Book List/Pick-up and Drop-off

Dear FAmilies,

If you had trouble accessing the book list I created, you are not alone! Sorry about that. I have changed the settings and if you would like to see it, please click below. Mr. Barzditis, 5th grade teacher, will send a form for students to complete over the summer regarding their reading choices. The choices do not need to be from this list; my hope in creating it was to give you and your child some good ideas about where to begin. Look for Mr. Barzditis’ form after June 5.

Book Suggestions

Today I spent the day in the classroom putting together students’ belongings. I usually dread the chaos of last day cleaning, as everyone moves in endless waves to the trash bins. But today, it was quiet. And very, very lonely. How I missed all of the smiling faces and students bubbling over with excitement. Then, as I cleaned, I found notes: “You are a great friend.” “Welcome back! I missed you!” and “You are my BFF.” These notes, stowed in cubbies and desks, made my heart soar. What great friends these children have become. They teach me lessons every day about offering kindness to others, then cherishing it and holding it dear. Thank you for sharing your wonderful children with us this year, and please keep in touch!

Mrs. Estes will send a reminder email about pick-up/drop-off procedures, but I wanted to remind you of things to return.

Have a great evening,

Summer Reading/Marine Science Day

Dear FAmilies,

It was wonderful, though emotional, to see the students yesterday for our final class meeting. We will miss this amazing and spirited class, and cannot wait to see them again. But we are FAmily, and will always be here for one another.

Summer Reading: Check this list for a summer reading book! It is organized by genre and books are listed alphabetically by title. These are just suggestions to get you going, and it is a living, breathing document. If your family has a favorite book that is NOT on the list, just email Mrs. Midkiff and she will add it. Peer suggestions are always helpful for young readers.

Weekend Opportunity: Register here to join the Virginia Institute of Marine Science for a day of virtual fun this Saturday, May 30. Access live-streamed talks with scientists, and ask them questions. Tour an oyster hatchery, watch seafood cooking demonstrations, and learn about marine science careers. Find out what an ichthyology collection is and see samples from theirs. Learn how to make science projects and related crafts, then dress your dog up for a costume contest! These activities and more are open to all ages and are available for free when you register.

We look forward to hearing from you over the summer, and will continue to post interesting websites and opportunities on our blog. Have a wonderful summer!

Your fourth grade team,
Michelle and Bill

Performance Time!

Dear FAmilies,

Here is a note from Mr. Santulli about the fourth/fifth grade performance:

Hello fourth and fifth Graders!

Here is your virtual performance of Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky!  I hope you enjoy!

Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky Virtual Performance

Here is the concert program for you to print out or download.

Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky concert program

Thanks to all of you who sent me recordings!  And thank you to all of you for your wonderful arrangements.

I hope you have a wonderful summer and I hope to see you in the Fall!

Mr. Santulli

Thursday, May 21 – Plans

Know Your Teacher Trivia: Final Challenge!

Can you name all of the dogs that belong to Mr. Evans and Mrs. Midkiff? Hint: there are three dogs total!

Yesterday’s Trivia Answers

The possible combinations of people who attended the same high school:

Mr. Evans – Mrs. Clark-Evans
Mr. Evans – Mrs. Midkiff
Mr. Evans – Mr. Midkiff
Mrs. Clark-Evans – Mrs. Midkiff
Mrs. Clark-Evans – Mr. Midkiff
Mrs. Midkiff – Mr. Midkiff

Drum roll, please…Mrs. Clark-Evans and Mrs. Midkiff attended the same high school
outside of New Orleans, Louisiana!


As a child, Mrs. Midkiff once glued her teeth together!

Dear FAmilies,

A few quick notes about the end of the school year:

  • Academic classes end tomorrow, May 21
  • Our final fourth grade class meeting will be held Wednesday, May 27 at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom (invitation will be sent early next week).
  • June 5th and 6th will be designated pick-up/drop-off days at the Lower School. Not sure what to drop off? Check this list. Mrs. Estes will send more information with logistics soon.
  • Summer work: 4th and 5th grade teachers are creating math and reading assignments to keep the summer slide at bay. They will be ready to send by June 5.
  • Mrs. Midkiff is compiling a list of her very favorite tween novels which she will email soon! If your child has read a novel that you think should be on the list, email me with the title and author.

5/21 – The Last Lesson Plan of Fourth Grade

Your fourth grade team,
Michelle and Bill

Wednesday, May 20 – Plans

Dear FAmilies,

I look forward to seeing many of you tomorrow for conferences. I will send you a google meet notification at the time you requested, and meetings should last between 10-15 minutes. Here is the schedule:

Wednesday, May 20

Time Name
10:00 a.m. Eyal and Lesley Fierst
10:20 a.m. Heather and Tim Harris
10:40 a.m. Dee and Eddy Hwang
11:00 a.m. Jaime Turgeon 
11:20 a.m. Jessica Cowdin
11:40 a.m. Gwen Joens
12:00 p.m. Shana Gertner

And tomorrow’s plans:

5/20 – Lesson plans

Your fourth grade team,
Michelle and Bill

Congratulations to Gwen Joens, who was the first to email with information on a croquembouche!

FYI: A beautiful display of choux pastry stuffed with cream, held together by caramel and
often drizzled with spun sugar, a croquembouche is a traditional cake at many New Orleans weddings.
They are also served
at Christmas and on some religious occasions such as baptisms.
At Mardi Gras, we eat king cake, and during Jazz Fest,
we eat everything, but especially crawfish bread!

Day 3 of Teacher Trivia!

Students: Of Mr. Evans, Mrs. Clark-Evans, Mrs. Midkiff, and Mr. Midkiff, which TWO do you think went to high school together? First, make an organized list (remember those from math class?) of the pairs that could have gone to high school together. Then decide who you think attended the same high school at the same time.

Parents: Guess which teacher, Mr. Evans or Mrs. Midkiff, glued his or her teeth together as a child using Krazy Glue?

Answers tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 19 – Plans plus bonus trivia!

Congratulations to Archie, who figured out that Mr. and Mrs. Midkiff were married on Tuesday, May 18, 1993!
Yes, it was a Tuesday, on the beach, in Mexico.
Why wait for a weekend when the scenery is perfect for a midweek wedding?
Congratulations to Daniel Turgeon, who knew Jenny’s phone number was 867-5309!
Dr. Turgeon’s singsong response: And it’s Jenny. 867-5309eeeyieeeine
Honorable Mention goes to Mrs. Llufrio, who sang that hit song all night long!

Day 2 of “How Well Do You Know Your Teacher?” Trivia:

Students: At morning meeting today, you shared your favorite dessert. What is Mr. Evans’ favorite dessert?

Parents: At what festive New Orleans occasion would you most likely find a croquembouche? Hint: You would not find it at Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest.


You are in the home stretch! This is our last week of academics, and you can see that our lesson plans are winding down. It is important each day to review math, read, and write. We know that the children have spring fever, burnout, and cabin fever all at once this year. Take lots of breaks if you need them. Please let Mrs. Midkiff know if there is anything you need; additional lessons, moral support, cheer leading, help with any academics, help choosing a new book series…the list goes on. You may need something I’ve not yet thought about, so feel free to ask!

I am working on putting together a presentation of the students’ final projects, so send photos of their work when you can. A google slide presentation can be shared with me at

5/19 Lesson Plan

Your fourth grade team,
Michelle and Bill

Monday, May 18 – Plans

Dear FAmilies,

Trivia Time:

  • For students: Mr. and Mrs. Midkiff were married on May 18… 27 years ago! Can you figure out the year AND the day of the week on which we got married?
  • For parents: In today’s plans, we talk a lot about vintage phones. Remember the rotary dial? I’ll bet you do! Now, can you tell me whose number was 867-5309?

Weekly Meetings:

Monday, 10:00 a.m. – All-class Zoom meeting

Tuesday, Thursday, 10:00 a.m. – Midkiff math class via Zoom

See below for tomorrow’s plans and this week’s specials lessons. Have a great week!

5/18 – Lesson Plan






Your fourth grade team,
Michelle and Bill

Thursday, May 14 – Lessons

Dear FAmilies,

As this year draws to a close, we would like to offer opportunities to discuss your child’s progress and growth in fourth grade. Since in-person conferences are not possible, we are offering conferences via Google meet. All students, regardless of homeroom, will have the opportunity to meet with Mrs. Midkiff (and Mrs. Estes, by request) prior to the end of the year. These conferences are, of course, optional. You may sign up for a time to meet with Mrs. Midkiff below, or you may call for another time:

Conference Sign-up

Here are lesson plans for Thursday:

5/14 Lesson Plan

If you are looking for a fun craft for over the weekend, Ari has the perfect solution: Making paper Squishies!

Some of you have asked for additional ways to help the Evans family as Mr. Evans recovers from surgery. If you would like to cook a meal and drop it at their door, please see this link for a Meal Train.

Your fourth grade team,
Michelle and Bill



Wednesday, May 13 – Plans

Dear FAmilies,

We have already received some photos of amazing reading projects, and look forward to seeing more over the next week. All of the photos will be added to a slide presentation that will be posted on the blog next weekend. Any slide presentations created by the students will be added to the blog, as well. We wish we could share them in person, but know that everyone will enjoy the virtual presentation. We are excited to see students’ work!

5/13 – Lesson Plan


Your fourth grade team,
Michelle and Bill