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January 14th, 2019 – MAP Testing Week

Hello Families!

This week your child will take their winter Map Test in both reading and math.  They took this exam in the fall, and now we’ll be able to see growth and progress with the winter edition.  The test is not based on things the kids have learned, but rather gives a general picture of their strengths and abilities.  The reading portion will take place on Tuesday and Thursday from 10:30 to 11:30.  Math will take place on Wednesday and Friday from 1:15 to 2:15.

In Reading this week, the kids will learn their lessons through a number of realistic fiction stories.  We’ll practice the strategy of Asking and Answering questions, as well as talk about Point of View and prefixes.  Due to the MAP test, we will practice spelling words, but we will not have a test this week.  Losing two days of instruction makes it hard to practice properly.  We will have a weekly Literacy Homework assignment, however.

In Math, we’ll continue to practice fractions.  I’ve been very pleased with the work my math class has done so far!  Fractions are such a tricky concept, and I’m proud of what they have shown.  You can expect homework in my class on the following nights.

Monday-Homework 4.3

Tuesday-Homework 4.4

Wednesday-No Homework

Thursday-Homework 4.5

Friday-No Homework

In Writing Class, we’ll continue to practice some winter poetry.  Most kids finished their Cinquain snow-globe poems last week, and they are now on display on their lockers.  They are so cool!  This week we’ll practice more poetry by writing some acrostic poems to decorate our classroom.

In Health, the kids will spend the next couple of weeks learning about proper diet, and learn exercises to stay healthy.  Our Second Step curriculum will begin to focus on strategies to handle our emotions, and how to calm down if you’re upset.  There is a home lesson attached to the weekly email.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

January 7th, 2019 – Welcome Back!

Hello Families!

Happy New Year!  I’m so glad to be back at school, and ready for the 2nd semester to begin!

This week, the kids will begin Unit 4 in both Reading and Math.  In Reading, we’ll learn our lessons by reading various folktales.  We’ll practice the strategies of “Asking and Answering Questions,” as well as focusing on point of view as we read.  The kids will have reading homework, as well as a new spelling list.

In Math, we’ll begin Unit 4 by learning about fractions.  The kids completed an Intervention with fractions a few weeks ago, so hopefully that background knowledge will help as they learn some new concepts.  The first few lessons are two day lessons, so there won’t be homework every night.  In my Math class you can expect homework on the following nights.

Monday – No Homework

Tuesday – Homework 4-1

Wednesday – No Homework

Thursday – Homework 4-2

Friday – No Homework

In writing, we’ll begin the semester by working on Cinquain poetry.  By the end of the week, we’ll hopefully have created some Cinquain Snow Globe poetry that will be displayed on their lockers.

Our Second Step lesson this week will wrap up the Bullying Unit from December.  We’ll also begin a series of Health lessons that will focus on exercise and eating a healthy diet.

Thanks for reading, and have a good week!

Eric Wachter

December 17th, 2018 – Unit Test Week!

Good Morning Families,

This week, your children will take their Unit 3 Reading and Math Tests.  We’ve spent a fair amount of time reviewing for these exams, and I’m confident they will do well on both tests!

Due to the Reading test, we will not have a spelling list this week.  They will have a Literacy Homework assignment, however.  My Math class will not have any homework this week due to the exam.

Arnold School has reached their next 10,000 Blue Coupon Challenge!  On Thursday, your child is encouraged to celebrate by wearing some crazy socks!

It is my honor to be your child’s teacher, and I’m so thankful the year is only half over!  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and find time to celebrate your blessings with friends and family.

Warmest Regards,

Eric Wachter


December 10th, 2018 – Test Prep Week

Hello Families!

This week your child will wrap up Unit 3 in both Reading and Math.  We’ll practice a few more skills this week, before beginning some test review lessons towards the end of the week.

In Reading, our lessons this week will center on history, and specifically the Transcontinental Railroad.  We’ll read several stories about the railroad and how it changed American forever.  You can expect a spelling list and Literacy homework assignment to come home Monday.

In Math, we’ll continue practicing addition and subtraction, as well as practice place value through hundred thousands.  We’ll end the week with a couple of review lessons to prepare for the Unit 3 Test.  In my Math class, you can expect to see homework on the following nights.

Monday – Homework 3-18

Tuesday – No Homework

Wednesday – Homework 3-19

Thursday – Test Review Homework I

Friday – Test Review Homework II

In Writing, we’ll begin the final draft of our dinosaur research reports.  The kids have worked extremely hard so far, and I’m excited to see their finished products!

The kids will also hear the third lesson of our anti-bullying lessons this week.  The topic will be “Refusing Bullying,” and what to do when you witness bullying.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

December 3rd, 2018 – The Home Stretch!

Hello Families!

Hard to believe we are in the home stretch of quarter two and first semester.  We have much to do in the next three weeks, but I’m sure time will fly by on our way to Winter Break.

This week, we will combine the skills for Unit 3, Weeks 3 and 4.  We’ll practice summarizing and finding the main idea in a number of cool stories about outer space.  Our spelling words will come from week 3, and you can expect a practice list to come home on Monday.  The kids will also have a Literacy Homework assignment coming home Monday, as well.  Please remind the kiddos they need to return that assignment by Friday in order to earn their bonus recess at the end of the day.

In Math, we’ll continue to practice subtraction, and sprinkle in some review of addition.  In my Math class, you can expect these homework assignments to come home during the week.  Of course, these are subject to change if a lesson doesn’t go well, or I think we need more time to practice.

Monday-Homework 3-13

Tuesday-Homework 3-14

Wednesday-Homework 3-15

Thursday-Homework 3-16

Friday-No Homework

In Writing, the kids finally began to write their rough drafts for their dinosaur research last week.  I anticipate we’ll begin the final draft towards the end of the week this week.

Lastly, the kids will hear the second lesson of our “Anti-Bullying” unit in the Second Step lessons.  This week, the lesson focuses on how to report bullying when you witness it, or are the focus of bullying.  There is a home practice page attached to the weekly email if you wanted to have a follow up discussion at home.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

November 27th, 2018 – Happy Snow Day?

Hello Families!

I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving break, and are ready to send your kids back to school.  I’m still shocked we had a snow day today.  I hope it’s not a sign of a long winter!

This week, we’ll continue week 2 of our third reading unit of the year.  Our stories this week will feature Abraham Lincoln, and the positive impact he made on society.  We’ll practice visualization, cause and effect and idioms, among other skills.  The kids will have a spelling list this week, as well as a reading homework assignment.

In Math, we’ll switch our focus from addition to subtraction by the end of the week.  The third grade had an Intervention session with subtraction earlier in the year, so hopefully this will be a nice review of what they have already practiced.  In my Math class, I anticipate homework on the following evenings.

Tuesday-Homework 3-10

Wednesday-Homework 3-11

Thursday- No Homework

Friday-Homework 3-12

In Writing, we’re in the homestretch of our research reports.  This week my class will write their rough drafts, and possibly begin their final drafts.

Our Second Step curriculum shifts to a series of anti-bullying lessons starting this week.  I’m excited to talk about this subject with the kids, and reinforce how to prevent bullying at school and home.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

November 19th, 2018 – Pajamas, Turkeys and Book Orders!

Hello Families!

This week, the kids will begin Unit 3, Week 2 in reading.  We will have a spelling list, but I’ll save those words until we return from Thanksgiving break.  This week we’ll practice a few skills, but save the bulk of week 2 work for when we return.

In Math, we’ll review rounding, and continue to practice addition with larger numbers.  I’m really proud of how the kids have grasped rounding so far, as it’s traditionally a tricky concept.  We’ll likely have a homework assignment Monday evening, but not on Tuesday.  I think they deserve a nice long break!  🙂

In Writing, we will continue to process of writing a research report.  Most kids have either started their rough draft or will do so soon.  It’s always neat to see their hard work come together in a report!

The kids will bring home a book order form tonight.  There are several forms to look over, if you’re interested.  Or, you can also order online with the provided class code.  There are some really good deals to choose from, and any purchases help me buy more books for the class.  The forms and orders are due on November 27th.

Just a reminder, tomorrow is “Pajama Day” at school.  The kids are welcome to wear their PJs for earning another 10,000 blue coupons!  If you child does partake, please don’t send them with slippers.  Those don’t work too well on the playground.  🙂

I hope you all have a great break, and get some time to enjoy your family and friends.  I am so thankful to be your child’s teacher, and I wish all of you a great holiday.

Thanks for reading!

Eric Wachter

November 12th, 2018 – Reading Unit 3 and Literacy Homework Begins

Hello Families!

I hope you didn’t freeze this weekend, as winter made itself known!  Brrrrr!

This week the kids will begin Unit 3 in Reading.  We will practice visualization, problem solving and synonyms, in a number of folktale stories this week.  You can expect a spelling list for unit 3, week 1 to come this evening.

You can also expect the first literacy homework assignment to come home Monday.  The kids practiced how to do this assignment last week, and they should be able to complete most of it independently.  However, there are five 1-minute fluency reads, and your child will need someone to time them as they read.  This assignment isn’t due until Friday, but your child is welcome to bring it back to school before Friday, if finished.  If your child loses their paper, you can find an extra copy under the Homework tab of our class web site.

In Math, we’ll begin to practice rounding numbers.  This is traditionally a hard concept, so I’m going to be cautious about assigning homework.  Later in the week, the kids will begin reviewing addition.  If the lessons go according to plan, you can expect assignments coming home on the following nights.

Monday-Homework 3-5

Tuesday-Homework 3-6

Wednesday-Homework 3-7 (This lesson may get bumped to Thursday, depending on the rounding lessons)

Thursday-Homework 3-8

Friday-Homework 3-9

In Writing, we’re continuing the research process, and will likely finish up our notes this week.  Next up will be a rough draft, followed by a final draft.  Our Second Step lesson this week is about Making Friends, and obviously the kids will learn some strategies to make and keep friends.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

November 5th, 2018 – Unit 2 Reading Test Week

Good Day Families!

This week your child will take their reading Unit 2 Test.  We’ll spread the test out over a few days so it’s not so overwhelming.  There will be no new curriculum this week, so the kids will have a break from spelling to focus on the test.

In Math, we’ll begin Unit 3.  This week, the kids will learn about place value, and begin to round numbers.  Rounding can be a very difficult concept for some kids, so completing nightly review homework will be extra important.  I anticipate my Math class will have homework on the following nights.

Monday – Unit 2 Reteach/No Homework

Tuesday – Homework 3-1

Wednesday – Homework 3-2

Thursday – Homework 3-3

Friday – Homework 3-4

In writing class, we’ve begun the process of writing a research report on a dinosaur.  The kids are learning how to take notes from a text, as well as searching online.  We’ll continue this process for the next week or so, as we gather information.

This week’s Second Step lesson is called “Showing Compassion.”  We’ll learn what that means, and practice how to show compassion for our friends.  Attached to the weekly email is the home activity sheet for that lesson, should you choose to discuss the lesson at home.

This week also begins a canned food drive for Thanksgiving.  Your child is welcome to bring canned food or non-perishable items to school any day this week, should you choose to donate.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

October 29th, 2018 – Unit 2 Math Test Week

Hello Families,

This week your kids will wrap up Unit 2 in Math, and take their unit test at the end of the week.  My math class will spend a few days reviewing concepts, and will likely have homework only on the following nights.

Monday – Review Homework 2.1

Tuesday – Review Homework 2.2 and 2.3

Wednesday – Go Trick or Treating…No Homework!  🙂

Thursday – Unit 2 Test (No Homework)

Friday – Unit 2 Test (No Homework)

In Reading, we’re nearly done with Unit 2.  We’ll complete week 5 this week, and then take our reading Unit 2 Test next week.  We’ll practice different types of poetry this week, as well as explore point of view.  We’ll also revisit similes.  You can expect a spelling list to come home Monday evening.

The kids finally completed their U.S. Flag mural last week.  A picture has been added to the web site under the photos tab, as well as added to the weekly email.  Stop by and take a look at it the next time you’re at school.  It really looks cool!

Last week, we had an amazing set of lessons celebrating Red Ribbon Week.  I was so proud of the kids and their commitment to lead a healthy lifestyle and stay drug free!  This week, we’ll resume our weekly Second Step lessons.  Monday’s lesson focuses on accepting differences among others.  A very timely lesson in light of the weekend’s tragedy, I must say.  I recently learned of a parent hand-out that accompanies our regular Second Step lessons.  I will effort to attach them to our weekly emails, if you should choose to partake in a home activity based on the lesson.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter