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March 25th, 2019-State Reading Test Week

Hello Parents!
I hope you all had a good week, and have some fun plans ahead for this weekend!
I’m sending next week’s email a tad early, just to remind you that the majority of kids will begin their State Reading Test on Monday.  Then, we’ll give them a couple of days of normalcy, before we finish the test on Thursday.   We’ve been working towards this test all year, so hopefully the kids will shine during the exams next week!  I told them to simply get a good night’s rest before the test, eat a good breakfast and take the challenge head on!
In reading next week, we’ll learn about energy and natural resources through a variety of expository texts.  We’ll practice asking and answering comprehension questions, as well as cause and effect.  I do plan on having spelling this week, as we should have enough time to practice our words during the week.
In Math, we’ll begin Unit 6.  In this unit, the kids will practice a large variety of word problems.  We’ll also be reviewing a variety of concepts to help prepare the kids for the State Math Test in a couple of weeks.  In my Math class, I anticipate homework on the following nights.
Monday-Homework 6-1
Tuesday-Homework 6-2
Wednesday-None
Thursday-Homework 6-3
Friday-None
In Writing, we’ll practice a little spring poetry, and decorate our lockers with an acrostic rainbow poem.  We have had three kids move in the past couple of months, so I also plan on allowing the kids a little time to write letters to those kids that have moved.
Thanks for reading, and thanks so much for helping your child be ready and at their best Monday morning for the big test!
Eric Wachter

March 18th, 2019 – Unit 5 Math Test Week

Hello Families!

I hope you all had a restful Spring Break, and were able to do some fun things with your kids!  Personally, I’m glad it appears winter is over, and I’m ready to crank things up for the stretch run of the school year.

This week in Reading (Unit 5, Week 4), the kids will learn through a variety of biographical stories.  We’ll practice asking and answering questions and discuss an author’s point of view when telling a story.  The kids will have a spelling list this week, but the Literacy Homework has concluded.

In Math, the kids will spend the first few days of the week reviewing for the Unit 5 Test.  The kids will likely have homework on Monday and Tuesday in preparation, then we’ll take the test on Wednesday and Thursday.

In Writing, the kids will kid some typing practice, as they will type the Personal Essays they completed before break.  We’ll also practice some Spring poetry.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

March 4th, 2019 – Chicks, Fossils and Dr. Seuss!

Hello Families,

This week your child will enjoy a number of really fun activities in class!

First, our chicks will likely begin to hatch sometime around Monday and Tuesday.  Hopefully we’ll have a good hatch rate, and get some quality play time with the little cuties!  Your child is welcome to bring a camera to take pictures of the fun.  However, I will also take A LOT of pictures, and make them all available to you.

Second, it’s Dr. Seuss Week!  Below and attached to the weekly email you’ll see a list of the daily celebrations to celebrate his birthday.

Monday-Bring a Stuffed Animal

Tuesday-Wear Crazy Socks

Wednesday-Wacky Hair and Outfits

Thursday-Pajama Day

Friday-Bring Something to Share (that fits in your pocket!)

Third, we’ll complete a fossil dig on Friday afternoon.  The kids will excavate a fossil out of plaster of paris, just as a paleontologist would do from sand or rock!  The activity gets a little messy, so it would be wise to not wear the fanciest clothes that day.

In Reading, we’ll tackle expository texts this week.  The kids will learn about teamwork, and how rescue workers use teamwork to solve problems.  We will have spelling, as well as the last Literacy Homework assignment of the year.

In Math, the kids will continue to practice perimeter and area, and then move on to a review of fractions.  In my class, I’m hesitant to predict what evenings we’ll have homework.  The pacing guide has a couple of review days built it, so I’m going to play homework by ear, based on the review lessons.

Thanks for reading, and I hope your child enjoys this busy, busy, busy week!

Eric Wachter

February 25th, 2019 – Recycling and Inspiration Week

Good Morning Families,

I hope you’re staying warm and safe with all the snow from last weekend.  It took me twice as long to drive to school today, but I’m happy to be here and ready for a new week!

This week the kids will learn about the importance of recycling, reducing and reusing trash and household items.  As we learn about recycling, we’ll practice summarizing, point of view and homographs in our realistic fiction stories.  We are back to a full week, so we’ll have spelling and a literacy homework this week.

In Math, we’ll continue practicing perimeter and area.  The first few lessons are two days long, so I’m anticipating homework in my class on the following evenings.

Monday – Homework 5.2

Tuesday – None

Wednesday – Homework 5.3

Thursday – Homework 5.4

Friday – None

In Writing, the kids are in the process of writing their Personal Essays.  The topic is, “A Person I Admire.”  We will begin the rough draft this week, and will hopefully finish up the final draft before spring break.

On Friday, the kids will enjoy a special treat, as Arnold will be visited by a handful of student athletes from the University of Nebraska.  The event is known as the “School is Cool Jam,” and the athletes will discuss the importance of hard work and studying to help you accomplish your goals in life.  It’s always fun to see the athletes in person, and hopefully the kids will draw plenty of inspiration from their stories.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

February 19th, 2019 – Winter Bliss?

Good Morning Families!

I am thankful to start a new week that does not involve the massive Reading and Math tests your children took last week!  However, as much as I hoped for a little normalcy, it sure looks like we’ll be interrupted by snow again, tomorrow.  That being the case, I’m going to put a qualifier on this week’s spelling words.  If we don’t have a snow day…we’ll have a spelling list.  If we do have a snow day…we’ll cancel the list.  So, expect a list to come home tonight just to be safe, and then we’ll play it by ear with the weather.

We will have a literacy homework this week, however.  Our reading theme is week will focus on fairy tales, and what we can learn from them.  We’ll practice summarizing, point of view and root words in our practice.

In Math, we’ll change our focus to solving perimeter and area for the next few lessons.  We’ll learn ways to find perimeter and area in a variety of shapes, using different strategies.  The first three lessons will cover two days, so in my Math class I anticipate homework on the following nights.

Tuesday – No Homework

Wednesday – Homework 5-1

Thursday – No Homework

Friday – Homework 5-2

In writing, we’ll begin preparations for writing a Personal Essay about “A Person I Admire.”  And, in Science our eggs arrived last week for Embryology.  If all goes well, we’ll have 12 new little fuzzy classmates hatching around March 5th.

Thanks for reading and stay warm this week!

Eric Wachter

February 11th, 2019 – Test Week

Good Morning Families,

This week your children will take their unit tests in both Reading and Math.  On top of that, conferences are being held on Tuesday and Thursday evening.  On top of that, our eggs will be delivered on Tuesday for our Embryology Unit.  Oh, and on top of that, we’ll host our Valentine’s Day party on Thursday!  Not to mention the weather may play havoc with our week.  Busy, busy, busy!!!

Hopefully Mother Nature will leave us alone this week!  We will have no spelling due to the unit ending, but there will be a Literacy Homework assignment.  In my Math class, I anticipate two review homework assignments on Monday and Tuesday.  As for Valentine’s day, I posted a list of all the kids’ names on this web site.  I also included a list on the weekly email.  Cards, small store bought candies, pencils, erasers…little gifts like that are approved.  Please don’t bring in an Apple Pie for every student!  Ha!

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

Eric Wachter

February 4th, 2019 – Poetry Week

Good Morning Families,

This week the kids will learn their lessons with the help of both narrative and free verse poems.  We’ll also revisit all the different types of figurative language we’ve learned, including alliteration, idioms, imagery, metaphors, onomatopoeias and similes.  We will have a new spelling list this week, and the kids will have literacy homework, as well.

In Math class we’ll continue practicing telling time, and then end the week with some graphing lessons.  Our Unit 4 test is fast approaching, so we’ll do some review, as well.  I’m hesitant to predict homework lessons this week, as I’m going to have to condense some lessons due to the cold day.  I anticipate homework this evening, but the rest of the week we’ll just have to play it by ear.

In Writing, the kids had fun completing their “What Am I?” animal book pages last week.  A few kids got to share, and we’ll finish that project up early this week.  Soon we’ll begin our preparation for writing a Personal Essay.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

January 28th, 2019 – Flight Week

Hello Families!

This week, our Reading lessons will focus on the history of flying.  We’ll read several cool stories about flight, and hopefully gain an appreciation how flying has changed the world.  We will have spelling this week, as well as a Literacy Homework.

In Math class, we’ve switched our focus to telling time.  This can be a little tricky for some kids, especially learning elapsed time.  Any extra practice with telling time at home is helpful!  In my Math class, I anticipate homework on the following nights.

Monday – Homework 4-7

Tuesday – Homework 4-8

Wednesday – No Homework

Thursday – Homework 4-9

Friday – Homework 4-10

In Writing, we’re in the process of creating a classroom book called, “What Am I?”  The kids are completing research on an animal, and will create a book page describing that animal.  The idea is to give clues to the animal, and how it adapts to survive, without saying what the name of the animal.  Then, the class gets to guess the animal!  It’s always a fun process and hopefully something I can share with you at conferences.

In Health, we just completed a unit on fitness and healthy eating.  I’m hoping that your child has brought some of what they learned home with them, especially when buying food at a grocery store.  Several of our lessons focused on advertising, and reading the labels on foods.  If nothing else, I think the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle was impressed upon them!

Our Second Step curriculum has shifted to “Emotion Management.”  We’re learning ways to stay calm when life gets stressful, as it so often does.  This week’s lesson is about “Test Anxiety,” which is a real thing, even for third graders!  Hopefully the kids will learn some strategies to stay calm, and not worry about the result of a test.  The most important thing is the process and preparation before exams.  If we can learn to prepare properly, the test itself will not be so stressful!

Lastly, I will be gone from school on Monday, due to a meeting I’ve been mandated to attend.  There is nothing I hate more than missing school, but I’m sure the kids will do fine in my absence!  Thanks for reading, stay warm, and have a great week!

Mr. Wachter

January 23rd, 2019 – Winter Wonderland!

Good Morning Families!

I hope you are all staying warm and safe this week.  I have been holding off sending this weekly update because I wasn’t sure when we were staring this week!  Considering it’s another short week, I’m going to cut spelling and the weekly literacy homework assignment.  Three days just isn’t a fair amount of time to practice.  We’ll simply condense the weeks activities and make the best of the situation.

In Math class, we’ll switch gears to measurement for the next couple of lessons.  Last week the kids struggled to compare fractions, so I’m not entirely sure how far we’ll get this week with our lessons.  I want to review fractions, and keep pace with measurement, so we’ll see how it goes.  Because of that…I’m going to play it by ear with homework for the next couple of nights.  My guess is they will have an assignment on Thursday, but don’t hold me to it.  We’ll figure it out as we go!

That’s about all for this week.  Stay warm and safe out there!

Mr. Wachter

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