Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Claude Thompson Elementary

Mrs. Armstrong's 4th Grade Class


Fauquier County Public Schools is transitioning from SchoolCenter (this web format) and ANGEL Learning to Blackboard Learning beginning this school year.  I have already switched to Blackboard Learn, and have sent parents two letters about it from school. 

Please go to the county's site, and look for the Blackboard Learn link under parents, students, or staff on the left hand side.  Once there, you can type in your child's i.d. number (lunch number) as the user name, and their birth month and day as the password.


user name 123456

password 0214

You have to put a zero in front of the single digit months and days to make a four digit password.

I have set up Blackboard so there are notes about what is going on in our classroom, important dates, websites your children can access for each subject, pictures of activities that students have done in class, study guides, and more.  Become familiar with it and help your child use it as a learning tool.  It can be accessed from anywhere and any device that gets you on the Internet. 

We will also record things of importance in your child's planner like homework, and quiz and test dates as a back-up communication tool. 

Students have homework EVERY NIGHT.  They may not have something that needs to be written down, but they do have to read daily and study their social studies' study guides.  Make sure you look at and sign the communication folder that will house graded work, newsletters, etc.  The communication folder will be sent home as needed.  You should make it a habit to ask your child to see the folder every night.  I prefer that you e-mail me instead of putting a note in the communication folder.  Students often forget to turn in notes.

Students have lots to learn this year, and will take an SOL in reading, math, and social studies.  It is imperative that students read every single night for at least 20 minutes.  They can use the Tumblebooks website of on-line books for this, and then can take AR tests at school the next morning.  They can reach Tumblebooks through the reading class on Blackboard. 

They should also study the study guides that will be in their social studies cumulative folders and on Blackboard.  They can use to study for their homework and in preparation for tests.  This can also be reached through Blackboard in the social studies class.

If your child doesn't have their basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts memorized, they need to master them as quickly as they can.  There are lots of websites that can help.  Some of them will be included on Blackboard learn and some are below for them to use.  Children who don't know their basic facts often struggle with the fourth grade math content. 

If you would like details on the fourth grade curriculum, you can visit the VA Department of Education's website.  You can also find practice tests, and other things that will help your child succeed on the state's website.

See below for some more important things about our class.

Here are the multiplication facts websites.

flash cards

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns at


Routines and Procedures From the Beginning of the Year Letter to Parents

This is a "no odor" classroom.  Please do not wear cologne, perfume, or scented lotions. 


Parent Communication Folders

Fourth graders will be given a Communication Folder that they will use to carry graded work, newsletters, etc. home from school.  Please ask for the folder daily in case there were papers to send home that day. You only need to return papers that are on the "Return to School" side of the folder.  This can be part of your daily routine when you check your child's planner.



 Your child’s planner will be kept in a homework binder that will go home every day.  Homework, tests, and other important dates will be recorded in the planner.  We usually write down information for a week or two at a time.  The planner helps your child keep track of what he/she is responsible for doing.  It will also be easy for you to keep up with assignments that should be done at home.  If you need to inform me of a dismissal change, please write it on a separate note and hook it in the planner for your child to give to me, or send an e-mail to in the office.  Do not send dismissal changes to my e-mail.  You can write other notes to me in the planner or you can e-mail me at  Sometimes, because I am teaching, I cannot check my e-mail until the end of the day.  If you send me an e-mail and I don’t respond within 24 hours, I didn’t get your e-mail.  Try to re-send it or call the office and leave a message in my voice mailbox.


Items in the classroom

When it comes to drinks in the classroom, students are only permitted and highly encouraged to bring water bottles to keep in the classroom.  No other drinks are allowed.  Students should leave toys and other distractions to learning at home.  Students should be able to fit all their school supplies in their desks.  Pencil cups, large sharpeners, or big pencil boxes cannot be stored on top of their desks, and will have to be taken home.





Students have homework DAILY that should take about an hour.  You should never hear, “I don’t have homework,” because there is always studying and reading even if there is nothing to write down.  Students should do language, math, and social studies homework Monday-Thursday night.  This is what you can expect:


Reading:  4th graders should practice reading for at least 20 minutes every night.  Please help make this happen by giving your child a routine time to read (like right before bed), or having them read aloud to you.  If you have a struggling reader, read with them or to them.


Language:  Practice pages for writing, spelling, or reading skills will be passed out on Mondays and due dates will be noted on the page or in the binder.  Students should work on the pages a little at a time throughout the week. If they struggle with the work, you can help them, or they can bring it to school for help during remediation before Friday.  We will go over the work in class on the day it is due.


Math:  Homework will be assigned on Monday with due dates noted on each page.  If students are struggling with the homework, they can bring it back to school with a note from you for a reteaching session.  If homework is due and they don’t have it finished they need to have a note from a parent that they struggled or they will miss recess time.


If your child is struggling with math homework, they have several choices for help.  You can help them.  They can use the on-line tutor that comes with the textbook series.  Or they can bring it back to school for reteaching.  If they bring it back on the day it is due and it is unfinished, they need a note from you that they struggled with it.  We will go over the homework in class on the day it is due.  So if they don’t have a note from you, it counts as “not doing your homework”. 


Social Studies:  There will be study guides for social studies that show exactly what will be on tests and quizzes.  These study guides have been created from the SOL essential knowledge that the VA Department of Education says that fourth graders should know.  Students will be tested on the information in SOL format.  They should review the study guides daily in preparation for tests and quizzes.  This should be at least fifteen minutes of their hour homework time every evening.  These study guides are cumulative.  Your child will keep all of them in a cum. folder and will continue to review them throughout the year.  There will be cumulative tests.


Science:  Students will keep a science folder for in-class activities.  Students will be assessed on the experiments, investigations, and other activities they participate in during class time. 


Discipline Policy


There are lots of reasons to do your best job in our classroom.  First of all there is a Mystery Word Reward.  Students earn letters for being a great class and the letters spell something that is a reward.  This is a lot of fun for them.  There are also table points that can be earned.  Each table group works together throughout the week to earn points and the table with the most points is rewarded on Friday. 

Individuals are explicitly taught and are encouraged to follow school rules.  Our school is uses a behavior program called “Effective School-wide Discipline”.  You will see posters around the school of expected school behavior in different settings.  Students are taught the expectations and then re-taught and face consequences as problems occur. 

If a student is misbehaving, they are given a verbal warning and are re-taught the expected behavior.  If the problem persists, the teacher will fill out a referral form that will be sent home for you to sign and return.  The child will again be re-taught the expected behavior.  A student will lose fifteen minutes of recess each time one of these forms needs to be filled out.  Students may also need to take a time-out in a different location if they are not changing their behavior and are disruptive to the learning environment.  If a child doesn’t have their homework completed, they lose recess and they work on their homework during recess.  They also may serve lunch detention for extra time to complete the work. 


Grading Scale Honor Roll Requirements

94-100 A

86-93 B   A Honor Roll-all As

77-85 C

70-76 D   A/B Honor Roll-all As and Bs

Below 70 F


Class Schedule

8:15-8:35    Morning Work

8:35-9:05    DOL/Keyboarding

9:05-9:35   Writing

9:35-10:55 Reading

10:55-11:35   Reading Remediation

11:35-11:55 Recess

11:55-12:20   Lunch

12:20-1:00   Specials' Rotations

1:00- 2:00   Math  (On Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:30-2:00, we go to the Math Stations room)

2:00-3:15 Social Studies/Science

3:20   Dismissal


We will use a rotating schedule for specials again this year.  1-P.E., 2-Music, 3-Art, 4-Library.  These will be noted in the planner, so students will know when to wear tennis shoes and bring their library books to return.  Library books are due the DAY BEFORE students’ library day.  We will also have guidance lessons which are not part of the rotation.  Guidance is scheduled for 1:50 on Fridays.  We will also have a 20-30 minute class meeting each week-usually on Fridays for our class to solve problems, give compliments, and generally work towards a positive class climate.



This website will not be updated.  Please check Blackboard Learn.