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September 25th, 2017 – Testing, Testing, Testing!

Good Morning Families!

This week your kids will wrap up Unit 1 in Reading, and Unit 1 in Math.  The reading test is loooooong, so we break it up over several days this week so it’s more manageable.  There will be no spelling words this week due to the test, so your kids will have a bit of a break!  In Math, our Unit 1 test will take place on Monday and Tuesday, which means we will not have homework those two evenings.  With all the testing they’ll be doing this week, I’d say they deserve that break!

Hard to believe we are already into week 7 of the school year!  I just wanted to say how pleased I am with the progress of the class so far.  This group of kids is perhaps the kindest and friendliest group I’ve ever had the pleasure to teach.  Our “problems” have been very minor, and are outweighed by so many wonderful moments it’s hard for me to count.  This is clearly a credit to you all, and you should be so proud of your children!  Thank you so much for all you do.

Have a great week!

Eric Wachter

September 18th, 2017 – Patriotism Week

Good Morning Families!

This week the kids will celebrate patriotism in several ways.  To celebrate Constitution Day on September 17th, your child’s class has been learning about the U.S. Constitution and how our country came into existence.  We’ve been watching a slide show, and this week the kids will begin a flag mural project.  Each student will have the chance to decorate a small rectangle that will be assembled with 151 other rectangles to make a large U.S. Flag mural.  It is really cool to see the finished product, which will be on the bulletin board outside the third grade rooms.  Be sure and check it out the next time you’re here at school.

In reading, we will read several patriotic stories, including a guided reading book called, “The National Mall.”  The story teaches the kids all about the monuments in Washington, D.C. at the National Mall.  The kids will then practice answering a “Text Dependent Analysis” question.  We will also reflect on a story called, “The Wall,” which is about the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial.  Finally, the kids will have an opportunity to memorize the preamble to the constitution.  If they can recite the preamble in front of the class, they can earn a patriotic prize!

In Math, we’re nearing the end of Unit 1, and we’ll test next week on Monday and Tuesday.  This week we’ll explore 1s and 0s, as well as the associative property of multiplication.

Don’t forget Curriculum Night is this Wednesday from 6:00 to 7:00.  We hope  you can join us and learn a bit about the things your child will be learning in third grade this year.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter


September 11th – A Day to Remember

Hello Families,

Good morning!  I hope you all had a nice weekend, and are ready to crank up a new week.

It’s hard believe 16 years have passed since the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01.  Like many of you, I will never forget that day.  A teacher right across the hall from me lost her niece in the attack, and I will always remember the sadness and pain as she overcame that event.  I wanted to let you know that your child will be learning of the events of that day on a very modified, third grade (less scary!) level this week.   I will also read “The Tin Forest,” a very uplifting book about changing the world in a positive way.  We will end our week by enjoying a Reading Rainbow episode that features a group of kids and their school that were directly effected by that day.  The message is emotional, but the episode does a beautiful job reminding kids all the good things that can come from tragedy.

In Literacy, we are in Unit 1, Week 4.  The kids will have spelling this week.  Among other things, we’ll practice cause and effect, metaphors and proper sentence structure.  We focused on sentence subjects last week, and will focus on sentence predicates this week.

In Math, we’ll continue our journey mastering Math facts, and the concepts of problem solving multiplication and division word problems.  We’ll explore 4s, as well as review 2s, 3s, 5s, 9s and 10s.

Thanks for reading and have a great week.

Eric Wachter

September 5th, 2017 – Full Steam Ahead!

Good Morning Families!

I hope you all had a restful, relaxing Labor Day weekend!  Mine went too fast, as usual, but I am ready to go for a new week!

This week, your child’s classroom will officially be in full swing.  We are in Unit 1, Week 3 of our reading series, which is the halfway point of our first Unit.  All our preliminary assessments have taken place, and Guided Reading groups will be up and running for all students.  Guided Reading groups will take place every day of the week leading up to our weekly assessments on Fridays.  Guided groups are where instruction can really be individualized to meet the needs of each student, while still working under the umbrella of the week’s whole group reading objectives.  I love them, because they give me a great opportunity to work closer with each child, and do all I can to help them learn each week’s skills.

We’ll also begin our first Intervention rotation of the year this week.  Our topic, Genre, is one that is very prevalent on the NeSA reading exams in the spring, and a topic we put a great deal of time and effort into mastering.  During this Intervention, your child will either practice the genre’s they have yet to master (based on a pre-test), or enrich their knowledge by delving deeper into a variety of genres.  This is one of our “Power Standards” for the year in Literacy, and we’ve set our goal at 92% of all kids showing proficiency in the subject.  Our initial pre-test results showed 64% of kids were proficient, so we have some gaps to close in the next few weeks.  You can help at home by quizzing your child on the genre of book he/she is reading, and helping them understand the meaning of each.

In Math, we’ll keep adding more numbers to master in multiplication and division.  This week we’ll explore 3s and 4s, as well as review 2s, 5s, 9s and 10s.  Any practice at home with Math Facts is always beneficial and appreciated.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Eric Wachter