Only or
PTA Newsletter
Mark Your Calendars
Dec 6 – PTA Holiday Festival
Dec 11 – Band/Orchestra Concert
Dec 12 – PTA Meeting and
Winter Chorus Concert
Dec 23-31 – Winter Break
Jan 1 – Winter Break
Jan 2 – School Reopens
Jan 16 – Spirit Night
at Sweet Frog in
Prince Frederick, 4-9
Jan 17 - Jump Rope for Heart &
2-hr Early Dismissal
Jan 20 – MLK Day – Schools and
Offices Closed
Jan 29 – Staff Development – No
School for Students
Jan 30 – Learning Fair
Jan 31 – Reading Logs Due
Thank you to this year’s
Community Sponsors’ who help
make Barstow a Success!
Castillo’s Framing, Inc.
Thomas L. Hance, Inc.
Dillon Center for Children
Can you believe it's December already? I don't know about you, but it feels
like this school year is flying by fast. Part of that is because your PTA has
been very busy. I can't say it enough how lucky the Barstow community is to
have such a hard working and dedicated PTA. All the members on the PTA
Board go above and beyond to make your PTA a huge success. Please take a
minute to thank them when you see them.
Of course, the PTA wouldn't be successful without its members.
Unfortunately, we haven't reached our goal of 100% parent membership yet.
Please consider supporting the PTA by becoming a member today.
Membership forms are available in the office or feel free to email me at
[email protected] and I'll make sure you get a form right away.
Our fundraisers have been a huge success this year. Thank you to all who
supported the pizza sale, Book Fair, Art to Remember, Box Tops collection,
Harvest Festival, Movie Night and Spirit Nights. We doubled our profits from
last year on both the pizza sales and Harvest Festival. We are 75 percent of
the way to reaching our fundraising goal and still have half the year to go. We
hope that you will continue to support the PTA's efforts. Box tops can be
brought to the classroom at any time and will be collected through the end of
March. Several more events are planned for the remainder of the year as well.
We would like to express our gratitude to all the volunteers who continue to
help with PTA and school events. Thank you to those of you who come in to
help in the classroom and attend field trips. We recognize that everyone has a
full schedule and appreciate you taking the time to help the school.
It was great to see everyone at the Movie Night last month. It's always nice to
see so many families spending time together. We hope that you'll come out
to support the Holiday Festival on December 6th. This event supports the
Fifth Grade end of year trip to West River. You won't want to miss the
Holiday shop, pictures with Santa, crafts, food and much more.
Don’t forget the PTA's 2nd General Membership meeting will be on
December 12th with the 3rd, 4th, & 5th grade Chorus concert, an event not to
be missed!
I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season. May
2014 be your best year yet. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.
Shannon Strain
PTA President
Our vision as a school community is to foster the development of
life-long learners who are responsible, respectful, and confident.
As a school community, we will commit ourselves to supporting and respecting each
other through collaboration and open communication. Students will take pride in
meeting or exceeding academic and social expectations. Our learning environment will
be safe, challenging, and engaging. We will support and respect the needs of the whole
child and their individual learning styles.
Work harder to get smarter!
Important SchoolMessenger Information
We want to make sure that all parents receive the important messages that are sent out via SchoolMessenger. If
you already have a Contact Manager account, we ask that you login to the system and verify that the contact
information you entered previously is still valid. The login credentials you used last year will continue to work
throughout your child's educational career with CCPS, so simply go to the
website (also available as a SchoolMessenger link from the Parents section of the Calvertnet website) and enter the
email address and password that you used to access your account before. If you’ve forgotten your password, use
the link on the page to have a password reset message sent to your email address. Once you are in, click on
Contacts and select Edit by your student’s name. Make sure that all of the phone numbers, email addresses, and
text message (SMS) numbers listed here are accurate—these listings provide the school and district with the
information used to send messages to you. Make any changes as necessary and save. While here, you can also
change your messaging preferences to determine where you will receive the different types of messages
(emergency, attendance, general, etc.). Thank you for taking the time to update your contact information!
Calvert County Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, ancestry or national origin, familial
status, marital status, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation or genetic information or age in its programs and activities and
provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following persons have been designated to handle
inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Human Resources and Director of Student Services, 1305 Dares Beach
Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678 410-535-1700. For further information on notice of non-discrimination, visit for the address and phone number of the office that serves your area, or call
News from the Library
Kindergarten and first grade students have been listening to a variety of stories about the Thanksgiving holiday.
They have been comparing and contrasting the holiday the Pilgrims celebrated with how we celebrate it today.
During Media, second graders have been researching “ants” using worldbook online. This research project was
a collaboration between the second grade teachers and myself. The second graders learned about the research
process as well as information regarding ants. Don’t forget, this resource is available to students at home as
well. The login information is listed below.
Third grade really enjoyed the presentation that our local author, Janie Suss, gave them in the beginning of
November. She has written a beautiful story about a family of ospreys that lived off the pier in her backyard. If
you would like to order her book or read more about her, please take a look at The
cost of her presentation was covered by our annual Used Book Sale. Thank you for your support!
Fourth and fifth grade have been learning how to use a new program that was purchased by CCPS called Pixie.
Fifth graders used Pixie to create a bookmark about themselves. It can be a wonderful instructional tool for all
grade levels. You will be reading more about how students are using Pixie over the next few months.
Please remind your child of their media day. Students are only allowed to check out a new book if they have
returned the book from the previous week. If you have questions about what book your child has checked out,
please send me an email at [email protected]
If you would like to use these sites at home, please use the following:
Username: Barstow
Password: bulldogs
World Book:
Username: ccpsbaes
Password: media
Thank you.
Mrs. Music
Barstow Bulldogs Love to Read!
The next reading log will go home at the beginning January and will be due on January 31st. A
reading log will not go home for the month of December.
Congratulations to Kindergarten. They had 67% student participation in October. Second place goes
to Third grade with 55% participation.
Different grade levels are receiving different coupons each month. We want to thank our fall
community sponsors: Papa John’s and Adam’s Ribs.
The BAES Turkey Club
We will be borrowing bowling lanes from Lord Calvert Bowl once again through their
Bowlers Ed program! A turkey is a bowling term for three strikes in a row. The term
dates back to before the turn of the 20th century. During Thanksgiving or Christmas
week, the proprietor would present a live turkey to the first person on each team who
scored three consecutive strikes. The term has carried over ever since.
Barstow Elementary Turkey Club winners will receive a token turkey to tie on their
athletic shoe or coat zipper. Students’ names will be posted in the gym on our
Champions Wall.
Barstow Elementary is participating in a very special community service
program to raise funds for the American Heart Association. We’re joining
the fight against our nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers — cardiovascular
disease and stroke.
On Jan. 17th our school will hold a Jump Rope for Heart event. These events are
held at schools nationwide and they not only help students learn about the benefits of
regular physical activity and heart health, but also raise funds to support vital heart and
stroke research as well as educational programs. More information will be coming home
in the Tuesday folders.
In conjunction with the Jump Rope for Heart event we will be learning basic
jumping skills in January. Jumping rope is fun, easy to learn, inexpensive, portable,
burns up to 1,000 calories per hour and tones muscles. Kids love it!
BAES had 530 students participate in an attempt to set a
new Guiness Book of World Records for the most number of
people cup stacking in a single day! We rocked and surpassed the
500,000 person mark set by the World Sport Stacking Association!
Art Room News
This month in Art, Kindergarten will be creating mixed media collages based on the story, Who Likes
Rain? written and illustrated by Wong Herbert Lee. Students will be using curvy lines and spiral lines to
paint puddles. 1st Grade will be using photographs of birds, flowers and animals to create realistic art based
on observation. 2nd Grade will be learning to identify the difference between an organic shape (shapes
from nature) and a geometric shape (math shapes). Students will also use and identify different types of
lines (vertical, horizontal, zigzag, spiral, curvy, parallel, dotted and diagonal). 3rd Grade will be
completing their mixed media seahorse project. Students started by painting an organic seahorse shape and
will be using oil pastels to add creative details. 4th Grade will be creating art in the style of the Fauves, a
group of French artists known for their bright and vibrant paintings. After investigating the designs of
castles from England, Japan, Germany, and the United States (built from 1180 to just a few decades ago) 5th
Grade students will become architects and design their own castle.
As always, the students of Barstow have created many fabulous art projects this month. I am very proud of
everyone’s hard work in Art! Don’t forget to check out our website at
Mrs. Kline
News from the Music Room
Congratulations to the members of the All-County Honors Chorus who performed at the Mary Harrison
Center just before Thanksgiving. It’s wonderful concert featuring an honors group at the elementary,
middle and high school level. We had 12 Barstow students in the elementary chorus plus a lot of Barstow
alumni in the middle and high ensembles. It was a terrific night of music!
Our choruses will perform on December 12th for our annual Winter Holiday Concert at 6:30 in the cafeteria!
The 3rd graders will present “The Reindeer Whisperer!” Our 4th and 5th graders will perform “Dear Santa,”
a musical “tweet.” All chorus members are expected to be at the performance on Thursday, December 12th
dressed in their holiday best!
Any student who is not currently in chorus and wants to join now may sign up to begin in January. See Mrs.
Griese for details!
Kindergarten and 1st grade students have been playing, listening, and singing “high and low” sounds and
“long and short” sounds. The 2nd grade students spent some time playing the different groups of percussion
instruments and continue to look at different symbols in music notation. Recorders are underway in the 3rd,
4th, and 5th grade classes. The 4th and 5th graders are working on earning their recorder karate belts and
enjoying practicing and seeing their progress.
We will be learning and singing some holiday songs. Ask your child to sing their favorite for you!
Mrs. Griese
Counselor’s Corner
Thank you to all of our parents who volunteered and shared their careers with our students! Our 6th Annual
Career Day was a great success!
Here is a brief review of what has been taking place during classroom guidance lessons. . .
 Kindergarten learned about different feeling words to express the many different emotions
they can have in various situations. Students in grades 1 and 2 learned about self-image.
They learned that we all have unique talents and interests that make us special. It is
important to feel good about yourself and the things you do.
 Third graders were introduced to the different behaviors we may encounter -- teasing,
conflict, mean moments, and bullying. They will continue to learn about these behaviors and
how to appropriately handle them in upcoming lessons.
 Fourth graders were introduced to the decision making process, and learned that there are
three important questions to ask when a decision must be made:
1. What will the consequences of this decision be?
2. Do I have enough information?
3. Will this decision make me lose my self-respect?
We will continue addressing these lessons for December and January. Also, this month I have included
ideas and activities that you can do at home with your child to complement what they are learning at school.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Your School Counselor,
Natalie Washington
Working Together for School Success
December 2013
From Your School Counselor
Calvert County Public Schools
Look ahead
Suggest that your
youngster use winter break to get a
head start on the new year. She could
clean out folders and binders or organize her desk, for instance. If she has
a long-term project coming up, she
might start working on it now. Doing
just one small task each day will
make a difference in January.
Mistakes can teach
When you make a mistake, consider
telling your child what happened and
what you learned. Example: “I ran out
of gas today. From now on, I’m going
to refill when there’s a quarter-tank
left.” You’ll show him that everyone
makes mistakes — and encourage him
to see them as learning opportunities.
Calendar gift
A homemade calendar makes a great
gift from your youngster. She could
print blank calendar pages from the
Internet or cut them from an inexpensive calendar. Then, on separate sheets,
have her paint her own picture for
each month. She can staple the pages
together in order and decorate a cover.
Worth quoting
“It’s easier to go down a hill than up
it, but the view is much better at the
top.” Henry Ward Beecher
Q: What gets bigger and bigger the
more you take away from it?
A: A hole!
© 2013 Resources for Educators, a division of CCH Incorporated
Learn as a family
Make this winter memorable
with fun parent-and-child
activities. Try these ideas
that combine family time
with learning.
Read in season
Let your youngster pick
a season, and hold a
read-a-thon based on
his choice. For summer, you could wear
shorts and T-shirts and
lounge on beach towels in
the living room while each family
member reads a beach story. If he picks
fall, you might “camp”— pitch a tent by
draping sheets over chairs, eat s’mores,
and read aloud from an outdoor adventure novel.
Hold how-to nights
Celebrate talents and skills by sharing
them with each other. Take turns giving
lessons on your “specialties.” Your child
can teach everyone how to draw a picture of a dog. Or the carpenter in the
family could demonstrate how to measure and saw wood or use a hammer
or drill. Everyone will learn new skills—
and appreciate the things their family
members know!
Plan a “trip”
Staying home this winter break? Make
geography into an activity, and plan a pretend trip together. Get travel brochures,
or cut pictures of interesting places from
old magazines. Then, find the cities and
countries on a world map, and calculate
the distance from home. Look in library
books or online to find sights to see and
to learn about the climate, language, currency, and food. You could even design
your own brochure for your dream
Show respect
The holiday season is full of opportunities for your
youngster to practice something that is important all
year long — respect! Here are some examples:
● Talk about respect before a get-together. Explain that
she should offer her seat to an adult who is standing.
Also, if your child isn’t used to using titles (“Aunt,”
“Mr.”), discuss this before visiting someone who prefers
them. (“The people you’ll meet like to be called by Mr. or Mrs.”)
● Encourage your youngster to respect other cultures and traditions. If a friend
observes a different holiday, she can wish the person a nice celebration. She might
also point out something they have in common (“We have tons of relatives in
town, too”).♥
Home & School CONNECTION
December 2013 • Page 2
Good study
2. Keep paper and
pencil handy. Suggest
that your youngster make
notes while she studies.
She might jot down
names, dates, or formulas, for example. This
will help her understand
and remember what she
is reading. And if there’s
a part that confuses her,
she can write questions to
ask her teacher.
There’s more to studying than reading
a chapter or reviewing a list of words.
Help your youngster study actively with
these three tips.
1. Begin at the end. If your child has
a textbook chapter to study, she can start
by reading the questions at the back. That
way, she’ll be on the lookout for key facts.
Q: My son doesn’t like getting help for his
learning disability. He’ll even leave test
answers blank instead of taking the extra
time he’s allowed. What should I do?
A: Your child’s
behavior is
kids this
age don’t
want to feel different
from their classmates. First, make sure he
knows what’s included in his learning
plan. Explain that you and his teachers
agreed on the accommodations to help
him learn and do his best work.
Then, suggest that he set goals for
himself so he can feel more in control
of his learning disability. Also, talk to
his teacher. She might have ideas for
encouraging him to use the help he’s
entitled to. For instance, she may know
a successful older student with a learning disability who would be willing to
talk to your son.
Tip: Guide him toward an activity he
can feel good about (sports, chess). That
could boost his self-esteem and make
him feel more confident about accepting
help in school.♥
To provide busy parents with practical ideas
that promote school success, parent involvement,
and more effective parenting.
Resources for Educators,
a division of CCH Incorporated
128 N. Royal Avenue • Front Royal, VA 22630
540-636-4280 • [email protected]
ISSN 1540-5621
© 2013 Resources for Educators, a division of CCH Incorporated
3. Link it to real life. The material will be more meaningful—and easier to remember—if your child sees how it applies
to her life. Say she’s learning about different types of clouds.
Have her spot them in the sky and try to predict what kind of
weather they’ll bring.♥
Work together
Whether your
child is doing a group project or playing Hacky Sack, a team effort is
needed. Everyone’s a winner with
these games that will show him
teamwork in action.
Lower the yardstick. Together, hold a yardstick horizon-
k to the
tally so that everyone has one finger underneath. Then, lower the yardstic
ground — but if anyone’s finger drops away, you have to start over. See
tries it takes to get the yardstick to the floor.
. The first
Pass the ball. Have players lie down, head to toe, in a long hallway
can grab
player holds a ball between his feet and lifts
the ball with his hands. That player places the
overhead to the next person. Begin again if
you use teamwork to move the ball down the line?♥
A grandparent volunteer
Last year when
my mom was in
town for the holidays, she asked if she
could help me with my daughter Emily’s
class party. I checked with
the teacher, and he said
he’d be happy to
have a grandparent
My mother and I
set up the snacks,
and she played a
game with small
groups of kids. The
students also enjoyed
hearing what winter is like where she
lives — she told stories about getting several feet of snow and being stuck inside
for days.
My daughter was proud
to have her grandmother
at school. And my mom
said she liked seeing
Emily’s classroom and
meeting her teacher
and friends. I’ve
already gotten permission from this
year’s teacher for her
to help out again.♥
From Your School Counselors
Recıpes for Success
Calvert County Public Schools
Practical Activities to Help Your Child Succeed
Pick Two
strategy ga
ice with this
ition pract
Spice up add
should ran, crayons
er. Then, he
10 grid on a
draw a 10 x
at touch
0 to 9 in each
Help yo
two boxes th ally).
, not diagon
To play, take
top to bottom
r score, and
er to get you
Add the num xes with your own color
color in the
ing the
ares and add s
all the boxe
r score until
totals to you or no more plays can be
are marked o ur running score on a
ore wins.
aper. High sc
Fill in the B
Refrigerator Poster
Just hang your Recipes poster on
the refrigerator and sneak in an
activity when you have a few
minutes. These fun activities will
help develop school success and
positive behavior. Check off each
box as you complete the “recipe.”
Here’s a fun w
ay to stretch yo
ur child’s
thinking and vo
Ingredients: pa
per, pencil, timer
Together, brains
torm five catego
ries (vegetables,
each player wri
te the categories
dinosaurs, pres
idents). Have
on a piece of pa
minutes. Player
s should fill in
per, and set a ti
five items for ea
mer for three
of choices no on
ch category—tr
e else will com
ying to think
e up with.
When the time
is up, read your
answers out lo
duplicate answ
ud, and cross of
ers. The player
with the most
f any
Idea: Spread ou
ique items left
t Scrabble tiles
upside down,
and choose fiv
e letters. Write
letters on your
game boards—
each entr y has
to start with on
of those letters.
Make New
Playing with w
ords can boost
your youngster’
s reading skills.
Ingredients: ol
d magazines, sc
issors, glue, pape
r, pencil
Have your child
cut a picture fr
paper, and labe
l it with one wor a magazine, glue it to a piece
d. Next, she sh
a letter to make
ould add or su
a new word. Ex
lock. A picture
ples: A picture
of a hook + s =
of a clock – c =
shook. How man
turn into new
y words can sh
words this way
Variation: Older
can add and su
letters from the
word. For instan
fish – f + w =
r place
Let your youngste
d food coloring
several drops of
and add a celery
in a glass of water
eck the celery
stalk. He should ch
ever y few hours. W
happens? The
will change color.
g up
action (water m
through narro
and shows ho
take in water to
© 2013 Resources for Educators, a division of CCH Incorporated • 128 N. Royal Avenue • Front Royal, VA 22630 • 540-636-4280 • [email protected] •
After 36 years
of construction
the Washingto
n Monument w
finished on Dec
to honor the co ber 6, 1884,
untr y’s first
president. Hav
e yo
look for monum ur child
see who is hono ts to
red in
your town. To
about them, sh
e can
read the plaque
s an
look them up in d
books or onlin
PreKindergarten is Working Harder to Get Smarter!
Each week on the front of the homework packet the PreKindergarten families are provided with
an overview of some of the major focuses for the week or skills that we are continuing to work
on at school. This is a way to help keep our PreKindergarten families informed about what we
are doing at school, while, at the same time, it provides information that can be used to help the
children practice more at home. Research shows that when home and school work together as a
team, children do better in school. The homework we send home is not meant to be burdensome.
We hope that the children are finding it fun to do. If your child seems to be frustrated or is not
interested, make it more fun by taking turns—first the child, then the adult---‘my turn, your
turn’. As much as possible, encourage your child to write his own name. Refer to the name card
that we sent home at the beginning of the school year. Give your child LOTS of praise and
encouragement to always work hard. He can do it!
Our first parent workshop went very well. The families who came made several games to help
their children learn more about letters and their sounds and then took them home. We are
hearing from the children that they are, indeed, playing the games their parents made! 
We were able to meet with many of our PreKindergarten families on the parent-teacher
conference day. If you were unable to meet with us, we will be sure to contact you for a
conference on a later date. Feel free to contact us, too. PreKindergarteners will come home with
a report card at the end of the second quarter. This is typically a good time to meet again to
discuss the children’s progress.
With the holidays here, sometimes parents wonder what might be some fun and appropriate
learning games and toys to help their children learn. This list of store-bought gift ideas for your
children for the holidays or birthdays or ‘just because’ occasions might come in handy as you try
to think of the ‘perfect’ gift for your PreKindergartener:
1. Leapfrog toy--Scribble and Write: This toy is a good gift option for those preschoolers
who are interested in writing. The children can trace the lights on the screen to learn how
to write letters, numerals, shapes, and pictures. They can learn upper- and lowercase
letters with step-by-step guidance.
2. Leapfrog toy-- Letter Factory-- phonics and numbers: This toy is designed to help kids
practice phonics and counting by using interactive tiles that talk, teach and sing. It also
allows parents to connect to the online LeapFrog Learning Path for customized learning
skills. Tactile play with the individual alphabet and Phonics Number tiles helps reinforce
the curriculum. The LeapFrog Letter Phonics includes letters A through Z, as well as
numbers 1 through 10. Kids can learn to count — while also learning the ABCs!
3. Board Games: Chutes and Ladders [a counting game], Candy Land [a color recognition and
counting game]; games that encourage cooperation, teamwork, while teaching developmentally
appropriate content—check out the games from the company Peaceable Kingdom [such as Feed
the Woozle, Snug as a Bug in a Rug, and Hoot Owl Hoot!]
4. Puzzles: a variety of puzzles are available at many stores that sell toys. Purchase puzzles that
help with letter, number, and shape identification. Also purchase puzzles about familiar stories
such as Three Little Pigs. The puzzle pieces can be used to retell the stories.
5. Card Games: Uno, Memory, Go Fish [There are a variety of Go Fish and Memory games—
you can find ones that help with letter and number identification.
6. Pillow Pets and small throw blankets: these can be used to provide a comfortable place to sit
and enjoy stories or play games.
7. Binoculars and magnifying lenses: these will help your children explore the world around
them by encouraging them to take a closer look at things.
8. Books: Some of our favorite children’s book authors include Eric Carle, Dr. Seuss, Robert
Munsch [silly stories], nursery rhymes, nonfiction books about seasons, the five senses, letter
identification, and number concepts.
9. Paper, notebooks, markers, crayons, scissors, and glue: Put all this in a fancy bag or box that
can be brought out and used whenever wanted.
10. Playdough, playdough toys, and cookie cutters: Manipulating the playdough helps
strengthen fine motor control. Your child can make letters. You can make each letter of the
alphabet on index cards and then your child can roll out playdough and place it on top of the
11. Outdoor toys: bouncy balls, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and other things to
encourage gross motor movement activities as well as get your children outdoors to enjoy their
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 410.414.3009
Kindergarten is Working Harder to Get Smarter!
Language Arts Theme/Topics: We are beginning our new ELA unit called Caring About
Myself and Others. We will continue to read different types of text, such as the poems, “My
Shadow” by Robert Louis Stevenson and “Learning” by Judith Viorst.
The overarching essential question is: How do I learn about myself and others?
Students will learn about how people age, grow, and change. They will also study about how
family members help and care for each other. The unit will conclude with a study to answer,
“Who are the people in my school and how do they help me and others?”
Phonemic Awareness lessons will continue to focus on rhyming, beginning sound fluency,
blending onset and rime, identifying final sounds, segmenting onset rime, substituting beginning
sounds and adding/deleting sounds. We will begin to focus on medial sounds in words.
Math Topics: We will concentrate on counting to 50, recognizing, and representing numbers 010. We work on understanding ‘one more’ or ‘one less’, “more than’, ‘less than’, before’, ‘after’
and ‘in between’. We will continue to think about plane shapes, solid shapes, and begin to think
about measurement. Also, we will continue to collect data and display it in various ways.
Our daily Calendar Math has us counting to 30/31 monthly as we count the days in each month.
We are keeping track of the number of school days in two ways—by collecting paperclips,
grouping them into tens, and recounting everyday, and by making a counting chain, recounting
the number of school days we’ve had so far. We have a collection of things each month that
helps us learn to group things by tens, too. We are discussing the pattern that continues each day
as we add the next number to the calendar, and we are thinking about the words, “yesterday’,
‘today’ and ‘tomorrow.’ The children are enjoying these calendar time activities.
Social Studies and Science Topics: Our Social Studies ties into our language arts theme as we
learn about roles, rights, and responsibilities of being a member of a family and school; discuss
and demonstrate appropriate social skills (taking turn, compromising, communication); and learn
about different family customs and traditions, touching on the December holidays. In Science
we will continue our discussions about weather (this will be a year-long topic) and learn about
rocks, water, soil and sound.
First Grade is Working Harder to Get Smarter!
We hope all of our first grade families had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Over the next several
weeks we will be busy blending, segmenting and counting phonemes. We will be learning many new phonics
skills, so please keep reading over the holidays to keep practicing what we know! Please make sure your
child is working nightly in their sight word folder.
Initial blends with 3 sounds (spr, str, scr, spl)
The sounds ing, ang, ong, ung
The sounds ink, ank, onk, unk
Asking and telling sentences
Using I and me in sentences
Spell sight words correctly in writing
Proper formation of letters and numbers
Good spacing
Appropriate use of capitals and lowercase letters
In math, we will work with the following topics during the second marking period:
Counting to 120 starting at number other than 1
Understanding place value up to 100 and figuring out 10 more/less than a given number
Addition and subtraction to 10
In Science we are studying weather.
We are looking at the day to day weather, working with
thermometers and learning about different types of clouds.
Social Studies
Elements of a map
Goods and services
Students should bring a coat and other winter accessories to school each day!
Please label your child’s clothing items so they can be returned if lost.
Remember to read nightly!
2nd Grade Newsletter
December 2013
January 2014
Throughout the year in second grade, students are
gaining an understanding of numbers and place value.
There is very little pencil and paper computation.
The focus is on students having a deeper
understanding through the use of manipulatives.
Understanding Place Value to 250
English and Language Arts
Integrated English Language Arts Unit
Second graders will be exploring the county wide, 2nd
grade essential question,“ What makes a
community?” through the end of the 2nd marking
period. We will be defining the word community,
looking at similarities and differences, and
discovering if certain animals and insects live in
Students will be reviewing place value concepts with
larger numbers. Students will continue to read and
write numbers to 250 using base ten blocks, number
names, and expanded formation.
Addition and Subtraction of 2-Digit Numbers
within 100
Students will use addition and subtraction within 100
to solve one and two-step problems. Students will
use a variety of hands-on manipulatives such as snap
cubes, base ten blocks, empty number lines, ten
Writing Complete Sentences
Addition and Subtraction Strategies to 20
frames, and a hundreds chart.
Throughout the 2nd quarter, we will be using quick
writes on a daily basis to reflect on our community
lessons and activities.
We are still studying nouns and verbs and will be
moving to common and proper nouns later this
quarter. Also, we will be comparing sentence types,
such as declarative, interrogative, exclamatory and
command sentences.
We continue to review our math strategies (Making
10, Counting On, Counting Back, and Doubles). This
marking period we will explore these strategies while
Students will continue to identify coins as well as
add combinations of various coins.
Cursive Writing
We will begin introducing our 2 graders to cursive
writing. Students will be emerged in structured
lessons that will guide them on the correct
Angles and faces of two dimensional objects will be
letter/line formation. Although your support is
appreciated, please do not teach your child cursive
or let your child practice words or letters that we
have not introduced.
What can you do to help your student in Math?
Practice math facts daily
Review strategies with your child
Allow your child to count change and participate
in purchases.
Social Studies
We will continue our unit on Citizens in the Community . This unit
correlates with our new ELA unit titled Communities. In this unit
students learn about Political Science and will be learning about
voting, and elections. Another interesting topic that is featured
is People of the Nation & World. Here students will learn about
different cultures, traditions and customs of our Nation and
World. Geography will be introduced and students will be able to
identify properties of urban, suburban and rural communities.
During these nine weeks in Science we will finish up with Matter, discuss Life Cycles, and also begin our
exciting unit on the sky, entitled, Sky High. For the Sky High Unit, your child will receive a packet and
will need to observe the moon for 20 days. Because of the cycle of the moon, this packet will need to be
started the first week in January (when students are on Winter Break). Some awesome websites for
this unit are:
*Students will record their observations about the moon directly in their packet. Make sure you are
facing South. If it is cloudy or raining just write that weather condition in the observation block.
The Maryland Science Center
Field Trip
Since we could not reschedule our trip to Accokeek Colonial Farm, we
planned this one. Our second grade will be visiting the Maryland Science
Center on Wednesday, December 11, 2013. We will depart from Barstow
at 8:15 a.m. and return at 4:15 p.m. This is an extended day trip;
therefore, students will need to arrive at 8:00 a.m. and will need
someone to pick them up at 4:15 from school. Students will need bagged
lunches, comfy shoes, and appropriate dress for the season. This is a
very fun field trip with many hands-on experiences.
Parent Conferences
It was great to see so many parents and discuss your child’s academic success. Please
continue to work with you child at home daily with reading and math. Don’t forget, your
child can go on each day to practice math fact fluency.
Third Grade is Working Harder to Get Smarter!
The holidays are quickly approaching. It’s a great time to share traditions your
family celebrates with others. In reading, third graders will focus on identifying
topics, main ideas, and supporting details from non-fiction texts as they read. We
will also focus on making inferences and use illustrations, photos, maps, and
diagrams to better understand what we read. We have finished reading The
Dolphin Tale. We will continue our focus on relationships by reading Winter’s Tail:
How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again. Students will compare and
contrast the two texts. We will then read Amazing Grace to further our study of
relationships among characters. We will also identify character traits by
observing behaviors, actions and words characters use.
The cold weather is definitely here! Please remind your child to wear a heavy
coat, gloves, hat, and scarf to school. Recess can be very cold without the proper
gear to keep your child warm. We are very proud of our students and all of their
accomplishments so far this year. Thank you for your continued support!
NAME: ________________________________________
STUDENT’S NAME: _____________________________
# ORDERED: ____________________________________
Ornaments cost $12.00 each. Please make checks payable to BAES.
Fourth Grade is Working Harder to Get Smarter!
Reading/Language Arts
• We have begun our “Heroes” unit!
• Your child will be reading and learning about many different heroes, both fictional and real.
• We will be reading the novel Shiloh.
• Students will know how to compare fractions, find equivalent fractions, add and subtract fractions,
and decompose fractions.
• Students will know how to model visually or use fraction bars to explain answers.
• Two websites that have virtual fractions bars are and
• Adaptations is our new unit.
• During this unit, we will focus on learning how the differences between organisms help them survive
and thrive. We will also focus on how the environment in which the animal lives determine the
types of adaptations necessary for that organism to be successful.
Social Studies
• The first people of Maryland – the Eastern Woodland Indians
How you can help:
• Discuss the reading topics while reading a book or watching a show
• Practice fact fluency with multiplication and division daily
Upcoming Events
*Independent reading records are due the first first day of every week.
*Math homework is due every Friday.
*Chespax trips: Criss – 12/6, White – 12/9, and Bronson – 12/10
Fifth Grade is Working Harder to Get Smarter!
Can you believe how fast time is flying by? We are moving right along in our curriculum
despite all of the other obligations and responsibilities we have as fifth graders, parents and teachers.
Thanks so much, parents, for your continued support at home with your child’s academics. Please keep
working with your child and encouraging a good attitude, wise decisions and good study habits.
In Math, we continue to work on our Geometry unit where we are calculating perimeter and area,
and identifying solid and plane shapes based on their attributes. Fifth graders are also working with
numbers in a variety of ways: prime or composite, identifying the factors and multiples of given
numbers, and determining divisibility based on divisibility rules. Then, we will be going back to
division, but this time, we’ll be using 2-digit divisors. It would be really helpful if you could review
division at home with your child using 1-digit divisors. Thanks in advance! The next Benchmark will
take place Dec. 16-17.
In Science, we are working on our How Far, How Fast unit. The kids love this unit! They
explore different aspects of gravity and weight and then apply what they learn to speed. We will also be
distinguishing between three types of motion: uniform, variable and periodic. This unit also focuses on
forces, energy, and friction. Our next unit will be Physical and Chemical Changes. The 2nd Benchmark
will take place Jan. 14-15.
In Reading and Language Arts, we are reading Give Me Liberty by L.M. Elliot. This is our first
Common Core Unit. We will be spending the Second Quarter reading the book in class and studying it
closely through large and small group discussions, graphic organizers and written responses. Students
will be fully engaged and learn several new ways to approach a reading text to achieve a broader
In Social Studies, we are studying the Powhattan Indians as an Eastern Woodland group that are
native to our own Maryland. Students are learning how the Powhattan villages worked as a system to be
productive in their time. In each of our classes, we have been able to study through a hands-on learning
experience with a Traveling Trunk from Jefferson Patterson Park. 5th Graders have been able to see,
touch and examine arrow heads, clay pots, woven baskets, animal hides, and stone tools that were used
by the Eastern Woodland Tribes hundreds of years ago. Special thanks goes out to the PTA for
sponsoring the Traveling Trunk for our classes!
Dates to remember:
 Dec. 6th Holiday Festival (fundraiser for West River; your help is required)
 Jan. 30th Learning Fair
Dear Barstow Family,
It is so hard to believe that we just had Thanksgiving and that Winter Recess will be here in a few short weeks. Even though
this is a very exciting time of year, our students have been focused and working very hard in preparation for upcoming Reading,
Math, and Science Assessments. Below is a schedule of assessments for December and January.
Math NST 2
Math NST 1
Math Benchmark 2
ELA Benchmark 2
ELA DIBELS--Some students
ELA DIBELS--All students
ELA Literacy Assessment 2
ELA Quarterly Literacy Assessment 2
Science Benchmark 1
Science Benchmark 2
Grade Level
K, 1, 2
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
3, 4, 5
Grade Level
4, 5
1, 2
Pre-K, K
4, 5
Our students are really enjoying being rewarded through our PBIS reward system. So far this year, students have earned 261
nontangible rewards and 175 tangible rewards. Additionally, 73 Positive Behavior Referrals have been presented to students
from a Barstow Elementary Staff member!! We are so proud of our hard working students!
With all of the positive things going on in our building, we have noticed a decrease in negative behavior this year, and we are
hopeful that this trend continues!
Mark your calendar, as our Staff vs. Student (5th Graders) basketball game is scheduled for Thursday, March 20, 2014 at
Calvert Middle School at 6PM. This event is our only PBIS fundraiser this year, so please come out and join in the fun. There
will be pizza, baked goods, and beverages available for purchase. Basketball Players and Cheerleaders will attend the event for
free. Since it is a fundraiser, fans 16 years of age or older will be asked to donate $2.00 to enter and youth under 16 years of
age will be asked to donate $1.00.
Things to remember:
Check out Lost and Found
Label your child’s belongings to that they can be returned
Inform the office of any phone number or address changes
I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season, and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Please feel free to contact me if you
have any questions or need assistance.
Brock Fulton
Dear Barstow Families,
This time of year always causes me reflect on what I have to be thankful for at our beautiful Barstow
Elementary School. We are in our 6th school year and our very first kindergarten class are now 5th graders!
Wow- how time flies! I’m so excited to share some highlights since August!
End Hunger Food Drive – As of November 4th, BAES students had brought in 180.5 pounds of food to
donate to the local food pantries! Since the official pick-up date, donations have continued to come and we
make sure the food pantries receive all of them! Barstow Bulldogs really care!
Student Mentors – We have 15 folks from the community who have volunteered at least one hour each week
to mentor several of our BAES students. The mentors have completed the volunteer process, been
fingerprinted and completed a training with Ms. Washington, our counselor. We greatly appreciate the gift of
time these community members are giving to our students. If you can volunteer an hour a week to mentor a
BAES student, please contact Ms. Washington.
Thanksgiving Dinners – Three local organizations are donating 18 Thanksgiving dinners to be distributed to
BAES families. We are so excited to be partnering with members of our community to help provide for our
students and their families.
Career Day Volunteers- This year’s career day (November 20th) was the best ever! Many thanks to SO many
parent and community volunteers who volunteered for the afternoon to share their career or hobby. The
classrooms were filled with coaches, dental hygienists, police from various agencies, veterinarians,
electricians, physical therapists, Armed Forces, landscapers and many more! A very big thank you from
World Cup Stacking Participants – Did you know BAES students helped to break a world record? On
November 14th, our students went to the gymnasium during resource time and participated in the world record
attempt to break last year’s record of 483,658 cup stackers! Over 2,800 school and other organizations
representing 36 countries from around the world registered to participate in this year’s stacking event! Many
thanks to Ms. Love and Ms. Cox for coordinating and having us participate in this world record!
Families – Many thanks to the huge number of parents that attended parent–teacher conferences and our
annual American Education Week visitation day! It is wonderful to see so many of you involved in your
child(ren)’s education. We also LOVE the huge turnout and support at all of our PTA events. Our PTA works
really hard to sponsor so many family events!
Giant, Safeway, Food Lion – Many thanks for registering your Giant, Safeway and Food Lion shopping
cards with BAES. Last year, we raised $2,639.78 from your grocery shopping trips! Those funds are used for
a variety of important resources including special grade level projects, student incentives, school banners,
classroom materials, guidance materials and much, much more! In case you haven’t signed up you can do the
a.) Safeway - eScrip* is a fundraising program where families can sign up and support the school of their
choice by simply shopping at Safeway with their Safeway Club Card. Sign up at using school #
b.) Giant - Log on to to register online using school #05810. After you register
your card, each shopping trip at Giant using your GIANT CARD earns CASH for our school.
c.) Food Lion - Link an MVP Card to your school to help obtain equipment and supplies for our classrooms
when you buy listed items. Sign up at under school # 211390 and go to MVP Rewards.
You can also invite friends and family to link their grocery cards to Barstow Elementary!
We hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Please contact me with any questions, concerns or ideas!
Donna House 