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MAY 8TH – 12TH

May 14, 2017 by saveryt   

News of the Week

  • Lower School brought in over $500 at the book fair in change, and this was used to purchase books for First Baptist Food Pantry.
  • We presented at this week’s Community Meeting, sharing information and our thoughts about volunteering at Westminster.  
  • IF you want to purchase the summer reading books, please send in your order form and money asap.
  • The BIGGEST news of the week is Mr Waters is getting married on Saturday!
  • Uniform Drive
    • When: Wed., May 17- Wed., May 24
    • Where: Bins will be in the LS Lobby
    • What: collared shirts (red, blue and white), pants, shorts, skorts, skirts (khaki and navy), sweatshirts, sweaters, and coats too.
    • (we prefer clothing without PT logo, but we will collect PT logo clothing separately)
    • Who: We are donating all clothing to Westminster Neighborhood Center for their Back to School event in July.
    • All students will be able to have Children Choice Days on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday (May 22, 23 and 25) Wednesday is Field Day and students can come dressed in White or Red to support their team.​



  • Finding the area and perimeter of a rectangle when we know the lengths of two sides
  • Finding the length of a side when we know the area of the whole shape and one other side, then finding the perimeter
  • Finding the length of a side of a square when all we know is the area, then finding the perimeter
  • Finding the perimeter of a composite figure



    • Essential Question:  What can you discover when looking closely at something?


  • The Cay


      • This compelling novel is set in the Caribbean during World War II.  It is 1942. Phillip Enright lives on the island of Curacao in the Dutch West Indies with his parents.  His father, an engineer,  is needed there to help develop and produce aviation fuel desperately needed for the allied war effort. Phillip’s mother is desperate to return to Virginia to the rest of their family and out of harm’s way.  Phillip’s father remains in Curacao, while Philip and his mother take a freighter home. The freighter is torpedoed by a German Uboat,  When abandoning ship, Phillip and his mother are separated, and Phillip receives a blow to the head.  He awakes aboard a raft with a black deck worker, Timothy, and the ship’s cat.  Phillip goes blind.  Students are riveted to this novel.


  • Tuck Everlasting


      • While exploring in the wood near her home (with the intent of running away), Winnie Foster meets the Tucks and is kidnapped (?) because she has discovered a secret best left secret.  But who is the man in the yellow suit?


  • Out of My Mind




  • Use of “more” and “most” when comparing (more afraid but  not afraider, most exciting but not excitingest)
  • Review of commas used when combining sentences (The day was beautiful, but it was going to rain that night) and with appositives (My favorite school, Park Tudor, is 115 years old.)



  • R-controlled vowels (labor, mayor, cheddar, powder)



  • Finished up an important project – to be given this weekend
  • Continued to work through the “meaty” paragraphs of our five paragraph persuasiv essay
  • Reviewed the closing paragraph – remembering to include a “call to action”



  • The weavings are going to be hung outside the teacher’s lounge on the bulletin board.
  • Students worked well on their projects, unfortunately they were not all able completely finish due in part to holidays and the trip to Williamsburg.  I see this as an opportunity to demonstrate all the different  steps the students went through to complete the weavings, they should all be proud of what they have accomplished. If they are hung unfinished they will be able to complete them when they are returned.



Our study of the recorder is quickly drawing to a close as summer break approaches, and  I am very pleased with the skills and self-confidence the students have developed over the course of the semester.  Students are reading and playing a variety of treble staff songs accurately and expressively with an increasing ease and speed.  With our newest note B flat, we have learned to read and finger a total of ten notes.  Our final required playing quizzes of “Jingle Bells” and “Ode to Joy” have been augmented with several optional “challenge” songs for the students to attempt.  During our final classes, students are invited to perform alone any or all of these challenge songs, demonstrating to me the depth and range of their work at home.  Hopefully, you may hear these songs echoing through your house!

  1. When the Saints Go Marching In – ties and and an upbeat start
  2. Swahili Greeting – uses the three lowest notes we can play: C-D-E
  3. Happy Birthday – has an octave jump from low D to high D
  4. Yankee Doodle – the longest and most challenging of our songs
  5. The Snake Charmer – incorporates a new note, B flat, and is in minor

Thank you for your support and encouragement of your child’s recorder study.  The practice habits and skills they are learning will serve them well in our fifth grade instrumental program next fall.




  • Holobek


    • Continued our robotics unit.  Ask your child about their progress.
  • Williams and Averyt
    • Split up into our rocket groups and began brainstorming rocket designs.
    • Began building our rockets and will launch next week!



Our latest series of stories have had the kids laughing… or at least learning how to talk about a character who laughs (se ríe) at jokes (chistes) or funny movies (películas cómicas).  We were able to extend conversations into talking about our family members and which ones tell jokes, who listens, who laughs etc.  I have been amazed at the quantity of language that we have been able to get out of this topic!

I have had some questions about suggestions for practicing Spanish over the summer.  All fourth grade students have set up Duolingo accounts this year and this is one option for practicing online.   There is also a great resource from the University of Texas with Spanish proficiency exercises, which include short clips of native speakers going over basics (in the beginning section) as well as more intermediate passages.  I will be showing the kids how to navigate this site during one of our Spanish classes next week.

In addition to the free online resources, there are some paid programs, which may be of interest to some of the kids.  FluentU offers a free 2 week trail and then it is $20 a month for access to videos and online quizzes etc.



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