September 28

Updates from Room 201

October is going to bring in some cooler weather this week!  But I am holding on to hope that we will still have some warm days throughout the month.

Word Work Practice

Each Monday spelling words will come home to practice.  We will be doing activities throughout the week to have kids understand the patterns in the words.  On Friday there will be a sentence dictation.  I take grades on capitals, punctuation, spelling words, and neatness.


This. Is. HARD for many 3rd graders! If your child is voicing that they are struggling, please reinforce the “growth mindset” we are working on in class:

My brain is capable of hard things.

It’s not that I don’t get it, it’s that I don’t get it…YET!

I will NOT give up!

While equal groups in multiplication is clicking more and more, tying that concept to division can be so tricky for some kids. Please trust that it will come with time, and that we are going to be able to start working in small group settings to reinforce these tricky concepts this week.

I promise, it will come! We are all different, and all learn in our own time…if only the curriculum pacing guide allowed for greater differentiation of time spent on these concepts, BUT we will all get the hang of it in the end!

Reading Logs

Please send home the September reading logs by Friday.  I will get a new October one out this week.  Remember if students average 100 minutes/week and return their completed log by Friday, they will earn a coupon for free choice during one reading time in the month of October.

Upcoming Dates

  • Thursday, October 1: Picture Day (Forms were sent home last week for you to order.)
  • Friday, October 23: Early Release (12:15 pm dismissal)
  • Monday, October 26: No School
September 20

Updates from Room 201

This week we established writing partners and how a partner can help us become a better writer.  We learned that we can edit our spelling as we write and not wait until the end.  Students came up with ideas of how to fix their spelling such as:  looking around the room, using a quick words book, using a commonly misspelled words paper, and asking our partner.  Here are some picture of our classmates working together.

Reading Logs

I will begin sending home reading logs starting on Monday.  Students are expected to read for 20-30 minutes/night.  Please help your child neatly track their reading.  When they return it at the beginning of the next month and they have read an average of 100 minutes each week, they will get a coupon for a free choice to use during reading time.  I am going to send a survey if you would like to do the Book It reading calendar for Pizza Hut.  This would be in addition to the class reading log.  The class reading log is required.  Book It is not.  Last year, some families wanted to do both for the Pizza Hut coupon.

Word Study

A letter came home this week letting you know that spelling matters and we are going to do our best to understand our crazy english language spelling patterns.  Word Study will begin next week so look for a spelling list to come home on Monday.  Students will practice each day in class and then a spelling dictation will be given on Fridays.


If you have an ipad or iphone, please download the app FlashtoPass.  This is an easy app for students to practice their multiplication facts one fact at a time.  For example, they can only practice 2s or 5s, rather than having all of the facts mixed together.  The facts we learned this week are 2s, 5s, 10s.  Eventually students will be required to know these in 5 seconds or less.

Walk-a-thon Spirit Week

Mon: PJ Day
Tues: Silly Socks
Wed: Crazy Hair
Thurs: Hat Day (Walkathon)
Fri: Maize & Blue day

We want to promote a healthy lifestyle to our students and the community.  Please help us reach our fundraising goal by supporting our Walkathon. We have teamed up with Get Movin’© to make this event fun and profitable with online mobile friendly technology! 

We Need All Parents to Complete 3 Easy Steps!

  1.  Register your Child by visiting It’s free, easy, and fast to register!  For School Identifier use 5f3d669d605c9
  2.  Consider sending an Email and/ or Text of your child’s student fundraising webpage with 10-15 friends and family. It’s super easy!
  3.  Consider Posting on Facebook or Twitter It’s two clicks of a button to post. You’ll be surprised when donations come in from distant relatives/friends from HS/co-workers.  Post and see what happens!

Student Goals!

o   We need 100% student registration please visit today!

o   Each student is encouraged to raise at least $30.

o   Be an Overachiever Superstar by raising at least $150. 

Our TOTAL SCHOOL GOAL is $25,000

Event details: 

  •       Register your Child today using School Identifier 5f3d669d605c9
  •       Event Date: Thursday, September 24, 2020
  •       Final Donation due date: September 30, 2020
  •       Donations can be online through your child’s webpage.  Otherwise, donations in the        form of cash & checks (in-school donations), should be turned in to the school.
  •       Please make checks payable to: Georgetown Elementary PTC

The sunshine has been beautiful this weekend.  I hope you are able to go out and enjoy some fresh weather today!!


September 13

Updates from Room 201

We are off to a great year!  It has been a joy getting to know your child.  I love that the class is familiar with each other.  I already see encouraging words and bonds that usually takes a month or two to develop at the start of the year.

I will send updates a couple of times a month.  If something else needs to be communicated, I will also share it in a separate post.  As always, if you have any questions or need clarification on anything please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email.


We will continue to share true stories about our lives.  Students will learn the difference between a summary and a story, set writing goals, and edit as they work.  Editing is a very hard process for 3rd graders.  I am going to teach them how they can edit as they go so editing doesn’t become so overwhelming when their story is “finished.”


I am continuing to read with students and get an idea of where they are as a reader.  I look at three things as they read to me:  accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.  Accuracy tells me how they decode and understand words, fluency tells how smooth/fluent they are as a reader, and comprehension tells how well they understand what they read.


We will continue learning multiplication facts.  Last week we learned 5s and 2s.  This week we will learn 10s, 9s, 0s, 1s.  We will also learn the connection of multiplication and division.

Growth Mindset

Learning how to cope when things get tough is a skill that needs to be taught and learned.  We all get down on ourselves.  We get frustrated when things don’t go our way.  We get anxious when we don’t understand.  Through the growth mindset curriculum, students learn how to cope and not get “fixed” and stuck in a negative mindset.  They learn words and phrases and other skills to push through when things get tough.


The Georgetown Parent Club will be holding our annual Walkathon Thursday, September 24. Unfortunately we cannot have parent volunteers this year. 

This year’s theme is Spirit Week. Our school goal is to raise $25,000.

Theme days will be:

Monday (21st)-PJ Day

Tuesday (22nd) -Silly Socks

Wednesday(23rd) -Crazy Hair

Thursday(24th) -Hat Day

Friday(25th) -Maize & Blue

We are using a new company to collect funds, Get Movin’ Fund Hub.  You will be able to sign your child up online and collect donations through that website.  More information to come.  All of the money raised helps to buy books and supplies for teachers’ classrooms, new technology and technology updates, and other requested needs.

New prizes this year:

Class with the Highest Donations receives a Pizza & Ice cream Party

Top 2 Earners of each grade get a Pizza Party with Mr. Waldie

Grade with the Highest Donation receives Popsicle Recess

Class with the Highest % Participation receives Donuts and a $50 gift card for the teacher

Prize winners will be announced in mid-late October. Everyone who donates $30 will receive an eagle t-shirt in late October. Anyone who donates will be put in a raffle drawing for prices, such as electric scooter, Target gift cards, Barnes and Noble, etc……..

We are looking forward to a successful walk-a-thon this year.


This Friday is an early release day.  Students will be dismissed at noon.  Teachers will work their teams to plan and share.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂

August 30

Updates from Room 201

Last week was a super week!  I know I had a great time getting to know the students in our classroom.  They know more about each other than I do, which is different that in previous years.  Before, we were all learning and getting to know each other.  I am very thankful we started off with those 1/2 days.  The students were tired by the end of the day.

This week we have three full days and Thursday as a 1/2 day.  We will work on more routines and begin introducing new curriculum.


In math we start right away with multiplication.  Students are expected to master multiplication within 3-5 seconds per problem by the end of 3rd grade.  We start off very simple with 5s, then move to 2s, 1s, and 0s.  We learn the facts out of order by the ones that are easiest and then move to the more difficult ones.  A great app for students to practice is Flash to Pass.  I will show the class this app.  You can specify which fact you would like to focus on rather than going through all of the facts.  We will also make flashcards in class that will go back and forth every night.  You may want to buy some multiplication flashcards just in case these get lost.


On Monday I will introduce our class library.  Students will be given a reading level band to stay in for choosing their books.  For example they may be a J/K/L band or M/N/O band.  Our class library is set up this way and it’s easy to find books with these reading levels in the school library.


We will also start grammar and writing this week.  For writing we will begin making lists of things and people who are special in our lives.  Then we will begin to think of stories that we’ve done with this person or at a place.  Students coming into third grade are very familiar with narrative writing.  Writing and reading are my favorite subjects.  Some of you told me that your child does not like writing.  I look at this as a challenge to change that thought and to show all students they can be writers.

I know this post was wordy.  I’m not usually this wordy but I want to keep you informed, especially since we didn’t have an open house.  If you have not sent in a clean pair of gym shoes to school, please try to do this soon.  This helps save on our gym floors.  Right now, I believe students are going outside as much as possible, so they can wear any gym shoe for outdoors. But once they need to be indoors it will be good to have a separate pair of shoes.

Your child can have school lunch or home lunch, but both will be eaten in the classroom beginning tomorrow.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  I look forward to another week with your child.


Mrs. Houtstra

August 24

Day 1 (It was a great one!!)

What a great day today!  It went SO FAST!  These 1/2 days are going to go by very quickly.  I hope your 3rd grader came home and had some good things to share about our morning together.

Two things that I wanted to let you know:

  1.  We no longer have a student with a peanut allergy in our class, so your child can bring in food with peanuts.
  2. A ME Bag was sent home tonight.  The directions are on the bag.  These can come back any time this week.  They don’t all have to come back tomorrow.
  3. Ok, three things! :). If your child did not bring in a towel or gym shoes, please send those in tomorrow.

Below is our first class picture.  I’m calling it the Masked Bandits!  Tomorrow I hope to get some individual pictures of students without their masks on.

August 13

Welcome to a New Year

Hi Everyone and welcome to a new school year!!!  This year is going to be a year like no other and will be one to go down in the history books. I am committed to making sure each one of my students feels valued and safe here at school.  We will work slowly and cautiously as we learn new routines not just for a new classroom but also for new health & safety guidelines.

Many of you are wondering what school supplies to get.  We are asking for a few more than normal because everyone needs to have their own supplies this year.  Please make sure to label your child’s name on each item you bring in to the classroom.

Items Needed for Learning:  

  • (1) writing composition book
  • (2) spiral notebooks
  • (1) black sharpie permanent marker
  • (2) fine point dry erase markers
  • (2-3) glue sticks
  • no. 2 pencils (not mechanical pencils)
  • erasers
  • 24 count box of crayons
  • colored pencils
  • markers
  • scissors
  • (1-2) highlighters
  • (5) two-pocket folders (No binder needed)
    • red, yellow, blue, green, purple or orange

Do not send in any kind of pencil pouch or pencil box.  We will be storing supplies a little differently this year so they can easily be taken to specials classes.

Please be sure your child has a clean mask each day.  It wouldn’t hurt to store an extra one in your child’s backpack just in case.  Thank you!  Masks will be required much of the day but we will be taking mask and brain breaks several times throughout the day.

Students can and are encouraged to bring in a water bottle, labeled with their name.  They will keep these on their desks.  We will also take a morning snack break.  Please send in one snack everyday.

Once we have a class list, I will create a google doc for donation items that would be helpful to have in class.

For PE:

Please send in one pair of clean gym shoes that can be left at school.  They don’t need to be brand new, just clean soles.

This is it for now.  I have been in the classroom getting it ready and I can’t wait to have these little bodies enter and start the school year.  Please email me at with any questions.