Martin's Memos

Volume 1, Issue 8: October 27, 2017

This Week

What a great week it has been! I really enjoyed our first day of conferences and being able to have open conversations about how we can work together to help your child grow.

Please take a look at this newsletter and let me know if you have any questions.


-Ms. Kate Martin


Here's a reminder of the date and time you signed up for!

Pictures of the Week


  • Writing: We finished our personal narratives, continued cursive practice, and started our personal and persuasive essay unit.

  • Reading: We are still completing our characterization unit, reading The Tiger Rising, and studying fables/myths during reader's workshop.

  • Math: We are continuing our studies of multiplication and division.

  • Social Studies: Our short unit on Michigan History has come to an end.

  • Enrichment: The students worked on writing the script to our class play.



-Independent Reading: Students should be reading their lexile-leveled novel for at least 20 minutes each night.

-Literature Circles: Students have one activity per week to complete along with about 2 chapters to read from their literature circle book. They have 1 week to complete this, and it is due on Wednesdays or Thursdays, depending on when their group meets.

-Learn Zillion: 30 minutes total per week on on the lessons they are assigned from Google Classroom. We usually have time for students to work on this during reader's workshop for about 15 minutes.


-Daily math homework is given Mondays-Thursdays.

-Khan Academy: 30 minutes total per week on We usually have time for students to work on this during math workshop for about 15 minutes.

*In total, students should not be spending more than 40 minutes on homework each night.

Reading: Did You Know?

  • Children from professional families have heard 30 million more words by the time they are three years old than those from families in poverty.
  • Students who are not proficient readers by 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to drop out of high school.
  • In 2015-16, less than 1/2 of Michigan 3rd graders scored at or above proficiency on the 3rd grade state ELA assessment.
  • For 85-90% of poor readers, intervention and support programs implemented before 3rd grade can increase reading skills to average grade levels.
  • Children spend 15% of their lives from age five to age 16 in school and 85% with families, parents and communities.

Character Trait of the Week: Responsibility

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Looking Forward to Next Week

  • Math: Continuing current units in multiplication and division.
  • Reading: Continuing thinking about characters and reading The Tiger Rising. We will finish this book next week and will culminate our learning with a Socratic Seminar.
  • Writing: Learning about personal and persuasive essays.
  • Science: We will be starting our Waves and Energy unit.
  • Enrichment: We will continue to write and create our own play. Eventually we will perform the play for Ms. Gierman's class! Once the play is completed, we will then move on to complete a 2nd Enrichment Project.


We will have a school parade and a party. As you shop for Halloween costumes, please follow these guidelines for appropriateness at school:

  • Avoid masks that are difficult to see out of or scary.

  • No gory or bloody masks. Make sure that costumes are of a non-violent nature. Remember little ones scare easily!

  • No fake blood, silly string, slime or other liquid that will create a mess.

  • No fake weapons or sharp objects. Leave knives, swords, guns, and other violent accessories at home.

  • Children should not wear costumes to school. Please provide a costume that your child can put on themselves prior to the parade.

The all-school parade will begin at 2:15 pm. Our party will follow the parade.

Please Note: Children who do not participate in Halloween activities will be offered an alternate option during the Halloween Parade and party time. Please let me know prior to October 31st if your child will need this option.

Board of Education Meeting

The next BOE meeting will be at Woodland Elementary's Media Center on November 6th at 6:30pm. Ms. Gierman and I will be presenting to the BOE members about the GT program and how it's going. We will have a few student presenters as well! Any parent support would be appreciated! There is also typically time for the public to address the board if you'd like to comment on the program as well.

Gifted and Talented Open House

Spread the word!

There will be a Gifted and Talented Open House for prospective families on November 15th and 16th at Woodland Elementary. (Time TBD) Applications for in-district students who will be in 2nd - 5th grades next year will be available. Parents from out-of-district communities may attend to get information only. (The school of choice window does not open until the spring)

Although this is mainly for new families, current families in the program would benefit from learning how the program will grow in coming years. Feel free to attend!

Woodland 5th Grade Project

The 5th grade science classes are doing a project related to helping pets and pet owners affected by the recent hurricanes. To raise money for Petsmart Charities, they are sponsoring a Stuffed Animal Day on Friday, November 3 similar to the Hat Days we’ve had in the past.

Students are being invited to bring a $1.00 donation to school that day for the ability to bring a stuffed animal to school. Stuffed animals should fit in student backpacks.

I will have an envelope on 11/3 for the students' donations.

General Information

  • 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: They were sent home today! Please take out all the sheets and return the folder MONDAY.
  • Bagel Sales! Pre-Order on Wednesdays of each week. All varieties cost $1, cash only. Bagels are delivered on Fridays.
  • Order online at and use our class code R3CHK if you need books!

Upcoming Important Dates

10/31 Class Halloween Parade 2:15, Class Party following
11/1 Half Day
11/2 Parent/Teacher Conferences 4:30-8
11/3 Spirit Day/PBIS Assembly
11/5 Family Bowling 12:30-2:30pm
11/7 Election Day, No School
11/14 PTO Meeting
11/15 Picture Retake Day
11/17 Half Day
11/21 Half Day
11/22 Half Day
11/23-11/24 Thanksgiving Break, No School
11/27-12/11 Canned Food Drive
12/1 Spirit Day/PBIS Assembly
12/2 Holiday Breakfast 8:30-11am
12/8 Half Day
12/12 3rd Grade Holiday Concert - All GT Students participate!
​12/25-1/5 Winter Break, No School
Donor's Choose Project: Rockin' Robotics!

Please consider giving to our joint GT Donors Choose project!

Avondale School District 2017 Bond Proposal

  • Requires NO increase in mils currently paid.
  • Pays for safety, security, and technology upgrades.
  • Spread the word to VOTE on November 7, 2017 if you live within the district.
  • Learn more HERE