Gravely Connection

March 2020

Seadog families,

Gravely is excited to announce that we have won The Exemplary Reading Program Award that is given to one school annually by Virginia State Reading Association. This is a school-wide award designed to recognize schools that demonstrate literacy excellence and outstanding literacy programs! We are extremely proud of our dedicated team of educators and all of the support we receive from volunteers and the community.

Also during the month of March we will be accepting our School of Excellence Award for the great achievements from the 2018-2019 School.

In the month of February our PTO donated $10,000 that was raised through Read-A-Thon and numerous events, these funds are supporting our STEAM Lab and a variety literacy initiatives. Thank you all for playing a part in supporting the success of our school.

In March we are looking forward to PTO STEAM Night, numerous field trips, the end of the 3rd quarter, and as always high quality daily instruction from our amazing staff.

Thank you for your continued support of our Seadog Family!

Samuel. L. Gravely Jr.’s vision: Success = Education + Motivation + Perseverance.

Michael Kelchlin - Principal

Kisha Trammell - Assistant Principal

Nichole Mills - Admin Intern

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SOL Dates

3rd Grade Reading May 4th and 5th

4th Grade Reading May 6th and 7th

5th Grade Reading May 12th and 13th

4th Grade Va Studies May 14th

5th Grade Science May 15th

3rd Grade Math May 18th and 19th

4th Grade Math May 20th

5th Grade Math May 21st


March 3- No School Election Day

March 4 - PTO Spirit Night Buffalo WIld WIngs

Read Across America Days

  • 3/4 We’re all One Wednesday – Wear Your Gravely Spirit Wear
  • 3/5 Silly Socks Thursday
  • 3/6 PJs and Flashlight Friday Reading with House Buddies

March 9 - Advisory Council 5:30 / PTO 6:30

March 9 - Strings Pyramid Concert

March 13 - STEAM Night

March 18 - School Of Excellence award will be received by Gravely

March 27 - End of Third Quarter

March 30 - Teacher Workday - No School


Kindergarten had a wonderful time celebrating the 100th Day of School! We made necklaces and crowns by counting to 100. In reading, we wrote our own Fairy Tales and used teamwork to create a class Fairy Tale book. We also incorporated social studies into our language arts unit. We read the book, “Duck for President” and thought about what we would do if we were President. In writing, we began our unit on poetry. We learned about the elements of poetry and wrote our own poems. In social studies, we learned about the importance of President’s Day and the life of George Washington. We really enjoyed looking for American flags around the community and making our own flags. March is just around the corner and we can’t wait to see if it, “Comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.”

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1st Grade

First Graders have been involved in a lot of fun activities this month. In reading we continue to work on fluency and identifying the main idea of a passage. In math students worked on telling time to the half hour as well as comparing and ordering numbers to 110. We also started our big unit on Virginia history learning about the following: the Jamestown Settlement, Captain John Smith, Pocahontas, and Chief Powhatan. This month students started researching facts about a specific animal. They will be show casing their reports at our annual “Zoo” day the end of March. Great job, First Graders!
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2nd Grade

2nd grade is so ready for SPRING! Adaptation is the big word this month and the month following. To support our efforts here we encourage you to discuss the similarities and differences shared between seasons in Virginia and how we adapt to these seasons. In preparation we have been studying animals and their adaptations, plants and habitats galore.

In writing, students finished their research papers and celebrated by reading their creations to one another at our monthly writing celebration. Some teachers were able to make this connection with animals and a quick introduction towards poetry, though poetry is explored further later this year. Seeing all or our 2nd graders truly explore the world of writing has been so fun regardless of genre.

In addition, our Math Wizards have been hard at work learning how to tell time, to include five-minute intervals being a focus, patterns- both growing and repeating, probability with the collecting and displaying data.

And finally, in Social Studies we hope we have given your 2nd grader a taste for where they are on the map. Including, continents, oceans, landforms and rivers importantly connected to our country. Here is to next month and all that 2nd grade learners may explore!

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3rd Grade

February has been a busy month in third grade. In Math, we finished our fractions unit and began our unit on Measurement. We've learned to measure to the nearest half in on a ruler, we've estimated capacity, we've looked at thermometers to determine temperature in celsius and fahrenheit, and we have calculated the area and perimeter of various polygons. In Reading we have been learning how to determine the maid idea and details in nonfiction text and we have been comparing and contrasting biographies and autobiographies. In science we have been working on our PBL, students are creating an animal with adaptations to survive in various habitats. Looking ahead, our next Social Studies unit will focus on Ancient China. Last but not least, in writing we have been working on researching animals and ecosystems and completing a research paper. As we get closer to spring we will begin our SOL reviews and we will work on test taking strategies.
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4th Grade

February has been a hands-on month in fourth grade! We created choice projects to show our understanding of the New Nation Era in Virginia Studies. Fourth graders also had fun creating sleds to learn about force, friction, and energy in science. We had to show off all of our hard work so we took the sleds outside and tried the out! (Thank you for sending in boxes, cardboard, and tape!) We also completed a gallery walk to show off our New Nation creations. Valentine’s Day quickly approached and we had the opportunity to exchange Valentines cards and eat lunch in the classroom on Valentine’s Day. It was nice to see how many compliments the kids gave each other and how excited they were to receive a small token from their classmates. We are currently busy at work learning how to add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators and then reduce fractions to put them in simplest form in math. In Social Studies we have begun the Civil War unit and are excited to discuss the famous Virginians and battles that took place during this time period. We are excited to have two different guest speakers coming to talk to us about life during the 1800’s specifically during the Civil War Era. In writing students have been finishing up small stories and have been following the third quarter writing rubric standards which allows them to take pride and responsibility for their own work but also gives them clear understanding of what is expected of them. All fourth graders recently completed their mid-year benchmark reading test to let us know where they are at when answering comprehension questions about a given passage. It is extremely important that your child continue to read for at least twenty minutes a night. This not only boosts their fluency, stamina, and comprehension but it also gives them confidence when reading independently or with a group of classmates.
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5th Grade

This month fifth graders have been busy learning about pioneer life as we delve into our study of the Midwest region. Students are learning about all different facets of life in the Midwest from modern day farming to extreme weather. In science, students have been exploring the different levels of the ocean, currents, salinity, and ocean pollution. To complement our oceanography unit, students have been completing a Webquest during Tech Time with Mrs. Bowman. In language arts, we have been learning all about figurative language and applying what we've learned to make our writing more vivid and exciting. In math, we have been solving real world problems involving the computation of fractions and decimals. We are looking forward to our field trip to Luray Caverns in March to enhance our study of Geology.
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Art News: Grade levels have been learning about a variety of art skills including blending colors with a variety of media, printmaking, weaving, stitching, and photography. The Gravely Art program was highlighted on the VAEA Instagram page through an art takeover. Gravely artists got to show off their skills and artwork as well as what a day in the Gravely art room looks like.

A reminder that all 3rd-5th grade students have made sketchbooks and folders that will stay at school all year. They will only bring home art at the end of each grading period. K-2nd grade students will bring home art as they complete it. I borrow art to hang in the hallway. All art that has been borrowed will be returned before the end of the school year.

I would like to encourage you to check the Gravely Art website weekly. The website is where you will find what each grade level is working on along with any art announcements. I also have a Gravely Instagram page where you can see what is going on in the art room at missbonner_art

I will be highlighting 3-5 graders artwork through monthly displays starting in March. Every 3rd grader will have their favorite piece on display in the Gravely hallways during the month of March. 4th grade will have theirs on display in April. 5th grade will have theirs on display in May.

The Prince William County Art Festival will be held on Saturday, April 25th at Colgan High School. All information about that show will be available on the Gravely Art website closer to the date of the event. If your child has artwork chosen for this event, you will receive a note a few weeks before the event letting you know what they will have on display.

There will be a PWC summer art enrichment program and applications will be available for that program at the very beginning of March. Please see the Gravely art website, the county art website, or contact me for applications.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at I look forward to a wonderful year of art at Gravely.

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It’s been another busy month in the STEAM Lab! Students in grades 3-5 have spent the month working on their Great Arctic STEM Challenge. During this challenge, students worked collaboratively through the Engineering Design Process as they planned, designed, built, and, tested a snowball launcher intended to help a team of scientists stranded in the Arctic sneak past a polar bear who was blocking their route back to base camp. Students practiced good laboratory test skills by conducting multiple test runs of their designs as each team competed against one another to determine the ultimate class winner. This challenge allowed us to practice science techniques such as measuring the distance our snowballs traveled, as well as review science concepts such as how the mass of an object impacts the amount of force required to move the object as well as the distance the object will travel. We also incorporated math skills by calculating the mean, or average, of our data set to determine the ultimate snowball launcher!

Students in grades K-2 spent the month exploring the science concepts of light and shadows as we celebrated Groundhog Day. This month students also worked on a literacy-based challenge in which we practiced making predictions and using our imaginations to look at common things in a new way. We read the book, Not a Box, by Antoinette Portis, in which a rabbit uses his imagination to make creations out of a box. We paused throughout the story to make our own predictions about what the bunny would make next based on context clues in the story and then checked to see if our predictions were accurate. We talked about how sometimes we make great predictions that don’t turn out to be correct, and how as scientists and engineers, we can’t get discouraged when our predictions aren’t right the first time! Students then used their imaginations, like the rabbit in the story, to participate in the 12-circle challenge in which they took 12 ordinary circles and turned them into 12 brand new objects. It was fun to see the students stretch their imaginations as they completed the challenge. We talked about how engineers and scientists are always using their imaginations to solve problems and look at simple, every day ideas in a whole new light!

Thank you for all the donations of paper towel tubes and cereal boxes! Please keep them coming- we continue to run through supplies faster than we get them! Every item is greatly appreciated!

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Physical Education

During the month of February all PE classes participated in a gymnastics unit and a cup stacking unit. During the gymnastics unit, students worked on tumbling and balancing stations. During the cup stacking unit, students learned the 3 different competitive stacks and competed in some friendly competitions for prizes. We will start the month of March with a Basketball unit and finish March up with Fitness Testing.
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For the most recent updates and pictures from the Counseling Department, please connect with us on Twitter @SGEScounselors!


This month, classroom instruction for all grade levels will focus on problem solving. We will use words to describe problems, generate solutions to problem scenarios, and predict consequences using an if-then model as we follow the S.T.E.P. process for solving problems:

S – Say the problem

T – Think of solutions

E – Explore consequences

P – Pick the best solution

Students will also identify how to handle "big" problems (problems that are scary or dangerous) by telling an adult.


On Monday, March 23, 2020, Gravely Elementary will host the Hugs and Kisses program. Hugs and Kisses sensitively introduces the concepts of good touch, bad touch, and secret touch which are a part of the Prince William County Schools’ Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum. The performance is age-appropriate, and proven to teach safety and prevention strategies across all K-5 grade levels. If you would like to learn more about Theatre IV and Hugs and Kisses, you may visit


The winter session of small groups is wrapping up, and the spring session will begin mid-March. If you missed the parent referral process back in November, you can contact Sarah Fullerton (grades 1, 3, 5) or Kim Kiser (grades 2 and 4) to inquire about the what groups are still available.


Teaching Respect

Respectful behavior is important for success in school, and in life. Here are some ways to teach respect:

· Talk about the importance of treating others with kindness and honesty.

· Model attentive listening when your child is speaking to you by restating her points to confirm your understanding.

· Help your child find healthy ways to vent anger and avoid taking frustrations out on others.

· Discuss the need for rules, and enforce consequences fairly and consistently.

· Teach your child to admit mistakes and apologize.

Adapted from Helping Children Learn, February 2020 from the Parent Institute, a division of PaperClip Media, In

Reading Room

Happy Winter! As we head into the third quarter of the school year, remember how valuable you are in helping your child in becoming a confident reader. At home, talking, listening, and reading to and with your child helps them see you value and enjoy reading too. Writing is important too. Having them help make lists, keep a journal, write letters to loved ones, creative writing, and the like are all ways to weave writing into their daily life.

*Pair fiction with nonfiction to help boost your child's comprehension while reading for details.

One suggestion would be while reading, help your child look for ways nonfiction books are similar and different from fictional books. For example, after reading stories about bears, you could talk about how the bears in Goldilocks ate porridge, while bears in nature eat berries, grass, fish, and insects.

Your child will love when you read together because it's you.

Thank you for helping with your child's literacy development! We are a team! It takes us all!

MRs. Breton and Mrs. Godbole

This month in ESOL we finished up our WIDA ACCESS testing and the results will go home in June. The students worked hard and we were really proud of them. In first grade, we wrapped up our unit on compare and contrast. The students researched polar bears and penguins and using a venn diagram and wixie were able to compare the two animals. The students presented their projects to Mr. Kelchlin who had lots of good questions for them! February 28th we had our ESOL parent breakfast. Our PTO President Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Hererra our school nurse were able to attend and answer any questions for parents. Thank you to all who were able to attend. As March approaches we are looking for signs of spring!

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