Update: Week of October 14

Hi Parents,
Here are a few things to know this week:

Friday, October 18 –Early Release: Dismissal is at 12:15pm

Friday, October 25— Football Game- more details to come!

Tuesday, October 29— Turkey Trot
Tuesday, October 29— Picture Retakes

Thursday, October 31— Fall Party- I have contacted our volunteers and will be sending an email out regarding donations. Please note: only the volunteers that I have contacted, will be able to attend the party due to space concerns with classroom activities and parking.

Reading and Math Fact Log due every Monday.
Please help your child remember to sign on the days they read and practice facts. 

  • MATH: 5 minutes of Multiplication Fact Practice/ 5 days a week.
    • Use flash cards, MobyMax, or Flash to Pass app
    • It is really starting to become apparent which kids are regularly going over their math facts and which kids are not. PLEASE help your child find success in math class by working on these at home!
  • READING: 20 minutes of reading/5 days a week

We did our first practice page on Friday. The practice page will be coming home today. As your child passes each quiz, they will move to the next multiplication fact.  For example, if they passed the 5s quiz, this Friday they will take the 2s quiz.  If they did not pass the 5s, they will take it again this Friday. Each student will be working at their own pace and tracking their own progress. Please help your child practice their math facts so they can be successful on their practice page on Friday.

Art Prize 2020

  • The K-12 HPS ART DEPARTMENT  is excited to submit a collaborative piece for ArtPrize 2020. Hudsonville students will work to create an art piece titled “20/20 Vision.”GOAL:  Achieve 100% student K-12 participation.WE NEED YOUR PERMISSION to allow your child to participate in the project.Click here to fill out the permission survey.Mrs. Chmura is also asking for donated pieces of wood for the 2020 ART PRIZE entry.  Read this blog post for more details.


Today in class, we started our Michigan Geography unit. We began by thinking of some facts we already know about Michigan. Then we did some exploring by looking at the map of Michigan. We had a great time looking closely at the map. Each partner group contributed a question that we hope to answer during our studies of Michigan.



Update: Week of October 7

Last Friday, we ended the day with a teamwork activity. Each team was given some straw constructors and was given a challenge of building a structure. First, they had to come up with a plan to build their structure. In the time given, each team learned that their plan changed a few times, but each team built their own unique structure. We had a lot of fun with this group activity!

**You will see a new Reading/Math Fact log in your child’s folder. Please remind your third grader to sign it when they complete their reading and fact practice. This should be returned next Monday, October 14.

Here’s What We’ve Been Learning:
: We are finishing our drafts this week and have been working on strategies for revision. We will be working on finishing final drafts by Friday.

Math: We continue our lessons with multiplication and division and word problems. We will review this week and plan to take our test on Friday. A review page will come home.
This week will start our practice pages. Beginning Friday, we will take our first multiplication quiz on 5s. Our curriculum teaches them in this order:  5s, 2s, 10s, 9s, 3s, 4s, 6s, 7s, 8s. As your child passes each quiz, they will move to the next multiplication fact.  For example, if they pass the 5s quiz on Friday, next Friday they will take the 2s quiz.  If they don’t pass the 5s, they will take it again the following week. Each student will be working at their own pace and tracking their own progress.

Multiplication Practice:
Please help your child practice their multiplication facts in the following ways: 

* Flash Cards- these should be coming home each night in your child’s folder. Pick out the specific facts your child needs to work on.
* MobyMax: We are currently working on review of addition and subtraction facts, but your child will move on to multiplication very soon.
* Another great tool is an app called, Flash to Pass.  It’s free and can be downloaded on most devices.  On this app, students can practice one specific grouping of facts.  This is different from Moby Max because they are all mixed together.

Reading: We continue to work on building a reading life and working toward our goals. We are using reading logs to keep track of our progress and we are making sure that we are choosing good-fit books and finishing the books we start. We have been making sure we focus as readers so that we can talk about our books when we meet with a partner.

Social Studies: We are finishing our Growth Mindset and character trait lessons and next week we will begin our Michigan studies with our first unit: Michigan Geography. 

Monday, Oct. 7- Culver’s Night 5-8pm—–A % of the earnings from 5-8pm go to our PTC fund which provides money for class field trips, learning software, library books, classroom books, parent/child events, and much more.
Thursday, Oct. 10– Jet’s Pizza Night—- make sure you mention our classroom when ordering.
Friday, Oct. 18-Early Release

Thank you!  🙂




Week of September 30!

I can’t believe we are entering into the month of October already! I have seen growth in our third graders and I am proud of their hard work as we learn new routines and expectations and dive into third grade curriculum!


You will see a reading/math fact log come home today. As your third grader completes their at-home reading and math fact practice, they will fill out their reading log. A new one will be sent home every Monday and it should be returned the following Monday. Your third grader will sign the five days they did their reading and fact practice. We are using detailed reading logs in class so using an at-home log will support the reading that we are doing at school. Thanks for your help with this!

Math Fact Cards: You will see your child’s yellow fact folder filling up. As your third grader works on their math fact log, please help them choose one set of count bys (one color) flash cards to work on each night. As each color is mastered, move on to the next. We have learned the 5s, 2s, 10s, 9s, 3s, 4s, so far. It is really starting to become apparent which kids are regularly going over their math facts and which kids are not. PLEASE help your child gain confidence with their math work by practicing these at home!

(This is optional, but may be combined with our classroom reading calendar)
Our classroom is participating in the BOOK IT! program again this year to help encourage reading.  Your child will be bringing home a Pizza Hut Book It calendar with a reading goal on it beginning October 1.  Each time your child reads they may mark it on their calendar.  At the end of the month please have them return their calendar to school and they will bring home a coupon attached to it for a FREE personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut.  This program runs from October thru March.  HAPPY READING!!!

Our second winner of the contest is: KENDALL!! She chose a MobyMax hat as her prize. Way to go, Kendall! Our contest continues for one more week. The last winner will be chosen next Monday.
Our class has one snack break in the morning. Please pack your child a healthy snack to support their learning. If your child chooses to have an afternoon snack, please pack an extra so they can eat it during afternoon recess. Thank you!
Classroom Halloween Party: We will be having a class party on Thursday, October 31. I will be sending more information about this tomorrow.

Update: Week of September 23

Hi Parents,
Here is what we have been learning in third grade:
Writing: We are working on writing true stories (personal narratives). We have been learning strategies to help us think of ideas and have been looking at mentor texts to know how to start our story with an interesting lead. We have been working with a partner to rehearse our story and have started to draft.
Math: We have learned the 5s, 2s, 10s, 9s, and 3s multiplication facts. You should see these flash cards come home in your child’s yellow math fact folder. Each fact is a different color. Have your third grader choose a color (fact) to work on each night for at least 5 minutes. Understanding the multiplication facts is very important for learning our math concepts for the rest of the year.
Reading: We have been learning about ways to make reading the best it can be. We have talked about reading as if books are like gold, choosing good-fit books, and setting goals for our reading time. We will be working on making book recommendations for each other. Please help your third grader begin the habit of reading for at least 20 minutes/five nights a week. In a few weeks a reading log will come home to help track reading time.
Social Studies: We continue to study character traits and Growth Mindset. We have been using lots of read aloud books to guide our discussions. We have also learned about the parts of the brain and how they help us learn, remember, make choices,  and regulate emotions.
Here are a few books we have really enjoyed reading:
*HOMEWORK: Two (math) pages of homework were sent home tonight. These should be completed tonight and returned tomorrow (Tuesday 9/24)
*Spirit Week:
Don’t forget spirit week this week!
Tuesday-crazy/mismatched socks
Wed.- Crazy hair
Thurs.-picture day
Friday- Blue/Gold day!
Please make sure you have completed a background check form. This is required for you to attend classroom parties, volunteer in the classroom, field trips, etc. The form will need to be filled out each year and can be found HERE.
Walk•A•Thon will take place this Friday (9/27). Third graders will walk at 9:45am. This is our only fundraiser for our school. If you haven’t donated for WALK•A•THON, get your money in by Friday or next Monday.  This money funds all of our special student based activities for the year.  THANK you in advance for your support!
Our first winner of the contest is: BROOKLYNN!! She chose a MobyMax bag as her prize. Way to go, Brooklynn! Our contest continues for two more weeks.
*Turkey Trot 2019 Registration is now open!   Deadline to Register is October 9, 2019.
Use this link to register  https://bit.ly/2QvvmOW
and click on the PE link to learn more about the Turkey Trot Race.
I am really enjoying working with this group of third graders. They are awesome and I am so proud of their hard work!
Ms Van Arkel .  🙂

3rd Grade Update

We have been working hard in third grade! We continue to learn lessons of growth mindset, SOAR expectations for the classroom and school, and goal setting for the year!

REMINDER: EARLY RELEASE is tomorrow. Dismissal is at 12:15pm.

Third grade homework consists of reading 20 minutes five nights a week and multiplication fact practice for 5 minutes, five nights a week. We have been talking a lot about goal setting to help us get better at reading and math facts. Lots of our third graders have made action steps to practice facts and read at home as a way to reach their goal. Don’t forget to log on to MobyMax to practice math facts, too!

MobyMax contest:
Students can earn points when they pass levels on MobyMax. When they earn 200 points, they earn a ticket toward the raffle.

As you see school work coming home there may be  a number grade (3,2,1) on some of them.
Use this as a guide:
3- proficient
2- progressing
1- beginning


Next Week is SPIRIT WEEK:
Monday (23rd): Pajama Day
Tuesday (24th): Crazy/Mismatched Socks
Wednesday (25th): Crazy Hair
Thursday (26th): Picture Day (dress your best!)
Friday (27th): Blue and Gold

SEPT. 26: picture day

SEPT. 27: Walk- a- Thon

OCT. 29: Turkey trot .  More information can be found HERE


Third Grade Update:

Here’s what we’ve been up to in third grade:
Writing: We are just beginning our writing unit and the students started making goals for themselves as writers. We are learning about writing true stories. This week we started to learn strategies for when we struggle with thinking of ideas to write.

Math: Our first unit of math is multiplication. We started learning the patterns for 5s and your child should be bringing their flash cards home to practice. To help your third grader with multiplication equations, say the equation like this: 3 x 5 as ‘3 groups of 5′.
We have been learning to write a multiplication equation and show it in a few different ways. For example: equal groups, repeated addition, and array.

Reading: We have learned all about our classroom library and we have talked about the different genre choices. We have spent some time filling our book baskets with good-fit books. We are working on building reading stamina to read independently. Next week we will start making goals for our selves as readers that will build a positive reading life.

Social Studies: During social studies we are spending a lot of time learning about what it means to be a classroom community. We are learning our S.O.A.R procedures and are learning about concepts such as acceptance, how we use our words, and being a good friend to others. We have been enjoying some great read aloud books that help us learn these lessons. Next week we will take a closer look at Growth Mindset.

Here are a few pictures from our week:








Third Grade Update

Hi Parents,
We’ve had another great week in third grade! We continue to practice procedures in the classroom, cafeteria, recess, hallways, etc. Tomorrow  we will practice our SOAR procedures on the bus.
Here is an update on a few things to know for third grade:

We have started learning some strategies and patterns for multiplication. We start with the 5s facts. Throughout the year, it will be very important that students be practicing their multiplication facts at home. We work on multiplication at school, but students need continuous practice with the basic facts so they can complete the math work at school.
There are a few ways students should be practicing at home:


FLASHCARDS: We cut out the 5s flashcards today and your child has a yellow math fact folder. This folder should be kept in your child’s daily folder and should be coming home each night. This folder will be filled up with flashcards over the next few months. It is not so helpful to try and practice the whole pile of flashcards in one sitting. Instead, choose one color count-bys that your child is struggling with and just practice those for that night. Then choose a different color on a different night. This will help mastery. A recommended order of practice is: 5s, 2s, 10s, 9s, 3s,. As the flashcard folder gets full, we will start to take some out and keep them at school.

MOBYMAX: students have been working on MobyMax math fact practice at school. They are reviewing addition and subtraction facts and when they have mastered those, they will move on to multiplication and then division. Students can access Mobymax at home for practice. Let me know if your child does not remember their password.

Please take a look at the math parent letter:

Puzzle Piece Homework due tomorrow:
 Each student in our class is special and unique and together we make a great team! Each student is part of the puzzle that is our class. On Tuesday, we read a book called The Crayon Box That Talked. This reminded us that each one of us is a special part of our classroom community. Students were sent home with a puzzle piece homework assignment today. Please read this over with your third grader. This should be brought back to school by next Friday, September 6.

Thank you!

~A GREAT Start~

We had a great first four days of third grade! We have been learning classroom and school procedures (SOAR) and we have been getting to know our classmates, too. What a wonderful group of learners! Remember that we do not have school tomorrow (Friday) or on Monday. We will be back on Tuesday, September 3!


We have started learning about Growth Mindset. Our third graders will be learning more about this and will be using it as they learn throughout the year. We learned that our brain is like a muscle that grows stronger when we work hard and face challenges. Our mindset and attitude impacts the way we learn new things. Our mantra this month is EVERYONE CAN LEARN! The has been a great reminder for our class for when something is hard to do.

We discussed the difference between a Fixed Mindset and a Growth Mindset.
For example, with a Fixed Mindset, we say “I can’t do it”, but when we have a Growth Mindset, our thought is changed to “I can do it if I practice and try my best”.

Our class talked about how it is okay to feel upset, angry, or frustrated about learning new things, but when we feel that way, we need to use strategies to help us calm down and change our mindset.
We have been learning strategies such as movement breaks or calming breaths throughout our day that help us focus on our learning and be ready to take on challenges in a positive way.
Please take a look in your child’s daily folder next week. You will see an orange paper that gives you more information about Growth Mindset and ways that you can encourage this at home with your child. I look forward to encouraging our students as learners this year!


Puzzle Piece Homework:  Each student in our class is special and unique and together we make a great team! Each student is part of the puzzle that is our class. On Tuesday, we read a book called The Crayon Box That Talked. This reminded us that each one of us is a special part of our classroom community. Students were sent home with a puzzle piece homework assignment today. Please read this over with your third grader. This should be brought back to school by next Friday, September 6.

Thank you and have a great weekend!!

Ms Van Arkel   🙂

See you on Monday!!

Third Grade Families,

It was great meeting you and your third grader last night! We are going to have a wonderful group this year and I look forward to learning together!

I want to share a couple more things for you to know about third grade and our classroom:

Forms to turn in: At open house, you picked up an envelope from the office as well as your child’s folder. There were forms in the envelope from the office and there were a few surveys from me in your child’s daily folder.  All of these forms should be brought back to school sometime next week. Thank you!

Snack: Please help your child to pack a healthy snack to eat during our morning snack time each day. On occasion, some students forget their snack and I try to keep a snack here for those times. Thank you for your snack donations!

Background Check: In order to volunteer at our school (field trip, class events, help in the class, etc.), you will need to fill out a background check form. You can fill out the form HERE.

Birthdays: We like to celebrate birthdays/half birthdays in our class. We celebrate by singing to our classmate (if they choose) and I give them a special gift. Though not required, some students may wish to bring something for the class. As a school and classroom policy, please do not send in food. Your child may bring in a small gift such as pencils, bookmarks, stickers, erasers, bracelets, etc. Something simple or useful usually works best. Another option is to donate a book or game in your child’s honor that the whole class can enjoy. Thank you for your help with this!

Specials: Here is our specials schedule-
Day 1- PE
We will have PE on the first day of school. Please make sure your child brings gym shoes to school.

We will start library in a few weeks. Our library day will be on Tuesday. 


I am excited to see our great group of third graders on Monday!!  🙂

Ms Van Arkel






Students and Parents,

I look forward to meeting you at our school open house on Wednesday, August 21. You may meet me and check out our classroom any time between 6:30 and 7:30pm. Students may bring in their school supplies to put in their desk. I’m excited to see you!
Be sure to read a little bit about me on the About Ms Van Arkel page.

If you are interested in donating items to our class, at the open house I will have a wish list of supplies that will be helpful in our classroom this year. If you’d like to donate a book to our class, please see my Amazon wishlist HERE. Thank you in advance for any and all donations to our classroom! We appreciate it so much!

See you soon!!
Ms Van Arkel 🙂