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September 24th, 2018 – Testing Week!

Good Day Families!

This week, your poor, poor children will get tested to death!  🙂  In reading, we’ll take our Unit 1 Test, which we will spread out over 2-3 days, so it’s not so overwhelming.  Because it’s a Unit Test week, there will be no spelling words this week.

In Math, we will also take the Unit 1 Test.  We will also spread this out over 2 days, and maybe a third day in case kids didn’t get finished.  This is the only “official” grade the kids will have for Math in quarter 1.  Therefore, 1s and 2s might be a common score on report cards.  Don’t panic if you see one of those grades, knowing this is the only grade your child has been given at this point.  With practice and hard work, grades will get evened out during the course of the year as we take more assessments.  Due to all the testing, I’m only anticipating one new homework assignment this week.

Monday – Unit 1 Test

Tuesday – Unit 1 Test

Wednesday – Unit 1 Test/Reteach

Thursday – Homework 2-1

Friday – No Homework

Conferences are coming up on October 2nd and 4th.  I’ve attached a conference schedule to the weekly email, and will post it on the web site, as well.  Most of you signed up at Back to School Night, but there were a few names I didn’t see.  Therefore I slotted you into one of the few openings I had.  Hopefully the times work for everyone!

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

September 17th, 2018 – Constitution Week

Good Morning Families!

This week the kids will celebrate “Constitution Day” by learning about the United States Constitution, and learn how our country came into existence.  Our reading theme for the week matches perfectly, as the kids will learn also learn about the “National Mall” in Washington, D.C., as well as a number of other famous landmarks in America.  This is always a special week for me, as I love learning about history.  You can expect a spelling list to come home this evening, as we wrap up week 5 of Unit 1.

In Writing, we’ll begin a couple week process of researching a president and writing a mini-report.  The kids are blessed to have some wonderful digital resources, and we’ll learn how to take notes, write a rough draft, and then type a final draft.  I hope to have this completed by conferences, so you can see the finished product.

In Math this week, the kids will explore multiplication and division with 1s and 0s, and learn to identify and write word problems.  Towards the end of the week we’ll begin reviewing for our Unit 1 Test in Math next week.  In my Math class, I’m planning on assigning homework on the following dates.  However, if we have a rough lesson or something doesn’t go well, I may have to amend the following.

Monday – No Homework

Tuesday – Homework 1-15

Wednesday – Homework 1-16

Thursday – Homework Test Review 1

Friday – Homework Test Review 2 (possibly?)

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

September 10th, 2018 – Calm Bodies and Calm Minds

Hello Families!

This week our reading focus will be on problem solving, and how problems can lead to new ideas.  We’ll learn some neat lessons through our stories, and understand how persistence and patience can pay off with solutions to problems.  We will have spelling this week, so you can expect the list from Unit 1, Week 4 to come home Monday evening.

This week in Math, we’ll explore 4s, 1s and 0s with multiplication and division.  Last week, my class struggled during a couple of lessons, and our homework schedule was a bit off.  I think…yes, think…the kids will have homework on these nights (below) this week.  Most kids are doing a nice job returning their assignments on time.  Thanks for your help at home making sure your child stays caught up on his/her work.

Monday – No Homework

Tuesday – Homework 1-12

Wednesday – Homework 1-14

Thursday – No Homework

Friday – Homework 1-15

This week we’ll also take time to introduce and practice uppercase cursive letters during writing class.  Cursive is usually a fun skill to practice, so hopefully the kids will enjoy the lessons.

Lastly, you may recall your child was taught “Second Step” lessons each week in 2nd grade.  Those are continuing in third grade, and we generally have a new lesson every Monday.  They are designed to help kids overcome problems and struggles at school with academics and peer relations.  We’ve been working very hard on having a calm body and calm mind each day, and have been practicing extensively, especially when we transition from subject to subject.  This has been a real struggle at times, but we’ll keep plugging away to make each minute of our day successful and productive.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

September 4th, 2018 – Morrill Hall Week

Good Morning Families!

This week your child will embark on his/her first field trip of the year.  On Thursday, we’ll leave Arnold around 12:00, and tour Morrill Hall from 12:30 to 2:15 (or so), before we return to school.  As the note home stated, parents are welcome to attend this trip, but the museum charges $7 for any non-student to enter.

I was also informed today that parents will need to go online and register as a “Level III” volunteer through LPS.  The link below will take you to the site, and I’m told it just takes a few minutes to sign up.  If you have done this in the past 2-3 years, your registration is still current.  However, it might be wise to sign up again, if you’re not sure.

https://wapp.lps.org/gold/volunteer/volunteer.cfm

This week in reading, “Communities” will be our theme and we’ll learn about different cultures and backgrounds through our stories.  Though it’s a short week, we will still have spelling, and you can expect a practice list to come home tonight.

In Math, we’ll continue our study of multiplication and division, and explore 3s and 4s this week.  Tentatively, homework will look like this for my Math class this week.

Tuesday – Homework 1-10

Wednesday – No Homework

Thursday – Homework 1-11

Friday – Homework 1-12

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

 

August 27th, 2018 – Into the Groove

Hello Families!

As we enter week three of school, the class is settling into a nice routine.  I have really enjoyed getting to know your children, and have been impressed with their kindness towards each other.  Any peer disagreements have been solved quickly and peacefully, which I appreciate.  One lesson your children partake in each week is a “Second Step” lesson, which is a behavior program to help kids learn to get along in a variety of tricky situations.  Based on the first two weeks, I’d say your kids are ahead of the curve when it comes to getting along with each other!

Our theme of the week in reading is “Traditions,” and we’ll spend the week reading stories about traditions, as well as sharing our own family traditions.  We had our first spelling test last week, and we’ll have spelling the next four weeks leading up to our first Unit Test at the end of September.  The majority of kids did and awesome job on their spelling test this week, which is no accident.  Keep up the extra studying at home!

In Math we’ll explore 2s, 10s and 9s in multiplication and division.  Most kids are doing a great job returning homework!  This week, I anticipate my Math class will have homework on these nights.

Monday – Homework 1-6

Tuesday – None

Wednesday – Homework 1-7

Thursday – Homework 1-8 (Possibly)

Friday – Homework 1-8 (if not assigned Thursday)

You child should have brought home a green field trip note for our September 6th trip to Morrill Hall.  If you can’t find the note, please click on the “Events” tab to read the information letter.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

August 20th, 2018 – MAP Testing Week

Good Morning Families!

We had an awesome first week of school in room 702!  I really enjoyed getting to know the kids, and I’m looking forward to strengthening our bond in the weeks to come.

This week, we’ll begin our structured curriculum in reading, and your child will bring home his/her first spelling list.  Our lists come home on Mondays, and our tests will be on Friday mornings.  We’ll practice during the week, but any extra practice at home is always beneficial.

Our reading theme this week is “Storytime,” and we’ll learn from some fun fantasy and folktale books. I absolutely love reading stories to the kids, and I’m so eager to officially start this week.

In Math, we’ll continue exploring multiplication, and will introduce division.  Last week, we spent a lot of time mastering our 5s, and this week will explore division with 5s, as well as introduce 2s.  We have several more two day lesson this week, so our tentative homework schedule will look like the following.

Monday – Homework 1-3

Tuesday – No Homework

Wednesday – Homework 1-4

Thursday – No Homework

Friday – Homework 1-5

This week we will also take our fall MAP Tests for reading (Tuesday at 10:35) and math (Thursday at 1:25).  These tests give us a baseline of information about your children, and help guide our instruction throughout the year.  The kids will also take a mid-year version of this test in January, and then will end the year with the state reading and math tests (NSCAS) in the spring.  There is nothing your child needs to do to prepare for these tests, as they are not directly based on any curriculum they have been taught, but rather a general overview of their academic abilities.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

August 13, 2018 – Welcome to Third Grade!

Good Morning Families!

I’m so glad the new school year has finally arrived!  It’s an honor to be your child’s teacher, and I hope you’re as excited as I am to start our journey together.

This week we’ll ease our way into the year with several introductory lessons about routines and schedules.  We’ll do several reading activities and do lots of sentence practice, but our core reading curriculum and spelling will start next week.

In Math class, we will dive right in!  We’ll begin exploring multiplication and division, and will spend the majority of quarter 1 on those concepts.  Depending on your child’s Math teacher, homework assignments may vary from night to night.  For the kids in my Math class, I hope to give you an idea when your child will have homework each night in these weekly emails.  For example, I am planning on assigning homework on the following nights this week.

Monday – All About You…By the Numbers!

Tuesday – Homework 1-1

Wednesday – None

Thursday – Homework 1-2

Friday – None

Many of the first lessons in unit one take two days, so there will commonly be gaps in the nights they have homework.  Of course, if a lesson doesn’t go well, I might skip the homework that night.  But, hopefully these emails will give you an idea when to expect homework.

I hope you take a moment to look over our class web site.  I still need to polish up a few things from last year, but I hope you find it to be a good resource for this school year.  When I get it updated, you’ll see news about spelling lists, field trips, conferences, etc.

I’m sure I’m leaving something out, but the kids are coming and I better get ready!  Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for the communication throughout the year!

Eric Wachter

May 21st, 2018 – The End

Hello Families,

It’s with a heavy heart I formally address you one more time as your child’s teacher.  I have enjoyed your children so much this year, it’s hard for me to articulate.  I am so sad our time is coming to an end, and I will truly cherish the time we spent together.  You should all be so proud of the children you are raising!

This week, we will wrap up the year with a number of fun activities.  On Thursday, of course, we’ll walk across the street to go fishing at Bowling Lake.  We’ll eat early around 11:40 that day, then head over to fish around 12:30.  We’ll return to school around 2:30 or so, pack up, and say our goodbyes.  That will be the hardest moment of the year for me!

While Thursday breaks my heart, tomorrow will be a GREAT day.  Your child will receive his/her “School Days…” portfolio.  In it is a collection of their hard work, photos and all kinds of memories from third grade.  It’s a keepsake I hope will be cherished and saved for years and years and years to come.  We’ll also watch the “School Days…” video, which is a collection of photos from the year set to music.  It’s so neat to see what all they’ve done this year, and it always brings a little tear to my eyes reflecting on all the fun we’ve had.

The kids will get a DVD copy of the video, and I’ll send out a digital link, as well.  I hope you can sit down with your child tomorrow night and look through their portfolio and watch the DVD.  I think it will be as much fun for you seeing how much they’ve grown in such a short time.  And, if the DVD doesn’t work for some reason, please let me know and I will happily replace it!

Thank you all again for an amazing year of school.  I just can’t believe it’s over.  This is a group of kids I will never, ever forget.

Most Sincerely,

Eric Wachter

May 14th, 2018 – Career Day Week

Good Morning Families,

This week your children will wrap up units in both Reading and Math class with Unit Tests.  We’ll begin the week testing reading, and end the week testing math.  Both tests are long, so breaking them up a bit each day won’t be too overwhelming.  We are done with spelling, so you won’t see a list coming home.  In my Math class, you can expect review homework to come home Monday and Tuesday.  I may also send home a practice math facts sheet at some point, as well.

On Wednesday, Arnold will celebrate the fact we earned 50,000 Character Coupons during the course of the year!  Your child is encouraged to dress as his/her future career for Career Day.

Your child likely brought home a note regarding our last day fishing trip to Bowling Lake.  If you’re planning on joining us, just fill out and return the bottom form, and then register as a volunteer.  That will give me an idea of who to look for on May 24th.  If you have already signed up to be a volunteer recently, there is no need to do so again.

I typically spend May preparing the kids’ “School Days…” portfolio.  They are just about finished, as is a DVD collection of the year in pictures.  The kids will receive these items on May 22nd.  This is a labor of love, but a couple of keepsakes I hope your child holds onto forever.  I will also send out a link to the video, so you can download it onto your computer.  I would also be happy to transfer it to a flash drive, if you would like.  Just send one to school, and make sure there is 2 GB of memory free.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

May 7th, 2018 – Mother’s Day Flowers Week

Good Morning Families,

Time really is flying by in room 702.  This week we’ll wrap up our last “normal” week of the year in Reading.  The kids will have one more spelling list this week, as we tackle Unit 6, Week 5.  Poetry will be the theme of the week, and the kids will ready a variety of different poems for our lessons.

In Math, we’ll continue to learn about Geometry this week.  Parallelograms, quadrilaterals, rhombuses and trapezoids will be dancing in their heads as we’ll learn the difference and similarities of those and other shapes.  This can be tricky, so my goal is to help the kids with the first portion of their homework.  Hopefully by the end of the unit the kiddos will become experts on shapes.  We didn’t get Friday’s lesson finished, so I anticipate homework tonight, Tuesday, Wednesday and perhaps Friday.  As always, as the lesson goes, so goes the homework!  🙂

In Social Studies, we’ll dive into the history of Lincoln during the next couple of weeks.  Our trip to Memorial Stadium was a great success, and an awesome way to kick off learning about how Lincoln came into existence.  Thanks to all the parents that joined us on the trip!

Finally, the Student Council will be selling Mother’s Day Flowers all week for $1 each.  Your child will have an opportunity to purchase flowers every day this week, if interested.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter