Aug 25

A bittersweet farewell from Ms. Hudson

Dear Honey Bear Families,

In the spring of 2003, when Henrico County decided to offer full-day kindergarten, I was thrilled to accept my dream job teaching a new class at a school that hadn’t even been built yet.  This June, I got to see students from my (and Greenwood’s) first kindergarten class walk down GES’s halls wearing their caps and gowns as high school graduates.  After 13 years of learning and growing in the Henrico County Public School system, starting in room 108 of a brand new elementary school, my very first Honey Bear class was ready for the next big step in life, to begin a new chapter.  

Every year, after much hard work, growing and learning together in room 108, each class of Honey Bears must move on to the next class and the next grade to continue to learn and grow. As each school year draws to a close, the “I love yous” are often followed by “I’ll miss you” and “I don’t want to leave kindergarten” and “I wish we didn’t have to leave.”  Usually by late May and June when this is a frequent discussion topic, I am ready for the break, but never ready for the goodbyes.  “Luckily,” I tell my reluctant Honey Bears, “we will see each other in the halls and at recess, and you can come back and sit in my rocking chair and read to my new group of Honey Bears.”  I remind my sweet Honey Bears that they have learned all the ropes and have become the experts; it is now time for them to go and learn first grade stuff and for me to help the newest members of the Honey Bear family settle into being a Greenwood Gator.  Most importantly, I remind my Honey Bears that they will always be my Honey Bears, no matter how big they get; and I will keep loving them, even when they are big grown ups like me.  Once you’re in the Honey Bear family, you’re always in the Honey Bear family (even the adopted unofficial Honey Bears, who weren’t at GES for their kindergarten year).  

Now, I will follow the same destiny each class of Honey Bears has had.  Like the very first Honey Bear class, it is time for me to leave HCPS.  Today I packed my backpack (and boxes, and bins, and bags) and left room 108, the Honey Bear classroom, for the last time, to allow the next teacher, Ms. Compton, to teach the next group of wide-eyed Gators.  I am ready for my next big step in life, my next chapter, working at Second Presbyterian Child Care Center as the Executive Director, serving infants to pre-kindergarten children.  We also have summer camp for kids though 8 years, so think about joining me for some weeks in the summer downtown!

The most difficult part of accepting this job is saying goodbye to the amazing community which makes up Greenwood Elementary School.  I have thoroughly loved growing with the school and all of the many Honey Bears and their families over the years.  I have always bragged that Greenwood is what every school population should be, so diverse, and so cohesive.  As our nation becomes more and more divided, I have found in the chaos of the kindergarten classroom, a peaceful assurance that the world is all right when I am in the midst of the Honey Bear family.  The Honey Bears welcome, love, and accept each other with all of their differences, and all of their imperfections.  They know that giving our best each day is all we can ask of one another.  They know that we will all make mistakes, but the mistakes don’t make us.  The Honey Bears learn the “bad word” in Ms. Hudson’s book is “I can’t,” and eventually replace  the taboo phrase with “I’ll try.”  Though finding calm and quiet was often a near-impossible task with a roomful of energetic kindergartners, my Honey Bears gave me peace and the promise of hope with the way they lived and loved together each day and graced me with the privilege of being their leader.

As I’ve told my kids, I must remind myself, though I leave Greenwood, I am still a part of the Honey Bear family.  Thank you to all of my Honey Bears

for helping me to learn and grow along with you; and thank you to all of the Honey Bear families, for you are the ones who have made these children such precious gifts in my life.  

Please do keep in touch and bookmark our class blog’s new address:  I hope to update it with pictures and memories from over the years, and would love your help in doing so.


Love Always,

Ms. Hudson


P.S.   Mrs. Jae is a new secretary in the front office, and she said she already fell in love with the Honey Bears.  She promised to give you hugs and love in my absence.  Please make her and Greenwood’s other new secretary,  Ms. Fandel, feel at home at Greenwood!


Jul 12

A little summer fun . . .

Summer greetings, Honey Bears!

I miss you all lots!

I got a sweet letter in the mail from one of my Honey Bears, but it was unsigned without a return address.  Thank you to whoever wrote me!   I’d love to hear what everyone is doing, so send me a letter or postcard if you’d like to tell me.

I got to spend our country’s birthday in West Virginia with family.  This is a post-river swim picture with my cousin and her son, who is going to be a kindergartner in North Carolina this fall. I hope he has classmates as great as the Honey Bears!

For any of you that are looking for something to do tomorrow, I saw this flyer and thought you may enjoy if you’re free and up for a trip across the James!

Keep reading and writing in your summer journal!


Ms. Hudson (and Gabby Cat)

Jun 09

The Fun Isn’t Quite Done!

Friends and acquaintances comment to me about school “winding down,” but that’s just not happening! We’re packing in the fun until the very end!

Be sure to read about all of the fun going on (below or in your child’s folder) and what your Honey Bear can bring to school next week.

The Honey Bears Love Mr. Williams

We were so lucky to have Mr. Williams come in and help with reading groups this year.  His help was one integral part to the progress the Honey Bears made to all become independent readers!!!  The kids and I made sure to take time to say thank you and presented him with cards they made.

The Honey Bears helped plant herbs that Ms. Hudson got as a gift during Teacher Appreciation Week.  We had lots of fun making our dirt babies as well!!  

Thank you so much to the families of:

Levin, Levi, Brayden, Kayden and Elaheh

for providing supplies to allow us to do this fun science project.

 The Honey Bears can’t wait to take their Dirt Babies home next week!

Ordering Papa John’s online?

Be sure to include our school code to have 10% of your purchase go to Greenwood!!

Papa John’s Greenwood school code: GATORS1



School News:


Monday, June 12

KINDERGARTEN BEACH DAY – bring beach towels, sun hats and sunglasses, but NO bathing suits

  • Pastries for Parents from 7:20 – 8:00 AM for K-2nd Grade.  If you also have a child in an upper grade, our families can choose to attend this special breakfast either on Monday or Wednesday morning.
  • Career Day for 2nd through 5th grade.
  • Moving Up Ceremony practice for 5th graders at Glen Allen High School from 12:00 – 1:45 PM.


Tuesday, June 13

  • Field Day — Honey Bears wear blue (turquoise)
    • Our opening ceremony at 8:15 AM and closing ceremony at 1:20 PM
    • Kona Ice will be available for parents to pick up a cup and bring to your student’s class during lunch only (10:30 – 11:30AM). Students will not have an opportunity throughout the day to visit the truck since they’ll be packed with games!


Wednesday, June 14

KINDERGARTEN Camping Day! You can bring a flashlight, canteen, stuffed animal and/or other camp gear.

  • Pastries for Parents from 7:20 – 8:00 AM for 3rd-5th Grade.  
  • Starting at 8:00AM, PreK – 1st grade students will participate in Touch-A-Truck Day!  
  • Challenger Day for 2nd – 5th grade
  • 5th grade end of the year party in the gym from 12:00 – 1:45 PM.
Thursday, June 15

  • Award Ceremonies
    • 8:00 – 8:45 AM            Kindergarten Gym
    • 8:45 – 9:15 AM            1st Grade Classrooms
    • 9:15 – 10:00 AM          2nd – 3rd Grade Gym
    • 9:30 – 10:30 AM          Preschool – Gibbons-Plowcha (AM class) Classroom
    • 10:00 – 10:45 AM        Preschool Ms. Jones Gym
    • 12:00 – 12:30 PM       Preschool – Ms. Tarsha/Ms. Brittany Classroom
    • 1:00 – 1:45 PM            4th Grade Gym
    • 1:00 – 1:45 PM          Preschool – Gibbons-Plowcha (PM class) Classroom
    • 6:00 – 7:30 PM           5th Grade Glen Allen High School
  • 20th Reunion – 4th Grade Thursday,
  • Hot dog solar cooker out – 3rd Grade
Friday, June 16

Wear green or GATOR gear!

    • Final Pep Rally/Gator Gathering – 8:30 – 9:30 AM
  • 5th Grade/Senior Clap Out – 10:45 – 11:00 AM


Ask your Honey Bear about our visitor from Henrico County Public Library.

Jun 02


Merci Beaucoup!

Thank you so much to the families of Troy, Mariah, Levin, Carter, Canyon, Brayden,  Kayden, and, especially, Levi’s for making our French celebration a délicieux success!

Most of the Honey Bears had never had a crepe before!  Madame McDonough and I loved them and thought how lucky the French are to be able to pick up a  crepe at the local creperie on the way to work.  Not surprising, the sweet crepes were more popular than the savory with the Honey Bears.  The actual crepes received mixed reviews, but everyone liked the fillings that they picked!

                                                         Thank you Madame McDonough                                                         for teaching the Honey Bears the French language and helping us learn about the culture!


Be on the lookout for an email to help donate supplies for making dirt babies!


The Honey Bears  used cookies to learn about equal parts.

One Honey Bear was asked to cut the cookie evenly, while the other observed.  There was an extra incentive for the “cutter” to slice the cookie as equally as possible, because his/her friend (who didn’t cut) got to pick which piece he/she wanted to take (and eat).




We welcomed a new Honey Bear on Tuesday to finish out the school year with us.

 Shaiza is a great new addition to our Honey Bear family!

School News

Registration forms are due on June 8  for Pastries with Parents

“Moving Up Ceremony” Reminders:

8:00 – 8:45 AM            Kindergarten – Gym

8:45 – 9:15 AM            1st Grade – Classrooms

9:15 – 10:00 AM          2nd – 3rd Grade – Gym

9:30 – 10:30 AM          Preschool – Gibbons-Plowcha (AM class) –  Classroom

10:00 – 10:45 AM        Preschool Ms. Jones – Gym

12:00 – 12:30 PM       Preschool – Ms. Tarsha/Ms. Brittany – Classroom

1:00 – 1:45 PM            4th Grade – Gym

1:00 – 1:45 PM       Preschool – Gibbons-Plowcha (PM class) – Classroom

6:00 – 7:30 PM            5th Grade – Glen Allen High School

Ask your Honey Bear to tell you about the life cycle of a frog.  Does he/she remember any other fun facts we learned?  What happens to the frogspawn in the water? (Hint: It does the same thing that the toothpick did in our sink and float experiment.)

May 26

Sunshine and Summertime

Unofficial summertime begins this weekend.  We have enjoyed learning about the summer season and had fun painting suns to go with our summer writing displayed in the hallway.

Speaking of writing . . . . I’m so proud of what amazing writers the Honey Bears have become! Before the summer break, I will send home writing samples taken from different points during the school year.  Each year, I am amazed to see how much growth my Honey Bears have made since entering school.  Please continue to encourage writing at home and over the summer by keeping a journal and sending letters and postcards to family and friends.


Next Friday is our final French lesson with Madame McDonough, and we will have a French celebration, including crepe making! I will be sending a sign up email form for donations for these fillings.







Chocolate sauce

Whipped Cream



French mustard


We will also be concluding our plant study by making Dirt Babies, which are like homemade chia pets.  If anyone has old baby food jars or similar small empty jars, please save them and send them in Tuesday.  We will need these for the containers.   


School News

With the end of the year coming to an end, we wanted to send a few reminders regarding early dismissals and lunch visits. Requests for early dismissal must be made in writing to the teacher by a parent. Early dismissal should not be requested after 1:45 unless it is an emergency.  This allows our office staff to focus on maintaining a calm and orderly dismissal of our bus, car, and daycare riders.  During lunch, parents are welcomed and encouraged to visit the school dining room.  We have a designated section available for parents to sit with their child and due to spacing, they will not be allowed to bring a friend to this section. Furthermore, in light of the growing incidences of food allergies among the children, providing take-out food or other food treats to your child’s classmates is not permitted.

Ask your Honey Bear to tell you about the game he or she got to play with Mrs. Davis on Wednesday.

May 19


Tonight is PTA’s BIG fundraiser…


6 – 8  Tonight

This is our spring carnival with fun, games and a silent auction!

Hope to see you!



The Lego Reading directions sent home may have been a bit confusing and a bit tedious.

The purpose of the Lego Reading Project is to have a fun way to encourage reading at home.

To help clarify and simplify:

  • Please just color one Lego Man on the log for each day that you read, working for at least 10 -20 minutes of reading a day.
  • ALL students who participate will get a prize, and I will recognize who logs the most time read.
  • You do NOT need to use the red reading log that I sent home.  You may simply write the titles or just record the dates or amount of time read, I will accept this.
  • You do NOT need to sign next to each book. ONE signature at the completion of the project is fine.
  • You do NOT need to turn in the reading log each Friday as requested, as long as you will be sure to keep up with the reading.  I will ask for the reading logs next month.
  •  I want him/her to practice reading, but I also encourage you to continue to read aloud to your Honey Bear as well. Both count for the reading log.
  • The MOST IMPORTANT thing is that your Honey Bear is incorporating reading into his/her daily routine.

Do you have a half hour that you could give to:

read a book?


play a game with the students?


 simply monitor them while they are doing independent work?

If so, please email to let me know

It’s testing time!

In kindergarten that means getting one-on-one time with the teacher.  That’s great news for your Honey Bear when it’s his/her turn to work with me one-on-one, but there is a catch!  It also means your Honey Bear has to be very patient and demonstrate self-control while I am working with his/her peers.  

The Honey Bears and I were thrilled to have Mrs. Davis volunteer time this week to read and help monitor students while I pulled students for testing. Having another adult in here during this time is a real gift!  And for parents and family members, it is a fun way for you to get to spend time with your little loved one and meet his/her Honey Bear friends.   If you want to lend a helping hand and spend some time with the Honey Bear family, please let me know!  

Hope to see you at the Gatorval and that you win lots of great things at the auction!  Happy Friday!!



It’s hard to believe that we are getting ready to wrap up what’s been a fun and fantastic year at Greenwood.  We thought it may be helpful to provide details and highlights regarding all of the exciting things scheduled during the last week of school.

Please help us spread the word about our new tradition called the SENIOR CLAP OUT on June 16. We are inviting ALL High School Graduates that attended Greenwood to participate! Details below:

Ask your Honey Bear to tell you what we have been living things we are watching transform at school.  (You can probably guess by the life cycle plates we sent home this week.)

May 12

We love our Moms!

Did you hear?

Last week . . . 

For all of you who celebrate.  . .

Happy Mother’s Day!

The Honey Bears have the best mothers!

                                     Thank you for all that you moms, guardians, grandmothers, aunts and second mothers                                    do to make the Honey Bears the amazing children they are!

Your Honey Bear worked very hard to make a little surprise for you,

so let your little one hide it away and pull it out for you Sunday!



Image result for lego

April was the last month that the library is doing Reading Reflections for this school year.  

So, we will have a new fun way to track your reading from now until the end of the year!  Legos seem to be a popular toy for our kindergators, so I thought I’d use them to add a little fun to our reading program.  On Monday, there will be a new reading log in your child’s folder.  Attached to the log is a sheet of Lego people.  For each book your Honey Bear reads, he or she can color in one Lego man. 

As an extra incentive, your Honey Bear can turn his/her reading at home into a fun engineering project of an evolving structure by earning one Lego piece for each book that is read.  So after the first book is read, there will be one Lego standing alone.  For every additional book read, your child will add one Lego piece to that Lego. At the end of the year, we can have a show and tell of Lego structures!  If you’d like to participate and do not have Legos, please let me know.  I can’t wait to see the masterpieces!

 (If you want to get a head start this weekend on tracking books read, just write the title(s) on a sheet of paper at home and attach to your log when you get it.)  



Greenwood’s Annual Silent Auction/Gatorval is quickly approaching! The date is Friday, May 19th from 6-8 PM, and we need everyone’s help! Sign up here

It’s hard to believe that we are getting ready to wrap up what’s been a fun and fantastic year at Greenwood.  We thought it may be helpful to provide details and highlights regarding all of the exciting things scheduled during the last week of school.

We are starting a new end of the year tradition for our 5th graders at Greenwood Elementary! Therefore, we are calling ALL 2017 High School Graduates that attended Greenwood to participate in our SENIOR CLAP OUT on June 16 at 10:00AM.

Ask your Honey Bear about the fun lesson on shadows that they had yesterday from the Math and Science Center!  (And be sure to check out all the cool programs they have to offer.

May 05

Thank you, Sweet Honey Bear Families!

What an amazing week!  

I have felt so loved all week as you have showered me with gifts and flowers, fruit and school supplies, notes and sweet treats, and my Honey Bears’ hugs!
I am so lucky to work with such wonderful, supportive families. It is a privilege to get to be the Honey Bears’ teacher as they start their educational careers.  I am constantly touched by the love my Honey Bears share with me and their peers each day in the class, and honored by the Honey Bears who have moved on to other grades and continue to keep me a part of their lives.  
The other day, a parent told me that her son didn’t seem to love the idea that when he goes to first grade, a new class of Honey Bears will be in room 108.  I told her what I told all of my students.  Just because he will no longer be in my class, doesn’t mean he won’t be a Honey Bear anymore. Once you’re my Honey Bear, you will always be  my Honey Bears, no matter how old you become.

Thank you all for being a part of the Honey Bear family and making me feel so loved!

School News . . . 

With testing beginning next week for all grade levels, arriving to school on time is essential. We encourage our students to get a good night’s rest and eat a big breakfast as we strive to reach our school’s academic goals over the next three weeks!

Just a friendly reminder that if you are planning on having your child early dismissed, a note should be sent into the teacher. We can not dismiss a student after 1:45PM without a note.

If you know of any rising kindergarten students in your neighborhood that have NOT registered for school next year, please help us by encouraging them to set up an appointment with Ms. Sizemore (804-261-2970).

Greenwood’s Annual Silent Auction/Gatorval is quickly approaching! The date is Friday, May 19th from 6-8 PM, and we need everyone’s help! Sign up here

Ask your Honey Bear what we’re doing to learn about how plants get water with our latest science experiment. (You can help jog their memories by mentioning the carnation in water.)

Apr 28

Financial Literacy in Kindergarten

I am so excited to have the Junior Achievement program back for another year with the Honey Bear family.

Today was our first class of Junior Achievement with Miss Semhar and Miss Vanessa.

The kindergarten program, JA Ourselves, uses storybook characters in read-aloud and hands-on activities to introduce the role people play in an economy. Through engaging, volunteer-led activities, young students learn about individual choices, money, the importance of saving and giving, and the value of work.

Volunteers from the business world come to teach the program to classes in the schools.  Our volunteers come from Wells Fargo.  One of our teachers, Semhar, has nieces that attend Greenwood, and one is next door in Mrs. Barker’s class.  

Click to learn more about Junior Achievement.

Are you reading books from RAZ Kids at home? 

Diwakar is our leading the class for stories read at home on the RAZ Kids app.  Way to go, Diwakar!  

We will be testing for end of the year reading levels in just 2 weeks.  Henrico County’s goal is to have all kindergartners reading at a level E by the end of the year.  Please have your child practice reading books at his/her reading level by spending time each night listening and reading stories from the app.

Did you know  I can listen to you read at home? You can record your reading in the RAZ Kids app if you allow access to the microphone.  Look for the icon of the mic on the top right corner when reading the story.

Click to go to RAZ Kids. I will reward all of the students who I see are reading on the site outside of school hours.  




Greenwood’s Annual Silent Auction/Gatorval is quickly approaching! The date is Friday, May 19th from 6-8 PM, and we need everyone’s help! Sign up here

Other ways to help…

  • Find out what the theme for your classroom basket or gift card is, and send in items or a monetary donation! Please contact your room parents for more information.
  • If you have a business, or know someone who does that would like to donate an item please feel free to share the attached “vendor donation letter.”

Ask your Honey Bear what where we pretended to go in French class this morning.

Apr 21

Maymont Memories

Happy Spring!

We are having lots of fun being back from the break, as we continue to study animals and their habitats, and are working on a special surprise to share our knowledge with you all.

The Honey Bears are enjoying reading classic fairy tales and new variations of them.  This week we’ve studied Little Red Riding Hood, both the traditional version as well as the “Prairie Tale” version by Lisa Campbell Ernst.  Ask your Honey Bear to retell both stories to you using the Little Red Riding Hood/Wolf plate made in school.



School News:

On Friday, April 21 we have our Gator Achievement Celebration, Talent Show dress rehearsals, 3rd Quarter Pep Rally, and Parent Achievement Celebration, Jazz on the Lawn (6:00 – 7:15PM).  What an incredible day to celebrate our GATORS!!!

You are cordially invited to the 4th annual HCPS A.R.T.S Festival at Henrico High School on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017  10am- 4pm and Sunday, April 23rd from 10am – 4pm. CFA Visual Arts Showcase Sat. 5- 7pm and CFA Musical Theater Showcase Fri. & Sat. 7:30pm.  Artwork from each HCPS school will be on display, along with food, putt-putt golf, community arts organizations, and special musical performances.

Ask your Honey Bear about our science experiment that helped us learn about how penguins can handle being in the icy cold arctic waters.