Migrating to Schoology (My blog) Oct. 24, 2014

Now that the kids have their iPads, I am migrating my blog to Schoology.  Please ask your child to show you their “Course” on the iPad and how it looks.  Parents, there was a white card with the iPad that contained your Schoology password.

I usually post the vocabulary words a week ahead of time.  I publish homework for the entire marking period.  That hasn’t changed, it’s just in a different place now.

The kids and I have been enjoying using the iPads and learning how to make them work for us.  I am truly excited to be part of this exciting change.

So, I have enjoyed blogging here for you.  Best wishes.

As always, please email me if you have questions.  If I don’t have answers, I know where to get them!


Newsletter Week 11

News from Mrs. Gordon/

Mrs. Ford’s Pre-K Classroom

October 27-31, 2014


*We are going to be making a class book with baby pictures of your children.  Please send in a baby picture of your child to add to our class book.  The children & the teachers will have so much fun guessing whose picture goes with which child.

*I hope to see everyone on Thursday night from 5:30-7 for the FALL Festival!  Students will get to trick-or-treat around the school & enjoy interactive reading/math stations.

Highlights for this week include:

  • Singing & acting out the 5 Little Pumpkins & 5 Little Jack-o-lanterns songs
  • Going on a treasure hunt & counting the # of objects collected individually & as a group
  • Counting & measuring a delicious snack (please see special snack wish list)
  • Making patterned necklaces with colored beads
  • Creating outside collages from a nature walk we took

Encore Schedule this week:

Monday—Art with Mrs. Dalton

Tuesday— P.E. with Mrs. Hall

Wednesday—Library with Mrs. Stevens

Thursday—P.E. with Mrs. Hall

Friday— Music with Mrs. Watts

Important Reminders:

  • Save and turn in your Boxtops for Education.
  • Check out the photos on my blog to see what your child has been up to in Pre-K (http://blogs.glnd.k12.va.us/begordon).

Important Dates:

  • Oct. 27—Progress Reports go home (please sign & return envelope)
  • Oct. 30—FALL Festival 5:30-7 (Please donate 1 bag of candy)
  • Oct. 31—BES Walk-a-thon/Pre-K Costume Parade/Halloween Snack
  • Nov. 1—Trunk or Treat 3-7 p.m.
  • Nov. 4—Parent-Teacher Conferences (11 a.m.-7 p.m.) (No School for Children)
  • Nov. 18—Farmer’s Market/PTA Meeting 5:30
  • Nov. 21—Grandparent’s Day
  • Nov. 26-28—Thanksgiving Break

Wish List Items:

  • 2-liter plastic bottles with lids
  • paint chip samples
  • plastic drinking straws
  • styrofoam meat trays
  • vegetable oil/canola oil
  • squeeze bottles (dish soap, shampoo, ketchup, body wash, salad dressing)
  • pump bottles (hand soap)
  • ice cube trays
  • spray bottles
  • whisks
  • Disposable plastic cups (all sizes)
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Art supplies such as cardstock, masking tape, etc.
  • Labels (size 1 1/3 x 4)

*Make sure you are checking your child’s purple folder every night for notes or papers from school and/or special work your child has created, and please make sure they bring it everyday along with a snack.

Friendship Skills

In first grade this week, we discuss friendship skills. What qualities do the students look for in a friend. Once we compiled a long list of “good friend” qualities we talked about how they can act to be a good friend. I use the classic picture book, Room on the Broom, written by Julia Donaldson, Illustrated by Axel Scheffler to talk about making new friends. In this book, a witch and her cat fly happily over forests, rivers and mountains on their broomstick until a stormy wind blows away the witch’s hat, bow and wand. They are retrieved by a dog, a bird and a frog, and each animal asks for a ride on the broom. One after the next climbs on, until the broom is so heavy that it snaps in two! This book raises awareness of the importance of true friendship as we talk about how the animals meet, become friends and support one another. I also like this book because of the richly patterned rhyming language of the book. The students quickly learn to participate in the “chorus” of the rhyme…”WHOOSH! they were gone. It is fun. Check out the book to see how the friends deal with a dragon!  

Congratulations to Ms. Rogers

Congratulations to Ms. Casey Rogers who has won the AFCEA STEM Teacher Scholarship and a grant of $1,000. The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) provides the grant to teachers who have earned their degree and are teaching STEM subjects in middle or high school. Ms.Rogers who is the chemistry teacher at Goochland High School was presented the prize check in her classroom on October 24, 2014. Congratulations!

BES PTA Sponsored Trunk or Treat

The Trunk or Treat event on November 1st held 3:00 – 7:00 pm.  This is an event the PTA is hosting and the YMCA will be helping us with it.

There is a $10 charge for cars(flat fee and admits all occupants in the car) involved in the trunk or trick circle.  Cars should be decorated and have a supply of candy to pass out –the circle of cars will be located in the car rider area. Those that are only attending the event and not passing out candy will pay a $5.00 per person fee.  All participates will wear a wristband and this will allow them to use bouncy houses, the hay maze, ride on the hay wagon, play games etc.  Funnel cakes, caramel apples and drinks will be available for purchase.

This is the first ever trunk or treat at Byrd and will be a fund raiser as well as a school-wide event for our Byrd families.  Consider how you can help/attend.

School Bus Safety Week

National School Bus Safety Week is an active and evolving public education program. It’s an excellent way for everyone parents, students, teachers, motorists, school bus operators, school administrators, and other interested parties to join forces and address the importance of school bus safety. Designed to promote school bus safety, School Bus Safety Week is held during the third week in October each year.

Transportation Mechanics, Mark Thompson, Forrest Henley, Mike Franklin, with Transportation Supervisor, Betty Thurston

The centerpiece of National School Bus Safety Week is the National SBSW Poster Contest. Thousands of school districts in over 40 states participate in local and state-level competitions to select art work that depicts school bus safety-related themes and encourages and promotes school bus safety. The winning posters are used to promote safe school transportation for everyone.

Please join us in expressing our gratitude to our exemplary drivers, mechanics, and other professionals who transport students safely every day. What an important part of our mission, to maximize the potential of every learner.

Happy Halloween

Report cards went out this week and the majority of my students did very well! On to marking period 2 and another successful nine weeks.

This week 8th grade students will explore the spookier aspects of literature as we enter the world of Edgar Allen Poe. They will also work on the following:

  • Work on sentence structure.
  • Introduce irony and its part in short stories.
  • Introduce the detective genre and horror through Edgar Allen Poe in “The Tell-Tale Heart.”


7th Grade:

  • Finish reading “The Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963″.
  • Test on “The Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963″.
  • Work on final draft of expository essay.
  • Add to knowledge of Greek/Latin root words.

Enjoy Homecoming and have a great weekend!

Open Letter to Goochland Elementary School

Dear students, teachers, and staff,

Thank you so much for inviting me to speak at your school. I had a super fun time talking about bugs and other tiny things with all of you. You were all so attentive and respectful, and I was blown away by your eagerness to learn.

I am sorry we ran out of time before we got through everything you wanted to see. Thankfully, I am just down the road from you and I can stop by again sometime. Remember we have our blogs, Schoology, and email, and I can send a few more pictures your way. Dr. Hendron and I will also make sure all 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders have a copy of my book in their iBooks app.

I hope I have inspired many of you to take a closer look at what might be under your feet of hiding in your yard. Remember every living thing has a proper place on the planet, and has a purpose. Take good care of all of them.

IMG_1338 copy IMG_4836 copy IMG_5582 copy IMG_6393 copy


Again, thank you for the invitation, and I hope to see you all again soon.

Ms. Leiderman

Conferences are Coming!

Parent/ Teacher conferences are going to be held on Tuesday, November 4th from 11:00 – 7:00.  The last available conference time available is 6:30.  Also, a dinner break will be held from 5:00-5:30.  A sign up sheet is available in the office.  Please call 556-5321 to schedule a time to meet with us. If you are interested in conferencing about your child, we’d like parents to sign up with the reading teachers first.  If you are concerned about other academic areas and need to meet with more than one teacher, please sign up for the same time slot for both teachers.

We look forward to seeing many of you on November 4th.


Thank you,


The Second Grade Teachers

Newsletter 10/27-10/31

Mrs. Tysinger’s Newsletter

October 27th – October 31st



*Introducing, writing, and doing activities with the letter Aa


*Tracking words (pointing to words) in sentences at the bottom of the page.

*Learning to read the following TRICK WORDS: is, can.  Reviewing: look, at, a, my, I, the, this, see, like.

*Writing as “authors” in our Writing “Workshop”. We are writing a Math Counting Book this week!

*Having “Show and Tell” Wednesday (Boys) and Friday (Girls.)


*Working on NUMBER SENSE and doing activities with the numbers 0-10.

*Working on more/less and before/after.

  • Working on one-to-one correspondence.

*Creating even more fun patterns!


Working in our unit on Fall Celebrations. Our Book Character Day is Friday, October 31st.  Please send your child’s costume to school in a bag. Your child’s costume must fit OVER your child’s regular clothes. Our Fall Celebration will be that afternoon at 2:30p.m.**Please NO masks or play weapons.



*Doing activities in our unit on fall.

*Learning about BATS.

Encore Schedule for the week:  Mon.= Art, Tues.= PE, Wed.=LIBRARY (Book Fair Shopping) Thurs.= PE, Fri.= MUSIC.


*Be sure to save and turn in your BOXTOP FOR EDUCATIONS labels!

*Your child will receive a GHOST with their name on it to go on our October Calendar if they can spell October (orally), and read the following words: look, at, a, my, I, the, this, see, like.



Happy Fall!

Mrs. Tysinger



Homework for the Week

Monday: Practice identifying the letters/sounds for Nn,Mm,Cc,Aa,Ii,Oo,Uu,.

Draw a picture of your favorite Halloween song that we sing in class.

I did it! _______

Tuesday: Draw 2 pictures that begins with /a/ as in apple and 2 pictures that begins with /o/ as in octopus. Label your pictures with the sounds YOU hear for each word. *Parents: words do NOT have to be spelled correctly.  We are just listening for sounds in words.

I did it! _______

Wednesday: Practice identifying the numbers 0-10 AND count from 0-30. Do each 3 times.

I did it! _______

Thursday: Draw a picture of what you are going to be for Halloween.

I did it! _______

**Check off each activity that you complete.


Be sure to bring in the “written work” you completed for me to see on FRIDAY.

Eagles Get Going!

Byrd Elementary School is starting an “Eagles Get Going!” team.  We want to help our students to become mentally as well as physically stronger.  We are starting a movement initiative that well run throughout the school year and in all grade levels.  Students will have the opportunity to walk, run, hop, skip or dance around the track.  As they accumulate the laps, students will receive a keychain and beads to represent the different milestones that they have achieved.

4 laps = 1 mile                     Students will earn a key chain.

12 laps = 3 miles                 Students will earn a red bead.

24 laps = 6 miles                Students will earn an orange bead.

36 laps = 9 miles                Students will earn a yellow bead.

52 laps = 13 miles              Students will earn a green bead.

104 laps = 26 miles            Students will earn a blue bead.

200 laps = 50 miles            Students will earn a purple bead.

400 laps = 100 miles         Students will earn a pink bead.

Individual student achievement will be displayed within the hallway.  Check out your child movement success!

Report Cards and Other Important Dates

Report Cards will be coming home on Monday, October 27, 2014.

F.A.L.L. Festival will be held on Thursday, October 30, 2014 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm in the BES Gym.

BES PTA’s Trunk or Treat will be on Saturday, November 1, 2014

Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for November 4, 2014 from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.  Please schedule your appointment now!

Farmer’s Market will be held on November 18, 2014.

Grandparent’s Day will be held on November 21, 2014.

There will be no school on November  26 to 28, 1024 due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.


CPED recognition

It was great today to dialog with education professors about the dissertation I completed this year with my colleagues Angie, Shawnya, and Derrick here at the Carnegie Project in the Education Doctorate convening in St. Louis. Our presentation was well received and winning the dissertation award was a great honor!

Our work has been published on the iBook Store for the iPad. It can be found be searching for our names.


TPCAST in Song Lyrics

Currently, I am using TPCAST in both my Middle School and High School students to reinforce deeper level reading skills and scaffold for the interpretation of poetry . The poems/song lyrics we are analyzing are “Someday Never Comes” by Creedence Clearwater (Middle School) and “I Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele (High School).


Title. Without reading the poem, what do you think it will be about?

Paraphrase. Next to each stanza, write the poem in your own, every day language.

Connotations: What meaning goes with (con) the language that is being used? Keep a close eye out for: Alliteration, allusion, diction, imagery, metaphors, onomatopoeia, rhyme, rhythm, simile, and the speaker. Make notes in the margin about the meaning of the language.

Attitude: What is the author’s tone? Make notes in the margin about this.

Shift: Look for shifts in tone, action, rhythm. Identify the shifts by highlighting them and make a note in the margin.

Theme: What does the poem mean? What is it saying about life?


Título. Sin leer el poema, ¿qué crees que va a ser?

Paráfrasis. Al lado de cada estrofa, escribir el poema en su propio lenguaje cotidiano.

Connotaciones: ¿Qué significado va con (con) el idioma que se está utilizando? Mantenga una estrecha vigilancia en cuenta: aliteración, la alusión, la dicción, las imágenes, las metáforas, la onomatopeya, la rima, el ritmo, el símil, y el orador. Tome notas en el margen sobre el significado de la lengua.

Actitud: ¿Cuál es el tono del autor? Tome notas en el margen de esto.

Shift: Busque cambios de tono, acción, ritmo. Identificar los cambios marcándolos y hacer una nota en el margen.

Tema: ¿Qué hace el poema significa? ¿Qué dice acerca de la vida?


What can you do . . . .

What can you do with a pumpkin?

My grade 3/4 group came up with dozens of ideas.  Among my favorites . . .

  • Dry the seeds and use them as buttons
  • Make it a piggy bank
  • Give the children trick candy by wrapping dried pumpkin seeds in saran wrap
  • Use a HUGE pumpkin, cut a window hole and create a hide out
  • Paint it black and white and make it a soccer ball
  • Dye the seeds and make a mosaic
  • Dye the gooey stuff red and use it for “guts” in a haunted house
  • Make it into a Jack-n-the-box.
  • Make a mask using just the front part
  • Be a ventriloquist and use the pumpkin as the “dummy”
  • Put it on a zip line and make it the head
  • Skin the pumpkin and use the skin for a kite
  • Stuff two small pumpkins in your cheeks and be a chipmunk for Halloween
  • Get three different sized pumpkins and make it into a snowman
  • Use the pumpkin as the seat for a swing
  • Make it a clock
  • Carve it out and put a hole in the top and bottom and make it into a puff skirt
  • Make it into a mug