Weekly Update – 1/13/19

We are loving our new class cart of Chromebooks!  What an amazing resource to now have available in our classroom each day.  So far we’ve used them to create graphs, type our current writing assignment, and to play some fun, educational games like Kahoot, a student favorite!  We’ve noticed that navigating with the track pad is a little slow, so students are welcome to bring in a wireless mouse to make maneuvering a little easier.

I’ve noticed that many students are approaching the end of some of their composition notebooks.  Please be aware that they will need to be replaced with new ones so that they can continue to glue in their notes on a daily basis.  Thank you!

I’d like to give a big shout out to Max who is our latest student to achieve the 100% Fluent status in Reflex Math.  Excellent work, Max!

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, January 14th – Chipotle Spirit Night (4 p.m. – 8 p.m)
  • Tuesday, January 15th – PTA Program (2nd Grade Performs)
  • Friday, January 18th – Word Study Test
  • Monday, January 21st – Student Holiday
  • Thursday, January 24th – STEAM Night (6:30 p.m – 7:30 p.m.)
  • Friday, January 25th – End of marking period
  • Friday, January 25th – Lunch Bunch Book Club
  • Friday, January 25th – Inside Out SCA Spirit Day
  • Tuesday, January 26th – Reading Benchmark (Part 1)
  • Wednesday, January 27th – Reading Benchmark (Part 2)

Weekly Update – 1/6/19

Happy New Year and welcome back to school!  I hope that all students and families enjoyed a restful and relaxing Winter Break!  First, I’d like to take a moment to thank William’s mom and Michael’s mom for assisting during the Colonial Day festivities before Winter Break.  The students had a great time learning about what life was like in the Colonial Era by participating in several different activity stations.  Here are several students modeling some colonial clothing:

Mrs. Yonce, our school counselor, wants to let all dads, stepdads, and granddads know that there are still many dates available this school year to volunteer as a Watch Dog.  If you are interested in signing up, please click on the link below:

Watch Dog Signup

Now that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is over, it’s a great time for new beginnings. Returning from the long break will require some extra self-control in the classroom.  It’s time to get back to business, and I would like to ask for your assistance in making sure that the students come to school each day with an appropriate and cooperative attitude. With benchmark testing and the end of the second marking period in just a few weeks, there is much work to be done!  Thank you for your support from home!

Upcoming Dates:

  • Wednesday, January 9th – Colonial Virginia (VS.4) Test
  • Monday, January 14th – Chipotle Spirit Night
  • Friday, January 18th – Word Study Test
  • Monday, January 21st – Student Holiday
  • Thursday, January 24th – STEAM Night
  • Friday, January 25th – End of marking period
  • Friday, January 25th – Lunch Bunch Book Club
  • Friday, January 25th – Inside Out SCA Spirit Day

Weekly Update – 12/16/18

On Tuesday, December 18th, all fourth grade classes will get to experience what life might have been like in Colonial Virginia as we celebrate “Colonial Day”.  The students will get to rotate through different activity stations representing a different aspect of colonial culture, as well as watch a colonial-themed movie. It should be a lot of fun, and will be a nice culminating activity as we near the end of the unit on Colonial America. We are asking that all students bring in an apple or an orange for one of the station activities that day.  Also, if anyone is interested in volunteering to help out that morning from 8:30 until 10:15, please click HERE.  I could use a couple of parents to assist with the colonial activity in our classroom.

We have another student to add to the Reflex Math Wall of Fame!  Congratulations to Jagruthi who is now 100% Fluent!

As we get ready to wrap things up before Winter Break, all Echo Lake students will gather in the gym on Wednesday, December 19th at 9:00 for the Sing and Ring.  Feel free to send in a small bell for your child to use during this fun event!

Lastly, I will be sending home graded work folders on Wednesday.  Please be on the lookout for information about an optional Winter Break Reading Challenge.  Students who participate will be rewarded with hot cocoa and a special treat in January.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Tuesday, December 18th – Colonial Day
  • Wednesday, December 19th – Sing and Ring @ 9:00
  • Thursday, December 20th – Wednesday, January 2nd:  Winter Break

Weekly Update – 12/9/18

I’d like to give a big “shout out” to the following students who participated in Lunch Bunch Book Club on Friday:  Kayden, Christina C., Srideep, William, Max, Tommy, Oliver, Michael, and Kendal.  I really enjoyed discussing Hatchet, and was particularly impressed with the details they remembered about the book.  I hope to have even more students participate in January’s Lunch Bunch Book Club.  We will be reading a classic story called From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg.

Last week we participated in a fun Hour of Code activity with our ILC (Innovative Learning Coach) Mrs. Robinson.  The students were challenged to complete twenty different coding tasks using the Grinch Game!  In case you haven’t heard of Hour of Code before, it’s where students around the world are encouraged to participate in an hour-long activity related to computer coding.  It takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week  Additional coding activities can be viewed by going to code.org

We enjoyed our lesson at the MathScience Innovation Center last week as well.  Although our lesson was not outside as we originally anticipated, the students were still able to assume the role of “eco-detectives” as they analyzed water samples to determine if they were safe, explored an Enviroscape watershed to understand the impacts of land use, and investigated the benefit of trees as part of the forest community.  (More photos can be seen on our classroom photo gallery.)

Looking ahead to next week, we are very excited about the arrival of our new Chromebooks.  Hopefully by week’s end each student will have their own personal Chromebook to use in the class each day.  Don’t forget to check out the subject tabs at the top of the page to see what else we will be working on this week.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Friday, December 14th – Pajama Day
  • Tuesday, December 18th – 4th Grade Colonial Day (morning)
  • Wednesday, December 19th – Sing and Ring @ 9:00 a.m.

Weekly Update – 12/2/18

It’s hard to believe that the month of December has arrived and that we only have two and a half weeks before Winter Break!  There are many fun, yet educational events planned for the students, so expect the children to be kept very busy!

I’d like to congratulate Christina Y. for winning our classroom Spelling Bee last week.  It ended up being a hard fought contest between Christina and Kayden, our runner-up.  This was officially my longest classroom bee, as it took 26 rounds to finally declare a winner!  Christina will represent our class in the school-wide Spelling Bee on Monday, December 10th.  Way to go, Christina!

Congratulations are also in order for Kendal who is the most recent addition to the Reflex Math Wall of Fame!  Way to go Kendal!

The students are excited to be going on the field trip tomorrow to the MathScience Innovation Center.  We will be spending the morning there for a science lesson called Eco-Detectives.  The students will be assuming the role of ecological scientists as they look at the health of the pond ecosystem at MSiC.  They will be looking at both living and non-living factors that may affect the environment by collecting specimens, testing water quality, and comparing data.  Since the lesson will predominantly be outdoors, please make sure that your child dresses appropriately for tomorrow’s weather.  Temperatures look to be in the upper 50’s, but since it has rained the past couple days, I would anticipate the ground being pretty wet!

Upcoming Dates:

  • Friday, December 7th – Lunch Bunch Book Club to discuss Hatchet
  • Monday, December 10th – Giving Tree gifts due back to school
  • Monday, December 10th – School Spelling Bee
  • Friday, December 14th – SCA Spirit Day – Wear pajamas!
  • Friday, December 14th – Last day for collection of pajamas for Pajama Drive
  • Tuesday, December 18th – 4th Grade Colonial Day
  • Wednesday, December 19th – Last day before Winter Break!

Weekly Update – 11/25/18

I certainly hope that everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday, and that you were able to enjoy the extra time off to be with the special people in your life.  Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a very busy holiday season for all, and I understand how exciting this time of year can be for the students.  Please know that I have no plans to slow our pace, so it is critical that the students continue coming to school with the necessary focus and proper attitude. Thank you in advance for your support from home to ensure your child comes to school ready to learn each and every day!

I wanted to take a moment to remind you that 4th grade’s collection of new pajamas for Scholastic Book Club’s 10th Annual Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive will be going on through Friday, December 14th.

Also, if you are in the giving spirit, there are still plenty of ornaments left on the ELES Giving Tree.  Contact Judith Clary, our school counselor, at jbclary@henrico.k12.va.us if you would like to have information sent home about one of the children in our community who is still in need.

Our Lunch Bunch Book Club to discuss the book Hatchet by Gary Paulsen was originally scheduled to meet this Friday, November 30th, however I will need to be out of the building for an appointment that afternoon.  We will now plan to meet during lunch on Friday, December 7th instead.

Finally, most students are down to their final couple of glue sticks.  We use glue sticks for every subject almost every single day, so it is important that they have these on hand.  If you would please make sure that your child’s glue stick supply is replenished as soon as possible, I would greatly appreciate it.

Here some additional dates to keep on your calendar:

  • Tuesday, November 27th – Zaxby’s Spirit Night
  • Thursday, November 29th – Picture Makeup Up Day
  • Monday, December 3rd – Field Trip to Math & Science Innovation Center
  • Friday, December 7th – Lunch Bunch Book Club

Weekly Update – 11/18/18

Thanks so much to our chaperones who accompanied us on our field trip last week and to those who were able to meet us in Jamestown!  It was a wonderful day, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there.  Although it was a long (and chilly) day for everyone, it was well worth it for the students to be able to connect what we have been learning in the classroom to the real world.

A number of additional pictures from our trip have been uploaded to our classroom photo gallery.  Just click HERE to view them.

Report cards will be distributed this Tuesday, November 20th. Included in the report card envelope will be the report card, NWEA MAP scores, and any certificates your child may have earned (i.e. Honor Roll and Citizenship).  Please keep all of these items at home.  You will only need to sign the front of the report card envelope in the space provided and return it to school at your earliest convenience.

Fourth grade is participating in Scholastic Book Club’s 10th Annual Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive this year.  Since 2009, Scholastic has donated more than one million books and 730,000 pairs of pajamas to at-risk students in need.  If you would like to help out with this worthy cause, please send in a new pair of pajamas (sizes from newborn to adult) by Friday, December 14th.

I hope that all of my students and families enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving.  If you will be traveling out of town, I wish you smooth and safe travels.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Tuesday, November 20th – Report Card Distribution
  • November 21st – 23rd:  Thanksgiving Holiday
  • Tuesday, November 27th – Zaxby’s Spirit Night
  • Thursday, November 29th – Picture Makeup Day
  • Friday, November 30th – Lunch Bunch Book Club (Hatchet)

Weekly Update – 11/11/18

Thanks to those who attended a parent/teacher conference last week.  I enjoyed having the opportunity to speak with each of you about all of the great things the children have been working on in the classroom so far this year.

Our field trip to Jamestown is scheduled for this Wednesday, November 14th.  Your child should have brought home a letter on Thursday with specific details/instructions that you need to be aware of for the day.  We are scheduled to arrive back to school at approximately 4:00 p.m. Please make sure that you complete the bottom portion of the letter so that I will know who will be picking up your child from school that afternoon.  Also, at this writing, the weather is supposed to be a chilly 44 degrees, so please make sure that your child dresses warmly.

I have decided to postpone the next Lunch Bunch Book Club meeting until after Thanksgiving Break.  After speaking with several of the students who are currently reading the book, I’ve determined that they need just a little more time to complete the reading.  The new meeting date will be Friday, November 30th.

I will be sending home some new Scholastic book order forms at the beginning of this week.  New books make great holiday gifts, so if you would like to order something as a surprise for your child, please just send me an email, and I will hold the order here at school for you to pick up.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, November 12th – Veterans Day Assembly at 9:00 a.m.
  • November 12th – 16th:  Canned Food Drive for Christmas Mother
  • November 12th – 16th:  Coats for Kids Collection
  • Tuesday, November 13th – PTA Meeting/3rd Grade performance
  • Wednesday, November 14th – Jamestown Field Trip
  • Thursday, November 15th – Family Life
  • Friday, November 16th – PTA Bingo Night and Silent Auction @ 5:30
  • Tuesday, November 20th – Report Card Distribution
  • November 21st – 23rd:  Thanksgiving Holiday

Weekly Update – 11/4/18

Tomorrow marks the end of the first nine weeks of school, so I will be very busy finalizing grades and getting report cards squared away.  As we get ready to begin a new marking period, I want to make you aware that we are already running low on many of the supplies that students use each day.  Any donations of glue sticks (large size preferred), pencils, and Post-it notes would be greatly appreciated.

Not only were the students busy academically last week, but they were also busy with a fourth grade community service project to decorate banners for Veterans Day.  These banners will be used to decorate tables at a local restaurant that will be offering a free meal to all veterans on Monday, November 12th.

Thank you so much to the parents that signed up to be a chaperone for our upcoming field trip to Jamestown on Wednesday, November 14th.  Unfortunately, space on the bus is very limited and each class is only allowed to take two chaperones on the bus with us.  A random drawing was held on Friday, and Lameece’s father and Max’s mother were selected to ride on the bus with us.  If you were not selected, but would still like to go, we would love for you to meet us in Jamestown.  Please let us know if you are able to do that, and we will be sure to let you know about our scheduled arrival time.

Information came home in your child’s Dolphin Folder about the Family Life presentation on the afternoon of Thursday, November 15th.  All fourth grade students will attend this program unless you return the Opt Out Form.  Just to clarify….you only need to return the form if you do NOT want your child to attend this program.

Do you have some extra candy from Halloween that you would like to get rid of?  If so, please consider donating it to Echo Lake’s collection for the USO.  You many send in any type of Halloween candy, including chocolate, this year.  Boxes will be located in the Echo Lake lobby until Friday, November 9th.  Please make sure that they packages are sealed, then send in your donation in a Ziploc bag.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, November 5th – End of first Grading Quarter; Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Tuesday, November 6th – No School – Election Day
  • Friday, November 9th – SCA Emoji Day
  • Monday, November 12th – Veterans Day Program at 9:00 a.m.
  • November 12th – 16th – Canned Food Drive for Christmas Mother
  • Wednesday, November 14th – Jamestown Field Trip
  • Friday, November 16th – PTA Bingo Night and Silent Auction at 5:30 p.m

Weekly Update – 10/28/18

It’s hard to believe, but the end of the first nine-week marking period is rapidly approaching!  Monday, November 5th will be the last day of the grading quarter. In conjunction with the end of the quarter, I will be holding Parent/Teacher Conferences that day from 3:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.  Information was sent out via email last Monday.  If you have not yet signed up, but would still like to meet with me, please click on the link below to select a time.


The 4th grade classrooms are abuzz with excitement about our upcoming field trip to Jamestown on Wednesday, November 14th.  A field trip permission slip was sent home with your child in last Thursday’s Dolphin Folder.  The cost of the trip is $33.  We are asking that all forms and fees for the trip be turned in by Friday, November 2nd.  Due to space limitations on the charter buses, each class will only be able to select  two chaperones to go with us.  I will be holding a random drawing at the end of this week to select our class chaperones.  Even if you are not able to go with us on the buses, you are welcome to meet up with us and join the fun upon our arrival in Jamestown.

Thank you to those who encouraged their child to participate in our first Lunch Bunch Book Club.  We had fun watching a short video that enabled us to compare and contrast the book The Legend of Sleepy Hollow with the movie.  We also enjoyed a little jack-o-lantern themed treat!  I hope to have a good turnout for our next Lunch Bunch Book Club on Tuesday, November 20th where we will be discussing the book Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, November 5th – End of Grading Quarter 1 and Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • Tuesday, November 5th – Election Day/No School for Students
  • Wednesday, November 14th – Jamestown Field Trip