Algonkian Elementary

December 2021 Newsletter

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Hope all our Bobcat families had a safe restful winter break.

A few reminders with links below.

LCPS has updated their Covid protocols. These protocols can change from week to week but the most recent protocols are linked below. If you have questions please call Algonkian.

LCPS Updates Covid Protocols

LCPS sent a message to all families reminding them if they see something, to say something. Please review the safety reminders in link below.

Important LCPS Safety Reminder



All grades were introduced to the Virginia Reader’s Choice Awards and are starting to read the nominated books for 2021-2022 during library lessons. These awards are determined by Virginia students, so each Algonkian student will get to vote for their favorite book in April/May.

  • Grades K-2 learned how to put a STOP to online meanness, which is one of our Common Sense Media lessons. We read the book Inky’s Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home, which is based on the true story of an octopus who escaped from the National Aquarium of New Zealand. Students also built igloos out of dixie cups during their makerspace activity.
  • Grades 3-5 learned how to research other countries and cultures using a database in LCPSGo called ProQuest Culturegrams. Students chose a country of interest and researched information such as the food and flag and listened to the anthem and how to pronounce different words. We read the book Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao, about a girl who has to practice and practice until she figures out how to make bao, a traditional Chinese dish. A recipe for bao is included at the back of the book and many students were interested in making it at home. Here is a link to the recipe:


Chat n Chew is BACK! It is open to any Algonkian student in 2nd-5th grade. Chat n Chew has a long history at the Gonk and is a favorite among many. Each child who is signed up receives a book from the library and meets at lunch in the library to discuss what they read.

We will do the first one in February and after feedback may add a couple more before the school year ends. Because of the social distancing requirements, volunteers are needed. Volunteers will have around 4 students each in their group and will help lead the discussion of the book for 30 minutes.

To sign up go to

If you have any questions, please contact Nancy Jones at

2nd grade - Feb 15th 11:14-11:44 am

3rd grade - Feb 3rd 11:46-12:16 pm

4th grade - Feb 8th 12:50-1:20 pm

5th grade - Feb 22nd 12:18-12:48 pm


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.


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 during library because of books still on their account since September and October. If you are unable to locate the book (or they are damaged beyond repair), you can use our convenient online school payment system (OSP) to pay for a replacement. Watch this video on how to use OSP here: E-mail Mrs. Whitehouse at or Mrs. Spritzer at for the cost associated with your lost book.


We have one slot left on Fridays from 11:25-12:25 for a parent volunteer willing to help shelve and straighten books each week. Click on this sign-up genius link for more information:

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

The brand new playaways for our collection have arrived and are ready for student check-out! Playaways are like MP3 players with a 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.

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- Sketchbook Exploration, Museum Hunt Art Critique, and Snowed In Origami

1st Grade- Sketchbook Exploration, Museum Hunt Art Critique, and Origami Mansions

2nd Grade- Sketchbook Exploration, Museum Hunt Art Critique, and Weather Machines

3rd Grade- Quilted Ghost, Sketchbook Exploration, and Museum Hunt Art Critique

4th Grade- Graffiti Money, Sketchbook Exploration, and Museum Hunt Art Critique

5th Grade- Keyhole Perspective, Sketchbook Exploration, and Museum Hunt Art Critique

Art Supplies: students will be bringing their supply boxes with them to Art and will need the standard school supplies: pencil, eraser, crayons, colored pencils, scissors, and glue. We understand if your students need Art Supply assistance, if you do, please email Ms. Michael, Ms. Ryan, or Ms. Hansen the Parent Liaison.

If you have questions, please contact me at


December Music Newsletter

What is going on in the music room?

What is going on in the music room?

In Kindergarten students will move to the music and will experience being an active listener. Students will continue to demonstrate steady beat and a variety of rhythm patterns. Students will participate in dramatic play. Students will continue to learn the difference between sound and silence.

In 1st Grade students will develop a repertoire of folk and seasonal songs. Students will demonstrate steady beat as an individual and as a group. The students will identify the same and different sections of music form. Students will demonstrate proper mallet technique while exploring the xylophone.

In 2nd Grade students will develop a repertoire of folk and seasonal songs. Students will demonstrate quarter note and quarter rest, half notes and half rests, whole notes, whole rests, and will identify two eighth notes tied together. The students will identify the music symbols of a bar line, double bar line, measure, and repeat signs.

In 3rd Grade students will identify whole notes, whole rests, half notes, half rests, quarter notes, quarter rests, and eighth notes. Students will develop a repertoire of folk and seasonal songs. Students will differentiate between crescendo versus decrescendo. Students will continue to identify orchestral string family instruments.

In 4th Grade students will continue to identify name notes on the treble clef, note values, explore a variety of rhythms on barred instruments. Students will continue to demonstrate steady beat using body percussion and mallet instruments. Students will demonstrate piano versus forte.

In 5th Grade students will continue to learn and discuss the middle school music choices. The students will continue to identify name notes on the treble clef, note values, explore a variety of rhythms on barred instruments. Those students interested in participating in All County Chorus will take part in an audition.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s music teacher, either or

Health Clinic Specialist

Health Clinic Updates

Brighten the holidays by making health a priority for you and your family. Take steps to keep you and your loved ones healthy—and ready to enjoy the holidays.

· Wash hands often to help prevent the spread of germs

· Bundle up to stay warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: light, warm layers, gloves, hats, and scarves. Please remember to label EVERYTHING.

· Rest. One of the best ways to manage stress is to get plenty of sleep.

· Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and please continue to send a water bottle to school with your child.

· Eat healthy, balanced meals. Snack on fruits and vegetables which pack nutrients.

· Exercise regularly. Adults need at least 2½ hours of exercise a week and children should be active for 1 hour a day.

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

Parent Liaison - Ms. Hansen

Happy December Bobcat Families!

I want to thank those that donated to the Marine Toys For Tots Virtual Program this year. In 2020, they were able to provide over 8,000 toys to over 6,000 children. I know 2021 will be another successful year, thanks in part to many of our generous families.

I also want to thank our many families that brought in gifts for our families in need. We have such a wonderful and caring community here at Algonkian, and we appreciate every bit of your generosity. Thank you for helping to make the holidays extra special and easier for fellow Bobcats.

There are currently many different FREE vaccine sites being held in Sterling for first and second doses for children ages 5 and up. Boosters are being offered for those 16 and older. If you need more information, please email me for details (

Happy Holidays to our wonderful families!


Kindergarten, First, Second and Third Grades completed the following lessons:

  • Kicking skills and games unit.
  • Soccer related skills.

Future lessons:

  • Rolling a ball with opposition
  • Three, Six and Ten pin bowling

Fourth and Fifth Grades completed the following lessons:

  • Basketball related skills unit including dribbling, passing, shooting and five on five scrimmages.
  • Preparations for the Algonkian Basketball League.

Future lessons:

  • Three, six, and ten pin bowling.

Enjoy the Holiday Season!!

Kris Goodwin and Joe Terango



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 ten-gallon aquarium as they competed for a prize of extra recess time these past few weeks. Fourth-grade was the lucky grade level - they brought in more than 28 pounds of tabs! 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 aquarium again?

SEARCH classes have been a bit sporadic recently as Mrs. Peterson has

been working on the fourth grade identification process, but we have had

some fun lessons. Kindergarten and first grade students have been

learning the game, Qwirkle. 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! Second grade lessons have been focused on learning about different types of analogies. This week’s lesson utilized 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 spatial reasoning - playing games like Gravity Maze, Laser Maze, and Kanoodle. We also applied creative thinking to turn squiggles into interesting and unique drawings. Listening skills were the focus of a drawing activity where students were told to draw things in small boxes without knowing that further directions would be given a few minutes later. Told to draw a circle in the bottom area of a box seemed easy, until a few clues later they were told to turn the circle into a snowman. We had some very, very, tiny snowmen!

FUTURA Fusion classes are developing their understanding of characteristics of various leadership styles. Our focus this month has been “Structural” leaders. These are easily recognized by their love of organization, clear goals, and definite lines between the person in charge and those being led. Next we will learn about people who lead through the “human resource” style. To illustrate these learning styles students also research the lives of eminent leaders. So far we have studied Walt Disney, Dr. Ben Carson, and Bill Gates. The students tried a tower building challenge recently. It was a timed activity with limited resources. We had only one standing tower at the end - but a lot of learning about what works and what does not. They also learned about the Sierpinski Triangle and built Sierpinski Triangle holiday trees. Sierpinski designs are similar to tessellations, but shapes are not just repeated, they may appear in different sizes. The students also worked on a series of holiday math puzzles which challenged different skills and various types of mathematical reasoning.


Digital Citizenship week was last month. Many grade levels participated in Media Balance lessons, a Digital Citizenship pledge , and How to be a Super Digital Citizen.

Here are some resources for Families connected with our school activities and lessons.

Media Balance Family Tips Media Balance Family Tips in Spanish

First grade Family Activity First Grade Family Activity in Spanish

Kindergarten Family Activity Kindergarten Family Activity in Spanish

3-5 Cyberbullying Family Tips 3-5 Cyberbullying Family Tips in Spanish

The holidays and gift giving are just around the corner. Be aware that electronic toys and games often use internet connections that allow kids to interact with anyone on-line. Parents can investigate the settings and parental controls that allow you to set limits. Want to learn more about Games and Apps the kids want? Here is a link to the Common Sense Media’s Parents’ Ultimate Guide for many sites and games. Have a Happy and Safe Holiday time!

Mrs. Burkett and Mrs. Jackson

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Algonkian Elementary School

Principal: Brian Blubaugh

Assistant Principal: Karen Shields

Bookkeeper:Gayle Cowden

Registrar: Peggy Franzen

Health Specialist-:Meg Tuma