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March 26th, 2018 – NSCAS Reading Test Week

Good Morning Families!

This week most kids will take the NSCAS Reading Test.  The test will take place on Monday and Wednesday mornings, from about 11:00 to 12:00.  Because of these exams, coupled with a four day week, we will not be having a spelling list.  We’ll still study the skills of the words during the week, but will skip the test on Thursday.

If your child doesn’t test Monday, that means he/she has accommodations regarding the test.  Kids with accommodations will likely begin testing this week also, but on a slightly different schedule and pace.

In Math we’re continuing to practice a variety of word problems.  You’ve probably seen from the homework we’re practicing using Math Mountains to find the two addends and the sum, or two factors and the product of a problem.  I know word problems can be tricky, so thank you for all the help you’ve provided at home!

In my Math class, you can expect homework to come home on Monday for Lesson 6-3, and Wednesday for Lesson 6-4.  We’re supposed to have homework on Thursday before break, but I will provide time in class for that assignment so they don’t have homework over the long weekend.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

March 19th, 2018 – Welcome Back!

Hello Families!

I hope you all had a restful Spring Break, and I especially hope your child is ready for the homestretch of third grade.  I can’t believe it’s already the 4th quarter of the year, and I’m already sad my time with your kids is drawing to a close.  We’ll just have to soak up every moment and have a great finish to the year!

We are into Unit 5 Week 4 in reading, and the kids should have brought home a spelling list today.  Remember, the Literacy Homework assignments have ended, so no need to look for those.  Those assignments were designed to help the kids get ready for next week’s big state reading test.  Most kids will take that test on Monday and Wednesday of next week, from 10:30 to 12:00.  If you can help your child get a good night of rest before those dates, and a good breakfast the morning of, it will certainly help your child stay focused during those exams.

In Math we’ve started Unit 6, which is mainly focusing on solving various types of word problems.  Almost every lesson is designed to take two days, so you can expect Math homework to come home about every other day.  For example, my Math class will have homework for lesson 6-1 on Tuesday, lesson 6-2 on Thursday and lesson 6-3 the following Monday.  That is subject to change depending on the flow of each day’s lesson, but hopefully we can keep that pace.

That’s about all the thoughts rolling around my head at the moment.  Thanks for reading a have a great week!

Eric Wachter

March 5th, 2018 – Dr. Seuss and Fossil Dig Week

Hello Parents and Guardians!

This week, the kids at Arnold will celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday and “Read Across America Week.”  We’ll read a different Dr. Seuss classic book each day, and the kids will have a chance to celebrate each book by wearing certain clothes or bringing items from home to share with the class.  The following are the books we’ll read, as well as the special celebration item.

Monday – “The Cat in the Hat” – Wear your favorite hat

Tuesday – “Fox in Socks” – Wear crazy or mismatched socks

Wednesday – “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” – 3rd Graders wear blue clothes

Thursday – “If I Ran a Zoo” – Bring a small stuffed animal

Friday – “There is a Wocket in My Pocket” – Bring something to share with the class that fits in your pocket

We will have spelling this week, and the kids will also have a Literacy Homework assignment.  I’ve been very impressed with the return rate of these assignments!  Thanks for reading with your child and helping him/her return them on time.

In Math, we will take our Unit 5 test on Tuesday and Wednesday.  In my Math class, we’ll only have one homework assignment the entire week.  That will be a review assignment on Monday evening.

To celebrate the end of the quarter, the kids will partake in a fossil dig on Friday afternoon.  This fun activity allows the kids to excavate a fossil from a plaster of Paris mold.  It’s really fun, but can get a little messy!  I’d encourage your child to wear clothes Friday that can get a little dirty. 🙂

Lastly, I have been told…much to my chagrin…that I have to attend a training session on Wednesday.  So for the second time in two weeks I have to miss school.  I can’t tell you how much that drives me crazy!  Your kids did great during my absence last week, and I’m sure they will do fine again this week.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

February 26th, 2018 – Recycling Week

Hello Families!

Sorry for the delay on this week’s message.  Poor Mrs. Long has the flu, and will be out all week!  So, the other teacher’s and I have been running around helping her get prepared for the week.  I’m happy to say goodbye to the cold of February this week, and I’ll be really happy to say goodbye to the flu this season!

This week the kids will tackle Unit 5, Week 2 in Reading.  The theme of the week is recycling, and we’ll read a number of stories about the importance of recycling.  We will have a Reading Homework assignment, as well as a spelling list.

In Math, we’re about half way through Unit 5.  This week the kids will continue practicing perimeter and area, as well as revisit fractions.  This will be a good time to reteach a few of those tougher concepts from the Unit 4 Test.  In my Math class, we will not have homework Monday or Tuesday (the provided homeworks were way too confusing!).  We will have an assignment Wednesday and Thursday (I’m 99% sure!).  We’ll play Friday by ear.

It sickens me to say I will be gone from school Wednesday afternoon.  I haven’t missed a day in about 8 years!  But, as part of the mentor/mentee training program for our new 3rd grade teachers, we are mandated to go observe a teacher in another school for half a day.  I’m sure your kids will be fine while I’m gone, but I don’t think I can handle it!  🙂

Well, I hope your family is avoiding the flu and looking forward to Spring!

Eric Wachter

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