Ms. Arnold's Weekly News

Week of 4-20-15

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**New videos attached at the end of the newsletter each week. Please share with your student. :)

***Multiplication Fact Focus attached to weekly math and multiplication videos attached to help with studying at home.

****See Mrs. H's website below for extra copies of My Math Homework pages.

This Week's Special Events


*Earth Day

*Cascades Humane Society visits 3rd grade


*Hats for Habitat $1.00

*Popcorn Friday $0.50 a bag

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M-Step Parent Letter From the Michigan Dept of Education

Click the link below and you will be taken to the parent letter that provides quality information regarding the M-Step test that our students will be taking in May.

Information About the Upcoming M-Step

I had a parent request some M-Step information about prep resources, so below is a link from website intended to help students and teachers. Anything you can do to help prepare your student would be great! Also, it's a great time to bond with your child! All third grade testing begins mid-May. :),4615,7-140-22709_70117-350540--,00.html

What information do you need from me?

It is very important to me that all of you have the opportunity to read my classroom newsletters and our Keicher newsletters; therefore, if you do not receive my newsletter (which includes the Keicher newsletter) by Facebook or email please let me know. I can either arrange for any missed information to get to you electronically or I can plan to have these documents printed for you. You can message me and/or send me a note requesting the information. If I do not hear from you then I will assume you are all set. This also includes if you need student access codes for our different websites. Also, because our communication is a high priority I want to be sure I never miss your calls. Therefore, if you leave me a message on my classroom's voicemail and I don't contact you, please try again and/or try to reach me a different way. I check the school voicemail only a couple days a week. On the other hand, I check emails several times a day as well as Facebook, Remind 101, and any messages sent directly to my cell phone. Thanks for your patience and understanding!

Weekly Specials and Nightly Homework

New this week:

On Monday, I will be sending home a "nightly" multipication practice tracker. I will collect/distribute them each Monday for the next 4 weeks. Students will also have a circular facts organizer in their red folders that shows which fact they are studying at the time.

Monday: Computers; Math Homework #1; study X facts/sign home log, study spelling, folders come home; Make-Up day for facts tests

Tuesday: Gym; Math Homework #2; study X facts/sign home log; study spelling, red folders come home

Wednesday: Computers; Math Homework #3; study X facts/sign home log, study spelling, folders come home

Thursday: Gym; Math Homework #4, study X facts/sign home log; study spelling, red folders come home

Friday: No specials, bring library books, Fun Friday (if earned); Facts Tests; spelling test; red folders come home; study X facts/sign home log

Math Homework News

Go to to print off My Math homework pages. There will be other homework assignments other than the My Math pages. These "other" homework assignments cannot be printed off this website. They have to get a new "other" homework copies from the classroom instead. We are working on uploading end of unit study guides as well.

Our Classroom Learning Time

Our Focus Points

Reading / Language Arts

Students are continuing to work through our Daily 5 rotations, Read to Self, Read to Someone, Partner Fluency Time, Listening Time, and Teacher Time. Students are also meeting with me one-on-one and/or in small groups through the week to work on specific skills and set goals. Other areas of focus throughout our Daily 5 rotations are: response to reading, writing, fluency, listening, book talks, book analysis, and word building. I am very excited to see their excitement and focus to their day to day reading and writing grow. We are truly building life long readers and writers. In addition to the Daily 5 rotations, a reading resource we are excited to have this year is RAZ-KIDS. It's an online reading program that the students use a lot through the week. I monitor there reading and meet with them to discuss various reading skills and strategies.

Added this week: Some M-Step test practice in preparation for our May testing.

At Home Reading Tips:

*students should witness their role models reading at home

*parents/guardians are encouraged to read every day with their child

*alternate reading with and to students

*ask students to make predictions before reading a chapter or a new book

*ask students to summarize or retell the story, after reading the text

*help students decode words during reading

*don't be afraid to ask students if what they read made sense

*don't worry about things such as names and titles. These are small things that don't change the meaning of the story

*praise students for what they did well

*help students make connections to the text


Students are continuing to gather stories in their writer's notebooks. This is an ongoing process through the entire year. We are also creating an interactive "grammar" notebook that students will use through the year. This notebook will include pages that focus on: nouns, plural nouns, singular nouns, proper nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, possessive nouns,... Students will also be working on building sentences, stories with multiple paragraphs, using commas in a series, developing informational pieces on a variety of topics and working on their revising and editing skills. Paragraph structure and legible handwriting are continuously encouraged and taught. We have begun our "informational" research piece. Students have selected a topic on how they can help animals in our community/state. Students are drafting their copy of our research report. We will finish drafting and editing this week.

Writing topics this year include:

-test taking skills: written responses in math, reading, and writing (M-Step)

-personal narrative

-paragraphing and sentencing (writing multiple paragraphs in the same story)

- a variety of informational pieces (short and long pieces)

-an opinion piece

-a variety of poetry

Science and Social Studies:

Science topics we're learning about this year:




*Traits (OUR TOPIC)



*Weather (graphing)

*Hands-on engineering

Social Studies topics we're learning about this year:

*Michigan geography and maps

*The people of Michigan: the three fires, the french, the pioneers (OUR TOPIC)

*Michigan's economy: fur trade, farming, logging, mining, lumbering, automotive

*State government

*Public issues

Math (Chapter 10/Unit 10)

Last week we began unit 10. Unit 10 is all about fractions.

Key words thus far: fraction, unit fraction, denominator, numerator

Sample M-Step questions will be provided throughout the month as well.

Multiplication Fact Focus: 7

-Strategy focus: repeated addition



Previous Fact Focus: multiplying by 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,

Another Fact Focus: multiplying the "doubles" (1X1, 2X2, 3X3, 4X4, 5X5, 6X6, 7X7, 8X8, 9X9, 10X10, 11X11, 12X12)

Multiplication Tricks:

0- When multiplying by 0, the product (answer) is always 0

1- When multiplying by 1, the product is always the other number (1 x 2 = 2)
2- When multiplying by 2, the factor is doubled (2 x 3 = 6... 3 + 3 = 6)
3- Sing the 3's to the tune of "Jingle Bells"
4- Sing the 4's to the tune of "Dashing Through the Snow"
5- Just count by 5's
6- Hold up the number of fingers you are multiplying, count by 5s, then count again by 1s
7- Sing the 7's to the tune of "Happy Birthday"
9- Starting with your left hand, count the number of the factor you are multiplying. Then count the number on the left of the bent finger, and then the number to the right of the bent finger.
10- Take the other factor and just add 0

Addition/Subtraction Baseball (tests given weekly)

By the end of 3rd grade, students are expected to be able to add and subtract fluently within 1,000. To help students with this concept we take weekly mixed addition and subtraction quizzes. There are six quizzes for students to pass, each quiz with 25 problems; students are given 10 minutes to complete the entire quiz, and may only miss 2 problems to pass. If a quiz is not passed, students will continue to retake the quiz until they pass it. The quizzes start with small numbers 0-10 and gradually move onto larger numbers 0-1,000. When students pass each quiz they move around the baseball field. Upon passing the last tests, students will have hit a home run! Students earn a token upon passing all quizzes. Students fully pass the tests once they have passed all tests A-F.

Multiplication Football (tests given weekly)

3rd graders are expected to be able to fluently multiply up to 10 x 10 by the end of the school year. Each week we focus on a new factor, starting at 0 and moving along to 10; then we take a timed (3 minute) multiplication quiz at the end of the week. Each multiplication quiz consists of 30 problems. To pass they have to get 100% before moving to the next number. Students must continue to take the quiz until they have mastered the fact. As students pass each fact, they move along the football field. After passing all facts 0-10, students will receive a token.

Multiplication Karate (tests given weekly)

Once the kids have mastered each fact, they will begin taking mixed review quizzes. The quizzes are 5 minutes long, and because we are aiming for mastery, students may miss only one problem. If a student does not pass a mixed quiz, then they will continue to take the quiz until they have mastered that level. For each quiz they pass they will receive a "belt." Once students pass all the quizzes, and receive a "black belt," then they will receive a token.

This Week's Spelling Words

List #23

1. untied

2. repay

3. disagree

4. preheat

5. unafraid

6. return

7. preschool

8. dislike

9. disappear

10. resell

11. precook

12. prepay

Keicher News



21 M-STEP – Math – 5th Grade

22 M-STEP – Math – Part 2 – 5th Grade

Credit Union

23 M-STEP – Social Studies – 5th Grade

24 5th Grade Tiger Stadium – Final payment of $25.00 due

27 Ann Arbor “Hands on Museum” – 3rd Grade – 8:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

28 M-STEP – ELA – 4th Grade

Michigan Center Community Food Pantry – 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

29 Credit Union Day

M-STEP – ELA – Part 2 - 4th Grade

30 Mrs. Dubois’ Class and BBBS to Spring Arbor University


5 M-STEP – Math – 4th Grade

6 M-STEP – Math – Part 2 - 4th Grade

Credit Union Day

Mackinac Trip – Final Parent Meeting – 6:00 p.m.

7 M-STEP – Science – 4th Grade

8 6th Grade Camp - $35.00 due – Final Payment

11 School Board Meeting – 7:00 p.m. – MCHS

12 Spring Band Concert – 2:30 p.m. – West Gym

Spring Band Concert – 7:00 p.m. – H.S. Auditorium

Michigan Center Community Food Pantry – 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

13 Credit Union – Last one of the year

18 4th Grade Mackinac Trip

19 4th Grade Mackinac Trip

M-STEP – ELA – 3rd & 6th Grade

20 4th Grade Mackinac Trip

M-STEP – ELA – Part 2 - 3rd & 6th Grade

21 5th Grade Trip to Detroit Science Museum and Tiger Stadium

25 NO SCHOOL - Memorial Day

26 Michigan Center Community Food Pantry – 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

27 M-STEP – Math – 3rd & 6th Grade

28 M-STEP – Math – Part 2 - 3rd & 6th Grade


1. For the safety of our children, ALL VISITORS need to report to the office upon entering the building. We would appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

2. LOST AND FOUND - Our rack is overflowing with coats, hats, mittens, and other miscellaneous items. Please have your student check the lost and found rack. Parents are welcome to come in and check lost and found as well. All unclaimed items will be donated at the end of the school year.

3. The MICHIGAN CENTER COMMUNITY FOOD PANTRY will be open every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 6:30 -7:30 p.m. The pantry is located at the west end of Keicher. Follow the signs through the Pre-School playground gate. See dates above.

4. TEACHER REQUESTS for the 2015-2016 school year are now being taken in the Keicher office. We will continue to take requests during the month of April. We have a super teaching staff at Keicher Elementary and are excited at the variety of teaching styles we can offer our students. Requests must be written and have an educational reason to be considered for the placement. As much as we are able, we will honor requests made, but there are no guarantees. The deadline is April 30, 2015.

5. HOOPS FOR HEART will take place during your student’s gym classes. Forms were sent home this week. All forms and donations need to be returned by Wednesday, April 29th. All monies raised will be donated to the American Heart Association. Thank you in advance for your support.

6. EASTERN BRANCH LIBRARY HAPPENINGS - Hello from the Eastern Branch Library. We just want to let you know about a couple of programs we are having this month. On Saturday, April 18th, at 2:00 p.m., we are having a Mario Kart Tournament. There will be plenty of goodies for all. We also have board games and LEGOS for folks, too.

Speaking of LEGOS and board games, remember that we offer LEGOS and board games from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. every Sunday as part of our services to families. Sunday afternoons are also an excellent time to get books or information for school assignments.

Finally, we will be offering more gaming in the near future. We are going to be offering Xbox gaming for Minecraft and other games within a month or two, and our Summer Reading Program is just around the corner. So…stay tuned for more information on those programs. Remember, if you have any questions on any programs, call us at 788-4074 or come visit us at 3125 East Michigan Avenue, right next to Arby’s.

CP Federal Credit Union and the Vault program want to take you on a

Savings Safari

in support of National Credit Union Youth Month

Savers visiting their student branch will receive a safari reward for saving each week during the month of April.

Stop by your student branch to make a deposit and watch your savings account grow.


Attention Michigan Center Parents,

We are sending this letter home because we are aware that April 23, 2015 is recognized as “Take your sons and daughters to work” day. Unfortunately, that date conflicts with our state-mandated M-STEP testing for multiple grade levels. For many of our grade levels, April 23rd is the culmination of five days of testing. We are concerned that students missing the fifth and final day will be forced to miss critical instructional time to participate in make-up testing. We do understand the importance of exposing our students to the work-world, but our hope is that parents/employers might be receptive to allowing career exploration during the summer when school is not in session. Because of the state-mandated testing, absences on April 23rd will be subject to our school policy for student absence, and “Take your sons and daughters to work” day will NOT fit the criteria of an excused absence.

Thank you for your understanding!

Ms. Johanna Pscodna

Keicher Elementary Principal

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Math Strategies and Videos

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Why is Math Different Now

Coming soon...a list of KEY math vocabulary!

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Click the Link Below: Multiplication Videos

Multiplying by 9s Video

Multiplication Fact Song- (9 times tables trick using fingers)


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Ms. Arnold

In replace of a classroom website, I send out a weekly newsletter. My weekly newsletter is organized and created similarly to a website. I send it out electronically and often includes videos.