We made it!  We survived what is most likely the craziest school year EVER!  We are so proud of your children and their persistence, patience and kindness during this unusual time.  We have the BEST fourth graders and parents!  Please be sure to keep your child reading and playing some educational games over the summer.  I highly recommend Lexia, TrueFlix and Time For Kids!  I will post thelink to resources on their Google Classroom and also below. Be sure to check it out!

    4th-5th Resources

    You will be receiving an email from me on June 10th at about 3:00 pm with your child's "Feedback Form" which is the county's answer to an end of year report card.  Remember you can also log in to your child's Power School account and view their 3rd quarter report card.  I highly recommend you do this as these more specifically tell you where you child was when regular school concluded.  

    Praying and hoping you all have a wonderful summer.  Stay safe and keep your fingers crossed for a return to normal school come August!  I can't wait for my hugs as they strut down to their new 5th grade classrooms!  Be sure to keep in touch over the summer!




    We are officially half way throughthe Reading Olympics!  I totaled students minutes today (unless they forgot to bring it to me) so they'd have an idea how far along they are.  Please double check my math! Remember to earn a medal you'd need:

    Bronze: 5 different genres AND 700 or more minutes

    Silver: 7 different genres AND 900 or more minuites

    Gold: 9 differnet genres AND 1200 or more minutes

    They're doing amazingly well and I'm proud of their excitement and efforts!  Keep up the awesome job everyone!  If you haven't yet taken a picture of their Reading Log, I'd recommend you do that, just in case they lose it.  I'd hate for them to lose all those minutes!  We are working with administration on a date for the Awards Ceremony and will get that to you soon.  FYI it will likely be during the day.

    Several students' earbuds/headphones have gotten broken or lost.  I tried to email parents today but am not sure I got everyone.  Please ask your child what the status of this is, and whether or not they are currently AT SCHOOL! :)

    I'd welcome donations of the following items as we are out or close to it: hand sanitizer, cheap earbuds/headphones (I allow students to buy them from me with their tickets), boxes of tissues.  Thanks!

    As you know this is the end of the 3rd quarter.  Please note that a few students still have not finished up their research for their Artist Research Project.  Students should be about finished with their rough drafts by now, and we are working on partner reviews, revising, proofreading and (by Wednesday), publishing.  If your child is behind, PLEASE have them work on this at home.  I've sent several emails and ask students to work on this at home if they are behind, and some have (THANKS!) but a few have not.  Thanks so much for your help on this important assignment.  I can't wait to see the final products!

    Remember Monday, March 16th is a Teacher Workday and no school for students.  Be sure to check out the Curriculum Updates page of this webpage for information on our lessons/learning this week. Have a wodnerful week and enjoy the evening daylight and warmer temps!


    We had a wonderful week after our snow day!  Students are working hard and plugging right along during this LONG stretch of school.  I know they are tired (we are too!) and ready for a break. Hopefully the Reading Olympics challenge is energizing them to keep reading at least!  I have definately noticed increased excitement at school.  We are now 1/3 of the way through the challenge.  Students going for GOLD need to read 1,200 minutes, which means they should be at about 400 minutes by now.  They also need to read from ALL 9 GENRES!  I'm happy to help them find books in a specific genre--just have them come and ask me.  Remember to get a medal, students need not only the minutes but also the number of genres.  Thanks to all parents for helping your child keep track of books and minutes read for homework on the blue/purple READING OLYMPICS READING LOG!  Well done! Please help your child remember thay are to read 30 minutes a night, no matter how many minutes they've already read in class that day.  Thanks so much for your help and support! We will notify you soon about the date for the Awards Ceremony in case you'd like to attend!

    We will celebrate READ ACROSS AMERICA next week instead of this week (Media Specialist Mrs. Ennis has Battle of the Books this week and will be off campus.)  Students can dress up each day:

    Monday 3/9: Pajama Day

    Tuesday 3/10: Western Wear

    Wednesday: 3/11: Hat Day

    Thursday 3/12: Team Jersey Day* (Note this is also picture day so students can bring a change of clothes.  More details when I know what time our pictures are being taken)

    Friday 3/13: Powhatan Pride Day

    FYI I have moved the Spelling Test for List #3 to Friday 3/13 to allow students more time to understand when to use each of their homophones. Please remind them that they need to know how to spell AND when/how to use each word.  Their Google Classroom has a presentation with examples and pictures to help.  I highly recommend one of their spelling activities for this week be to write sentences to go with their words! Two spelling activities due to me on Friday.

    Finally, we have been super busy at school between our reading series, Reading Olympics, research projects, and SS. I do realize it is quite a bit to keep up with.  I allowed extra time during class last week to make up and finish incomplete work.  If your child was working on that, they may not be as far along in their artist research as they should be.  Please be sure to ask them about this and allow them to use a computer or other device at home to finish up their research on Monday or Tuesday night.  Please note that they have an artist research project for me, as well as an animal research project for Mrs. Besel. LMK if you have any questions.  

    We only have 2 weeks left until the end of the 3rd quarter, then about 18 days of instruction left until Spring Break.  After Spring Break, we have about 4 weeks until End of Grade tests.  We have covered almost all of our reading standards at this point, but will be spending time using more difficult text and increasing the rigor of the questions. We will also be doing more Social Studies and grammar/language. We are pushing them hard, we know.  Please remember that when they are out (for whatever reason), they do miss a great deal and makeup assignments will usually need to be completed at home without parent assistanace in order for them to catch up. We know sports schedules are picking up, so please plan accordingly.

    Finally, look for a green half sheet of paper gonig home on Tuesday that shows how much money is due for the final installment of the field trip to Camp Don Lee.  LMK if you have questions or if you think I made a mistake in my record-keeping!

    Thanks parents!  Be sure to visit the Curriculum Updates section fo our webpage for more details on our lessons/learning this week.  Have a wonderful week!




    I hope you all enjoyed our bonus time off last week!  We were all ready for a little break, and I'm thrilled that many students chose to read for the Reading Olympics during their extra time!  Well done!  Just a reminder that homework minutes should completed at home each night regardless of how many minutes were read at school.  Minutes should be recorded on their Reading Olympics Minutes Log and will be handed in each Friday so I can check off homework. Students will also be totaling their minutes each week to see how they're progressing towards their goal.  So far this has been exciting and motivational for students!  I hope you're seeing hte excitement at home as well!  Please LMK if you have any questions. 

    We have a hectic week at school finishing up what we didn't get to last week, and working on our Artist Research Projects.  We will also be spending time reviewing passages and questions from the last NC Check In. We will focus on the passage that the most children has difficulties with (a scientific passage about energy) and progressing to other passages as time allows.  Results will be going home in the Tuesday folder, but please remember that we don't expect students to have mastered all standards yet!  This is primarily a teaching tool for teachers to help prioritize what needs more coverage, as well as a practice tool for students about taking tests online.  LMK if you have questions.

    Have a wonderful week! 



    Whew!  We had an awesome but hectic week!  Thank you to all families who were able to come to the Family Engagement activity on Thursday!  We had a wonderful turn out, and hopefully you were able to experience some of what we expect students to do while reading, as well as the process of working through a STEM activity.  We appreciate your support!  We also understand that some parents cannot attend because of work or other commitments!  FYI, we spent time working on reading a non-fiction text and practicing our Reading-Thinking Strategies while reading.  These are criticial in helping us comprehend and think about text while reading!  We then answered cause/effect questions about what we read.  For example, Why did high schoolers build snow sculptures in Sapporo, Japan in 1950? What happened as a result of roads not getting plowed when Bombardier was a boy? True/False: Bombardier made toys for his siblings, so he tinkered with anything mechanical. True/False: Bombardier loved to tinker with anything mechanical because he made toys for his siblings. Families also worked on creating a foil skier that would travel down the "slope" the fastest. Feel free to reach out if you need more information! 

    We were overwhelmed with the LOVE and kindness we received on Valentine's Day!  Thank you all for your sweet cards, gifts, and other sweet gestures.  We are so very fortunate to be a part of such a caring and compassionate group of children and parents. Students had fun with our V Day contest as well!

    Students are PUMPED UP about the READING OLYMPICS, which started on Monday and goes through March 27th.  Remember, in order to earn a medal students must meet both the genre requirements (a certain number of books from different genres or areas), as well as the minutes.  Please help your child be signing their READING LOG at night and helping them determine genre before starting a book so they don't read the same genre by accident.  For the next 6 weeks only, minutes read should be recorded on the READING OLYMPICS READING LOG. Finally, I have asked students not to write anything on their GENRE LIST until they are finished with a book and it has been approved by me.  They are EXCITED about these medals!  Cannot wait to see what they will achieve!

    Going home in all Tuesday folders today is a note from me with information about any missing assignments your child may have.  EVERYONE WILL GET A SHEET, regardless of whether or not they are missing anything (We've had issues with students showing parents notes about missing work, so we are asking everyone to look for and sign this sheet!). I will be at school at 7:45 Thursday for any students who would like to come early and work on their late or missing work.  If your child has had multiple absences (as may have due to illness), then they will have extra time to complete, but I'd like them to be working a bit extra at home to try to wrap this up before they get even more behind.  LMK if you have questions!

    Finally, going home in Tuesday folders is a note about PTA sponsored LOLI-GRAMS!  Your child can purchase a LOLI-GRAM (lollipop and note written by them) for a friend for 50 cents.  Delivery will be on Friday!  Let's help make this event fun and a valuable fundraiser for our school!

    Be sure to check out the Curriculum Updates section for what we'll be working on this week.  Have an awesome week!



    We hope everyone survived the storms last week with no damage! We are proud that the students (and teachers!) survived Friday!  It started out a bit crazy but students did a great job settling down and made it a productive day.  Way to go!

    The Reading Olympics information will be going home in this week's Tuesday folders and will officially begin on February 17th!  The goal of the Reading Olympics is for students to experience a variety of genres (types of books) and hopefully also a renewed desire to read more than ever! Students will keep a Reading Olympics Reading Log to track minutes and genres and can earn bronze, silver and gold medals for their efforts!  You can help by discussing and setting a goal with your child, and by ensuring they have books to read! Remember they ARE allowed to borrow/check out books from our classroom library but there are a few genres for which I don't have a huge selection (ie: poetry). The Reading Log will not go home until Day 1 of the challenge, Feb 17th and in order to be counted towards the challenges, all the books should be started on or after Feb 17th.  This has traditionally been a wildly successful event for our readers, and we are excited to see what this amazing group of students will accomplish!

    The first spelling test was a success! A new list to go along with the new rule will go home tomorrow.  Our rule this time with be dropping a silent -e when adding a vowel ending (ie: bake --> baking) but not dropping the -e for a consonant ending (hope + ful = hopeful). Please help your child develop good study habits early by ensuring at least 2 practice activities are completed by Friday.  This test will be on Friday 2/21. The presentation will be posted on your child's Google Classroom if you'd like to help them review.

    This Thursday, Feb 13th will be our third and final Family Engagement Day!  We have planned an hour of fun lessons involving reading AND science that you won't want to miss!  The event runs from 12:30-1:30 and we hope to see you there!

    Thank you to parents for keeping us informed when your child is out, particularly when ill.  There is so much going around and knowing what our classmates are dealing with helps us keep an eye on other students and their symptoms.  Please help us by reminding your child that they are to come to each of us when they return to ask for missing assignments.  We do try to keep on top of absences and missing work, but it has been a challenge lately with kids coming and going when sick in the middle of the day.  It is the student's responsibility to come see us about what they missed while gone.  For example, if they were out on Monday when the spelling lesson was introduced, but they were present the rest of the week while I talked about and reviewed this spelling lesson, they shouldn't tell me Friday that they didn't do the homework because "You never game me the list." Thanks so much for helping us instill these responsible behaviors in students now. Thank you for not sending kids to school when sick. We know that is tough when a child is feeling better, but we do appreciate your waiting 24 hours until they are fever free to try to help stop the spread.  Hopefully these illnesses will be gone soon!

    Be sure to check out the Curriculum Updates section of this webpage for details of what we will be learning about this week.  Have a wonderful week!




    We hope you'll be able to join us tonight for the PTA sponsored MOVIE NIGHT!  The fun begins at 6:30 and the movie is HAPPY FEET!  Bring a drink and blanket/towel to sit on.  PTA will provide popcorn.  Please remember parents must stay with their children--this is not a drop off event.  Hope to see you there!

    We are happy to report Kenadie is home from the hospital and doing wonderfully!  She still needs time to recover fully, however, and the family could certainly use continued prayers, well wishes, and even help with meals while they help her.  if you're interested in providing a meal, please go to: 

    Kenadie Meal Sign Up

    Students took the Mid-Year MAP tests for Reading and Math this week!  I was very impressed with their hard work and perseverance!  Most made notes while reading and it paid off!  I'm pleased with almost all results! I'm meeting with students individually Friday and next week to share with them their results.  I'm not sure when official results go home but will let you know.

    Be on the lookout for information coming on Tuesday about how we will be handling spelling.  Students will have homework to complete each week, in addition to their reading homework.

    Be sure to check out the "Curriculum Updates" section for information about what we'll learning. Have a great long weekend (No School Monday!)  



    We had an awesome week back to school! Students worked hard and were excited to see their friends! 

    Thank you to all families who donated a card or small toy/gift/book/etc for our friend who had brain surgery. We are eager to share these sweet gestures with Kenadie this afternoon and know she will surely feel LOVED!  We can't thank you enough for your thoughtfulness! We are blessed to be in a school community where families look out for each other!

    I'm sure you've seen some of the press about JoCo Schools lately.  It's been a bit crazy! Please know that for your child, nothing has changed.  They are the reason we are here and they will continue to be our #1 priority.  No matter what else is happening, you can have faith that your child is being loved, cared for, nurtured, supported, and pushed to do their best while at school! 

    We will start Spelling next week. Students will be introduced to a certain "rule" or spelling pattern on Mondaysand should expain this spelling pattern to you, as well as practice at least 2 nights.  Spelling activities/options will be sent home, but your child can feel free to do whatever they feel helps them learn best.  Remember the goal is for students to apply these spelling rules/patterns to other words, so as part of their Quick Check on Fridays, they will need to be able to explain the rule and also apply it to a couple of words that are not on their spelling list.  More information will go home on Tuesday of next week since we don't have school on Monday. Please be on the lookout and be sure to ask your child about spelling procedures!

    Going home in this week's Tuesday folder is a flyer for PTA sponsored Movie Night on Friday 1/17! Bring a drink and PTA will provide popcorn! Hope to see you there!

    Be sure to check out "Curriculum Updates" for information about what we will be learning this week. Have a great one!



    Welcome back and Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful and restful break!  I enjoyed reading, baking, binge-watching some Netflix shows, and using some of my many gifts from you wonderful families over break.  Your kindness and generosity overwhelms me.  Thank you!  

    We are eager to start off the second half of fourth grade!  Expectations will continue to increase as they year progresses.  Students weekly homework expectation is 30-45 minutes reading each night.  We will also occasionally have extra Lexia homework, as well as spelling.  More information coming next week.  Please use this new year as an opportunity to help your child recommit to school so we can finish the year STRONG! Homework for this week includes setting an academic goal for themselves and identifying 3 specific action steps they can take to make their goal happen.  Please help them reflect on an appropriate goal and complete this homework!

    Several mid-year tests will be taking place in January, and second quarter report cards go home on January 10th.  Let's get ready for an amazing January!!  Be sure to visit the "What We're Doing/Curriculum Updates" section of my webpage for details on what we will be working on. Have a great week!



    We had a busy but fun week and even survived FRIDAY the 13th two weeks before Christmas, with a full moon AND rainy day! Whew! Thank you to everyone who donated pie, cookies, or paper products for our compare/contrast writing activity this past week.  Students were excited and grateful!

    We are looking forward to sharing our writing with you this Wednesday 12-18 from 12:30-1:30!  Students will read two pieces of informational writing, and then you will get a chance to read a set of directions they've written and try to create a special craft! It will be a great time!

    We will be busy learning next week, but plan to squeeze in some fun as well!  Here's a schedule:

    Monday: Crazy Hat or Hair Day

    Tuesday: Ugly Christmas Sweater

    Wednesday: Wear red/green; Author's Tea

    Thursday: Grinch Day (wear something Grinch related or light green)

    Friday: Pajamas, Movie and Popcorn

    Be sure to check out "What We're Doing" for more information on other lessons for next week.  Remember Friday is Early Dismissal, so students will be released starting at 1:30.  

    Wishing each of you a blessed, relaxing and safe break!  We will miss our little friends but know they are ready for a break!  We look forward to seeing everyone back on January 6th!


    We are in the home stretch now!  Please speak to your children about the importance of finishing the quarter strong!  We have been extremely busy between doing extra writing to share at our Author's Tea and ensuring we have enough work for each standard of our report card.  Students don't have time to waste, yet some are doing just that, especially first thing in the morning. I know they are ready for break and we are almost there!  Thanks for your help!

    Speaking of being slammed, I am asking students to do their Reflect & Correct for Quick Check #5 this week for homework.  They will receive their corrected paper Tuesday in class and return it by Friday.  I promise this won't be a regular thing.  If your child doesn't have a pink/green paper attached to their Quick Check #5, they don't have to do anything except get it signed and returned.

    Thanks to those who signed up to bring pie, cookies, etc on Tuesday for our fun compare/contrast writing activity! Students are very excited!  I appreciate your help!

    The Vendor Fair was amazing!  Thank you to all who came out to support our vendors and school.  I spent way too much money but was able to get some special Christmas gifts!  We hope you enjoyed the event if you were able to make it.

    Don't forget about the Author's Tea on Wednesday 12018 from 12:30-1:30.  It will be FUN!

    Finally, if you'd like to order books from Scholastic on the sly, please just LMK so I will submit the order right away and also won't send the books home with your child.  Remember books make great stocking stuffers!

    Be sure to check out the Curriculum Updates section for what we're doing this week.  Have a fabulous week!


    Welcome Back!  I hope you all had a wonderful break!  We have a very busy few weeks coming up!  In addition to preparing for the holidays, we will be hosting our second Family Engagment Day and wrapping up the second quarter.  Here's what you need to know:

    • Tuesday 12-3 is Family Shopping Time at the Book Fair!  You can shop with your child starting at 4:15, then attend the Strings Concert from 6:00-6:30 and Glee Club/Chorus Winter Concert from 6:30-7:00.  It will be a fun night!  Be sure to visit Mrs. Besel and myself in the Book Fair!
    • Saturday 12-7 from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm, our PTA is hosting the VENDOR FAIR!  This will be an amazing event, with all kinds of vendors selling different products, and Pottery Camp hosting an ornament painting area for kids!  The Book Fair will also be open during these hours. This is an excellent chance to support our PTA/school while also knocking out some holiday shopping!  I will be here early to help set up and hope to see you when the doors open at 11!
    • Wednesday 12-18 is our second Family Engagement Day, with fourth grade families invited to an Author's Tea from 12:30-1:30! You will have a chance to read several selections your child has written, and then compose something special with them together.  It's going to be a wonderful event and we hope to see you there!
    • Friday 12-20 is the end of the 2nd quarter and EARLY DISMISSAL


    Our "class shopping time" for the Book Fair is this Thursday 12-5 from 2;45-3:05.  Feel free to send money in an envelope or baggie with your child's name and labeled BOOK FAIR (so we don't think it's for cafeteria).  I ENCOURAGE YOU TO WRITE A BRIEF NOTE WITH WHAT YOU ALLOW YOUR CHILD TO GET. For example, they should get 3 books before spending any money on the "extras" such as bookmarks, cool pens, posters, etc. I always encourage books first, but it would help tremendously if your note laid out exactly what they can spend their money on.

    Speaking of books, remember you can go to www.scholastic.com and order books on the sly for your child for the holidays.  Use our class code MFRND and shoot me a quick email or send a note saying it's a secret so i don't accidentally send them home with your child.  I'll let you know when they arrive and we can make a plan for pick up. I'm happy to make recommendations if needed!

    We need your help in order to make one of our writing assignments more fun!  We will be comparing and contrasting apple or pumpkin pie to frosted sugar cookies.  I am going to send out a google doc with sign up available for items needed for this day.  Please sign up if you can, and plan to send to school with your child on Tuesday 12/10! Thanks for your help.  More information about other lessons and fun activities will be coming soon--we didn't want to overwhelm you on a Monday!

    Be sure to check out the "Curriculum Updates" section of this webpage for more info about our learning and goals this week.  Make it a great week!



    We have a busy week ahead!  Progress Report go home on Tuesday.  Please take out and look over the grades with your child, then sign and return the envelope.  Also going home in the envelope are your child's results for the first NC Check In.  Remember that students haven't been exposed to all the concepts that were tested yet, but for reading, they have done several.  I woulld love to see students answering 60% or more correctly right now, then increase by 10% each quarter so that by the end of the year they are getting 90% or more of the questions correct. This is a state test, but it isn't a"high stakes" test like the EOG.  We teachers use these results to help us know which standards the children are doing well on and which need more practice.  We pull up the actual NC Check In passages and go through questions together so that they will better understand. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to let me know.

    We hope many of you will be able to join us this Thursday between 12:30-1:30 for our first Family Engagement Day!  See the yellow flyer going home today, and please RSVP if you are able.  This will help ensure we are prepared and ready for all our visitors!  We look forward to seeing you there!  

    I have seen a huge improvment with reading homework completion since implementing extra homework for those not done.  Thanks to all parents for helping their child remember the expectations and helping them plan ahead to ensure homework is completed.  Great job!

    Several fun PTA and school sponsored events are coming up in the next few weeks, so be sure to check out the calendar on the lower right side of this page.  Also check out the "Curriculum Updates" section of my webpage for more information on what we will be covering this week and the two days of next week.

    Finally, remeber that we will be on Thanksgiving Break starting Wednesday, November 27th. We will return to school the following Monday.  Wishing you all a wonderful break full of relaxation, family, fun and good food!  


    There is no school on Monday due to Veteran's Day.  Thank you to all our amazing veterans out there who have bravely served in order to keep our country and it's citizens safe.  We owe you a debt we can never fully pay.  We appreciate your sacrifices. Students will be learning more about Veteran's Day on Tuesday, and also plan on making holiday cards to send to our deployed troops!  More information coming soon....

    I'm so sorry about the confusion wtih dates for our Family Engagement Time.  As stated in the email sent last week, the official correct date for 4th grade is Thursday, November 21st from 12:30-1:30.  We hope you can come and explore math concepts with us!  

    Also explained in an email sent a few minutes ago, students struggled with the SS test today.  I will allow them to review further over the weekend and will give all students 10-15 minutes on Tuesday to finish or correct anything they'd like from today's test.  I hope this helps! 

    Be sure to check out "Curriculum Updates" for information on what we'll be learning next week! Have a wonderful LONG weekend!


    Thanks to all for helping make our field trip a success!  Thank you to all chaperones who helped supervise our students and make the trip fun.  Your children represented Powhatan very well!  We will continue to discuss what we saw and learned this coming week.

    We have finished or almost finished (Block 2 has one chapter left) our second read aloud, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.  Students LOVED reading this book together, a true story about a boy named Salva who had to flee his home in Sudan due to war. I won't say more because I don't want to give anything away.  Their reactions to the last page of the book were priceless!  I videotaped it for the audio and will try to email it to parents this week.  I highly recommend the book and know your children would LOVE to share this reading with you. (Seriously, ask them if they would recommend it to you and if they do, then buy and read it!  Students whose parents did this last year were beyond excited that their parents took their recomendations seriously!)  If you decide to read it, then I'd recommend holding off on watching the videos until you're done.  Otherwise, if your child is interested in knowing more about Salva Dut, feel free to preview then watch this with them:

    Salva Dut video

    Linda Sue Park Interviews Salva Dut

    Ted Talk: Salva Dut

    As mentioned last week, some students are having difficulty completing our very simple reading homework.  This has been a trend the last several weeks.  Nineteen out of 56 did not complete their minutes or forgot to have them signed last week.  In an effort to help these students remember (while not punishing those who are doing work as assigned), I am instituting a new homework policy.  If your child doesn't have their minutes completed/signed one week, they will be asked to:

         *Complete a passage with 10 questions as additional homework

         *Make up the missing minutes

         *Complete the regularly assigned minutes the following week. Some students may be asked to complete a more detailed                  log as well so we can figure out why work is not being completed.

    This is only for students not doing the original assignment of reading and getting parents to sign off.  I do know life happens sometimes, and so have told kids I allow them one "oops" per year, meaning they won't get penalized the first time. Several students have already used this up.  Please LMK if you have questions or concerns about this policy or homework in general.  Please understand I am so diligent about this because, as I've mentioned multiple times, RESEARCH SHOWS THE #1 WAY TO IMPROVE STUDENTS' READING ABILITY IS TO HAVE THEM READ!! Thanks so much for your assistance in helping students understand the importance of completing homework and instilling these responsible behaviors now!

    We are excitedly planning for our first Family Engagement Day on Thursday 11/21 from 12:30-1:30. We invite parents and grandparents in to school to experience some MATH FUN and LEARNING with us!  An invitation was sent home in the report card envelope, and was listed on the school newsletter sent home the same way.  We will have another Family Engagement Day for 3rd-5th grade on December 18th, with a focus on reading skills.  Look for an invite with an RSVP attached coming home soon! 

    Finally, we have a busy few months coming up!  Our amazing staff and awesome PTA are working on several fun events--Strings & Glee Club Concert, Book Fair, Clayton Christmas Tree Lighting performance, and Vendor Fair to name a few.  Be sure to check out the school calendar at the bottom right of this webpage for more information on upcoming events!

    As we enter this season of gratitude, I want to thank you for allowing me to be a part of your children's lives.  Mrs. Besel and I have said on multiple occasions that this group of children is one of the kindest we have ever had.  They care about each other and try their best.  They also work hard and care about their grades and performance!  We are blessed to be able to work with them each day, and thank you for all you do to help them come to school prepared to learn and ready to a thoughtful citizen in our classroom. We are lucky!

    Be sure to check out the "Curriculum Updates" section of this webpage for more information on what we'll be learning.  Have a great week!




    We are proud of all students for taking their time and working out problems on the NC Check In!  Great job everyone!

    We have been enjoying the challenge of reading scientific non-fiction text this week.  As part of our reading about sight, students will have the opportunity to create a pinhole camera using a Pringles container.  I like Pringles, but not enough to eat 60 containers!  Please try to send in an empty Pringles container with your child by Tuesday so they can have fun following directions to create one. if you have more than one container, feel free to send in for anyone who doesn´t have one (or who does not follow directions when making the first one). Thanks in advance for your help!

    We have a busy week ahead! Report cards will go home on Tuesday.  You can keep the contents, then sign and return the envelope.  Please remember this is the first quarter, and many of the expectations for fourth grade are harder than in the past.  It is normal for students to receive Bs on their report card at this time as many of our skills have just been introduced. As the year progresses, these Bs should change into Ps and eventually Ms as your child becomes more confident and experienced. If you´d ike to keep up with grades online, there is an informational sheet going home on Tuesday that shows how you can log in to PowerSchool at home to check grades. Please LMK if you have questions about your child´s report card or about how to use PowerSchool.

    Our field trip to downtown Raleigh is on Wednesday.  Information and reminders went home last week, but can also be found here: Field Trip Reminders  Parent chaperones should plan to meet in our classroom at 8:40 to receive information and maps.  This is also a great time to coordinate carpooling.  Also remember to follow guidelines for lunches and dress.  Praying for great weather that day! 

    We are excited to invite all parents to our Family Engagement Event on November 21st from 12:30-1:30.  Parents will become students again, experiencing Reading and Writing activities with your child. Itś the perfect opportunity to learn more about how your child spends part of their day at school.  Look for more information coming home soon!

    Be sure to check out the¨Curriculum Updates"section for what we will be covering this week! Have a wonderful weekend!



    We are already one fourth of the way through fourth grade! We have an exciting week ahead as we start a new module in our reading book and prepare for our field trip by learning about NC government.  Be sure to check out "Curriculum Updates" for information on what we'll be learning this week.

    Some students have started to slack off with reading homework.  I purposely don't assign much except for reading because research shows no other activity will help improve your child's reading skills as much as authentic reading. However, if a child is consistently not doing this homework, I will need to try to find something else for them to hand in daily (ie: worksheet) until they demonstrate understanding of the importance of this reading homework. Please ask your child nightly for their Communication Log, ensure they've done the reading and recorded it, then sign off. 

    I am in need of inexpensive ear buds or headphones for students who have lost or broken theirs.  I allow them to "purchase" these school supplies using their tickets.  We are also running low on regular black Sharpie markers. Thank you for any donations you can provide!

    I learned in a training on Friday that we can give Ms on reading standards if the student is meeting all components of the standard while using a text from our reading program.  In the past, we've been told that to earn an M, the lexile/text difficulty must be at an end of 4th grade level. We are now being told that as long as they are doing everything they need to be doing within that standard, we can assume that the text difficulty from the reading series is appropriate and can give Ms.  Not all assignments wil be "M worthy" and I will continue to cross the M off it is isn't possible.  I hope I haven't confused you!  Feel free to revisit the SBTL Standards-Based Teaching and Learning section of this webpage for more information about grading, and the 4th Grade English Language Arts section for a link to what constitutes an N, B, P or M for each priority standard.

    Our field trip to downtown Raleigh on Wednesday, October 30th is quickly approaching!  A "Field Trip Reminders" sheet will be going home this week. Please read over it carefully as it details security procedures for students and chaperones while at the Legislative Building.  Parents who signed up to chaperone, please plan on meeting us at the school at 8:40 that morning to receive notes and a map with parking information  This would also be an excellent opportunity to partner up and carpool. Please remember all students must ride the bus to the trip but can be checked out and transported home by parents if they wish.  If you signed up to chaperone but your plans have changed, please let us know ASAP.  

    Wishing you all a wonderful week!  Emjoy this cooler weather!



    Congratulations and many thanks to our PTA and all families who helped make the Kindness Walk a huge success!  Students had a blast and we raised a great deal of money for our school as well!  If you haven't had a chance to donate yet but still want to, feel free to send it in this coming week.  We have kept your child's tie-dye t-shirt and will wash them and redistribute for our upcoming field trip. Thanks to all enhancement teachers and our PTA for these awesome shirts!

    I wanted to let you know that the end of the quarter is Friday the 18th. We will be diligently working hard this next week (as always) to ensure we have as much covered as possible.  Please be aware that there are a few reasons why it may take a bit of time to get your child's graded papers returned to you.  First, I give back papers that are missing capitals, punctuation, contain incomplete sentences or answers that don't answer the question with sufficient evidence.  If I allow students to "get by" handing in this type of work now, it will never change.  So I stamp it "Please correct" and have them redo and resubmit to me. Sometimes this takes a few back and forths before they get it done right.  I am not allowing them to correct the content of what they say, just allowing them to completely answer the question or make it look right by correcting punctuation and capitalization. The second reason is that once I have graded the paper, I ask students who earned below a "P" on any standard to "Reflect and Correct" on problems missed. Then I check to make sure they understand what they did wrong and wrote their explanation/correction with sufficient detail so I'm convinced they know it for next time.  I always make myself available to answer questions and assist students who need help during this time. The goal is for each child to learn from their mistakes. They may HATE me by the time it's all said and done, but at least they'll know how to do well on reading assessments! :)  So if it takes a few days to get all work to you, please understand, and be sure to look over the pink "Reflection" papers with your child to ensure they know what the answers shoud have been!

    Remember Friday the 18th is not only the last day of the quarter, but it's also Early Release, with dismissal beginning at 1:30.  The following week, students will take the NC Check Ins for Reading on Tuesday the 22nd, and Math on Thursday the 24th.  These are tests developed by the state and mimic EOGs in verbage so they're good practice.  We teachers use the data collected from these tests to see what the class is doing well on or where they need additional practice/instruction. We actually pull up the NC Check In test in class and go through the most commonly missed problems together. This is nothing to stress about; I just wanted you to know so that you could ensure your child is at school on time on those days if possible!

    Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!  Get outside and enjoy this fall weather. Better yet, have a reading picnic in your yard! :) Be sure to check out 'What We're Doing/Curriculum Updates" for details on what we'll be covering next week.



    Exciting things are happening at Powhatan this week! Our incredible PTA is hard at work preparing everything for Friday's Kindness Walk. You've received information via email and a flyer that was sent home on Friday.  Please go to www.getmovinfundhub.com and register your child for the walk.  The school code is 5d712fb06ad8a.  Once you register for the walk, please help your child reach out to family and friends to see who would like to support our school.  Everything is done for you, so all you'd need to do is follow directions on the website.  Monies can be donated directly via the website or via a check made out to Powhatan PTA, and are due by Thursday.  This is the only fundraiser we do at the school and money raissed will be used for additional playground equipment and upgraded technology.  We GREATLY appreciate your assistance and support!  We hope you can come cheer your child on as they walk on Friday from 10:20-11:10! Feel free to stay for our lunch that day from 11:35-12:05. Thank you for your assistance! 

    I am THOROUGLY enjoying your sweet children!  I am extremely impressed with their kindness and attitudes as they look out for each other and work hard in class each day.  This is a responsile and sweet group of children and it's just such a joy to come into school each day.  Getting hugs for no reason, excitement about what they're reading, diligent and persistent attitudes, sense of humor.....they have it all!  What an awesome year we are having!  Thank you parents for all you do to support their learning each day! 

    Please send in your child's field trip permission slips and first installment of $28 by Tuesday if possible! We will be reaching out to parents who have indicated they would like to chaperone the trip to downtown Raleigh on October 30th with more details soon.  Please make sure you have applied to become a level 2 volunteer for this school year.  Simply go to www.jcsvolunteers.com to register.  Please do this NOW so there is enough time to run all background checks and have it completed in time for the field trip.  Let me know if you have any questions.

    Finally, please note that October 21, which was originally a teacher workday, is now a student day.  This has been changed to make up for one of the hurricane days from earlier this year.

    Be sure to check out the school calendar and "What We're Doing" for Weekly Curriculum Updates. Hope you all have a wonderful week!



    You should have received your child's progress report on Friday.  You will note that the Beginning of Year MAP scores for Math and Reading were included.  Please be sure to read the information at the top of the pages carefully as they explain the difference between Achievement and Growth. In short, Achievement is how well they're doing on specific skills compared to other students nationally; Growth shows your child's own personal growth over the past year.  Ideally, we are looking for average or above achievement and high growth. No matter where your child is performing academically, our goal is to see that they are growing and improving over time.  Let us know if you have questions about these results.  Students will take MAP again mid-year (Jan) and end of year (MaY).

    Picture Day is Monday!  All students pictures will be taken as these are used for the yearbook, but if you would like your child's picture, it must be purchased in advance.  To order online, go to mylifetouch.com and use our ID: BW819048Q0. Class pictures are NOT taken until later in the year.  

    We have two field trips in the works!  The first will be to downtown Raleigh to explore the Museum of History and Legislative Building and the second is to Camp Don Lee.  More details coming as soon as we get approval/buses secured from administration.

    Finally, going home in this week's Tuesday Folder is information about PTA's Kindness Walk on October 11th.  This is our biggest fundraiser for our school for the year!  Our PTA is amazing and your generosity helps provide our students with playground and community areas as well as technology. Please be on the lookout for the flyer and do what you can to help!

    We are looking forward to a busy but fun week!  Parents, please note that student will have additional Reading/ELA homework this week that involves reading with an adult and talking through their strategies. Please be on the lookout for more information on Monday! Have a wonderful week!


    Please join the PTA if you haven't yet!  Go to: Join PTA Here

    Check out the new pages I've added to my webpage: SBTL, 4th Grade ELA and Online Resources. 

    Be sure to check out the Curriculum Updates section of this website for details about our studies this week!




    Students worked hard this week on their first graded assignment! We will be giving more grades now that we've taught procedures and introduced several concepts.  Remember your child will receive N (Not Yet), B (Beginning), P (Progressing) or M (Mastery).  It will be difficult for students to earn Ms on many of the reading standards at this time in the year as they need to meet criteria for the entire standard and at an end of year reading level.  

    I've added a few more pages on the left side of this website:

    • The "SBTL--Standards Based Teaching and Learning" page gives more details about grading. Also see the next bullet...
    • The "4th Grade English Language Arts" page details the most important (priority) standards for ELA this year, and also shows criteria for an N, B, P and M.
    • The "Online Resources" page gives information on the sites we often use at school that student's may wish to access at home.  Be sure to check this one out! I will add to it as we explore new sites or resources.

    As a reminder, Friday the 27th is Early Release and also Progress Reports will be sent home that day. Progress Reports will include your child's 3rd grade EOG MATH scores (finally!) as well as their Beginning of Year MAP scores for Reading and Math. 

    Monday, September 30th is Fall Picture Day.  Individual pictures only. Envelopes were sent last week and these must be paid for in advance!  

    Be sure to check out "What We're Doing" for information on lessons next week.  Have a wonderful weekend!



    We've had an awesome week! Students have jumped right into our curriculum and are old pros at Read to Self and making transitions.  I'm blown away by the excitement of the kids as we read aloud together and as they choose books. It is clear someone along the way has instilled a love of reading into your children.  I am eager to experience more books together! I would also like to commend this class for their kindness.  I've noticed several times on the playground how they embrace our special friends who come to us from other classrooms.  Students welcome and assist them, and cheer them on when they try something new. It's not just one or two students doing this, but several.  This is surely the sweetest group of children that I've worked with!  BRAVO parents!

    Several quick things to note:

    • Please join PTA.  Onlyl $6 per person and the more the merrier! LMK if you need a form or go to: PTA Sign Up
    • Consider keeping a few dollars on your child's lunch account, even if they normally bring lunch.  It will save you trouble if they ever forget their lunch. Send cash, a check, or go to: Online cafeteria payment
    • If you are planning to take a family trip and would like it excused, please fill out the correct form and submit it to me IN ADVANCE.  I'll sign, then pass to Mr. Kerwin for approval.  LMK if you need a form. Hopefully this will be added to our webpage soon. We do ask that you consider this carefully as we cover a great deal of information each week, which is often difficult to replicate with just one student.  Also please don't expect teachers to put together a packet of work to be completed on your trip.  We plan lessons carefully, and most involve direct instruction by us, along with peer collaboration and group discussions. We also alter plans daily based on how students are doing.  In most cases, it is much better to have your child make up work after they come back so we can check progress before they get too far.  Trying to reteach a student who has done several assignments incorrectly is challenging. (You've heard "Practice Makes Perfect?" More accurate would be "Practice Makes Permanent," so want to ensure it's being done correctly from the start.) Thanks for your understanding.
    • MAP testing for Reading was last week, and Math will occur this Wednesday. Please try to ensure your child is on time to school and has working earbuds/headphones.
    • Going home on Tuesday in this week's Communication Folder will be order forms for Scholastic Bookstore.  Our class code is MFRND. Please order!  They have amazing deals on books! FYI I also love to shop at Pauper's Used Books on Highway 70 in Clayton and online at www.thriftbooks.com. All great resources for cheap books.  LMK if you ever want any recommendations!
    • Students earned their first CLASS REWARD for getting their "P" in PRIDE.  They decided to bring stuffed animals to school, which we will do on TUESDAY 9/17. Congratulations!
    • We will be using GOOGLE CLASSROOM this year to share assignment and announcements with students.  Feel free to check your child's account. As a parent, I personally would also be monitoring their school email but that's your call.  Email address and Google password for their Drive, Classroom and Gmail can be found in their binders on the ultra professional and official form entitled "Important Stuff I Need to Remember!"
    • Finally, I've entered all parents into my contacts and you should have received an email saying this webpage has been updated.  If you didn't receive this email, please contact me at daniellereichard@johnston.k12.nc.us and lmk your email address and student name.  Also, a reminder that Mrs. Besel's email address is catherinebesel@ rather than cathybesel...

    Be sure to check out the "Curriculum Updates" section of this webpage for what we'll be covering next week.  Also please look at the lower right corner for the school's Calendar of Events.  I hope to see everyone on September 18th at Culvers for our first Spirit Night! Have an awesome week!



    Many thanks to students for a wonderful first week!  We spent time getting to know each other, building classroom community by discussing school and classroom expectations, learning about our class library and practicing "Read to Self" several times, and getting our materials and supplies organized. Students have been enthusiastic and kind. I know we are going to have an amazing year of learning together!

    I regret being out on Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately my mom passed away early Friday morning, so these absences were unavoidable.  Thank you for your understanding over the next few weeks as I attempt to juggle getting to know your children while beginning a new reading program, while also assisting my family with services and the transition.

    We want to ensure we have the correct email address for everyone. If you didn't get a chance to fill out our Family Survey online, please at least send me a quick email at daniellereichard@johnston.k12.nc.us giving me your child's name so I will have the correct email address.  In addition, if you haven't yet signed up for Remind, please do so! Thank you!

    Going home Tuesday is a detailed explanation of Reading Homework/Expectations for the year.  PLEASE take the time to read over it.  Reading homework will begin this week, so minutes should be recorded by students and signed off on by parents DAILY during the school week.  Thanks in advance for establishing this habit from Day 1.

    Be sure to check out "What We're Doing--Curriculum Updates" for information on what we will be learning this week.  In addition, the lower right side of my main webpage includes a school calendar of important upcoming dates so be sure to check it regularly.  Have a wonderful week!

    8.23.19 Thanks to all who were able to attend Meet the Teacher last night!  It was wonderful to meet so many families. As promised, I have attached last night's presentation further down this page.  Please LMK if you have questions.  Also, if you didn't get a chance to fill out the "Family Contact Information" form electronically, please do so ASAP.  This will give us correct email addresses and tell us how your child is going home from school the first day. Go to: 

    Click here for "Besel & Reichard Family Contact Information" Form

    We look forward to an amazing school year! 

    Welcome Back!  We are looking forward to a great year!  Cathy Besel and I team teach so if you're a student in either of our classes, your child will have both of us.  Mrs. Besel teaches Math & Science and I teach Reading, Writing & Social Studies. Please join us for Meet the Teacher on Thursday, Augusat 22nd.  We have two sessions for families to visit classrooms for presentations.  Session 1 is from 4:45-5:45.  Session 2 is from 5:55-6:55.  We will introduce ourselves, review expectations, and provide packets of information for families. Please be prepared to share transportation arrangements for the first day of school, emergency contact numbers for your child, name of individuals that may pick up your child at school, and notification of any medical needs. Bus information will be provided along with registration for Before and After School Care. Our PTA will also have a table to assist with volunteering and spirit wear. We look forward to meeting you then!


    Here is our supply list:

    One and a half inch binder

    5-composition notebooks (100 pages each -NO SPIRALS)

    1 small pack of colored pencils

    4-pocket folders with 3 holes, NO PRONGS

    40 regular pencils NOT MECHANICAL

    2-pencil pouches with 3 holes to put in binder-

    NO pencil boxes

    5 brightly colored pens

    5 highlighters

    20-glue sticks

    1 pack wide-ruled loose leaf paper

    1 package sheet protectors

    2 packs of post-it notes

    2 packs Index cards 3X5

    1 package pencil top erasers, 2 bar erasers

    4 thin, dry erase markers

    Student sized scissors

    1 pair earbuds or earphones-to be kept at school

    Girls - Large box of bandaids

    Boys - 2 boxes of tissues

    Some supplies may be collected for community use

    Items for personal use (markers, etc) should be kept at home due to lack of space



    8:20-8:45   Arrival & Prepare for day

    8:50-10:30   Block #1

    10:40-11:10   Lunch

    11:15-11:45   Recess

    11:50-12:20   Targeted Learning Time

    12:25-2:15   Block # 2 & Working Snack

    2:15-2:35   Read to Self & Pack up

    2:40-3:30   Enhancement

School Announcements

  • Tech Tips and Links

    Click here to find answer to some of the common tech issues parents/students are experiencing. You will also find direct links to our lesson plans and a tech help folder.

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  • Need to Register a Kindergartner?

    JCPS has implemented an online registration process for kindergarteners. Click here for more information...

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  • 2019 reIGNITE - Continuing the Conversation

    Are you interested in attending two days of teacher-driven and directed collaboration and learning? JCPS is kicking the year off right and offering reIGNITE at Cleveland High School on August 12 and 13, 2019.

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  • Fee for Service Preschool Application

    We are pleased to inform you that the preschool classroom at Powhatan Elementary School has limited space available for enrollment in the Fee For Service Program for the 19-20 school year. The Fee For Service Preschool Program is designed to provide a high-quality early childhood experience...

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JCPS Announcements

  • Board of Education Meeting set for July 14

    The Johnston County Board of Education meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 14, at 4p.m. in the Evander Simpson Building in Smithfield. To comply with the Governor’s Executive Order, only the board members will be allowed in the boardroom. However, the open session portions of the meeting and all announcements will be accessible to the public via the livestream available online at www.johnston.k12.nc.us/boelive...

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  • High School Graduation Ceremony Update

    Based on guidance from the Johnston County Health Department and taking into consideration the growing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county in recent weeks, the original plan to host “modified” traditional graduation ceremonies will not be possible....

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  • JCPS delays summer athletic workouts until further notice

    THURSDAY, JULY 2, 2020
    After careful review of the current trends regarding COVID-19, Johnston County Public Schools will delay voluntary workouts for high school fall sports athletic teams until at least July 20...

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  • JCPS considering three reopening scenarios for 2020-2021 school year

    Johnston County Public Schools has begun planning three possible reopening plans for the 2020-2021 school year in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Based upon recently released documents provided to all school districts...

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