Martin's Memos

Volume 2, Issue 21: February 8, 2019

This Week


We have a new date for the DIA field trip - Feb. 28th! If you were a chaperone please email me and please confirm that you can still come on that day. Please read the information in our newsletter below and let me know if you have any questions. Have a great weekend!

P.S. It's official! I was approved by the school board as the Avondale GATE Principal for the 2019-2020 school year!

-Ms. Kate Martin

Intent Letter for 2019-2020 School Year


Please look for the Avondale GATE intent letter in your child's Friday Folder. This is an important form we need returned from every student currently in our program so that we can plan for next year at Meadows. Please return it as soon as possible. Thank you!

Positivity Project - P2

This week's character strength was: Social Intelligence

We had some great discussions about social intelligence this week and also learned about how this topic can often be an area of weakness for gifted students. We learned about asynchronous development, too.

Social intelligence helps individuals build relationships – and is important to numerous aspects of a person’s life. It allows an individual to form friendships and alliances. And, it assists a person against being taken advantage of. People with social intelligence can “read” other people’s faces and know what motivates them. Social intelligence builds over time and as a person ages. In this sense, it is similar to the character strength of perspective.

On a group level, social intelligence is what allows us to function as humans. We are social beings and rely on each other’s cooperation. By understanding ourselves and other people, we can find ways to collaborate for mutual benefit. Strong leaders often possess social intelligence in abundance. In order to motivate people, leaders must form relationships and inspire others to want to do what needs to be done.

Donors Choose Project - Funded in ONE day!!!

Thank you so much to those that quickly supported this project request! It really helped that Sphero matched every donation, too. I have already received the Spheros and am planning opportunities for all students to learn to code using these robots! I'm beyond excited!

MAP Testing

Math: The students made UNPRECEDENTED growth on their MAP Math tests and we are all so proud of each other and ourselves. On average, students in our class made over 200% of their Winter goals.

Reading: Students also rocked our Reading MAP test. On average, students in our class made over 140% of their Winter goal.

So, what now?

The Winter MAP tests are really meant as a "check-up" for the teacher and the student. It doesn't count toward anything district-wise. I use the various reports to analyze data and determine each student's areas of strength and weakness in reading and math. I then create my lesson plans based on this information combined with other data I collect.

Things to Keep Encouraging at Home:

  • Read, read, read, read, read, read....and did I mention READ?! Keeping up with the novel study at school, book club reading and job, and putting forth the most effort possible.
  • Studying for root word quizzes and science/social studies.
  • Khan Academy if there is no math homework.
  • Being open to hard work! Growth doesn't happen without it.

This Week...

Math: Students will continue their in their math groups. We now have 4 math groups! Yay! I also introduced a new way of compacting the curriculum called "Hardest First". For some of the math groups I have assigned 4-5 practice problems to do after our lesson. If they get less than 1 wrong, they don't have to do the remaining homework problems. If they get 2 or more wrong, I ask them to complete all of the homework problems because it indicates they need more practice. This is an optional practice if I offer it to their group. (Yellow, Green and Purple will do this) So, if your child says they don't have math homework - its ok!

Yellow- I can understand constructions and scale drawings.

Green-I can understand equations and inequalities.

Orange- I can interpret algebra, patterns, and coordinate graphs.

Purple- I can understand equations.

Science (5th): Our class will continue our new science unit, Mixtures and Solutions.


We completed our unit on Myths/Legends/Fairytales in reading, but will continue to work on the writing Anthology into next week because of the ice day and other factors.

The students also started a novel study that they will complete using a book that they chose. Here's the details - CLICK HERE! It's meant to be done in class, but the students can of course work at home, too if they choose. They have already planned out the amount of pages they'll read and have a calendar of due dates. (Integrating our executive functioning!)

Enrichment: Students will continue working on their 4th enrichment project. It's due on 4/20.

Photos of the Week

We had an amazing experience speaking with Climate Scientist and Geochemist Nemiah Ladd all the way from Switzerland! The students came up with some pretty awesome questions such as:

  • What kinds of algae do you study, and what do they reveal about climate change?
  • How do you get your old and new plant samples and how do you test them?
  • What is the most interesting and important thing you have found in your research and why is it important to your studies?

Ask your child tonight what they learned!

Looking Forward to Next Week...

Positivity Project (P2)/Character Education: Love

Math: Students will continue their in their math groups.

Yellow- I can understand constructions and scale drawings.

Green-I can understand equations and inequalities.

Orange- I can interpret algebra, patterns, and coordinate graphs.

Purple- I can understand equations.

Science (5th): Our class will continue our science unit, Mixtures and Solutions.

Reading/Writing: We will finish writing our own fables/myth/fairytales/plays/legends and will continue a novel study! Here's the details - CLICK HERE!

Enrichment: Students will continue working on their 4th enrichment project. It's due on 4/20.

In the next 2 weeks, we're going to "Skype a Scientist" in class! We're going to be having a Q & A session with Nemiah Ladd! Check out her information and website linked above!

Valentine's Day Exchange

To celebrate Valentine's Day, we will exchange valentines and eat a small snack from 10:45-11:35 on February 14th. 2/14 is a 1/2 day, so it will occur right before dismissal. All parents are welcome to join if you'd like. If a student is choosing to exchange valentines, I ask that they bring one for every student in class. The class list is below - we have 20 students.





















Slight Changes...

Big picture

Upcoming Field Trips

The Detroit Institute of Arts

RESCHEDULED - February 28th!!!!!

DIA Chaperones:

Ms. Billings

Ms. Broughton

Ms. Dolney

Ms. Suender

The Cranbrook Institute of Science - Chemical Reactions

February 21 from 9:20-1:30

Bring disposable sack lunch & a disposable snack

Cost = $16 for admission

Cranbrook Chaperones:

Ms. Lavallee

Ms. Nahass

Ms. Raymond

Ms. Jones

Avondale GATE School of Choice Application Window!

Spread the word!

We had a FANTASTIC turn out for the Information Nights. The School of Choice application window is NOW OPEN until March 8th at 4pm. Remember, if you are a CURRENT GT school of choice family, you do NOT need to re-apply.

Upcoming Important Dates

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

Half Day Hours: 8:32 - 11:45 (GT dismissal around 11:40)

Early Release: 8:32-1:39 (GT dismissal around 1:34)

Late Start: 10:32-3:39

Feb. 6-Mar.8: SOC Application Window

Feb. 14: Valentines exchange @ 10:45; 1/2 day

Feb. 15-19: Mid-Winter Break

Feb.26: 4th grade concert

Mar. 14: Late start or early dismissal

Apr. 1-5: Spring Break

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!

Meadows Transition/Avondale GATE F.A.Q.

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

Thank you to those that attended our meeting to discuss the transition to Meadows next year. The link to the presentation is below. Feel free to contact me if you have questions. Please remember that there are many decisions still to be made - but we are well on our way to ensuring the best possible experience for our GATE students. Thank you for your continued support!