Welcome to the 2020 – 2021 School Year!

It’s so good to be back at Bennie! Last school year I worked virtually from home and it is so nice to be with all the students and staff in person this year! This year I am joined by six instructional aides who will be helping students increase their academic skills. In the menu above, select Meet Mrs. Artman and Meet Our Instructional Aides to learn more about us! At the beginning of the year we work with students who were in the Academic Support Programs last year while Fall Benchmark Screening takes place. Then we will adjust our caseloads and transition some students into and out of the programs based upon their fall benchmark scores and teacher input.

In the menu above and on Bennie’s website you can  find important documents, such as the Bennie Parent Involvement Plan, the District Parent Policy, the Home-School Compact and more! Thee are also links to resources that may help you and your child. You are encouraged to click around and explore the links in the menu above.

We need YOU! Parent support is valued and appreciated at Bennie.  Parents volunteer at activities that will benefit all our Bennie Bobcats such as Scholastic Book Fairs, Bingo for Books, and assemblies.

Parents can also be involved by attending the Title I Annual Meeting, Meet the Teacher Night, and Parent Teacher Conferences.

We welcome your input at Title I Parent Advisory Meetings and School Improvement Meetings, in addition to PTA meetings! V.O.I.C.E. volunteers are also needed to help students with various activities and tutoring throughout the year.

Please sign up and participate as much as you can for your child’s education!

Feel free to contact me any time this year by calling the Bennie office or by emailing me at artman@appublicschools.com

April 2020

Hi Families,

Here are two more read aloud stories for your children.

The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

In this story, we read about Jerome who likes to collect words the way some people collect baseball cards or rocks. He collects short one syllable words and long multisyllabic words with four and five syllables in them. What is a syllable? Listen to this lesson to find out. More importantly, what can you do with special words you collect? Listen to find out what Jerome does with his word collection.

Click on the link below to listen to the story

Click to hear The Word Collector


Mrs. Artman reads The Word Collector


One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck and Yasmeen Ismail

In this story, Sophia tries to find the right words to convince her family to let her have a pet giraffe for her birthday. Will she use the right words in her persuasive arguments to get her wish? We’ll also talk about the glossary at the end of the story and about what synonyms are using examples in this book.

Click on the link below to hear the story:

Click to hear One Word from Sophia

Mrs. Artman reads
One Word from Sophia

I hope you enjoy these lessons. I miss you very much Bennie Bobcats!

Lesson extension ideas –

Create your own word collection. Start a list or notebook and write down the interesting words you see as you read other books and class work. You can use your words when writing a story or poem.

On a paper organize words according to how many syllables they have – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5+
Give yourself a point for each syllable. How many points can you score? Play against someone in your family.  (Can be timed) Who scores the most points by collecting words with the most syllables?

Write a persuasive argument for something that you’d like to be allowed to have or do. It can be something real (like staying up late) or something imaginary (like a pet dinosaur or unicorn.)

If you started a word collection, now you can see if you can think of synonyms to go with any of the words in your collection. Remember, synonyms are words that mean the same thing.

Start a new list of words and their synonyms. How many can you think of in one minute? 5 minutes? Make your very own Synonym Game Rules and play with your family.

fast – rapid

cold – freezing

hungry – starving



Week of March 30, 2020

Click on the link below to watch Mrs. Artman read the book Say Something! by Peter H. Reynolds.

Everyone has something they can say or do to make the world a better, happier place. You can say what matters to you in a story or poem or card or letter. What do you have to say that could cheer someone up?

Click here to hear the book Say Something!

Say Something! by Peter H. Reynolds

Click the link below to watch Mrs. Artman read the book Sticks by Diane Alber:

Click to hear Sticks Book 1   

Rocco liked this book. Do you?

Update on Academic Support this week:

I have been talking to and messaging all our Bennie Academic Support Instructional Aides almost every single day since school ended. They and their families are all doing OK. They miss their Bobcats very much and hope that they are still healthy and learning at home! Regards from Mrs. Wendy Cosgrove, Miss Sarah Kaminski, Mrs. Natalie Knaggs, Mrs. Keri Krakow, Mrs. Tiffani Martin, and Mrs. Patty Porter. We will all be happy when we can be back to Bennie and working with our Bobcats!

Mrs. Krakow spending some time reading at home. She wonders what you are reading at home. 😀


Mrs. Martin (Miss Tiff) enjoys reading while home, but misses her students! 📖


Miss Kaminski (Miss Sarah) misses all of you. She is taking college classes online like you are learning online.  💻  She is reading & her dog Pecan is enjoying listening.


Mrs. Porter’s cats like listening to her read- but she’d rather be at Bennie reading and doing math with YOU! 🐱 📚


Mrs. Cosgrove relaxes and reads at home. She’s taking a break from helping her sons with their schoolwork. 📚


Mrs. Knaggs is reading with her puppy Reggie.  She also has a horse that her daughter rides in competition.

Check out the Links for Learning at Home and other resources in the menu above or look at ones included in the previous March 23rd post.

Remember, you can email me at artman@appublicschools.com, as needed.


Week of March 23, 2020

These are truly historic times we are living through. One suggestion I saw suggested children who are old enough keep a journal or diary about what they are doing each day. This could combine writing, reading, artwork, etc. It could be saved and become a historical record to share with their children and grandchildren about what they did during the 2020 Pandemic. I would suggest keeping TV news to a minimum while the children are up, though. Too much exposure is not good for adults even let alone the children. Focus on the positive things, like the board games you’re playing, the walks, the card games they might be learning.

This past week, I have been using emails, FaceTime and Zoom and an app called HouseParty to keep in touch with families, colleagues from Allen Park Schools, and family members. I have started a Book Club to encourage my cousin’s 8 year old to read a chapter book. My cousin is a nurse manager at Michigan Medicine. She comes home exhausted and this is one way I can be supportive from afar.

If you haven’t done so already, you can encourage your children to call or FaceTime grandparents, aunts/uncles etc and read to them. They could tell them jokes, read a poem, tell facts they learned while doing their school work at home. Extended family and friends can be supportive to you and the Bobcats that way. And, getting to “be” with the children is a day brightener for many.

I will continue to update my blog and share information with classroom teachers for their Google Classroom sites.

My email address is artman@appublicschools.com

I wish I knew all the answers to how everything will be resolved in the coming weeks, but at this time I don’t. I am here for you, though, if you have questions.

Here’s some links to use at your discretion:

Activities for the Children and Family

Nasa pictures released

National Park Virtual Tours

Broadway Musicals 

Michigan Science Center

Olaf Actor Reads Stories

Children’s Authors Read Their Books

Stories Read in Spanish

Animated Stories

TED Talks for Kids

For older siblings/students:

TED Talks for Middle School

TED Talks for Middle and High School 


Message from Mrs. Artman – March 17

I want all our Bennie Bobcats to know that I care about you very much and miss you. I will be so happy to see you when we are back at school. In the meantime, I am going to post some additional resources on this blog that you can use while learning at home. We can learn anywhere! Please be patient while your teachers and school figure out the best ways to help you keep learning while you are home. We love all of you! Keep being respectful, responsible and safe. Help your family. Ask your parents if you can call someone to cheer them up. Maybe a grandparent, neighbor, aunt or uncle. You can help make others feel happier just by talking to them!

As always, I am available for emails at artman@appublicschools.com

Happy New Year! January Updates

Happy New Year! I hope all your families were able to enjoy the extra time together during the holidays and make some special memories. As the parent of a college senior, when I look in my rear view mirror, I  see that the time we spent together and the things we did together mattered most in the long run. The excitement of new toys and gifts fades but playing games together, family vacations, even cooking together and sharing favorite bedtime stories are what my daughter looks back on and appreciates the most.

New issues of Helping Children Learn Newsletters and Daily Planners have been added to the blog and paper copies are being sent home. Even if you don’t use all the suggestions in the Daily Planners, please check them out to see if there’s at least a few ideas that you can use with your child. Some broken links to past issues in the blog have been repaired. You can find all the newsletters using the menu at the top of the blog or with this link:  Parent Newsletters

During the month of January, all children in kindergarten through fifth grade are taking midyear benchmark assessments to compare their growth from September. You may hear your child or the classroom teacher mention working on tests such as DIBELS, NWEA-MAP, or BAS. NWEA-MAP is done on the computer. DIBELS and BAS are done mostly 1:1 with a child working with the teacher or support staff. During the testing window, there are times when Reading Support and/or upper el Math Support may have to be canceled due to schedule conflicts with the testing. The classroom teachers will share the results within a month when all tests have been completed. At that time, we will also review which students continue to need Academic Support, which students have met benchmark goals and are are to be discontinued and which students now need to be added to the program. Parents will receive letters if the service for their child changes at all.

I have been visiting all classrooms the past couple of months reading to the students, modeling instructional strategies for the teachers and observing literacy lessons. This has enabled me to see daily literacy work from the students’ and teachers’ perspectives. After spending time in the classrooms I can say I was impressed with the many positive reading and writing experiences happening at Bennie!


Be On the Lookout for Academic Support Letters!

This week, letters will be sent out to families to let parents know if their child will receive Academic Support Services now that grade level Fall Benchmark assessments are finished. Some new students will be eligible to receive support. Some students who received support last year and during September and October will continue receiving help from the instructional aides. Other students who have made gains may be discontinued at this time. Those children will be monitored and if they need more help in the future they can reenter the program and their parents will be notified at that time.

If you received an Entry Letter, please return the Parent Contact Information Page as soon as possible.

Have you clicked on some of the links in the top menu of this blog? Explore them and you’ll find some resources and sites for both parents and students. If your child is new to the program you can also “meet” the Instructional Aides and me by clicking on the links at the top. Resources will be added along with new posts at least monthly throughout the year.

There will be a Parent Advisory Team meeting on  Thursday, November 14 at 8:45 a.m. We will review and update the Bennie School Compact. All parents with students in the program who have time available in their schedules that morning are invited to attend. Sign in at the Bennie Office and you’ll be directed to the correct room.

Please support the Scholastic Book Fair that is run by our Bennie PTA. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the children to get some new books or for you to shop for books for holiday gifts.


Sandy Artman, Bennie Reading Specialist Academic Support Services



Literacy Walk Final Results

An amazing $15, 477.05 was raised to buy new book sets for Bennie Bobcats!

Thank you Bennie Families, Friends and Staff for working together to provide books and literacy materials for our Bobcat Readers. In addition, the Business Sponsors/Donors listed below are to be commended for their generosity in supporting the 2019 Literacy Walk. All Bennie Students will benefit from having new reading material to learn from and enjoy!


The Taco Stand Taqueria, AP  *   Joe’s Carpet Service, Taylor   *   The Visionary, Allen Park

Signarama, Allen Park   *   Bill Brown Ford, Livonia   *   Law Offices of Miller and Miller, P.C. AllenPark

Burger Law Offices, Allen Park   *  Wishbone Restaurant, Allen Park   * Major Tomato, Allen Park

Allen Park Dental, Drs. Greg & Joanne Szalai   *  Tim’s Coney Island, AP   *

Liberati’s Italian Deli & Bakery, Allen Park  *  Sam Quisenberry State Farm, Southgate   *

Wayne County Bail Bonds, AP   *  Bambi’s Flowers, Allen Park   *   Sam’s Club, Southgate

Thank You Rotary Club of Allen Park!

Great News! The Rotary Club is going to donate a book each month for the entire school year to ALL first graders in Allen Park! Rotary Park members attended the Allen Park School Board Meeting on Monday, October 14 to share information about their generous donation. The board meeting was also attended by some first grade teachers and students who came to represent all first grades and thank the Rotary Club. Mrs. McCall and Mrs. Rader from Bennie joined Mrs. Latigo and Mrs. Rose from Lindemann and me in assisting the students and thanking the Rotary Club for the new books. Eight students from all three elementary buildings went to the microphone to thank the Rotary Club and shared what kind of books they like to read the most.

Books for Bobcats

Bennie Bobcats Thank Our Generous

Literacy Walk Business Donors/Sponsors:

The Taco Stand Taqueria, Allen Park/Taylor

Joe’s Carpet Service, Taylor

The Visionary, Inc., Allen Park

Signarama of Allen Park

Bill Brown Ford, Inc. Livonia

Law Offices of Miller & Miller P.C., Allen Park

Burger Law Offices P.C., Allen Park

Liberati’s Italian Deli & Bakery, Allen Park

Wishbone Restaurant, Allen Park

Major Tomato, Allen Park

AP Martial Arts Center

Allen Park Dental, Drs. Greg & Joanne Szalai

Tim’s Coney Island, Allen Park

Sam Quisenberry State Farm, Southgate

Wayne County Bail Bonds, Allen Park

Bambi’s Flowers, Allen Park

Sam’s Club, Southgate

Want to become a business sponsor? Cash donations or Checks made payable to Bennie Elementary can be mailed,

dropped off at the office or will be picked up by a Business Team staff member by calling Bennie’s office at 313-827-1300.

‘Books for Bobcats!’

It’s a great day to be a Bennie Business Partner

& Make a Difference!

Bennie Elementary

17401 Champaign

Allen Park, MI 48101