Monday, December 19, 2016

Hello Families~

I can’t believe it’s that time~ Christmas holiday where I won’t see the children for what seems like a long time. We all need a break but it doesn’t mean I won’t be thinking about them and wondering what everyone is doing. I always feel like your child is my own child so thanks for sharing your child with me!

Although there’s only a few more days, we are very busy. 

Wednesday is our trip to celebrate Holiday Traditions Around the World at Fredrick Meijer Gardens. We’ll be leaving right away in the morning (don’t be late!) and will be back in time for lunch at school. Adult chaperones will meet us at the Gardens about 9:30~ I’ll be in contact with those adult chaperones soon.

Thursday is our last day before break! You are invited to attend a school wide sing along, beginning at 1:15 in the gym. After the sing along, the students will have a recess time before returning to our classroom. I’m low key when it comes to classroom parties. I’m planning on a snack for the children and maybe a little craft. The children all enjoy free time/playing with each other, too. So I will probably offer the choice of playing  (Legos/board games/etc.) or completing a craft. So it is very, very low key!

If you plan on attending the sing along, you may take your child home with you or you can leave him or her with me!

I only sent one homework math sheet to complete this week! Celebrate!

As always, let me know if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Happy Monday!

Our field trip to Post Family Farms on Friday was a blast! Be sure to check out our class Facebook page for the fun pictures, “Alpine Brinks”. If you have trouble finding it, let me know and I’ll add you to the page. 

Picture Retakes are Wednesday!

Thursday is also PILLOW DAY! Mrs. Meulenberg finished sewing about 100 pillows and now they are ready to be stuffed. Look for pictures to be posted on our Facebook page. 

HALLOWEEN DETAILS: Alpine Halloween Parade will be held at 2:30 on Monday. The children are aware that clown costumes are not acceptable this year. I’m sure you are aware of the Creepy Clown Craze, which has spread to Alpine, too. 

“There were rumors and speculations going on recently about the
“clowns.” I am very proud of our district administration, students,
parents, and teachers for creating a safe environment. I would like
to respectfully ask that all students, at least for this year, avoid
clown costumes for our Halloween parade. As in past years,
please refrain from costumes that are violent or gory and
remember to leave other accessories at home (swords, staffs, etc.).
I would like our focus to be on our students and the fun of the
holiday.” Mr. Snyder

As always, contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

We are having another great week of learning in Room 24! Living and Non-living things have been the topic of our science conversations and the subject always finds its way into our other subjects as well. It’s been a blast to have conversations with the children and play off from their excitement! Second graders are curious little learners, always asking questions and sharing their learning.

As part of our unit of study, we’ll be going to Post Family Farms on Friday. If you haven’t done so already, please send in $5.50. We’ll be leaving school about 10:30 and returning around 1:30. The weather looks great!

Thursday is our Kenowa Learning Knights at Alpine. This is a time set aside to celebrate learning with families. Bring your child back to school in the evening between 6:00-7:30pm. I’ll be hosting a session on reading at home.

As part of this learning night, Meijer will provide family meals (in a bag for later use). We are inviting all students to wear hats tomorrow (Thursday) for a $1.00 donation.  This will help offset the cost of the Meijer Meals.

I look forward to seeing everyone at conferences. They are coming up soon (Halloween week!). Go online to schedule your conference. If you have other children, schedule the conference sooner than later to ensure you can get back to back conference slots. If you are unable to make the conference time due to scheduling or transportation, let me know. 

Thank you!

Monday, October 10, 2016

As I write this note on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, I can’t help but think about my students and their families. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to help your child grow and learn.

I’m happy to report that our MAP/NWEA testing is complete. I’ll have reports ready to share at conferences in November. This was initial testing, providing me with important information as to what your child knows and what is yet to be learned.

Monday will be our first day of Neighborhoods, for both reading and math. Students are placed in Neighborhoods according to skill and where we think they will learn best. Although they may a different teacher for reading and/or math neighborhoods, I will still be responsible for materials taught. Neighborhoods are a great way of providing additional support to those students who might need it while, at the same time, providing extensions to those children who already understand the material.

I have been rethinking my homework policy and decided to make a change. I’ve found there are many students who really need some extra practice on skills learned at school.  Every student has a ‘homework folder’, which was given to them at the start of the year. Although most students return those folders to school, there are some who do not. Keep these folders in your child’s backpack so I can put important papers in the folders and you will know where to look for school information. 

Beginning on Monday (today!), look for 2 math homework sheets sent home and they will be due on Friday. In addition, I am inviting all students to participate in the Pizza Hut Book It Reading Program Another note explaining the program was sent home. Return the reading calendar at the end of the month and your child will receive a certificate for a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut.

Don’t forget that Wednesday is a 1/2 day for students!

On a final note, Friday is POPCORN DAY. Students may purchase a bag of popcorn for $.50. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Happy Monday! The children in Room 24 have been quite busy making new friends, learning procedures and reviewing some first grade concepts. I’ve been busy benchmarking my students, which means reading with each student to check for fluency (how they sound) and comprehension(what they understand). All of the children have been assessed on spelling and spelling patterns so I know exactly what each child already knows and what they need to yet learn. It’s been fun for me to get to know your child personally!

This week is the beginning of MAP/NWEA Testing for all students. My students will be testing on Wednesday and Friday morning this week. This is a test to get a grasp of what your child already knows.

Tomorrow is PICTURE DAY! I made an appointment for my students to have all photos completed in the morning before they go outside to play.

FUNDRAISING ORDERS should be turned in tomorrow, if you haven’t done so already.

Finally, our big PILLOW PROJECT is coming up. Earlier I sent a note asking each child to bring in fabric and stuffing by this Friday. I do have a lot of extra fabric so if you are unable to purchase fabric, your child will still make a pillow. Please continue to send in pillow stuffing!

Volunteer Opportunity:  If you are able to cut some fabric squares from home, let me know. I’m fortunate to have someone donate extra material. 

HOMEWORK~ At this time, I will not be sending weekly homework. The children will have plenty of opportunities to practice concepts during the school day. I also provide a reading time for the students to work on reading. **I will notify you if your child must complete unfurnished work at home or if they need extra practice.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Welcome to another great week! I’m hoping, along with the children, that this week won’t be so hot! We made it last week, but it was rough in the heat! 

This week I hope to begin a lot of pre assessing the children in the areas of reading and language arts. The goal is to know exactly where each child is in his or her learning progression. With that information, I’ll be able to know the child’s strengths and weaknesses, building on the strengths and strengthening the weak areas.


Making pillows is a 2nd grade tradition that started with Mrs. Meulenberg, a retired 2nd grade teacher. She continues to return each year to make the pillows with the students. Each child with need to have qt 4 pillow squares, 9 x 9 inches. We’re also going to need a lot of pillow stuffing! The pillow squares can be all the same. The children will trade squares with their friends, allowing them to get different patterns. The pillows will go home with your child at the end of the year or whenever their last day at Alpine Elementary would be.

I put some pictures on the Facebook page. Take a look!


Fundraising packets were sent home on Friday. All products are 15.00, with half of that money going to Alpine Elementary for field trips and other fun events. All orders, along with the money collected are due on September 19, with delivery on October 18.

I will send homework home as needed. If your child does not complete the work at school or if he or she needs additional practice, homework will be sent and you will be notified.

Reading is encouraged every night. To motivate students, my class will participate in Pizza Hut’s Book It Program. Look for the information to be sent home soon.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Welcome to a new year in 2nd grade at Alpine Elementary! I am super excited to meet my new friends and get this year started! Tonight is an open house from 6:30-8:00pm. I hope you all can make it! If you are unable to attend, I am including a link to the google slide show that will be running throughout the evening. I'll send the handouts and other important information the first week of school.

At this point, I don't have a specialist schedule but I'll be sure to communicate this information as soon as I have it. Specialist classes include music, PE, art and Spanish.

I created a Facebook page specifically for our 2nd grade class in Room 24. It's a closed group, which ensures the privacy of photos and posts. I hope many of you use Facebook and this will be a fast and fun way to communicate. Let me know if you wish to be added to the group.

I'll be posting information on this blog, Facebook and email. The goal is to eliminate the need for paper copies. Let's see if it works! If you prefer the paper, I will be happy to send notes home, too.

Below is a link to the google slideshow I created for the open house tonight.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Today started a very busy week for the 2nd graders in Room 24. Students have MAP/NWEA testing everyday this week. The tests require a great deal of concentration and perseverance. As you know, these tests are given to measure growth. These last tests are important in that they will be scores that set Compass Learning apps, as well as placement for next year.  I'm proud of all of the children, especially when I read some of the questions they were faced with. 

Please make every effort to have your child at school and on time this week. My students are scheduled for testing from 8:30-10:30 through Friday. If a child is absent, it means they will need to take extra tests in the afternoons since all tests will be completed this week. Imagine how hot, sweaty and tired a child is every afternoon.....

I will not be assigning any more homework this year, unless something comes up and your child begins to fall behind. If this is the case, you will hear directly from me. With all of the testing and extra time in the afternoon, we're going to take an easy and finish the year on a pleasant note.  There are a few students who requested homework tonight. Know that the work is optional. 

Finally, we have a few important dates coming up:

May 23-24 MAP Testing~ Math

May 25-26 MAP Testing~ Reading

May 25 AR Pizza Party for those students who met their goals (my entire class!)

May 27 1/2 Day~ Students dismissed at noon

May 31     All Library Books Due!

June 1 AR Popsicle Party for students with 30 AR points or higher

June 3 **Field Trip to Walker City Complex

June 6 Field Day

June 8-10 1/2 Days~ Students dismissing at noon

June 10 Last day of school

I believe that's it for now!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Alpine Families,

We’re on the home stretch but there’s still a lot going on. I think it would be best if I just highlight some important dates as we finish the year.

May 18 1/2 Day~ Students dismissed at noon

May 19-20 MAP Testing~ Language Usage

May 23-24 MAP Testing~ Math

May 25-26 MAP Testing~ Reading

May 25 AR Pizza Party for those students who met their goals (my entire class!)

May 27 1/2 Day~ Students dismissed at noon

June 1 AR Popsicle Party for students with 30 AR points or higher

June 3 **Field Trip to Walker City Complex

June 6 Field Day

June 8-10 1/2 Days~ Students dismissing at noon

June 10 Last day of school

**The kitchen staff needs to know this week if your child will need a sack lunch for this field trip. We want to make sure there is enough food for everyone. Send me a quick email or send in a note with your child.

Thank you!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Alpine Families,

Please remember to vote tomorrow. Much of the issues addressed will directly affect your child at Alpine Elementary. If you need transportation or if you have any questions, you may call the school and someone would be happy to help. You can also send me an email. Ask you child to tell you about the water falling from our ceiling!

Save the date! We have one last study trip planned for June 3. To conclude our study on local government, we will go to Walker City Central, which involves the courthouse, road commission, police and fire.  Weather permitting, we will enjoy lunch and playtime at the park behind City Central.  More information will be sent as the time approaches.

The students are doing an amazing job on the math standards. The students have mastered the content in “Numbers in Base Ten”, which involves a lot of addition and subtraction. The children are all very familiar with place value, word problems, and inverse operations (using addition to check subtraction answers). 
Beginning next week, your child will learn the basics of multiplication, which should be a very exciting time for everyone!

After learning about facts and opinions, the children started writing opinion papers. They certainly have a lot of opinions. We will be working on opinion writing for a few weeks yet.

The children had a bit of time to work on homework during class time today. They were all instructed to take it home, even if they finished the work, so parents could see it.

As always, contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dear Families,

It’s hard to believe we’re already at the end of the third marking period! Thank you for coming out to conferences and showing an interest in your child’s growth and development. I enjoyed seeing everyone.

Your child received a fun homework sheet today, along with a plastic egg. Take a look at “What’s in my egg?” handout. The children may return the egg and clues tomorrow or Monday. This is simply a fun paper, nothing that is required. Just have fun with it!

The John Ball Zoo field trip will be here soon after returning from spring break. If you haven’t done so already, please send in $3.00 to cover this cost. The money needs to be turned into the zoo two weeks prior to the actual date. If you are able to help with research in the afternoon (April 15), let me know.

The PTO is sponsoring an Ice Skating Party at Walker Ice and Fitness next week Thursday night, March 31 (6-8pm). The children had a blast when we took them on the field trip. Everyone is sure to have a great time!

As you are aware, the bond vote is May 3. Please make sure you get out and vote. There will be a parent meeting at Alpine Elementary (library) on Monday night. If you are unable to attend or if you would like specific information, I would be happy to discuss with you how this will impact your family directly. 

Remember, next week Thursday, March 31, the students will be dismissed at 12:00 and there will be no school on that Friday. 

Enjoy your spring break time together with your family!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Dear Second Grade Families,

Conferences are right around the corner! Please sign up for conferences using Our first night of conferences are tomorrow night!

In conjunction with our unit on animals adaptations and habitats, we will be traveling to John Ball Zoo on April 15. Although the time seems far off, the zoo requires all payments are received before Spring Break. Please send in a payment of $3.00/student. If you are planning to chaperone, an adult admission is $5.00. 

March is Reading Month is here! Students are invited to dress like a prince or princess on Friday. Next Friday, March 18, is Robe and Slippers Day!

I think that’s all for now! I look forward to seeing you at conferences!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

March is Reading Month! To celebrate our love for reading (and food!), we’re going to have a “Read and Feed” on Friday afternoon. This will be our Fun Friday celebration for those students who make good decisions, as well as those who complete the weekly homework.

Your child is invited to bring in a special snack and/or a snack to share with the class. This is also a day to ‘wear a crown or royal hat day’ and popcorn day! Popcorn is .50. 

Don’t forget to send in Box Tops for our monthly collection this Friday! Money earned goes directly to our classroom. 

Conferences begin next week! Please register for a conference time online at If you need assistance, call the office at 784-0884 or let me know. 

Look for information for our next field trip in your child’s backpack. We’re going to John Ball Zoo to study animals. As part of a 2nd grade standard, the students must learn about an animal and produce a slideshow using the information learned. The morning will consist of a trip to the zoo, with the afternoon reserved for research. We could use all the help we can get that day, whether its for the entire day or a portion of the day!

Miss Brinks and Miss Liabenow

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Yesterday your child was given information on an upcoming field trip to the Walker Ice Arena, which is scheduled for next week Wednesday, Feb. 24. Unfortunately, we were not able to give much notice on this particular trip. Please send in $4.00 to cover the cost as soon as you are able.

We're also going to need a lot of adults to help get skates on the children and then skate with the children. Even if you don't skate, we could use the help.

I hope to hear from many of you soon!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Alpine Families,
Tomorrow is Jump Rope for Heart. Students are encouraged to wear pink or red. My students will be jumping from 9:40-10:25, with our school assembly at 2:50 in the gym. Water bottles are encouraged!

Also, this is a reminder that Thursday is the Alpine Skate at Terry Hall in Grandville(6-8pm). 

The students wish to have a movie time for a Fun Friday celebration on Friday afternoon. This is a celebration to reward students good behavior and for those who complete all of the work required at home and school. Your child is invited to bring a stuffed animal or blanket from home. Keep in mind that all items brought from home should be able to fit in your child's backpack.

I think that's all for now!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hello Alpine Families,

Welcome to winter! As I type this, the wind is blowing and the roads are icy. The children will be excited to learn we will most likely have an indoor recess. This means they will haul out the Legos and puzzles, along with a class movie!  

We’re starting the week with MAP Testing. Your child will be testing on math then will being Language Usage on Friday.  Currently, it’s scheduled for today, Wednesday and Friday. Testing should be complete by the end of next week.

Miss Liabenow and myself will both be gone tomorrow afternoon for science training. While we are away, the students will listen to a Time For Kids presentation. After the presentation, they will receive a booklet to collect addresses. Look for the books tomorrow night.

On Wednesday morning, the first and 2nd graders will be traveling to Sunshine Church for a concert by the Grand Rapids Symphony. The busses will leave at 8:45 sharp so make sure your child arrives to school promptly on this day! We’ll be returning to school on time for lunch.

We’ve been studying non-fiction texts during our reading block. The children, like their teacher, love reading books that are true and factual. Today we learned about the important influence Martin Luther King Jr. had on our society, which was an appropriate fit into our non-fiction unit. 

Miss Liabenow began a new math unit this morning, too. We’ll be learning about money, the different values of each coin, and solving word problems involving money. We’ll be focusing on subtraction equations, too.

I believe that’s all for now. As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.