Ms. VanderStel's Blog

The annual 5th grade Candy Cane sale is officially here!
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The annual candy cane sale has returned. Our 5th-grade classes will sell candy canes to help raise money for their end of year activities.
This year the sale runs from Monday, December 5 through Friday, December 16.    
The cost for each candy cane is $1.00 and they will be delivered the same day they are ordered.
Thank you for your support and Happy Holidays!
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Updates from Room 201

We have had a low key week here in room 201.  We’ve been catching up on writing, grammar, and other little things that don’t get much attention when we are in full curriculum mode!  It’s been a nice pace!  However, next week we are back at it until Christmas Break!

Math:  It would be helpful to start talking to your child about time on an analog clock.  We will soon be telling time before and after the hour, to the nearest five minutes and minute, and telling how much time has passed (elapsed time).  These elapsed time lessons are difficult, especially if the students don’t have a solid grasp of time.

Science:  We will be discussing fossils, doing a review, and playing jeopardy next week.

Reading and Writing:  We are reading and writing about information.  The students are writing about a topic they know a lot about and then we are reading books to study the text features of informational writing.

Homework:  You may have noticed there was no homework this week!  Next week we will have two math sheets, spelling, and a science review.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!   This is a great group of kids.  Each one of them comes to school with a smile, is kind to others, and works hard.  I am blessed to have your child in class.



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Red, white, and blue day

Don’t forget to dress in red, white, and blue in honor of our Veterans tomorrow!!

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Veteran’s Day Friday

This coming Friday is Veteran’s Day!

We will honor this day and all the veterans by wearing RED WHITE AND BLUE.

Please visit the school blog with more information about Veteran’s Day.

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Fun Friday Activities

Tomorrow is an ALL SCHOOL PJ Day!!  

imgresDue to Daylight Savings time, we will be celebrating with PJ Day!  Do not forget to set you clocks back on Saturday night.

Tomorrow is an EARLY RELEASE Day!!  

imagesStudents will be dismissed at 12:15.  If your child needs to bring home a sack lunch, please email me by 9:00 tomorrow morning.

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Kellan and Family

The Gainey Family is holding a pancake breakfast to raise money to purchase a wheel chair accessible van for their family.  Kellan’s twin brother, Jake, suffers from cerebral palsy and a vision impairment.  He is unable to walk and requires extra therapies to keep him healthy.
Those interested in attending the event can follow this Facebook link.

The family was also on the news last night.  Click on the link below to watch!


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Moby Max – Science

Not only is Moby Max great for fact fluency but it also touches on our common core standards.  I have “assigned” some science lessons in Moby Max.  One is on plant adaptations that we just finished and the others are on Earth Changes, which is the unit we are currently studying.  All of this is a great review and practice for your child.

Next week we will only have one homework page and it’s a graphing paper having to use their Halloween candy.  The homework I would like us to focus on next week is, Moby Max. I will still send a reminder sheet on Monday.

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Happenings in Room 201

Spelling – You may have noticed our unusual spelling words this week.  I thought we would take a break from our normal routine and have some fun with Halloween words.  I updated Spelling City to practice at home.

Moby Max – We have now discussed and have strategies for all of our multiplication and division facts.  Soon addition and subtraction on Moby Max will change to multiplication and division.  Students are expected to have 80% mastery by the end of 3rd grade.  It will be extremely important to practice these for 5 minutes every night.

Reading – We are in our 2nd week of the SuperSwitch!  This has been going great and I hope your child has come home talking about it.  This is a 50 minute block of time that we are doing focused reading groups.  Some groups are working on comprehension, some on decoding and accuracy, and some on fluency.

Science – The Plant Adaptations tests were OUTSTANDING!  I cannot believe how well the students did on this assessment.  We are now in a Changing Land Unit.  This has some bigger vocabulary and will take us longer to get through.

Halloween – Thank you for all of the Halloween donations!  Please send them to school by Friday so I can get the stations set up for Monday.  On Monday, you can also send your child’s costume to school in a bag.  If it’s a larger costume, we can keep it in the back room until we put them on.

Picture retakes are this week Thursday.  Please send the packet back to school if you would like your child to get retakes.

I think that is all!  If you have any questions, please email me at

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Meteorologist, Matt Kirkwood

Last week we had Meteorologist, Matt Kirkwood here to talk about the weather.  We learned some fascinating things about thunder, lightning, tornadoes, and a weather ball!  Ainslee was so excited about it, she bought one of her own!  Maybe we have a future meteorologist???img_3299 img_3296 img_3302 img_4446 img_4444 img_4441 img_4439 img_4438 img_4436 img_4437


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Halloween Day

The 3rd grade teachers have a lot of learning games and activities planned for the students on Halloween day.  Below is a link if you are able to send in donated items.  

Remember there is no specific party time this year.  We will spend the day doing Halloween activities as a grade level.

Sign up for Halloween Party ( ) on today!


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