Martin's Memos

Volume 2, Issue 12: November 16, 2018

This Week


We are all still reeling from the loss of our wonderful friend and teacher, Ms. Jaclyn Scott. She was truly a light - she always had fun, humorous way about her; I truly admired her spirit and vivacious personality. Ms. Scott was a fantastic teacher. For those of you who didn't have a child in her class - I can tell you from personal experience that our program has lost an amazing teacher who knew gifted children so well. She will truly be missed.

On Wednesday we had a class talk about what happened and had time to reflect. The students also had the opportunity to talk with me, counselors, and other trusted adults about their feelings and thoughts. I've posted the link to Ms. Scott's obituary and funeral arrangements below if you haven't seen them yet.

There will not be a newsletter next week. (Monday is a full day, Tuesday is a 1/2 day)

-Ms. Kate Martin

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Positivity Project

This week's character trait was "gratitude" which is defined as: You are aware of and are thankful for good things that happen. Gratitude is sometimes resisted, especially in more self-sufficient and independent cultures, due to not wanting to experience a sense of indebtedness. However, gratitude is less about feeling indebted and more about being aware of the consideration, kindness, and generosity of others. It’s also important to note that gratitude is not about ignoring the negative aspects of life; it’s simply being aware of and thankful for what is good.

We talked a lot this week about being grateful for the PEOPLE in our lives, especially in the wake of this tragedy. Together we created a "Tree of Gratitude" - we reflected on the people that mean the most to us and why. We also aim to tell those people whenever we can just how much they mean to us.

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What Did We Learn This Week?

Math: Students continued in their math groups.

Yellow- I can solve complex algebraic inequalities.

Green- I can find the area of polygons.

Orange- I can fluently multiply with large numbers. Place value.

Science (5th): We dived into learning more about the hydrosphere and the atmosphere this week. We really focused on how the spheres on earth actually work together.

Reading: We finally finished The Secret Garden this week! The students absolutely loved it. We finished learning about our fiction signposts and how to identify them and understand their meaning within the text. We will watch The Secret Garden movie next week and discuss the similarities and differences.

Writing: We practiced responding to nonfiction opinion texts. Take a look at the expectations. The students are now independently working on responding to an article about animal testing.

Enrichment: The students continued their Enrichment project - all students will be completing this individually. Enrichment 3.0 (FYI: Enrichment 2.0 is our community service project we had to put on hold until January!)

Looking Forward to Next Week...(After Thanksgiving)

Positivity Project (P2)/Character Education: Knowing My Words and Actions Affect Others

Math: Students will continue their in their math groups.

Yellow- I can understand ratios and proportions

Green- I can understand ratios.

Orange- I can fluently multiply with large numbers. Place value.

Science (5th): We will continue our unit on Earth's Systems/Spheres, specifically focusing on the the interaction. We will finish this unit on 12/5.

Reading: We will be learning how to read and respond to nonfiction texts in our new unit - "Reading the Weather, Reading the World"!

Writing: We will continue to learn how to respond to texts.

Enrichment: We will continue working on our enrichment projects.

Continuous Important Reminders...

Jackets/Coats, Hats, Gloves...

Buuuurrrrrrrrrrr!!! It's that time of year again! WINTER!!!

Now that the temperatures will consistently be in the 30's-40's, please make sure your child has appropriate gear. Sweatshirts aren't going to be enough! Remember that the students go outside unless the temperature is below 10 degrees. (Including wind chill) They go outside during lunch recess, 2nd recess and sometimes during P.E.

When it gets snowy, your child is welcome to leave their winter gear in a large bag in/under their cubby during the week. They must bring it home each Friday and bring it back on Monday.

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!

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)

November goal = 750 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!

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.

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, and that 4th and 5th graders will still receive letter grades in addition to their standards based grading.

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 (GT dismissal around 11:40)

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

Nov. 21-23: Thanksgiving Break

Dec. 7: 1/2 Day

Dec. 24-Jan.6: No School

Jan. 8: PTO Meeting 7-9

Jan. 21: No School

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.