Room 216 News

Wow, it's January!

Parent Portal Time

Have you picked up your parent portal access letter yet? If you would like to have access to your child’s lunch balance, attendance, schedule, and you have not picked up your access ID and password, we have it in the front office. In the near future, this access will also allow you to view your child’s grades and progress reports. We have to verify your identity and signature of receipt is required so please bring your driver’s license with you. This access greatly enhances your participation in scheduling your student's sixth grade experience!

Upcoming Dates

Please mark your calendars!

Note that diagnostic tests do not count toward report card grades, but do give teachers and parents vital information on progress. The best preparation for these is to ensure proper rest and morning nutrition. I will share the results after the tests are given and analyzed.


Jan 13th - Classroom Spelling Bee (1 winner will participate in the BES Spelling Bee)
- Healthy Snack Day
- PTO Meeting
Jan 14th - 5th Grade Reading Mid Year Assessment (diagnostic)
Jan 15th - Civil War Test

- Henley Parent Meeting 6:30 (6:00 for SPED/Gifted)
Jan 16th - Last Day of 2nd Quarter
Jan 19th & 20th - No School for Students
Jan 23rd - BES Spelling Bee @ 9am
Jan 30th - VS 8 Reconstruction Test
Feb 2nd - Science Starts
- Report Cards Go Home
Feb 5th - 5th Grade Math Mid Year Assessment (diagnostic)

Thank You!

Thank you for your support of a terrific Winter celebration in December. The students had a wonderful time playing Bingo, making the candles, and of course, eating! I trust they came home with high happiness levels that carried through the entire two week break. Events like that don't happen without all your support and contributions. Thank you.

Academic Trends

As I am sure your students have communicated to you, we have been studying Virginia's role in the Civil War since we returned last Monday. To support the understanding of varying perspectives, each student is also partner reading a novel or biography set in this time period. We will have a test on information learned so far on Thursday. The study guide went home today and is also available on SOL Pass. We will continue our investigation with the completion of a Green Screen project using Matthew Brady photographs in the coming weeks. Please talk to your student about this process. They piloted the app with an AESOPS fable project in December and seemed to really have a great time.


Today your student received a different type of word study list. Last week we took the quarterly word study diagnostic test. Since very few students learn the same way it was not surprising to find several different "holes" with 25 students. (Sometimes we know how to spell something, but forget the rule when asked to spell a similar word.) I prepared a list for each student to help FILL IN his or her "hole(s)". After I see how well we fill in the easier spelling rules, we will continue with the word sorts in adjusted groups.


In reading, we have assessed our fluency and comprehension with individualized one on one assessments. Each student knows the appropriate benchmark and is making a goal to ensure it is reached if needed. Instructionally, we started focusing on different ways to read closely. When reading for comprehension we want to read a passage at least a couple of times concentrating on getting the main idea, supporting details, and integrating prior knowledge. Strengthening our approach to informational text should build confidence in comprehension.


As the year progresses our writing requirements become a bit more rigorous. Students should now becoming comfortable with writing narrative, expository, and persuasive pieces. Our biggest struggle is developing writing stamina. Please encourage your student to discuss his or her writing with you. Ask questions about details. We know that students write more fluently when they perceive there is an authentic audience.


Math instruction varies throughout the grade level. Ask your student about his or her experience. If there is concern, please contact your child's math teacher.

Emergency Plans

To be prepared for any inclement weather, we are updating our emergency early dismissal plans. I will be sending home a copy of the Emergency Plan that you filled out for your student at the beginning of the year. These are the plans that will be followed in the event that there is an early dismissal from school. Please make any necessary changes to the form and return it to me ASAP. If there are no changes, simply sign the form and return it. Thanks!