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.

Tuesday, November 13

Field Trip this Friday!!

Dear Families,

I'm excited for the big trip on Friday to the Wolf Lake Hatchery to pick up our salon eggs!  We sent the permission slips home last Friday. (Margaret watched each one go into its backpack, wink, wink). We  have a majority of the permission slips in.  Second chance permission slips were passed out today to the 8 that are still out. Here's the agenda for Friday:

8:30 Swimming
9:15 Load the bus, snack served on the bus
10:30-12:00  Tour of the hatchery
12:00- Lunch, tour museum and show pond
1:30 load bus
3:00 arrive at AAO

Children should BRING A LUNCH. They should be dressed comfortably for the weather. The children can bring a "purged" backpack to keep their lunch, extra clothing and a book or notebook in.

We have some individual packets of cheeze crackers for the bus ride. I would love it if someone could send in some juice boxes. I have one "G" rated movie for the bus ride. We need one more.

Confirmed chaperones so far are Lynn, Dina, Carola. Heidi will be with us. There's room for one or two more. If you are interested let me know!

Multicultural festival is coming up. Today we voted to study "People of the Great Lakes"! It's a rich topic and I am sure everyone will be able to find a topic of interest. We're already talking about making the entrance to our room the St. Lawrence Seaway and making Niagara Falls with the Welland Canal going by it. I am reading "Death and Life of the Great Lakes," by Dan Egan right now, and the first chapter has a great outline of the history of human interaction with this magnificent resource. In addition, through SEMIS place-based education coalition I have met an incredible historian who has researched and studied the true histories of the early people who lived around the Great Lakes before the Europeans arrived. There's also a lot to consider about, not just the past, but the future. You'll be hearing more as we get into it.

I'm working on report cards. Expect them to come home next Tuesday.


Bette Diem, Teacher

Friday, November 2

Notes from Bette

Dear Families,

We survived Halloween . Thanks to all of the parents who sent in treats and came in to help with the parade and festivities.
I so enjoy I-Search presentations! We've had students share what they've learned and show their expertise about a wide array of topics, from the periodic table to the human body to Halloween and Football, just to name a few. The presentations are well done and the kids are proud to share their work. Thanks so much for helping.

As I mentioned on Curriculum Night the I-Searches are about process and love of learning. I've had some questions about due dates. I see the "due dates" as training wheels, just to help the kids learn how to have a target date. When they are older they may have consequences for their grade, etc. Through I-Searches, they will have learned how to handle it without pressure.

Reggie has done some literature lessons with the kids on Tall Tales and writing Circle Stories. In math we are continuing with addition and subtraction with 3rd grade and factors and multiples with fourth grade. The kids are making acrostics with the math terms "Sum" and "Factors," to help them retain the meaning. These are terms I have noticed that they learn in the moment, but cannot define later on, so we are trying to get the meaning to stick by creating acrostics with them. Today we are constructing line graphs with our Halloween Candy data.

Speaking of Reggie, next week is his last week with us. He has a job teaching in Wayne-Westland already. Next Friday we will have a farewell party with him.

Here are some upcoming events:
Remember, next Tuesday- No School for Election Day.
Next Wednesday, Nov. 7 we have a UMS field trip to Hill auditorium to see Jake Shimabukuro, an amazing virtuoso ukulele player. I have 3 tickets for chaperones. Here's a link to his website.
Permission slips are coming home today.

I am really excited to announce that I have arranged a field trip to take the class with me to pick up the salmon eggs this year! We will be traveling by charter bus to Wolf Lake Hatchery in Matatawan on Friday, November 16. We will still swim, then we will board the bus. We will tour the hatchery and visitor's center. More details upcoming. Here's a link to the visitor's center.,4570,7-350-79136_79236_80247_80504_82189---,00.html

Don't forget the time change this weekend.

Friday, October 5

Geology Field Trip, I-Searches

Dear Families,

We had a blast at DeBucks'. Each child got a pumpkin, donuts and cider and a free pass to return this fall.

Next week we have our Geology field trip on Friday, October 12. We will go to the Fox Preserve Gravel Pit to study rocks and minerals and geologic formation. I am sending the permission slip home today.

Yesterday we filled out contracts for I-Search projects. There is information about them on the blog. Please go over the contract with your child and discuss his or her plan. You can make any changes needed to make the project successful for your child. I encourage children to stretch beyond the typical poster. The blog info lists many possibilities. The due dates are set to be around the last week of October. By encouraging children to select a due date we help them to plan out their work. I-Search projects are about the process and satisfaction of learning about something you are interested in. Support your child in having a good time on this project. Fourth graders who already participated in I-Searches look forward to them and express their enthusiasm. This is one of the goals.

After negotiating with your child, sign it and return it to me so I know, you know the plan.

Looking forward to starting book groups next week. I have 7 volunteers, so the groups are small enough to be fun and meaningful.

I am re-sending the attached permission slip (found in the email) for Reggie to video tape his lesson.  He has received a few, but would appreciate more if possible. We will not include students who are already on the no photos list for the school unless you give specific permission. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 2

DeBucks' Corn Maze and Book Groups

Greetings Families,

De Bucks' Corn maze

Just a reminder that we are going to DeBuck's Corn Maze tomorrow! Make sure your child is dressed for the weather (and possible mud). Also make sure your child has a SACK LUNCH. If you want to use your lunch box, we will try to keep track so they come back.😀
So far I have Carola, Amelia's mom and Melissa, Cole's mom, and Giedra, Astas' mom. Please email me if you want to come.

Book Groups
I'd like to begin Book groups next week. Six parents signed up to help with Book groups on curriculum night, but now I need to know if Wednesday's, 8:30-9:15 will work for you. Please let me know if you can make a commitment to read novels with a small group on Wednesday mornings so I can build the groups.

Monday, September 24

Picture Day, Permission slips and Early release.

Dear Families,

The permission slip Reggie needs in order to video record himself teaching is attached to the email I sent today. We'd appreciate if you signed it and turned it in. Let us know if you need a hard copy.

TOMORROW IS PICTURE DAY!!  Unfortunately we have gym first thing in the morning. We will have some time after PE to relax and primp if needed for the pictures. We are signed up for 10:50am.

We are sending hard copy permission slips home for the trip to De Buck's on Wed. October 3. Please enter your child's name, sign it and return it.

WEDNESDAY IS EARLY RELEASE!! School gets out at 12:52. There is no child care offered at school. Everyone is getting professionally developed. 


Friday, September 21

Greetings from Bette

Greetings, Families of Bette's Class,

It was great to see so many of you last week at curriculum night. The info I shared with you is posted on the class blog. The link is attached to my email signature to make it easy for you to access. You can also just google "Bette's Class Notes to Families."
Today was our first Community Gatherings. We focused on International Peace Day. In addition we talked about the 17 Sustainability Goals in class.
Yesterday we had an author, Elizabeth Eulberg, visit the 3/4 classes. She has a series written for middle grade readers (us), Shelby Holmes, about a girl detective. She talked to the kids about what it takes to write a book, including many drafts and revisions!

In math we are working on Problem Solving and Place Value. 3rd grade students should know the value of digits in numbers into the ten thousands and 4th graders should know into the hundred thousands. We play a game called Guess-Digit-Place. Your child may be able to play it with you. Students should be familiar with different forms of numbers including standard form (23,987), expanded form (20,000+3000+900+80+7) and word form in which you write the number out in words.
This coming Wednesday, September 26, will be an Early Release Day. School will end at 12:52. Students will still have lunch at school.

We have scheduled a fall field trip to DeBuck's Corn Maze Wednesday, October 3rd from 10:00-2:00. We will be going together with Tracey's class. Watch for permission slips next week.
Our drinking fountain in the classroom is paltry. Some of the kids are pretty good about bringing water bottles to school. We can fill them at the drinking fountain near the cafeteria so it is helpful if kids do bring in water bottles.

         The first round of conferences will be Tuesday, October 9. Conferences include student, parent and teacher. They are scheduled for 20 minutes.  We use this time to help set goals with your student. A goal sheet for you to fill out was passed out on curriculum night and is also available on the pages section of the blog. I will assist students in completing a form with a similar format in class.  Students should attend the conference with you so they can participate in setting their own goals with your support. Some areas to consider include Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Listening, Speaking, Science, Social Studies, Social Development or Work Habits. 

On a humor side, one day the kids came in with muddy feet and got the rug all muddy.  I said,
"Do your parents let you come into the living with mud all over you shoes?" and several of the kids answered yes! Hmmm.