Music Connects Everywhere

Music connects to every subject when you take the time to think about it.  Kindergarten emphasis has been on connecting nursery rhymes, rhythm and sight words, sounds with high and low pitch and movement to include dance and folk games.  We have been reviewing SOl songs in each grade level and teaching students how to use their five strategies with the “COLT Strategy Rap”.  Emphasis has been placed on connecting with math and reading across grade level during each General Music session.

Our Fourth Grade students are busy learning how to play the recorder.  Students are taught how to properly hold and blow the recorder.  Emphasis is placed on identifying music symbols and music notes on the staff.  Students are encouraged to play selected  songs for a colored string simular to the Karate program.  Here at Ward, we call it the Recorder Karate program.  Students receive a string based on the difficulty of the song played each time attending General Music.  All Fourth Graders are given a pre and post test to assess their reading and recorder skills.

Four All County students represented Ward at the Henrico All County Festival held at Hermitage High School.  Students had to learn six  songs with two part harmony . The festival was awesome.  We appreciate Miss Chatman supporting our students at Hermitage High for the performance.

The Ward Testing Pep Rally was an awesome success.  Students created choreography for Grades 3-5 to the song “Starr Test Funk” and were given the opportunity to teach the choreography to other classes. Students in Third Grade and Fifth Grade created cheers and shared the cheers during the Testing Pep Rally.  Our students were so excited about sharing their gifts and talents with other students.  There were also song parodies created by our students and staff.  This was a huge hit with all in attendance.  Music is really thriving here at Ward in General Music and in the classroom.  

Latest From the Library

Greetings from the library!  As the month of May gets underway, students in grades 3-5 have been working on SOL reviews as they prepare to take their upcoming tests.  Students in grades K-2 have been working on famous Americans, map skills, poetry, and other topics.

The Pizza Hut BOOK IT! program is still in effect.  Students can participate until the end of the school year.  Your child’s teacher will give coupons for free personal pizzas to students that have completed the required amount of reading for the month and have filled out their reading logs.

As we prepare for summer, please encourage you child(ren) to continue reading and exploring new things and experiences.  Visit Henrico County Public Library and sign up for/and participate in the summer reading program.  Let’s make Ward one of the leaders in the East End school competition.  Here are a few suggestions for good titles from the 2017-18 Virginia Readers’ Choice lists:


  • Glow: animals with their own night-lights by W.H. Beck
  • Yard Sale by Eve Bunting
  • Chuck and Woodchuck by CeCe Bell
  • Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina and Angela Dominguez
  • You Must Be This Tall by Steven Weinburg
  • Job Wanted by Teresa Bateman
  • The Skunk by Mac Barnett
  • Flutter and Hum: Animal Poems by Julie Pashkis
  • Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds
  • Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie

Click on this link to see the elementary Virginia Readers’ Choice titles and brief summaries of each title: VIRGINIA READERS CHOICE – ELEMENTARY  2017-2018

Have a great summer!!!


Library News

Greetings from the library!  April is National Poetry Month and students are exploring poetry in their library lessons.  They have the opportunity to write and share some of their poetry with their classmates and school family as we will be posting student work on the bulletin board outside the library throughout the month.  Please encourage your child to write a poem and bring it to the library!

The Spring Book Fair was a huge success!  Thank you to everyone that supported in some way.  Because of you, we were able to add new books to our school library collection and many students were able to increase there own personal collection of books at home.

We have successfully completed the Read 100,000 Minutes challenge!  Students not only reached 100,000 minutes, but exceeded the goal by approximately 14,000 additional minutes!  As promised, both Ms. Chatman and Mrs. Weeks died their hair purple and gold to commemorate the occasion.

As we are wrapping up the Virginia Readers’ Choice program for this year in the library, students are beginning to vote for their favorite title.  All votes will be submitted and added to the statewide totals to see which books were voted favorite across the state.

The Pizza Hut BOOK IT! program is still going on and will continue through the remainder of the school year.  Please continue to encourage you child(ren) to participate and earn a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut every month!

Music Is In Motion at Ward

Music and Memories are always being created at Ward. The Richmond Woodwind Ensemble from the Richmond Symphony visited our students and shared various styles of music and information about each instrument of  the Woodwind Family.  Be sure to ask your son/daughter about their experience witnessing live music at Ward.  Parent performers also shared their keyboard and percussion skills with their sons’ and daughter’s classes in our program entitled, “Music In Motion”.  Mr. Bowman and Mr. Miles are both professional musicians and we were mesmerized by their outstanding performance rendered with our students and for Ward’s PTA.  Building community is just another way music fosters relationship here at Ward.

We are so proud of our Kindergarten students performance in “Music In Motion”. Students learned nursery rhymes, and memorized o to “Gummy Bear”  A special thank you is extended to our parents of our Kindergarten and TAG students for allowing their sons and daughters to participate in our evening presentation.  Hats off to our TAG students who demonstrated beginning choral behaviors and skills.  

The “Music Curriculum Connection” continues to be emphasized in General Music. Students in K- 1 utilized sight words with classroom instruments, sang nursery rhymes and other music activities that involved sharing, and taking turns. In preparation for the Richmond symphony, students in Grades K – 5 categorized band instruments.  They also explored the Woodwind, String, Brass and Percussion families.  Students were taught appropriate behaviors and responses when attending any type of public performance. Students are shown through values of notes and rhythmic patterns how math and music are related.  While learning a rap about American Heroes, students in Second and Third Grade learned about famous American Heroes.  Students in Fourth Grade are exploring beginning recorder and learning how to read music from the Treble Staff.  Fifth Grade students not only have been performing folk dances, but have connected to math by learning song parodies about mean, mode, medium and range.  Our Music Wall Word list is utilized to help our students develop a working vocabulary to assist them with developing their reading skills.



Music is bubbling all over the place here at Ward.  When you think about it, music is everywhere.  The Richmond Symphony will perform on Tuesday, March 6 for our K-5. Students have been learning about the four families of the orchestra and identifying instruments from each family.  Be sure to ask your son/daughter did they enjoy the performance.

Students in all grade levels are reading lyrics from verse to verse and discussing the meaning of the message in the songs. .  Students in Grades 2-5 have been reviewing “The Colt Strategy”, which is a rap designed to help the students utilize specific strategies while taking the SOL test.  

Students in K – 1 have been reviewing sight words while playing classroom instruments, reading books from powerpoint presentations and clapping rhythmic patterns.  Specific math vocabulary words have been emphasized in Third and Fifth Grade with songs from Youtube to reinforce the connection in the classroom.  Meanwhile, our recorders have arrived, and our Fourth Grade students are now beginning to learn how to play the recorder and learn how to read notes from the music staff.

Mark your calendar for “Music In Motion” which will be presented by our Kindergarten students and students in  TAG – 4th and 5th Grade on Thursday, March 15, 2018.  This program promises to be fun, filled with music songs and dances students have been practicing in General Music for the past six weeks or more.  Students should arrive at 6:15 p.m. for our 6:30 p.m. program. If you plan to take pictures, please send some to  I would love to post some on this sight and in the music classroom.

Music is everywhere at Ward, from the morning announcements, to classroom settings, pep rallies, gym, art, library and of course in General Music.  Take time and hold a conversation with your son/daughter and ask them “What Would The World Be Like Without Music?”  Thank you for your continued support to making music live and thrive at Ward Elementary.


Library News

As February ended and March began, we celebrated “Read Across America” week and Dr. Seuss’ Birthday.  Students were and are still involved in a number of reading programs: Read 100,000 Minutes, BOOK IT!, and Virginia Reader’s Choice, all of which support our school-wide reading goal.  Now that we are into March, we are gearing up for the Spring Book Fair coming the week of March 12-16.  Please plan to come out and support this event.  Part of the proceeds from the fair are used to help improve the school library collection.  Mark your calendars!

Read Across America week/Dr. Seuss’ Birthday

Read Across America week here at Ward Elementary was a huge success!  Classes enjoyed guest readers on Monday, wrote letters to classes and students at another HCPS partner school about their favorite book on Tuesday, wore pajamas and stretched out and read on Wednesday, buddy read with students/classes of a different grade level on Thursday, and to wrap it up, on Friday, dressed as their favorite book character for Dr. Seuss’ actual birthday.  This was an exciting, fun filled week for all of our Ward school family as we continue to promote a life-long love of reading and learning!

Below are pictures of some of the various activities that took place throughout the week along with some of the amazing book character costumes that were represented.

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Happy Youth Art Month!

Welp, we’ve finally arrived to my favorite time of the school year: YOUTH ART MONTH! Observed during the month of March, YAM is a time to celebrate and promote art in our schools. Check the blue YAM calendar that was sent home a couple weeks ago for fun/artistic prompts that you and your child can participate in each day during the month of March!


Here’s what we’ve been up to in the art room…

Kindergarten- Our KG babies have been reading all about polar bears, their environment/diet, and even painting a picture of them! Our next project will be inspired by Chinese culture and the upcoming spring season.

1st grade: First graders will be using the upcoming holiday of St. Patrick’s Day as inspiration for their next project. Rainbows, leprechauns, and pots of gold!

2nd grade: What do tints/shades, gradients, and ice cream all have in common? Our next 2nd grade project! Students will be flexing their vocabulary and color mixing skills to create a scrumptious looking ice cream cone.

3rd grade: All of the 3rd grade students are just now finishing up a fun project that taught us all about 2-D shapes versus 3-D forms. Students also had the chance to try out a new technique using just tissue paper and water to add color to their paper. They turned out BEAUTIFUL and I can’t wait to show a few of them off at the ARTS Festival at the end of the month.

4th grade: 2018 is year of the DOG and boy-oh-boy do our 4th grade projects have a lot of bark! Students learned a very fun and VERY MESSY printmaking technique to create Chinese Zodiac inspired prints for their project. I was completely blown away by each class and their ability to create such a complex drawing and print. Way to go!

5th grade: We are on the tail end of our 1-point perspective unit and our projects are looking incredible! It’s been a joy to watch so many budding artists really grasp onto the concept of perspective and get creative with their drawings.


*Families, please mark you calendars for the upcoming ARTS Festival, March 24th and 25th from 10am-4pm at Freeman High School. Hope to see you there!

2018 ARTS Festival Flyer

Check out this picture of the awesome Arty Party Ms. Allen’s 5th grade class got to participate in! Students walked into art class and found themselves in a “potion making” lab. We started with soda in the 3 primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) and then used droppers to mix and create secondary and tertiary colors. After testing out different colors, students were able to mix their own concoction to drink! Yum! What a fun way to learn about color theory and perk ourselves up in the afternoon.


The Winter Olympics are here!

Over the next few weeks, students in all grades will learn about the Winter Olympics and participate in activities themed around the different events we will see at the 2018 competition.  Activities will include, hockey, curling, snowboarding, skiing, and many more!  I look forward to seeing the students learning about these different events and participate in these out of the box experiences!

Library News

In library, students have been learning about various topics that support classroom instruction.  These cross-curricular lessons address reading and another content area.  Our Pre-K students are learning about different animals, how they move, where they live, etc.  Kindergarten and 1st grade students are learning about winter weather, animals and their body coverings, needs and wants, producers and consumers, and nonstandard units of measure.  Second grade students are learning how to use the SIRSI OPAC (the online public access catalog; i.e. the online library catalog).  Third grade students learned about some winter animals and their adaptations as well as worked on strengthening their dictionary skills.  Fourth and fifth grade students learned about winter weather as well as learned about the Dewey Decimal System, how to find books in the collection using this system, and using the Dewey call numbers to practice decimals.

Students are making great progress as we continue with our Read 100,000 Minutes school-wide reading challenge.  We have reached and passed our first milestone of 25,000 minutes!  This is one of 3 school-wide reading initiatives currently taking place here at Ward.  The Pizza Hut BOOK It! reading program continues and runs throughout the school year.  The third reading program students are participating in is Virginia Readers’ Choice in which students read or the librarian reads (to K-2) 10 books and students vote for their favorite.  All votes are entered into a tally for the state of Virginia and a winner is determined.  All three of these initiatives support our school-wide reading goals.  Please continue to encourage and support your child(ren) as they develop an appreciation and love for reading.

Coming up in March is Read Across America day!  We will be doing something all week to celebrate reading and Dr. Seuss.  Also in March is Spring Book Fair!  Book Fair will be here March 12th-16th.  Be on the lookout for upcoming notices and information about sale times and our evening event.