Homework Over Thanksgiving Break

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I know that the children are excited to have the time away from school but I need them to do a few things. Remember to READ, READ, and READ. Reading counts ends on December 11th. I would like them to return to school on Monday and be able to take at least one test. Also, there are many students that need to work on adding details, thoughts and feelings in order to publish their writing piece. This needs to be returned Monday. Please encourage them to work on this. If your child did not bring this home, they are probably finished.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Blog

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For those who follow our blog outside the United States, visit this excellent History.com post about the history of Thanksgiving. And, for those of you who have not had a refresher course on this holiday,  you might find yourself learning some new facts to share around the Thanksgiving table later this week.  For those who think they know everything, test your turkey knowledge with this quiz.

If you find your family members are bored and in need of something to do, show them our blogs.  I added a new feature (the revolving globe to the right) that shows your location on the map as well as visitors from around the world.

And, to really spice up the family gathering, take your family on the BLOG SCAVENGER HUNT. This month we are sharing silly stories about silly things we have done in our lives.   Everyone is a winner in this contest.  Students will be entered in the Reading Counts drawing just for participating.  Other prizes will be offered too.

Science Fun

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As a way to show the difference between mixtures and solutions, we will be making and enjoying Kool-Aid (solution) and trail mix (mixture). Please send in an edible unwrapped item in the zip lock bag provided. Items such as: cereal pretzels, chocolate chips, M&Ms, and mini marshmallows are just a few ideas that work out great for this activity. (NO PEANUTS PLEASE!) We will need the bags returned to school by Tuesday, November 24. Thanks for your help!

Social Studies

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We will have a Social Studies test on Tuesday. This will cover the regions of Michigan. Please help your child study the regions Michigan can be divided into, the unique regions of Michigan, and the regions of the U.S. that Michigan is a part of.

Also, please ask your child about why the regions are divided this way. What are the similar features and characteristics of the regions?

Let me know if there are any other questions.

Thanks for your support!

Poetry Academy

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The entire class will be participating in Poetry Academy. The children will meet with our wonderful volunteers (Mrs. Tiesman, Mrs. Sitzema, or Mrs. Fellows) every Wednesday to pick a new poem and review last weeks poem. The children are encouraged to read it to at least 10 people during the week. This is will allow each student to focus on fluency, expression and confidence. This will open the door for our future unit in Writer’s Workshop. In the Spring, we will have a poetry reading in which parents or grandparents are invited to come.

If your child is interested in completing some additional activities for poetry, please explore the following sites:


http://www.jackprelutsky.com/flash/index.html (Click on the sun that says ENTER)

Science News

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Our class is beginning a new science unit. We will be studying basic concepts in chemistry, finding out how materials interact with each other and whether it is a mixture or solution. The children will learn what happens when simple materials, like gravel, salt, and water, are put together. They will also learn techniques for separating the resulting mixtures and solutions. We will investigate combinations of materials, like baking soda and calcium chloride (the salt used to melt ice on roads), that react when mixed, producing new products, like chalk, carbon-dioxide gas, and table salt. These are exciting discoveries. This is more than we need to do for this unit but it is loaded with experiments.

Today we did an experiment with static electricity. Thanks for volunteering Morgan!


Writing Homework

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Return Composition Book: November 19th

Today your child is coming home with an empty composition book. The goal is to have your child write 10 minutes a night (yes, they can do more if they choose). They will write in a special, quiet place and reflect on an event from the day. You will need to trust that they are doing it and maybe help them by setting a timer. They do not need to share what they wrote with you because some of the pieces aren’t ready to be shared and I promised them that they are writing only for their eyes (but they can share it with others later if they choose).

Things we are learning:

Our lives are made up of not only what happens to us but also our responses to what happens to us. (Add feelings to our stories)
Pay attention to details and write about what you are thinking during the day.
Both readers & writers need to form pictures in their minds. Form a picture in your mind and write about it. Show Don’t Tell!
Stop and Ask, “What was I thinking/feeling?” Give clues that reveal your thoughts and feelings. Add thoughts and feelings in the heart of the story.


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On Thursday of this week, we hosted the very talented Crevier Family from South Dakota. Bruce, Diane and their nine children spun basketballs on their fingers, road unicycles, trained our staff to do ball catching tricks, and fed applesauce to four very brave student! They entertained us for over an hour (two presentations back to back) and we were in awe of their skills. If you watch this slide show with your children, I am sure that they will be able to share more than these photos portray!

Many thanks to our PTC for funding this assembly. We appreciate ALL that you do for us.