Martin's Memos

Volume 2, Issue 8: October 19, 2018

This Week


Please read through this information carefully and let me know if you have any questions!


-Ms. Kate Martin

Positivity Project

This week's character trait was "integrity" which is basically translated into "do what's right".

"Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them." -Renee Brown

Photos of the Week

What Did We Learn This Week?

Math: Students continued in their math groups.

Yellow- I can solve complex algebraic equations.

Green- I can solve algebraic equations.

Orange- I can fluently multiply with large numbers.

Science (5th): We began our unit on matter, energy and organisms. We discussed the delicate balance of an ecosystem by interpreting food webs. We discussed overpopulation and how that affects an ecosystem.

Reading: We continued to make generalizations and reason about change. Students will also reason about events and situations. In our small groups we used the "Notice and Note" strategy when reading. Each week we will focus on a different signpost to identify, locate, and discuss.

Writing: We continued our persuasive writing essays. The students are starting to revise and edit their drafts using the 5th/6th grade checklists. We are also trying to reference our sources in our text and we'll learn (next week) how to include a source page according to APA expectations.

Enrichment: We starting either updating or starting our online educational portfolios. Your child can share this with you at home. It is password protected - no one can go on your child's website unless they know the password.

Looking Forward to Next Week...

Positivity Project (P2)/Character Education: Perspective

Math: Students will continue their in their math groups.

Yellow- I can solve complex algebraic equations.

Green- I can solve algebraic equations.

Orange- I can fluently multiply with large numbers.

Science (5th): We will continue our unit on Matter & Energy in Organisms & Ecosystems. Specifically, we'll be exploring symbiosis and photosynthesis.

Reading: We will continue to make generalizations and reason about change and reasoning. We'll continue learning the "Notice and Note" strategy. We will continue reading The Secret Garden.

Writing: We will publish our persuasive essays! Yay!

Enrichment: We will be starting a group community service project along with Ms. Gierman's class. The students will choose what they'd like this to be.

Executive Functioning in Gifted Students

You're not alone! Many gifted students struggle with executive functioning.

What is it?

  • Paying attention
  • Organizing and planning
  • Initiating tasks and staying focused on them
  • Regulating emotions
  • Self-monitoring

Why do Gifted Students Struggle with it?

  • They never really needed them before! They have always succeeded in school without them.
  • In an intellectually appropriate program - the level/amount/type of work has "caught up"! They never had to study!
  • Asynchronous development - an uneven intellectual, physical, and emotional development

How Can It Improve?

  • Patience!
  • Short-term, achievable goals
  • Explain the WHY - why is it important? Get buy-in!
  • Checklists! Checklists! Checklists!
  • Use the agenda - get it out and identify what needs to be done and in what order
Here's an example of what I posted inside of everyone's cubby:
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Box Tops!

GOOD NEWS! Our class collected the most Box Tops at Woodland! 387! We get to keep the "Box Top Trophy" in class and all students received a small prize.

Keep collecting and sending them in! Don't forget to label your child's name on the baggie so they can get credit.

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!

Fall Conferences are Coming!

Forgot your date or time? Click below!

Continuous Important Reminders...

Book It!

This year our classroom is participating in the BOOK IT! Program to encourage your child's love of reading. Plus, we know that the best way to become a better reader is to READ, READ, READ! Our nightly expectation is 25 minutes per if they are doing that they should be able to meet our reading goal of 750 minutes per month! The students will receive the Reading Log by Minutes to keep track of the minutes. (linked below)

We can start for the month of October a little late! Our "prorated" October amount is 625 minutes. :) Students complete the log and a parent needs to sign to confirm they read that amount of minutes.

Logs need to be turned in by the last day of each month. This is when I'll be passing out the "Free Personal Pan Pizza" coupon!

Information Night for Current Families

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Meadows Transition/Avondale GATE F.A.Q.

Please click on the button to learn more about our transition to Meadows.

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.

Avondale GATE Internal Applicant Information Nights

Next Information Night for Internal Families: Oct. 24th.

Other 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.

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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.

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

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

Oct. 31: Halloween Party/Parade (More info to come from room parents)

Nov. 1: Elementary Conferences 4:30-8pm

Nov 2: Spirit Day/PBIS Assembly

Nov. 6: 1/2 day & Chuck E. Cheese Night 4-10

Nov. 8 & 9: ROARS store @ school

Nov. 13: PTO meeting 7-9

Nov. 14: Picture retake day & Current GATE Families Info Night @ Admin Building 6:30

Nov. 16: 1/2 Day

Nov. 20: 1/2 Day, end of 1st Marking period

Nov. 21-23: Thanksgiving Break

Dec. 7: 1/2 Day

Ms. Martin's Student Handbook 2018-2019

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

Volunteering Spreadsheet

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