Room 216 News

December 2015 Edition

Montpelier Field Trip

The students had an awesome trip to James Madison's Montpelier right before break. This educational trip served as a terrific preview to our current social studies unit on the New Nation. Thank you for supporting this trip financially. The students represented themselves and you very nicely. Their behavior was commendable and I think they had a good time seeing the mansion and learning about the Constitutional Convention. Our guide was very eager to show us as much as she could so our class received a little extra archaeology talk that really made the students think in a historical sense. Thanks to Mr. Flamm and Mr. Driscoll for chaperoning.

Gradebook Live!

As you know our report cards for first quarter were viewed through the parent portal and requested paper copies were sent home.

Now you are able to see grades that are posted along with current averages. Please know the grade book we use is a live document and grades and averages are constantly changing and are not “set in stone”. Be assured that if I become the least bit concerned about your child’s grades, you will be the first one I contact. As always I’m here to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.

Music Performance is Next Week!

5th Grade Performance is scheduled for Thursday, December 10th at 6:00pm. Students should arrive 15 minutes early and report to Room 216.

VSTE Annual Conference

The Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE) is holding its annual conference in Roanoke on December 6 - 8. I will be out of school Monday and Tuesday, December 6th and 7th to attend this event. I am scheduled to present Brownsville's work with Google Classroom and other technologies to my peers from across the state in a session on Tuesday, but hope to spend the rest of the time gleaning new ways to efficiently incorporate appropriate technologies/products into our classrooms. My substitute will be Ms. Jacquie Simounet. If you have any questions or concerns while I am out, please contact Nancy McCullen atnmccullen@k12albemarle.org.

Winter Celebration

Please be on the look out for information concerning our "Winter Celebration." Our class celebration will be Friday, December 18th from 12pm-1pm. Our class parent will be sending out information soon concerning donations and volunteer requests.

Virginia Studies is back

We are now back studying Social Studies following our trip to Montpelier. The current unit focuses on VS 6 -- New Nation and Westward Expansion. Highlights of the unit include a brief study of the US Constitution, contributions of some Virginian founding fathers, and how our nation grew through the Louisiana Purchase. This unit began on Monday, November 30th and ends on Friday, December 18th. The test is scheduled for Thursday, December 17th. Students may study using solpass.org--the password is bessol.

Language Arts

Mrs. Dettmann started meeting with her enrichment reading groups recently. Selected students from our class meet with her two times a week (Tuesday and Thursdays from 10:20 - 11:00). They are reading A Single Shard. If your child is in her reading group, please contact her with any questions or concerns atmdettmann@k12albemarle.org.


All students continue to meet in small groups with me for reading instruction. There are a variety of genres being read at this time. Our instructional focus is on plot development, author's word choice, inferencing and figurative language. In addition, we study how our authors use language to convey tone and emotion. The students are using what they learn to write thoughtful essays.


We are continuing our study of affixes every day. Currently the students are creating word slides that include various prefixes. Thanks to Mr. Smith, one of ACPS instructional coaches, the students have begun their study of GLOW (Greek and Latin Origin Words). This weekly routine presents common word parts, such as trans--across and port--to carry, in a visual, game-centered way that the students seem to engage in very robustly. Ask your child what's GLOWING in their vocabulary lately. You'd be surprised at the depth of their knowledge of our language and the ways they learn what most of us would term, "It's all Greek to me!"

Dates to Remember

December 6th and 7th - Mrs. Grogan at VSTE


December 10th - Grogan, Morris, & Crickenberger Music Performance @ 6pm


December 17th - VS 6 End of Unit test


December 18th - 5th grade pajama day & Winter Celebration Day 12-1pm


December 21st - January 3rd - Winter Break


January 4th - School Resumes