Martin's Memos

Volume 1, Issue 34: May 25, 2018

This Week


Please read through this newsletter and let me know if you have any comments or questions. Please see the very bottom for help with keeping up our academic skills in the summertime and an optional summer book club!

Have a great weekend!


-Ms. Kate Martin

End-of-Year GT Class Party!

The year has flown by and summer is around the corner!

The classes will combine for a party on Tuesday, June 12--kids will tie-dye t-shirts and a have a picnic lunch together.

A few ways you can help:

  • Send in a prewashed white t-shirt as soon as possible!
  • Everyone in our class has paid the $4....thank you!
  • Sign up here to send in a party food or supply item. Please remember--Woodland is a nut free school. These items can be brought in the morning of the party.

Thank you to Heather Shaw, Jennifer Wloch and Megan Marx for your help coordinating this!


  • Writing & Reading: We have also been reading Wonder in class (we took a break from it for a while, but we're back!) and are in the process of writing our own books that communicate a theme from Wonder. We had an interesting visit from Professor Jason Moore from Oakland University this week! He came in to videotape our reader's workshop lessons so future teachers can learn from our practices. The kids did a fantastic job!

  • Math: All Groups: We investigated probability at different stations. Check it out!

  • Science: We finished our FOSS unit on Environments this week. The students learned about organisms' range of tolerance and viability this week. We realized that our brine shrimp's range of tolerance is between 2-4 spoons of salt (5mL each) for viability. We also completed an activity which taught us that populations with more favorable characteristics would survive longer.

  • Enrichment:Students continued their 6th enrichment project. Some started on a 7th. Check it out here. Presentations will be the week of June 4th.

Looking Forward to Next Week


  • Writing & Reading: Students will finish writing their own books that communicate a theme from Wonder.

  • Math: All Groups: We'll be learning about higher level data analysis by using presidential data through history.

  • Science: We will start a mini unit on heredity and genetics! We'll be starting out with learning about cells and DNA! We'll eventually even extract the DNA from a strawberry!

  • Enrichment: We will continue our 6th enrichment project. (Some onto a 7th!) Students will present both the 6th and 7th (if they have one) in June.

Pictures of the Week

Field Day 2018

Field day will be on Friday, June 1st, and June 8th will be the make-up weather day. Look for more information coming soon about details!

Optional Student-Led End of Year Conferences

To summarize and reflect on our year, the students will prepare to lead an end-of-year conference. These are in full swing in our classroom and so far the students have done a fantastic job!

Reminder for times:

Self-Reflective Learning

This week we focused on being courteous. We realized that:

  • We can be courteous to not only adults, but other students.
  • We can be courteous IN and OUT of school.

Summer Learning

Optional Summer Book Club!

Optional Online Summer Book Club!

Who: Students in the GT program

What: Summer Book Club

When: Once per week, starts July 9th

Where: Online - Google Hangouts

Why: To help keep our reading skills up over the summer and to keep in touch


  1. Log in using your Avondale email OR personal email on Please let me know your personal email address if you aren’t using Avondale’s.

  2. Click on the apps icon in the upper right hand corner. Look for: . If you don’t see it, click on “more”.

  3. Look on the left rectangle for a message with more directions from Ms. Martin!

The Basics:

  1. Choose one book (parent provided):

    1. The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg

    2. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

  2. Read the required amount each week.

  3. After your weekly reading is complete, you must do two things each week by Friday:

    1. Post your own thoughts, comments, or interesting details about what you’ve read.

    2. Reply to at least one other classmate’s comment.

*We will learn about how to do this online before the end of the school year. I'd like to know who'd like to participate and which book they'll read before school is out.

More Summer Learning Ideas

One of the best parts about summertime is that everyone can relax and not have a ton of expectations for school work. However, I always get questions about resources to keep up academic skills over the summer...and some students have decided they're going to come over my house for extra math practice!! LOL. So I decided to start compiling a list of resources here on our newsletter.


Purple group math - Look for grade 4 materials

Blue group math - Look for grade 5 materials

Orange group math - Look for grade 6 materials

Remember that the students will always have free access to Khan Academy online. ( The students just need to go to the website, log in with their current credentials, and then choose "subjects" in the upper left hand corner. They can then choose the grade level material they need to work on and then they will start the "missions"! Students can also go to and continue to practice on their leveled skills, too.



Have you used the Lexile Find a Book feature?

  1. Go to

  2. Enter your lexile range.

  3. Choose your areas of interests.

  4. View your results!

  5. Find the books at local libraries or online!

Check out other website sources for books!




DON'T get too hung up on reading EXACTLY in your child's lexile. Find a balance! Maybe try encouraging your child to read every other book within their lexile. The purpose is to increase awareness that when we read within in our "zone of proximal development" we are challenging ourselves to come across new vocabulary and content.

Science and Social Studies:

Students will continue to have access to using these credentials below. This website has thousands of videos, reading passages, interactive activities, etc. for science and social studies.

User - ghes5

Pass - ghes5

Khan Academy has more than just math! It also has middle school and high school level science and social studies courses. Have your child log in and click on "subjects" to check it out!

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General Information

  • Homework
-Independent Reading: Minimum 20 minutes

-Literature Circles: Reading and "job"


  • Please check your child's agenda nightly by initialing under "Parent Signature". I will also initial it in the morning to confirm they have written the correct information down.
  • Friday Folders: Please take out all the sheets and return the folder MONDAY.
  • Order online at and use our class code R3CHK if you need books! I will still check this over the summer if you'd like to continue ordering.

Upcoming Important Dates

5/28 Memorial Day - No School

6/1 Field Day (6/8 rain date)

6/12 End of Year Party

6/14 1/2 Day

6/15 1/2 Day - Last Day of School