Martin's Memos

Volume 2, Issue 5: September 28, 2018

This Week


Please read through this information carefully and let me know if you have any questions! There are more book sets listed if anyone else is still interested in donating!

To ensure that we maintain and grow a positive school culture, we ask that your first point of contact for any academic and social concerns regarding your child be addressed with their teacher. This will aid us in making sure you are receiving accurate information and that we can help with any issues immediately.

While we appreciate the connectivity social media brings, sometimes it can also bring misinformation and negativity. Thank you for helping us provide a positive learning environment in which the students are nurtured and supported.


-Ms. Kate Martin

Photos of the Week

This Week

Positivity Project (P2)/Character Education: Teamwork/Citizenship

Math: We continued our math groups and lessons!

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): We acted as a historian and learned how Africa and Europe influenced US history.

Reading: We continued our read aloud - The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. We also analyzed African American poetry by using a literature web. We continued to discuss how our readings are related to the concept of change. We also started "targeted reading practice" on Mondays where the students are grouped based on their areas of improvement. Additionally, we started our reading workshop! The students visit one station per day Tuesday-Friday. Please note which days your child is meeting with their Book Club groups!

Writing: We learned that the root word "pos", which means to "place or put". We also started the writing process for our persuasive essays. Students researched and learned how to take notes while citing sources.

Enrichment: We continued our 1st passion projects! Students worked on their presentations. Presentations will start 10/1.

Looking Forward to Next Week

Positivity Project (P2)/Character Education: Open Mindedness

Math: Students will continue their in their math groups.

Yellow- I can understand rational numbers.

Green- I can x and / fractions and decimals.

Orange- I can complete operations involving decimals.

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

Reading: We will continue to make generalizations and reason about change. Students will also reason about events and situations. In our small groups I introduced the "Notice and Note" strategy when reading. It helps the students stop and think about what they're reading to better understand things like theme, foreshadowing, contradictions, etc.

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 words are sid, sed, sess, which means to "sit/settle".

Fun Run

It's coming soon! Friday, October 5 from 9-10:45! Parents are welcome to come cheer everyone on!!!

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?! :)

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!

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Need 5 copies) Thrift books Amazon

Thanks to those that purchased copies last week! :)

The Marx Family, The Billings Family, The Broughton Family, The Nowinski Family, The Niezgoda Family, The Anderson Family

Vision and Hearing Screening

Vision Screening will be done by the Oakland County Health Department on 10/1 through 10/5. They will be screening 1st, 3rd, and 5th graders.

Hearing Screening will be done, also by OCHD, on 10/12, 10/15 and 10/16. They will screen K, 2nd, and 4th graders.

Continuous Important Reminders...

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 Night

This event is not only for new applicants, but current families are also welcome. During this meeting we'll share some new information about our move to Meadows next year. If you don't come, the same information will be sent out to all current families next week.

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.

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.

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!

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.