Family Fun Writing Night Photos

Here’s some pictures of parents and children who participated in Family Fun Writing Night. Participants rotated between seven Writing Stations. Children volunteered to share their writing pieces at the end of the evening and selected new books and writing materials to take home. Facilitators from Eastern Michigan University’s Writing Center did a wonderful job providing engaging writing activities for families to do together during the workshop and later at home.


Sign up for Family Writing Night! (January 15th)

There are a limited # of spots left for our Family Writing Night. It will be from 6:00 – 7:30 on January 15th. Parents and children will work together and select writing stations with activities such as Writing in Secret Code!, Story Scramble, Comic Strip Story Time, Write a Story: Story Cubes and more!!! Since the spots are filling up, please click on the Sign Up Genius link below to join us in the Bennie Cafeteria. Parents and children from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade are welcome to come together and have some fun!

The evening will be organized by guests from the Eastern Michigan University’s Family Writing Center

Family Writing Night Sign Up Here!


What are the Five Essential Areas in Reading Instruction?

Five essential areas of reading instruction include phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension and vocabulary. In the links below are some parent hand-outs by a Michigan educator who also is a successful blogger. These short handouts explain what these critical areas are and what parents can do to help their children develop in these areas.

5 Big Ideas in Reading Instruction

Phonemic Awareness – Kindergarten

 Phonemic Awareness – First Grade

Learning Sight Words

 Oral Reading Fluency

Reading Comprehension


Extra Practice Pays Off!

Congratulations Gregory and Jack!

Greg and Jack have been using Reflex Math and putting in extra effort trying to achieve their math goals. Congratulations to both boys for meeting their first trimester goals. They are ready to move on to even more challenging math goals for the second trimester! We are proud of them!

Congratulations, Gregory!

Way to go, Jack!


Training to Benefit Students

As a part of ongoing school improvement, Allen Park Elementary Instructional Aides and Literacy Coaches recently participated in two full days of professional development. The course was held at Riley and conducted by Literacy Consultants from Wayne RESA. The consultants, Colleen Whalen and Mary Lu  Stribel covered research-based reading strategies and programs that would be beneficial to students receiving reading support service from kindergarten through fifth grade. Arno, Bennie and Lindemann support teams will return to their own buildings and begin to use the strategies with their students.

WRESA Literacy Consultants share information about analyzing reading cues students use or neglect with Allen Park Instructional Aides.                       

Bennie Instructional Aides learn additional strategies to help their students become better readers.

Learning Alphabet Letters at Home

Sandy Artman suggests resources to help children learn letters and letter formation in the 1 minute video clip below. You can also click on the YouTube link at the end of this post to watch how alphabet letter tracing can be done with young learners.

Contact Sandy Artman at if you need an ABC book to use at home to help your child.

Below is a link to a YouTube clip showing how to use the letter book effectively with your child. Using it daily will lead to quicker success in learning the letters of the alphabet and how to form them.

Click on this link –     Letter Tracing

Opportunities for Parent Involvement in Learning

Mark Your Calendars!  January 15th 6:00 p.m. at Bennie New Parent/Child Writing Opportunity

A follow up to the November Academic Support Program?Title I Parent Workshop will be held on January 15th at Bennie School. Presenters from Eastern Michigan University’s Family Literacy Center will return to Allen Park to give parents an opportunity to have an evening of writing activities with their children. Staff and parents from Arno and Bennie Schools are invited to participate in this free event. Sign up information was sent home or you can sign-up using this link:   Sign Up Genius for January 15th Event

Check Out Parent Newsletters – “Helping Children Learn” and “Activity Planners”

At the menu at the top of the blog there is a link to Parent Newsletters. Helping Children Learn Newsletters and Planners for October, November and December 2018 are included in this area as well as links to newsletters that were from last school year. More will be added monthly throughout the year. Be sure to check them out when you have time. They contain some great tips and suggestions for supporting children’s literacy development.

Click this shortcut link to get to the Newsletters Page of the Blog – Link to Parent Newsletters Page

Parents attended Writing Workshop at Arno to learn more about how to motivate children with writing activities at home

Arno and Bennie Title I Programs held an evening workshop for parents & staff that featured guest presenters from Eastern Michigan University’s Family Literacy Program. Parents and staff received valuable tips and materials from Kelly Waldschmidt and Sarah Castillo about how to help children improve their writing skills. The program was arranged by Sandy Artman and Dr. Barbara Chuby, Allen Park elementary reading specialists, and held from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at Arno. Parents received folders with hand-outs to take home with them as well as information learned that evening.

Parents and staff listen to guest presenters from EMU.

Bennie Instructonal Aides take advantage of this learning opportunity!




Parent Advisory Team Meeting November 13 at 8:35 a.m.

The Title I/Academic Support Programs first Parent Advisory Meeting of the school year will be held Tuesday November 1st at Bennie in the Literacy Library. We will review the School Compact to see if any changes are recommended and discuss Program Design. All parents and guardians are welcome to attend if you are free at that time. Additional meetings will be held later in the year. If you’d like to join us for meeting it will begin after the bell rings at about 8:35 a.m. If you have any questions, contact Sandy Artman at

Use the link below to see details/print a sign up form for the meeting.

Blog PDF Invite for November 13 2018 Advisory Team Meeting-regx1j

What is Reflex Math?

Mrs. Porter helps monitor Reflex Math groups in the computer lab.

Students working hard and having fun increasing their math fact fluency.

Reflex Math is an individualized and adaptive computer program that is designed to help students learn and master basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. It helps students get a better understanding of number concepts and fact families while playing math games students love. The program works at the child’s own pace and increases in difficulty as they improve. Students accelerate through the various activities and games until mastery.

Parents are able to log into the Reflex Math site to monitor their child’s progress and the children receive milestone certificates to celebrate their progress along the way. This program does not replace students’ regular classroom math instruction. Its purpose is to supplement classroom instruction and fill in some of the early math fact “gaps” students may have that slow down their progress when understanding and completing more complex math problems.

Students should not share the use of this program with other children or adults or their progress will not be measured accurately. However, free trials are available at the Reflex Math site if siblings or friends want to try a limited time subscription.

Progress is monitored regularly. Students play for about 20 minutes each day to reach the “Green Light,” which means they met their goal for answering enough facts with accuracy for that day. To improve, it is more important for children to get frequent short term practice than very long but less frequent sessions. Students are able to log in from smart cell phones, computers or tablets that have internet connection and play at home or “on-the-go.” Once finished with the addition/subtraction assignments, students will move on to multiplication and division fact fluency assignments. Additional 20 minute sessions of play on the weekends will help increase the speed at which students master the facts and move on to higher levels.

If you have further questions about Reflex Math, explore the website or contact Sandy Artman at Bennie.

Reflex can be used at home or ‘on-the-go’ for extra practice.