Algonkian Elementary

October Newsletter

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Principal Page

The first quarter has come to end. Report cards will be available in parentvue on Monday, November 7 after 3:00 PM.

We enjoyed our Monster Mash and annual Book Character parade. This month we have our Veterans Day assembly on November 11.

We encourage parents to use the car drop off line rather than park and walk your child to the door. This helps with traffic flow. Please do not park in the side parking lot, this is used for our staff at our school.

Each month we send a newsletter with updates from Art, Library, Music, PE, Technology, Health, SEARCH and our Parent Liaison. Please read their updates below.



  • All grades were introduced to The Virginia Readers’ Choice (VRC) Awards nominated books for 2022-23. Throughout the school year during library class, we will read all ten nominated books in the picture book category. Students will cast their vote at the end of the school year for their favorite. Last year’s picture book winner for both Algonkian and the state of Virginia was Who Wet My Pants? by Bob Shea. More information about the Virginia Readers’ Choice Program can be found here:

  • Grades K-2 have been learning about Growth Mindset and read their first VRC book, The Chicken Who Couldn’t by Jan Thomas. We also learned about fiction versus nonfiction books. We read a fiction book about a made-up dinosaur, named Penelope, called We Will Rock Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins and a nonfiction book about real dinosaurs called Guess the Dinosaur.

  • Grades 3-5 have been learning about the LCPS Profile of a Graduate’s 5 C’s (Collaborator, Creator, Contributor, Critical Thinker, and Communicator) and read their first VRC book, Hugo and the Impossible Thing by Renee Felice Smith and Chris Gabriel. Students were tasked with finding an example of each “C” from the book. We also discussed Melvin Dewey and his system for organizing libraries. We specifically looked at how fiction books are ordered and what call numbers on the spine labels mean.


Thank you to everyone who “POPPED” into the Fall Book Fair! We raised money for the library and put hundreds of great books in the hands of Algonkian students.


We are excited to implement a new library program this school year! Birthday Books! When your student’s name is announced on the morning show for their birthday, they can come to the library and choose a brand-new book to keep! Summer birthdays will be announced in the weeks leading up to the summer. Every student will get a birthday book to keep each school year.


The library is looking for a couple parent volunteers willing to help shelve and straighten books each week. We currently have an opening on Thursdays at 9:30. Please email Mrs. Whitehouse if you are interested in volunteering.


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

The library recently ordered nine new playaways to add to its collection. 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 several weeks 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- Spider Web Color Wheels and Museum Hunt Art Critique
  • 1st Grade- Kusama Pumpkins and Museum Hunt Art Critique
  • 2nd Grade- Woven Fireplaces and Museum Hunt Art Critique
  • 3rd Grade- Origami Turkey Floats and Museum Hunt Art Critique
  • 4th Grade- Graffiti Money and Museum Hunt Art Critique
  • 5th Grade- Day of the Dead Fairytales and Tom Fruin Houses

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 while singing or participating in an activity. Additionally, students have been learning about musical elements such as body percussion, tempo, dynamics, and performance techniques.

The content being taught includes aspects about military service, what is a veteran, and the history of our National Anthem.

On Friday November 11th at 9:00 a.m. we will have a Veterans Day Assembly featuring our 2nd, 3rd & 4th graders.

Some upcoming dates to highlight are:

November 14th – 18th American Education Week

Kindergarten and 1st Grade will perform songs in their classrooms (TBD)

Thursday March 16th 5th Grade Program

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

Hope everyone is enjoying the fall weather and the gorgeous colors on the trees. Unfortunately, with the pretty fall, there are lots of illnesses making people sick.

What’s going around???


Seasonal allergies, or hay fever, are very common at this time of year. Typical symptoms include watery, itchy, red eyes; a clear runny nose; sneezing; and an itchy palate or throat. The most common triggers are weeds in the fall.

Bronchiolitis (and RSV)

Cases of bronchiolitis, a viral illness (sometimes caused by RSV -- "respiratory syncytial virus") that occurs most often in children under age 2 but is currently being seen among elementary age students. Typical symptom is wheezing.

Colds and Upper Respiratory Infections

Colds, upper respiratory infections, and URIs are common terms used to describe viral illnesses. Typical symptoms are nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, fever, and cough. The fever usually lasts for 2-3 days, and the cough with congestion and runny nose may last for 5-10 days. Most colds resolve on their own with rest and fluids, but some may lead to ear infection, sinus infection, asthma attack, or other complications.


Among the many viruses causing respiratory illness right now, the influenza virus (commonly called "the flu") can be particularly severe. Infection with the influenza virus causes a sudden onset of fever, chills, dry cough, and muscle aches. Other symptoms include headache, fatigue, sore throat, and nasal congestion.

Please be sure to wash hands and sanitize high touch areas, drink water, and stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep to stay healthy.

Contact the Health Office with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your student.

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


Kindergarten, First, Second and Third Grades:

Completed Activities

*Hula Hoop Skills

*Hula Hoop Games

*Dribbling Fundamentals

* Locomotor skill – Slide step

*Cooperative Games

Future Activities:

*Short Jump rope skills

Fourth and Fifth Grade Activities:

*Fitness Gram Fitness Fall Testing

*Cooperative games

*Algonkian Basketball League Prep- Dribbling skills, Passing Skills, Shooting Skills

Future Activities:

* Zone Defense and Jump Rope Skills

Algonkian Basketball League Registration is currently taking place for Fourth and Fifth Grade students only.

Please find more information on the Algonkian PTA webpage.

Registration ends November 4th. We encourage all Fourth and Fifth graders to participate in our house league!

Please enjoy the great fall weather outside this month!

Kris Goodwin and Joe Terango

Physical Education Teachers

Parent Liaison- Casey Hansen

Hello Bobcat Families!

Now that the cooler weather is here to stay, please let me know if your child(ren) needs a winter coat, hat or gloves. I can give a coat directly to your child, or I can give you a voucher to purchase a coat yourself at Burlington Coat Factory.

If you have a child in need of an eye exam glasses and you have no other resources available to you, I can provide you with a voucher to VisionWorks.

If you need assistance this holiday season, please email me with your child’s name and let me know your “wish list” for your child. We cannot promise that all requests will be fulfilled, but we will try our best to help those in need. If you would prefer to receive a gift card instead of specific items, please indicate that in your email (

Once again Algonkian Elementary will be participating in Loudoun County’s Toys For Tots Toy Drive ( The greatest need for toys is for children 7-16 years of age. If you would like to participate, please bring all NEW, UNWRAPPED toys to the red bin outside the front of the school. The last day to drop-off toys will be MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2022.

Don’t forget to check the Lost & Found for any of your missing items! We have quite a supply of sweatshirts, water bottles and other belongings that would love to be reunited with their rightful owners. All unclaimed items will be donated before the start of winter break.

How Can I reach the Family Liaison? You can find me at Algonkian most Thursdays and Fridays. Email: I look forward to working with you!

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Recent SEARCH lessons have focused on logic and reasoning. Kindergarten students sorted pumpkin faces on Venn diagrams. They had to consider what to do with pumpkins that did not belong in either sorting circle or those that needed to be in both. This lesson was followed by an activity in which they used the process of elimination. Listening to clues from the SEARCH teacher (based on the attributes of four scarecrows), they figured out which of four scarecrows was the “mystery scarecrow”. First-graders dressed scarecrows in different hats and scarves and recorded each new outfit as they tried to determine how many different outfits could be made with three different hats and three different scarves. They recorded their progress. Determining all the possibilities is known as permutation. Second-graders listened to the book, -ISH, by Peter Reynolds. They created six section storyboards of a story of their own. The logic of sequencing the story and the creativity they demonstrated was impressive. The stories were sent home, so be sure to check them out! Third-grade lessons required logic and reasoning to replicate designs using the sixteen cubes of a Q-Bitz board. Students completed as many challenges as possible at their own pace. Their second lesson was Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe. This game board looks like a regular tic-tac-toe board with mini-boards in each of the nine sections. It requires great strategic thinking because each of your moves determines which of the mini-boards your opponent must use next. Great way to stay entertained when you are passing time waiting for your dinner in a restaurant!

EDGE groups solved logic puzzles, followed technical drawings to build structures with KEVA planks, and built pumpkin contraptions - slingshots, catapults, and towers. Fifth-grade EDGE students worked on Halloween circuit cards with battery powered lights. The last week of the month will focus on spatial reasoning - building and flying “ghost copters” and doing Coogam wooden puzzles in pentagon, hexagon, and rectangular shapes.

FUSION students learned about the “Yike Bike” - a foldable, motor-driven bike developed in New Zealand. We were impressed that it is so lightweight and folds to a manageable size so that it does not have be locked up outside, but can be carried indoors and recharged. They have begun to learn about the habits of mind of innovative people: Being empathetic to the needs of all, taking risks by thinking BIG, learning from failure, challenging the rules (how things have always been done), working collaboratively, and always being curious and asking questions. They are reading about an African-American inventor, Otis Boykin, who designed a workable heart pacemaker and created designs for resistors and capacitors that are still used today. They solved math problems by filling in missing numbers based on clues about the final sum of two four-digit numbers. It was difficult, but they persevered to success! They will finish the month with a packet of Halloween based algebraic math problems.

The fifth-grade Fusion group did a wonderful job presenting their civic engagement project, collecting aluminum pop-tabs to support the INOVA Fairfax Ronald McDonald House. The collection containers have been placed in each classroom. The Ronald McDonald House recycles the tabs and uses the money to support being able to provide a “home away from home” to families of children undergoing treatment at the hospital. They provide lodging, food, entertainment, and even in-hospital furnished break rooms where the families can get drinks and snacks during a very stressful time. We intend for this to be an ongoing collection here at Algonkian so that we can continue our support. Start saving those pop-tabs! Pop-tabs from all cans can be donated - soda and fizzy water, soup, cat and dog food, even adult beverage cans. The FUSION students will collect and weigh the tabs at the end of each month.

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Algonkian Elementary School

Principal: Brian Blubaugh

Assistant Principal: Karen Shields

Bookkeeper:Gayle Cowden

Registrar: Peggy Franzen

Health Specialist-:Meg Tuma