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Appreciating YOU: Parent, Teacher, Referee, Chef, and so much more!

Hello parents,

Has it really been eight weeks since we’ve been together at school? I know it has because I went back in my calendar and counted. This is the only way I know because it is so easy to lose track of the date or day of the week. I miss being in the classroom with your kids each day! I miss their faces, their humor, their insight, their hugs, their high-fives, and so much more.

We’re all experiencing lots of frustration, disappointment, and uncertainty, and even loss. To help keep perspective, I’ve been trying to end each day by reflecting one good thing I’ve experienced, seen, or read about. This list could go on and on, but during teacher appreciation week, I want to focus on the amazing work you’ve been doing with your kids!

You were suddenly forced into this new role of teaching your kids at home….on top of the increased demands of having your kids at home 24/7, changes at work, etc., and you’ve demonstrated

  • patience while we, as a district, determined next steps and adapted the plan as needs changed.
  • grace while we all learned to use new tools and resources.
  • flexibility as situations and plans changed.
  • creativity as you found all kinds of ways for your kids to keep learning academic and life skills.

Thank you for all you’re doing! I appreciate YOU!

The Georgetown staff created a tribute to thank you for all you’re doing as the teachers of your children. The link is here.

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Spring Break (Virtual) Adventures – Day 2: Ellis Island

Hello, friends!

In our classroom this year we’ve learned about some different experiences of groups or people who came to what is now America: We’ve learned or read about:

  • The very first Native Americans who migrated from Asia
  • Early settlers who came from Europe to settle in the colonies
  • Kek, from Home of the Brave, a modern day immigrant who came to America to escape civil war in Sudan

Ellis Island was the first stop for more than 12 million immigrants who came to the United States between 1892 and 1954. Did you know that the Statue of Liberty was one of the first things people saw as they arrived in New York at Ellis Island? Who knows? Maybe some of your ancestors arrived at Ellis Island! My own great-grandpa immigrated from the Netherlands in 1932. I don’t know if he arrived at Ellis Island, but I do know the name of the ship he sailed on, and I am excited to do some research to find out.

I’ve been to New York several times, but I’ve never had the opportunity to take a tour of Ellis Island. That is why I decided to tour it today! Click here for an interactive tour of Ellis Island. Click through the tabs at each location for photos, audio, and video! If you take the tour, leave a comment to let me know what you found surprising or interesting.

(Note: Comments on the blog are moderated, so they will not show up until I approve them.)

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Flipgrid Fun!

Hi friends,

I already miss your sweet faces, and I am so excited to tell you that Mrs. Wysocki shared an idea that I love! It is called FlipGrid, and it’s a private spot where I can post short videos, or grids, on topics, and you can respond with your own short videos. I’m looking forward to posting some fun ideas for keeping busy and entertained while we’re not in school, and maybe even learning a little at the same time.

Check out our class FlipGrid! You will need to log in to access our grids.

**When logging into FlipGrid, be sure to use your child’s school account. The grids are private to protect privacy so only accounts using @hpsstudents.net will work**

From the app, scan this QR code to access our grids.

Check back as I add more topics and new videos, and of course, add your own! Have fun!

 

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Update – March 17

Hello, families.

What a beautiful day it was! I hope you had an opportunity to spend some time outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. We’re experiencing a lot of uncertainty these days, and when things feel uncertain, spending even a few minutes outside helps me feel grounded.

Dr. VanderJagt sent an email on Monday that suggested some schedules and resources for at-home learning, and Mrs. Reagan shared some ideas on the Georgetown Elementary blog

Regardless of what (if anything!) you decide to work on with your child, you are doing just fine! I encourage you to focus on family time. This is a great time to step back and take the time to teach important concepts like humanity, kindness, emotion management. Teach a new recipe or a new craft. Try out a new game or make one up. Go outside and explore the backyard. Build. Create. Play! Take time to do all of the wonderful things that we never seem to have the time to do. And try to breathe. 🙂

Here are some ideas:

If you’re worried about missing math…

  • Bake together and discuss fractions
  • Play Yahtzee! (or any other board game) and count up points
  • Practice number sense by playing what-if games or how-many games
    • “If our dog eats 1 ¾ cups of food for breakfast and the same for dinner, how much does he eat in a week? How many meals can we get out of this bag of dog food? Is it a better deal to get the bigger bag or the smaller bag?”
    • “How many grapes do you think are in this bunch? How many grape bunches do you think they have a Meijer? If there is ___ number of grapes on a bunch and ___ number of bunches, how many grapes is that?!”

If you’re worried about missing ELA…

  • Bake together and have your child read the recipe
  • Read a book together, taking turns reading chapters
  • Have your child read to a sibling or a pet or a stuffed animal
  • Write “piggyback” songs or parodies of popular songs

To sum it up, have fun together!

Lastly, please let me know how I can support you and your family. Your child is my top priority; please let them all know that I deeply miss my fifth graders!

Love,

Mrs. Ball

Images from The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charles Mackesy, published by HarperOne

Middle School Information, Uncategorized, Weekly Updates

What’s Coming Up – Week of March 9-13, 2020

Miscellaneous

  • Parent-Teacher Conferences (Monday, March 9 & Wednesday, March 11)
    • Please see the link with the Spring parent-teacher conference schedule here.
  • Scholastic Book Fair March 9-13 Our class’s preview day is Monday, March 9 and our shopping day is Thursday, March 12
  • Show off your 5th grade spirit! Join us in wearing our 5th grade shirts every Friday
  • Important Dates for Fifth Grade Document

March 6 – Early release

March 9 – Baldwin Street Middle School Visit 10:30-2:00 (Mrs. Walenta’s class only)

March 10 – Baldwin Street Middle School Visit 10:30-2:00 (Mrs. Wysocki’s class only)

March 11 – Baldwin Street Middle School Visit 10:30-2:00 (Mrs. Ball and Mr. Cooley’s classes only)

Math:

  • We are beginning unit 6, Operations and Word problems.
  • Students should be completing MobyMax Fact Fluency practice at home for five minutes per day unless they have mastered all math facts.

ELA:

  • We’re beginning a test prep unit, which is a review of topics covered in 5th grade.Students should be reading for 20 minutes each night and filling out the reading log.

Science: 

  • We’re continuing our unit: Go With the Flow which investigates invasive species and their impact on our waterways.

Social Studies:

  • We are continuing our fifth unit, Road to Revolution. We will be examining the events that led to the colonists declaring independence from Britain.
Uncategorized, Weekly Updates

What’s Coming Up – Week of March 2-6, 2020

Miscellaneous

  • Parent-Teacher Conferences (Monday, March 9 & Wednesday, March 11)
    • Please see the link with the Spring parent-teacher conference schedule HERE
  • Scholastic Book Fair March 9-13 Our class’s preview day is Monday, March 11 and our shopping day is Thursday, March 13.
  • Show off your 5th grade spirit! Join us in wearing our 5th grade shirts every Friday

March 3 – Symphony Trip (No chaperones needed)

March 6 – Early release

March 9 – Baldwin Street Middle School Visit 10:30-2:10 (Mrs. Walenta’s class only)

March 10 – Baldwin Street Middle School Visit 10:30-2:10 (Mrs. Wysocki’s class only)

March 11 – Baldwin Street Middle School Visit 10:30-2:10 (Mrs. Ball and Mr. Cooley’s classes only)

**March 17 7:00 PM Middle school music information night for parents at Riley Street Middle School

**March 18 7:00 PM Middle school music information night for parents at Baldwin Street Middle School 

**These meetings will include the same information regardless of location; you may attend the one that best fits your schedule.

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What’s Coming Up – Week of Feb. 24-28, 2020

Miscellaneous

  • Parent-Teacher Conferences -Monday, March 9 & Wednesday, March 11
    • Please see the link with the Spring parent-teacher conference schedule HERE
  • Scholastic Book Fair March 9-13
    • Our class’s preview day is Monday, March 6 and our shopping day is Thursday, March 12.
  • Show off your 5th grade spirit! Join us in wearing our 5th grade shirts every Friday

March 3 – Symphony Trip (No chaperones needed)

March 6 – Early release

March 9 – Baldwin Street Middle School Visit 10:30-2:00 (Mrs. Walenta’s class only)

March 10 – Baldwin Street Middle School Visit 10:30-2:00 (Mrs. Wysocki’s class only)

March 11 – Baldwin Street Middle School Visit 10:30-2:00 (Mrs. Ball and Mr. Cooley’s classes only)

Math:

  • We are continuing unit 5, Division of Whole Numbers & Decimals.
  • Students should be completing MobyMax Fact Fluency practice at home for five minutes per day unless they have mastered all math facts.

ELA:

  • We’re continuing our reading unit which is investigating non-fiction texts and tackling text complexity.
  • We are publishing our literary essays which are about themes in our book club books.
  • Students should be reading for 20 minutes each night and filling out the reading log.

Science: 

  • We’re launching our unit: Go With the Flow which investigates invasive species and their impact on our waterways.

Social Studies:

  • We are working through our fifth unit, Road to Revolution. We will be examining the events that led to the colonists declaring independence from Britain.
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From the PE teachers – Kids Heart Challenge

The Kids Heart Challenge is in full swing!  We hope you’re having a ball and feel as rewarded as we do helping fight heart disease and stroke. Keep up the great work; you’re making a HUGE difference!

Remember, more than 50% of kids are not getting the physical activity they need to be healthy. You’re helping to change that. We have a special incentive at our school.  If we can get 50% of our students registered and taking the healthy challenges, we will receive an additional $500 to purchase new PE equipment.  Help us reach our goal!  Get your student registered for Kids Heart Challenge today!

http://www2.heart.org/goto/georgetownhudsonville

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Kids Heart Challenge – Register Now

Information about Kids Heart Challenge will be coming home with students today.  Please note that this fundraiser is for the American Heart Association, it does also helps us get P.E. Equipment for GT.  The Kids Heart Challenge Fundraiser registration is here:  February 6 until February 28.

When your child joins Kids Heart Challenge (formerly Jump Rope for Heart) they will hear from kids with special hearts and raise funds to help those born with heart defects.  Students learn about taking care of their own heart through fun challenges and activities for physical, social and emotional health.

Get online and register your child today here.

Please note that thank-you prizes earned by students will be handed out when they come to P.E. class.  Some prizes need to be ordered when the fundraiser is over and will be delivered sometime in March.  Any money donated after Feb. 28 will not earn prizes.

Thanks for your help!  Mrs. Nienhuis & Mrs. VanKoevering

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