Next Week

Dear parents,

A great week without any disruptions!  Students have been awesome, as usual, and are hard at work. Thank you for all the support you give to your kids and to me. Your support truly makes my job easier and I want each of you to know I appreciate your willingness to go the extra mile for your child.  Every minute that you spend helping them with their reading, practicing math with them, researching a topic of interest online or at the library, practicing the spelling words or learning new words, etc., are precious priceless minutes that not only strengthens the bond between you and your child, but also instills in them a love for learning that will rip life-long benefits.

On a separate note, the children will receive their homework packet on Monday and they will have until the following Monday to complete. The curriculum for next week is the following:

Phonics: -ur, -er, and –ir . Spelling words:

1.        burn 2.     curve 3.     nurse
4.     fur 5.     church 6.     turn
7.      girl 8.     first 9.     skirt
10.  third 11.    stir 12.  twirl
13.  germ 14.  verb 15.  were

The challenge words are:

1. squirm  2. thirsty  3. splurge  4. hamburger  5. centimeter

Math: 3-digit addition with regrouping. See attached letter with important information regarding the application of base 10 knowledge and helpful/useful web links.

Social Studies: We will continue to learn about the life of the amazing Jackie Robinson. Here’s a link with interesting facts about him:

Writing: Simple/Compound Sentences and Opinion Writing

Reading: Comparing and Contrasting Two Versions of a Fairy/Folk Tale –

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

Have a fun and restful weekend!

Victor M. Mateo

Next Two Weeks

Dear parents,

I hope that everyone is safe and that you and your family had a chance to enjoy the snowy landscape while it lasted. It is hard to believe that we only have seven more school days before the winter break! The last two school days before the break (12/19 & 12/20) will be early release days. On Tuesday 12/19 we will have our classroom holiday celebration from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. and all of you are invited. Thank you very much to all the parents who promptly replied to the Sign-Up Genius that I sent earlier today. Initially I had planned to purchase everything necessary for the party, so I did not think it was necessary to ask for contributions. However, I was informed earlier today that it is customary to invite the parents and to ask for contributions from the parents.

During the following four days the children will continue learning length and measurement in math, forces and motion in science, informational reading and writing, and root words with prefixes and suffixes during grammar. The children will also take several important benchmark tests during this week, so it would be of great help if they get adequate sleep. Due to the unexpected early release on Friday the students did not receive their homework packets. These will be given to them on Tuesday (tomorrow) and they could be turned on Monday of next week. The corresponding spelling test will be on Monday as well. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have ANY questions or concerns. I had some problems with my Outlook email, but these problems have been resolved. You may also text me at 404-933-2228 (personal number). Thank you!

Weekly Update

Dear parents

I hope that you and your families are doing well. This week the class will learn about possessive nouns, the sound of the /ou – ow/ vowel diphthongs, continue with reading informational (non-fiction) texts, writing based on facts gathered from informational text, subtraction of two digit numbers, and we will study important figures in early Georgia history.

Field Trip Information and Firefighter Homework

We are excited about our first field trip to the Cobb County Fire Safety Village on November 13, 2017. A Cobb County Firefighter spoke to the class this morning about fire safety issues and handed a couple of goodies to the students. It is important that we receive both permission/medical release forms completed and signed by the parents. I received most of them but a few are missing one or both of the forms. If your child has one of these forms in her/his folder, then it probably means that the form sent needs to be completed. Please let me know if you have any questions.

The children have to complete the Firefighter Homework sent home today by Friday. This homework is an important part of the field trip and not completing it may keep your child from participating in some of the activities at the Safety Village.

The children will be provided a sack lunch, but if you want your child to bring her/his own lunch from home, it must be brought to school in a disposable bag or container, as it will be discarded after they eat. Please do not send lunch boxes or food containers that cannot be discarded.

Important Upcoming Dates

November 6th -14th – Food Drive
November 7th – 
Student Holiday; Staff Workday
November 13th – 17th – Book Fair
November 14th – 16th – Friends & Family Holiday Luncheon
November 20th – 24th – 
Thanksgiving Holiday

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

Field Trip Permission Forms

Dear parents,

We have a one day field trip to the Cobb County Fire Safety Village scheduled for November 13, 2017, from 9:15 am to 1:15 pm. It should be educational and fun for the children! I sent home two forms that must be completed by you in order for your child to participate in this field trip. I sent one of these forms yesterday and many of you sent it today—THANK YOU! However, there is a second form (sent today) that also needs to be completed and signed by the parents. The form sent yesterday had to be completed on both sides, so if you received it back today is probably because only one side was completed, please complete the information on that form, as well as in the form sent today and send them back with your child as soon as possible (ideally by tomorrow). Please let me now if you have any questions. Thank you

Week of 10/23/2017

Good afternoon parents,

I hope that you had a good weekend. This morning your children arrived to a “new” classroom. After some research and feedback from some of our inside “experts” in classroom setup, I changed the classroom seating arrangement and formed 4 clusters and a division in the middle of the classroom. This allows for better coop work, easy access to supplies, and better teacher monitoring. I feel like the children liked their new classroom setup.

This week in Phonics we begin with the study of the long /u/ sound (ew, ue, ui), and the corresponding spelling words sent with the homework packet on Friday. We continue with the Informational Reading/Writing about “Sea Turtles,” and in Grammar the children will learn about “Contractions.” In Math with continue with addition of two-digit numbers and problem solving, and for Social Studies we study the Cherokees. This week we start our Red Ribbon Week mini lessons during which we discuss (at an age-appropriate level) the dangers of underage alcohol use and smoking, and illegal drug use.

I graded the Spelling test given on Friday and there was an overall improvement in the scores, so thank you to all the parents who either helped their children prepare for this test or who made sure that their child studied. The next spelling test will be on Friday.

On as separate note. I can tell that many of you are using IXL, so much so that the class received a certificate of completion for the first 200 math problems solved in less than a week! .  That’s great! Let’s keep those number going up!

Have a great evening!

Victor M. Mateo

Specials – Schedule for the Week of 10/17/17

Good morning parents,

It was a pleasure to meet with many of you yesterday and I look forward to meeting with the rest of you. This is just a short communication to provide you with the Specials Schedule for this week.

Tuesday 10/17:  A day Music

Wednesday 10/18: B day Science

Thursday 10/19: C day PE – Make sure that your child wears tennis shoes

Friday 10/20: D day Art

Please make sure that your child has proper clothing as they may go outside for recess or PE.

Have a great day!

Victor Mateo

Week of 10/13/2017

Good afternoon parents,

We hope that this message finds you well! It has been another great week of learning. We are excited to share with you about your child’s progress, strengths, and goals next week at conferences. Please let us know if any changes need to be made. During conference week, Nickajack’s Relay for Life Team will be selling lemonade and cookies in the lobby. Enjoy a special treat and support a great cause! Our Relay for Life Team will also sponsor a PINK OUT on Friday, October 20th. During the PINK OUT, students can purchase a pencil for $1; all proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

The second grade team is excited to announce that we are collaboratively working to make changes to the weekly spelling words. This is in an effort to best meet the needs of all of our learners. You will notice changes to the spelling words this week. Now, all second graders will have 15 spelling words that cover the phonics pattern of the week, as well as 5 challenge words that follow the pattern; the challenge words are optional. The spelling words will always correspond to the phonics pattern being taught that week. The weekly spelling words are provided to not only strengthen your child’s spelling abilities, but also strengthen his/her ability to decode unfamiliar words. Second grade’s approach to spelling encompasses spelling, writing, and reading to create balanced instruction.

We are also excited to announce that second grade will be collaborating to make our homework packets. Changes to the homework packet will be revealed next week; please stay posted for next week’s email about changes to our homework packet. This week, in lieu of a traditional homework packet, in your child’s folder are directions to our next project, Pumpkin Book Reports! We have also attached the directions to this email. Please feel free to email us with any questions.

Are you looking for something fun to do with your family tonight? If so, come out to Nickajack’s Fall Festival! Last year’s was amazing, and we know that this year’s will be even better. There will be games, food trucks, face painting, and so so much more!

We hope that you and your families have a wonderful weekend!

Victor M. Mateo

Week of 10/11/2017

Dear Parents:

I hope that all of you and your families are doing well. The students did an amazing job with their GA Regions project!!  I’m already displaying them in the hallway and in the classroom. Since many of the students had to work on the project during the weekend, I decided to hold the homework packet until today. Well, today I did not have time to get the packet ready and I told the class that they will get it tomorrow. It will be due on Monday instead of this Friday. Nevertheless, the homework is here attached if you want your child to start today.

I sent today the conference day and time assigned to you and your child. Please send me the signed confirmation section with your child as soon as possible.

This week we begin the 2nd 9-weeks and I want to give you an overview of what will be covered in class.

Reading Informational and Literary Text: In this unit, students will read informational and literary texts to:

  • Develop Comprehension Strategies: Identify sequence of events, story elements, and making inferences
  • Develop Metacognitive Strategies: Determine text importance, summarize and synthesize and making connections
  • Develop oral reading fluency, accuracy, rate and expression
  • Participate in collaborative conversations and build oral and academic vocabulary with diverse partners about Grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups
  • Recount or describe key ideas or details from written texts read aloud or information presented orally or through other media

Writing – Informative:

  • Write informative/explanatory pieces related to scientific concepts and  processes
  • Revise and edit their work with teacher and peer support
  • Explore working collaboratively and independently to create writing pieces in any genre
  • Identify and use reflexive pronouns
  • Capitalize proper nouns
  • Use apostrophes to form contractions and possessives
  • Use phonemic spelling, room resources and learned spelling patterns when writing
  • Use root words to find the meaning of unknown words
  • Recount ideas and details from texts
  • Tell/recount stories with facts and details

Math – Become Fluent in Addition and Subtraction – Parent Overview Video:

  • Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
  • Understand and apply properties of operations and the relationship between addition and subtraction.
  • Know the multiple meanings for addition (combine, join, and count on) and subtraction (take away, remove, count back, and compare).
  • Use the inverse operation to check that they have correctly solved the problem.
  • Solve problems using mental math strategies.

Science – Environmental Changes (first three weeks)

  • Observe their nearby community and ask questions about changes that they observe in the environment.
  • Work to identify what caused those changes and categorize them as being caused by weather, plants, animals, and/or humans.

Social Studies – Creek and Cherokee (6 weeks)

  • Use the theme of individuals, groups, and institutions to understand the culture of the Creek and Cherokee, as well as the role of Sequoyah within the Cherokee culture.
  • Compare the lifestyles of the Creek and Cherokee of the past to modern Georgians by using the theme of time, change, and continuity, as well as the idea of location.
  • Explore the themes of scarcity and production, distribution, and consumption as they learn about the resources used by the Creek, Cherokee, and modern Georgians, as well as the economic concepts of opportunity cost and ways we allocate resources.

I am looking forward to meeting you during conference week.


Victor M. Mateo 


Week of 9/11/2017

Dear parents,

Last week was full of academic challenges and some fun times too. The children continued developing their  skills in the areas of narrative writing, reading comprehension/fluency/stamina, grammar (capitalization and punctuation), place value (ones/tens/hundreds) and problem solving, and map skills (cardinal points/compass rose). On Friday afternoon the Campbell H.S. Marching Band surprised our students with a pep rally through the Nickajack hallways. It was a nice way to end the week.

Tropical storm Irma arrived to Georgia with pretty strong winds and lots of rain.  I hope that all of you and your families are ok!  I look forward to having your children in class tomorrow!  This week continue to put an emphasis on reading, as it is an area that requires special attention, study the difference between proper and common nouns, review long vowel patterns, continue with place value and problem solving in math, and we will begin exploring the different geographic regions of Georgia.

Your child should read at home for at least 20 minutes every day.  This additional reading time has a tremendous impact on their reading fluency and comprehension.  Please make sure that your child has books at home that are appropriate to their reading level and of interest to them. To determine if a book is appropriate for your child you could use the “5-finger test” Do not chose your child’s books based solely on grade level. Of course the book should be of interest to your child, as we want this to be an enjoyable moment for them. You may also consider reading to them and asking questions about the story as you read. You may also read from magazines  or news sources to your child. They may love to hear about their favorite football team, gymnast, or any topic of particular interest to them. 

On Wednesday I will send home information on how to gain access to our online classroom management system—Classroom DOJO—through which you will be able to monitor your child’s daily conduct and performance. Thank you for your support!


Victor M. Mateo

Solar Eclipse Information

August 21- Solar Eclipse Delayed Dismissal

A Note from Our Principal:

Dear Nickajack Parents and Families,

Due to the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, the Cobb County School District will delay dismissal by 45 minutes.

The peak time to experience the solar eclipse falls during our regularly scheduled elementary school dismissal time.

Since student safety is always our first priority, we will start the day on time and delay dismissal to ensure that neither students nor employees are on the roadways during the time of the eclipse.

To ensure the safety of all students, the Nickajack administration has decided to not view the solar eclipse outdoors.

GREAT NEWS! A one hour live broadcast via IPTV will be available from Kennesaw Mountain High School showcasing the observatory/eclipse from 1:45 – 2:45 PM. We may also choose to watch NASA’s live broadcast. We are also allowing check-outs leading up to 2:00 for parents who want to watch the event with their child in person. NO CHECKOUTS WILL BE ALLOWED FROM 2:00 UNTIL DELAYED DISMISSAL.

We realize many of you may be planning to observe the eclipse as a family. If your student is checking out early on Monday, August, 21st, please submit all check out notes by Friday, August, 18th, so they may be verified ahead of time. Delays may be experienced if students do not submit a note prior to the day of the event.

NASA has curated a strong collection of informational resources on the eclipse. We recommend accessing this site for eclipse questions you may have regarding safety, timing, resources and more.

For more information regarding the solar eclipse, visit the National Weather Service at
Please visit the Cobb County School District Website: for further information and helpful links.

3:00 – Begin Carpool.
Between 3:10 and 3:15 – Anticipated time for buses to leave campus.
ASP will run from 3:15 until 6:00 pm. ASP pickup begins at 3:45 at the ASP desk.

Stay tuned for additional information regarding the possibility of an excused absence for this day due to weather conditions. Thank you for your cooperation and assistance as we facilitate this educational event.


Adam Hill
Nickajack’s Princi ‘Pal’