Virtual Meeting & Pictures

I am going to try something new!  I would love to have a virtual meeting with our class. I’ve had some meetings this week using a program called Zoom and I thought we could give it a try!

On Monday, I will set up our class for a Zoom meeting. Parents, if you can go to, I will give you a code and password to join the meeting.  Let’s plan on having our meeting at 9:30am.  It will be so fun to see and talk to one another.  If you have plans at this time, I will do one again later in the week.

I have put together some fun ideas to do as a family on my personal blog:  There are some cooking recipes and a craft idea.  I even made a VIDEO!!!  Again, trying to get more techy! 🙂

Here are some more pictures of your classmates!  Happy Friday and I will talk to you on Monday!



Pictures of our Classmates :)

I don’t like being away from all of you like this!!  It makes me feel closer to you by seeing this pictures.  Thank you for sending them in to show what you’ve been up to! At least we’ve had warmer weather and some sunshine.  That helps so much!!

Look at all of the fun things your classmates have been doing at home!!  Please keep the pictures coming and I will update the blog every couple of days!

Assignments for March 23-27

Thank you for your condolences, cards, and emails during the loss of my dad.  I know the kids would ask about him frequently how he was doing and were always so kind to my feelings.  I appreciate all of your support and love.

I am keeping consistent (almost) with my 3rd grade team with academic workload.  How is this working for all of you at home?  Is it going well?  Is your child feeling overwhelmed?  Are you feeling overwhelmed?  Please send me an email and let me know how everyone is feeling about this.  I do not want anyone to feel anxious or overwhelmed with these assignments.  These are unprecedented times and we are all trying to clear a path as we move forward.

Here is a plan for school work this week:


Week 2 (3/23 – 3/27)

New Study Island math assignment for the week, under HOMEWORK, is Capacity.

Social Studies

Week 2 (3/23 – 3/27)

      1. Remember the fur trade made so big by the French voyageurs in Michigan.
      2. Throughout the week, use the following article to read and remember what we’ve learned about these people


Week 2 (3/23 – 3/27)

      • Monday
          1. Read 20 minutes straight in a row!
            • Set a goal for yourself…if you have a “good fit” book, you should be reading about 20 pages!
          2. Record your reading in your Reading Log sent home
      • Tuesday
          1. Read 22 minutes straight in a row!
            • Set a goal for yourself…if you have a “good fit” book, you should be reading about 20 pages!
          2. Record your reading in your Reading Log sent home
      • Wednesday
          1. Read 24 minutes straight in a row!
            • Set a goal for yourself…if you have a “good fit” book, you should be reading about 20 pages!
          2. Record your reading in your Reading Log sent home
          3. Your Study Island “Context Clues ” was due yesterday!
            • Remember, I am looking for a 70% or higher! PLEASE take your time, use smart test-taking strategies, and reread before answering!
            • You’ve got this!
      • Thursday
          1. Read 26 minutes straight in a row!
            • Set a goal for yourself…if you have a “good fit” book, you should be reading about 20 pages!
          2. Record your reading in your Reading Log sent home
      • Friday
          1. Read 28 minutes straight in a row!
            • Set a goal for yourself…if you have a “good fit” book, you should be reading about 20 pages!
          2. Record your reading in your Reading Log sent home

New Study Island ELA assignment for the week, under HOMEWORK, is Planning.

Hang in there!  We will all get through this together.  I am only an email away.  Next week I hope we can get in on some video conferencing.  I would love to see your faces! 🙂


Mrs. Houtstra

School Assignments

This is the first thing we need to do during this crazy time, BREATHE.  I know having school cancelled affects you in so many ways.  It is going to take some planning and changes to your schedules to make all of this happen.  I am aware and understand this may be difficult for some of you.

From a learning point of view, we would like to continue helping students continue learning as much as possible while they are home.  A large manila envelope is coming home today.  It contains some packets and their Math Student Activity Book.  They are also bringing home 2-3 classroom books.  I typically do not like to send home books from our class library, but this isn’t a typical situation.  Please keep them in a safe place and return them when we come back to school.

You do NOT need to do anything with the manila packet this weekend.  Please save it until next Monday when the 3rd grade team can plan and let you know what is expected each week.  We will help prioritize these assignments.  We will be creating videos for math instruction.  Also, Study Island and Moby Max will be part of assignments.

I will be checking my email regularly and can answer questions throughout the day as quickly as I can.

Remember to breathe and we will work together to get through this crazy time.  I hope you and your family stay healthy – wash those hands!!!

I also hope that you can enjoy this extra time with your child.  Put down the technology and bake together, play board games, play cards games (like the ones sent home from Christmas), draw, color, and read together.  Do those things that we typically “don’t have time” to do.

Updates from Room 201

Night one of conferences is complete and I enjoyed meeting with all of you!  I love talking about your child and praising their successes.  I also like seeing YOU and being able to have open communication about your child.  It is a privilege to have your son or daughter in class.  Thank you me to be with them every day!

Jets Pizza Winner

We won the Jets Pizza contest for February!!  We are going to have pizza delivered this Friday, March 13.  Still send in a snack for our morning break, but also send something to drink with their pizza.

Also, our class earned a FORT DAY!  Your child can bring a blanket and a stuffed animal to school on Friday as well.

Bookmark with a Timer

Mrs. Jaroh found a great tool for students to use to track their minutes read!  She found a bookmark with a timer for less than $10!  There is also a bookmark with a timer and an LED light for those students who like to read at night.  This one is only $13.  It’s something to consider if you are struggling with your child timing their reading at home.  It could also be an added incentive.


Remember that the weekly assignment on Study Island is due by Monday morning. – We are looking for a 70% or higher score! Please encourage your child to do his or her best!  Students can do the assignment more than once, especially if they score below 70%.  I will use the results from their homework and practice in class on Study Island to know how to work with small groups on these properties in the next couple of weeks.

News from the Book Fair Michigan/Michigan State Competition

Currently MSU is ahead in our All for Books coin collection! We have 2 more days to collect coins and Thursday the winner will be announced. The winning team will wear their colors on Friday!

M-STEP Information from Mrs. Reagan:

“Dear Parents,

The MSTEP State testing for grades 3-5 will take place this spring.  I wanted you to have information on the dates in advance so that you can schedule appointments around these testing dates.

The dates for our MSTEP tests are as follows:

Grade 3: May 5, 6, 7  (9am-12 pm)

Grade 4: May 12, 13, 14 (9am-12pm)

Grade 5: April 21, 22, 23, 28, 29  (9am – 12pm)

Spring Break – Friday, April 3rd – Sunday, April 10th

  • Please fill out a Vacation Form if you plan to miss any days of school outside of these dates!

Because of Winn-Dixie Party

We had a great party today!  The kids started off with book club discussions comparing the movie and the book.  After specials they worked cooperatively to set up the party.  We enjoyed the party. . .even a little dancing.  Then everyone helped to take down the decorations and clean up.  It was a fast, fun-filled morning!

Thank you so much to all of the parents who sent in donations.  The kids really enjoyed all of the unique treats!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Parent/Teacher conferences will be held Monday, March 9 and Wednesday, March 11. Please contact me if you need a reminder of your conference time. I look forward to sharing your child’s progress in third grade!

Homework: Study Island homework assignment should be completed by Monday. These assignments can be tricky and require focus and stamina. This is an assignment for you to support your child if needed. Help them read carefully and think through strategies for solving the problem. They should use scrap paper to show their thinking. It is important that this assignment is completed by Monday. Thank you!

Reading: March is Reading Month!! It is very important that your third grader continue to build their reading skills by reading daily for at least 20 minutes. During this second half of the year, reading expectations are set a little higher and reading outside of school can help improve reading skills and boost confidence too!

Math Fact Practice: Help your child to continue building math fact skills by practicing math facts for 5 minutes each day. We will be doing our LAST TIMED TEST this week Friday. I have seen many students making great progress because they have been doing lots of practicing. Way to go!!  After spring break, we will pick up with mixed facts timed tests.

FRIDAY, MARCH 6 is an early release day. Dismissal is at 12:15pm.

Here is an update of our learning:
Writing: We finished up our literary essays and completed our post assessment of opinion writing. We will be spending some time on learning to write a constructed response and practice our test taking skills in preparation for MSTEP.

Math: We are beginning our next unit this week and we will be studying Geometry. We will study rays, angles, quadrilaterals, etc.  Here are pictures of the definitions for this unit.  Please use this if your child has make-up work sent home or homework.


Reading: We are in the middle of book clubs and each club has been reading a book and studying the characters. They have been discussing what their character is learning and how they are moving across the story mountain of their book.

Social Studies: We have started to learn about Michigan History. We are studying the Three Fires, the Native American groups, that lived long ago in Michigan.

Updates from Room 201

The weeks are flying by!  We have 366 days this year and we are already heading into our 3rd month.  I hope you enjoyed your extra day yesterday with your loved ones!  Consider it a bonus!

Please have your child return their February reading log by next week Wednesday for them to get a free choice prize.  A new March reading log and a Book It calendar will be coming home on Monday.

We have an early release day next Friday, March 6 and I have something very special planned for our class.  If you don’t already know what it is, check your email from Friday morning. There is a little request in there for you. . .but remember it’s top secret.

I would like to show the movie, Because of Winn Dixie next week Thursday.  If you do not approve of your child watching this with the class, will you please email me?  If I don’t hear from you, I will know that I have permission.


Our class amazes me at how well they are participating in book clubs.  We have six different book clubs with four students in each group.  They are reading and discussing the same book.  Every day they get better and better at sharing, listening, and adding on to each others’ thoughts.


The dreaded math test was today!  I will get those corrected and send them home at the beginning of next week.  Be assured, I have been taking grades all along, so this is only one grade of many.

We have now moved on to Polygons and Quadrilaterals.  This is a heavy vocabulary unit but it is also fun to work with shapes and describe them.  For some it’s a quest to name every characteristic.  Their drive and desire to learn always amazes me.

Social Studies

Our class historians have enjoyed going back in time to learn about artifacts and history.  Currently we are learning how and why the French first came to Michigan.  For a fun quiz, you can ask your child,

  • How and why the French came to North America?
  • What did they do when they came to Michigan?


Parent Teacher Conferences are on Monday, March 9 and Wednesday, March 11.  I look forward to our last conference together celebrating your child and what they have learned so far in 3rd grade.  Here is the link.  I think I have it working now.  If not, I will just screenshot it and email it to you! 🙂

I hope you had a great weekend!  I’m looking forward to another great week with your 3rd grade.  They are a complete blessing to me.

Book Club – Room One, A Mystery or Two

Last night nine students and their parents came to discuss Room One, A Mystery or Two by Andrew Clements.  We discussed how Ted Hammond worked to solve a small town mystery and the conflict he had of trying to help a family without getting them into trouble.  The students were willing to share their thoughts and I am so proud of their maturity and insight.

After the discussion, they quickly moved around the school using QR Code for clues.  Each one solved the clues and ended up back in the classroom to enjoy some sweet treats!