Summarizing: we will continue summarizing, using main idea and details from a fiction text. We will transition into summarizing nonfiction texts. I am taking some extra time to teach this skill and review main idea/details, as it is a challenging skill.

Math – Ordering Whole Numbers, Beginning Decimal Place Value: Math Workshop is coming along well. The students are transitioning fairly well. We will continue to practice good transitioning, allowing us to move quicker from center to center for maximum learning time. We will begin the week wrapping up our Whole Number place value (SOL 4.1) and will move into decimals.

**We will test Whole Number/Decimal Place Value NEXT Friday, October 19th.

Science – YAY! Unit 1! We will begin SOL 4.6: Weather. We will spend this week talking about different weather phenomena (weather patterns, cold/warm fronts, clouds, storms, etc.).

VA Studies – We will spend one day working on our Regions Clay Map. What the students do not finish, they will need to finish at home. I am hopeful that the students will work quickly so they can get as much done at once.


Week 5: October 1st – 5th

We are moving right along with the school year!

Reading – Main Idea and Details. We will begin the week reviewing main idea and details for fiction texts and practicing the strategy “Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then”. By the end of the week, we will move into the main idea of nonfiction texts using the “V.I.P. (very important part) strategy.

Math – Rounding, Comparing and Ordering whole numbers. Math Workshop is in full swing! Ask your student about how Math is going! We are going to start our rotations this week with Rounding, finish with comparing and Friday will be our STEM day! Hopefully this will be a fun experience for the students as this becomes our new Math plan.

Virginia Studies – Native Americans: adapting to environment, then and now, and archeaologists/artifacts. TEST WILL BE ON FRIDAY!! This is a large unit, so any extra studying you can do at home will be VERY helpful!

Upcoming events:

Thursday, October 4th: Gifted Meeting at 6:00pm

Friday, October 5th: VS. 2 test (Geography of Virginia and Native Americans)

Monday, October 8th: Student Holiday

Thursday, October 11th: Young Scientists: Scientific Method



Week 4: September 24th – 28th

We made it to the end of the first month! Here is what we are working on this week:

Reading – continuing summarizing details using the “Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then” strategy. This ties into Main Idea.

Writing – narrowing down our topic for our writing! We are also working on Homophones for grammar practice this week.

Math – SOL 4.1 and 4.3 Place Value – we have started our place value unit. We are beginning with place value, rounding, comparing and ordering of whole numbers. Within the unit, we will begin the same for decimals.

Virginia Studies – VS. 2d-g: Native Americans! We are finishing geography and moving into history. We will be talking about the three language groups of Native Americans in early history and moving into how they adapted to the environment.

Science – coming soon!

Upcoming Dates:

  • I am planning to test VS. 2 NEXT Wednesday, October 3rd. I will let you know if this changes. I’ll have the kids write it in their agendas starting tomorrow.
  • Place Value is a big unit. I am going to quiz throughout. We will not have our final test on this unit until mid-October.
  • Reading and Writing grades will pick up this week. The students will receive 1-3 grades per week, practicing the weekly skill.


Week 3: September 17th – 21st

It’s crazy how fast the last two weeks have gone by! I know Friday ended up being a free day with no rain, but Dr. Cashwell did the best she could, keeping the safety of the students and staff as her number one priority. Thanks Dr. Cashwell! But now, it’s back to work!

We are going to be quite busy in the coming weeks. Now that we are settled in, it is time to get started with the beginning of the year assessments. There is no studying/preparation needed for this assessments, as they are measurable tests that will give us an idea of where you child is according to grade level expectations. These assessments help me with my instruction and where I can focus my remediation for particular students. I emphasize to my students that this is not something to stress over, and I hope you will support me in doing so. We obviously want them to try, but these are not meant to make them feel defeated! Please encourage the students to be getting a solid night’s sleep and healthy breakfasts, along with arriving to school on time (disregarding late buses). Let’s partner in setting the students up for success!

Upcoming assessments:

This week/next week – F&P testing (I will be conducting individual reading assessments during our Language Arts/Reading block to guage their reading level); Reading MAPS (Monday, September 24th); Math MAPS (Tuesday, September 25th).

What else to expect this week:

Reading: SOL 4.5c, 4.5d (Fiction – Main Idea and Supporting Details) – I will be teaching the “Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then” model for main idea and details of fictional texts. We will complete this with read aloud lessons.

Math: SOL 4.14 Graphing – we will be moving into line graphs this week. The plan is to assess Graphing this Friday, September 21st. It will be a checkpoint that will count as a quiz (10 questions). It will cover reading and interpreting bar graphs and line graphs.

Virginia Studies: VS. 2b Regions – last week we studied the bordering states and waters of Virginia. This week we will be moving into identifying and describing the unique features of each region of VA (Coastal Plain/Tidewater, Piedmont, Blue Ridge Mountains, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau).

Please remember that Back to School Night is THIS Thursday, September 20th at 6:15pm. It would be awesome if you could sign up for the Remind app before Thursday – please see the page “REMIND communication” on my blog (blogs.henrico.k12.va.us/medallavalle)

Have a great week!


Week 2:

We will continue establishing rules and procedures, as I introduce reading and math workshop. The kids did a great job last week and are very quick learners! In addition to learning the workshop procedures and expectations, we’ll be learning the following:

Writing: Subjects vs Predicates

Virginia Studies: SOL VS. 2: Virginia Geography – bordering states, bordering waters, regions of Virginia

Math: SOL 4.14 Graphing – bar graphs and line graphs. We will practice reading graphs and interpreting data.

Science: We will begin our first unit of science after VS. 2.

MAPS Testing – We are scheduled to take the Reading MAPS on Monday, September 24th and our Math MAPS on Tuesday, September 25th. We will begin the test at 8:30am, so please make sure your student is here on time! I will let you know if anything changes.

Have a great week!

2018-2019 School year!

Welcome back! Week 1: September 4th – 8th

This week, we will spend most of our time establishing rules and procedures, as well as community building. On Thursday, we will take our Math PreTest (NOT a grade) and on Friday, we will take our Reading PreTest (NOT a grade). This will give me a foundation of what the students know and I can begin instruction before MAPS testing.

Reading: We will begin read alouds and practice centers/rotations. This will be our main focus for the month of September.

Math: Graphing! We are going to start the year with graphing. I would also like to begin multiplication fact practice to continue throughout the year.

Virginia Studies: We will begin VS. 2 (Geography) on Thursday. We will set up our Virginia Studies notebooks and begin learning about Virginia’s geography!

Science: We will begin our first science unit the second week of school. I will split the time between Virginia Studies and Science.

I will let you know when we are scheduled to take our Reading and Math MAPS tests within the next couple of weeks!


2017-2018 school year (old posts)

Current update for the rest of May –

As we breeze through SOL season, we will be spending the next two weeks reviewing Math and Virginia Studies. I will also begin the Spring F&P testing after the Math SOL. I will not know areas of weakness in Reading, but will continue to do read alouds and review different strategies.

Thank you SO much for the all of the gifts and appreciation shown during Teacher Appreciation Week! It was all greatly appreciated and made me feel incredibly special. It is such an honor to work with each and every one of you!

Week of April 30th – May 4th:

It’s crazy to think that May is here! We are finishing up new units in Virginia Studies and Math. We will be in full review for all subjects in the coming weeks. Lots to review!

Reading – Review test taking strategies. We will also be reviewing different skills that the class has struggled with throughout the course of the year.

Math – Geometry/Polygons. We are finishing up our Geometry unit. The last unit of new material for the year! There will NOT be a test for this unit, as I’ve quizzed each part of geometry separately. We will be in full review mode starting on Wednesday.

Virginia Studies – We will finish Reconstruction on Wednesday (Test day!). On Thursday, we will begin VS. 9 – 21st century. We will be learning A LOT of people. I forewarned the students to begin studying early because it is a lot to keep track of!

Week of April 16th – 20th:

**Testing Week!* (Monday – Reading MAPS; Thursday – Math MAPS)

Young Scientists on Tuesday!

Reading – Reference Materials (dictionaries, thesaurus, encyclopedia, etc)

Math – Begin Geometry unit (lines)

VA Studies – VS.8 Reconstruction (post-Civil War)

Week of April 9th – 13th:

Welcome back from Spring Break! We have reached the final stretch of the school year. Although summer is drawing near, we have the busiest time of the school year ahead of us – preparing for the SOLs. Please make sure the students are reading on a daily basis and studying their math facts in addition to the nightly homework. This will help them tremendously with the tests!

Here’s what’s in store for this week:

Reading: Text Features and Summarizing – we will be reviewing two skills this week. Text Features will be practiced with nonfiction texts and Summarizing will be practiced with fiction texts.

Math: Elapsed Time – we will be using analog clocks for this review. Please help the students practice time with analog clocks at home, if possible.

Virginia Studies: VS. 7 Civil War – we will TEST on Friday, April 13th! I sent home a study guide at the start of the unit before spring break. The students should have this!!

Science – we will begin science after we complete VS. 7 and VS. 8 (Reconstruction).

Week of March 26th – 30th:

Reading: Continuing Drawing Conclusions, and tying in Summarizing (working with both Fiction and Nonfiction texts)

Math: Weight/Mass (SOL 4.6) – we will test Length, Volume and Weight/Mass THIS FRIDAY, before spring break.

Virginia Studies: Continuing the Civil War. We will discuss key leaders and key battles fought in Virginia, as well as the creation of West Virginia. My plan is to teach all of this during this week and use the week after break for full review.

Upcoming Dates:

Measurement Test (Length, Volume, Weight/Mass) Friday, March 30th

Spring Break – April 2-6

Book Report due on Thursday, April 12th

Civil War Test – Friday, April 13th

Week of March 19th – 23rd: **This post comes AFTER the Snow Day!**

Reading: Drawing Conclusions (Nonfiction texts) – we will review inferencing with fiction texts and introduce drawing conclusions using nonfiction texts.

Math: Measurement – Volume (Customary and Metric)

Virginia Studies: VS. 7 Civil War (reviewing 7a – differences between the North and South, abolitionists and the creation of West Virginia).

Upcoming Dates:

Measurement Test (Length, Volume, Weight/Mass) NEXT Friday, March 30th

Spring Break – April 2-6

Book Report due on Thursday, April 12th

Civil War Test – Friday, April 13th


Week of March 12th – 16th:

We have a full week of instruction!

Reading: SOL 4.6g Cause and Effect

Math: SOL 4.7 Measurement/Length – we began length last week, but only discussed using a ruler. We will begin choosing the appropriate unit of measurement and measuring objects to the nearest inch, 1/2 inch, 1/4 inch, 1/8 inch, centimeter, millimeter and meter.

Science: SOL 4.2 Force and Motion – this week we will spend time doing STEM activities on Force and Motion. We will have a quiz (not a test) on Friday to review the skills.


Virginia Studies VS. 7 (Civil War) unit will begin on Monday!

Spring Break: Week of April 2nd – 6th

Book Report material is getting sent home today. It is due on Thursday, April 12th.

Week of February 26th – March 2nd:

**Don’t forget – students have a half day on Thursday, March 1st!!! The school day will end at 11:35am**

Reading: SOL 4.6g Cause and Effect – this is our first time reviewing this skill so far this year. We will spend multiple weeks reviewing this skill. I will use multiple read alouds, and I hope the students can incorporate the strategies I teach into their reading homework and pleasure reading!

Math: SOL 4.15 Patterns – we will look at increasing and decreasing patterns using numbers, objects, pictures and tables. We will also be using all four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Test will be on THURSDAY, March 1st!!

After our test Thursday, we will begin our measurement unit. Friday will be a measurement pretest, and we will take some time to review skills that were weaker on the Math mid-year Benchmark.

Virginia Studies: VS. 6 New Nation – We will spend the week reviewing the unit in prepareation of the test on Wednesday!

Science: Starting Thursday, we will begin our Science unit of Force and Motion.

Week of February 19th – 23rd:

Monday/Tuesday – Math Benchmark Parts 1 and 2

Reading: SOL 4.6g Cause and Effect – this is our first time reviewing this skill so far this year. We will spend multiple weeks reviewing this skill. I will use multiple read alouds, and I hope the students can incorporate the strategies I teach into their reading homework and pleasure reading!

Math: SOL 4.15 Patterns – we will look at increasing and decreasing patterns using numbers, objects, pictures and tables. We will also be using all four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Virginia Studies: VS. 6 New Nation – this week, we will review our key documents and leaders, and discuss why Virginians chose to migrate west as the new nation established itself.

Don’t forget!! – Social Studies Showcase on Wednesday from 5:45pm – 7:15pm!! Also, we will have our Virginia Studies “New Nation” test on Wednesday, February 28th!!!

Week of February 12th – 16th:

It’s hard to believe we are halfway through February! And yay for no snow lately! We have been able to get back into the groove of things and routines have been reestablished. Last week we had our Reading Benchmark, and I am SO proud of how hard the kids worked. It was obvious that each and every student tried their absolute best.

Here’s what’s on the agenda for this week:

Reading – Reviewing Context Clues (SOL 4.4)

Math – Finishing our Fractions unit. We will be working on adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators. There will also be extra time fit in throughout the day for review of Equivalent Fractions, Comparing/Ordering Fractions, Adding and Subtracting fractions with like and unlike denominators, and simplifying. It’s a lot, but we are practicing as much as we can!

Virginia Studies – VS. 6 introduction: A New Nation. We will be talking about how the country established itself after the Revolutionary War

Science – will do our next science unit after VS. 6

Week of February 5th – 9th:

**Reading Benchmark: Part 1 on Wednesday, Part 2 on Thursday!!**

What’s happening for the week:

Reading: We will spend Monday and Tuesday doing final preps for the Benchmark, as well as reviewing Main Idea!

Math: Fractions!! We will continue reviewing Equivalent, comparing and ordering fractions. We will throw in adding and subtracting fractions with like and unlike denominators. As of right now, the test will be next Monday (February 12th). However, if I feel that the students are not grasping the skills quick enough, I might take an extra day or two to practice. I will keep you updated!

VA Studies: Revolutionary War – we are wrapping up our Revolutionary War unit this week. We will spend the entire week reviewing. We will also begin our Social Studies Showcase STEM project – please see the Signupgenius to see if you are able to donate items to complete the project. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Science: We will complete our Earth, Moon and Sun unit after the Revolutionary War. We will need to move through this objective rather quickly, so no test will be given.

Week of January 29th – February 2nd:

**No school Monday – Teacher Workday

**Book Report due on Friday!!!!!** – I have heard great things from the class about what they’re planning to do. I can’t wait to see their finished products!

What’s up for the week:

Reading: We will begin reviewing skills taught during the 1st and 2nd quarters. This week will focus on Author’s Purpose. Please encourage the students to think about WHY the author wrote the text they are reading: thinking beyond Persuade, Inform and Entertain. They need to be able to explain why they think the author is trying to persuade, inform or entertain them (entertaining can focus on problem and solution/main idea).

Math: Fractions! Our fractions unit is pretty big. We will be focusing on finding equivalent fractions and comparing and ordering fractions. I will be going to back to teaching Math in centers, so hopefully the students will grasp this skill a little quicker than division. Their homework this week will be review activities in preparation of the Math Benchmark coming up in February.

Virginia Studies: Revolutionary War – we are going to be learning key Virginians and their roles in the Revolutionary War, as well as key battles fought in Virginia. We are going to have our VS. 5 test NEXT FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9th! They will have most of next week for review, but any time spent at home will be valuable as well.

Upcoming Social Studies Showcase: Our CTES SS Showcase is on February 21st! We are going to be doing a project in class that will focus on the Revolutionary War. Please be on the lookout for a signup genius to send in triboards and other materials for the project. Thank you in advance for helping supply this project!

Week of January 22nd – 26th:

Finally back to a full week of school! No snow in the forecast, so it looks we’ll be back into our routine this week. As I said last week, we have lots of material to make up due to the snow days, so we will be working VERY hard!

Reading: Test taking strategies/Skills review – we will work on author’s purpose, making predictions and text-features this week to enhance our test taking strategies.

Math: Division – we will finish our finish unit this week. I will be giving a test that will cover both Multiplication and Division on WEDNESDAY!! This will cover the rest of SOL 4.4 for Math. I will also pre-test Fractions on Wednesday, and we will begin our SOL 4.2 Fractions unit on Wednesday or Thursday.

VA Studies: We are beginning VS. 5: Revolutionary War! This is one of my favorite units to teach. Please be on the lookout for project information (Social Studies Showcase night for CTES), as well as homework to review what is being taught in the classroom. This week we will be discussing the differences in opinions of the colonists and Britain over how they should be governed.

Science: We finished Planets, but will continue Earth, Moon and Sun sometime after VS. 5.


Week of January 15th – 19th:

No school on Monday! Martin Luther King Jr. observance

We will spend the week preparing for the Reading Benchmark and for the Math Benchmark. Dates are posted on the main page of my blog!

Reading: Test taking strategies while reviewing specific skills (Main Idea, Details, Summarizing, Predictions, Fact and Opinion, Author’s Purpose and Author’s Choice). We will do different passages and activities throughout the week – I will send home whatever we do on paper.

Math: Division – I am planning to test division on January 31st (before the Math Benchmark). We will work on it in class, but homework will focus on long division.

Science: Earth, Moon and Sun (SOL 4.8) – we will be discussing certain facts about the Earth, Moon and Sun, identifying rotation and revolution, and discussing key astronomers.

Week of January 8th – 12th:

Happy return from Winter Break #2! Due to the loss of days, we will be moving a little quicker through the units we would have been covering over the last week. Based on today’s behavior, the kids were ready to return!

This week’s focus:

Reading: Fact and Opinion, Test taking strategies – we are going to finish our fact and opinion unit and begin reviewing test taking strategies for the upcoming benchmarks.

Math: Division – today we reviewed multiplication since it has been quite some time. Tomorrow we will begin our division unit. The students will be tested on Multiplication and Division by January 26th.

Science: Planets – we will be finishing up our planets unit and next week we will move into our Earth, Moon and Sun unit. The students will be given a quiz on Planets this Friday, and earth, moon and sun next Friday.

VA Studies: We will begin our Revolutionary War unit upon completing the Earth, Moon and Sun unit. This is one of my favorite units!!

Please see the post about a book report that the students will be doing for this month. We will start doing these each month.

Week of January 2nd – 5th:

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a restful break! I know I did – a break filled with rest, relaxation and LOTS of family time! It was a rejuvenating two weeks, and I hope it was for the kids as well!

Reading: Fact or Opinion – we will discuss the difference between fact and opinion and identify each within nonfiction texts.

Math: Division – the students will learn multiple strategies for division. We will begin with long division, but please support other strategies taught if students feel more comfortable with another method of dividing.

Science: Solar System – we will discuss the order of the planets, and identify each planet as a gas or terrestrial planet.

VA Studies: We will take a break with VA Studies until the 16th of January (next unit will be Revolutionary War).

Upcoming important dates:

Friday, January 12th: Solar System quiz

Monday, January 15th: NO SCHOOL!

Date TBD: Multiplication/Division Test

Week of December 10th – 15th:

Last week before break!! This week is going to be filled with quite the fun, but we still have some work to do! Here is what this week will focus on:

Reading: Author’s purpose – we continue to work on identifying and explaining the author’s purpose thinking about the main theme of the story.

Math: Multiplication – we will continue practicing box method and will begin learning the traditional method. (I know this will make you all at home much happier! 🙂  ) From this point on, students may use whichever method they prefer. We will take a short quiz on Friday to assess how they’re doing with multiplication – we will take a combination test of Multiplication and Division after we return from break.

Virginia Studies: Finishing our VS. 4 Colonial Times unit. We will test on Friday.

Week of December 4th – 8th:

Only 2 more weeks until winter break! The kids are ready…I can already tell! But we still have some work to do…

Here is what we will be working on:

Reading: SOL 4.5: Author’s Purpose – We will using different grade-level passages to identify and explain author’s purpose.

Math: SOL 4.4: Multiplication!!! We are beginning our multiplication unit. We will learn two different ways of multiplying, starting with 2×1 multiplication (2 digit number multiplied by a 1 digit number) and moving into 2×2 multiplication.

Virginia Studies: VS. 4 – Colonial Life. We are finishing our Jamestown unit before break. We tested Jamestown last Friday, and we are moving into Colonial Life (extension of Jamestown unit, explains the next 50 or so years after Jamestown was established).

Science – We will begin our Solar System unit when we return from break.

Please don’t forget to make any donations for our class volunteer project – pet stockings for the Richmond Animal League! The kids voted and chose this for their group donations. The Richmond Animal League is in greater need of supplies than the SPCA – it has many animals that families have not wanted to adopt. These poor animals just need some love! The kids are excited to contribute! Please see the email from Vidya that includes the list of donations they are looking for, in case you didn’t see the sheet that was sent home last week.

Week of November 27th – December 1st:

I hope you all will return after a well-deserved break! I hope you enjoyed time with family and were able to get some type of rest!

This week, we will be finishing up our Jamestown unit and our Graphing unit! Jamestown test will be on Friday, December 1st and our graphing test will be on Monday, December 4th.

Here is what we will be working on:

Reading: SOL 4.5: Inferencing continued. We will take a short inferencing quiz this week.

Math: SOL 4.14: Graphing (test next Monday, December 4th)

Virginia Studies: VS. 3 Jamestown (test on Friday, December 1st). We will finish discussing government at Jamestown, interactions/relationship with the Powhatan Indians and the hardships settlers faced. We will also spend Thursday reviewing for the test.


After conferences, it was requested by several parents for me to post what is happening during the current week, rather than a recap of the week on Fridays. So, starting this week, I will post on Mondays and provide the SOLs/skills we will be working on for the week. Thank you all for your kind feedback and requests. I hope this is more beneficial to you all!

Week of November 13th:

Reading – Inferencing and Drawing conclusions (SOLs 4.5g, 4.6f); Context clues

Math – 4.14 Graphing (We will be taking Pre-test on Monday – which does not go in the gradebook – and will begin instruction on Tuesday).

Virginia Studies – Jamestown! (SOL VS. 3): we will be covering the Reasons for Colonization, Reasons for choosing Jamestown site, charters and begin discussing the Hardships settlers faced.

Calendar update/upcoming dates:

Wednesday, November 15th – OmegaMan assembly (during school)

Monday, November 20th – Jamestown Field Trip

Tuesday, November 21st – Graphing Post Test; Turkey Trot

Wednesday, November 22nd – Friday, November 25th – Thanksgiving Break


Week of October 30th – November 3rd:

The weather projects were due Thursday, and WOW are they amazing! The students created amazing boards and did a great job tracking the weather! This concluded our weather unit and now we are back to Virginia Studies where we will be learning about Jamestown! This is one of my favorite units to teach. I hope the students will enjoy it as much as I do!

Wednesday, November 8th, we will take a Quarter 1 reading assessment. There is not much reviewing/practice that can be done because I’d really like to see where the students are in certain areas. If you want them to get some additional practice beforehand, they may get on Study Island and complete a Reading assignment.

We have concluded our most recent math unit – 4.4 Adding, Subtracting and Estimation. We will be covering two units in the next two weeks – Equality/Associative Property (4.16) and Graphing (4.14). I am planning to give a short Equality/Associative Property test on Thursday, November 9th (10 questions max) and begin graphing on Friday, November 10th.

Upcoming Dates:

November 6th – Afternoon Conferences (3-6:30pm)

November 7th – Student Holiday (Conferences 8am – 12pm)

November 9th – Equality/Associative Property Test (10 questions max)

November 10th @ 9:00am – Veterans Assembly

November 14th – Jamestown field trip payment due date

November 20th – Jamestown Field trip

Weeks of October 16th – 27th:

We finally started our first Science unit – Weather! We have been learning about weather patterns, weather systems, weather instruments and clouds. It’s been a fun unit – this group really likes science! We will be testing our weather unit on Monday, October 30th.

We finished our decimals unit for math – as a class, we struggled with fraction/decimal equivalencies, so we will be revisiting that in our small groups and reviewing/practicing as much as we can. This is a challenging skill, but I know with extra practice, the students will grasp the concept. We are starting to get a rhythm with reading groups during our reading time. I tried a couple of different routines out for reading centers, and the students seem most comfortable with having a checklist of assignments and being able to work at their own pace, rather than being in timed centers. This is helping with work completion as well.

Word Trekkers – this has been difficult to get started. The activities are set at a higher level, and it is taking some time for the students to get used to them. I think after a few more weeks, this should become easier for them since they will know what to expect.

We will begin our Jamestown unit next week after our Weather test. This is a BIG unit and a really important one for Virginia history. This will require a little extra studying because there is a lot of information to know. Any extra practice they can have at home (once they begin receiving notes and study cards) would be very beneficial for them.

Upcoming dates:

This week – Book Fair (through Monster Mash on Friday)

Friday, October 27th – Monster Mash

Monday, October 30th – Weather test

Friday, November 3rd – Addition and Subtraction test

Friday, November 3rd – End of the 1st quarter

Tuesday, November 7th – Student holiday

Monday, November 6th (3:00 – 6:30pm)/Tuesday, November 7th (8:00am – 12:00pm) – Parent/Teacher Conferences

**If you’d like to schedule a parent/teacher conference before November 6th/7th, please email me with a requested time and I will let you know if I am available.


Week of October 9th – 13th:

Happy Friday the 13th! I think today was a lucky day – the students had a GREAT Friday!! What a great way to end the week.

It was another busy yet successful week! Reading continued with centers, and we studied Main Idea with a read aloud of “Soccer Superstar”. We discussed how to think about the topic, then ask yourself “so what?” in order to identify the main idea of the entire passage. This incorporated supporting details, but our central focus was main idea. Math continued with decimals – we are slightly behind the rest of 4th grade because I spent a little extra time on decimal place value. All of my class should know their Place Value!!!! We will be moving quickly through the rest of the unit. I am still planning to test next Friday, October 20th. However, I will update you on the test date if we are not able to efficiently learn the material.

We have finished our first Virginia Studies unit and are moving into science. The test scores on American Indians were fantastic!! This can be a challenging area for students, but this class rocked it! I’m proud of them – thank you for any additional study time you spent with your child. We will begin our Weather unit on Monday and will spend the next two weeks studying weather phenomena, weather measuring tools and making weather predictions. Weather is one of my favorite science units!!

**Word Trekkers – I will NOT be doing spelling tests anymore on Fridays. I decided to change our work trekkers expectations. They now have a 2-week schedule of activities to practice with the words. They will take the lesson test that comes from the program that is used (Word Trekkers). This will not require them to spell the words correctly on their own – they will be given the word list. However, I will still take points off if the word is spelled incorrectly since they have access to the spelling.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. I think the sun is supposed to return…Yay! However, I’m glad we were able to get some rain this week – we certainly needed it.


Week of October 2nd – 6th:

This week flew by! It’s hard to believe we are already into the month of October and the first month of school is behind us!

Our week was a very busy one. We had our first week of Word Trekkers activities, we read a wonderful story titled “Henry’s Freedom Box” and discussed summarizing using the “Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then” strategy, and we continued mastering our Reading centers routines. We decided to switch things up and start using a checklist because students were forgetting which assignments they already completed – hopefully this checklist will help ensure they complete ALL assignments by the due date. Math moved into Decimal place value, Virginia Studies continued with VS. 2 and the American Indians, and science is still on hold. We will begin our first science unit – Weather – after we test on Wednesday (VS. 2d-g American Indians).

Some important dates/reminders:

Monday, October 9th – Half Day for students

Wednesday, October 11th – VS. 2d-g Test (Study guide was sent home on Monday)

Thursday, October 12th – MSIC Field Trip (9:30 – 12:30: students will come to school and go home as they normally do)

**Upcoming dates:   Decimals test – Friday, October 20th

We will do our clay projects on Thursday and Friday, October 12th and 13th. We will start the project before going on our field trip, and will finish what we can on Friday. If the students do not finish in class, the materials will be sent home with them to finish on their own. We will discuss in class when they will be due if we run into having to do this.

I will update the homework page sometime Sunday and provide you will the homework plan for next week!

Have a great weekend!


Week of September 25th – 29th:

Wow, what another great week! We have been working really hard in class, and continue to practice and review routines and procedures.

Our reading focus was learning our Reading centers and practicing the routines of our Language Arts block. During this time, I was able to complete the beginning of the year assessments and will begin reading groups and word study next week!

We wrapped up our first unit in Math – Whole Number Place Value (SOL 4.1). We took the post-test on Wednesday, and we did pretty well! We will continue to practice whole number place value throughout the year. Our next unit is SOL 4.3 – Decimal Place Value. We will begin with a pre-test and I will plan my instruction accordingly!

Virginia Studies continues to be focused on Virginia’s geography. This will be tested this Friday, and will cover SOL VS. 2a-c, Geography terms, bordering states, regions, products and industries and water features. It is a lot of information, but we have been doing daily review of each. The students SHOULD be prepared, but extra studying at home is always encouraged.

Our upcoming science unit will be Weather. We will begin our Weather unit when we finish our first Virginia Studies unit. Science and Virginia Studies will alternate by unit.

Have a great weekend!