Family Letter

Here’s a sneak preview at the family letter I’ll be bringing with me when I begin home visits TOMORROW (Friday)!!!

Dear students and families,

Can you believe it’s already time to head back to school?! I’m so excited! I have been thinking of you all summer long and can’t wait to see your eager, intelligent faces back in our classroom on September 3!

You might remember that our classroom was chosen to start the Daily 5 and CAFÉ model of reading instruction! That means you won’t switch classes for SFA. You might still receive extra tutoring or special classes outside of the classroom. We’re very lucky because our school is working with the women who created the Daily 5. They just might stop by to visit us if we’re lucky!

While I’m talking about scheduling, our school might be on a 6-day schedule. That means our specialist schedule rotates every 6 days instead of every 5 days. What this would mean is that some Tuesdays you’d have music, but other Tuesdays you’ll have P.E. I wanted to tell you so you wouldn’t be surprised when school started. It’s good because then Mr. Grout would have more time to take on intramural sports. Also, did you know you can join honor choir this year?

This school year is going to be very challenging and I have set high standards both for you as students and for me as your teacher. Here are my goals for myself this year:

1) Call at least 2-4 families each week (with good news!)

2) Read 4 full books a month.

3) Keep my desk area clean.

4) Have papers graded and returned within one week.

We will talk more about your goals once you arrive at school! It’s so important to always be working to improve ourselves.

We will continue to have homework every night except Fridays. Your homework will usually be your Letter to Ms. Houghton or a spiral review math sheet. I will also occasionally have Mathlete problems on the back of your homework. These are problems that are optional, but I’m including them because some students and families have asked me for more practice work.

I’ve been thinking a lot about family volunteers. I didn’t ask for much help last year because I didn’t know how to best use you! I think I have a better plan… make sure you come to Back-To-School night (tentatively set for Sept. 10) so I can tell you more!

I am so deeply grateful for all the love and support you give your families. I consider myself extremely lucky to serve my students and those who care for them. Thank you for trusting your student to learn with me during 4th grade. We are going to have a blast.


Ms. Houghton


2004 Mixes: Blast from the Past

As we were moving into our new apartment, I discovered a few mix CDs from the end of my junior year of college at Michigan State. It was fun to listen to them and compare them to what’s on my mind now. These were made for my trip out to Colorado Springs to work at The Gazette as a cops and courts reporting intern.

This is what I looked like then:

Me at the Dinosaur Resource Center, July 2004

Me at the Dinosaur Resource Center, July 2004

More recent mixes to come later!

Shannon’s “Well, I’m On My Way” Mix, May 2004
1. “On Love, In Sadness,” Jason Mraz
2. “Me & Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” Paul Simon
3. “Two Points for Honesty,” Guster
4. “Follow the Light,” Travis
5. “If I Ever Feel Better,” Phoenix
6. “Fast as You Can,” Fiona Apple
7. “The Sound of Violence,” Cassius
8. “Don’t Give Up,” Chicane
9. “Good Life,” Inner City
10. “Vehicle,” Ides of March
11. “Good Luck,” Basement Jaxx
12. “Just a Little More Love,” David Guetta
13. “One Sign,” Galleo
14. “Are You Ready for Love,” Elton John
15. “Face to Face,” Daft Punk
16. “Breathe In,” Frou Frou
17. “Remind Me,” Royksopp
18. “Wine,” Blue Six

Shannon’s “The Line is Thinly Drawn ‘tween Joy and Sorrow” Mix, May 2004
1. “I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From,” Kings of Convenience
2. “Breathe,” Telepopmusik
3. “Cigarettes Will Kill You,” Ben Lee
4. “Thinking of you,” Magnolia (now known as Reidar… the song that’s playing when you first arrive at the site was remixed by Toby!)
5. “But Not For Me,” Chet Baker
6. “Country Road,” Maynard Ferguson
7. “Brother, Where are You?” Oscar Brown Jr.
8. “Waltz for Koop,” Koop
9. “We Will Become Silhouettes,” The Postal Service
10. “Window,” Guster
11. “Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall,” Simon & Garfunkel
12. “Possession,” Sarah McLachlan
13. “Jane,” Ben Folds Five
14. “Very Good Friends,” Blue Six
15. “Before Today,” Everything But the Girl
16. “Sweetest Day,” Control Freq
17. “Protection,” Massive Attack
18. “Novio,” Moby