Week of September 18th

A giant thank you to everyone who attended Open House.  It was great to meet everyone!  If you were unable to attend I will post available conference dates/times when it comes closer for you to sign up.  

We also had a brief camp meeting to just review the basic information and answer any questions.  Students will be bringing home a pink permission slip today.  Deposit is due by this week Thursday, September 21st if your child is attending.  If you would like to send your child but need extra time for deposit, shoot me an email and we can figure it out.  Also, we have letters asking for a donation to lower our cost.  If you know of a business or person who would be able to donate, please ask Mrs. Courtright or Mrs. Ranka and either of us can give you one!

Volunteer opportunity: I am looking for a parent to head up the book orders this year. You would need to separate the orders, staple them together, and place any turned in. If you are willing to help out, please let me know. It doesn’t take much time, but I know that your time is valuable so we can do the orders monthly or bi-monthly. 


Mr. Wolf, the instrumental teacher, started seeing students today to have them choose between 2 instruments.  Please send in your child’s permission slip/money by this Thursday.  This is a great introduction to playing an instrument.  Dearborn Public Schools has a great music program that starts here and goes through high school.  Additionally, studies have proven that kids who practice music do better in school and are smarter overall.


This week in:

Math-Students will be completing workshop rotations to practice what we’ve done the past 2 weeks.  We will be having a unit 1 test either Wednesday or Thursday.  It covers:  factors, prime numbers, arrays and numbers sentences.  Students will have a review you can look over the night before the test.

Daily 5-Due to NWEA testing last week we didn’t get much done.  So, we will be practicing check for understanding and writing a summary after reading.

Writing-Students are learning about different types of figurative language.  We will also be starting a narrative piece later in the week.

SS: We are continuing to discuss the native americans that lived in North America before the explorers came. Last week, we had our first quiz, so ask your child to share their score with you if they haven’t already.

Science: We began our physical science unit today. The students will be exploring why cooking tools are made different materials. A HUGE THANK YOU to all of you have or will be donating items for science. I appreciate your support.

I hope that you all have a great week!

Important Information for the Week of September 11th

Open House is this week on Thursday from 6-7:30.  We will be having a camp meeting for 5th grade parents in room 202 at 6:45.  4th grade parents will be meeting in room 201 for camp meeting at 6:45.  We will be giving a basic overview of camp and answer any questions during that time.  We will also be giving important dates and deposit information to hold your child’s spot.  We will take a $100 nonrefundable deposit at Open House if you’d like to give it right away-cash or check made to DuVall Elementary.  If you can’t attend meeting, we will send home a sheet with basic information.  Here is a  link you can look at to check it out, click on outdoor education on the arrows.   http://www.wolverinecamps.com/


We will be selling popcorn on March 9th and April 13th. If you can help pop the popcorn on both or either of these, please mark your calendar. This money helps us to fun things in class!


Students are completing the NWEA all week to see where they are academically and to help set goals for the year.  Each day will be a different section.

This week in:


Daily 5-We will be focussing on writing a summary after reading a piece of literature.  We are also practicing check for understanding after reading our good fit books or listening to a story.


Writing-We will begin a narrative piece.  Our focus will be idea development and word choice.  Students will also be learning about figurative language including metaphors, similes and idioms.  


Math-We will begin with unit 1 and reviewing arrays, factor pairs and multiplication. Students WILL have math homework nightly.  It will always be a review of what we did in class that day or review of 4th grade skills that should already be mastered (mathboxes).  


Science: We will begin our first science unit this week. It will focus on the Driving Question: Why are cooking tools made of different types of materials? In order to complete this unit, we will need some items donated. I have created a bulletin board outside of the fifth grade classrooms that indicate the items needed. At Open House, please take a minute to see what we need. If you can donate an item or 2, please do.


Right now, we need a few additional items such as: various pots and pans to keep at school for a couple of weeks, and 130 ice cubes. If you can donate either or some of these, it would be greatly appreciated.  


Social Studies: We began our first unit, The Three worlds Meet. We will begin discussing the people who were living in North America before the first explorers and then will discuss the first explorers, including Christopher Columbus. The students can expect their first quiz next week. They will have to write a paragraph describing the Eastern Woodland American Indians.


I I look forward to meeting/seeing you Thursday at Open House.  Have a great week.

post by Carey Ranka | | Closed

Remind App

To help with our communication, I have set up a Remind App account. Please read the instructions and subscribe for reminders.


post by Carey Ranka | | Closed

Welcome Back Letter


I am excited to start another school year with a new group of students and their families. I hope that you all had a fabulous summer. I certainly had a great time enjoying the summer with family and friends. I have been teaching for 19 years and have been at DuVall my entire career. I truly love my job and look forward to working with your son or daughter this year. I am anxious to get to know your child on a personal and academic level so anything that you would like to share with me is greatly appreciated, you can reach me a variety of ways, which are listed below. I have 2 boys, Andrew who is 9 and Nicholas who is 7 and a lab mix named Joy. My husband is Erik and he works in the automotive industry. This being said, family is of great importance to me and school should not get in the way of that. Throughout the year, I will work with you and your child to find a good balance. Please speak to me about any concerns that may pop up over the course of the year.  

Team Teaching: This year Mrs. Courtright and I will be team teaching.  This means I will have both classes for Science and Social Studies while she will teach Math to both classes.  The students will switch between classrooms daily.  It will be helpful for you to sign up for Mrs. Courtright’s blog also so that you can keep up on what is happening in Math as well.  Her blog sign up is:  http://iblog.dearbornschools.org/courtrl/

How to contact me: Please feel free to write me a note/email regarding questions or concerns you may have and I will respond as quickly as possible. If I have not responded to you in less than 2 days please ask your child if they gave me the note. I am looking forward to working with all of you this year. Communication is a key factor for a successful year: let’s keep the lines open!

Carey Ranka             voicemail (313) 827-7949 rankac@dearbornschools.org

Classroom Management: I believe in firm and friendly classroom management. Meaning, I empower children, respect them, and provide choices when possible. I will teach them acceptable ways of dealing with their feelings to promote positive social interactions. When children are taught through positive guidance, they learn to share and cooperate, which allows them to handle their own emotions, self-discipline, and take responsibility for their actions. When children feel in control, they can be successful and take an active part in their education.

Classroom Expectations:  I will emphasize student rights and responsibilities.  These will focus on positive student interaction.

The expectations are:

1.  We will follow the Golden Rule

2.  We will keep our hands and feet to ourselves

3.  We will follow directions the first time

4.  We will listen while others are speaking

5.  We will cooperate with others while working in groups and partnerships.

Part of  consequences will be:       1.  Verbal warning   2.  Lose your seat/recess  3.  Phone/note-email/visit home   4.  Meeting with principal

The rewards are:  1.   Positive words/notes  2.  Treats  3.  Free time/extended recess     4.  Movie/party    5. “First Pick” coupon   6. sticker on Behavior Card

Take Home Folder: Every student will have a “Take Home Folder.” (A big THANK YOU to the PTA for supplying these!) This folder will be used to transport papers to and from school EVERYDAY. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that all assignments and notes go home and are shown to their parents. It is also the student’s responsibility to make sure all assignments are brought back to school. If we find old notes and papers in the folders, we will recycle them. Students should get into the habit of returning all homework to their folder and backpack as soon as their work is complete.

Assignment Book: Every student will use an assignment book to record assignments each day. It is the student’s responsibility to bring this book home and back to school EVERYDAY in the binder. Students are REQUIRED to copy their assignments from the teacher’s assignment book daily.

Grading: We will be following the district grading system and will use the following marks:

1: Masters Expectation 95-100% (Child is working beyond the expectations)

2: Meets Expectations 80-94% (Child is meeting the expectations)

3: Progressing 70-79% (Child is progressing)

4: Concern 69% and below (Child is struggling with the expectation)

Homework: Your child will have homework because it gives students the opportunity to complete work, practice to establish fluency, and inform parents of curriculum. If your child has an abundance of homework, please contact me! Please review your child’s work to stay informed. All homework is to be turned in on the due date, if this isn’t possible, please let me know. I understand that the evening can become hectic and I am willing to work with you and your child as long as there is a line of communication.

It is the responsibility of the student to keep track of his/her homework.  I will not make additional copies of misplaced or lost papers.

Lunch schedule: 12:25-12:55 

Allergies: As in most classrooms, we have several allergies. Throughout the year, the students may have the opportunity to have treats that may not be ok for your child to have. If your child should have a food allergy, please send in a “treat” that I can keep in my cupboard for them to have if these situations arise. I will put their name on the “treat” and save it for them. This way, no one will be left out if a treat is given out. I do give out small candy now and then, right now I have Starbursts and Dum Dums, over the years, I have found that these suit most students, please discuss with your child what types of candy they can and can’t have.

Snack: We will have snack each day around 10:00 a.m. to keep the students energized. Please send a healthy snack (crackers, granola bars, vegetables, fruit, cheese, etc). We are a Nut-Free classroom, so please do not send in snacks containing nuts. Student should also bring a water bottle to school EVERYDAY. This bottle MUST have a screw top, close tightly and have your child’s name clearly marked. Sticking with the traditional water bottle works best.

Camp-Each year fourth and fifth graders have gone to Wolverine Camp in Wolverine, MI for three days (Mon-Wed).  The cost runs between $90-160.00per student.  We will have a meeting to learn about camp  for ½ an hour at the end of Open House.    We will be attending camp in February of this year.   We must have a minimum of 45 students  attending  in order to go.  You will get all pertinent details at the meeting and decide about the potential for fundraising.

Blog: Important information will be posted on the blog. You will want to visit it often. Communication is a key factor for a successful school year. Please take the time to check your e-mail regularly to know what is happening in our classroom. You will notice the weekly postings on what the students will be learning in class along with other important information. I will also post website links to support many of the concepts that students will be learning in the classroom. The blog is not only a form of communication but is also a resource for both students and parents. Please check it regularly!

Volunteers: Volunteers are always welcome! If you are able and willing to help in the classroom, let me know. I am especially looking for someone to help with copies weekly.  

I am truly looking forward to this year. I am excited about this group of students and are looking forward to working with the parents. I realize that this lot of information but hopefully I have answered some of your questions.

Working together,

Mrs. Carey Ranka


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