Algonkian Elementary

January Newsletter

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Principal Page

We have officially passed the mid year mark for the 2022-2023 school year. The days and months of Febrary and March can seem long but they go fast and this is where we see lots of growth in all of our students.

Please join us on February 15 at 7:00 for our PTA meeting. The virtual link will be sent out in about a week.

We have a busy month of February with events such as Reading Under the Star, Jackie Robinson assembly and our invention expo.

We have completed mid year assessments and now we begin to analyze the data to measure student growth and provide personalized learning for each of our students.

We look forward to a great 3rd quarter!



  • Grades K-2 learned about self-confidence and facing your fears. We read the Virginia Readers’ Choice (VRC) nominated book Mel Fell by Corey Tabor about a young kingfisher bird who steps off the branch near her nest for the first time despite her fears. We did an author/illustrator study on Oliver Jeffers and read his hilarious book Stuck aloud in class. We also learned what it means to be a good citizen online with a Digital Citizenship lesson, We the Digital Citizens.
  • Grades 3-5 read the Virginia Readers’ Choice (VRC) nominated book, My Bed: Enchanting Ways to Fall Asleep Around the World by Rebecca Bond. After listening to the rhyming text of the book, students created a mystery class rhyming poem. No one knew what the other groups wrote until Mrs. Whitehouse read the completed poem aloud at the end! We also read the VRC nominated book, Someone Builds a Dream by Lisa Wheeler, which celebrates all the hard-working women and men who help build our world by doing jobs such as electrician, carpenter, and plumber. We then learned how to create a fourth layer in WeVideo … voiceover! Each class created a commercial persuading people to do one of these jobs as their career. We also did a Digital Citizenship lesson entitled Is Seeing Believing: Why Do People Alter Photos and Videos. The students analyzed altered digital images and discussed the possible motivation behind the changes.
  • All grades read the VRC nominated book Watercress by Andrea Wang (which won the Caldecott Medal and the Newbery Honor last year!) about a Chinese American family. We learned about Chinese or Lunar New Year and how it is celebrated throughout the world. Did anyone go see the Jow Ga Shaolin Institute perform the Lunar New Year Lion Dance at Cascades Library on January 28th?


Chat n Chew Round ONE is underway! It was open to any Algonkian student in 2nd-5th grade. Each child who signed up received a checked-out book and will meet at lunch in the library to discuss what they read. (Chat n Chew Round TWO will be a new chance to sign-up with a new book. Details coming later.)

3rd grade - Jan 25th 12:20-12:50 pm (COMPLETE)

2nd grade - Jan 30th 11:30-12:00 am (FULL for students, need TWO parent volunteers)

4th grade - Jan 30th 12:00-12:30 pm

5th grade - Feb 1st 12:50-1:20 pm

It is too late to sign-up students, but parent volunteer spots are still open:


February 22nd from 6:30-8:00 pm. Put on your jammies and come to Algonkian for some bedtime stories! Algonkian students will be able to sign-up ahead of time to visit several staff members who will read a story. More details with a sign-up will be sent out soon.


March 9th - March 17th (this is a Thursday-Friday) Mark your calendars for the I SPY A GREAT BOOK Spring Book Fair! A sign-up will go out closer to the fair for parent volunteers.


3rd, 4th, & 5th grade parents:

Playaways are very popular at the Algonkian library! Playaways are like MP3 players with an audio book loaded onto them. Because of the high cost of Playaways, we require students to have parent permission to check them out. Click below for more information and the permission form:


Occasionally checked out library books go missing. We normally don’t send fine notices until the end of the year, but there are some students who have not been able to check-out for long periods of time because they aren’t bringing back their library books. If you are unable to locate the book (or they are damaged beyond repair), you can use our online school payment system to pay for a replacement. E-mail Mrs. Whitehouse at about the book and she will get the process started for you.


The Algonkian library is happy to accept book donations from families as long as they are hardcover books in new to very good condition AND a fit for our collection. Please contact Mrs. Whitehouse to make arrangements if you have books you would like to donate.

Feel free to email Mrs. Whitehouse with any questions:



Hello Bobcat Artists!!!

I hope that you all are doing well and having an ARTASTIC Month!

This month students will be creating a variety of projects inspired by artists from diverse backgrounds.

Kindergarten- Snowed In Origami Houses

1st Grade- Rabbit Burrows

2nd Grade- Treasure Maps

3rd Grade- Space City Lanterns

4th Grade- Creature Feature

5th Grade- Origami Pirate Ships

Check out your Art Schoology Page for fun Art Activities and more!

If you have questions, please contact me at


Music Newsletter

What is going on in the music room?

All students have been working on following our music expectations in the classroom; respect (using good manners), responsibilities (listening and having attentive eyes), relationships (being kind and helpful to one another), and being ready to participate doing their best job.

Musically, all students have been working on their singing voices, keeping steady beat, and performing movements while singing or participating in an activity. Additionally, students have been learning about musical elements such as body percussion, tempo, dynamics, reading music, rhythms, value of music in our lives and performance techniques.

The content being taught includes winter activities on unpitched and pitched instruments, identification of the 4 families of instruments, note values and note naming, careers in music, and music in our daily lives. Specially, the 5th graders will learn the requirements/elements for performing a musical.

Upcoming dates to highlight are:

Thursday March 16th 5th Grade Musical

1:15 & 6:30 performances

Thursday April 27th Talent Show

6:30 p.m. performance – all students are welcome

If you have any questions or concerns about the music program here at Algonkian, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at

Health Clinic Specialist

Health Updates

Winter is a season packed full of excitement and fun! From the first snowfall (fingers crossed) to quality time spent with family, so many beautiful things about winter should be enjoyed.

Whether it is holiday festivities or outdoor activities like ice skating or skiing, embrace those cold months and make your Health a priority.

Winter is a great time to take stock of your health and try towards a healthier life. Whether it’s by getting plenty of restorative sleep, staying hydrated, or protecting your skin from the cold and wind, there are many ways you can boost your health this season! Not only will making these changes help keep you fit and well, but it will also help keep your mood balanced and energy levels high. So, take a proactive approach to your health this winter and give yourself the best chance at staying healthy throughout the colder months!

If you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at


Kindergarten, First, Second and Third Grades:

  • Parachute Activities (cardio- respiratory, and rhythmic sequence
  • Scooter Activities: (Core Development)
  • Locomotor Skill: Slide Step

Future Activities:

  • Kicking and Soccer skills

Fourth and Fifth Grades:

  • Volleyball Skills and Games: (Striking mobile objects, striking with accuracy and force, serving techniques, setting and digging skills, game strategies and rotation.)

Future Activities:

  • Kicking Skills and related games

Have a Great Month,

Kris Goodwin and Joe Terango

Parent Liaison- Casey Hansen

February 2023 Newsletter

I hope everyone is staying healthy and warm this winter! I wanted to let you know about an affordable health care option for you and your family called HealthWorks for Northern Virginia. They provide comprehensive affordable medical, dental and behavioral health care for people of all ages. You do not have to have health insurance or an income to become a patient at HealthWorks. Medicaid and Medicare patients are always welcome and Doctors are on-call 24/7.

To schedule an appointment, call 703-443-2000 or go to

When you become a patient you can benefit from the following services;

-Newborn, Infant and Well Child Care

-Pediatric Sick Visits


-Routine Physical Exams

-Women’s Health & Gynecology

-Family Planning

-Employment, School & Sports Physicals

-Chronic Illness Management

-Health Care for Older Adults

-Dental Care

-Behavioral Health, including Psychiatry

-Medication Assistance

-Lab Services

-Family Support & Case Management

-Enrollment Assistance in Health Insurance

FREE ENGLISH CLASSES! Loudoun Literacy Council is offering FREE classes online or in person February 13 – May 12, 2023. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced classes are available at the Cascades, Sterling and Ashburn Library, as well as the Sterling Community Center. To register, please call 703-777-2205 or email

Loudoun Feeds understands that everyone needs a helping hand sometimes. There are people and organizations in Loudoun County that can help you find something to eat today, and food for your cupboard tomorrow. The food is free to anyone who needs it all year long. For details, visit

Please feel free to reach out to me if you are ever in need of any resources and I will help assist you and your family.


Bobcat families, please continue to support the FUTURA Fusion class’ collection of soda pop-tabs to support the mission of Ronald McDonald House! Our students filled a giant water bottle and a plastic bin in just three collections! The FUTURA Fusion class will continue to collect the tabs once each month, so please keep saving them and sending them in! The need at Fairfax INOVA Hospital sadly never stops, so we shouldn’t stop either! Do you think we can fill the water bottle again?

Kindergarten students have been learning the game, Qwirkle in their SEARCH lessons. This is a fun, family game which can be played either collaboratively or competitively. In class we have played the collaborative version where everyone takes turns as they build the Qwirkle square - six tiles per row for each of the six colors which have one of each of the shapes and six crossing rows that are all the same shape in each of the six colors. It is so much fun, and the students love to celebrate their success when their teamwork completes the square!

Up next for our young learners is a creativity activity, Not a Stick. First graders demonstrated their creativity this month. After listening to the story, The Missing Mitten Mystery, they imagined other ways the mitten could be used or modified. First and second graders then visited room 16 for a lesson about the work of Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley. In the late 1800s he figured out how to take photographs of snowflakes and studied how snowflakes manage to form uniquely. The students then used varied materials (KEVA planks, LEGOS, pattern blocks, and Brain Flakes) to create snowflakes.

We will stay with the snow theme for first grade in the lesson, If Picasso Painted a Snowman. The upcoming second grade lesson will be focused on learning about different types of analogies. The lesson utilizes a book written in 2003 by a group of fourth-graders at a school in Connecticut, Animalogies. They are adults now, but we could imagine how exciting it would be to become a published author in fourth grade! Third graders began the series of lessons designed to develop skills they will need to do their best on their third grade portfolio pieces. Each lesson highlights a creative thinking skill - taking time to think of lots of good ideas, stretching your thinking to develop ideas that are truly original, and adding enough detail to an idea so that it will be clear to anyone who looks at it.

EDGE groups have focused on reasoning - doing pentomino puzzles and creating math equations. Students used four threes and inserted math operation symbols to create different totals. It was fun to discover that many of the totals could be made in several ways. Second grade EDGE students listened to What Do You Do With a Box?, then folded a paper box and decorated it to show what they could turn a box into with some imagination. They also created flat designs with LEGOS.

The FUSION classes studied the habits of thinking and the habits of action of inventors/innovators. They studied the Henry Ford Museum design process in preparation for creating an invention or innovation for the Invention Expo. They have learned about inventors who created soccer balls that can store energy and be used as a flashlight after dark, a group of young Loudoun county students who clamored for crayons in many different skin tones, and people like Rosa Parks (Civil Rights) and Henry Ford (the forty hour work week) initiated changes to how our society functions. We were very fortunate to have Mr. Tom Barry, father of one of our fifth grade FUSION students and Mr. Daniel J. Jenkins, a Disney architect/engineer present information about STEAM careers and the patent process. Mr. Barry has been awarded several patents and shared his video about a unique roller coaster design. He was able to address questions about designing and creating - how it takes time, imagination, and exactness. He also pointed out that the patent application process requires the skills of writing and math - great curriculum connections! Mr. Jenkins oversees major enhancements to Disney World - like Fantasyland and the Star Wars Experience. He was able to describe his educational background and talk about the challenges of bringing an idea into reality. The students were amazed to learn that it might take ten years to turn an inspired idea into a ride, shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Students were shocked to learn that a new roller coaster could end up costing $150 - $190 million dollars to design, modify, construct, and safety-check. Our students asked great questions and were an attentive audience. Many thanks!

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Algonkian Elementary School

Principal: Brian Blubaugh

Assistant Principal: Karen Shields

Bookkeeper:Gayle Cowden

Registrar: Peggy Franzen

Health Specialist-:Meg Tuma

“2023 All Rights Reserved – Loudoun County Public Schools"