Upper Elementary News

Upper Elementary News

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March 17, 2023
Montessori Students Explore the Origins of Writing

The Montessori students at FUEL have been studying the history of writing, following the 4th Great Lesson in the Montessori curriculum. On Thursday, they gathered natural materials outside to make paintbrushes. Lead teacher, Amy Pommereau, showed them how to grind charcoal between two rocks and mix in snow, much like early humans may have done, to make black paint. The children practiced grinding charcoal sticks with a mortal and pestle and then painted with the paint they made.

They added chicken feathers, milkweed seeds, and broom corn to make their paintbrushes, and tied them with synthetic sinew. Ms. Jen Boudoin, FUEL LATA and parent of a former Montessori student, led the children through the process of making paper. Each child was able to make their own piece of paper from recycled class paper, flower petals, and mineral flakes! We had a great time learning about early processes that led to writing!


March 16, 2023
FPD Officer Shares a Book with Students

In celebration of Reading Month, Mrs. Trolinger's third graders were super excited to share a story from Ferndale police officer, J. Mahlmeister. They really enjoyed that she read one of their favorites, Officer Buckle and Gloria, while in uniform.

March 14, 2023
Golden Eagle Author & Illustrator Visit FUEL Classroom

FUEL had the opportunity to host our very-own-guest author and illustrator this week when students were joined by former Ferndale Golden Eagles Greg Williamson (5th grade teacher at FUEL) and Greg Abele! Mr. Williamson graduated in 1989, and this was Mr. Abele's first time back in Ferndale since 1984! They presented on the writing process, illustrations, and the innovation behind their book, What's the Recipe for Friends?

Mr. Williamson has published two other children's books with Peerless Press, and all three can be ordered direct at a discounted rate.

  • Why Do I Have to Wear Glasses?
  • How Do I Cure This Cold?

If you would like to purchase a copy, please download the form below and turn into the Ferndale Upper Elementary office with cash or check payable to Peerless Publishing along with your contact information.

Book Order Form

March 7, 2023
Celebrating Love of Reading with the Superintendent

March is Reading Month, and we are bringing in friends and neighbors from all around town to show students their favorite books. Superintendent Goodrum stopped by Mrs. Lusk's 4th Grade classroom to read Magnolia Flowers by Zora Neal Hurston, adapted by Ibram X. Kendi, and illustrated by Loveis Wise.


Building Motor Pathways for Thoughtful Fun

We are FUEL our bodies and brains with a new motor pathway, integrating puzzles and simple thinking exercises with whole body movement. Like Ms. Meloche reminds us, its important to practice these fun activities in whatever way is comfortable for YOUR body. Exercises that include crossing the midline are very important for learning reading and writing.

Learn more about music and movement in our schools at our Brain Based Integration page

This Whole Child development exercise was created by our district-wide Occupational & Physical Therapy team: Megan Meloche, Jessica Guerra, and Torre Church. You can make your own Motor Pathway at home and share your pics and videos with us on the FUEL facebook page: Facebook.com/FUELschool or email them to contact@ferndaleschools.org.


March 3, 2023
Black History On Display

Black excellence and culture were on display across the district. Large door displays were created by students and teachers at UHS and FUEL.

The votes are in, and the winner of this year's BHM Door Decorating Competitions are...


Thank you to everyone who participated! "I loved hearing the kids plan and talk about the doors," said Sarah Rodgers, UHS ELA teacher and Student Council advisor. Rodgers was thrilled to once again see this annual activity used as "an opportunity to empower our students, and joyfully celebrate their history and culture."

February 17, 2023
Winter Festival Brings Community Together Again

Communities In Schools and the PTA hosted a Winter Festival for K-5 students and families. It was a perfect way to have fun with the family during this cold and dreary winter. Students were able to make snowflake crafts, potato stamping, go snowman bowling, play pin the nose on the snowman, and eat yummy snacks. Sponsoring organizations were also on hand to share helpful information and resources with families. There were four drawings for gift cards and June Fair tickets throughout the night, and every student left with a prize!

February 17, 2023
Black Alumni Speak to Students

Our Black History Month theme this year at Ferndale Upper Elementary is Black Excellence & Joy. At FUEL, we believe it is important to balance perspectives within Black history by educating students on the many Black innovators, leaders, and trailblazers throughout history, as well as those who are influencing our present and future. One way FUEL focused on Black Excellence this past week is by inviting Black Ferndale graduates from FHS and UHS into the classrooms to speak to students about their experiences growing up and graduating from Ferndale. They inspired students by sharing what their path to their current career has been. Our students were incredibly excited to learn from each guest speaker. We are thankful to have so many successful Ferndale graduates who can motivate current students to strive for excellence!

Pictured below are Herb Ivory - Educator ('65), Ezra Tillman - Pastor ('99), Johnnie Peoples - Med Pilot ('95), Corbin & Kyra Newman - Juvenile Detention Officer & College Student ('14 & '20), Crystal Brock - Entrepreneur ('98)

Special thank you to our graduates who came to speak: 

Johnnie Peoples '95, Herb Ivory '65, Joshua Nicks '14, Andrese Cockroft '14, Ezra Tillman '99, Baxter Hall '99, Mark Staton '99, Kyra Newman '20, Corbin Newman '14, Tiffany Torres '00, Eric Royal '02, Christian Chapman '09, Quinn Wright '99, Ernest Holly '09, Aaron Dawson '09, Travis Wilder '00, Darlene White '09, Janessa Huston '99, and Crystal Brock '98! We are so grateful for your support and your inspiring stories!

February 17, 2023
5th Graders & Middle Schoolers Spell E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-C-E

Congratulations to the FUEL 5th graders for competing in our fifth annual 5th Grade Spelling Bee this past week!

 Our winner this year was Finnegan Downing from Mrs. Lepp's homeroom!  Finn will compete at the Oakland County Regional Championship on Saturday, March 3rd at Oakland University along with students from across the county in grades 5-8!

Great job to all of our 5th grade competitors, including Aiden Bander, Leonard Graves, Zachary Rood, Desmond Koehler, and runner-up Apollo Newman!! We are so proud of all of you!

Middle school student also competed in a Spelling Bee this week, and the winners are:

Winner—Jan Hartzer  (8th grade)
Runner up—Koncel Platt (6th grade)

Excellent performances were given by all competitors.

February 10, 2023
Orchestra Strings Rock the Night

Tuesday night, Ferndale Schools 5th-12th grade orchestra students took the stage with electrical violinist Mark Wood, Emmy-award winning composer and founding member of the Trans Siberian Orchestra. The crowd went wild for their contemporary music performance. as you can see in this video shared by parent Tanya Kempf on facebook.

Thank you to Mark Wood and all of the parents and supporters who made this event possible for our students and community.
February 10, 2023
K-5 Can Earn a STEM Degree from Purdue University

Purdue University is offering a FREE Kids STEM Degree. Students click to watch 10 videos (3-5 minutes) for each level and complete a quiz (Google Form) at the end of each video where they will earn a code. Collect 10 codes and be eligible to earn a ‘degree’ from Purdue Science. This program can be completed individually by students, or together as a class. Topics include Phases of the moon, barcodes, gene therapy, soil erosion, and more!


February 9, 2023
Welcoming New Families: Kindergarten & Montessori

Ferndale Lower Elementary welcomed incoming Kindergartners and their families for our annual Open House on Thursday, February 9th. Parents learned about our exciting partners like Playworks, met teachers and staff, and saw pictures and videos of the new Lower Elementary Building opening in 2024.

Our Montessori Classroom also welcomed 14 new families to explore this unique program within our schools. Housed in the Upper Elementary building, this Lower Elementary (1st-3rd grade) classroom is a multi-level, collaborative learning environment. Learn more about our Montessori program 

Resident enrollment begins in March, and School of Choice enrollment for Oakland County residents is open April 1st–30th for 20 students.