We are off to a fantastic start in STEM.  During our introduction unit, students are focusing on a different theme or concept each week.  These include creativity, communication, critical thinking and collaboration.  Each week students are engaging in team work and hands on projects.  Below are some “creative accessories” students built during our Creativity week!


Humans of Pinewood by Griffin

IMG_1001IMG_1003IMG_1004IMG_1006Hi my name is Griffin and I’m interested to learn about Micah? A student in Mrs Lemmen 3rd grade classroom at Pinewood elementary school in Jenison school district.So here’s some facts about Micah.His favorite sport is swimming.His favorite food is pizza.His favorite candy is a Hershey bar🍫.His favorite color is blue.He has blue eyes and brown hair.He likes to play prodigy and animaljam.
He likes to travel to Florida and Chicago.He likes to play Pokémon with Hunter I. and Elliot.He likes to play Gaga ball to.These are some facts about Micah.Here are some facts about Micah at school.He likes to play frisbee in gym.He likes stem classes.His birthday is March 26th.His favorite season is fall.He likes to read .His favorite professional football team is the Chicago cubs and the Detroit lions.His favorite stores are Chicago stores like the mall and target.He likes to eat at is Olive Garden and he likes to eat Red sticks there.He has 4 people in his family his brother name is Mason his mom and dad’s names are Tod and Sunshine.He likes to doodle on his paper 📝. I chose Micah because he was a very interesting person and I thought you’d like to see what he was all about.He likes to visit Minnesota.He likes to play minecraft even when he should be sleeping.That’s Micah.This has been a great interview.👋



International DOT Day!

On Friday, September 15, classrooms across the world were celebrating International Dot Day. Pinewood Elementary was quick to jump in and make it happen for our kids too! You may be thinking- what in the world is Dot day?! Well, let me explain.

“Dot Day” is named after the children’s story of The Dot, written by Peter Reynolds. It is about a young girl, who cannot think of anything to draw on her paper in art class. She angrily makes just a “mark” on her page. Her kind teacher is thrilled at her “dot” and celebrates her inspirational creativity and “making her mark” in the world. Classrooms celebrate this day by inspiring their students to make their “own” creative mark.

Check out some of the captivating work our Pinewood Wildcats produced:

Author Shelley Johannes Visiting Pinewood September 27, 2017

Pinewood Families we are happy to share that author Shelley Johannes is coming to Pinewood to talk about her new book Beatrice Zinker Upside Down Thinker.  Shelley lives in the Metro-Detroit area and is excited to come to Pinewood and share her book with us.

The main character of Shelley’s book is Beatrice Zinker.  Beatrice is just starting third grade and is trying to figure out  how to handle the changes that come with starting school, having a new teacher, new students, and new friendships.  Visit Shelley’s website to learn more about the book.

Please watch this short video to learn more about Shelley’s visit and the opportunity to purchase the book.

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Preparing For the Return to School

Preparing for the Return to School

 I love the return to school it is one of my favorite times of the year, but it also one of the most stressful on our family. Buying school supplies, finding all the important information for school and activities, getting back on to a schedule it’s a hard transition for all of us. In addition to the normal stressors, one of my daughters has severe anxiety when it comes to changes or transitions and the build up to the return to school is hard on all of us. Here are some tips that hopefully will help you and your family make the return to school a fun and positive event.


Please try to get your child back on to a consistent sleep schedule. Sleep is an essential part of a child’s development and affects their ability to learn and regulate their emotions.   We see dramatic differences in student behavior when they are struggling with getting enough sleep. Having a consistent bed time and reducing the use of technology before bed time and having a consistent wake up time prior to school starting will make a huge impact on having a successful start to the school year.

 2.  Prepare School Supplies

Have your student work with you to prepare their school supplies. All supplies can be brought in on Open House day and kept in their classroom or in their lockers. When students have time to prepare and organize their supplies they feel more confident to start the year.

3.  Discuss any Fears

Take time to talk about how this could be both and exciting and scary time for your child, give them time to talk and share any questions or concerns they have. Most questions you can answer, any that you can’t feel free to contact myself or your child’s teacher.

4.  Come to Open House

Our Open House is Wednesday August 30, 2017 at 6pm, that is a great time to see the building, talk with your teacher, decorate your locker, and meet up with friends and new classmates. At our Open House we will also have a fun digital scavenger hunt using the app Goosechase.  This will be a fun way to see pictures from students in your child’s classroom and explore our school grounds.


Mark Your Calendars!

Wednesday August 30, 2017 from 6pm-7pm is our Pinewood Open House

Tuesday September 5, 2017 is our first day of school!

School hours are from 8:45 tardy bell rings to let students enter the building until 3:41 each day.

Here is our Official Welcome Back Video please show it to your students we are hoping it gets them excited to return to school.

Helpful Parent Links:

Pinewood Supply List

Food Service Website

Free and Reduced Lunch  online application

Before and After School Care Information

Help Navigating Our Web Page

Pinewood Building Tour

Our facebook page is another way to stay connected


Super Reader Strength HOPE

The last strength that is discussed in the book Every Child a Super Reader  by Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell is hope.

Allyn and Morrell state, “Hope is a basic human need.  When we lose our hope, we lose our humanity.  For more than two decades, Shawn Ginwright has worked with students who have experienced tremendous suffering in their lives.  The difference, he argues, between the kids who are able to confront and ultimately overcome obstacles and those who are unsuccessful, is hope”.

We want all Pinewood students to feel like they can have big, amazing dreams and the ability to reach those dreams.  Students who believe in themselves are full of hope for what their life will be like in the future.  Our students learn to think ahead and dream big by setting goals for themselves and celebrating their progress towards these goals.

Families at home can help students build hope by:

  • Make a list of family “hopes” for a week or a season and post them.
  • Talk about what kids hope for their future, encourage them to dream big.
  • Talk about ways to encourage others to be hopeful.
  • Find stories in the world about hope and optimism to share with your child.

Student Book Recommendation

Holes by Louis Sachar

student reviewer Meredith

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Super Readers Courage


In the book Every Child a Super Reader this week’s strength is courage.

Allyn and Morrell state, “Whether a child is learning a new difficult skill or reimagining their ability to tackle a challenge, risk taking and courage play important roles.  Risk taking begins with a decision to act, and courage provides the inspiration to act”.  Learning so many new things can be both scary and exciting for kids.  Every day they are introduced to new concepts and we expect them to tackle each with energy and positivity but we don’t always give students the credit for how courageous they are every day.  Imagine if you showed up to work and every day you were given training on something new, your boss expects you to learn it and use it, and then you show up the next day and not only are you using that new skill you are learning something new again.

At Pinewood we strive to make learning fun and to create an atmosphere where students feel like they own their learning, but it still doesn’t mean they don’t need a little courage to keep jumping in to new experiences each day.

“Becoming a super reader requires courage.  Whether it is having the strength and perseverance required to tackle a difficult text or the will to act upon the things that we read that demand us to be different in the world, courage is the key”.  (Allyn&Morrell)

What Can You Do at Home to Help Develop the Strength of Courage:

-Have conversations about what courage is.

-Point out in books and movies when you see acts of courage and ask your child what made it courageous.

-Support your child when they want to stand up for a big idea, a cause, or a friend.

-Praise your child when you see them persevering and taking risks.

-Give your child opportunities to show courage trying new activities and learning new skills.

Student Book Recommendation

Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton

reviewed by Maggie S.

Soul Surfer By: Bethany Hamilton Book review by: Maggie S

You should read this book! If you like the ocean you would like this book. Bethany lives in Hawaii. She got attacked by a shark when she was with her friend and her bff and the bff’s brother and dad. Did they act quickly to save her life? Will she survive? Fun fact: She nearly died from blood loss in the attack. She nearly died from blood loss in the attack.Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 12.46.31 PMScreen Shot 2017-08-09 at 12.46.22 PM

Me as a reader When I was little I found out about Winter from Clearwater Marine Aquarium . At the age of nine I was able to go to Florida with my family and see Winter and Hope, the Bottlenose dolphins .Then it struck me the girl in the movie Dolphin Tale 2 was Bethany Halman world champion surfer!