ASFS Electric News - December/January

Updated ASFS Master Calendar 2019-20

For the latest ASFS Master Calendar 2019-20 (as of 10/8/19), please click below:

ASFS Master Calendar 2019-20 (as of 10/8/19) 

Note: Please visit the online ASFS Master Calendar on the ASFS website for the latest dates and updates.

​​

Message From Ms. Begley & Ms. Jones

Thank You to the PTA

Our entire staff would like to thank the ASFS community for the many gifts and thoughtful gestures we received over the holiday season.  Your generosity is very much appreciated.

Donations to ASFS

If you would like to make a monetary donation to ASFS, please make your checks out to Arlington Science Focus Schools.  Monetary donations are tax deductible.  We use these monetary donations to fund additional experiences for your child(ren) and to pay for things such as our pond and our aquariums.  This year we are going to need to ask our PTA to help fund buses for student field trips as APS has cut back on the number of buses we have been allocated, but ASFS has grown in the number of students we serve.  Please consider this opportunity to support ASFS.

NO Entrance to Parking Lot during Arrival or Dismissal

We are having difficulty in the morning with parents driving their cars through the parking lot to drop their child off at the trailers.  Please do not do this. If your child is late, they need to come through the front doors. Adults are also driving their cars around buses and through the parking lot at dismissal.  No cars are allowed to move in the parking lot between 8:30-9:15 and 3;30 – 4:15. We must keep our children safe. Please have your child take the bus.

Residency

If you do not live in Key attendance zone or have an Administrative Transfer you may not attend ASFS.  Falsification of documents for residency is a misdemeanor offense. This means the child lives and sleeps at the residence, NOT the location of the babysitter.  We will need accurate and updated leases and other requirements for residency.  Know that we will follow up with you directly if you are not a resident of one of these three attendance zones.  If you have an expired lease, please bring us your updated lease. If you know of someone who is in violation, please see M. Begley.  These students are increasing our class size. We want every student that qualifies for residency in these three areas, but people who do not qualify need to move to their neighborhood school. Help us to have students attend our school who qualify to attend our school ONLY.   Thank you for your help.

*Know that with the tight budget year, people who attend APS schools and do not live here are costing your child’s education money and resources.  We must make sure that every child that attends ASFS actually lives here.

PLEASE Ride the Bus

All students should ride the bus to and from school unless the student is in Extended Day.  We have very limited space this year the number of private cars lining up in the morning and afternoon is impeding the buses. We are so fortunate in Arlington to have bus service for any child living more than 1 mile from school and all parents should sue the bus service.  If you have questions, please contact M. Begley at mary.begley@apsva.us   Thank you.

Dismissal of Walking/Pick-up Students

If you pick your child up from school each day, you must come to the atrium to pick him/her up. Children may NOT walk to the roadway or park.  This is dangerous and all children must be accompanied by their parent or child care provider.

We have had an increasing number of parents/child care providers parking illegally for pick up.  Please follow the parking signs. We have asked our Arlington County Resource Officer to come in the morning and afternoon to assist us with traffic.

HOW CAN I SUPPORT ASFS in 2020?

As a parent of a student at ASFS, you are aware of the special environment that you child(ren) come to each and every day.  You have selected this school because you researched schools and made the choice to attend this excellent academic environment.  Part of the reason ASFS continues to be a high performing school is because of the hard working and dedicated staff that works at ASFS.  The other factor that makes us great is that our parents are involved in our school and its operations. Parents are involved in supporting their children through working with them at home and by volunteering in our PTA and in the educational program.  We have extensive waitlists of families that would like to attend ASFS, but we do not have room to accommodate more students. 

As you begin this 2020 calendar year, please think about committing to a project or two at ASFS and contributing to our auction.  We can only continue to offer experiences that go “above and beyond” if we have parents who support our programs and projects and volunteer to help with PTA committees.  Recommit yourself to your child’s educational environment and help us to continue to prepare our children for the rigorous expectations of the world they will live in. Contact Dena Porter, our PTA President if you have ideas or would like to talk about ways you can be involved and be present in your child’s school and learning.  Thank you.   

Tips from Our School Resource Officer

Carpool Line Safety Tip

• DO NOT pull out of the carpool line at any time, unless you are the FIRST vehicle in line to exit. 

• When entering the carpool line please reduce your speed as you are moving close to the curb.  25 MPH is NOT a safe speed when entering a carpool line.  

• DO NOT drop off your children in the carpool line prior to the area designated by the school to drop off. The Safety Patrols will assist with opening car doors for your children.   

• Drivers DO NOT exit your vehicle in the carpool line.  

• When moving through the carpool lane always focus your attention straight ahead as your moving forward.  I have witnessed parents watching their children walk along the sidewalk, as their vehicle is moving forward.  Keep in mind the pedestrians crossing in front of your vehicle at the front of the line in the crosswalk.

• When exiting the carpool line, at the front of the line only, please YIELD to the vehicles already in the lane of traffic that you are about to enter.  Please pay close attention to pedestrians crossing and buses turning into the school parking lot, as well.   

• Follow the instructions of the school staff and Safety Patrols who are working in front of the school and or around the school to keep the school community safe. 

• DO NOT be distracted by texting and or talking on your cell when driving through the carpool line.  

• Never let your children out of your vehicle on the driver’s side in the carpool line.  Always drop your children off on the curb side.

 

Did You Know That...

The Kindergarten Molecules Are In Motion
Ms. Buchman, Mr. Bosley , Ms. Currie, Ms. Mintzer, Ms. Witherell, Ms. Stodel, Ms. Carrillo, Ms. Short, Ms. Frankowsky, Ms. Greene, Ms. Vasquez, and Ms. Vierow

The Molecules in Motion will enter the winter holiday season learning about wants, needs, and choices. They will be deciphering between things in their lives that they want and choices they make to get the things they need. In math, the Molecules have been working with addition, subtraction, shapes and counting. The Molecules will participate in the Global Holiday Celebration, learning about the many holidays celebrated in their classroom community. The Molecules will be busy growing and learning new things in January. They are learning to read and write with different punctuation marks. The Molecules have been writing true stories and practicing making their writing readable. In social studies the Molecules in Motion have been learning about Martin Luther King Jr. and the importance of treating other people with fairness and equality.

Over the winter break the Molecules can practice their reading by reading stories to their families and listening to stories being read to them. They can practice math using the Dreambox website. Molecules are practicing being writers for readers! They can practice their skills by writing all about what they are doing over the winter break.

 

The 1st Grade Natural Wonders

Ms. Barrow, Ms.Brasher, Ms. Hooser, Ms. Maniace, Ms. Wilson, Ms. Worley, and Ms. Grant

In December, the Natural Wonders will start informational writing. Wonders will write nonfiction chapter books on topics they know a lot about. Wonders will begin a study on economics. They will learn about goods and services and practice making economic choices about whether they would like to spend their money as they earn it or save it to purchase a more expensive item. The Natural Wonders will also learn about consumers and producers and how both are important to our economy. Have your Wonder assist you in calculating the total of the holiday goods you purchase as a consumer this month.  

In January, the Natural Wonders will continue to learn all about the world around them through nonfiction texts. Wonders will learn about Virginia history. They will learn about important people in Virginia history such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Powhatan, Pocahontas, and Maggie Walker. 

In Math for December and January, Wonders will continue to learn about addition, subtraction, and story problems. Natural Wonders will begin to solve story problems where the change and start of the story problems are unknown. 

Conversation Starters:

  • Can you skip count by 2s, 5s, and 10s to 75?
  • What are different ways you can make change for a dollar using pennies, nickels, quarters, or dimes? 
  • What are some things you notice as you read and write nonfiction stories?
  • What are the differences between a consumer and a producer? Can you give examples of each?

 

The 2nd Grade Investigators

Ms. Cherubim, Ms. Kallassy, Ms. Kiel, Ms. Leonard, and Ms. Todd​​​​​​

Our second grade Investigators are in the middle of some fun topics in second grade! Second graders are focused on reading and writing nonfiction texts. Over the next month Investigators will focus on informational “all about” writing. After that we will start a fantasy unit! In math, the Investigators are busy learning about addition and subtraction of two-digit numbers. The students are learning a variety of strategies that include: proof drawings, expanded form, new group above, new group below and number lines. If you are unfamiliar with these methods, ask your Investigator to tell you about them. In December, our historians will delve into a unit on American Indians. Ask your Investigator to compare the lives and contributions of the three American Indian cultures we are learning about. In January, the second grade scientists will be studying weather. They are going to learn about types of weather, weather tools, and extreme types of weather. Needless to say there is a lot happening in the life and times of our second grade Investigators. It’s sure to be a fun-filled winter!

 

The 3rd Grade Catalysts

Ms. Ezrow, Ms. Freeman, Ms. Holston, Ms. Kniseley, and Ms. Maxey

The change in the autumn weather is exciting as are the projects and learning happening with the Catalysts in the classroom.  In language arts, students will concentrate on reading nonfiction and applying new skills to their reading comprehension toolbox.  You can help your Catalyst by asking him/her to describe the main idea and supporting details from a nonfiction book.  Your child should be able to identify the relevant details that support and enhance the main idea of a nonfiction text.  

A few math websites that Catalysts could use for practicing fraction skills learned this month are:

Enjoy the holiday season and help your child enjoy sights, sounds, tastes, and warm feelings of this special time of the year. 

 

The 4th Grade Electrons

Ms. Dixon, Ms. Lewis, Ms. Petroskey, Ms. Pitsakis, and Ms. Wade

There are many opportunities for fourth grade parents to support their child’s academic growth over the next two months. A few of our most important suggestions:

1.  The Jamestown Project. Students recently took home their planning documents for their second quarter social studies project focused on the early settlement of Jamestown. This project is different in that we expect students to conduct research outside of school and integrate that new knowledge into their projects. Parents can support students by ensuring that: (1) they conduct research and gather information beyond what they learned in class; (2) access reputable and kid-friendly sources of information, and (3) weave that new learning into their projects. Two valuable websites are:  historyisfun.org and historicjamestowne.org. Students may get additional information by using the ASFS Library Database system. Finally, we encourage families to explore the many books and other resources in our public libraries.

2.  The National Geographic Geography Bee. One of the many things that are new to fourth grade students is that they participate in the National Geographic Geography Bee. The first round of competition will be in students’ homerooms in early December. The school championship will be held in early January. Learning the location of U.S. states, state capitals, and major geographical features of our country is a great way to prepare! Students may access geography games and learning tools at online.seterra.com and the National Geographic website.  

3.  Learn to Type! Another big change is that fourth grade students type their stories and essays on google docs. The pace of writing can be painfully slow when students are not familiar with the keyboard. Encourage your children to access the typing programs on the ASFS website. Go to students; then student links; and click either “Fun to Type” or “Typing Lessons.” 

4.  Read, read, read! The most important support at home is to foster a love of reading. Make reading a positive experience by enjoying books together. We are including a list of books our fourth grade students have loved year after year.   

4th Grade Recommended Books:

  • The Distance to Home by Jenn Bishop (DRA 34)
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl (DRA 38)
  • Mr. Terupt Series by Rob Buyea (DRA 34-40)
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (DRA 40)
  • Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper (DRA 40)
  • Rules by Cynthia Lord (DRA 40)
  • The Wild Robot by Pete Brown (DRA 40)
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (DRA 40)
  • Stuart Little by E.B. White (DRA 40)
  • Who Is/Was? Series (DRA 40)
  • Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (DRA 40)
  • The Landry News by Andrew Clements (DRA 40)
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume (DRA 40)
  • The One and Only Ivan by K.A. Applegate (DRA 40)
  • A Long Pitch Home by Natalie Dias Lorenzi (DRA 40)
  • I Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis (DRA 40-50)
  • Holes by Louis Sachar (DRA 50)
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl (DRA 50)
  • Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan (DRA 50)
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio (DRA 50)
  • Wish by Barbara O’Connor (DRA 50)
  • Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Woods Giff (DRA 50)
  • The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (DRA 50)
  • Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo (DRA 50)
  • Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo (DRA 50)
  • Joey Pigza Series by Jack Gantos (DRA 50)
  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (DRA 50)
  • Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin (DRA 50)
  • A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass (DRA 50)
  • Autumn Street by Lois Lowry (DRA 50)
  • The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis (DRA 50)
  • Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (DRA 60)
  • Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (DRA 60)
  • Hoot by Carl Hiaasen (DRA 60)
  • Chomp by Carl Hiaasen (DRA 60)
  • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (DRA 60)
  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia (DRA 60)
  • Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan (DRA 60)

 

The 5th Grade Technos

Ms. Anderson, Ms. Caven, Ms. Gallagher, Ms. Hansrote & Ms. Mavity

This year is flying by! In the last two months, we have been incredibly busy as we wrapped up our first quarter and began our second.  

In science, we are studying both light and sound, and we are finding that these two forms of energy, though distinct, share many similarities. We have also had a great deal of fun (and a few headaches) experimenting with sound waves in particular! 

In math, we are finishing patterns and algebra and working hard to establish a strong foundation for middle school mathematics. Upon the conclusion of this unit, we will begin our fraction and decimal computation units. Successfully adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions and decimals will require us to apply many of our math skills at once; so, as always, it is important that we remain fact fluent. 

In Language Arts, we concluded our deep investigation into theme and have begun our unit on nonfiction texts. Reading workshop is focusing on developing strategies that allow students to more thoughtfully consume nonfiction texts and is giving us many opportunities to practice these new skills with authentic texts, like Time for Kids and National Geographic Explorers. Our writing has similarly changed focus, and we have moved on from personal narratives to informational texts. Much of our effort is rooted in expanding our ability to take notes, identify important information, and organize research into an engaging nonfiction text. 

In social studies, we have concluded our study of world geography and our introduction to cultural universals. We are now working to apply that knowledge as we create our own civilizations and study ancient civilizations from around the world. We also have quite a lot to look forward to outside of our normal day! Before Winter Break alone, we will have Out of the Box Day and Global Celebration. For 5th grade’s Global Celebration, students will create their own Alpana painting to take home. Alpana paintings are a type of Indian folk art made of colorful symmetrical designs and used for various celebrations throughout the year. We have much to look forward to!   

Math Moments 

Ms. Kelly Stephenson

 Along with our goal for your child to master each of the skills included in their grade level’s Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs), we also strive for them to develop as mathematical thinkers, rather than simply students who can compute or carry out repetitive processes.  We are guided by the “process standards” from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).  They include:  problem solving, communicating their thinking, providing reasoning and proof, making connections, and creating representations of their thinking.  
     Teachers use rich problem solving tasks to develop these skills, and below are some examples of rich tasks that you can engage in with your child over the break.  Students should demonstrate each of the process standards for the task:  
        Show your thinking using a representation, or “math picture”, chart, or table.
        Orally, or in writing, explain your thinking and justify your answer.
        What strategies did you use to solve?  
        Do you notice connections to any other math ideas?
Sample Rich Task for Primary Students:
There were 2 elves and 3 reindeer in Santa’s yard.  How many feet were there?
Sample Rich Task for Intermediate Students:
There are 32 feet in Santa’s yard.  Some of them are elves, and some of them are reindeer.  How many elves and how many reindeer might there have been?
     Additional problem solving tasks can be found at:  https://nrich.maths.org/primary and https://www.youcubed.org/tasks/. 

Health & PE Updates

Ms. Hall, Mr. Ludwick, Mr. Quinn, & Mr. Walker

It’s hard to believe it is October (and in playoff baseball season)! Each month in health we focus on a topic and use different activities to help learn about our grade level objectives. 

This month we have covered emotional health, ask your child about what they have learned in health class! This could be a good conversation starter about sharing how they feel and making good decisions to respond appropriately. In October we will talk about physical health, be on the lookout for a physical activity calendar that we will be introducing in class over the next few weeks.

Our PE units do not always end at the end of a month, but each class spends around two weeks with a specific focus before switching to something new. This month in PE we have been learning about fitness equipment, different ways to exercise, and exploring movement patterns. We have worked on cooperating with others, making good decisions, and being active in a variety of settings. In October we will be introducing tennis and gymnastics; working on skills like coordination, body movements, and lifetime activity.

Investigation Station

Ms. Lin

Upcoming Events/Announcements

2018 VDOE (Virginia Department of Education) Science Standards of Learning (SOLs)

According to the APS crosswalk plan, Kindergarten through 3rd grade has made the transition to teaching the 2018 Science Standards of Learning. 4th grade will continue to teach the 2010 Science SOLs for the 2019-2020 school year, then switch to the 2018 SOLs for the 2020-2021 school year. 5th grade will teach the 2010 Science SOLs for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years, and then they will switch to the 2018 SOLs for the 2021-2022 school year.

Save the Date: Outside the Box Day – December 4th, 9 – 11 a.m.

Please join us for Outside the Box Day on Wednesday, December 4th from 9 – 11 a.m.! We hope you will enjoy watching the students engage in one of the many children's engineering projects that will be taking place at ASFS. The students will be presented with a challenge, the criteria they will need to meet, and the materials they’ll get to work with. Then they’ll brainstorm possible solutions, choose the best one, and execute it. Be especially on the lookout for the children’s incredible problem-solving skills when they run into a problem, and encourage them to find solutions to their obstacles by thinking outside the box! You will be amazed by the children’s creativity!

Investigation Station Units of Study

Kindergarten – Five Senses

Kindergarten students have been learning about their five senses and the words we can use to describe how things look, feel, sound, smell, and taste. These were the descriptive words they learned--please encourage them to continue using them when describing things! Go on a walk, collect some things from nature, and have your child use their senses to describe the objects. Another great time to use these descriptive words is while cooking together in the kitchen.

  • Sight: color, shape, size, location of objects
  • Touch: smooth, rough
  • Hearing: loud, soft
  • Smell: weak, strong
  • Taste: sweet, salty, bitter, sour

1st Grade – Seasonal Changes

1st grade students have been learning about the changes that happen when the seasons change from summer to fall, especially with trees and the temperature. They observed trees on our school grounds and learned how to start drawing like scientists. I have an acronym that I use when I want them to draw detailed pictures--their pictures should be ABCD (Accurate, Big, Complete, Detailed). We also identified different types of trees in our courtyard by leaf/needle shape (Maple, Fig, Apple, Pine, Cypress) and learned that not all trees lose their leaves in the fall, like the Pine and Cypress. The students practiced using a thermometer to measure the temperature (in degrees Celsius) of water and different areas both inside and outside.

Take note of the trees with your child in your neighborhood and try to identify them. PlantSnap is the best plant identification app I have used--you take a picture of a plant's leaf, and it gives you several options of what the plant could be. Have them choose a tree and draw ABCD pictures of it in different seasons.

Having tools like a magnifying glass and a student thermometer at home are great ways for your child to continue engaging in exploring and practice using those tools.

2nd Grade – Magnets

2nd grade students have been learning about magnets. They learned about how magnets can exert both a contact (touching) force and non-contact (not touching) force. Instead of using the words “stick to”, we started using vocabulary like attract and repel, like poles and unlike poles. They used what they learned about magnets in an engineering challenge to build a magnetometer (device that can detect magnetic fields) based on NASA’s MAVEN orbiter.

Look for all the different ways magnets are used in your everyday lives. Sometimes they are hidden—for  example, does your child know that a magnet helps keep the refrigerator door closed?

3rd Grade – Ecosystems

3rd grade students have been learning about ecosystems and how living things can interact with other living and non-living things. We observed several different ecosystems that were part of different biomes (grasslands, deciduous forest, desert) in the Plants app. It does cost $1.99, but I think it’s well worth it. The students had many opportunities to observe the non-living (not living and was never alive) things, populations of living things (plants and animals), and interactions between them.

Another way to explore ecosystems is to use Earth Voyager in Google Earth. You can click on the Nature voyages and have your child identify the non-living and living things in the ecosystems.

4th Grade – Watersheds

4th grade students have been learning about watersheds—areas of land where all the water under it or drains off of it end up in the same area. Everyone is part of a watershed—we are part of the Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay, and Atlantic Ocean watersheds. They learned how humans can positively or negatively impact a watershed. Lastly, we walked to the pond by Custis Trail, made observations, and conducted water quality tests back in Investigation Station.

Take a walk to a local waterway and make observations about the conditions there (bare soil percentage, signs of erosion, water odor, soil odor, water color, etc.). Look around and see what is part of that watershed—is it undeveloped or are there human-made structures? Are there positive or negative signs for water quality at this watershed? Are there animals (especially amphibians) that live there? If you remember to bring a plastic bag and gloves, you can help the watershed by picking up litter around the area!

5th Grade – Scientific Investigation

5th grade students have been using the scientific method to conduct two different experiments. They tested the effect of surfaces on the bounce height of golf balls, and they also tested the effect of water on the volume and mass of gummy bears. They practiced identifying the independent variable, dependent variable(s), and constants for each experiment.

What other questions is your child wondering about? Science Bob has a lot of experiment ideas, but the projects on that page are demonstrations. Below is how he defines the difference between demonstrations and experiments. At the bottom of each project page, he has ideas for how to turn the demonstration into an experiment—so make sure to take those extra steps and also to identify the independent & dependent variables/constants for each experiment.

A SCIENCE DEMONSTRATION is a quick little science “show” that explains a science concept like building a model volcano and watching it erupt. It shows how something works, but it is not a true experiment.

A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT is usually more involved and in most real experiments you compare results. An example would be “What fertilizer works best on plants?” or “What is the strongest brand of paper towel?” In these examples, you ask a question and then perform experiments to get the answer.

 

Technology Tidbits

Ms. Harvey

Click below for a useful article on learning about binary numbers with your kids from ASFS Instructional Technology Coordinator, Chuck Harvey:

Kids Math - Binary Numbers Summary

Music Notes

Ms. Taylor & Ms. Shine

5th and 4th Grade Musical News and Instrumental Reminders                         

Thank you to all of the families for your continuous support for our growing music program at ASFS! We are thankful to be teaching a Band or Orchestra instrument to more than 90% of the 4th grade students and over 50% of the 5th grade students! Your assistance, help, and endless guidance to the students is very appreciated. We will continue to remind students about their weekly sectional, ensemble, and 100 minutes of practice each week to ensure that students are achieving attainable music goals. We are also excited to start learning more about our voices, instruments, and how to apply our musical knowledge and many talents in our weekly general music classes.

ARLINGTON HONORS OPPORTUNITIES (4th and 5th grade only)

If any 4th or 5th grade student is interested in auditioning for the Arlington Jr. Honors Orchestra or Arlington Jr. Honors Band, please follow the LINK for dates, times, and required audition information! We hope every student will take advantage of this great opportunity.                                           

There is also a phenomenal group for any 5th grade student interested in singing and auditioning for the Arlington Honors Chorus! Please follow this LINK for dates, times, and required audition information. Families must register before auditioning. We will be having after-school audition practice sessions from 3:45-4:15 on Monday, October 7th, October 14th, and October 21st at ASFS on the STAGE for anyone who plans to audition for the ARLINGTON ELEMENTARY HONORS CHORUS. A Guardian or Parent must pick up child on time. Please email Ms. Shine or Ms. Taylor for confirmation. Thank you! 

Any student auditioning for Jr. Honors Band or Jr. Honors Orchestra should click HERE for more information! Families must register before auditioning. We will be having after-school practice sessions from 3:45-4:15 on Tuesday, October 8th, October 15th, and October 22nd at ASFS on the STAGE for anyone who plans to audition for either JR. HONORS BAND or JR. HONORS ORCHESTRA. A Guardian or Parent must pick up child on time. Please email Ms. Shine or Ms. Taylor for confirmation. Thank you! 

Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, and 3rd Grade Music Class                                            

Students will be exploring various folk songs, music concepts, and skills such as loud/soft, high/low, fast/slow, up/down, and long/short sounds in our weekly music classes. In addition, every grade level will be learning how to play barred instruments, xylophones, glockenspiels, and metallophones. These skills will help students to understand melody, pitch, harmony, notes/rests and more! 

​​​​​​Please note that the 2nd Grade Veteran’s Day Concert date will be on Thursday, November 14th at 2:30pm and 7:00pm! All ASFS 2nd grade students will be performing a wide variety of patriotic, American songs with movement, props, and great singing voices! VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED! Students are asked to practice these songs at home to help memorize and know what each song will sound like on their concert day! Please click HERE to practice these songs!

In the next few weeks, please be sure to look for information in the Electric News, Friday E-folder, and flyers in backpacks for more about this concert or e-mail mary.taylor@apsva.us and michelle.shine@apsva.us if you have any questions. If you are able to volunteer for both afternoon/evening concerts, please email us as soon as you are able. Come celebrate and sing about Veteran’s Day with us, November 14th at Arlington Science Focus School!

Brush Strokes

Ms. Garfield & Ms. Suarez

Dear ASFS parents, My name is Maura Garfield and this is my second year teaching at Arlington Science Focus. I previously spent three years with Montgomery County Public Schools. Julie Suarez, our part time art teacher, spends the rest of her week as an art teacher at Eunice Kennedy Shriver High School. We are both experienced artists, and look forward to sharing our passion for art with your children.

During the months of September and October, Kindergarten students with will be painting, cutting, and creating a school bus collage. They will be practicing how to use a paintbrush in a variety of ways, and how to use other art tools correctly.

First grade students will be creating a collage by first painting the letters of their name, and then using a variety of textured materials to decorate them.

Second graders will use symmetry and the letters of their name to create imaginary creatures. They will also create landscape collages and observe perspective in artworks. Students will be encouraged to practice craftsmanship in their use of art materials.

Third grade students will design and color graffiti-letter nametags. The will also create observational drawings of leaves.  We will explore different artistic professions such as scientific illustration.

Fourth grade students will learn about the word repetition. They will use the letters in their names connected to create a line design. To finish the design students will color the shapes with crayons using a chosen color scheme.

Fifth grade students will create contour line drawings of pumpkins and learn about the artist Yayoi Kusama. They will use pattern, repetition, and rhythm to decorate their pumpkin and the background. Mrs. Suarez’s students also made connections to Oaxacan art and they will be displayed during Hispanic Heritage Month.

We are currently welcoming recyclables such as magazines, cleaned out glass or plastic baby food jars, yogurt containers, and old animal books for our classroom. Thank you for all your support! ​​

​​​

Library News

Ms. A’Hearn & Mr. McGuire

Library information: All students K-3 visit the library once a week for instruction and book check out.  Grades 4-5 come to the library for instruction and book check out on a rotating basis.

The number of books a student can check out depends on their grade level.

  • Kindergarten - 1 book
  • 1st grade - 2 books
  • 2nd grade-5th grade - 3 books

Students are encouraged to return books every week on their library day.  Chapter books can be renewed and kept for 2 weeks. Students reimburse the library for books that are damaged or lost so that we can replace them and, once again, enable others to have access to the title. 

Students are learning to choose their own books.  Classroom teachers provide guided instruction on how to select that “just right” book level which should be at the student’s independent level of reading.  All of the books in the library are from the approved APS and Virginia State reading list in our library.  If there are particular topics you do not want your child to read about, please have a conversation with him/her stating that you prefer they not select these topics at this time.  As parents have many different views about appropriate topics, our library is set up by level and genre for all students to have a wide variety of book topics to select from.

Look at the ASFS Library website for a link to our online catalog , databases, eBooks and eAudiobooks.

 Questions: Please contact christine.ahearn@apsva.us

News from the PTA