Great News!‎ > ‎

Monthly Newsletters


Kindergarten teachers and paraprofessionals would like to thank ALL the families who contributed food and supplies to make our “Charlie Brown” feast a great success!  

As quoted by the children’s author, Rosemary Wells, in last month’s kindergarten news, “…read to your bunny often, and your bunny will read to you!”  You may have noticed that your child is doing just that – reading to you.  Students are starting to apply the reading and phonics skills they have learned to read beginning leveled text.  Continue to practice sight word recognition and letter sounds at home with your child to help build their reading skills.

Our focus during December will be to identify/match ending sounds and blending sounds (beginning sound with ending word family sound.)  The reading comprehension focus will be to sequence and retell events, identify main characters, identify setting and problem and how a problem is solved in fiction stories.  The focus in math will be to identify, copy and extend patterns.

The kindergarten team wishes all our students and their families a happy and safe holiday season!  We look forward to resuming classes in January.

1st Grade

Brrr!  It's December already!

First grade is currently focusing on an author's purpose in writing.  This includes why writers write, as well as why readers read a particular text.  In spelling, students are working on digraphs (th, ch, wh, sh, qu) and blends (cl, tr, st, etc.)   They are also practicing writing skills so that they can write multiple sentences that make sense (about one topic) with proper capitalization and punctuation.   

In math, students continue to improve addition/subtraction skills and they work on estimation and graphing.  Your child should be able to identify, describe and interpret tables as well as picture and object graphs.  He/she should also be able to find answers to questions using graphs (i.e. "Which category has more?  How many more?")

As winter break approaches, we will spend time talking about how communities in Virginia include people with diverse ethnic origins, customs and traditions. Students will learn how people make contributions to their communities, and they will learn about people who are united by common principles as Americans.

Please remember that whenever possible, we try to go outside for recess.  A warm winter coat, hat and gloves are very helpful on cold days!

2nd Grade

It is hard to believe we are already more than halfway through the second quarter of second grade.  The main focus for reading instruction during December will be to identify the author’s purpose in fiction and nonfiction texts.  While working on identifying why writers write, students will read a variety of fiction and nonfiction text, including stories, poems, narratives, biographies, informational articles and functional text, such as recipes and sets of directions.  

In math, second grade students are currently learning about graphs.  Students will collect, organize and represent data in pictographs and bar graphs, as well as read and interpret data represented in graphs.

Over the winter break students can have some educational fun by visiting or www.  Both websites are great resources to practice and review skills learned at school.

As the weather gets colder, please remember that we try to go outside for recess whenever possible.  A jacket, pair of gloves and a hat are highly recommended for chilly days.  

The second grade teachers wish all of our students and families a safe and relaxing winter break.  Happy Holidays!

3rd Grade

In math, students will learn about fractions.  They will learn to draw a picture of a fraction, name fractions and name mixed numbers.  We will also begin talking about elapsed time and will learn to identify how much time has passed.

In science, we will will discuss different energy sources including what renewable and nonrenewable energy sources are.  We will also begin looking at soil and what it is made up of.

In social studies, students will learn about Ancient China and Ancient Egypt.  They will identify the natural, capital and human resources used in these countries as well as the government, physical characteristics, architecture and location.

In reading, students will continue working on using context clues to figure out the meaning of unknown words.  They will do this in both fiction and nonfiction texts.  They will also read and demonstrate comprehension of nonfiction texts while reading “Christmas Around the World”.  Students will ask and answer questions based on nonfiction texts about different traditions around the world.  

In writing, we will wrap up our unit on Personal Narratives and begin the next writing unit on Fiction. During this unit, we will read examples of fiction that are used as models to help students with their own writing. Students will write their own fiction piece, go through the writing process, and publish it.

4th Grade

In reading, students continue to identify and use nonfiction text features to deepen their understanding of nonfiction passages. Students will begin to identify the author’s purpose for writing fiction and nonfiction text.  In writing, students are writing to an intended audience using sensory words to create a vivid image for the reader.  Students will take their second quarter benchmark on December 12, 2017.

In math, students will be working on the long division unit.  They will be expected to go through the steps of dividing, multiplying, subtracting and finally bringing down.  Please continue to work with your child on his/her fact fluency everyday.

In science, students will complete the unit on force, energy and motion.  They will begin the unit on electricity and will utilize investigative techniques as they conduct experiments.  They will explore static electricity through the use of balloons, and will conduct different experiments to build an electromagnet using the scientific method to check for electric current.  Students will also compare two circuits using light bulbs, batteries and wire.

In Virginia studies, students will begin the Colonial Virginia unit. Important documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will be examined.  We will discuss how war led to our country’s freedom and independence from Great Britain.
5th Grade

Matter 5.4

In science, fifth grade students will investigate and understand how matter is anything that has mass and takes up space.  It occurs as a solid, liquid or gas.

Key concepts include:

a)   distinguish properties of each phase of matter;

b)   the effect of temperature on the phases of matter;

c)   atoms and elements;

d)   molecules and compounds; and

e)   mixtures including solutions.

Please make sure your child is studying throughout the week for his/her Science LO quiz on Friday.  He/she also needs to study the section of notes indicated on the homework sheet stapled in his/her agenda. Students may log onto for extra practice and review. The password to log in is: seal.

Colonial America USI.5     

In social studies, students will apply social science skills to understand the factors that shaped colonial America by:

a)   describe the religious and economic events and conditions that led to the colonization of America;

b)   describe life in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Southern colonies, with emphasis on how people interacted with their environment to produce goods and services;

c)   describe specialization of and interdependence among New England, Mid-Atlantic and Southern colonies;

d)   describe colonial life in America from the perspectives of large landowners, farmers, artisans, merchants, women, free African Americans, indentured servants, and enslaved African Americans; and

e)   explain the political and economic relationships between the colonies and Great Britain.

Please make sure your child review the section of the notes indicated on the homework sheet stapled in the agenda. Students may log onto for extra practice and review. The password to log in is: seal.


Students will focus on the following skills during the month of December:

SOL 5.4 Create and solve single-step and multistep practical problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with and without remainders of whole numbers.

    SOL 5.5 a) find the sum, difference, product and quotient of two numbers expressed

                       as decimals through thousandths (divisors with only one nonzero digit); and

                  b) create and solve single-step and multistep practical problems involving


    SOL 5.7 Evaluate whole number numerical expressions, using the order of

                  operations limited to parentheses, addition, subtraction, multiplication and



Students will focus on the following skills:

SOL 5.4  The student will expand vocabulary when reading.

a) Identify an author’s use of figurative language.  

SOL 5.5   The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of fictional texts, narrative nonfiction, and poetry.

a) Describe character development.

b) Describe the development of plot and explain the resolution of conflict(s.)

c) Describe the characteristics of free verse, rhymed and patterned poetry.

d) Describe how an author’s choice of vocabulary contributes to the author’s style.

SOL 5.6   The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of nonfiction texts.

  1. Identify structural patterns found in nonfiction.

b)  Locate information to support opinions, predictions and conclusions.


  • Students should continue to read nightly for 20-30 minutes.  Have discussions about the text your child is reading. 

6th Grade

In reading, students are identifying nonfiction patterns within text. They are also distinguishing between fact and opinion, and are explaining and using figurative language with their writing. They are discovering Greek and Latin roots and are using context clues to help determine the meaning of unfamiliar words. Students have started to explore poetic devices which authors use when writing. Students are learning the meanings of the following terms: haiku, limerick, ballad, free verse, rhyme, rhythm, repetition, alliteration, onomatopoeia and imagery. Remember, your child should read 20 minutes each night, and he/she should be able to have a meaningful conversation about their reading with an adult or older sibling.

Students wrapped up the Progressive Movement unit and are currently studying the Spanish-American War, Theodore Roosevelt’s impact on foreign policy for the U.S. and the United States’ involvement in World War I. During this time students will analyze and interpret primary and secondary sources, maps, charts, graphs and photographs. Also, students will be able to compare and contrast these events with previous or current political moments. Finally, students will determine the multiple causes and effects of these situations on the U.S. and the world.

In math 6x students have been working on one-step equations. They will begin to work on two-step equations in the coming weeks.  The next math unit will be Geometry.  Students will work on defining the parts of a circle and learn how to find the circumference and diameter of circles.  Students will learn how to use formula sheets and how to plug in numbers to a formula.  The math teacher would like to commend students for their excellent efforts in recent weeks. Many students have continued to complete the optional homework and are very eager to participate in class when we review homework at the beginning of each class. Keep up the great work!

In science, students completed atomic structure and elements and explored chemical bonding and chemical reactions. They will begin to examine the Earth’s surface. This study of matter prepares them as they learn about various phenomena experienced on Earth and how it affects us and we affect Earth. In addition to the textbook, we continue to enhance our education of local science by working with Friends of the Rappahannock to learn more about our interactions with the Rappahannock River in a hands-on approach.