Back To School, FYI, General

Open House Reminder and Classroom Wish List

Hi, friends!

I am so excited to meet all of you! I have been busy getting our classroom ready, and I hope to see all of you at our open house this Tuesday, August 30 from 6:30-7:30 PM. If you have your school supplies and you would like to bring them to open house, you may keep them in your locker until the first day of school. You may also wait and bring your supplies with you on the first day of school.

Also, I have put together a wish list of items that we frequently use in our classroom using

Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see our SignUp on
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It’s Easy – you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on

Note: does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.

Thank you for considering donated a needed item to our classroom. Donated items may be brought to open house or any time during the first week of school.

See you soon!


Mrs. Ball

Back To School, FYI, General

Parent Survey and Supply Reminder

Hello, friends.

Can you believe that we are less than a month away from the start of the new school year? I don’t know how you feel about the month of August, but for me, it seems to fly by and to drag on and on at the same time. August seems to go by quickly because my family and I are trying to squeeze every last drop of fun out of summer vacation and because I am busy with planning and preparation for the new school year, but it seems to drag when I think about how excited I am to meet all of the new fifth graders and start our adventure together!

This morning I sent out a parent survey via email. Thank you for taking the time to respond. The information you share helps me to learn a little bit about your child before the start of the school year. In case you did not receive the email, you can also find the survey here.

Finally, in case you missed it or were not ready to think about school supplies when it was originally posted, click here for the list of supplies you will need for fifth grade.

I am looking forward to meeting all of you at our open house on Tuesday, August 30!


Mrs. Ball

Back To School, FYI, General

Supply List for Fifth Grade


Hi, friends.

Wow! Can you believe that July is already here? I realize that we are not even halfway through summer break, but do you know what will start appearing in stores right after the Fourth of July? That’s right: school supplies! Even as an adult, seeing those huge displays of brand new notebooks, folders, highlighters, pens, and pencils makes me feel full of anticipation for the new school year. In case you are as eager as I am to get your new school supplies, I am including a list of supplies that you will need for the new school year.

I hope you have a safe and fun Fourth of July!


Mrs. Ball

Supply list needed for the classroom:

  • (1) pencil box
  • (4) spiral notebooks (wide rule)
  • (4) two pocket folders (red, blue, yellow, green)
  • (1) 3-ring binder (1 inch)
  • (3) packs of  3”x3” sticky notes
  • (4) dry erase markers
  • (1) highlighter
  • (1) scissors
  • (1) package of colored pencils
  • (1) pair gym shoes to be left at school for physical education class

**Please do not bring a large trapper keeper type binder.  These are just too big to store in the desks in our classroom.**

Highly Recommended Items

  • extra #2 pencils
  • (2) large glue sticks

Below are additional supplies that kids often like to bring for their private use.

  • erasers
  • colored marking pen for editing/correcting (not black or blue)
  • small hand pencil sharpener
Back To School, FYI, General, Writing Opportunities

Advance Newspapers Essay Contest

Hello, friends!

I don’t know about you, but I have been watching, reading, and listening to a lot of information about the candidates who hope to be elected as our next president. Have you ever thought about what you would do if you were the president of the United States? If you have an idea about how you would make our country better, I encourage you to enter the Advance Newspapers Back to School Essay Contest. Your idea could even win a prize! (See details below.)

Advance Newspapers Back to School Essay Contest


If you were president of the United States, what one thing would you do to better our country and why?


  • 1st-3rd grade
  • 4th-5th grade
  • 6th-8th grade
  • 9th-12th grade

Prizes for each category:

  • 1st place: laptop computer
  • 2nd place: TBA
  • 3rd place: TBA

Deadline is July 2, 2016

Winners announced on August 7th, and winning essays will be printed.

All entries must include:

  • name of student
  • grade completed prior to summer vacation
  • school
  • teacher’s name
  • student’s home address and phone number

Essays may be hand written or typed.

1,000 word maximum

Send entries to:


Advance Newspapers

Back to School Essay Contest

3102 Walker Ridge Dr.,

Walker, MI 49544

For questions, call Pat Pike, Contest Coordinator, at 616-209-0359 or email

*Employees and members of the Advance BCI Inc., Mlive Media Group, staff, judges, and their immediate families are not eligible to enter.

Back To School, FYI, General

Welcome to Fifth Grade!

kids_and_school_busWELCOME TO FIFTH GRADE!   We are going to have such an amazing year together. I am so excited to meet you and come together as a class.

While you are here, be sure to sign up for email updates. You can sign up in the upper right corner of this blog where it says “Subscribe by Email.” Once you enter your email address and register, you will receive notifications of my blog posts.

It is important that you subscribe to the class blog. Our class blog will be the site for information about school supplies, curriculum, assessment, and much more.  A school supply list will be posted on July 1.

Have a safe and happy summer! I can’t wait to see you at our open house the week before school starts.


Mrs. Ball

Back To School, FYI, General, Weekly Updates

What’s Coming Up – Week of February 22


  • Moby Max has replaced Math Facts Pro for fact fluency.  Both teachers and students find this fact fluency tool much more friendly to use.  Please have your child practice their facts several times a week.  
  • Parent-Teacher conferences will be held March 7 – 9. A conference time reminder slip has been sent home. Please contact your teacher if your conference time needs to be rescheduled.

Math: We have begun Unit 6 which deals with word problems using all the skills learned from units one through five.

Social Studies: We continue to research the events leading up to the revolutionary war. Unit five vocabulary quiz will be on Friday, Feb. 19.  The unit five test will be approaching in the next week or two.

ELA: We are integrating our social studies content into our informational reading and writing units. Students should still be reading from their independent reading books at home for 25 minutes, five times per week

Back To School, FYI, General, Transportation

Day One! (includes information about changes in transportation home)

Wow! Our first day of fifth grade went smoothly. We had a great time learning some of the procedures of our classroom and getting to know one another a little bit better. I meant to take a photo of our group, but the day flew by so quickly! I will try to take one tomorrow.

One of the activities we did was to make duct tape book marks for our independent daily reading (IDR) books. A few students were asking for the directions so that they could make their own at home. Here is a link if your child is interested in making one at home. I will also include it in the links section of our blog.

On Wednesday, we will begin our talent sharing activity. Information on this was shared at open house last week (purple sheet). We will be decorating our writer’s notebooks on Friday, so if your child has not already brought in his or her materials for the collage activity, please make sure that it is here by Friday (yellow sheet from open house).

Finally, thank you so much for all of your donations to our classroom! I feel so fortunate to have such a supportive group of parents.

Please read this important information regarding changes in how your child gets home after school:

Bus Pass Information

  • Parents must submit a BUS PASS to the transportation office by 10:00 am the morning of the transportation change.  Parents will be notified by 1:00 pm if the change is approved or denied.  
    • This policy applies to grades 1-5.  Kindergarteners are NOT allowed to change busses.  
    • The Gr 1-5 Bus Pass  can be found here.

Changes in Going Home

We pride ourselves in making sure that all of the children are safe at school — constantly reviewing our procedures for security.  We feel the same way about the process of sending your children home at the end of the day.  I want to make sure that every single child goes home safely each day.  

  • If there CHANGE in the plan for going home, you must contact me by email before 2 pm on the day of the change.  You may also send a note to school with your child.  I must hear from you by email, phone or note before 2 pm on the day of the change.  Because I am busy teaching and working with the children, this is my last opportunity to check email before the end of the school day.  
  • Please avoid making changes mid-day and contacting school by phone.  When the office is contacted, the classroom is interrupted by intercom to inform me of the change.  This is a disruption in our learning environment.
  • We understand that occasionally last minute changes do occur, however, when this becomes a pattern it is very disruptive to the classroom environment — and can cause anxiety with some children.
  • Last school year, there were many changes per day that were either recorded by the teachers or the office.  Our hope is that this can be reduced this coming year.  Limited changes means consistency which also means we are less likely to make errors.  We want your child to be safe and secure after school.
  • Also, please read the district BUS PASS policy so that you are well informed about the limits of changing busses.


Back To School, FYI, General

Background Check Reminder


If you would like to attend a school event (field trip) or volunteer at school, you must complete a background check.  Please do this now so that we are not scrambling to get background checks the week of a field trip.

The district has streamlined the process allowing parents to access the form online (laptop, tablet or smartphone).   

To access the form online, please visit the website link here

Back To School, FYI, General

Open House

I am ready to welcome you back to school!

Please come to our OPEN HOUSE this week.   This is a time to meet me, drop off your gym shoes and school supplies and tour the school.

The open house for grades 1-5  is on Wednesday, September 2 @ 6:30 pm




While you are attending OPEN HOUSE,  please donate $1.00 to our school POPCORN FRIDAY FUNDS. This donation allows us to provide popcorn to all of the kids in the school once a month.  The donation jar will be in the rotunda — or you can leave it with your teacher who will put it in the jar for you!

See you soon!


Mrs. Ball