Learn Like a Pirate

Longbranch Elementary....Lead, Love, Learn

2nd Nine Weeks

We are blessed to live in a community where so many people are supportive and kind to one another. Many Longbranch families experienced loss in the recent storm. Countless people gave so generously with their time, donations, and support.

We want to give a special thank you to Mt. Peak, Miller, and Longbranch Parent-Teacher Organizations for donations such as monetary gifts, gift cards, school supplies and back packs, lunch boxes, and snacks. Other donors include Cotton Patch Waxahachie, Smile Design Orthodontics, The Oaks Fellowship Church in Red Oak, and The Road Foundation. Many other individuals and families assisted in this process.

In spite of the devastation and loss, the love and generous hearts of this community were instrumental in helping families begin to recover and move forward.


We are moving right along in Kindergarten! We had fun learning how to make bread and butter during our Farm and Nutrition week. We made costumes and learned songs to present for our Thanksgiving Feast program. During December, we learned about the Scientific Method and then used it to conduct a gingerbread man and candy cane experiment. Some skills we worked on this nine weeks include rhyming words, clapping out syllables or word parts within a word, isolating initial sounds and blending onset and rime. In math, we used lots of fun manipulatives to work on skills such as adding and subtracting, solving word problems, learning units of measurements, and identifying coins. We are excited to see what the third nine weeks will bring!

1st Grade

Happy New Year from first grade! To kick off 2016 we wrote about things we want to learn, try, and ways to help others. Ask your child about their New Years resolutions!

Before the holiday break our first graders were bustling with activities and projects. We had a ball traveling to Midlothian High School to see a performance of ‘Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus’. It was great fun to see one of our favorite book characters come to life.

We learned about how the first Thanksgiving came about, the Mayflower, pilgrims and enjoyed creating our Native American garb and wearing it to our very own feast. ‘Christmas Around the World” was wonderful fun as we “traveled” to Italy, Mexico, and Australia. We enjoyed caroling to friends throughout the school, as was tradition in Victorian England.

We continue to work to build accuracy and fluency in reading. We look forward to ‘Warm up to Writing Wednesdays’ as we develop our writing skills to express ideas and interests with purpose. Our focus in math has been and will continue to be skip counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s, telling time, reviewing 2D and 3D geometrical shapes, building number fluency comparing numbers and their relationships, and counting money.

2nd Grade

Second grade had a blast the second nine weeks.

Students learned about saving and spending wampums, a currency used long ago. Students’ bartered and traded handmade items that they made for the 2nd grade trade days. Everyone shopped around the classrooms for goods they wanted to purchase with their wampums.

We traveled to the MHS auditorium and watched a special performance from the MHS theatre department of Junie B. Jones: Jingle Bells Batman Smells. The kids loved the production.

Students have dived into using their google accounts in google classroom. They created their own badges for the class and with each completed technology task they earn an online badge for their accomplishments. Students have been using padlet, creating pic collages, thinglinks, chatterkid using coins and using a clock to show the time.

3rd Grade

Third grade students spent time with three different meteorologists asking questions in a Google Hangout. Schools from across the country checked in as a video chat and asked the meteorologists different weather questions. A special thanks to our friends at the National Weather Service in El Paso for this opportunity to chat with others across the United States.

In third grade ELAR and Social Studies, we recently completed an important mission for Santa. Third graders researched how Christmas is celebrated in several different countries around the world. Students learned about Christmas traditions and customs in Germany, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, Holland, and England. Luckily, we had an Elf on the Shelf to help us out. As we read and wrote about each country, we collected our information in our mission folders. We had a lot of fun completing our mission and helping out Santa.

4th Grade

In 4th grade Social Studies we learned about Christopher Columbus and debated whether his discovery of the new world was beneficial for Europeans and the Native people. The students quickly realized that Europeans were mostly the ones to benefit. Great discussions were had regarding this time in our history. Currently we are investigating other European explorers that came to Texas.

Before Christmas in Language Arts, we created figurative language projects that helped 4th graders review the various types of imagery in literature. We finished up non-fiction text discovery and features that are related to this type of reading.

In Math- We taped and measured the room to determine perimeter and area.

We also use the Hudle App (used widely by professional coaches to show plays) to explore, model, and measure angles using the video and built in protractor component. Kids Loved it!

5th Grade

5th grade math was busy during the 2nd 9 weeks learning all about fractions and decimals. We consistently rotated through stations that included a teacher table, a technology station (Study Island/Education Galaxy), a review station and a game station. This format allows for students to get one-on-one re-teaching, practice on the iPads, and peer assistance from one another.

At the end of each unit, we also participated in several Lead4Ward High Yield strategies. One was Math Court, a game in which each table explains why their answer choice is "innocent" or "guilty" of a math crime. This lets students examine several misconceptions and allows them to explain their thinking.

Another game is called "Odd One Out", where students break up into groups. They become an expert on their question, share with the group, and they decide which question is the odd one out and why. This game doesn't have a right answer, letting students be creative with their reasoning. It could be based on different operations, one step or multi-step problems, extra information in the question, etc. The student conversations that come from these games are very powerful!

5th Grade reading has been rockin’ and rollin’, as we have completed our Santa Makeovers and presented them to our class peers. Number the Stars was our novel about World War II, that we have read and discussed in class. Children have understood the cost of a dictator invading a country, and we also discussed world events and how our freedom can be taken away if we do not protect our country! We have been writing our, "Wishes to the World” for 2016. The students have been so positive, and their posters and wish writings are amazing. They can be viewed in our fifth grade hall! Go 5th Grade Reading!!!

This nine weeks has been all about force and energy in our science classes. Students studied the forces of magnetism, gravity, and friction and learned about light, sound, thermal, mechanical, and electric energy. We also investigated electromagnets. After doing many hands on investigations, they wrapped up their unit by building electric houses. A fun engaging time was had by all.



Music has had a great time celebrating the holidays during the last 9 weeks. During November we learned Native American songs and dances and also learned songs about being thankful. In December we learned tradition Christmas songs to prepare for our school wide sing-along. We acted out the Nutcracker play to become familiar with all of Tchaikovsky’s music from the Nutcracker Suite. When we came back from the winter break we reviewed lines and spaces to prepare for our recorder karate unit. In 5th grade we started learning to play the ukuleles that we received last year from our PTO grant. Kinder has started learning about the families of the orchestra, and first grade has begun working on their upcoming program called, The Bear Went Over The Mountain. Longbranch Choir begins February 4th and will continue through the end of April. We are very excited to see what new things spring will bring us to learn in Music.


We have been hard at work in Art this 9 weeks! We have been creating a variety of projects that will make their way to the walls of Longbranch for the Art Show in April! Students are having fun exploring mixed media, printmaking, and oil pastels just to name a few. Kinder friends used watercolor and crayon on fun Rudolph drawings. First graders made one of a kind robots using cardboard and tempera paint. Second grade has been learning about Picasso while 3rd grade students studied Vincent Van Gogh. 4th graders are working on portraits using color pencil, crayon, magazines and paint. 5th graders created interesting portraits using cropping and contrast! We will be needing volunteers to hang paper on the walls for the Art Show soon. A sign up genius will be sent out. It takes lots of helping hands! Thank you in Advance, Ms. Roberson


PE classes focused on kicking, throwing, catching, and rolling this past nine weeks. Teamwork is always stressed along with good sportsmanship. The kids really enjoyed Longball and Capture the Flag.


November was full of fun and learning in the library. In Kindergarten,

we talked about farms , listened online to The Little Scarecrow Boy,

and then read about Indians. We also made a fun movie of what we are

thankful for. In first grade, we talked about Pumpkins, and

Scarecrows. We read the book, The ScrapsBook by Lois Ehlert and then

made our own Collage scrarecrows like Ehlert would make. In second

grade , we read about Indians and looked at artifacts online. Then we

made our own 2nd Grade cave drawings to tell our 2nd grade stories. In

third grade, we worked on our library search skills and learned how to

find and read ebooks online and put books on hold. In fourth grade we

also practiced our searching skills and how to read books online. We

also created a Google Slide presentation about forms of energy and

then turned it into a movie for the whole school to see. In fifth

grade, we also practiced ebooks and searching, but we also had fun

writing Fall Poetry and then creating Pic Collages with our poetry. We

combined them into a movie to show all of the LBE students. Third and

Fourth grade classes also read The Right Word Roget and His Thesaurus

and then practiced using thesauri in the library to improve our word

choice skills.

December is such a short month, but jam packed with learning in the

library. We finished up our First Money Makers Coding Group on

December 10th. We had 10 lessons of coding! Right before Christmas,

many of the classes got to spend a few minutes coding in the Library!

In fourth grade, we have been busy learning poetry. We learned about

all different types and where to find them in the library. Second and

Third Grade read The Mitten and had fun answering comprehension

questions using Ipads! First Grade read 2 versions of The Night Before

Christmas and practiced our compare and contrast skills. Kindergarten

read The Twelve Days of Christmas and practiced counting and using

ordinal numbers. We also listened to Olive the Other Reindeer using

TumbleBooks. To go along with third grades' Christmas around the

World, we read a Ukranian tale about The Christmas Spider Miracle.

Special Education

Happy New Year to all of you!!!

Well, we got to use our garden and actually found the area and perimeter. We had to wait for a dry, sunny day!!! The children really enjoyed getting to go outside. They drew the garden, then measured the actual sides with rulers and labeled each side. Students had to learn conversions with this activity. The discussion of 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional figures was discussed along with their attributes. The vegetables in the garden were like an array. Students had to explain how the garden was like an array and then write a math problem.

Check back to see what we did the 3rd 9 weeks!!!


Amazing things are happening in the Longbranch Gifted and Talented Program! The past few weeks we have been working on our ‘Famous Failures’ project! Did you know that numerous investors told Walt Disney that he was not creative enough? Albert Einstein was unable to speak until he was 4 years old and his teachers said he “wouldn’t amount to much.” We are researching these people and writing speeches from their perspective and the importance of failing to get to the top.

We have also wrapped up our creative writing unit called ‘Project Thanks.’ We have been researching the roles and responsibilities of the MISD leaders at the administration building! We are writing them thank you letters and hand delivering them very soon!

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Dates and Upcoming Events

Chocolate Fundraiser Update:

Our chocolate fundraiser was very successful thanks to the hard work of our students and parents. With the money raised, we have purchased 65 Chrombooks. Google Chromebooks have revolutionized the way schools and organizations create, collaborate and communicate. A Chromebook is a laptop of a different breed. Instead of Windows or Mac OS, Chromebooks run Google's Chrome OS. These machines are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and documents living in the cloud.



22-Principals' Lunch for students earning excellence in academics and conduct and perfect attendance for the first semester

18-29-Kindergarten GT nomination window

25-CollegeDay, wear favorite college shirts


8-Wear your favorite sports team jersey

12-Valentine Parties at 9:15

19-Kickoff for Kid 2 Kid School Supply Project


2-Dr. Suess Day, dress like your favorite Seuss character

7-11-Science Store

11-Mad Scientist Day

14-18-Spring Break

21-April 1-1st-5th GT nomination window

22-PTO meeting, 7:00

29-30-5th grade math and reading STAAR, 29th-4th grade writing STAAR