Halley Specials

Beginning of the Year Newsletter

October Newsletter

Specilaist October Newsletter


 October Newsletter Printable PDF 


Advanced Academics- Ms. Roukas

Happy October Hornets! I have had such a good time getting to know this community and the students. So much has happened and so much is yet to come!

Our kindergarten and first grade students have been working on their communicator skills and their critical and creative thinking skills. They have really been expanding their minds to think about things differently. In kindergarten, students have been showcasing their knowledge of the letters in the alphabet, manipulating a box into something new, thinking about shadows, and connecting with characters in their stories. Our first graders used their skills to create masterpieces out of scribbles, share the questions they wonder about frequently, think about cause and effect for characters in a story, and create unique animals. I love seeing what our students create and share!

In second grade, students reviewed their growth mindsets at the beginning of the year to remind themselves that just because something challenges them, they are still capable of success. These students have worked on their communicator and critical and creative thinker skills as well; they created their own unique ice cream flavors, thought through cause and effect with poetry, and discussed the importance of understanding someone else’s point of view.

In third grade, students did a lot of work to be strong communicators and collaborators. They worked together to think critically about the question: Should elementary school students have their phones in school? Our students though through the pros and cons of students having their phones and shared their ideas with their class. This ended with a class debate where students gave their point of view and respectfully listened to others’ points of view. Our students should feel proud that they respectfully engaged in a dialogue with complex thinking and reasoning. Well done!

Students receiving part-time services have begun their groups in grades 4 - 6. We are beginning with a DBQ in each group. Students in fourth grade are working to answer the question: Why are Hurricanes So Dangerous?, which supports their science instruction. Students in fifth grade are working to answer the question: Was Grimm Too Grim? which will help support Language Arts instruction. Students in sixth grade are working to answer the question: How Does the Constitution Guard Against Tyranny?, which supports their history instruction this year.

A DBQ offers the students some primary source documents related to the central question and asks them to do an analysis of the documents. Together, we can have a conversation to explain our individual understanding and create deeper connections as we share. This will end with a Socratic Seminar designed to engage students in thoughtful, meaningful discourse. I look forward to hearing their thoughts.

Art- Mrs. Willis

We have hit the ground running this year!

Grades 4-6 have finished their clay projects! Yay! They worked really hard planning, building, and painting their creations! They also created digital portfolios with reflections We will be starting painting projects this week!

2nd grade just finished BEAUTIFUL habitat paintings! Each class studied different habitats. We focused on where they are located, animals live in each habitat, and plants that allow the habitats to grow and thrive!

Grades 1 and 3 just started painting projects last week! We‘re focusing on perspective and mixing our own colors! 3rd grade is creating a landscape, and 1st grade is painting a fall scene!

Kindergarten just started painting procedures this week! They are SO excited! We will be creating an Eric Carle inspired painting the next few weeks!


Library- Ms. Hall

Halley Hornets have been busy buzzing around the library! All grades have been practicing routines and procedures for checking out books of choice in the library.

In kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade, students have been learning how to find popular characters like Pete the Cat, Bad Guys, Dog Man, and Elephant and Piggie books in the library. Students have also been exploring their interests in nonfiction books.

In 3rd and 4th grade, students have been using library tools like shelf markers and the Destiny catalog. Students have been exploring fiction and nonfiction sections of the library and learning how the library is organized.

In 5th and 6th grade, students have been reviewing different genres around the library and are engaged in finding their “Genre Personality.” Students have also been exploring library collections and procedures for putting books on hold.


Music- Mrs. Poblete and Ms. Smith

It’s been a busy first few weeks in the Music Rooms!

In August and September we worked on building relationships and strong routines to set us up for success! We also got to have a lot of fun singing, moving, and playing instruments together.

As we head into October we have been starting to talk about steady beat in music. We have been moving and playing instruments to the beat of some new songs and we can’t wait to start learning about rhythm with some brand new notes!

Stay tuned for information about 5th and 6th Grade Chorus!


PE- Mr, Creek and Mr. Pennell

The Halley Hornets have been busy in P.E. the last month!

Students in grades K-3 have been busy reviewing locomotor movements, participating in cooperative team play activities, and receiving an introduction to soccer (dribbling, passing/trapping, kicking/punting.)

Students in grades 4-6 completed round 1 of 3 of their yearly physical fitness testing. Students in grades 4-6 also completed a soccer unit that involves dribbling, passing /trapping, and kicking/punting.


Technology- Mrs. Buchko

Halley staff and students celebrated Digital Citizenship week October 16-20 of this month. Each day the morning news show shared information on how to be a good digital citizen. We learned that it is important to balance our time with technology, protect our private information, be kind online and stand up for ourselves and others, and finally how to know what we see or read on the internet is true. DIgital Citizenship is a shared responsibility with families, students and school staff. We will continue to work together to help our hornets become outstanding digital citizens. More information about digital citizenship in Fairfax county can be found on the Fairfax County Digital Citizenship public webpage.

During fourth through sixth grade technology specials students learned a little about binary numbers. Binary numbers is the language computers use to communicate. Students write words using binary numbers and then converted the binary numbers into an image. Students used many Portrait of a Ggraduate skills during the lesson and had an opportunity to reflect and share their learning.











Instructional Technology Coach