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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

April 30th, 2018 – Memorial Stadium Tour Week!

Good Morning Families,

This week your child’s classroom will have the opportunity to tour Memorial Stadium!  As you know, the tour for our room is on Wednesday, May 2nd, from 10:30 to 11:30.  We’ll leave the school by 10:00, and return right by noon.  This trip supplements our study of the history of Lincoln, and we’re so excited to bring one of Lincoln’s most historical landmarks to life!  Please have your child dress for the weather, wear Husker gear if you have any, and definitely wear comfortable shoes.  Hopefully we’ll get good weather, but regardless, we’ll get to run out on the Memorial Stadium field rain, snow, sleet or shine!

In Reading, this week is Unit 6 Week 4.  We’ll spend the week reading about a variety of animals, and how we can help protect them.  We will have spelling this week, so expect a list to come home tonight.

In Math, we’ll continue to learn about customary and metric measurements.  By the end of the week we’ll move on to study geometry and learn about various shapes.  In my Math class, I’m expecting to assign homework on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.  I always wait to see how the lessons go, but that is my plan.

I have spent a lot of time the last few week preparing the kids’ year-end portfolios, and I have to admit I’m getting pretty nostalgic!  I have enjoyed your children immensely this year, and will be devastated on the last day of school.  This is a group of young people I will never, ever forget.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

April 23rd, 2018 – Goal Setting Week

Hello Families!

This week, your child’s class will be working on goal setting.  Our “Essential Question” for Unit 6, Week 3 in reading is, “Why are goals important?”  We’ll be addressing that question all week, and the kids will write a personal goal to work towards.  Even though it’s a short week, we will have spelling words to learn.  Hopefully your child brought home a list this evening.

In Math, we’ll begin our final Unit of the year on Tuesday.  In Unit 7, we’ll discuss liquid capacity and weight with customary and metric measurements.  We’ll also spend time on Geometry and learn more about shapes.  This week, I anticipate my Math class having homework on Wednesday, and perhaps Thursday.

Just a reminder that our field trip to Memorial Stadium is coming up next week.  I did a poor job of proofreading the field trip note last week, and the dates and days didn’t match.  To be clear, our trip is on Wednesday, May 2nd.  If you can attend on May 2nd, that would be great!  Just be sure and sign up as a volunteer via the link below, and you’re good to go!

Level II Field Trip Chaperone/Volunteer

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter



April 16th, 2018 – Happy Winter?

Good Morning Families!

I hope you all had a nice “spring” weekend and didn’t freeze!  Ah, Nebraska.  🙂

This week will be a fairly normal one for your children.  We are in Unit 6, Week 2 in reading, which means your child will bring home a spelling list this evening.  How ironic given the current temperatures, that our theme of the weak is “weather.”  Most of our stories will center around weather, and how devastating severe weather can be.

In Math, we’ll conclude the week with our Unit 6 Test.  We’ll review in the days prior to the exam, and you can expect review homework from my class on Monday and Wednesday, most likely.

I hope you all had a chance to look at the photo links I sent over the weekend.  I heard from a couple of parents this weekend they did indeed work, so you should be able to save photos of your child, if interested.

Just a reminder that in a few weeks on May 2nd we’ll be touring Memorial Stadium.  We’ll leave school by 10:00, tour from 10:30 to 11:30, and return to school by noon.  I will be sending home an informational letter soon, but keep that date in mind if you want to join us for the tour!

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

April 9th, 2018 – Test Season…Concludes!

Hello Families!

The calendar says spring, the temperature says winter, but to your kids it’s the end of test season!  🙂

This week most kids will complete the Math portion of the state assessment.  These tests will take place on Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 to 2:30, approximately.  I’m a little nervous about these exams, because our curriculum is new, and the test is new, as well.  I’m crossing my fingers we have prepped the kids in every way possible for this challenge!

The most important thing is they try their best, and let the scores add up in the end.  Since this will be a big test week in Math, there will likely not be any homework in my Math class, with the exception of perhaps Wednesday.  I’ll play that lesson by ear and see how the kids do during the lesson.

In Reading, we’re starting Unit 6, our final unit of the year.  We will have spelling this week, so the kids should have brought home a list today.  Crazy to think we’re in the stretch run of school!

Thanks for reading, and thanks again for doing all you can to help your kids come to school ready to learn, especially on test days!

Eric Wachter

April 3rd, 2018 – Test Season Continues

Hello Families!

I hope you all had a great break and were able to spend some quality time with your families…in spite of the snow.  Grrrrrr!

This week the kids will continue with spring testing, which feels like a season in itself!  We’ll conclude Unit 5 in reading with our Unit Test.  As a result there will be no spelling words.

In Math we’ll continue our practice solving various word problems.  In my Math class, I’m anticipating homework on Wednesday for Lesson 6-6, and Friday for lesson 6-7.  I’ve allotted a bit of time on Friday for the kids to work on their assignment, so hopefully they can finish most of the work in class.

I will be gone on Thursday and Friday this week, as my brother and I will attend the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, GA.  It’s a lifelong dream for me to attend, even though it kills me to be gone from school!  I’m sure the kids will be fine, but I’ll sure be thinking of them while I’m gone.  Hopefully those will be the only remaining days I will be gone this year!

Have a great week!

Eric Wachter