Friday, May 17

Camp Reminder note

Camp Talahi Reminder Note!!
May 22, 23, 24!!!

            We’re ready!

First, thanks for all the donations for the funds for camp! We’re looking good, and I really appreciate the generosity.

Busses are all set, camp is getting ready for us. All the permission forms are turned in! Thanks.

Volunteers: We are covered in most areas. We have 5 full time parents, so we will have the 1:5 ratio.
Two areas we are weak in are transporting luggage to and from camp and having a lunch for the class when we return from camp on Friday.

Here are the last few reminders:

            Bring a yummy sack lunch for Wednesday. Make all wrappings and containers disposable. We can’t be responsible for of lunch boxes and thermoses.

            Label clothing and baggage.  Masking tape on the outside really helps us keep track of supplies when we are loading and unloading.

            Drop luggage and snack donations outside the classroom door (weather permitting)!

            All medications must be turned in to Bette, labeled the morning of departure.

            Bus will be loading at 9:30 a.m.

            We will return on Friday, May 24 around 11:15 a.m.  Children may use their regular after school method to return home.  If luggage needs to be left in the classroom, please pick it up as soon as possible.
            A HUGE THANK YOU TO PARENT VOLUNTEERS for sharing your time with us to make camp fun and educational!

2019 Camp Talahi Volunteer Summary
As of May 17, 2019

Full time Camp Volunteers: Molly, Geirdra, Amy K. Lynn, Dina (3:00)
            Full timers will collaborate to make sure all activities are covered

Wednesday, May 22

·      Vans to take luggage to camp 9:00-?  Lindsey Caverly
·      Counselors for Day activities, 10:30-5:00      Amy Kuessner
·      Counselors for Dinner. Evening Activities 5:00-10:00 Elizabeth Lunning, Megan Gustitus
·      Overnight!      Genevieve Compton, Milena Loc, Elizabeth Lunning, Amy K.

Thursday, May 23

·      Counselors for Day activities, 8:00-5:00      Elizabeth L., Amy K., Lynn, Eric Wingfield
·      Counselors- Dinner, Evening Activities 5:00-10:00 Carola
·      Overnight! Molly, Milena, Carola, Elizabeth, Amy K.

Friday, May 24

Counselors for Breakfast, morning activities, packing up 8:00-10:30 Carola, Molly
Vans to take luggage back to school Arrive at 10:00am Gierdra. NEED MORE

Camp Snacks: Anne Avery, Amber Miller, Genevieve Compton

Still not covered:

COORDINATE FRIDAY LUNCH for us.  Would that be YOU?  Please let us know.

Monday, May 6

Latest News and Upcoming Events

Camp is in 2 weeks!! There will be information coming this week to help you prepare. This morning I went over the activity choices with kids, so the excitement will begin. Feel free to send me your questions. Children who have not been to overnight camp may have some uncertainty. We will spend some time in discussion to share stories and answer their questions. In the end, camp is a rewarding and enriching experience!! It will be a good way to pull together our studies of the water sheds of Michigan through the Salmon in the Classroom project.

Your upcoming camp info packet will have a volunteer form to let me know if you can help out with the chaperoning. I will need 3-4 adults who can stay overnight, but we could have different people covering us each night. Please let me know if you plan to stay full time. This camp will not require the incredible work load from you, but there is also less immersion for families. I am preparing a packing list and sample schedule so you can see what we will be doing.

I am still concerned about the funding. It's difficult because I don't have direct access to the account, but I am in communication with Stacey. With buses for the salmon release and the Rural Education Days in Saline, we are down to $1940. I know that $100 has been turned in by the Earn-a-thon, so that leaves a balance needed of $680. I am emailing the camp to see what the cost would be to do camp with only 1 overnight.
Next week our class will take the M-STEP state assessment. Wednesday will be Math, 9-11 and Thursday will be English Language Arts, 10-12. Those are the scheduled times, but they are not timed tests.  There will be an opportunity for children who need more time to finish the test at their own pace. It will be important for children to be well rested and on time to school! Let me know if you would like to help coordinate supportive snacks for these days

On May 20, Maybree, Gus and Henry will be attending the SEMIS Community Forum with me to do a presentation on our Salmon project. If you attended the field trip to Wolf Lake to get the salmon eggs with us and you have any pictures, please share them with me.

For your convenience, upcoming events for Bette's Class

Tues., May 7 Walk to School Day
Wed., May 15 M-STEP Math 9-11
Thurs., May 16, M-STEP ELA 10-12
            Eton Academy presentation on our school for parents 8:30 am or 5:00pm
May 21 AAOCC
May 22-24 Camp Talahi (22 is early release, but we'll miss it)
May 27 Memorial Day, no school
         28, 29 NWEA assessment

           6 Ice Cream Social
          11 Rolling Hills (if we have the funds)
          12 Field Day/Kids movie Festival
          14 Last Day, half day.

Monday, April 15

Dear Families

Dear Families,
Today I am sending home a permission slip to be signed for a field trip to the Saline Fairgrounds for "Rural Education Days" this Thursday. We learn about Michigan Agriculture.  It's presented by high school students in 4H. The permission slips were in their mailboxes. Ask about it. Special accolades for any students to remembered it!! If they forgot today, remind them to bring it tomorrow. I would like to have them all by Wednesday.
Wednesday is the Chicken Fun Run. I forwarded you some information about it.

Next Thursday, April 25 we will be releasing the Salmon!!! Watch for another permission slip for that. We will go by school bus with Edie's class to Huroc Park, Flat Rock, Michigan. On our way back we will drive out to the mouth of the river. The trip will take place within the school day. We will need a few parent volunteers for that.

We are finally official for Camp Talahi!! I have a contract for May 22-24. Next step, raise the additional funds needed. I told the kids today that we would do a Read-A-Thon. I will send the pledge forms and reading records home tomorrow.

Thursday, March 14

Check In

Dear Families,

Sorry, I didn't get to you sooner, but you may have heard that I was whisked out to urgent care on Friday. I was just going down some stairs and suddenly I couldn't put any weight on my right leg. Well, the outcome is not as dramatic as the event, luckily. I can walk now and just have to be very mindful while I heal. The kids in the class were so sweet and helpful. After the evaluation at Urgent care, I bought a cane and went on to a wonderful Open Classroom Conference! Glad to see some of you there.

This last week before Spring Break we have Focus Studies in the afternoon. My contribution this round is to facilitate kids in offering Focus Studies. I have worked with the groups on planning and preparing. If your child is one of the 'teachers' and you have questions feel free to check in with me. We are offering "Unicorns", "Poems, Poems, What a Marvelous Thing", "Knock, Knock, Who's There? Comedy!!", "Russian and Danish Language and Traditions", "German Language and Culture", and "Paper Airplanes". The groups will be held under my supervision.

Tuesday is the field trip to Hill Auditorium for Link Up. We will be out of the building 9:30-11:45. We will be back in time for a normal lunch.

I am still stuck on the Spring Camp field trip. I contacted Dainava and tried to get them to let us sign up for May, but they are not willing to make a commitment until they are sure the bathroom renovations are finished on schedule. I contacted Camp Talahi, a camp I have used in the past. It's a beautiful location, west of Brighton about a 35 minute drive. They have dates available in May. This camp provides a program. Nice, but it is also more expensive. The 3 day camp is $110 per student ($2640.) plus $40 per chaperone. I don't have a price yet for going to the camp for 2 days, one night. Our Class Trip account is currently at $2181.22. and we still need money to cover a bus to release the salmon. I paid for a charter bus to go to Wolf Lake to get the eggs before I knew we would have trouble getting Camp Dainava, which has been very cheap the last 8 years. Lynn and I will send out a survey to get your feedback. We have to make a call soon.

Back on the ranch, we are continuing to work through multiplication, division and geometry. We will dive into fractions after spring break. In writing, I have been challenging the kids with dialog. They like to write dialog in their stories without any formatting, so we are working on quotation marks and paragraph indentation. We finished our read aloud "Watson's go to Birmingham--1963." Such a great author and an opportunity to talk about the American Civil Rights movement. Next we are exploring women in history and how women in America have actively demanded equal rights and recognition. We continue to maintain our salmon tank and watch them grow.

Meanwhile, I continue to watch your children grow, what a wonderful and caring group we have.

Monday, February 4

Dear Families,

Here's hoping for a "regular" school week schedule!

This Wednesday is "Global Play Day." We participated in it last year and it was a wonderful, community building day.
Wednesday, February 6 is Global School Play Day
Global School Play Day is an international event raising awareness of the need for unstructured play. Here is a link to a TED talk by Dr. Peter Gray about the effects of the decline of unstructured play.
With our crazy scheduling, the date caught me off guard. I will talk to the kids about it on Tuesday.

Students can bring anything they wish to play with to school on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. The only restrictions: they must bring toys and these toys may NOT require batteries or electricity. No devices.  Some ideas: board games, dolls, Legos, blocks, trucks, cars, racetracks, playing cards, empty cardboard boxes, markers, jigsaw puzzles, blankets (for forts), social games (charades, Pictionary, etc.)

Tuesday, January 29

Update from Bette

Dear Families,

Hope you are all managing the cold wintery weather, not to mention the alternate arrangements for child care when school is closed. Gotta love it. Last week's snow days took me by surprise. Now I long to get on with our regularly scheduled program. Even so, tomorrow's closed and Thursday is in question with the forecasted temperatures. Here is a link to the Winter Weather Guidelines for AAPS. I think the chart to show how wind chills are determined is cool. I went over it with the kids today as a teachable moment for how to read tables.

The school closings have messed up our focus study schedule as well. Check messages form Karen Siegel  to keep abreast of that.

Alexis, our music teacher, is trying to prepare the kids for the Coffee House coming Feb 7 at 6. She only has our class one day a week. Today she handed out the recorders that were ordered so kids could practice at home.(lucky you).

It's time to prepare for the upcoming Science Fair, scheduled for February 28. I spoke with the kids about it today. Next time we have school I will have "I-Search" contracts for the kids to fill out. The I-Search this time will be science or maker fair related and we will display them at the science fair.  VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR VOLUNTEER SIGN UP, STUDENT ENTRY FORMS, AND HANDBOOK: Science Fair Handbook and volunteer link

In October I tried to establish dates for Camp Dainava. We have a slight complication. The Camp is upgrading their bathrooms, which is great news. However, the completion date is May 1.  My contact for camp rental is worried about the possibility of construction not meeting its deadline, so she asked if we could wait until April to secure a date. I was looking for camp dates May 8-10, May 15-17 or May 22-May 24. I usually like to give families more lead time for making arrangements to be available for camp. If anyone is skilled at creating online surveys I'd like to get feedback from families about this. Let me know.

The salmon are doing great. We're still working on multiplication and division. This will be ongoing, but we will start geometry when we reconvene.


Thursday, November 15

Update for Field Trip

Dear Families,

We're all set and excited for our  field trip tomorrow! All the permission slips are in, yay!

One adjustment. we will not go swimming before leaving after all. The drive is 1 hour and 48 minutes, so we should leave by 8:40 to get there by 10:30 for our program. So, if looks like we will gather for attendance and load the bus!
Chaperones include  Molly, Dina, Carola, Jill,  Andrew H. plus Heidi
Make sure the kids:
  • bring a lunch and water bottle
  • dress for the weather (High of 39, possible snow in the am)
  • bring a bag or back pack for lunch and outerwear/

Another thing I forgot to mention in my last note is that we will be going to Project Lead The Way (PLTW) at the end of the day every day until Winter break. We will dismiss from PTLW, room 109, so we will go all packed up.