February 20th, 2018 – Conference Week

Good Morning Families!

This week is Spring Conference Week…yes I say Spring even thought it’s cold!  🙂  Attached to the email is the conference schedule, and you can also find it on the conference tab of the class web site.  I’m really looking forward to visiting with you, as I have so many great things to share about your amazing kids.

This week we’ll begin Unit 5 in Reading.  You can expect a spelling list and a reading homework to come home this evening.  We have also started Unit 5 in Math.  We’ll spend the week exploring geometry, and continue finding the perimeter and area of shapes.  You can expect a homework to come home on Wednesday and Thursday if your child is in my Math class.  We may have one Friday, but I’m not sure yet.

Wednesday is “Wacky Wednesday” at school.  The school has earned an amazing 30,000 coupons in all, and your child is welcome to wear wacky clothes or sport a silly hairstyle tomorrow.

Have a great week and I hope to see you at conferences!

Eric Wachter

February 12th, 2018 – Test Week

Good Morning Families!

This week, your child’s classroom will be taking their Unit 4 Reading and Math Tests.  The reading test is spaced out over three days, and the math test will take two days.  Because of all this testing, there will be no spelling words this week.  I’ve also decided give the kids a break and not assign a reading homework this week.  I think their little brains will be on overload enough, and they can use the week off!  🙂

You might have heard about our field trip last week to Morrill Hall.  We had a great time, and learned a lot about dinosaurs, fossils and what it’s like to be a paleontologist.  Thanks to all those parents that took time out of their day to join us on the trip!

I have taken A LOT of pictures from our Embryology Unit and the Morrill Hall trip.  I plan on sharing all of those with you via a link to Dropbox.  I just need to get them organized, and I hope to do that this week.

This week we will begin a new Health unit.  A guest teacher from the UNL Extension office will visit this week and next, and teach two lessons about exercise and proper diet.  We will also practice a number of lessons on our own to help promote healthy lifestyle choices.

Just a reminder, conferences are coming up next week.  Your child will be bringing home a conference time reminder sheet this week (probably Tuesday).  I’ll also attach it to the weekly email, and it’s posted on the class web page, as well.  I have so many great things to share about your kids and I’m looking forward to next week!

Thanks for reading, stay warm, and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

February 5th, 2018 – Morrill Hall Week

Good Morning Families!

This week we will do our best to return to normalcy, as our little chickadee friends have returned to the farm.  We had a great week enjoying them, and your kids were amazing!  Everyone shared time playing with the chicks, took turns, had fun…it was very heartwarming to see everyone enjoying the special week.  When I get organized, I will send you all a Dropbox link that has all the photographs I took during the week.

We are finishing up Unit 4, and will tackle the skills in week 5 this week.  You can expect a literacy homework and spelling list to come home this evening.  A big focus of the week will be figurative language.  We’ll practice alliterations, idioms, metaphors, onomatopoeias, similes and imagery over the course of the week (and into next week).

In Math, we’ll switch our focus to various types of graphs.  It’s hard for me to predict what nights we’ll have homework, as I’m squeezing a couple of lessons together due to the snow days.  My Math class will not have homework Monday, and will likely have an assignment on Tuesday.  The rest of the week we’ll play by ear.  By the end of the week we’ll begin reviewing fractions and telling time in preparation for our Unit 4 Math Test next week.

While most of the week will seem normal, our first field trip of the year is upon us!  On Thursday, the kids will get to tour Morrill Hall during the morning, and become paleontologists for a day.  You are more than welcome to join us, but unfortunately there is a $7 fee for any parents that want to attend.  You can click on the “events” tab of the web site, or read the attached note to the weekly email for more details about the trip.

Thanks for reading and for all you do to help your child succeed in school!

Eric Wachter

January 29th, 2018 – Chick Week!

Good Morning Families,

It will be an exciting week in room 702, as our chickadees are due to hatch on Wednesday.  Hopefully all 12 of the little ones hatch!  It’s always the most memorable thing about third grade, and I’m so happy your kids get to have this experience.

We are cruising right through Unit 4 in reading, and will begin week 4 today.  You can expect a spelling list and reading homework to come home this evening.  The essential question of the week is, “How are people able to fly?”  We’ll enjoy several stories and a couple of videos about the history of flight.  Pretty cool stuff!

In Math, we will continue to practice telling time.  The lessons were a little hit and miss last week, so I hesitate to guess what days we’ll have homework this week.  My class will definitely have an assignment tonight.  The rest of the week we’ll play it by ear.

Lastly, your child will also bring home a note regarding our upcoming field trip to Morrill Hall.  The trip will be on February 8th, from 9:00 to 12:00.  The note includes all the details, including that parents are welcome to join us!  But, unfortunately there is a $7 fee per adult, should you choose to accompany us.

Thanks for reading and for all you do to help your child succeed in school!

Eric Wachter

 

January 23rd, 2018 – Egg Candling Success!

Hello Families!

My apologies for not sending out this week’s email sooner.  We had no internet connection at school for much of the morning, and I’m only just now getting caught up for the day.  I hope you all stayed toasty warm yesterday, and were able to stay off the roads as much as possible.  I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring!

Last week we had great success candling our eggs!  All 12 of our eggs were developing properly, which is very rare, particularly in the winter!  But, as they say, we can’t count our chickens before they hatch.  Hopefully all 12 will hatch around January 31st, and we’ll have some new classmates for a couple of days.

This week is Unit 4, Week 3 in reading, and the kids should have brought home a spelling list today.  We will also have reading homework, and that assignment hopefully came home today, as well.

In Math, we’re switching over to measurement and telling time for the next several lessons.  My Math class had homework today (Homework 4-5), and I think we will have homework each night this week (Homeworks 4-6, 4-7 and 4-8).  However, that will depend on how each lesson goes, and whether or not I think they “got it” that day.  If I think they are struggling, we might have to bump a homework until the next day.

Well, stay warm and have a great rest of the week!

Eric Wachter

January 17th, 2018 – Staying Warm?

Good Morning Families,

I hope you’re all staying toasty warm this week!  I’m still in a bit of shock we had a “cold” day yesterday, but I suppose it is always better to be safe when it comes to extreme weather.  I’m glad we’re back today, as the kids have many fun things to work on this week!

Due to the short week, don’t expect a spelling list to come home today.  Three days is a pretty quick turnaround to learn a new list of words.  We’ll practice the skills and do some activities, but I’d rather use Friday morning to make up a lesson from the cold day, rather than squeeze in a spelling test.

We will have a Reading Homework this week, but I will count it as a “bonus” assignment and offer the kids a reward it they bring it back by Friday.  I considered skipping it, but the story is about Martin Luther King, Jr., and I’d hate for the kids to miss out learning about Dr. King and his life.

On Thursday, the workers from the UNL Extension Office will return to class and “candle” our classroom eggs.  That simply means they will shine a high powered light against the eggs to check their development.  Hopefully all twelve are growing properly, and your child will have exciting news to report that evening.

In Math we’ll keep practicing fractions this week.  You can expect a homework assignment from my class tonight, and perhaps on Friday.  We’ll play that day by ear as we try and get caught up from the missed day.

Keep warm and have a great rest of the week!

Eric Wachter

January 8th, 2018 – Happy New Year!

Good Morning Families!

I hope your new year is off to a great start!  I had a nice break, but I’m really ready to crank things up again.  I missed your kids terribly!  Seeing them walk in the room this morning really warmed my heart.

We will begin Unit 4 in both Math and Reading this week.  You can expect a spelling list to come home each Monday for the next five weeks.  We’ll also have Reading homework this week and each week during the entire 3rd quarter.

This week we will also start our Embryology unit in Science.  On Wednesday, we’ll have a dozen chicken eggs delivered and placed in our incubator.  Over the next three weeks we’ll learn all about how to care for them and help them develop into adorable little baby chicks!  If all goes well, they will hatch around January 31st or February 1st.  This is often the most memorable part of third grade and I’m so excited your child gets to partake this in this life cycle study!

One other item of note…you may hear your child discussing a change in his/her Reading or Math grouping.  This is very typical, and nothing that should alarm you as a parent.  The halfway point of the year is a time we often reevaluate groups and make a few changes to make sure your child is in an optimal place to learn.  If I have any major concerns or questions I will contact you, but don’t worry if your child’s grouping changes in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

December 18th, 2017 – Merry Test Week!

Good Morning Families,

This week your child’s class will be finishing up a number of things to conclude the semester.  In Reading, we’ll take our Unit 3 Test.  In Math, we’ll also take our Unit 3 Test.  Lastly, in Writing the kids will be finishing up their research reports.  Basically, we’ll be putting the finishing touches on a lot of hard work!

Due to the exams, there will be no spelling list this week.  They will bring home a weekly reading homework this week, and I know my Math class will have a review homework today.  But, for the most part you can expect few assignments coming home due to all the testing.

I hope you all have a great week!

Eric Wachter

December 11th, 2017 – Feeling Thankful!

Good Morning Families,

This week your kids will wrap up Unit 3 in Wonders Reading (our reading program).  Normally each unit is six weeks long, but the calendar didn’t allow for that this year.  Therefore we combined weeks 3 and 4 last week, and this week will be week 5 in Wonders.  You can expect to see a spelling list and literacy homework come home with your child this evening.

In Math, we’re nearing the end of Unit 3, as well.  This week the kids will practice multi-step story problems, as well as explore larger numbers into the hundred thousands.

Lastly, our class received a new, wall-mounted document projector from LPS.  And, a couple of weeks ago we had a new audio system installed in the classroom, complete with four speakers in the ceiling.  I can’t express how great these additions have been!  Now, I can configure the class seats in a much more effective way, as I don’t have to dance around the annoying cart in the middle of the room!  The audio system has been a blessing, too!  I can truly reach more kids, more effectively during lessons and I barely have to raise my voice to make sure I’m heard.  I feel so thankful that LPS has committed funds to enhance our technology, and I am positive your children will benefit greatly from these new additions!

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

December 4th, 2017 – Character Counts!

Good Morning Families!

This week your child’s class will continue its march towards the end of the 2nd quarter.  We are in Unit 3, Week 3 of reading, which means your child will have a spelling list this week.  He/she will also have a Literacy Homework assignment coming home today.  Most kids are doing a great job returning those weekly assignments by Friday!  Thanks for your help at home in making sure they get done and turned in on time.

In Math we are still practicing addition and subtraction.  We delved into subtraction across zeros last week, which can always be challenging.  We also practiced several different strategies to solve problems.  Please know your child can use any strategy he/she chooses on their homework assignments.  As I tell the kids, we’re all trying to get to the same island when it comes to solving Math problems.  I don’t care if you swim, surf, boat or fly to that island…just get there!  🙂

Lastly, your child will have a “Bonus” homework assignment this week.  The 3rd graders are going to spend the next two weeks rotating from teacher to teacher at the end of the day to review the Six Pillars of Character.  In my room, I will review Citizenship.  I have a bonus homework assignment challenge that your child can choose to accept.  If they accept the challenge, they simply have to record good deeds they do at school, home and towards their friends.  So, if you see your child cleaning up their bedroom or taking out the trash without prompting, you can thank me later!  Ha!  🙂

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter