Ms. VanderStel's Blog

Holiday Parties


This year our Third Grade team is going to try something a little different with our Party schedules.imgres

Our Halloween and Valentine celebrations will be run by the teacher and held throughout the entire school day. They will only include the students and teacher. We are hoping this helps to lighten your load. If you volunteered to help, we will be contacting your for donations. And, we are excited about some of the fun activities we plan to include in those celebrations. We promise to take lots of pictures and share them with you!  We will celebrate Halloween on Monday, October 31.  Please send your child’s costume to school with them that day.

We are going to have our Christmas Party with parents on Tuesday, December 20.  More details will come!

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Picture Day and Walk-a-thon

Picture day is tomorrow!!!


Also, our school walk-a-thon fund raiser is on Friday.  Feel free to come join us from 9:45-10:30 on the playground!

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The Best Part of Our Week

This is what the class had to say was the best part of their week. . .img_4197

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First Week

Indoor recess…fog delay…what a week for the weather! And what a week it’s been for us as a class.  This class is FANTASTIC!!  They listen, work hard, and are great storytellers!  I hope your child has come home with good things to say about our day.

Thank you so much for all of the supplies you have sent in.  My cupboards are busting open, but I can reassure you, we will use each one of these things throughout the year.

Below are a few notes and reminders for next week:

Friday is an early release from school.  Elementary schools will dismiss at 12:15.  I will follow your child’s normal “going home” schedule, unless I hear differently from you.  This early release provides professional development for teachers.  During these afternoons, we will look at data and plan together.  This will give us the information and time needed to best meet the needs of your child.

Spelling:  Every Monday we will take a spelling pretest.  This pretest will use words around a specific word/vowel pattern. The pretest words are different from the spelling words.  If your child passes the pretest, he/she will be given challenge words (on pink paper) following the same pattern.  If they do not pass the pretest, they will be given regular 3rd grade spelling words (on yellow paper).  A spelling test will be given each Friday.

Picture day for our class is on September 22 at 1:20pm. Unfortunately this is after recess.  I can help with hair and straighten shirts as needed.

Our school Walk-a-thon is on September 23.  This is our biggest fund raiser of the year.  This money is used for technology, field trips, classroom supplies, and other learning needs.  Our goal is for every child to raise at least $25.  You are welcome to come walk around the track with us.  I will send you more information on what time we will be out there as it gets closer.

I think that is all!  Have a wonderful weekend and be sure to watch the videos of our team building activity. :)

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Team Building

Yesterday we did a team building activity.  This is a great activity to get students to work together, problem solve, and think outside the box.  They were challenged to stack the red solo cups using a rubber band and string.  Their hands could not touch the cup, only the string.  The first cup is VERY hard to get stacked.  Once they figure it out, the rest just takes a steady hand…er, string!



img_4186 img_4190 img_4194


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Supporting Our School

Dear Parents,

We know that everyone is VERY BUSY with life — work, family events, child activity events and more.  As a result, we know how hard it is to volunteer at school with these  demands on your time.  One simple way EVERY PARENT ( and friends/family of parents) can support our school is through the many business partnerships below.

By ordering through AMAZON SMILE, collecting BOX TOPS, collecting D&W and FAMILY FAIR receipts, recycling your paper into the PAPER GATOR, our school can raise up to $2,000.  We use this money to support activities in our school for all of our children. Information is below on all the donations.

Also…our ONE BIG and ONLY Fundraiser for the year occurs on September 23…the GEORGETOWN WALK•A•THON.  More coming on that soon.

Thank you for your support!  Audrey Straub, PTC President 


amazonA great way to help our school: AMAZON SMILE. Go to your Amazon account via the link below and AMAZON will donate .5% of your eligible purchases to our school. The PTC will use these donations to support learning & family activities at our school. Every DONATION counts …. and adds up!  Please start today…and use this link.


familyfareGeorgetown Elementary PTC has the opportunity to earn $1,000 from SpartanNash Stores:  Family Fare and D&W.   Through the Direct Your Dollars program, we can turn eligible receipts into cash for our organization!

Every time you shop at any Family Fare Supermarket or D&W Fresh Market, save your receipts.  Turn these into school — either via your child’s teacher or the office Direct Your Dollars Box.

For every $150,000 in receipts we collect, we will earn $1,000 donation.  This money D&Whelps  cover costs such as classroom supplies, technology upgrades, books, field trips, parent/child events and other needed items.  NOTE:  We need the ORIGINAL receipt in order for your purchase to count toward our total.

If you aren’t able to drop your receipts off in person, you can also mail them to 3909 Baldwin St, Hudsonville MI 49426.


We love this program!  It is very successful — especially with it being led and organized boxtopsby Lori Simpson.  This post has a link to HOW To’s….and we have extra papers in our office.



We love to take your old paper for our HUNGRY PAPER GATOR.  You fill it up and we earn money for our school.  What can go into the PAPER GATOR?

  • Newsprint
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Open House

Please click on the link to find out information about our Open House!

welcome blog letter

See you soon!!

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The Summer Slide

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘summer slide’?  It refers to the loss of learning that can take place when skills are not practicing over the summer.  We want everyone to keep their learning brains turned on by spending a 10-50 minutes every day practicing math facts and reading.  To determine the appropriate minimum number of minutes/day for your child, multiple their grade level by 10.  For example, a first grader would spend a minimum of 10 minutes — 5 minutes on math and 5 minutes on reading.

Our school has a login for all students on MOBYMAX –  an excellent online tool for all content areas.  If your child has forgotten their password/login, email me.

On Mobymax, I recommend the following:

  • Grade K:  Number Sense, Alphabet and Reading Trio
  • Grade 1:  Number Sense (review), Math Fact Fluency and Reading Trio
  • Grade 2-5:  Math Fact Fluency (keep those facts fresh) and any of the other applications on the site.

Also, if you would like to track reading minutes over the summer, this counts too.  Simply log into this form once a week to tell me how many minutes per week or per month you are reading.  Summer learning contest ends on August 20.

All students who participate in summer learning entered into a drawing for an AMAZON GIFT CARD.  

Finally, Mrs. Vandenberg, our librarian, would love to have post photos of you reading over the summer.  If you have a photo of your reading during vacation, send her the photo at

Hope your July is going well!

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Last 10 Days of School – June 8

Totally Red, White, and Blue Day (dress in red, white, and blue for Memorial Day)

Hat Day

Ice Cream sundaes for multiplication facts

Recess Reward

Decorate the playground with chalk and bubbles

Get Gum and Gaga Ball

Reader’s Theater

All day seat switch



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3rd Grade School Supplies

Hi Parents!!  It’s July 1 and I want to give you a heads up on the school supplies your child will need for 3rd grade.  Hopefully you can pick them up throughout the summer when they are on sale!  

  • 5 pocket folders (orange, blue, red, green, and yellow)
  • 2 glue sticks
  • 2 white board markers (thin Expo brand work the best)
  • pencils
  • 3 spiral notebooks
  • gym shoes to leave at school
  • pens (blue or black)
  • pencil box
  • colored pencils or markers
  • 1 Box of Ticonderoga pencils (last name A-J) **The cheap ones don’t sharpen
  • 1 box of tissues (last name K-Z)

Enjoy the rest of your summer!  I can’t wait to see you in the fall.images

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