Updates from Room 201

This week was a great week!  Our class continues to amaze me at how hard they work and how well they work together.  It’s two weeks until break and I know the energy will be ramping up.  I will do my best to give us breaks and keep structure as much as possible.

Weekly Reflections

Today your child is coming home with their first Weekly Reflections paper.  My hope is for the students to reflect on their own learning:  What did they do well this week?  What was hard for them?  What could they do better?

There is a place for your signature.  I am encouraging each student to go home and talk to parents about their week, using this form.  Then I would like you to sign it and have them return it to school.  I want to check in to make sure they are communicating with you and then I will send it back home for you to keep.

Blanket Donations

Thank you for all of the blanket donations.  I will be shopping next Wednesday night to buy the materials we need.  On Friday we will be making the blankets by measuring each cut, which ties into our math unit.  Fabric scissors would help a lot.  Do you have fabric scissors that you would be willing to share, just for the day?  We will also be making cards for the children.

Everyone is invited to bring the blankets down to the Children’s Hospital on December 18 at 4:30.  We will do a quick drop off, take a couple of pictures, and be on our way!


Dec. 3- Dec. 18:  Candy Cane sale to support 5th grade camp.  $1.00/each
December 12: Holiday Program.   Click HERE for more details.
December 13: Early Release- dismissal at 12:15pm
December 16: Holiday Shop (Information is coming home today!)
December 19: Polar Express Party  9:00am- more details to come next week!


Updates from 201: Week of December 2

Here’s to another full week!  I hope you had time to relax and enjoy your time with friends and family!

Writing: We are working together as a group to publish an opinion writing that we feel passionately about.  Students did research about the topic to gain more solid reasons to be able to persuade their audience.

Math: We have started our third math unit and we have studied measurement with inches, half inch, quarter inch as well as liquid volume with gallons, quarts, pints, cups, liters, milliliters. We will move into time and elapsed time as well. Please check with your child about what math facts they will be working on this Friday for their timed quiz.

Reading: We have learned so many strategies for reading mystery books and we are learning that these strategies can be used with all fiction books. Students are working together to make a poster of everything we learned about mysteries. Soon, we will be moving into our next unit and will learn new strategies for reading informational text.

Social Studies: We continue our study of Michigan geography and this week we will learn about the ways we modify and adapt to our environment in Michigan.

November Reading Logs are due by tomorrow.
A new December Reading Log was sent home yesterday along with some ideas to do as a family.  This is strictly optional and does not need to be turned in.Please help your child remember to sign on to Moby Max or Flash to Pass to practice their facts. 


Blanket Project:

I would love for each kid to be able to make their own blanket or as least work in partners to donate to a person in need.  I am still waiting to hear back from two organizations. I will continue taking donations for materials through next Monday, December 9th!  Refer to the earlier post for more information here.

If you would like to Venmo me to purchase cloth for you, please find me on the app as @KarmanHoutstra. Thank you to many of you who have donated, and offered to donate whatever the difference ends up being!

We will collect items through December 11.



Dec. 3- Dec. 18:  Candy Cane sale to support 5th grade camp.  $1.00/each
December 12: Holiday Program.   Click HERE for more details.
December 13: Early Release- dismissal at 12:15pm
December 16: Holiday Shop
December 19: Polar Express Party  9:00am- more details to come next week!

GRAM Field Trip

Our field trip was AMAZING learning about David Wiesner’s work. I hope your child came home and told you all about it.  Did they share their wordless story with you?  Each student created their own wordless story and planned it out just like Mr. Wiesner would.

I am so very thankful for each one of you!  I absolutely love my job and being able to come to work with such amazing students.  You are all great parents and doing a great job raising your child!  I hope you all have a wonderful, long, and relaxing weekend.

Twin Day

We had all new sets of twins in our class yesterday!  They were adorable and it made the day fun!!

I wonder what our next class reward will be?  Hmmmm, we will have to decide soon with how quickly they accumulate points.

Early Release Service Project

Hello Parents!

Something that is near and dear to my heart is service work. I believe that our communities and society benefit when people of all generations work to help each other out.

This is the first big service project that I have done with a class.  Mrs. Deter’s class is doing this as well and I love the idea of serving and giving back.

Blankets for a local nursing home

On our last Early Release before Holiday Break, December 13, I would like to transform our classroom into a team of community helpers.

I would like to have students work in small groups to create no-sew tie fleece blankets and holiday cards to donate to the residents.

How can you help make this happen?

  • Donate Blanket Materials!
    • 5′ x 4.5′ cuts of fleece from any fabric store
    • Monetary donations that I will use to purchase fleece.  I have a Venmo account (@Karman-Houtstra) if that is easiest for you.  I will also take cash donations.
    • Invite friends and family to make monetary or 5′ x 4.5′ fleece donations
  • Donate Card Making Materials!
    • Fun cardstock
    • Stickers
    • Stamps/ink pads
  • Come distribute them with me!
    • The date of delivery is TBA.  I will let you know as soon as possible.
    • Bring your student and/or family along to hand out cards, blankets, hugs, and smiles to warm our community members’ holiday season!

Updates from Room 201

It was so nice to see all of you at conferences this week and be able to talk about your child.  This class is really special to me and I am so thankful that I can be your child’s teacher.


During this week, we earned our class reward, which they chose as twin day.  On Monday, students can dress up as twins, triplets, or quadruplets, with other classmates. If they want to be themselves they can do that too!


Our class field trip to the Grand Rapids Art Museum is on Tuesday.  We will leave right at 9:00 and be back to school 1:30.  Please remember to send a lunch with your child that day, unless you chose a sack lunch on the field trip permission form.


We do not have school on Wednesday, Nov. 27.  I hope you enjoy all of the things you are thankful for over the long weekend.

ACADEMICS (I should probably talk about that too!)

Writing:  We just finished videoing our persuasive speeches.  Those should be on the blog next week.

Reading:  We are finishing a Mystery Unit and now noticing similarities between fiction and mystery genres.  There is always a problem and crime.  There are main characters and crime solvers.  We also need to pay attention to details to solve the problem or clues to solve the crime.  Over all, the students have loved this unit.

Math:  We started a unit on Measurement this week.  Telling time to the nearest five minutes and one minute (on an analog clock) is coming up quickly.  I know almost everything is digital now, but if you have an analog clock and could practice together, that would be helpful.


We have enjoyed learning about natural resources.  If we don’t take care of them, many problems will occur.  Today they brought home a sequence of events from a book we read.  Ask your child to tell you about it.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Every 3rd Grader student at Georgetown Elementary was the recipient of student dictionary sponsored by Grandville’s American Legion Auxiliary Unit 179.   Sheila Manning, President, managed a fund-raising project that provided all of our HPS third graders with a copy of  A STUDENT’s DICTIONARY.

The Auxiliary Unit 179 is dedicated to the education and literacy of our communities children and youth.  Our students benefitted from their generosity back in 2011 — and we are grateful to be on the receiving end of this important project once again.

Many thanks to Sheila Manning and her team (photo above) who distributed the dictionaries to our students this week.

Book Club

We had our first book club on Monday with the book Friendship According to Humphrey!  Both students and parents/grandparents were involved in the discussion.  It was great to hear everyone’s favorite parts and their thoughts on the book.   After our conversation, students made a craft of Og the Frog!

I plan to announce our next book in mid-January!  Stay tuned!

Liquid Volume Unit

Over the weekend, will you save materials that we could use to discuss liquid volume (pint, quart, 1/2 gallon, gallon)? For example, an empty quart/gallon milk jug.  Also liter or 2-liter bottles.

We will be using these on Tuesday!

Winter Gear & Math Test

I forgot a couple of things in my update this week.  As we bring all of our winter gear to school, please make sure your child’s initials or names are written on the tags.  The black gloves and snow pants can all look the same!  Also, if you have extra Meijer plastic bags, we would love to reuse them for you.  These bags are helpful to put boots or snow pants in at the end of the day.  Wearing the full gear on the bus can be too hot, so I like to have bags for the students to use.

MATH TEST:  A math review sheet came home last night. Please go over it with your child, give him/her a few practice problems that are similar to the ones on the review.  This test is difficult.  As you will see from the review, there can be many steps to one problem.  We will review more in class today and the test will be on Friday.