Welcome to 3rd Grade
The Ashlawn Third Grade team would like to welcome you to Ashlawn Elementary School.
Ms. Charlotte Hoffer
I am thrilled to be a teacher at Ashlawn Elementary School. I attended undergrad and received my Bachelors in Elementary Education at Clemson University, Go Tigers! I earned a Masters of Education in Social Foundations with an ESOL Endorsement through the University of Virginia. I love spending time with my husband, Adam, son, Charlie, and Sheepadoodle, Willa. We enjoy watching Clemson Football, being outside, and spending time with our extended family. In elementary school, I loved reading The Babysitters Club series and Nancy Drew mysteries; Harriet the Spy was also a favorite. I love the school spirit at Ashlawn and all that we do to be Global Citizens, particularly the service events like the Walk to End Homelessness and Cereal Mountain Food Drive. Go Eagles!
Ms. Elizabeth Howard
Growing up in Egypt, China, and the States imparted an early interest for me in international relations. This initially drew me to the Washington, D.C. area, specifically the trade arena, after finishing UCLA. When earning my graduate degree at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, I helped oversee the Minority Outreach Model U.N. Program in D.C. schools awakening my interest in teaching. I am now a decade into the profession and entering my fifth year at Ashlawn. Evident in Ashlawn’s daily instruction is the premium its teachers place on reading, global citizenship and the right dose of fun. Comic relief is important in my class, so I am in constant pursuit of books that are laugh-out-loud funny. Candice Fleming’s books continue to rise to this occasion. Outside of school, I am always on the search for an adventure and excuse to exercise. To this end, last year, I reached an altitude above 16,000 feet in the Andes.
Mr. Keith Knott
This is my 18th year of teaching 3rd grade. I am a tried-and-true native Arlingtonian, and grew up in Clarendon before there was even a metro station, and the most exciting establishment was a Sears; and you went Putt-Putt golfing in Parkington, where Ballston Mall is now. Having been to all 50 states and over 60 countries, I still find Arlington to be the greatest place on Earth to live and work. I am a graduate of Arlington Public Schools (Washington-Lee ’95), earned my B.A. at James Madison University in History and Education, earned my M.Ed. at the University of Virginia in School Administration, and continue to learn at Columbia University in New York from time to time. I’m an avid traveler, geography enthusiast, love the National Parks and Wolf Trap, and find joy in growing as a learner and teacher. I love to read Rick Steves travel books before going to Europe, read ancient history books, and favorite read of all time was Gone with the Wind.
Ms. Sara Lynn
I am so excited to be teaching at Ashlawn this year! This is my tenth year teaching and my third year here at Ashlawn. I was born and raised in New Jersey and moved to Northern Virginia shortly after I graduated college in 2009. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Penn State University (WE ARE!) and my Master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction from George Mason University. I love spending time with my husband Robbie and our playful and very energetic chocolate lab, Remi. As a family, we love traveling, listening to live music, and watching sports together (especially Penn State and Virginia Tech football!). Some of my favorite hobbies include reading, working out, and going on walks with my dog. Two of my favorite authors are Roald Dahl and Kate DiCamillo. I look forward to another year of fostering a love of reading in my classroom! I love being apart of the Ashlawn family because of the warm and welcoming feeling that I’m surrounded by every day I am at school! I am thrilled to begin another fantastic year!
Ms. Christina Stever
I’m so excited to begin my third year teaching here at Ashlawn! Prior to joining the amazing Ashlawn staff, I spent four years teaching in neighboring Fairfax County. I spent my undergrad years at the University of Delaware and got my degree in Elementary Education, with minors in Middle School Mathematics & Special Education. Recently, I also graduated from the University of Virginia with my Masters in Reading Education. When I am not teaching Monday-Friday, I love spending time with my husband, Shaun. We really enjoy trying new restaurants in the area, traveling (just visited Italy this past summer), & keeping up with our favorite sports teams. Growing up in Philadelphia, I developed a deep love of all Philly teams, especially my Flyers! I’m looking forward to an incredible year with my third grade Eagles.
Ms. Alyssa D’Amore-Yarnall
This is my third year as a Special Education Teacher at Ashlawn, however my ninth year overall. I graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with my Elementary and Special Education degree and stayed to complete the master’s program in Reading. When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Paul, and our newest addition, Madelynn! My favorite children’s book is The Rainbow Fish. Each year at Ashlawn seems to get better! I love Ashlawn’s warm and welcoming community. It is a very collaborative school that believes in helping one another.
Ms. Susan DeMatties
I am so happy and proud to be a member of the Ashlawn community! I have taught in a wide range of special education elementary classroom settings for over 20 years – now in my fifth year here at Ashlawn, where I am the Primary Self-Contained Special Education teacher. I grew up in New York, lived with my family in Chicago for six years, and now live in Virginia. I have a MS in Early Childhood Education and a dual BS in Elementary Education and Special Education and have taught in New York, Maryland, and Virginia. When not at Ashlawn, I love to travel, read, and spend time with my family. Two of my children are hockey players – which sometimes takes up quite a bit of travel and cheering time during the fall, winter, and early spring months! At any given point in time during the weekend, you may very well find me at one of the few rinks in the DC area, traveling north with my daughter’s team, or cheering on one of my other favorite hockey teams – Chicago Blackhawks or Washington Capitals. My favorite part of teaching at Ashlawn is working with my students. We work hard to accomplish individual objectives and we all enjoy celebrating in the joy of our successes. I also feel lucky to be surrounded by an incredibly talented, dedicated, and hard-working team of professionals! GO Ashlawn Eagles! GO Blackhawks! GO Caps!
Ms. Heather Swietlik
In 2007, after attending SUNY Fredonia and obtaining an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education, I moved to the DC area. I began my career as a First Grade Teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools. While teaching in Fairfax I attended George Mason University and received my Master’s Degree in Special Education. In 2017 I joined the Ashlawn Family as a part-time Special Education Teacher working in grades Pre-K to Third. This year I am excited to be working with both the Third and Fourth Grade teams. Outside of the classroom I enjoy spending time with my husband, our son Max, and the friends we’ve made while living in Arlington. In my free time I enjoy working out, spending time outside, and reading. My favorite children’s book is Blueberries for Sal, however these days I spend most of my time reading books that have “truck” in the title! I look forward to another great year here at Ashlawn.
Get conversations started at home this summer by discussing these current learning topics.
Reading We will be doing lots of great reading this year! We are focusing on “Reading is Thinking”! We do lots of thinking while we read. We make predictions, make connections, visualize (movies in my mind), and have questions. We will focus on a guided reading approach to meet the fluency and comprehension needs of your child this year. What you can do at home: Ask your child to make predictions, connections, and what they are visualizing in their head as you read to them, or in a conversation after they have read independently. Ask your child to point out some details about what they read, and the main idea that all those details fall under. Have your child frequently summarize what they read to you.
Writing Students will be gathering many ideas for writing stories through great examples of books we read. Each book offers a new idea for writing. We will be using our writing journal every day.What you can do at home: Ask your child to think about one of the ideas they have in their ideas section or that we have discussed to write a story. As your child to write about a small moment, and stretch it out over ten sentences.
Social Studies We will be learning about our government as we start the year, and will celebrate Constitution Day in September.What you can do at home: Visit one of the many great monuments in Washington DC to see our government in action (Archives, Capitol, Mt Vernon). Look at maps on pamphlets, GPS systems, and books to discuss them. Have your child create a treasure map with a title, key, and scale. Ask your child to make connections between ancient cultures or connections to our culture.
Science We will be learning about the scientific method through various science experiments. We will learn to make a smart hypothesis, collect data, and interpret results of an experiment.What you can do at home: Help your child identify simple experiments at home. Does a plant grow bigger if watered by milk or water? Does a baseball go farther when hit by a wood or metal bat? Which grows mold faster – moist bread or dry bread? Does exercise affect heart rate?
Math We will begin the year with fact fluency and patterns in math.What you can do at home: Visit the “3rd Grade Links” and practice some of the math activities. For place value, we are learning up to the hundred thousands place (100,000). Students should be able to write numbers in standard form, expanded form, and word form. Provide them one of those expressions, and have your child complete the other ways to express it. Students should be able to round numbers up to the thousands place this year. Ask your child to help you count money and make change. See a graph anywhere? Help your child interpret it!