One Word

As we returned to school this week, we took some time to set our intentions for the rest of the school year. We each considered some challenges and goals that we have for the year, and each of us selected one word as our focus for the year. Earlier in the week, students wrote about why they selected their words and looked for some specific ways that they could live out their words. We also posted photos with our words in the classroom to remind us of our intentions. I encourage you to have a conversation with your child about his or her word!


FYI, Weekly Updates

What’s Coming Up – Week of January 13-17, 2020


  • Jet’s Pizza Night TONIGHT (Jan 9!)
  • Screenagers: The Next Chapter Event – Tuesday, January 21st, at the Hudsonville Freshman Campus from 6:00-8:00
  • Early Release – Friday, Jan. 31

Community Education Opportunity: Film Screening and Panel Discussion of Screenagers: The Next Chapter

As a 5th grade team, we feel this would be a great opportunity for parents to check this out as it is in line with a lot of things we’ve been noticing and observing in students as technology continues to play an important role in students’ lives. Check out the trailer for the film, Screenagers: The Next Chapter, or the original film, Screenagers, to help inform you and your family as you navigate the increasing social demands and pressures of today’s students with technology.
Hudsonville Community Education Screenagers Event Site
Screenagers Official Website

We are getting into our fourth unit, multiplication with whole numbers and decimals.
To prepare and review, students should be completing MobyMax Fact Fluency practice at home for five minutes per day unless they have mastered all math facts.

We’re beginning a reading and writing unit which will be investigating non-fiction texts and tackling text complexity.
Students should be reading for 20 minutes each night and filling out the reading log.

We’re discussing collaborative work practices and scientific understanding.

Social Studies:

We will be taking our unit 3 test on Tuesday, January 14 and continuing with our fourth unit, Life in the Colonies.

Back To School, FYI

Weekly Planner Sheet and Reading Homework

Hello, parents!

Research shows that daily homework has little to no effect on elementary-age students. For the most part, the only daily work your child will have at home is reading. Because students have choice in what they read, they should be more than willing to complete this daily assignment. Here is what is expected of students each day for their reading homework:

  • Bring independent reading book to and from school and home each day.
  • Read for at least 20 minutes outside of school.
  • Record reading on the home reading calendar, which students keep in their take home folders.

I encourage you to talk with your child about what he or she is reading.  Visit this page for some ideas about talking to kids about books, or start with one or more of these questions:

  • Who are the characters in your book? What problem are they facing?
  • When and where does the story take place?
  • Is there a character in the story to whom you can relate? Why?
  • Who is your least favorite character in the story? Why?

Although reading will be the main homework, there will be times when students need to study, finish projects, or practice skills for mastery. You can keep up with what we’re working on in class as well as with any work that may be assigned by checking your child’s weekly planner sheet. We fill this out together daily, and you can also find a copy that is updated daily on the “Weekly Agenda” tab of the blog.

FYI, General

Kids Heart Challenge

Dear parents,
We are so close to meeting our needed sign up to get $500 worth of PE EQUIPMENT!
We just need 26 more kids…that is one student per class.
This does not involve money — it simply involves registering and committing to taking care of your heart through exercise and diet.
Here is a link to the BLOG POST about the challenge.
Our School Page for registration can be found here.
WE CAN DO IT!  Just 26 more kids and we have $500 worth of new PE equipment for everyone to use!
Field Trip Information, FYI, Holiday

Camp Chaperone and Valentine’s Day Information

Hello, parents.

After many days off and then a two hour delay this morning, I was so glad to see your children’s smiling faces this morning! I will provide the usual weekly update later this week, but I wanted to give you some information on some upcoming events.

  • Fifth grade camp will be here before we know it! We are looking for parents who would be interested in chaperoning at camp. Today your child should bring home a sheet detailing the dates of camp and expectations of chaperones. If you are interested in being a chaperone for camp, please follow the instructions on the sheet.
  • Valentine’s Day is next Thursday.
    • In fifth grade, we do not do parties for Valentine’s Day.
    • We will have an optional Valentine exchange. If your child chooses to participate, please have him or her bring a Valentine for each student in the class (27). It is best if your child simply fills out the “From” portion of the Valentine and leaves the “To” portion blank. This makes the distribution process much more efficient.
    • We will decorate bags to use to gather our Valentines, so there is no need to create a box or container to send in.
FYI, Holiday

Reminders: Social Studies Test, Safety Belts, Holiday Program

Hello, parents.

  • We will be taking our unit 2 social studies test on Friday. Last Friday, students brought home a study guide. Please help your child review the material for a few minutes each day. Quizzizz is another option for students to review by playing a game. Students have instructions in an email from me.
  • If your child has a safety belt at home, please have him or her return it. The belts are share between the safety teams and should be returned to school each Monday.
  • Holiday program is this Thursday, Dec. 13. See this post for more details.

Picture Reminder and Outstanding Lockdown Practice

Hello, parents!

Don’t forget school pictures are tomorrow.

Today we had another lockdown practice. The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department asks that we conduct some of our lockdown practices when some kids are outside of the classroom. Our class was outside on the playground today when the lockdown practice was called. Your kids were AMAZING! They immediately stopped what they were doing and followed instructions quickly. We took some time in the classroom to talk about how these practices can help us learn how to stay safe in the event of an emergency. Students asked some thoughtful questions and shared some good ideas.  I was so proud of your kids and their handling of today’s practice!

FYI, General

Math and Reading Homework Start Tonight!

Hello, parents.

Now that we have had a chance to settle into the routine of the school year, students will have regular homework in both reading and math. My philosophy regarding homework is that is should, for the most part, be based on a skill that a child can practice independently.

  • Reading – students are expected to read outside of the school day at least 100 minutes per week. Ideally this would be spread out throughout several days during the week. Today your child should have a reading calendar in his or her take home folder. Each day, your child should write down the number of minutes spent reading at home and ask you to initial the calendar. I understand that families have many time commitments and that students need flexibility and choice regarding which days will work best for them to complete their reading. With that in mind, I will be checking reading logs every Monday.
  • Math – students are expected to complete five minutes of math fact fluency practice outside of the school day Monday through Thursday. As the concepts covered become more complex, fact fluency is key to students’ success in math.

Occasionally we will have other homework as well as quizzes or tests for which students will need to review. In his or her take home folder, your child has a weekly agenda. We take time to fill this out together at the end of each day. Please take a few minutes each day to look over the agenda with your child. You can also view the agenda on the blog by clicking on the weekly agenda tab near the top of the page.