Electric News - February/March 2020

Updated ASFS Master Calendar 2019-20

For the latest ASFS Master Calendar 2019-20, please click below:

ASFS Master Calendar 2019-20 (as of 2/3/20) 

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

Messages from Ms. Begley and Ms. Jones

Thank You to the PTA

Our entire staff would like to thank the ASFS community for the many gifts of time and talent that our parents continue to show us every day. 

Supporting Conferences/Words for Your Classroom Teacher

As we contact parents and have email exchanges, conferences, phone calls, and face to face meetings, please know that our number one goal is to support each and every student in their academic and social/emotional journey.  When we inform you of an incident at school, we have investigated the situation and are asking for your support as we help our students to make appropriate and respectful choice in their words and actions.  As the adults in their lives, we must assure them that we work as a team and work with natural choices for inappropriate choices.  The concept of a team means that we work together to solve concerns and issues.  Please contact your child’s teacher, Ms. Hawthorne, Ms. Proietti, Ms. Jones, or me and talk through these situations. Help us to reinforce the concepts of respect for self, respect for others, and respect for property.

Supplies in the Cafeteria

If your packs his/her lunch, please send the appropriate utensils and supplies.  The supplies in the cafeteria are for students who have purchased their lunch.  Thank you.

Safety Alert in the Parking Lot

Each day we have MANY parents and staff enter and exit the parking lot.  Did you know that you are not supposed to exit the parking lot and drive out of the left-hand side? On Friday evening, two cars almost collided because the car leaving the parking lot could not see the car coming down the street because of parked cars.  When you leave the parking lot, you need to turn RIGHT, drive through the loop and then turn right or left at the end of the loop.

Please help all of us to ensure safety for our students, staff, and parents y following the directions, speed limit, and NO U-Turns in the street.  Thank you.

How To Use the Parent Portal for Moby Max


How Do I Create a Parent Account for Reflex Math?

Parents can easily monitor their child’s math fluency progress on Reflex with a Reflex Parent Reporting Account.

To set up an account, you will need your child’s Reflex sign in information (their teacher’s Reflex Username, the name of the Reflex Class, and your child’s Reflex Password). Your child should have this information if they’re logging on to Reflex regularly.

  1. Go to reflexmath.com
  2. Near the bottom of the screen, click Sign up for a free Reflex Parent Account today!
  3. Enter a valid email address as your Username and click Sign Me Up
  4. Click the Activation Link in the email you receive* and create a Password when prompted
  5. Click Register when done

Once registered, launch Reflex at www.reflexmath.com log into your new account. Enter your Username (your email address) and Password and click Submit.

*If you do not receive the activation email, please check your junk or spam folder.


If you do not live in Key attendance zone and do not have an Administrative Transfer you may not attend ASFS.  Falsification of documents for residency is a misdemeanor offense.  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.  Residency is where the child lives and sleeps.  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.

STEM Night

Families, if you could help with a shift (6:15-7:15 or 7:15-8:15) at STEM Night (Wednesday, February 12th), we would greatly appreciate it! Email Stephanie Lin if you are interested. STEM Night is an annual evening event where families come to explore engineering challenges, a computer programming room (“Coding Zone"), a simulated mission with the space shuttle simulator, demonstrations from the First Lego League teams, and more.

Spring Conferences

Spring Conferences will be in the afternoon of March 5th and all-day March 6th.

Welcome Detective Ashley Perez

We would like to welcome our new School resource Officer, Detective Ashley Perez.  Detective Perez serves ASFS and 5 other Arlington Elementary Schools.  She is originally from New York and has been with the Arlington Police Department for 5 years with the Special Victims Unit, specifically with forensics.  You will see Detective Perez around school during lunchtime, arrival, and dismissal.  You may see her in classrooms teachings lessons about fingerprinting and making positive social choices.  We are excited to welcome Detective Perez to the ASFS community.

Looking for Parent Volunteers to Help Keep the Bookroom Organized

Ms. Schroeder and the Literacy Team continue to look for additional volunteers to help work in our bookrooms and keep them organized. Please email Sherie Schroeder.       

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 childcare provider.

We have had an increasing number of parents/childcare 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.

Several parents have asked if their child can walk to school.  These decisions are made for 5th grade students only.  Please call Ms. Begley if you would like to discuss this.

Why is Our Absenteeism Growing?

Student absenteeism for non-illness related absenteeism has been growing.  While this winter has had an unusually high rate of flu and flu related illnesses, the rise I am talking about has been for people taking vacations and taking days off for things like someone’s birthday.  We take the profession of educating your children very seriously, but we cannot instruct our students if they are not in school due to vacations.  Please be mindful as you make travel plans to ensure that your child is at school every day they are healthy.  The students have all summer off from school to travel and we need them in school to receive, take part, and engage in active and rigorous instruction provide by our highly skilled staff.  Thank you for the opportunity educate your amazing child(ren).

APS Digital Resources for Families

APS teachers have access to a robust suite of apps which have been vetted for instructional value, cost, and student data privacy. These apps support a variety of teaching and learning strategies. Because students use these apps at home, families are asking how the apps align with the APS instructional program, and how they can leverage the apps to extend student learning.

 We have created a resource for families to help them answer these questions. A new page on the APS website, under the digital learning area, provides a list of all approved apps. (https://www.apsva.us/digital-learning/instructional-software-resources/aps-digital-resources/)

The list contains the title of the app, a brief description of the app, and the teaching and learning strategies the app supports. The list also provides transparency around the apps approved for use by students, which can help families monitor how students are using their devices.  The list will be regularly updated as new apps are identified, or the use of apps is retired.

Fall 2020 Kindergarten Now Registering!

We are already starting to build our 2020-21 Kindergarten classes!  Registration for kindergarten started February 1 and is ongoing.  If you have a child who will be five by September 30, 2020, then please come register them for kindergarten.  To register, just come into the office during normal business hours.

ASFS will have two kindergarten parent information sessions:

  • Tuesday, March 10, from 12:45-2:15pm
  • Thursday, April 2, from 9:15-10:45am

Sessions are open to any parent of a rising kindergartener who is interested in ASFS.  These events are for adults only, and childcare is not provided.  Please RSVP by calling the ASFS main office at 703-228-7670.

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

The Molecules are working hard to collect supplies for the coin drive and toiletry drive. They are learning all about how we can help others in our community. They are excited to learn about shadows in February. The students answered the question, “What does it take to make a shadow?”  In reading, the Molecules have been practicing using their strong reading muscles and making them stronger.  In writing our students are working on adding more sentences and details to their students. There are many holidays the Molecules will be learning about and celebrating this month. Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day and the 100th day are just a few! George Washington and Abraham Lincoln will become familiar friends as the Molecules learn interesting facts about these famous Presidents.  The Molecules are working hard to count to 100. Molecules are “March”ing right into spring when they can spend more time outside observing and exploring plant life! The students will learn about the plant life cycle and characteristics of living things. Homework has started for the students and they are showing how responsible they by bringing their homework menus to and from school. The molecules can continue reading their MARS bag books and listening to stories at home and school. Parents can help build their comprehension skills by asking questions such as what happened in the story, who were your favorite characters, and what connections can you make.​​​


The 1st Grade Natural Wonders
Ms. Brasher, Ms. Grant, Ms. Hooser, Ms. Maniace, Ms. Wilson, and Ms. Worley

During Writer’s Workshop, Natural Wonders will be learning how to write opinion pieces. They will learn how to justify their opinions with relevant reasons, persuade others, and bolster their arguments through writing. In reading, the Wonders will focus on improving their oral reading fluency by learning more strategies to decode unknown words and adding expression and correct intonation to their reading.     

In math, Natural Wonders will continue strengthening their number sense by practicing grouping objects into groups of tens and ones. In our geometry unit, students will learn to sort triangles, rectangles, squares, and circles according to the number of sides, vertices, and angles. In March, students will learn to identify fractions showing halves and fourths. As always, the Natural Wonders continue to practice their addition and subtraction fact fluency. A great way to reinforce fact fluency at home is to play games like Memory, Go Fish, or War with flashcards. 

Natural Wonders will be going on a field trip to the American History museum on Friday, February 28.

Conversation Starters:

  • Let’s skip count by 2s starting at 94… (94, 96, 98……..)
  • How many vertices on a square, rectangle, and triangle? Can you find those shapes in objects around the house? 
  • What was the main idea of the book you are reading? What were some details?​​​


The 2nd Grade Investigators
Ms. Cherubim, Ms. Kallassy, Ms. Kiel, Ms. Leonard, and Ms. Todd​​​​​​

Second Grade Investigators will begin a unit on fractions in mathematics. They will learn to name and write fractions represented by a set, region, or length model, for halves, fourths, eighths, thirds, and sixths. At home, families should consider naming fractions found in everyday items like – chocolate bars, cake, pies or in sets like coins, cereal, or plastic animals. After this unit, Investigators will return to adding and subtracting two-digit numbers from 50-99. Students will review the concepts of regrouping when adding and ungrouping when subtracting. They will work to complete word problems that call for the actual sum or difference OR for an estimate of a sum or difference.

In English Language Arts, our Investigators will delve into poetry. Second graders will write poems that convey feelings or images. They will understand that poems may look and sound different from one another. At home, introduce your Investigator to your favorite poets or poems. We will introduce students to various styles of poetry and wonderful poets like Shel Silverstein.

Reading bigger books means ramping up reading power. This is just what our readers will embark on in the months of February and March. Investigators will work on fluency strategies, expressive reading, and reading rate for oral reading. For comprehension, students will practice asking and answering questions and summarize events in the beginning, middle, and end of books they read.

In February, second grader Investigators will begin a social studies unit on famous Americans.  Among them will be Cesar Chavez, Ben Franklin, and ThugoodI Marshall, Helen Keller, and Harriet Tubman.  Investigators will describe how the contributions of ten individuals changed the lives of Americans. In March, our scientists will learn about plant and animal life cycles and habitats.  When you visit various habitats (like ponds or trees) during walks identify how these habitats provide food, water, shelter or cover, and space for living things.

The 3rd Grade Catalysts
Ms. Ezrow, Ms. Freeman, Ms. Holston, Ms. Kniseley, and Ms. Maxey

In the months of February/March, the Catalysts will analyze text to uncover the author’s inferred meaning.  In writing, they will study the characteristics of fairy tales.  They will also work on test-taking skills to improve their performance on standardized tests. 

In math, the Catalysts will complete their unit on multiplication and division theory.  They will work on learning multiplication facts and the relationship between multiplication and division. Students would benefit from practice their math facts on reflex. It’s an app that students can use to practice multiplication and division facts for fluency. Knowing your multiplication/division benefit students when learning new concepts in fourth grade like (naming factors and reducing fractions to give two examples of skills from fourth grade). Students could also use flash cards as well to practice their facts. After our study of multiplication and division the Catalysts will start exploring adding/subtracting fractions with same denominator and solving story problems that involve fractions. Students will be asked to observe models with the same denominator to determine the value. Some students might have difficulties with subtracting only the numerator.

In social studies, the students will continue to study the governments, architecture, art, traditions, and food ancient civilizations. If you are looking for something to do over the weekends you might want to take your child to an art museum to view artifacts from various ancient cultures.   

In science, the Catalysts will learn and conduct experiments about the 3 states of matter.​​​

The 4th Grade Electrons
Ms. Dixon, Ms. Lewis, Ms. Petroskey, Ms. Pitsakis, and Ms. Wade

There are many opportunities for fourth grade Electron parents to support their child’s academic growth over the next two months.

In Virginia Studies, we are exploring how the Founding Fathers thought so creatively to lay the foundations for our new nation. We will then delve into how our nation split as a result of the Civil War. Since Virginia was a pivotal location in both events, there are many nearby places to visit to deepen your children’s understanding of American history:

  • Mount Vernon Estate:  Visit the home of George Washington, our first president, and learn about his many other accomplishments.
  • Gunston Hall, Mason Neck, VA:  Visit the home of George Mason and learn about his forward thinking in Virginia’s Declaration of Rights.
  • Monticello, Charlottesville, VA:  Explore the world of Thomas Jefferson and his long-ranging impact on the creation of the United States.
  • Montpelier, Orange, VA: While you are in the Charlottesville area, be sure to visit James Madison’s home to discover how he wrote the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. 
  • Fort C.F. Smith Park, Arlington, VA:  Explore the Civil War in our own “backyard.” 
  • Old Town Alexandria and Arlington Cemetery:  In nearby Alexandria, for example, you can visit Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's boyhood home. Arlington Cemetery was founded when the Union Army seized one of the Lee family houses and began burying Civil War casualties in the back yard.

In science, we have been exploring weather and the connections between the earth, sun, and the moon.  Parents, help your children explore these topics through real-world applications:

  • Explore weather maps and weather-related data (air pressure, fronts, precipitation, and temperature) on the weather channel or in your newspaper.
  • Go outside at night and observe the constellations and the moon.  Keep a journal of the moon over the coming month. Can you determine what phase the moon is? What patterns do you observe over the month? 

In math, we encourage you to help your Energetic Electron see the real-world applications of math.  As you are shopping, have them ESTIMATE how much money you will need to purchase your groceries.  Let them MEASURE objects with a ruler.  Encourage them to explore AREA and PERIMETER of objects or even rooms in your home. 

Finally, we encourage you to read, read, and read with your Electron.Fourth grade students love to be read to and that you can create a life-long love of reading by sharing books.


The 5th Grade Technos
Ms. Anderson, Ms. Caven, Ms. Gallagher, Ms. Hansrote & Ms. Mavity

We are at the midway point of your Techno’s fifth grade academic year!  We have been quite busy exploring new topics and collaborating in 5th grade. In science, the Technos are studying geology, and there are many fascinating facets of this topic that have given us an opportunity to learn more about the dynamic world in which we live!  And, we had an amazing opportunity to model tectonic plate movement in Investigation Station using the most delicious of foods: cookies and icing! I

In math, the Technos are finishing our unit on decimal computation, and across the board, we are proving ourselves quite adept at the conceptual-thinking aspect of this work. After we conclude this unit, we will move onto fraction computation. In order to successfully complete this unit, we need to make sure that we are fact fluent (in both multiplication and division). If this is an area in which your child continues to struggle, please help them review at home, and we will do the same here at school.

In language arts, the Technos are working to develop our ability to write argument-based essays supported by a wide variety of evidence gathered from our own experiences and research. Analyzing and organizing that evidence to create a compelling argument are two areas that we continue to improve upon as a grade, and we will expand upon these skills when we apply them to literary arguments. To complement our research focus in writing, we will be reading a variety of fiction that inspires research. For instance, as we read historical fiction novels, we will be researching the time period featured in the book to gain a better understanding of the relationship between fiction and nonfiction.  In social studies, we are exploring a wide variety of ancient civilizations, and most of us are very excited to revisit Egypt, Greece, and Rome! We’ll see what we remember from third grade! As we address these great topics across our 5th grade curriculum, we recognize that we might have snow days or late arrivals through February and March. Please check Google Classroom for any updates that we might post if/when this occurs. And, remember that we still expect you to read and record your reading each night!

Investigation Station

Ms. Lin

Upcoming Events/Announcements

  • Family STEM Night – February 12th, 6:30–8:00pm: Please join us for our annual Family STEM Night on Wednesday, February 12th from 6:30-8:00 p.m.! Some of the highlights of the event include: hands-on science experiments, engineering challenges, coding with robots, a simulated mission with the space shuttle simulator, demonstrations from our First Lego League robotics teams, and more! This year we received a grant from the National PTA and Bayer to include a variety of science experiments for students to explore. 
  • Habitat Days – Week of April 20th during the school day (time varies depending on class): Parents, please mark your calendars for ASFS’s Habitat Days during Earth Week—the week of April 20th. The students will most likely be gardening or doing some type of outdoor activity with their classes on our school grounds, so we would love for you to join us! We will be finalizing details/schedule in the coming months, but we will definitely keep you posted once we figure them out!

We are also looking for a Habitat Days Co-Chair to work with Ms. Lin to help coordinate and lead ASFS Habitat Days. Email Ms. Lin​​​ if you’re willing to help out in this capacity!

USA Science & Engineering Festival – April 25th and 26th, 2020

Mark your calendars for the 5th USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo on April 25-26, 2020! Explore 3,000 hands-on exhibits from the world’s leading scientific and engineering societies, universities, government agencies, high-tech corporations and STEM organizations. The two-day Expo is perfect for children, teens, and families who want to inspire their curious minds.

  • Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center
  • When: Saturday 10 am - 6 pm and Sunday 10 am - 4 pm

Join 350K+ attendees to celebrate science at the Expo and engage in activities with some of the biggest names in STEM. Hear stories of inspiration and courage, participate in mind-boggling experiments and rock out to science during our incredible stage shows. *Note: Pre-registration (free) is mandatory this year. Attendees may be asked to show registration by festival staff at the expo entrance. To register, go to: https://usasciencefestival.org/attend/2018-festival-expo/register/

Get your tickets here. Kids 18 and under are free, single-day tickets for adults are $15 online, two-day passes for adults are $25 online.

Investigation Station Units of Study

Kindergarten – Shadows: Kindergarten students have been learning about how shadows. They built different figures out of Play Doh and traced their shadows. They also learned that objects that are see-through have gray shadows, while objects that are not see-through have black shadows. They had the chance to make a shadow puppet on the last day. If your child wants to make more shadow puppets at home, here are links to some of the templates I used: Martha Stewart Shadow Puppets Templates and Singing Away the Dark Shadow Puppets. Try to find shadows in different places with your child—at home, outside on a sunny day, at night, etc. Observe the differences in the shadows—their size, shape, and color. Here is a link to more shadow activities you can try at home.

1st Grade – Plants: 1st grade students will be learning about plants by conducting an investigation to
determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow. Through this investigation, they will be practicing a variety of science process skills, such as predicting, observing, measuring, and communicating. Here is a link
to a parent handbook for how to practice science process skills at home. There are lots of activity ideas that you can use with your children. 

2nd Grade – Life Cycles: 2nd grade students will be learning about life cycles, specifically the butterfly life cycle. After learning the different stages of the butterfly life cycle, they will be using an app called Stop Motion Studio to make stop motion videos of the life cycle. Making stop motion videos allows the students to explain what they know in a creative way and deepen their understanding of the topic. Here is a site that has lots of ideas for different stop motion videos that your child can make at home. Many of them can be made with low-cost materials, like construction paper, Play Doh or clay, and Legos.

3rd Grade – Matter: 3rd grade students have been learning about solids and liquids that dissolve in water. For solids, we will be testing sand, salt, and sugar. For liquids, we will be testing oil, dish soap, and food coloring. We also tested how fast a Skittle dissolved in cold water versus hot water. Try testing different solids (coffee, pepper, flour, gelatin, powdered drink mix, corn starch, etc.) and liquids (laundry detergent, syrup, apple cider vinegar, etc.) at home to see if they dissolve! You can also test how the temperature of the water or stirring affects the rate at which it dissolves.

4th Grade – Force and Motion: 4th grade students will be learning about force and motion, specifically the potential and kinetic energy of objects and how friction affects their movement. We will be using two PhET interactive simulations, Energy Skate Park and Friction. These simulations allow students to manipulate different variables and see how they affect the outcome. Moving objects are all around us every day! Discuss with your child an object’s potential and kinetic energy when it’s stationary and as it moves. If you have a marble run, ramp, roller coaster toy at home, they’re great demonstrations of the transformations between potential and kinetic energy. Coaster Physics is an app that allows students to see potential and kinetic energy at work through a roller coaster.

5th Grade – Oceans: 5th grade students have been learning about the ocean. They conducted an experiment to see how salinity affects the density of water. We then made a density column with the different saltwater solutions. You can try making a density column at home with your child. Discuss how this works and how salinity and temperature changes the density of water, thus creating currents, in the ocean.


Math Moments: Creating Mathematical Thinkers and Problem Solvers

Ms. 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 chickens and 3 cows roaming a farm.  How many feet were there?

Sample Rich Task for Intermediate Students: There are 32 feet roaming a farm.  Some of them are chickens, and some of them are cows.  How many chickens and how many cows might there have been?

Additional problem solving tasks can be found at:  https://nrich.maths.org/primary and https://www.youcubed.org/tasks/.

Save the Date! ASFS’ annual Math Day is on Wednesday, April 3rd from 9-11am.  Please save the date and plan to join us for some hands-on math fun in your child’s classroom!

Tips from the English/Language Arts Team

Ms. Abraham, Ms. Downs, Ms. Kaiser and Ms. Schroeder​​​​​​

ASFS Family Literacy Day Follow-up

On Wednesday, January 29th, parents and guardians were invited to ASFS for a family literacy event to learn about the use of the workshop model to teach reading and writing.  After a brief presentation from the ELA Team, parents had the opportunity to see the Reading Workshop in action in the classrooms.  During classroom visits, parents observed a minilesson, read alongside their child, and recapped what they learned from reading with their children during the share time. Teachers also shared some strategies that parents could use at home to support their children with reading.  Thank you to all the parents and guardians that came in to participate in our morning of learning.  We greatly appreciate your support! 

What is Reading and Writing Workshop? Reading and Writing Workshop is an instructional approach which incorporates strategy instruction along with authentic reading and writing opportunities. It provides a predictable framework and structure for learning with strategic teaching points and student-centered practice.

How is Workshop structured? The structure of Workshop includes:

  • A short, whole-group minilesson with an explicit teaching point
  • Independent work time to practice teaching point and strategies in their own texts/writing
  • Small group time for targeted instruction based on student need
  • 1-to-1 conferencing time
  • Whole group share to recap the day’s work

What does Workshop look like in the classroom? Each classroom includes the following features:

  • Book Bins/Bags:  Students are encouraged to keep materials close at hand so that time spent reading and writing is maximized. In your child’s bin/bag you may find: a variety of books of both student’s choice and teacher’s choice; sticky notes for recording thoughts/reflections; reading response journal for reading strategies/reflections.
  • Anchor Charts: Teachers create strategy specific anchor charts to reflect the instructional focus of the unit. Students are encouraged to use these charts to remind them of the strategies that they can use in both reading and writing.
  • Word Wall: Teachers post words/vocabulary which reflect the instructional levels of students. Words may include names, spelling patterns, or new vocabulary.
  • Classroom Library: Libraries are where students make choices for independent reading time. Libraries may be organized by topic, genre, subject or level.  Teachers often rotate books in and out of the library to keep selection interesting and a reflection of the unit focus.

Tips for Improving Concentration

Click below for an article from The Washington Post (1/28/20) about screen reading along with some useful tips. "Good practices for concentration are good practices for reading on-screen."

Screen reading can wreck your attention. Here’s how to save it.

RTG Notes: Spring Break Planning Using PMI

Mr. Villacrusis, ASFS Resource Teacher for the Gifted

Planning a vacation for spring break can be a great time to use creative and critical thinking strategies, click below to learn more, and download the PMI (Plus, Minus, Interesting) Spring Break Planner to use at home!

Critical Thinking Strategies for Spring Break

Attention All English Learner Families

Ms. Anctil, Parent Resource Liaison​​​

Are you looking for a way to volunteer at ASFS?  We are looking for more English Learner Families who can help on either Tuesday or Thursday afternoon from 3-4pm with Danielle Anctil, an English Learner teacher.  It's a great way to meet other ASFS parents, talk about activities going on at school and help complete projects for teachers. We would love to have you even if you can only volunteer once a month.  Email Danielle Anctil or stop by room 185 if you are interested in learning more or have any questions.

How can I help my English Learner (EL)? Here are some ways parents can help their English Learner:

  1. Provide a place where your child can do their homework.
  2. Check that your child has completed their homework every day.
  3. Ask your child to tell you what they learned at school or their favorite part of their day.
  4. Check with your child’s EL teacher to monitor their progress regularly.
  5. Visit the library and attend school events.
  6. Read and tell stories in your native language.

The 2020 Your Voice Matter Survey: Please check your email and complete the survey from Panorama Education by February 28, 2020.  Your input is needed to compile a snapshot of our students, school climate and engagement, and deepen our understanding of children, youth and family well-being in Arlington. For more information, see the following links:

Greetings from the Health & PE Team

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

It can be hard to find motivation for exercise during the winter. Reading a book by the fire or watching a movie on the couch feels great on those cold weekends or after a long day at work. The PE team has some great motivation for the entire family to get a little extra movement in your day.

Join the ASFS Marathon Challenge! The goal is to get 26.2 miles of walking/running in the entire month of February. You only have to carve out enough time to get a mile per day or do more every other day. The cost is $10 for an individual or $20 for a family (up to 7 people). Proceeds will benefit the ASFS Physical Education department special fitness and wellness programs.  Email Mr. Ludwick if you have any questions.

Looking forward to March, the PE team is excited for our dance and handball units. We are currently doing jump rope & Chinese jump rope, ask your child what patterns they have learned or buy a jump rope and see if you can keep up with them! In Health we will be learning about social health; focusing on friendships, resolving conflicts, and bullying. We have been studying different body systems and learning how they interact to make our bodes work.


News from the FLES Team

Ms. Moran, Ms. Robiano, & Ms. Ferree

Valentine’s Day in Spanish is Día del amor y la amistad (The day of love and friendship). Most Spanish-speaking countries celebrate on February14th, although in Colombia they celebrate in September. Many countries also celebrate El día del amigo (Friendship Day) in June or July.

For younger students, here is a nice bilingual book for Valentine’s Day: Mi Amor Por Ti / My Love for You by Susan L. Roth  It is full of animals, numbers and adjectives with a pattern that is perfect for language learners. Mi amor por ti es más grande que 1 oso, más alto que 2 jirafas….(My love for you is bigger than one bear, taller than 2 giraffes…)

On March 4th, you are invited to the APS Celebration of Diversity and World Languages at the Arlington Career Center from 4:00 to 6:00 PM. The World Languages Office will present K-12 students showcasing their language skills. Come watch choirs sing, students skits, and more!

Music Notes

Ms. Taylor & Ms. Shine

Thank you to all ASFS students and families who attended our spectacular 5th Grade Winter Concert! The students did an outstanding job!  We look forward to preparing a combined Spring Concert in May with 4th grade at W-L! More exciting details will be announced soon.

 We are also eagerly preparing our next ASFS performances featuring:

  •  4th Grade students in the Band, Orchestra, and Choir on February 20th at 9:30am and 7pm at ASFS!
  • 1st grade Concert on March 25th!

Students are always able to practice our concert music at home! The music will be downloaded on our ASFS website Music page (password: bolts), where students are asked to practice their specific grade level songs at home to help memorize and know what each song will sound like on their concert day!

All songs can be found on the ASFS website under the Music Pagehttps://asfs.apsva.us/concert-prep/

In the future, be sure to look for information in the Electric News, Friday E-folder, and flyers in backpacks for more about future concerts or e-mail Ms.Taylor or Ms. Shine if you have any questions. If you are able to volunteer for any concerts, please email us as soon as you are able.


Starting in the next few weeks, students in 3rd grade will be learning a new unit on recorders!  Recorders are an essential unit in music class that helps us to further our learning on note reading, develop fine motor skills necessary to play an instrument, and learn responsibility for how to take care of an instrument.  All 3rd grade parents should have received a letter from their child and an email from the music team with more information. If you did not receive any of this information or have any questions, please contact the music team using the emails above.  We will be sharing our progress with you on our 3rd Grade Informance Concerts starting the week of April 27th! Thank you for your support

Technology Tidbits

Mr. Harvey

Stellarium software is used at Arlington Science Focus to provide a variety of astronomy activities for students who attend our Space Shuttle Science City and is loaded on all the computers in our computer lab. I thought I would share the following information with you so that you can decide if this is something you would like to install on your home computers for your students. It is free and provides a high degree of sophistication to astronomy activities for students.

Stellarium Software Used at ASFS


Library Happenings

Ms. A'Hearn

Students are encouraged to return books every week during their scheduled library time. Those who wish to keep books longer should bring them in to renew. 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 who have not returned books from September, October or November will  not be able to check out additional books until they return or pay for the overdue books.

Virginia Readers' Choice (https://www.vsra.org/preview-20192020-book-selections

The first and second graders have voted on their favorite Primary Virginia Readers’ Choice books for 2019-20.  The winner for ASFS is  Can I be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings and 2nd place Little Penguin and the Lollipop by Tadgh Bentley. Students in grades 3-5 are encouraged to read at least four out of the ten titles from Elementary or Middle School Virginia Readers’ Choice booklist and turn their vote to Mrs. A’Hearn in April 2020.​​​​

Student Council Association (SCA)

Ms. Taylor and Ms. Mintzer

Thank you to all families, staff, and friends who attended, volunteered, or made a donation for our fun ASFS Family Bingo Night!

Our next school wide-community service event will be the ASFS Dog Walk! This is another fun, free event hosted by SCA! On Saturday, February 8th, at 10 am, the SCA is hosting the ASFS Dog Walk!  This is the first community service project of the year for the Student Council Association and you don’t want to miss out on the fun!  We will begin with a walk around the block followed by activities, such as a best trick contest, a peanut butter race, a chance for a family portrait, and other activities for the dogs.

We will be collecting supplies to donate starting FEBRUARY 7th! Please read the list below for what can be donated to local shelters and animal organizations in our community. Items can be brought to your child’s classroom or brought to the Dog Walk on Saturday, February 8th!

  • FOR DOGS: Collars - all sizes, Leashes, Crates - all sizes (plastic or wire), Biscuits and Treats, Chew Toys - Nylabones, rawhides, rope toys, etc. Dog Beds, Stainless steel bowls, Baby Gates - for our Fosters , Towels and Blankets , Bandanas - pink and blue for adoption events
  • FOR CATS: Collars - all sizes, Carriers, Cat Food -any kind, Cat Treats, Toys, Small Litter Boxes, Litter Scoops, Litter , Towels and Blankets, Cat Beds, Bowls - food/water
  • GENERAL SUPPLIES: Paper Towels, Large Trash Bags, Disposable Plastic Gloves, Disinfectant Cleaner

News from the ASFS PTA

Thank you to all of the ASFS PTA committee chairs and many parent volunteers hard at work on the events and initiatives underway so far in 2020! Mark your calendar for some of the key upcoming dates this month:

  • ASFS Community Service Week (2/3-2/7): Thanks to Karrie Beaudry and the community service committee for hosting a week of service projects for each of our grade levels, from A-SPAN in K and 1st, Operation Turbo in 2nd, Lost Dog Animal Rescue in 3rd, Comfort Cases in 4th, and Cherrydale Rehabilitation Center in 5th.
  • ASFS Family STEM Night (Wednesday, 2/12 6:30-8:00pm): Thank you to Ms. Lin and her committee for hosting this annual event, this year with more fun science stations and raffle prizes, thanks to a grant from the National PTA, sponsored by Bayer. 
  • 2020 Annual ASFS Auction (Saturday, 2/29 7:00-11:00pm at Don Tito): Our biggest social event and fundraiser of the year! Thanks to Jennifer Berenbaum and her team for hosting a Mardi Gras Masquerade to support our school! Visit the ASFS Auction webpage to learn more, including the chance to buy your tickets and submit your family donations today.