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Yearly Archives: 2020
Hard to believe October is here! The school year is moving right along, and I guess it’s time for sweaters and jackets!
This week, the kids will begin Unit 2 in reading. We’ll learn from a variety of folktales this week, and will practice making predictions, theme and antonyms. Spelling will resume, and you can expect a list to come home Monday evening.
We had a successful trial run taking our last spelling test on Google Forms. I think it will be a great resource in the future, in case we ever go to full remote schedules. However, it was very difficult to fit in two tests during that 30-minute window, and I felt like I was rushing the kids. I also like to be able to send the results home, and wasn’t able to do so with a digital test. So, I think we’ll go back to paper and pencil tests for the foreseeable future. We may give it another go later in the year, but I’ll let you know if we make that change.
The kids began Unit 2 in math last Thursday. This week, we’ll continue to explore multiplication and division strategies. Specifically, we’ll practice 8s and 7s by the end of the week. I anticipate homework on the following nights.
Monday – Homework 2-2
Tuesday – Homework 2-3
Wednesday – No Homework
Thursday – Homework 2-4
Friday – Homework 2-5
I’m trying a new format for the Zoom-In schedules this week. I think it looks “cleaner” and will be easier to follow. I hope it helps your child understand what lies ahead each day.
I still have a number of kids bringing items from home that should not be at school. Pokémon cards, candy to give out, balloons, quarters, stuffed animals, etc. I love all those things too, but they get in the way of our learning. If you could prevent your child from bringing items like this, I would really appreciate it.
Thanks for reading and have a great week!
I hope you had a nice weekend, and your child is ready for a new week of school!
Reading and Math
This week, the kids will take unit 1 tests in both reading and math. In an effort to not overwhelm them, we’ll take the math test over two days on Monday and Tuesday. Then, we’ll spread the reading test out over Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
We won’t have a spelling list this week, and I don’t anticipate any math homework with the exception of Thursday evening (Homework 2-1). Hopefully this will help the kids stay focused and fresh for the tests.
We have completed practicing the cursive alphabet, and now will switch our focus to a research project. We’ll learn how to access information online, practice taking notes and write a report as we research Benjamin Franklin during the next two weeks.
Thanks so much for reading and have a great week!
I hope you all had a great weekend! Personally, I was glued to the couch watching golf and football. So nice to have some live sports back!
This week is Unit 1, Week 5 in reading. We’ll spend the week learning about expository texts while reading about famous landmarks and monuments throughout the United States. We’ll practice asking and answering questions, as well as finding the main idea of a text. We’ll also practice correcting run-on sentences, as well as learn about multiple meaning words. You can expect a practice spelling list to come home Monday, and our weekly test will be on Friday.
This Friday (I think!), I’m going to attempt a digital form of the spelling test. I will say the words as always, but the kids will type them into a Google Form document, rather than write them. I think this will be helpful for the Zoom-In learners, as they can take and submit their test all at the same time. I’m crossing my fingers we never go to all remote learning, but in case we do, I think it will be helpful for all the kids to know how to do this method. The nice thing is, the kids will receive an immediate score. The drawback is they don’t have a physical test to bring home. Please feel free to email me if you want to know their exact score for the week. Like I said…I think I’m going to give it a try this week and see how it goes!
In math class, we’ll wrap up our lesson for Unit 1 by mid-week. Then, we’ll spend a couple days reviewing at the end of the week. Our unit test will be the following week. I expect to have homework each night next week, as we prepare for that test. That is, of course, unless we don’t finish a lesson and get to homework, as was the case Friday.
Monday – Homework 1-15 or 1-16
Tuesday – Homework 1-17
Wednesday – Homework 1-18
Thursday – Review 1.1
Friday – Review 1.2 and 1.3
In writing, the kids have been learning their capital cursive letters, as well as reviewing their lowercase letters. I’ve been really impressed with their work so far! Some kids actually have better cursive than manuscript, I think. Ha!
I have tweaked the minutes for our daily schedule, to allow for a little smoother transition between subjects in the afternoon. Please look at the attachments to see the exact times, but I basically bumped the start of independent work to 1:45, and the start of writing to 2:50. This should ease the stress trying to stay on schedule in the afternoon.
Thank you so much for returning any papers, work, spelling, homework, etc, that your child is working on. It really helps me to formulate a grade for them based on their work. I’ll say again, if they write on it…return it! I’d love to look at anything they are doing.
Thanks so much for reading and have a great week!
Class Web Site: Mr. Wachter’s Class
I hope this note finds you enjoying the weekend, and you and your children recharge for a new week of school.
This week (Unit 1, Week 4), the kids will read a variety of biographies about inventors. We’ll practice asking and answering questions, cause and effect and metaphors. We’ll also learn about predicates, as last week we learned about sentence subjects. You can expect a spelling list to come home Monday, and our test will be on Friday.
In math, we’ll continue our study of multiplication and division. So far, we’ve practiced 5s, 2s, 9s, 3s and 4s. At the end of the week, we’ll explore the Zero Property and the Property of One, as we learn about 1s and 0s. Our lesson ran long Friday, and we didn’t get to the homework assignment. So I think…think…homework will look like this for the week.
Monday – Homework 1-12 or 1-13
Tuesday – No Homework
Wednesday – Homework 1-14
Thursday – No Homework
Friday – Homework 1-15
Thanks so much for those of you picking up and returning work from home. I know it’s hard to discern which items are needed when, so hopefully the packets were helpful last week. They are arranged that way again this week. I think next week I’ll attempt to bundle each day of math together to make things even easier.
A good rule of thumb is, if we work on something in a lesson…turn it in. Not just homework, but practice pages in math, any practice pages during reading lessons, spelling tests, etc. If they write on it…turn it in. That will really help me get an idea as to how they are comprehending the lessons.
I’ve noticed a lot of toys, trinkets and trading cards coming from home. As I tell the kids, I love those things too, but they need to stay at home. Thanks for helping remind your child not to bring anything non-school related to school.
Just a reminder that kids are welcome to bring their own personal headphones from home for use with their Chromebooks. The ear buds I provide do not last long, sadly, and often don’t fit tiny ears very well. So, if your child has a favorite pair, please feel free to bring those to school.
Thanks for reading, and have a great week!
This week the in-class kids will take their fall Reading MAP Test. Kids are generally fresher in the morning, so we will flip-flop Math and Word Work/Independent Work on Tuesday and Thursday of this week. If you’re a Zoom-In family, your child will not have to Zoom in at that time. Please make note of those adjusted times on the attaches Zoom-In schedules
In reading, the kids will have a few abbreviated lessons this week focusing on narrative non-fiction texts, and will practice asking and answering questions, sequencing and compound words.
In math, the kids will continue exploring multiplication and division strategies. We’ll explore 3s and 4s, and learn how to find the area of shapes. I anticipate homework on the following nights.
I did my best to “streamline” your take home kits this week into two main piles: reading and math. With the MAP test this week, we will likely not get to all of the activities included, but I’m trying to over-prepare, in case we have time. At the end of the week, simply turn in anything that is completed, and keep all items that are incomplete. We may get to those another day.
Another slight adjustment is having the kids come back from lunch and recess at 1:15, rather than 1:20. That five minutes will allow me to fit in a lesson easier before Independent Work.
I think that’s all for this week! Thanks again for your patience as I learn to navigate in-class and Zoom-In teaching. I would rate myself about a C+ right now, so there is lots of room for improvement! I truly appreciate helping you recreate the school experience at home, and help them make the most of their learning.
Thanks for reading and have a great week!
I hope you are doing well, and got a chance to enjoy the nice weather this weekend! I’m really looking forward to school this week, as three more Zoomers are joining the class. I’m looking forward to “officially” meeting them!
This week is Unit 1, Week 2 in reading. We’ll practice sequencing, visualization and context clues through a variety of realistic fiction stories. We’ll also take a practice test at the end of the week to get the kids acclimated to taking a test on a computer. The kids will have a spelling list come home on Monday, and we’ll have our weekly test on Friday.
In math class, we’ll continue to build fluency with 2s and 5s in both multiplication and division. We’ll also explore 9s and 10s later in the week. I anticipate we’ll have homework on the following evenings. However, if things don’t go well during a lesson, this schedule may be adjusted.
Thank you so much for helping your child become a successful remote learner! I know this is hard task, but I feel like things are continuing to improve. If you haven’t heard, the weekly pick-up dates have changed. The next pick-up day will be Friday, September 4th, and will be every Friday going forward.
As stated before, please don’t allow your child to work ahead on any assignments. There are more papers in their kits than we will likely get to during the week. Simply have them turn in any work they complete, and save any unfinished papers for potential future use.
Remote Learners Resources
I hope you have had a chance to explore our class web page! If you have, you probably saw there are lots of handy resources. For example, spelling lists are posted, should you ever need one. There is also a tab for Remote Learning. There, you will see weekly schedules, as well as a new tab called “Chromebook Tips.” The kids access a number of different resources each day, and that tab lists several different “How To” pages to help them! These are especially handy if you’re at home trying to help your child access one of the resources.
Well, thanks for reading, and thanks for helping this year go as smoothly as possible, so far. I have great faith in things working their way back to normal, and this “new normal” becoming more and more comfortable for everyone.
Have a great week!
Wow…that was an interesting week! As worried as I was about meshing in-class and Zoom-in learners, I think everything went about as well as it could have gone. I hope everyone at home felt included, as I think I got progressively better at making connections at home as the week went on. I have also enjoyed getting to know the in-class kids, too. Hard to believe, but week three is already here!
Reading and Spelling
This week we will begin our regular curriculum in reading with Unit 1, Week 1. Our stories this week will focus on visualization and character traits, as we read a variety of fantasy stories. We’ll also practice synonyms, and continue writing proper sentences. We’ll also start spelling this week. Your child should bring home a spelling list with them on Monday, and we’ll have our test on Friday.
Zoom-in learners will have two lists in their weekly packets. The blue list is an “On-Level” list, and the green list is a “Beyond Level” challenge list. Please have your child look over both, and make a decision as to which list he/she would like to try this week. Eventually, I may assign a list to each student, but for now they can choose their list.
In math class, we’ll continue exploring multiplication and begin to explore division. The kids did an awesome job last week learning their 5s multiplications, and this week we’ll explore 2s. The first handful of lessons in Unit 1 are two-day lessons, which means the kids will have homework after day two of a lesson. This week I anticipate homework on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.
On PLC days, Zoom-In kids will not rejoin class remotely after lunch. The reason being, we’ll end our PLC days doing Interventions and Guided Reading, which they would not have rejoined us for on a regular day. Instead, they will have a couple of assignments posted in their Google Classroom to work on independently.
Hopefully you can pick up the Zoom-in kits for your child fairly early on Monday, as there are a few items they may need during school tomorrow. However, we can make adjustments if necessary. You will likely find many more items in their kits than we might even get to in the next week or two. I really made an effort to over plan and over supply those kids with potential work items. Please just hang on to the unused items for future lessons. Not going head is also important, as many items in their kits are layered for different, future lessons. Lastly, please turn in any assignments your child worked on when you pick up your new materials.
I guess that’s about it for this week’s update. I hope you are all doing well, and make an effort to stay cool this week, as I hear it’s going to be a hot one!
I hope you all had a nice weekend, and your children are ready to start a new week of school!
This week, we will continue to ease our way into the school year with more “get to know you” activities and procedural lessons. It will be VERY interesting seeing how all of this meshes with in-class and out-of-class learners being together for the first time this week.
Please, please, please be patient with me as I learn this process. There will no doubt user errors, connections problems, glitches, etc. But, we will figure it out! 🙂
Below are a couple of links that will hopefully help you and your child navigate the week.
If your child is a Zoom-In learner, I can’t wait to see them! The link below is a general framework for the weekly schedule. If your child has an extra class like speech or ELL, I will likely put a separate link for their schedule here, as well.
Tomorrow morning at 9:00, have your child follow these steps (also provided at the top of their schedule) to begin the day…
1) Go to Portal
2) Click on StudentVUE
3) Click “Join” button for Mr. Wachter’s class meeting
From there, I will admit them to class. It’s that simple! Okay, famous last words. But it should be simple. Ha! Again, we’ll figure this out as we go!
I think that’s it for now. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions. Thanks for reading and have a great week!
Thanks for stopping by your chid’s class web page! Please take a tour, click on the tabs, and see what resources this site has to offer. I will do my best to update the site weekly throughout the year, so you might consider bookmarking it for quick reference.
Enjoy the last few days of summer, and I look forward to seeing your kids next week!
Hard to believe the school year has drawn to a close. What a crazy year it’s been! I think it’s safe to say we will never forget this year. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your amazing effort during the year, especially during the quarantine! It has been an experience I will never forget, and something I don’t think we could have gotten through without each other! Let’s hope and pray things are back to normal in the fall, so we can get back to the fun of regular school!
Schools Days Portfolio
Thank you very much for helping your child finish up the three bonus “School Days…” portfolio assignments in their Google Classroom. These are three great keepsake items I will print and add to their portfolio. The kids’ Google Classrooms will not be available for long, as they get archived for the summer, so thanks for sensing the urgency to get those completed. I wish I could give the kids their portfolios today, but rest assured they will each get theirs when school resumes!
School Days Music Videos
The following links are to the videos the kids and I watched today at our final Zoom Class Meeting. You should be able to watch them anytime using the links. You can also download them, and save them forever. I hope you choose to do so, so the kids can keep the memories of this year alive forever. I’m also planning on having a DVD or flash drive (hopefully) of videos for each child when school resumes. In the meantime, please watch and enjoy each video again with your child, and remember all the good times from third grade!
Please let me know if you have trouble opening or downloading these videos!
Thank you again for giving me the honor to be your child’s teacher this year. It has been my privilege, and an experience I will never forget. Stay safe, stay healthy, have a great summer, and I CAN’T WAIT to see your children again in the fall!