Weeks 25 and 26

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We had a blast at the Shady Grove YMCA today!

We had our class picture this week!   The last one of elementary school!   Can you believe it?   Do they even do class pictures in middle school???  This is not the “official” picture but here is a preview!

Reading- We continued our unit on figurative language, poetry, and author’s choice of words. The students are really starting to get the hang of it!  Students tried writing their own poems this week.  I was so impressed with their Haikus!   They were wonderful!   Students also tried their hand at writing limericks and rhyming poems paying attention to rhyme scheme.   I love seeing the interest students are showing in this unit!


Writing – Students wrote about owning their own restaurants!   They had to come up with a logo, slogan and design.  I was amazed by their creativity!

Science –  Matter is all around us!   Students continued exploring the parts of atoms, which make up elements.  Then, we investigated how atoms combine to form molecules and compounds.  This is an abstract concept, so it is not easy to grasp.  Student are bringing home a small atom project today.

Last week the MISC (Math and Science Innovative Center) visited us to do a lesson on classification.  Students worked in pairs and used a dichotomous key to classify different sea creatures.

Social Studies – Next week we head to the Mid-West. We will explore the states and capitals of the region as well as the climate, natural resources, and economic activities.

This week we had a little fun on Pi Day (3.14)!   Students created Pi landscapes using (some) of the digits of Pi.  And some students became very interested in memorizing the digits!   Good luck!!

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 Kipper spent the past 2 weekends with  Yasir and Layna!


You may have noticed that our Springer Folders are looking a bit thinner these days. Well now that students have their own Chromebooks, we have begun to make more assignments digital! However, students can log into their google drives and Schoology at home to show you what they are working on.

Have a Happy St Patrick’s Day Weekend!

Important Dates and Reminders:

3/18 –  Author Steven K. Smith visits

3/26 – NWEA Reading Test

3/27 – Mt. Vernon field trip

3/29 – 1/2 Day Students and then Happy Sring Break!!


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Weeks 23 and 24

“Kindness Grows at Springfield Park”

I am fortunate I get to witness so much growth and kindness every day with this bunch!

Last week we celebrated our 100th day of school!   Wow, I say it all the time, but I can’t believe how fast the year is flying by!

This week we finally made it to Virginia Repertory Theater to see the play Tom and Huck!  I was very proud of the students’ behavior and most of the class truly enjoyed the play!  I am hoping some are inspired to read some of Mark Twain’s work.

We are deep into our unit on figurative language.  Students are learning about personification, metaphor, simile, alliteration, and idioms.   Next week we will cover onomatopoeia and hyperbole.   These forms of figurative language use words to convey a meaning that is different from their literal meaning and are found mostly in poetry. Students have been picking out figurative language all over – in their chapter books, posters, even in the play Tom and Huck!

We finally finished our class read aloud Because of Mr. Terupt.  It was a great story!  It is a trilogy, so I am hoping some of the students will want to read the other 2 books in the series.  But just an FYI, the next two books deal with some middle school issues, so check it with your kiddo, if they are reading it.  *I have read them and so has James.  

In social studies, we worked on a short research project about the presidents.  Student selected a president of their choice and then had to complete a research sheet and turn that research into a google slideshow or an essay to present to the class.  Students did a great job and there will be another google slide project in our near future!

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During our guidance lesson last week Mrs. Woody did a great lesson!  She is getting our fifth graders ready for middle school.  Students rotated though stations such as open a combination lock (this was a little stressful for some) and locating information on the Holman website.  Our rising 6th graders will be ready to conquer middle school!

We had fun celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday today!   We read and learned a lot about Dr. Seuss and then got to read some Dr. Seuss books to our reading buddies!

Kipper even got in on the Dr. Seuss fun today!   Kipper spent last the two weekends at Jeff and then Maddie’s house.

Important Dates and Reminders:

March 8 – Talent Show

March 13 – Class Picture Day

March 15 – YMCA Trip

March 18 – Steven Smith, the author, visits The Park  (info will come home Monday)

March 26 – NWEA Reading Test

March 27 – Mt. Vernon Field Trip (info will come home Monday)

March 29 – 1/2 Day for students …  and then spring break!!!!

Have a great weekend!!!

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Week 22

It was a lot of fun celebrating Valentine’s Day in room A6.  I certainly felt the love in our classroom!  Thank you all for the lovely cards, notes, flowers, gifts and hugs. Your kindness and generosity is very much appreciated!    Students decorated bags and handed out really cute Valentines and treat bags.  We also did some fun Valentine activities like writing a short story based on the messages in a box of candy hearts.

And we also practiced our descriptive writing by creating a Valentine heart and then writing specific directions, so a classmate could recreate the same heart.

In reading, we started figurative language and worked on similes, metaphors, and idioms.   Figurative language is tricky because it doesn’t mean what it says.

Image result for anchor chart similes and metaphors idiomsIn social studies, we continued our unit on the Northeast region of the United States as we learned about the physical characteristics, natural resources, economic activities, and significant landmarks in the region. Today we tested on the location, state capitals and abbreviations of the northeastern states.

printable northeast region map photo gallery of with printable northeast region map

Colds and the flu have hit our school in full force!  We have been very lucky and healthy in room A6.  I am wiping surfaces down surfaces trying to keep us germ free!  Fingers crossed!

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Important Dates and Reminders:

2/18 Full Day for students

2/27 – Field Trip to VA Rep

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Week 21

Feels like spring!   And things are blooming in 5th Grade!

We took advantage of the beautiful weather this week and got outside every day for recess.

It was great getting to meet and chat with so many parents on Monday for conferences.   I truly appreciate your support at home and am glad to be in this partnership with you.   I can’t believe we have “almost 6th graders!”    Time is flying by!

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So this week in reading, we continued to talk about character traits and how characters change over time   We did a character study of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks and then created a venn diagram to compare and contrast their characteristics.

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We also reviewed how to correctly use quotation marks (they are not easy) and worked on Greek and Latin roots to increase our vocabulary.


We  finally finished our web quest on Chinese New Year!   Happy New Year to all those that are celebrating.

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In social studies, we are learning the location, capitals and abbreviations of the northeastern states.  We also discussed the geography of the region.   Students tested on the location of the states today.  Next Friday, we will test of the capitals and state abbreviations.

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In science, we reviewed the parts of a flower and students worked collaboratively to build a model of a flower.

We completed a lesson on digital citizenship about how to find  a happy digital media balance and how to deal with cyber bullying.

In PE, students are working on their aquatic safety in preparation of their trip to the YMCA in March.

Congratulations to Jake for earning his Henrico Explorers shirt by visiting different sites in Henrico County and filling up his passport.  Don’t ever stop exploring, Jake!

Kipper spent the weekend with Halle and enjoyed the movie Groundhog Day on Groundhog Day!  Love it!

It is School Counselor’s Week!  A special thank you to Mrs. Woody for all that she does for us!

Important Dates and Reminders:

2/11 Report Cards Go Home

2/14 -Valentine Card Exchange

2/27 – Field Trip to VA Rep.


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Week 20

Unfortunately, due to our delayed opening on Thursday, our field trip was cancelled.  Luckily, we were able to reschedule for February 27th.  New permission slips will come home on Monday.  Since we didn’t get to go on the trip, we were treated to an animated version of Tom & Huck on the Mighty Mississippi River.  It was interesting…


In Social Studies, students began learning about the Northeast region of the United States. We will begin identifying the states and capitals in the region as well as the physical characteristics.

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In science next week, students will explore the parts of a plant.  We will  learn all about photosynthesis and practice identifying the “ingredients.”

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In reading, we reviewed both fiction and nonfiction skills and discussed  how characters can change during the course of a story. We also read a book about Chinese New Year and talked about some of its traditions.  We then made “fortune cookies” with positive sayings that we will exchange with each other next week.

In writing, we wrote groundhog stories persuading the groundhog to not be afraid of his shadow.  Next week, we will begin a unit on quotation marks.

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Kipper our class kangaroo got to celebrate her birthday with Alyse!

Important Dates & Reminders:

2/4 – Parent Teacher Conferences

2/11 Report Cards Go Home

2/14 -Valentine Card Exchange

Happy Super Bowl Weekend!  

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Weeks 18 and 19

Hello New Semester!

Reading Benchmark – check

Math Benchmark – we got this! 

As you’ve likely noticed, the homework has looked a little different for the month of January in preparation of benchmark testing.  Next week we will get back on track with our usual homework packet.


Reading- Students combined all of their learning from this semester to practice selecting and using effective reading strategies. This semester we have discussed summarizing, inferring, connecting, questioning, and predicting. As readers, the students must be able to select effective reading strategies that will help them better understand the text when reading. Students used all of these strategies to rock their reading benchmark tests!   I am very proud of our kiddos!

Social Studies– We have been discussing the life of Martin Luther King, Jr in class.  Students went on a web quest last week to find out important information about his life.  This week we discussed importance of understating justice vs injustice and some example in our world.  Students also created motivational posting stressing the importance of justice.

Our snow globe writing is finally ready to be displayed in the hall.  This was a really fun writing activity that took students through all steps of the writing process.  We even got our first grade reading buddies in on the fun of writing about being suck in a snow globe! We will be focusing more closely on proofreading in the new 9 weeks.

As we head into the second semester (can you believe it?) we will be focusing more on quality of work, organization, and problem solving.  These are life skills that students not only need to be successful in middle school but in life.   Therefore, I am going to be stricter about writing in complete sentences, using capital letters, punctuation and spelling.  Also, there will be less chasing students down for assignments.  So please keep an eye on PowerSchool for missing work.

We are heading to the theater on January 31st!  I am excited for some students to experience their first play.

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I keep forgetting to include Kipper updates:  

Have a great long weekend!

Important Dates and Reminders:

1/28 – Student Holiday

1/29-30 – Math Benchmark

1/31 – Field Trip to VaRep Theater

2/4 – Parent Teacher Conferences

2/11 Report Cards

2/14 -Valentine Card Exchange


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Week 17

Hmmmmm snow or no snow???? That is the question.

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Ready or not, middle school is coming!  On Monday, Dr. Fellows, the principal of Holman Middle School, as well as Mrs. Walter, one of the counselors, visited us at the Park to talk about middle school.  Students brought paperwork home in their Monday Springer Folder about important dates for parents.  At the end of the month, your child’s math teacher and I will begin the process of recommending courses for your soon to be sixth grader.   More information to follow.

A sign up genius for parent teacher conferences will go live Sunday evening, be on the lookout.

We were also treated to a performance by the Richmond Symphony.

In the classroom…

In reading, we worked on character traits and how they differ from emotions.  We are doing some character studies on different book characters.   One of the books we read was My Rotten Red Headed Brother and then we began the novel Because of Mr. Terupt, which talks about 7 different characters, all fifth graders.

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In science, we continued to discuss the function of different organelles of plant and animal cells.  We listened to a rap that was not only fun but educational.   Try getting this song out of your head!           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zafJKbMPA8

In social studies, students worked collaboratively to research a southeastern state.  We love our new Chromebooks!

In writing, we are  working on snow globe stories.   Did you ever wonder what it would be like to be trapped in a snow globe?  Well,  students brainstormed ideas and created stories about how they got trapped in a snow globe and then how they escaped.

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With middle school on the horizon, we have talked a lot this week about organization, time management, and being responsible for one’s belongings.  Students are certainly allowed to work on classwork at home, if they get behind.   However, students are given a fair amount of class time to complete assignments.  Please periodically check PowerSchool to keep up to date on your child’s grades.  Nobody likes a surprise, when it comes to grades.

Whatever weather we get this weekend, I hope you all have a safe, warm and cozy weekend!

And my favorite picture from reading buddies this week!

Important Dates and Reminders:

Monday, 1/21 – School Closed

Friday, 1/24 – end of 2nd 9 weeks

Monday, 1/28 – No School for students

Thursday, 1/31 – Field Trip (Info coming home Monday)


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Happy New Year! 2019 is Looking Bright!

It is hard to believe this is the first post of 2019!   I hope your family enjoyed a joyful, relaxing holiday break, and I wish you a happy new year!  We have lots to look forward to in fifth grade!

 It’s always tough to return to a routine, but we eased our way back into reality with a two day week.  Thank you students and families for your positivity and motivation through these first days back.  Learning is back on track in room A6!

This coming week, students will have their usual reading homework, we will start a new vocabulary unit, and begin a fun writing prompt in class.  Also on Monday, Holman Middle School counselors will us to talk about middle school!  Please keep an eye out for details about course selections coming home soon. Also, on Monday, permission slips for our first field trip will come home.

A look at our first of 2019….

In science, we explored plant and animal cells.  Students learned that cells are the building blocks of life and make up all living things.  We explored some basic parts, or organelles, including the nucleus, vacuoles, cytoplasm, cell membrane, and cell wall.

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In social studies, students did some research on a southeastern state and created a postcard to represent that state.

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In reading, we practiced our comprehension strategies and read about how other countries celebrate New Year’s. We also read about Duke Ellington and listened to some of his music.

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Important Dates and Reminders:

Monday, 1/7 – Holman Counselors visit SPES

Friday, 1/11 – Parts of a cell quiz

Monday, 1/21 – School Closed

Friday, 1/24 – end of 2nd 9 weeks

Monday, 1/28 – No School for students

Thursday, 1/31 – Field Trip (Info coming home Monday)




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Good Bye 2018 – Week 15

2018…That’s a wrap!

                                                              Some festive friends!
We ended the year with a super busy 3 days!  We received are our new Chromebooks and put them to good use right away!  We first wrote to the Grinch persuading him to smile more.  Then we were faced with trying to persuade one of Santa’s reindeer to step up in and fill in for Rudolph, who was sick with the reinflu.   Of course, you can be way more persuasive when you are wearing a Rudolph nose!

Then we work on a STEM activity trying to create a parachute that would provide a safe landing for Santa, since his sleigh was stuck in a tree!  Students had to work collaboratively to design and build a parachute and basket.    Three of our eight groups were successful!

We also finally finished reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and got to watch the movie (another classic from the 80s)!

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, DVD - One of my all time favorite Christmas movies.

Then every last minute was filled on Wednesday.  Students performed their show Snow Biz twice!   With missing practices due to snow days, we had to work even harder to be ready but the show must go on and it was fantastic!

Finally, we had out holiday party on Wednesday afternoon!   Wow, I cannot thank parents enough for all the time and effort that went into planning our party.  The word on the street was that we had the best treat table in the building.    Hopefully, you see the silver bunch bowl, Santa hat grapes and caprese kabobs in the picture!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!   And if you can sneak in a ReadTheory or some ReflexMath that would be awesome too!   Don’t forget December Book It charts will be due January 3rd   – it’s extra credit!  Just record your book title and the number of minutes you have read!

 Happy Holidays and I will see you in 

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Week 14

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Well, that was a short week!  Thank you for your support with our condensed schedule as we work to fit everything in before the holiday break.

I have some fun festive writing assignments set up for this week that that involve reindeer and the Grinch.

We will also be participating in a STEAM activity involving Santa and a broken sleigh this week.

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We will also be discussing topics and participating in classroom lessons to build our digital citizenship skills.

The show must go on! We are working hard at putting the finishing touches on our holiday performance of Snow Biz.  We are performing at 8:30 AM and 9:30 AM on Wednesday, December 19.  Parents are welcome!

We said good-bye to our friend Connor this week.  We wish him and his family well as their start a new adventure in Texas!


Important Dates and Reminders:

12/18 – Ocean Quiz – study guide went home Friday

12/19 – Snow Biz performance – 8:30 & 9:30

12/19 – Holiday Party 1:00 PM

12/20 – 1/3 – Winter Break




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