What’s Coming Up-Week of September 24

We have many things happening this week for the 5th graders. Our rotation for our safeties will begin this Monday September 24th. Mr. Gort has worked hard on setting up the safety schedule. Look for this schedule to come home this weekend with the students. The schedule will also be found on our blogs. Hopefully the students are working on collecting pledges for the walk-a-thon which will take place on Wed. Sept. 26th!  We are raising money this year to support technology within our school. Our goal is for each student to raise at least $25 in pledges to help support this cause 🙂 The office has asked that you please date any notes that are sent to school. Lastly, Friday is blue and gold day at Georgetown! Friday is Hudsonville’s homecoming and the Hudsonville Fun Fest. The fun fest will take place in front of the football stadium from 4:30-7:00. Come join in the fun!

It has been great getting to know some new faces as students have been switching for math class this past week.  We have begun unit one and have been discussing how to solve different kinds of story problems using an equation.  Next week we will continue working on solving story problems, learning how to solve functions, using parenthesis in math problems, and will likely be given some homework and a quiz.  Please make sure to check the blog of the math teacher that your child has for math to find out when homework and quizzes/tests will be coming up.

We have steadily been pushing along through our memoir unit.  This week we have tried to get as many entries into our writing journals as possible dealing with our “life topics”.  Beginning next week, we are going to pick our 2 favorite entries, get with a partner, then decide together which one we want to choose as our seed idea.  Our seed idea will be the memoir that we will concentrate on, nurture, and spend the rest of our memoir unit thinking about.  Some writers prefer to zoom in on a seed idea, or focus early; others prefer simply to establish a general direction and focus more gradually.  We will continue to listen to published authors and examine their memoirs as a way to take some of their ideas about action, dialogue, structure and details and incorporate those into our writing.

Our reading this week will continue to focus on work that emphasizes the importance of text, but now will shift from narrative fiction stories to non-fiction texts.  We will continue to practice writing in response to our short texts citing examples and/or details that support our thinking. Then we will share and score each others written responses so we can continue to improve our ability to “prove” our answers. Also, this week we will introduce using the same reading strategies used in reading narrative fiction and non-fiction short text to science diagrams and questions.  Individualized daily reading (IDR) in our classrooms will be a daily priority.  Keep checking those reading logs to reach the 150 minutes a week!

Walenta Tidbits!

Below are a few tidbits that I wanted to remind you about!

This Friday is hat day for the 5th grade team! Students may where whatever hat they choose while in our classrooms!

I sent home a book order last week. This is a great way to encourage your child to read by ordering their own books. The orders are due this Friday Sept. 21st!

Please read the attached blog from our librarian about another motivator to help our kids keep reading! Have a happy Thursday!

We are about to begin the BOOK IT! Program that is sponsored by Pizza Hut again this year.  The program runs from October through March.  The BOOK IT! Program is all about turning kids who read because they HAVE to into kids who read because they WANT to.  Your child should be bringing home a BOOK IT! calendar soon to track their minutes each month starting October 1.  Once they have met their monthly reading goal just return the calendar to school and your child will receive a reading award certificate that can be redeemed at any Pizza Hut restaurant.  This reading program has been in elementary schools now for more than 27 years.  To learn more, please visit bookitprogram.com/parents.

I hope you will join us and encourage your child to “read their heart out”.  THANK YOU!!!

Walk-a-thon News!

The annual walk-a-thon is coming September 26th and this is our primary PTC fundraiser.  Our theme for the 2012-13 Event:



Why is the walk-a-thon donation so important? This money helps to provide to pay for:

  • School assemblies
  • Framed Art Work
  • Score Board and Hoops for the Gym
  • Recess Equipment
  • Family Days like the Carnival, Mother/Daughter and Father/Son Events,
  • Music materials,
  • Popcorn Days,
  • Field Trips
  • Classroom supplies
  • Reading Counts Motivation Program
  • Raz Kids Online Reading Program
  • Book Fair
  • Santa’s Secret Shop
  • Library Books, Nooks AND SO MUCH MORE!!!



We need your DONATIONS of Money!
We want all of these activities and events to continue this year.
PLEASE DONATE!  FF every child raises $25, we can fund the events above AND reach our  goal for the year:

We would like to raise enough money to continue the events above and provide affordable tech learning tools to each grade level to assist with student learning.  Please help us support learning through technology by donating to the school PTC.

For our walk-a-thon days, we want everyone to wear BLUE and GOLD…EAGLE Colors.   Parents and grandparents are invited to join us.   The more the merrier!


Wednesday, September 26

  • 9:45 ECSE, Kindergarten
  • 10:00 Grade 3
  • 10:10 Grade 1
  • 10:20 Grade 2
  • 10:30 Grade 4
  • 10:35 Grade 5
  • Walkathon ends at 11:30.

What are the prizes?

  • EVERY PARTICIPANT who raises $25 or more get the most awesome FOAM FINGER!
  • EVERY PARTICIPANT will be entered into drawings for a LASER TAG FAMILY FUN PACKAGE and more…to be announced.

Friday, September 28: Completed donation forms and money due back to school.  You do not need to send the money this week. You have until September 28.


Amanda Impens is still looking for PARENT HELP. This is a fun event to work. Low stress….and loads of fun. Please let her know if you can help by emailing her. She is in need of bubble machines, spray bottles (for water) and big hearts who are willing to help her keep walking kids walking and hydrated!Amanda Impens Email Address:amandabeaimpens@yahoo.com
To access the walkathon flier and donation forms, go to the school blog and scroll to the bottom of the post about the walkathon.

Raey Guang Host Families Needed!

On October 29, our twenty students and 6 staff members will arrive at Georgetown Elementary from our sister school,Raey Guang Elementary in Taiwan.  This will be the third year that they have sent students and staff to our school to experience American education and American family life.

They are very excited to come for the very American holiday of HALLOWEEN!

I am in need of interested families to host our Taiwanese friends.  Requirements include the following:

  • Desire to learn about another culture and share our own with them.
  • Willingness to plan after school family activities for your two guests on October 29, 30 and 31.
  • Ability to pick your guests up at school on October 29 at 2:30 pm.
  • Halloween costume shopping (29th or 30th).
  • Pumpkin carving or some other family fall festival activity (29th or 30th)
  • Trick or Treating on October 31
  • Drop off at school with luggage the morning of Nov 1.

Once host families are found, I will provide specific details about guests names, ages, etc.

If you are interested in hosting two guests, complete this survey :  http://bit.ly/S3rkdn

Thank you!

Mrs. Reagan

What’s Coming Up- Week of Sept. 17th

We have a busy week ahead! We will be starting the week with picture day on Monday September 17th. Please remember to send in the picture forms! Throughout the week we will continue to do classroom bonding activities. On Friday our fabulous fifth graders will celebrate all of their hard work by having a hat day! YES….on Friday Sept 21st the students will be able to wear baseball caps, silly hats, whatever kind of headwear they wish while in our classrooms. 🙂 Also, take time to check out Mrs. Bretz music blog. Once you are on her blog you can leave a comment and your child will earn extra tickets to turn in during music class.

Math: Math switching will begin next week Monday!  Please see purple sheet (coming home this weekend) for which teacher and class your son/daughter will have for math this year.  The first unit is Multiplication and Division Word Problems.  This unit encourages students to  analyze the structure and language of different types of work problems and to discuss different models that can be used to solve word/story problems.  Students will be learning how to do combination and comparison problems, multi-step problems, solve functions and algebraic equations, as well as practice with factors.

Writing: The week has been spent talking about what a memoir is and sharing with the students popular books that others have written as memoirs.  It is so much easier for our students to hear specific stories that accomplished writers have written in this genre, then to just start writing.  We are in the process of forming their background and getting them moving toward exciting life stories.  We have also decided what we like to write about and formed our “Life Topics” for which we can derive our own specific memoirs.  This week will be the start of our process of narrowing down our ideas and working toward one great piece.

Reading:  Next week 5th graders will focus less whole group instruction, and move into partner and independent work using the strategies that were modeled this week. Our focus will be how to find the importance of text in short stories, examine and interpret tricky words, and practice writing responses to our reading.  We also will continue to build stamina in reading by providing individualized daily reading (IDR) in our classrooms. Kudo’s to the fifth graders for a great start in their nightly reading!

Homework Update!



This is an update on how homework for my classroom currently will look. It may be added to once our math groups begin meeting.

On Friday I sent home a reading log. I talked the students through this log. They will be expected to read 150 minutes a week. It may be completed as many minutes per day that works with your family situation; as long as the total for the week is 150 minutes. If they turn the log in signed by you by Tuesday of the following week they will earn 2 smile bucks! 🙂 It is so important for students to read…read….read to improve their reading ability. The log will be sent home  on Monday and will  not be accepted after Tuesday of the week it is due. They will have a little longer to complete the log I just sent home which will be due Sept 17th or 18th.

In addition, I will be sending home each Tuesday a word study page for the students to complete. Please look for this to come home each week and have the students return them the follow day which would be Wed.

Thank you for helping your child find a quiet place for him/her to complete their homework each night. If you have any questions, please let me know! 🙂


What’s Coming Up- Week of September 10


Wow, it has been an enjoyable beginning of school for our 5th graders! It was fantastic having our classmates get acquainted by each of them sharing their special talents. It was so cool seeing the variety of talents within our classroom!  What a talented group of kids! 🙂 Throughout the next few weeks we will continue to do some class bonding activities. Near the end of next week we will be participating in a online bullying awareness survey. We have a no tolerance bullying policy! Please stay updated on school happenings by checking our blogs daily.

The first unit we will be working on in math this year is Basic Fact Fluency.  The students will practice multiplication and division facts in order to continue developing these concepts and help students learn/master their facts.  We will be using a variety of strategies that will allow all students to be successful.  These strategies include games, timed tests, partner work and much more.  Please practice with your son/daughter the next few weeks to give your child an extra boost with their fluency and confidence.  Thanks so much!

The first unit we will be doing in writing this year will be Memoirs.  We’ll be expecting the students to rise to new heights this year, to reach for horizons that are far more ambitious than they have ever known.  This year will be for work that is more grown-up, more important, than anything they’ve done before.  We will be building off our Personal Narratives and taking it to that next level.  Memoirs will require more reflection, synthesis, and critical thinking usually in a retrospective fashion (a now and then).  Memoir is the writer’s effort to say something big and important about himself or herself.  It is also their chance to “read” or reflect on the stories of one’s own life and develop interpretations, or life lessons, about one’s own life.  We have years of stories, now is the opportunity to lay these stories out and reflect on their meaning.
Therefore, this week we will collect snippets of as many memories as we can and write.  Some will be stuck for ideas, so we will rely on what we know: first times, last times, important people, place, and things. Here’s to a great week of writing 🙂

Our school year begins by reviewing test taking strategies, and building stamina for reading.  Using short story fiction and nonfiction texts the 5th graders will revisit the sequence of good test taking strategies for multiple choice style tests. We will model how to think through a text when reading by leaving thinking tracks, how to highlight important information, and practice how to eliminate silly answer choices.  By the end of the week the focus will shift from answering multiple choice questions to answering questions with a written response. We will distinguish answering questions in writing that use the verbs: describe, tell, list, explain, and interpret.  Each day we will reserve time for the students to have independent reading time.  During this independent reading time, we will be conferencing with the kids to get to know their strengths and interests in reading.  Beginning next week we will begin our daily reading homework and have kids keep track of their daily minutes in a reading log.  Make sure to check with your child’s teacher’s blog to see how they will be managing this weekly homework.  Happy reading!

Awesome First Day!


We had a wonderful  first day today! The kids were very engaged and interested to learn how our school year is going to run.  We talked about respect and since we are 5th graders we need to be positive role models for the rest of the school! Our class was very excited to meet our kindergarten bus buddies at the end of the day. We also had 5 of our students share their special talents and are looking forward to those who will share the rest of the week!

Thank you for all of the classroom donations! 🙂  We are very blessed to have our cupboard full of klennex, wipes and store goodies!

I talked to the students about not having agendas this year. We all will have to adjust to watching the blog for class and homework updates! Please sign the red paper that came home today pertaining to the blogs. Thank you! Looking forward to a wonderful Wednesday!

All About 5th Grade!


Dear 5th grade parents,

Welcome to the 5th grade at Georgetown Elementary! It is exciting to be starting a new school year that will be filled with a variety of learning opportunities. Since there are many new faces on the fifth grade teaching team, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves.  Mrs. Burdis has taught for 12 years in Hudsonville with the last six years in  5th grade at Georgetown.  Mr. Gort has taught middle school and upper elementary for many years.  Mr. Bialochowski has been part of the Georgetown staff in both 3rd and 4th grade. Mrs. Walenta has taught for 12 years in a variety of elementary classroom settings. We are thrilled to be working together as a team to help our students build a bridge from the elementary to the middle school.

During the school day your child will be traveling for two classroom subjects.  The students will be placed in a math class with other students who are learning at the same academic pace.  You will be notified of your child’s placement in the coming weeks.

* Mr. Gort will teach the on grade challenge math group.

* Mr. Bialochowski and Mrs. Walenta will teach the grade level math group.

* Mrs. Burdis will teach the support level math group.

 This year the students will have science and history everyday. We will be sharing the students as follows:

Mr. Gort/ Mrs. Walenta will team teach:

* Mr. Gort will teach history for both classrooms.

* Mrs. Walenta will teach science for both classrooms.

Mrs. Burdis/Mr. Bialochowski will team teach:

* Mrs. Burdis will teach history for both classrooms.

* Mr. Bialochowski  will teach science for both classrooms.

Please remember to check our classroom blogs daily to stay current on our classroom and school events. Here are our the  links to our blogs:

The four of us will meet often to discuss our students’ progress. If you ever have a question please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you,
The 5th grade team
Ryan Bialochowski rbialoc@hpseagles.net     797-9797  ext: 22302
Kym Burdis                kburdis@hpseagles.net     797-9797  ext:  22303
Mike Gort                    mgort@hpseagles.net         797-9797  ext: 22307
Karen Walenta         kwalenta@hpseagles.net   797-9797  ext. 22305

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