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Armstrong Elementary School

Fabulous Fourth!


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We had a great week back at school after spring break! It was a busy one though filled with lots of revising and editing practice, open house, and grandfriend’s day. I enjoyed seeing so many smiling faces at open house and seeing student work begin shared proudly with parents. I also loved meeting so many grandparents and grandfriends today! I heard many stories being shared about the past and students learning all about their families. It was a great day!

Next week we have the Writing STAAR test on Tuesday, March 28. Please make sure that your child gets a good night’s sleep and eats a hardy breakfast the morning of. Snacks are being provided by our cafeteria manager, but students will need to bring their own water bottles. Please be sure to send a bottle of water to school on Tuesday!

This week in:

Math: Perimeter and Area

Reading: We reviewed non-fiction text features and began to read a book titled The Secret of the Mummies. Students were responsible for reading a different chapter and becoming an expert about the information. Next week, students will present their information to our class.

Writing: Revising and Editing Bootcamp

Social Studies: The Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto

Science: Volume by displacement

I hope you all had a wonderful spring break!  I know the students were excited to share all their fun trips they took and activities they did over the break.  Here are a few updates for upcoming events:

  1. Crazy Sock Day tomorrow-Ask your child why we are wearing crazy socks tomorrow!
  2. This nine weeks, I’m letting them pick the genre they want to read. The book must be on their level (they know how to check that) and they must log 30 minutes each night, 10 minutes of that being reading out loud to practice their fluency.
  3. The STAAR test for writing is next Tuesday.  I sent home a letter today regarding information.  Please let me know if you have questions after reviewing the letter.
  4. Open House is this Thursday from 5-6:30 with a performance from the students in the auditorium at 6:15. Hope to see you all there!
  5. Grandfriend’s Day is on Friday from 9:00-10:30. Grandfriends can come and visit with the students any time during that range. Students are not allowed to travel with their grandfriends around school or visit classes that grandfriends might be visiting for a second child.  We will have many visitors and want to ensure safety of all students.
  6. Report Cards will be posted online this Friday.

I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by. It seems the year just started!  There is a lot of work ahead and I hope you will see the progress your child has made this year!

Happy Spring Break!! Here are a few important dates that are coming up when we return:


MARCH 23          OPEN HOUSE 5:00 - 6:30 P.M.

MARCH 24          GRANDFRIENDS DAY 9:00 A.M.


We had a fun week of learning, but I know the students were ready to get their Spring Break started today. I hope you all have a wonderful week! 


Important Reminders

Monday, February 27: If your child forgot to bring their change jar today for Children’s Hospital please bring it on Monday. There will be a collection bin in the office to deposit the money.

Next week is Dr. Seuss Week! If you signed up to read to our class please see the volunteer website to check for the day and time you are coming. Please bring ONE of your favorite Dr. Seuss books to share with our class.

Tuesday, February 28- Lane Arnold will be subbing for our class as I am out for a TAG update.

We had an AWESOME week during our Armstrong Adventure Camp. The students composed excellent pieces of writing—I am very proud of their hard work! Next week we will be working towards perfecting each piece looking specifically at intros, conclusions, supporting reasons, transitions, revising, and editing. After this is when they will compose their polished final drafts. Our original plan was to have students write their final drafts this week but we simply did not have enough time. Thank you so much to all of our parents who helped set up tents and brought snacks for our class. We are very lucky to have a group of such supportive and loving parents!

We have reached the end of the second day of writing camp! Our class worked very hard on their writing today.  It is an intensive process, but they will feel so prepared in their writing once we complete this experience. Thanks for always helping our class with snacks, set up, and your continued support.

  1. Tonight, students will share their rough drafts with you. Got through your child’s writing tonight and help them to revise and edit (even if they have already completed this!) Look for transitional words or phrases in your child’s writing and help to see places where they can include these(See the picture above) Please write a Glow(something they did well on the paper) and a Grow(something they need to work on). This is due tomorrow morning.
  2. Students will need to take all of their belongings on Thursday (i.e. blankets, sleeping bags, etc.).  This means that you will need to help them carry some things down during dismissal.  Please ensure there is a plan in place to bring items home. Those that have brought a tent, please pick them up on Thursday as well.
  3. Students have a Change for Children Box with information regarding our service project.  Please be sure to send this back by Friday. 24th.
  4. Tomorrow is Thinking Camp Thursday –Wear a hat or a headband.
  5. Friday: Armstrong Adventure Camp-Wear Camping Gear. –This day is out grammar boot camp-therefore, they don’t need the tents or the other items.

Update! (2/21/17)

Today we did not get to our final drafts, so the student's homework is to complete their rough draft then do revising and editing with you. They will not need to complete a final copy for today. Hopefully tomorrow we students will get a chance to revise and edit in class then finish their final copy either at school or at home. 

Also, I attached a “Glows and Grows” sheet to their writing in which you will need to fill out. A “Glow”  is something in their writing that you were impressed by and a “Grow” is something you saw that you feel your child could improve upon. Students will be bringing these home each night this week and they will need to be returned the following day along with their writing.

Thank you for helping our students to become expert essayists!

Important Reminders:

-This we started a school service project benefiting Children’s Hospital. Please see the flyer sent home in the Friday folder and the change box that students decorated in class. Students will be turning in the money they collected next Friday.

Remember to have your child read out loud for at least ten minutes each night to help build fluency. Try having your child read poems and easier texts helps build fluency.

Monday, February 20: No school for students!

Tuesday-Friday: Armstrong Adventure Writing Camp! Fourth grade will be dedicating an entire week to expository writing! Please see the schedule below (in my previous post) to know what the theme is for each day. Since we will only be working on writing next week students will not have reading or math homework, but they will be responsible for completing polished, final drafts.

Also, parents will have a little homework as well! Each evening students will be bringing home their piece of writing for the day and you will need to read over it with your child and give them “glows” and “grows”. This sheet will be attached to their essays for you to fill out. Please return this with your child’s writing the next day.

What we are working on in class…

Math: This week we began our measurement unit. We have looked at customary units of length and capacity so far.

Next week students need to bring an item of capacity for our “measurement museum”.   This could be anything that measures using pints, gallons, quarts, cups and oz. They have until next Friday to bring this in.

Reading: We are continuing our historical fiction unit work in class and at home. Your child should be re

Writing: We finished publishing our second literary essay our book club books. We are all ready to go for writing camp next week!

Science: Students explored weather tools such as rain gauges, barometers, thermometers, and wind gauges.

Social Studies: We began looking at the start of the Texas Revolution this week.

Dear Parents,

Writing Camp will be held February 21-24. We have a camping theme this year that we’re calling “The Armstrong Adventure.” To keep our kids energized in the afternoons, we would like to provide them with some fun snacks. Below are the snacks needed for each day of the week.

If you would like to volunteer for one of the days below, please provide one snack per child. Also, please have the snacks individually packed in plastic baggies. (These are SURPRISE SNACKS, so please don’t let the kids know about them). I will update with who is bring what as I hear back from parents. 

Tuesday- popcorn (Amanda Swanson) 

Wednesday- Chex Mix (Lauren Zeitman) 

Thursday- marshmallows/pretzels/M&M’s mixture or a S'more mix of graham cracker cereal, chocolate, and marshmellows. (Tiffany Stanzel) 

Friday- Gummy Worms (Jenny Davison) 

If your child has allergies to the above, please send a surprise snack for them.  You can send them all on Tuesday and I will pass them out each day.

*Also, in order to make our classroom feel more like a campsite, we would love to have a tent in the back of our room! The tent will be needed from Tuesday- Friday that week. If you are interested in providing this, please let me know. We can work out a time for you to come and set up the tent this Friday after school (preferably) or early Tuesday morning before school-Keep in mind that there is no school for students on Monday.

***Please email me if you are able to bring a snack or tent.

We will celebrate each day of fabulous writing with spirit attire:

Tuesday- “Warm-Up with Writing”

*Wear a warm-up suit or your favorite comfy clothes


Wednesday- “Team Up for Writing”

*Wear your favorite team shirt or jersey


Thursday- “Thinking Cap Thursday”

*Wear a hat or headband of your choice


Friday- “Armstrong Adventure Camp”

*Wear your camping gear


Important Reminders:

Tuesday, February 14: Class Valentine’s Party at 2:30pm (Students can bring in Valentine’s cards but they will need to be for everyone in our class.) They are also welcome to decorate a box for their Valentine’s cards and bring it to class on Tuesday.

Thursday, February 16- I will be out for professional development. Lane Arnold will be my sub.

What we are working on in class…

Math: This week we wrapped up our Geometry unit. We will be reviewing today and taking a test on Monday.

Reading: We are beginning to wrap up our historical fiction unit. Students completed their second book club book and did a celebration today. In their celebrations they shared an artifact that represented a character in their story. We will continue using their book club book into next week to compose a literary essay about a theme from their book. Also, we began our read aloud Esperanza Rising. Ask your children about it this weekend!

Writing: We finished publishing our first literary essay on a picture book focusing on character. We also started began writing our boxes and bullets for a new literary essay on their book club books. We will have these published by the end of next week.

Science: Students explored weathering and erosion in Science Lab on Tuesday.

Social Studies: We spent a little more time this week reading and exploring different articles about Texas missions.

Important Reminders:

  • Science Fair Projects due Thursday, February 9th!
  • The Science Fair will take place on Thursday, February 9th at 6:00pm in the small gym.
  • If your child did not turn in their Penny Book projects today then they will be due on Monday, February 6th.

What we are working on in class…

Math: Lines, Angles, and Shapes Unit- This week we looked at different types of angles, learned how to measure angles with a protractor, and adding and subtracting to find unknown angle measures.

Reading: We are still trucking along in our historical fiction unit. Everyone received new book club books this week—ask your child about their new book and what time in history it is set in! We are wrapping up Number the Stars today—the students have LOVED this book! Its always sad when we complete a book that we are so deeply into! We will be starting a new read aloud next week (one of my favorites!) Esperanza Rising.  

Writing: We are wrapping up our literary essay today. Next week we will begin a new literary essay on their book club books.

Science: Students explored weathering and erosion in Science Lab on Tuesday.

Social Studies: Students understand what Missions are, why they were created, and what life in a mission consisted of. We will wrap up missions on Monday and move on to the Texas Revolution.

Weekly Update

Good morning parents! I hope you all had a lovely, restful weekend! Last week was a busy one--so busy that I forgot to post my update! Please forgive my tardiness and know that this was meant for last week. We had an exciting week of learning last week! We wrapped up our One School, One Book reading of Pie and we had the opportunity to watch Sarah Weeks (the author) do a reading of the book. How lucky are we??  
Here is an update of of week last week: 

Math: This week we wrapped up our fractions unit and began our unit on geometry. We will be studying lines, angles, 2-dimensional shapes, and measuring angles.

Writing: The students were very studious writers this week! We added more to our literary essay by writing mini-stories, lists, and including quotes to support our reasons and thesis. We will continue our work on this for the next week or so.

Reading: We have been continuing to dig deeper into our historical fiction unit.  We have also wrapped up our first book club book. Students will be starting another book this week with their book clubs. In class we have been reading Number the Stars. Students are loving this book and learning around the historical connection to World War II.  

Social Studies/Science: Students studied and minerals this week in science. In social studies we are beginning to learn about missions in Texas.


1) Friday, February 3rd: Penny Book projects are due. We have had plenty of time in class for students to finish their world events. If your child has not completed these then please have them finish at home. Please review the rubric and instructions sheet to be sure that all necessary items are included.

2) January 20th-February 3rd: Kindness week. Valenkinds will be sold all week during lunch.

3) Science Fair projects are due February 9th before school and the actual Science Fair is Thursday, February 9th from 5pm-7pm in the gym. 

Weeks of Jan 9th and 16th

Hope you all had a restful three day weekend! Here is what is coming up and our happenings from last week and this week.


-PAWS meeting is Wednesday, January 11th at 7:15 am

-The Armstrong Spelling Bee is this Thursday, January 19th at 3:30 pm in the auditorium. Please come support our third and fourth graders who are participating!

-Our Penny Project is due on Friday, February 3rd.  Please be sure it is bound and has a cover sheet on the front with the child's name, Penny Project 2017, 4th Grade, Mrs. Hollier.  By now, you child should have 7 world events completed with the time given in class. Please review these on Google Drive with your children. 

-Science Fair plan sheet is due next Friday, January 20. This year science fair is mandatory for all 4th graders. 

-One School, One Book: Pie. I hope you all are enjoying this book!


We finished our first unit on fractions and will move into adding, subtracting and decomposing fractions this week.  Students also worked on problem-solving skills with fractions.


Students have started reading and composing Literary Essay this week.  We will continue this work for the next several weeks. 


Hopefully your child has told you all about book club!  Students are very excited about their historical fiction book club. Most of their reading for this will be done at school with the exception of pages they do not finish for the day. Those unfinished pages will become homework. Students receive about 30 minutes a day to read in class and then have discussions with their groups.  Ask students about what type of trouble is brewing in their books? What do they know about the setting and the characters?


Students worked on testing minerals.  We did the first half science experiment today to show students how a science fair project/investigation is completed. We will complete the second half tomorrow.

Social studies:

Students will begin work with Texas Missions next week and continue working on their world events for their penny book project.