Week of October 7

Hello, all! It was such a blessing to host so many wonderful grandfriends on Friday. The students’ excitement is contagious when they are sharing their school space with such special people. They did a beautiful job singing in the program! This week, we look forward to several members of the Grand Rapids Symphony joining us on Tuesday to play for the students.

  • Homework:  Like always, please let me know if you would prefer to have the homework printed for your child or if there is not a device available to them for their practice on IXL. The homework password this week is symphony. Students have a new Bible verse to memorize in the next couple of weeks. It can be found in their homework which can be accessed here. Thanks for encouraging your child to continue reading for our National Parks reading incentive. They have 2 more weeks!
  • Parent Teacher Conferences: Conferences are coming up on October 22, 29 and 31. This year, the office sent out an online form that is to be filled out, letting us know when you’re available. I look forward to meeting with you in a couple of weeks!
  • Foot Frolic Frenzy: Foot Frolic Frenzy 2019 is here! On Friday, October 11, students will participate in this annual lap-a-thon during the school day. Students have been hard at work collecting pledges for this fun event! Our class will be running from 11:30-12:00. Parents are encouraged to come and cheer the students on. This day will also be school SPIRIT day.  Students are encouraged to show their Eagle spirit and wear blue and black (all students will receive a t-shirt!) If you are able to help us during the event please sign up here.  There are many volunteer opportunities available.
  • Upcoming Dates:
    10/8 Skating Party
    10/11 Foot Frolic Frenzy
    10/16 Box Top Collection Day
    10/22 and 10/23 Picture Retake Day
    10/22, 10/29, 10/31: Parent/Teacher Conferences
    10/23 ½ Day of School (12:10 dismissal)
    10/24-25 No School – GRCES Staff Development
    12/16 Christmas Program (changed from the 17th)

Friday Reminders…

  1. It’s Grandfriend’s Day tomorrow! We are so excited to host some wonderful people and show them around our classroom.
  2. Homework is due tomorrow. Please check that your child has finished the homework and has done it well. Students will need to say the books of the Old Testament to me tomorrow.
  3. Please respond to your child in their PWJ and return it to school tomorrow. Thanks for taking the time to do this each week!


Week of September 30

We had a wonderful time on our IMAX field trip last week. Students enjoyed the engaging 3D films and learned so much about the National Parks. Be sure to ask your child about this experience!

Homework: Thank you for checking in to make sure that your child is completing their homework each week. This week, the homework password is Yosemite. You can access the homework here. here. Thanks for encouraging your child to continue reading for our National Parks reading incentive. They have 3 more weeks!

PWJ: Please respond to your child in their PWJ and return it to school by Friday. Remember,  these do not have to be lengthy letters (though they can be!). Just a quick note that your child can respond to is fine!

Bible Memory: Students will need to say the books of the Old Testament to me by this week Friday. There is a link to the video that they can use to practice in the homework!

Scholastic Book Orders: Your child will come home today with a Scholastic book catalogue. Orders will be due on Tuesday, October 29. Every book that is ordered helps pay for valuable books and resources for our classroom! Click here to order online!

Grandfriends’ Day is coming up quickly, and the PTO is still looking for volunteers.  If you have flexibility in your schedule on Friday morning, October 4, and you would be willing to help make this important day a success, please contact Kimberly Helder at kimberlyhelder@gmail.com for more details. Below is the schedule for the day.

Kindergarten & 1st grade
9:00-9:45: Classroom visiting
9:45-10:05: Recess

2nd-4th grade
9:00-10:00: Classroom visiting
10:05-10:25: Recess

Kindergarten – 4th Grade
Program at 10:35

Skating Party: NOTE DATE CHANGE!! Join us for our Skating Party at Kentwood Fun Spot!
When: Tuesday, October 8 from 6:00-8:00 (originally scheduled for October 1)
Where: Kentwood Fun Spot (14 52nd St SE)
Cost: $6 admission, includes skate rental. $4 for roller blade rental.
All ages are welcome, see you there!!

Foot Frolic Frenzy is coming up next week Friday. If you can help your child find people to sponsor them for this important event, that would be great! Our class will be running from 11:30-12. We would love to have you there to cheer us on!

Upcoming Dates:
10/4 Grand Friend’s Day
10/11 Foot Frolic Frenzy
10/16 Box Top Collection Day
10/22 and 10/23 Picture Retake Day
10/23 ½ Day of School (12:10 dismissal)
10/24-25 No School – GRCES Staff Development
12/16 Christmas Program (changed from the 17th)

Week of 9/23

Homework and PWJ: Thanks for responding to your child in their PWJ and sending it back to school by Friday. The homework password this week is autumn. Please let me know if you would like me to send home a hard copy of the homework with your child, or if you would like me to send the homework to your email as well. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!
Hiking Through the National Parks Reading Incentive: During our library time, Mrs. Boss has been getting the fourth graders excited about a new reading challenge! In this challenge, the whole fourth grade will be working together to read a certain number of books that brings them to one of 5 national parks in the U.S. With each national park comes a fun incentive! Students need to read 3 National Parks books, 3 U.S regions books, and 4 choice fiction books throughout the next several weeks. These books can be found in our school library, but the public library also has a great selection! Please talk with your child about this challenge, and encourage them to work hard at it!
Christmas Program Update: Due to scheduling issues with high school activities, the 3/4 Christmas program has been rescheduled.  The program will be Monday, December 16, at 7 pm at the Center for Arts and Worship.  Mark your calendars with the change!
Foot Frolic Frenzy: Foot Frolic Frenzy is coming up soon! Please be collecting pledges to support our school. This is our PTO’s only fundraiser. Funds are used to cover the cost of field trips, provide money for teachers to use toward their classroom and to support events such as Grandfreind’s Day and Coffee Connections. Look for a volunteer sign up to help us out on the day of the event in the home bulletin next week!Thank you for supporting this event!
Becky Kok and Leah Koldenhoven
FFF Co-Chairs
Upcoming Dates: 
September 25: Language Usage MAP Test
September 27: 4th Grade Field Trip to IMAX (see previous IMAX post for more details)
October 4: Grandfriends Day
October 11: Foot Frolic Frenzy
October 22, 29, 31: Parent/Teacher Conferences

IMAX Field Trip

We have our field trip to the IMAX theater next Friday (September 27)! We will be leaving school at 9:30 and returning around 2:00. We will be seeing a short 3D film about the Grand Canyon and a short 3D film about the National Parks to go along with our United States studies! After the films, we will be heading to the Township Park (1836 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525) to eat lunch and play (weather permitting)! Parents are welcome to join us there for lunch at noon. Students will need a sack lunch. If your child will need a sack lunch from school through the Hot Lunch program, please use this Google Form to sign them up by Wednesday.



Hello, everyone!

I wanted to apologize about the homework this week. As I was looking at student work on IXL, I saw that completing each skill took much longer than I realized. It is never my intention for students to spend hours on their homework, or for it to be an overwhelming task. I will reevaluate and make sure the requirements are more achievable next week. That being said, I am so proud of all of the students who gave it their best shot! If your child has not completed their homework, I will send home a paper copy today with some small revisions. Please encourage your child to complete the homework over the weekend.

Thanks for understanding!
Kelsey Ambrose

Friday Reminders

Parent Writing Journals: Please respond to your child in their parent writing journals and send them back to school tomorrow. Students absolutely love opening a letter from home during class each week. I hope it also gives you more of a glimpse into their life here at school.

Homework: The first homework is due tomorrow. Please remember to add the “parent password,” summer, after making sure they have completed the homework. The first day of fall is just a few days away!

Week of September 16

Prayer Circles: One of the highlights of last week is that we had our first Prayer Circle time in the gym. The K-4 students are in assigned groups. Teachers, staff and parent volunteers lead small groups. Friday we learned the new Praise Dance. Wow! It is so moving to see about 450 students all praising God with the movement and singing. Next time we will also get into our small groups to pray and reflect in our prayer journals. It is definitely one of the priceless experiences our students have to learn to pray, worship, and to build their trust in our heavenly Father. The praise dance is to the song, “Write Your Story” by Francesca Battistelli

MAP Test: Wednesday, September 18, we will have our math MAP test at 1:15. The students did well on the first test using their ipads. Remember that a good breakfast and plenty of sleep are beneficial to your child in preparation for the day.

Homework: Students will have their first “official” homework assignment this week. The first online homework will be sent to your child via email. They will complete it in Google Forms. We will be sure to practice on Monday, so your child feels comfortable opening and completing the homework. Please let me know by emailing me if you would like me to send the link to your email as well, so that students can access it there instead. Also, I am happy to print a hard copy to send home with your child if this will work better for your family. Just please email me and let me know! This will be sent today (Monday, Sept. 16), and be due Friday, Sept. 20. Each week, there will be a parent “password” that should be entered on the form before it is submitted. It will just be a word or two, and will always be found on my blog. I appreciate your help ensuring that students to their homework well, and that they complete it each week. The password this week is summer.

A portion of the homework each week will be completing tasks on IXL.com in order to master skills in math. IXL has practice that is aligned with what we are doing in class. It is great because students see immediate feedback. If a child quickly masters a skill, they will need to spend less time on that skill. On the other hand, if a child has not mastered a skill, they will need to do more practice. Rather than assigning a certain amount of time or number of problems that a student must complete, I will typically assign a “SmartScore” that they need to reach. This way, students are practicing exactly what they need to practice for the amount of time they need to practice it!

On average, students should be able to complete the homework by working on it for just 1o minutes per night, in addition to 20 minutes of reading each night. It is so important that students also have time to unwind, play, and spend time with family each evening!

Bible Memory: I have extended the deadline on the Psalm 89:1 Bible memory verse. Students will need to either say or write the verse this Wednesday. After that, we will be beginning to memorize the books of the Old Testament in English.

The students are settling into our school routine! I am really enjoying teaching them. Thank you for your prayers for our class and myself.

Your partner in Christian Education,
Kelsey Ambrose