June 17, 2015

Dear Parents / Guardians,

I hope you and your families have been enjoying your summer so far! I am hoping for beautiful sunny days for you and your family to enjoy. The 2014-2015 was a great year with your children and your outstanding support at home. We cannot thank you enough for being your child’s POWERFUL home teacher.



You spend 86% of each year with your child and he/she spends only 14% of the year at school. Please don’t underestimate the power of “HOME.” You have approximately 2000 HOURS THIS SUMMER to help support your child’s education.   We are so thankful that you are our partners in education!! You make a BIG DIFFERENCE!!


Summer Learning – Each spring parents ask what they can do to help during the summer to support student learning. I have listed a few ideas below. Thank you for taking the time at least 3 times each week to review grade level concepts. You can find Common Core State Standards at www.michigan.gov/mde If you spend a total of 60-90 minutes per week (only 15 minutes per day) supporting summer core academic learning it will be a big boost for the fall. Have them “play school” with a younger sibling and set up a “school area” in your home. Have your child invite friends over for “school” and have them take turns being the teacher. You can find more information and activities at www.michigan.gov/mde and many other free websites. Make it fun and interesting!!
Report Cards – Look closely at your child’s report card to see what academic area they need the most support with. Spend extra time during the summer to support this learning. If you need help finding academic activities / ideas for home please contact me at 533-8916 and leave a message at 231.


(courtesy of the Bellaire Masons)

We did not have any girls turn in 6 paragraphs for 6 books that they read. I am going to extend the deadline to July 3. If your daughter turns in her 6 paragraphs by noon on July 3 I will draw a name for a winner. If I am not here please slip them under the office door.


Academic Support

Reading – The most important thing you can do this summer is have your child read at least 15 minutes EVERY DAY. Let them choose a book / magazine / newspaper / recipes /other reading materials that they are interested in. Let your children know, “Mrs. Poel said so,” in case you want to take the heat off of you:)

Bellaire Public Library – Please take the time to visit the library at least twice a month to expose your children to the wide range of books available and help them love to read. The Bellaire Public Library also has a summer program available to students. Call the library at 533-8814 for dates, times, and activities.


Writing – Have your child write at least 3 times each week. Set the number of sentences / number of words in sentences and gradually increase the length expectations weekly. Check for neatness, word spacing, increased vocabulary use, capital letters, end punctuation, etc…. Let them choose topics that they are interested in – friends, little league, shopping, motorcycles, whatever they want to write about. Help your child write a list of vocabulary words that go with their topic and see how many they can incorporate into their writing. You can give them ideas if they have trouble thinking of something to write about. Have them write letters to send in the mail to relatives, organizations, companies, friends, etc… Often they will get a response in the mail, which they love! Encourage different types of writing – friendly letters, letters of inquiry, writing to companies requesting information, information paragraphs, make-believe stories, true stories, stories about themselves, book summaries, plays….the possibilities are fun and endless!!
Cursive – 2nd and 3rd graders love to learn and practice cursive!! Let them practice and give them a good head start for the fall.

Math – It is especially important that incoming 4th / 5th / 6th graders memorize their multiplication facts with speed and accuracy. The “2’s” “3’s” and up through 12’s should be on flashcards (or free computer programs online) or on paper and in mixed order. Once they are proficient with the facts in “families of 2, 3, and up through 12’s” mixed all of the cards up and practice them at least twice each week until the answers are speedy. Make a game out of it – timing each week and making a chart to show progress. Talk about how math is used in the “real world” and give examples of how you use it.

Incoming 1st –3rd graders – Practice proficiency in addition / subtraction as per grade level expectations. These are the facts that your child has been working on through the school year. Use flashcards (or free computer programs) or write the problems on paper. Talk about how math is used in the “real world” and give examples of how you use it.

Science / Social Studies / Art / Physical Education All of these subject areas can be reinforced by projects, visits to museums, hiking, family visits to local attractions (Grass River, Raven Hill, Dennos Museum, Bellaire Museum to name a few), discussion about higher level concepts, investigations, outdoor movement daily, fitness activities, cause and effect discussions, fun research, interviews, careers, plus many more!!

Address / Phone Number – There are children at every grade level that do not know their address and phone number. For safety reasons please make sure your child has this information memorized.

6th Grade OrientationYou will receive a note in mid-August to let you know the date/time for 6th grade orientation at the middle/high school. You will be able to ask questions, tour the school, help your student with their locker combinations, receive your student’s schedule, etc…. Please help your child practice opening / closing a combination lock this summer if you have one or have access to one. This is often a frustrating concept in the fall if they haven’t practiced. If you have any questions in advance please let me know.


Teachers 2014-2015

Kindergarten       **summer hire

1st Grade              Mrs. Benson

2nd Grade             Mrs. Schieber

3rd Grade              Mrs. Mason

4th Grade              Mrs. Mills

5th Grade              Mrs. Fischer

6th Grade              Mrs. Smolinski (middle school)

FREE Websites/ApplicationsThe learning websites and free applications that are online are far too numerous to mention. If you have access to the Internet do not forget to check out the free resources, learning games, and parent ideas that are endless. If you do not have access to the Internet you can visit the Bellaire Public Library to use their computer.

FREE (for anyone 18 or younger) SUMMER BREAKFAST AND LUNCH – Please remember that you can have a free breakfast and lunch if you are 18 or younger at the elementary school on these dates: June 15-18, June 22-25, July 27-30, August 3-6, and August 10-13 You must consume the food in the cafeteria but may take 1 piece of fruit with you.

YEARBOOKS – We have a few yearbooks left at the elementary school – $10.


I look forward to seeing your children in the fall. The beginning of the school year brings much excitement, enthusiasm and learning to the elementary classrooms

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