Martin's Memos

Volume 2, Issue 4: September 21, 2018

This Week


Another week of individual growth is in the books! There is a TON of information in this newsletter! Please read through this information carefully and let me know if you have any questions!


-Ms. Kate Martin

Photos of the Week

This Week

Positivity Project (P2)/Character Education: Curiosity

Math: We continued our math groups and lessons!

Green- Understand numerical expressions, factors and operations involving fractions and decimals.

Red & Orange- Complete operations involving fractions.

Social Studies (5th): We acted as a historian and learned what indigenous people’s lives were like in the Americas.

Reading: We continued our read aloud - The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. We also analyzed Hispanic poetry by using a literature web. We continued to discuss how our readings are related to the concept of change.

Writing: We learned that the roots words grad and gress mean "step". We also started the writing process for our persuasive essays. Students chose their claims!

Enrichment: We continued our 1st passion projects! Ask your child about theirs!

Looking Forward to Next Week

Positivity Project (P2)/Character Education: Teamwork (and how to work in groups)

Math: Students will continue their in their math groups. I've eliminated the Red group and reorganized students based on what I'm seeing in class. There will be less movement moving forward as I find the best fit for each student.

Yellow- I can complete operations involving integers.

Green- I can x and / fractions and decimals.

Orange- I can complete problems involving fractions.

Social Studies (5th): I can act as a historian and learn how Africa influenced the history of the US.

Reading: We will continue to make generalizations and reason about change. Students will also reason about events and situations.

Writing: We will continue our persuasive writing essays. We'll use the Dagwood model to create our drafts and elaborate on our reasons. Next week's root word is pos, which means to "place or put".

Spirit Week

Monday - Pajama Day

Tuesday - Crazy Hair Day

Wednesday - Wacky Day

Thursday - Favorite Sport

Friday - Grade Level Color Shirt (4th: green, 5th: purple)

Willing to Donate? We Need Books for Book Clubs/Literature Circles!

We have exhausted Woodland's supply of higher level books in their book room. Can you help? Below is a list of four books and links to the Amazon site where you can purchase them. I would prefer 5 copies of each book. You don't have to buy all 5 if you're interested! Even purchasing one would help us! Anything your donate would stay with the Avondale GATE program. Please email me to let me know what you'd like to buy so I can keep track!

Thank you for your consideration!

Robinson Crusoe (5 copies purchased already)

The Prince and the Pauper (5 copies purchased already)

The Incredible Journey (2 copies purchased already)

Gulliver's Travels (5 copies purchased already)

Khan Academy: What is it? When should my child use it?

Khan Academy is a website that has math video lessons and practice problems based on grade and subject. It is mostly geared toward math and science. Most of the students should be using Their username and password is on a sticker in the front of their agenda. When I input their MAP scores onto the website it automatically generates personalized math lessons for each student. Research has shown that when students consistently use Khan Academy Mappers they can grow by more than 2 years in math.

In class, the students use it if/when they finish their in-class math lesson with me. However, sometimes I ask that the students do this instead of homework pages. Students can always log on at home and work on it anytime.

NWEA MAP Testing

We have completed our Fall NWEA MAP testing! If you would like to learn more about this test, check out the "parent resources" section of my website. (

We will discuss your child's MAP data in detail at our Fall conferences in October/November, however we will be utilizing their data in class as I prepare lessons and as the students set goals.

Fun Run

It's coming soon! Friday, October 5 from 9-10:45!

The Fun Run is our PTO's biggest fundraising event! Your child came home with a packet about the fun run last week. Extra incentive: The top 8 students who raise the most money will get to choose which teacher they'd like to PIE IN THE FACE! Guess who is an option?! :)

Avondale GATE Internal Applicant Information Night

Helpful Information:

-November 1-15 is the Internal Application Window. Online application and forms will be online during that window.

-Current students in GT program do not need to reapply.

-Students that are in Avondale Schools through school of choice but are not in the GT program are considered internal applicants.

-Students that have a sibling in the GT program and they want to apply but are not currently in Avondale Schools are school of choice applicants. These students must wait for that application window in the spring.

-The school of choice information nights are January 29th and February 7th.

-The school of choice application window is February 6-March 8.

Big picture

Standards-Based Grading

You may notice that some papers are coming home with a 3, 2, or 1 on them. We will be utilizing Standards Based Grading rather than the traditional grading system. This allows for more meaningful grading, adjustment of curriculum, and helps the students understand quality work. Report cards will utilize the language below, so we will use it in the classroom to keep things consistent. Students will be assessed based on their personal curriculum they are following.

3 = Meeting or Exceeding Grade Level Standards

2 = Adequate Progress Toward Grade Level Standards

1 = Limited Progress Toward Grade Level Standards

Please note that more detailed information will follow from Avondale Administration prior to report cards.

Continuous Important Reminders...

Fall Conferences

Forgot your date or time? Click below!

Box Tops!

Don't forget to clip and save your box tops! Send them in in a baggie with your child's name on it. We have a plastic bin in the classroom we keep them in. A representative from the PTO collects them on a regular basis and counts how many we collect for our class. Prizes are awarded to individual students and classes that bring in the most!


I absolutely love having parent volunteers in our classroom each year! I truly believe it enriches the student’s experience each day, and it is always a benefit to have extra help. The volunteering spreadsheet below is for parents who are interested in helping during the instructional day during math, science, reading, and/or writing. I’d prefer that I have volunteers that sign up for a consistent day & time each week or every other week.

Avondale Schools requires all volunteers to complete the Volunteer Application Form and send in a copy of your license. Once I am notified by the front office that your background check has cleared, then you may volunteer at your chosen dates/times. I will let you know when this happens, or you can also call Kathy in the front office to check.

There will be other opportunities for volunteering for field trips or other special events that will be organized separately. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Volunteering Spreadsheet

Add your name in if you'd like to come in and volunteer!

Dismissal Enhancements

Arrival: All students will enter the main entrance then come to the classrooms.

Dismissal: GT students AND their siblings will be dismissed from the ELC doors in the rear of the parking lot.

​School Hours: 8:32 a.m. - 3:39 p.m. (GT - 3:34)
Half-Day Dismissal: 11:45 a.m.

Please stand outside the ELC doors at dismissal and hold up your child's assigned number card. Once you hear me call your child's number, please move off to the side so more numbers can be called. The students will meet you outside.

We are working to try and get the GT siblings dismissed a few minutes earlier so that the older GT students aren't always the last dismissed.

Thank you all for your patience as we find the best, most efficient and safe dismissal process possible.

Class Schedule

Ms. Martin’s Class Schedule

8:35-8:50: Morning Work/Welcome

8:50-9:40: Writing Workshop

5th Graders:

9:40-10:26: 5th Grade Specials

10:26-10:35: Snack (Healthy, Nut-Free)

10:35-11:30: Science/Social Studies with Ms. Martin

4th Graders:

9:40-10:35: Science/Social Studies with Ms. Gierman

10:35-11:21: 4th Grade Specials

11:21-11:30: Snack (Healthy, Nut-Free)

4th/5th Graders Return to their Teacher:

11:30-12:30: Math Workshop

12:31-12:53: Lunch

12:53-1:15: Recess

1:15-2:30: Reading Workshop

2:30-2:45: 2nd Recess

​2:45-3:30: Enrichment

  • Woodland follows an “ABC” specials schedule. Tuesday, September 4th will start with “A” day and continue from there.

  • 4th Grade students travel as a class together to specials. Their specials schedule is:

A-PE B-Music C-Art

  • 5th Grade students are split among the three regular 5th grade classes. Their specials schedule depends on the teacher they attend specials with. It may change during the year.

Phou: A-PE B-Music C-Art

(Koen, Nicholas)

Davison: A-Art B-PE C-Music

(Xavier, James, Blair, Georgie)

McNaughton: A-Music B-Art C-PE

(Luca, Kayla, Aapratim, Annabel)

Upcoming Important Dates

Normal School Hours: 8:32 - 3:39 (GT dismissal 3:34)

Half Day Hours: 8:32 - 11:45

Sep. 24-28: Spirit Week

Sep. 28: Box Top Collection

Oct. 2: Culver's Night

Oct. 5: Spirit Day/Fun Run 9-10:45

Oct. 8: Woodland Picture Day

Oct. 11 & 12: ROARS Store

Oct. 25: Elementary Conferences 4:30-8pm

Ms. Martin's Student Handbook 2018-2019

A paper copy came home with your child within the first week of school.

Avondale Communications/Photo Release Policy

Avondale has an "opt-out" policy with regards to photos/videos. When you initial that you have read/agree with the communications policy on the emergency card, this is your acknowledgement of that policy. If you would like to "opt-out", please inform the from office in writing.