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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

October 22nd, 2018 – Red Ribbon Week

Hello Families!

This week, Arnold School will celebrate “Red Ribbon Week.”  Red Ribbon week honors fallen DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena.  In his honor, the kids will learn about the dangers of drugs, and be encouraged to stay drug free their entire lives.  Your child can celebrate the week by dressing up in the following ways, on the following days.

10/22 Monday – Wear Red for Red Ribbon Week

10/23 Tuesday – Put a Cap on Drugs (Hat day)

10/24 Wednesday – Sock it to Drugs (Crazy sock day)

10/25 Turn Your Back on Drugs (Wear your shirt backwards)

10/26 Be on a Drug Free Team (Wear your favorite team gear)

In reading this week (Unit 2, Week 4), the kids will learn about endangered animals, and how people work to protect those animals.  We’ll practice the comprehension skill of rereading, and focus on the author’s point of view in each story we read.  We will resume spelling this week, and you can expect a list to come home Monday.  Remember, you can always find your child’s spelling list by clicking on the spelling tab of the class web page.

In Math, we’re nearing the end of Unit 2.  We’ll continue to practice more complex word problems, and keep building fluency with our multiplications and divisions.  I anticipate my math class will have homework on the following nights.

Monday – No Homework

Tuesday – Homework 2-11

Wednesday – Homework 2-12

Thursday – Homework 2-13

Friday – Homework 2-14 (Possibly!)

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

October 17th, 2018 – Welcome Back!

Good Morning Families,

I hope you all had a great Fall Break, and were able to spend some quality time with your families.  Like most of you, I spent my weekend mowing, shoveling, scraping windshields and then basking in the sun.  Oh, Nebraska!  Ha!

This week we’ll have a normal, albeit abbreviated week of school.  Our theme this week is about voting, and how government works.  It’s always a timely week of lessons with the fall elections coming up.  We will not have spelling due to the short week.

In Math, we’ll continue to practice multiplication and division word problems.  We’ll also explore the “order of operations” and try some more complex problems with more than two factors.  I anticipate we’ll have homework on the following nights in my math class.

Wednesday – Homework 2-9

Thursday – No Homework

Friday – Homework 2-10

Looking ahead…next week is “Red Ribbon Week.”  The kids will learn about drug safety, and can celebrate staying drug free by wearing different themed clothes on each day of the week.  If you so choose, the spirit days will look like the following.

10/22 Monday – Wear Red for Red Ribbon Week

10/23 Tuesday – Put a Cap on Drugs (Hat day)

10/24 Wednesday – Sock it to Drugs (Crazy sock day)

10/25 Turn Your Back on Drugs (Wear your shirt backwards)

10/26 Be on a Drug Free Team (Wear your favorite team gear)

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

October 8th, 2018 – First Quarter Ends

Hello Families!

It’s hard to believe the first quarter is coming to a close.  It seems like the year just began, yet here were are, wrapping up quarter one.  Amazing!

This week in reading (Unit 2, Week 2), our focus will be on immigration, and how and why people immigrate to new places.  We will practice making predictions, finding a theme/message in our stories and learn about similes.

In Math, we have finally practiced all the multiplications and divisions for numbers 0 through 10.  We’ll continue to build fluency with 6s, 7s and 8s this week, as well as learn about square numbers.  I anticipate my Math class will have homework on the following nights.

Monday – Homework 2-6

Tuesday – Homework 2-7

Wednesday – Homework 2-8

Thursday – No Homework

During Interventions, we’ve been practicing subtraction strategies.  We’ve covered subtraction with number lines, and will continue practicing subtraction with regrouping with 3 and 4 digit numbers.  We also began a bonus Intervention last week focused on comprehension.  The kids have been rotating to different teachers to practice finding specific text evidence in stories to help them answer comprehension questions.  Extra practice with both of these skills will benefit the kids when they take their state assessments in the spring.

Thanks for a great quarter so far, and have a great week!

Eric Wachter

October 1st, 2018 – Conference Week

Hello Families!

October has arrived, so it must be time for Fall Conferences!  The conference schedule is attached to the weekly email, and can be found on the class web page.  I’m looking forward to visiting with you all, and sharing the good news about your child’s progress.

We wrapped up a lot of testing last week, and this week our routine will return to normal.  We’ll begin Unit 2 in reading this week, and spelling will resume, as well.

In Math, we started Unit 2 last week by exploring 6s multiplications and divisions.  This week, we’ll solve area word problems, as well as explore 8s and 7s.  It seems like my homework predictions for my Math class are rarely correct, but I’m anticipating assignments on the following dates.

Monday – Homework 2-2

Tuesday – Homework 2-3

Wednesday – No Homework

Thursday – Homework 2-4

Friday – Homework 2-5

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter



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