Week of 2/24 – 2/28, 2020

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Welcome back!  I hope everyone had a wonderful, restful break.  I was able to get some rest, but still came down with a little bit of a cold.  It’s so hard to believe we’re into our last week of February!  Where does the time go?  We have a relatively busy week.  We have quite a bit of stuff happening this week.  So, without further ado, we’ll move on to what we’re covering this week.

Grammar – This week, we will be working on figurative language.  We’ve worked on a littel bit of figurative language earlier in the school year, but this week, we will be working on idioms.  Idioms are words or phrases that have a figurative, or sometimes literal meaning.  Some examples of idioms are “I have a frog in my throat.”  The figurative meaning would be that you have a sore/scratchy throat.  Another example of idioms would be “it was a piece of cake,” to mean that something was easy to do.  We will be reading, The Day the Crayons Out, as our mentor text.

Reading – This week, we will also be working on using a couple of texts in order to be able to write/talk about a topic.  This week, we will be integrating more of our social studies along with our reading.  We will be reading about the transcontiental railroad and the 1849 California Gold Rush.  Hopefully, after having read the various articles, the students will have a better understanding of what the transcontinental railroad and the California Gold Rush were all about.

Social Studies – This week, we will be finishing up our unit on Westward Expansion.  We will be taking our summative assessment on Westard Expansion on Thursday, 2/27/20.  A study guide for the test was sent home with the students in their graded paper folder.  If for some reason your child didn’t bring home his/her study guide, you can find another one on the “Social Studies” tab at the top of the blog.  We will be playing Kahoot on Wedensday to help us prepare for our test on Thursday.

Math – This week, we will continue working on fractions.  We will continue working with adding, subtracting fractions, but we will also be multiplying fractions by whole numbers.  Please continue to work with your students on memorizing their multiplication/division facts.  This will help tremendously when it comes to finding equivalent fractions, as well as when we begin to transform improper fractions into mixed numbers and transition from mixed numbers to improper fractions.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 2/25/20 – Visit from author, Carmen Deedy (in the media center).
Wednesday, 2/26/20 – Kahoot! to review for upcoming summative assessement on Westward Expansion.
Thursday, 2/27/20 – Summative Assessment on Westward Expansion
Monday, 3/2 – Friday, 3/6/20 – Spring Book Fair
Tuesday, 3/3/20 – Read Across America Day
Thursday, 3/5/20 – Annual Bedtime, Books, and Brownies – beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 3/11/20 – Early Release Day – Dismissal @12:30 p.m.
Thursday, 3/13/20 – State Fair Exhibition (In the Media Center)
Friday, 3/13/20 – State Fair Carnival in the Media Center
Friday, 3/13/20 – End of the 3rd quarter
Friday, 3/20/20 – Third Quarter report cards
Thursday, 3/26/20 – Nerdy Derby Art Night
Monday, 4/6 – 4/10/20 – Spring Break – No school for Students/Staff


February 17 – 21, 2020

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I hope everyone is having a wonderful break!  I’m jealous of those of you who are in some exotic, warm location.   I hope everyone is getting some rest and has a chance to relax and rejuvenate.  In case you weren’t aware, school is closed all this week (Monday – Friday) and will reopen on Monday morning, 2/24/20.

Beginning 2/24/20, we are going to begin working toward really ramping up for the upcoming GA Milestones test.  Mrs. Homer and I have been discussing adding optional homework to the daily agenda.  We think it’s important that the students begin working towards their stamina for taking the test, so we are going to start assigning optional homework.  As “payment” for being empowered to build their reading/test taking skills, we will be paying out Pitner dollars each week for their hard work.  We will be assigning DreamBox for math and ReadTheory for reading.  We understand that students are busy and as spring approaches, various sports will begin to amp up, that’s why it’s optional.  We would like to see the students complete a few ReadTheory quizzes each week, as well as complete about 5 lessons on dreambox each week.  Your child’s log-in information should be in his/her agenda, but if you need the log-in information, please feel free to email me and I’ll email you back with the information.

Thank you so much for sharing your little darlings with us this year.  We have truly loved working along side them this year and we look forward to hearing how much they continue to improve and grow in the future.  As always, if you have ny questions or concerns, please feel free to email either of us and we’ll do our best to get back with you as soon as possible.

Have a great week!  We’ll see you on 2/24, bright and early!


Valentine’s Day

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Good morning!  Just a reminder that Friday is Valentine’s Day and it is a regular school day.  Admin has asked that we remind you of that.  Please do not send/bring things that would be a distraction to the students in our class, such as balloons, or extremely large stuffed animals. Please wait until after school for those kinds of gifts.

Thank you in advance for your continued support and cooperation!


February 10 – 14, 2020

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Wow!  It’s so hard to believe that we only have 5 more wake-ups before the break.  Didn’t we just return from a break!  I hope everyone has an opportunity to get some rest and rejuvenate next week, during the break.  I know some people have big trips planned to warm places and I’m just a little jealous!  I hope everyone enjoys their time off and is ready to rock and roll when we return.  It’s going to be a busy week, so I won’t waste any more of your time.  Let’s move on to what we’ve got happening this week.  Please help us out by having your students work on Prodigy and or Dreambox at home.  The county has purchased a Dreambox license for all of our students and Mrs. Homer and I are seeing the improvement.  However, there is never enough time or resources at school to be able to do DreamBox at school, so we’re asking for your help to get them working on it at home.  We don’t have “homework” other than reading for 20 minutes each night, so please have them spend a few minutes each night working on one or both of these great resources.  If you need help logging in to DreamBox or Prodigy, please email me or Mrs. Homer.  I have also added the log-in information to the Technology tab at the top of the blog.

Grammar – This week, we will be working on Greek/Latin roots and affixes.  We will be working our way through a powerpoint to better understand how we use base words and affixes to help us understand new, unfamiliar words.  We will also be taking some sketch notes in our writing journals.

Writing – this week, we will be finishing up our collaborative state projects with Ms. Stanley in the media center.  The students had a choice in either participating in creating a video or making a flyer.  Several students will continue using Do Ink and the iPads to create a video on their state.  Others will be using the computers to create a flyer with three pictures and information about their state.

Reading – we will work on reading multiple passages to be able to talk or write about a topic.  We will be integrating many of our Social Studies standards in the reading this week by reading about the California Gold Rush, Pikes Peak, the Titanic, and the Oregon Trail.  Students will also be working on their literacy center sheets in which they will be practicing reading fluenty to perform a reader’s theater all about the Oregon Trail on Friday.  Hopefully, Mrs. Homer will be willing to video the performances and add them to her blog.  Be sure to check them out next week!

Social Studies – our journey across the new land continues as we discuss the Oregon Trail and the California Gold Rush this week.  We will be doing some reading about the Oregon Trail and California Gold Rush during our reading segment, but we will also be completing some structured notes on the topics.  We will have our summative test on Westward Expansion on Thursday, 2/27/20.  A completed study guide should be coming home in your child’s graded paper folder on Friday, 2/14.  That gives them about two weeks to study.  I’m not expecting them to study over the mid-winter break, but if they have nothing to do, they can get a jump on it and really be prepared.  I will also be posting a completed copy in next week’s blog and it will be located on the Social Studies tab across the top of the page.

Math – this week, we will continue to find like denominators to compare and order fractions.  We will also begin decomposing fractions to help us with adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators.  Fortunately for fourth grade, we only use like denominators to add and subtract, therefore it’s a little easier than it will be next year.  In order to add/subract like denominators, you just look at the numerators and then either add or subtract.  If the students add/subtract and get an improper fraction, they will be expected to change the improper fraction into a mixed number.  Please be sure to check out all the videos on the math “how to” page if you or your child needs help.  We will continue working with them as much as we can.

Wednesday, 2/12/20 – Third Quarter 4 1/2 Week Progress reports come home
Friday, 2/14/20 – State Projects due
Friday, 2/14/20 – Valentine Exchange
Monday, 2/17/20-Friday, 2/21/20 – Mid-Winter Break – No School for students/teachers
Tuesday, 2/25/20 – Author Carmen Deedy Visit
Monday, 3/2/20 – Friday, 3/6/20 – Spring Book Fair


Jump Rope for Heart

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Good afternoon parents!  You might have seen the Jump Rope for Heart information that came home with your students in their graded paper folder, but just in you need more information, I’m attaching a note from Coach Jefferson for your information.


Week of February 3 – 7, 2020

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It’s so hard to believe that it’s already February!  Holy toledo!  Where is the time going!?  Since the winter break, we’ve been very busy with celebrating the 100th day of school, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, and our first International Night.  It has been a very busy month!  Unfortunately, February doesn’t slow down at all!  We have a several things coming up. so be sure to keep abreast of what we have by checking the blog often.  In order to stay on top of all our activities, please check out Mrs. Homer’s blog to see all the pictures of the activties that we’ve been doing in class.  So, without a further ado, here’s what we’re doing this week.  There is a copy of the class list and a letter regarding Valentine’s Day in your child’s graded paper (Friday Folder).  Please be sure to go through the folders and get the papers out.  In case your child didn’t bring home the Valentine’s Day letter, please feel free to download another copy below. 

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PTSA’s Sweetheart Dance will be this Friday, 2/7/20.  A pre-order form letter from PTSA was in your child’s graded paper folder last week.  If your child didn’t return their graded folder last Friday, they should have the PTSA letter in their folder this week.  I’m also including the links below, for your convenience.  If you would like to volunteer to help with the Sweetheart Dance, please click here.  If you would like to help with a donation or two, please click here.  If you would like to order tickets, you can click here.  We had a blast last year and I’m sure it will be just as good, if not better than that.

Grammar – This week, we WILL NOT be having a mentor sentence.  Instead, we will be focusing on having Guidance with Ms. Perry on Monday, followed by working on our state projects (videos with DoInk and brochures) in the classroom, as well as with Mrs. Stanley in the Learning Commons on Thursday.  The students have had several opportunities to work on their projects both in class and in the learning commons.  They have a graphic organizer that they can use to help them organize their thoughts.  As part of their projects, they will need to write an informational piece about their state.  The graphic organizer has all the information they need to write their informational piece.  If your student would like to work on their project at home over the weekend, that is perfectly fine.  They can log-in to Office 365 and type directly into their word document from there.

Reading – This week, we will be continuing to work on First and Secondhand accounts.  Like I mentioned last week, first hand accounts are told from the person who was actually there and experienced whatever is being shown/explained.  Some examples of a firsthand account would be diary/journal entries, paintings, and/or photographs. A secondhand account is told by someone who was not there, but has done the research to write the information.  A couple of examples of secondhand accounts would be textbooks, encyclopedias, webpages, etc.  We will be looking at several pieces of text/images to tell if they are first or second hand accounts.

Social Studies – We will be continuing our study of Westward Expansion by completing a WebQuest.  For those of you that have never hear the term “webquest,” it’s like a scavenger hunt, but using websites to answer questions.  Last week, we worked to complete some structured notes and the webquest will be somewhat like the structured notes that we took last week, but for the webquest, the students will have to read the webpage (or use the immersive reader), to find the answers.

Math – We will continue with our unit on Fractions.  We will be learning how to decompose mixed numbers.  We will talk about how if we had 1-2/5, we could take 5/5 (=1 whole) + 2/5 for a total of 7/5.  Then, after the students understand how to decompose the fractions, we will move on to adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators.  We will also be continuing with our Empowerment Express – where the students are going to other classrooms for math 1 day per week (Wednesdays), to focus on skills they are still having trouble with from the first semester.

Monday, 2/3/20 – Guidance with Ms. Perry
Wednesday, 2/5/20 – Empowerment Express (math)
Wednesday, 2/5/20 – Read Across the World 8:00 – 8:15
Thursday, 2/6/20 – Media Center for State Project
Friday, 2/7/20 – Talent Development Day with Ms. Westbrook
Friday, 2/7/20 – PTSA’s Sweetheart Dance
Saturday, 2/8/20 – County Science Fair – Good Luck Ashara!
Wednesday, 2/12/20 – Empowerment Express
Wednesday, 2/12/20 – Third Quarter 4.5 week progress report
Friday, 2/14/20 – State Projects due
Friday, 2/14/20 – Valentine’s Day Exchange – Letter went home on Friday, 1/31/20
Monday, 2/17-Friday, 2/21/20 – Mid Winter Break – NO SCHOOL!
Tuesday, 2/25/20 – Author Visit with Ms. Carmen Deedy, in the Learning Commons

 


Week of January 27 – 31, 2020

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Wow!  How can we be through with January already!  The time is flying by!  Congratulations to the first place fourth grade winner of the Pitner Science Fair, Ashara Stephenson.  She’ll continue on to the next level of the County Science Fair, which will be held on Saturday, February 8th.  Best of luck Ashara! 

This week, we have a big week, and hopefully we’ll have a chance to get outside and play.  I don’t know how many more “gray/cold” days I can take!  I hope everyone will have the opportunity to come out this week on Thursday to our first, and hopefully, annual International Night. The students have been working so hard to learn new songs and doing some research on England for our England board, I would hate for you to miss it.  It will be amazing!  We have a pretty busy week this week, so without further ado, let’s move on to what we’ll be covering this week.

Grammar – This week, we will continue to focus on adjectives and adverbs.  We will be reading the story Voices in the Park by Anthony Brown.  The focus for our mentor sentence is on adjectives and adverbs.  The students will need to be able to determine if the underlined word in the sentence is an adjective (words that describes a noun) or an adverb (a word that describes a verb).  The students will have a sentence from the story with a word underlined.  Then, the student will have to write adj. if the underlined word is an adjective, or adv. if the underlined word is an adverb.

Writing – The “Baby James Project” continues.  Hopefully, this week we will have our papers completed, including peer/teacher editing and the students will be able to access their own papers for you at home through office 365.  They have been working so hard and adding some great details to their stories.  As they finish their “Baby James” writing, we will be moving into our “State Project” writing.  The students have had two opportunities to use the computers/books in the library to take notes about their states.  They were very excited about using Culutre Grams and Pebble Go Next to do the research, because several found some recipes from their states and they copied and pasted them into a word doucment to be able to access the receipes to make at home.  If they make the receipe and bring it in to share, there may be some bonus points awarded.  Hint hint.

Reading – This week, we will begin looking at first and second hand accounts of the same topic.  A first hand account would be a photograph or maybe an autobiography about a person’s life.  A second hand account would be a text book, encylopedia, or maybe a drawing by someone who was not actually there, but has done the research and is able to give some information.  We will be talking about how to know the difference in the two.

Social Studies – this week, we will move away from science and back in to social studies and we will begin our unit on Westward Expansion.  We will be discussing Lewis and Clark, Sacagewa, Thomas Jefferson, and how we more than doubled the size of our country through the purchase of the Lousiana Territory from our French friend, Napolean.  We will be working to complete some structured notes on the subject as well as working towards our STEAM activity for this quarter.

Math – please continue to work with your students on their fast fact fluency.  We had a really hard time this week with division, because the students didn’t know their facts.  We had provided them with the opportunity to use the multiplication chart to help those who needed it, but as it turned out, several of us were using the multiplication chart and not even trying to learn the process of dividing.  Please be sure to check out the Math “How To” videos at the top of the blog.  I will try to add more videos this weekend.  This will provide you with lots of good information, as well as give you a glimpse into what we’re trying to teach.  We focused mainly on the traditional algorithm for division, because that seemed easier to most of the students.  This week, we will be moving on to fractions and focusing on equivalent fractions.  We will be talking about decomposing fractions and how one-half is the same as two-fourths, because they cover the same amount of space, but the pieces just happen to be smaller.

 

Thursday, 1/30/20 – We’ll be heading to the Media Center to work on State Projects
Thursday, 1/30/20 – Our first annual “International Night” – 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, 2/5/20 – Read Across the World Day 8:00 – 8:15 a.m.
Friday, 2/7/20 – Talent Development Day with Mrs. Westbrook
Friday, 2/7/20 – Sweetheart Dance (info was sent home in last week’s Friday Folder (1/24))
Saturday, 2/8/20 – County Science Fair for our 4th grade winner, Ashara Stephenson
Friday, 2/14/20 – State Projects are due
Friday, 2/14/20 – Valentine’s Day Exchange – letter will come home on Monday, 1/27.
Monday, 2/17-Friday, 2/21/20 – Mid-Winter Break – No school
Tuesday, 2/25/20 – Author, Carmen Deedy will be visiting in the Media Center
Monday, 3/2/20 – Read Across America Day
Thursday, 3/5/20 – Bedtime, Books, and Brownies – 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, 3/11/20 – Early Release – Be sure your student knows how to get home.
Thursday, 3/26/20 – Arts/STEAM Night


Week of January 20 – 24, 2020

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I hope everyone enjoys their long weekend and does something to help celebrate the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  On Monday, we celebrate this birthday.  We are all equal and if it wasn’t for him, many of us would not be able to collaborate and have class together today.  So, thank you Dr. King! It’s so hard to believe that January is half over, already!  Where is the time going!?  We have a relatively “normal” week this week, so without further ado, let’s move on to what we’ll be covering this week.

Grammar – This week, our focus is on order of adjectives.  I’m including a quick video that you can watch to preview the order of adjectives.  To watch the video, please click here.  Our mentor sentence comes from the book George Washington’s Teeth by Deborah Chandra.  Order of adjectives goes from number, opinion, size, shape, condition, age, color, pattern, origin, materials, to finally purpose.  For example, you would say Mrs. Poulos has two beautiful children.  You wouldn’t say Mrs. Poulos has beautiful two children.  It just doesn’t make sense.  Many times, just reading the sentence aloud helps you to understand the order of the adjectives.

Writing – this week, we are continuing to focus on informational writing and we will be taking our “Baby” projects through the writing process.  We will be drafting, revising, editing, and publishing (on the computer).  The students will begin taking their steps and writing them as sentences and using transition words to help the flow of the writing.

Reading – we are continuing to work on the text structure of non-fiction text – how is the passage/book written.  Did the author use the compare/contrast method where they are comparing and contrasting two things, a description method where they are providing a description about the topic, problem and solution method – where the author presents and problem and then also presents solutions to that problem, sequence – where the author explains the events in a chronological order (usually much like a time line), and finally cause and effect – where the author presents a cause to an issue and then talks about the effects of that cause or vice versa.

Science – we will be continuing with our weather unit by working with weather maps, including high pressure fronts, low pressure fronts, cold fronts and warm fronts.  This has been a weird and wacky weather pattern this year, so far.  Nothing like the normal “climate” for January.

Math – this week, we will continue our lessons on division.  We will be working with division using the standard algorithm (the way we learned), as well as using the area model to help us divide.  Once the students have been introduced to the two strategies, they can pick their favorite one.  We want them to be able to explain their thinking, so whichever strategy works for them is the one they need to use.  Please be sure to check our the various strategies on the Math “How To” videos posted on the “Math ‘How To Videos’ tab” at the top of the blog.

Monday, 1/20/20 – No school in observation of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday.
Wednesday, 1/22/20 – Science Fair – We’re looking forward to seeing all those great Science Fair projects.
Friday, 1/24/20 – PBIS School store – you can choose to spend or save your Pitner bucks
Thursday, 1/30/20 – Our first International Night – 6:00 – 7:30 – fourth grade students will be performing!
Wednesday, 2/5/20 – Read Across the World – all students will be participating in DEAR Time from 8 – 8:15 a.m.
Friday, 2/7/20 – PTSA’s Sweetheart Dance – more information to come soon.
Friday, 2/14/20 – Valentine’s Day – We will be having an exchange, but NO Party!  Class list will be coming home soon.
Friday, 2/14/20 – State Projects are due – again, this will be done at school
Monday, 2/17-Friday, 2/21/20 – No School – Mid-Winter Break
Tuesday, 2/25/20 – Author Visit – Carmen Deedy in the Media Center
Monday, 3/2/20 – Read Across America Day – DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) All day! Please look for more information to come home soon.
Wednesday, 3/11/20 – Early Release – Dismissal at 12:30 – Please be sure your students know how they’re going home.

 


Week of January 13 – 17, 2020

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Thank you Clipart Crush for the use of your 100 Days of School clipart.

I cannot believe that we’ve already been in school for 100 days as of Friday, 1/17/2020!  I knew things would go fast when my daughter hit her senior year, but this has been such a great year with these students, it’s completely flying by.  I have really enjoyed getting to know each and everyone of these kids and seeing how much they are growing both as students as well as little humans.  We are very fortunate to have such a great class of ducks this year!  Thank you parents for raising such a great kiddos!  We are really going to miss them next year! 

Also, if you weren’t aware, we have been nominated as a “Best of Cobb 2020” elementary school, however we need your help!  Please be sure to go to tinyurl.com/sluqqoj to vote today!  You can vote once a day every day until January 24th!  Please get out there and exercise your right and vote for Pitner today!

Okay, enough of the sappiness, let’s move on to what we’ve got going on this week!

Grammar – this week’s mentor text will be coming from the book Snow Day! by Lester Laminack.  This is probably one of my favorite books!  It has such a great, surprise ending!  Be sure to ask your students about the ending!  We will be listening to the book beginning on Monday.  Our focus this week is on adjectives and adverbs.  Remember, adjectives are words that describe nouns (people, places, and things) while adverbs are words that describe verbs (what you do).  The students will be expected to identify the adjectives and adverbs in the mentor sentence.  The students will also be expected to add an adjective or an adverb to the sentence that is written, so that it makes sense.  The students will also need to circle whether or not they’ve used an adjective or an adverb in the sentence.

Writing – Well, if you weren’t already aware, Mrs. Homer and I gave the students their “holiday” gifts by providing them with the materials to create their own “baby.”  I’m sure the students have been coming home talking about “making their own babies.”  Please understand that they have taken to making these sock babies to be able to read to and work on their sight words and such with.  As their holiday gift, we purchased footed baby outfits, pacifiers, thread, needles, poly-fil (stuffing), socks, buttons, as well as hats for the students to make their own babies.  We began working on our “Baby” informational writing last week We will continue working on our procedural writing on how to “make a baby,” and we will continue working on research for our International Night and our state projects.  We are looking forward to hearing/reading all the great stories that come from our “babies.”  If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.

Reading – this week, we will be continuing to work on informational reading.  We will continue working on the way the texts are structured.  The students will begin to identify the text structure (compare/contrast, problem/solution, description, cause/effect, sequence).  This can be a very difficult task for students, but we should make progress.  As you are reading with your students, be sure to ask them what the text structure is and why they think it’s what they say.

Science – This week, we will continue working on weather, weather patterns, and clouds.  As part of our STEAM challenge this quarter, we will be learning to predict the weather and able to create our own weather forecast using the green screen in the PNN room.  We are going to have a blast with this!

Math – This week, we will be continuing to work with dividing larger numbers.  Last week, we used the area model/”Box” method.  We had quite a bit of push back from the students, but they seem to be getting the hang of it.  Once the students understand this strategy, we will move on to the traditional algorithm.  Hopefully, by starting with the box method, the students will have a better understanding of the traditional algorithm.  I understand that it’s going to take some time, but once we’ve had a chance to introduce and use both methods, the students will be allowed to choose their favorite method for solving the problems.  Please understand that students will need to know how to use the traditional algorithm in fifth grade, but we are just learning how to work these problems this year.  Once we understand the concept, we’ll move to more difficult concepts.

Friday – 1/17/20 – 100th day of school!

Monday, 1/20/20 – MLK, Jr. Birthday is being observed – no school for students/teachers

Wednesday, 1/22/20 – Science Fair – If you’re interested in participating make sure you bring your project in by 8:00 a.m.

Thursday, 1/30/20 – International Night – All fourth grade classes will be performing.

Friday, 2/14/20 – State projects due – these will be done in class.  Also, we will have a valentine’s day exchange – no party, just exchanging valentines.  I’ll be sending home a letter this next week.

Monday, 2/17/20 – Friday, 2/21/20 – No school for students or staff – Mid Winter break.