Algonkian Elementary

November 2021 Newsletter

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Principal Page

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday! I am looking forward to the next 15 days of school we have before winter break. It is important that we keep students focused on learning during this time of year. Please make sure your child stays in a routine and does not stay up late at night.

The PTA will be holding ASAP classes once again. We did not have them last year but we feel we can safely have the ASAP classes this year. Please look for more information in the next few weeks.

On Wednesday, December 8 we will have a PTA sponsored assembly. The Assembly will be Author Ethan T. Berlin. This will be a virtual assembly. Our assemblies in 2022 will likely be in person.

I want to encourage parents that drive their child to school to use the car drop off line. We open doors for you and make it easy for your child to get out. If you do need to walk your child to the main entrance we ask that you park in a parking space. We have a few cars each day parking sideways about 15 feet behind other cars. This makes it difficult to get out of a parking space and puts your car in danger of getting hit.

Many of you like to thank our teachers and staff with gifts during the holidays. It is very kind and generous of you to do so, but please know that there is no expectation that you will.

If you do decide to give to a teacher or staff member, please remember that it is illegal to possess alcohol on a public school campus in Virginia, so we respectfully ask that you not make such gifts.



  • Grades K-2 have been learning about how to find a good balance between our time on screens and off screens. We read the book If You Give a Mouse an iPhone, where a mouse missed out on an adventurous day because his eyes were glued to a screen. Students also worked as a team to complete a Thanksgiving themed digital break-out.
  • Grades 3-5 learned how to access nonfiction ebooks and emagazines using the National Geographic Kids database. Our Thanksgiving station rotations were a huge success! In our Makerspace stations, students explored Magnatiles, Zoob building pieces, and the Lego wall and puzzle table. They also wrote code for small robots called ozobots! Each student coded their own Thanksgiving racetrack and watched the turkey ozobots follow directions.

New Library Assistant

We are thrilled to welcome our wonderful new Library Assistant, Mrs. Spritzer! Mrs. Spritzer is a former preschool teacher who brings enthusiasm and a love of reading to our library program. We were sad to see our fabulous former Library Assistant go, but wish Mrs. Donaldson all the best in her new adventure as a kindergarten teacher!

Lost Books

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.

Library Parent Volunteers

The library is looking for a few parent volunteers willing to help shelve and straighten books each week. Click on this sign-up genius link for more information:

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

Playaways have become very popular at the Algonkian library. We have ordered twenty-one new playaways for our collection and the students are hoping they arrive soon! 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- Winter Snow Globes

1st Grade- Snowflake Snowperson

2nd Grade- Woven Fireplaces

3rd Grade- Quilted Ghost

4th Grade- Graffiti Money

5th Grade- Keyhole Perspective

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.

For classes that are having Asynchronous Art Class- the Art Lesson will be located on the student's grade level Algonkian Art page. For a Synchronous Art Class- Links will be provided ahead of time and the Art Lessons are also located on the student's grade level Algonkian Art page.

If you have questions, please contact me at


December Music Newsletter

What is going on in the music room?

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

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

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

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

In 4th Grade students will demonstrate pulse (steady beat) using body percussion and mallet instruments. Students will develop repertoire of folk and seasonal songs. Students will demonstrate pianissimo versus fortissimo.

In 5th Grade students will continue to demonstrate pulse using body percussion and barred instruments. Students will identify orchestral families. Students will develop a repertoire of songs (folk and seasonal). Those students interested will learn how to audition for All County Chorus.

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

Hello Bobcat Families!

Cooler weather is upon us, so please let me know if you are in need of a coat, hat or gloves for your child(ren). I will need to know the name of your student(s) as well as the size(s) needed if you would like any assistance with winter gear.

If you prefer to shop for your child’s coat yourself, I am able to give you a voucher to Burlington Coat Factory. Also, if you need help covering the cost of your child’s eye exam and eye glasses, I can give you a voucher to VisionWorks in Sterling. Please email me if you are interested (

The holidays bring extra joy, as well as extra stress. If you need assistance this holiday season, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Algonkian Elementary wants to help our families, and we can do this by providing a monetary gift card or specific items that you request for your family. We will be having some of our families “adopt” another family at Algonkian to help make their holiday extra special. So whether you would like assistance, or would like to help provide assistance, please be on the lookout for additional emails.

As we do each Holiday Season, Algonkian Elementary will once again be participating in the Marine Toys for Tots Program. Due to COVID-19, Loudoun County Toys for Tots will be collecting monetary donations to purchase the toys themselves and distribute to local children in need. If you would like to make a donation, please do so by December 1, 2021. The link to make is a donation is:


Please remember to check the Lost & Found in the Parent Liaison’s room, located in the Front Office. There are several sweatshirts, coats, and water bottles hoping to be reunited with their rightful owners! All unclaimed items will be donated to a local thrift store by the start of winter break.


Kindergarten, First, Second and Third Grade:

  • Dribbling skills
  • Throwing and Catching with implements.
  • Locomotor Skills/ Slide stepping

Future Lessons:

  • Kicking skills
  • Kicking related games
  • Soccer skills unit

Fourth and Fifth Grade:

  • Dribbling skills
  • Passing skills
  • Basketball shooting fundamentals

Future Lessons:

  • Layup Drill
  • Understanding zone defense
  • Basketball scrimmages

We will continue preparations for the Algonkian Basketball League for fourth and fifth grade. More information about scheduling and registration procedures will be posted in the near future.

Have a great month,

Kris Goodwin and Joe Terango

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This has been a busy month completing the fourth-grade portfolios for the gifted eligibility process. These pieces have a strong emphasis on creative thinking. Our students approached each task with enthusiasm and I noted many creative problem solutions! Many thanks to the teachers of all grades for their flexibility and support to allow me to complete this important process. I will be working off-site in early December for the next step - meeting with all the SEARCH teachers to review the portfolios. Parents will be notified about eligibility decisions at the end of January.

FUTURA Fusion’s pop-tab collection to support Ronald McDonald House is still going strong! Our initial collection netted 34 pounds of tabs! Fourth grade took the lead toward the reward of extra recess time by bringing in 19 pounds of tabs! In our second collection fourth grade was our leader again with 2.25 pounds, but fifth grade was not far behind. They brought in 1.75 pounds. We added 9.75 pounds of tabs to our total. Our latest collection netted only three pounds of tabs. Fifth graders brought in the most tabs this week. Second grade was close behind. So far we have brought in about 46 pounds of tabs. Our next collection will take place on December 3rd. Be sure to save all those pop-tabs over the holiday weekend! The winning grade will be announced on Monday, December 6th. That grade will get five extra recess minutes every day for one week. The collection will continue all year. The Ronald McDonald House mission never ceases - whether to provide housing and food to parents and families or to provide a quiet place within the hospital to rest, grab a snack or a cup of coffee, or access to a computer to update those waiting at home for information. We will continue to collect tabs all year! We hope it will become your habit to save those tabs to support the “House”!

In SEARCH, kindergarten students will be learning about the pattern and matching game, Qwirkle. They will focus on creating the square of six rows of tiles, one for each color, and six crossing rows, one for each shape. This game also fosters collaboration when played to try to build the square, not compete. This is a great family game too! First and second grade students will apply logic and reasoning in a holiday pattern activity similar to Sudoku. Students must place one of each shape and one of each color in every row and column of a grid. As the grids increase in size, the level of challenge increases as well. Third graders will begin the talent development lessons that will support the skills they will need to do well on their student work portfolios for the third grade eligibility process.

EDGE lessons have addressed creative thinking - from creating solutions to problems by designing something from some cut-out basic shapes to creative use of words in the game, “In A Pickle”. Some lessons have addressed mathematical concepts of logic and reasoning and algebraic computations. Upcoming lessons will utilize the computational thinking of the games, “Math 24” and “Math Dice”.


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