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Monthly Archives: April 2020

April 27th, 2020 – Chick Hatchings and Wild Weather!

Hello Families!

This week the kids will be learning about extreme weather in their reading lessons.  They will practice making predictions, theme and adjectives in two historical fiction stories.  There are also two fun weather related stories for their bonus reading lessons on Tuesday and Thursday.

The spelling words come from the unit 6, week 3 list.  There is a new Google Form that will help the kids take their test on Friday, if interested.  They simply need an adult to read the words to them, and the kids can type their words into the Google Form.  Once the form is submitted, the program will grade their words!

In math class, the kids will continue practicing word problems, and finding a strategy that works best for them.  The follow up activity to each lesson will be posted in their Google Classroom, and won’t require any printing, thankfully.

You might have already seen the chicks are hatching!  I’m so excited the kids can have this experience, even from afar.  Next week, the kids will begin a series of social studies lessons.

I am hoping you’ve received an email regarding a Parent Zoom Meeting tomorrow at noon.  I’m sorry this is such late notice, but it was an idea that grew legs and was quickly assembled.  Parents are welcome to check in, say hello and or ask questions about any remote learning concerns.  I apologize if the timing is poor and you have prior plans!  I know noon in the middle of the week might not be the best time.  If you can’t join that meeting, it will be recorded and posted later for your review.

Our class will have another Zoom Class Meeting, Friday at 12:00.  After some chit-chat we’ll watch a great embryology themed episode of Reading Rainbow called, “Rachenka’s Eggs.”

I hope you and your family are doing well and staying safe.  Thanks for all the help you’re giving your child during this time.  It’s greatly, greatly appreciated!

Eric Wachter

April 20th, 2020 – Sunken Treasures and Titanic Week

Hello Families!

The theme in reading this week is “Sunken Treasures.”  The kids will learn about theme, making predictions, adjectives and idioms in their stories this week.  The two bonus lessons (Tuesday and Thursday) are about the Titanic, which is a favorite topic of mine.  I still marvel at seeing the photographs of the Titanic at the bottom of the ocean!  I hope your child chooses to complete each, as the two bonus stories are really fun to read.  Then, our Friday Reading Rainbow Watch Party focuses on the Titanic, as well.  I hope your kids can join me at noon Friday, using the same Zoom code: 526-181-3917.

If your child can’t join us Friday, they can always watch the Reading Rainbow episode on their own time.  They are posted in their “3rd Grade Google Classroom” under the Reading Rainbow heading.

In math, the lessons continue to focus on word problems, and different strategies to solve them.  I know a few people are loving the “Kami” worksheets, while others have had trouble opening them.  I know that can be frustrating!  So, I am going to try and turn each worksheet into a typeable “Google Form.”  For example, tomorrow’s math lesson assigns Practice Page 6.5.  I’ll still post that on the web site, under the “Math” tab.  But, in their Google Classroom it’s assigned as a Google Form.  From there, they can simply solve the problems, choose an answer, and turn it in!  I hope this makes life easier!  🙂

I hope the kids are enjoying the virtual Embryology lessons.  I know it’s not the real thing, but there are some fun things to do and learn in those lessons!  The Live Egg Cam will be great to watch when the little chickadees begin to hatch!

Thanks so much for all you’re doing for your kids.  I miss them terribly, and can’t wait to see them when this is all over!

Have a great week and take good care,

Eric Wachter

April 13th, 2020 – Embryology Begins!

Hello Families!

I hope you all had a nice Easter weekend, and were able to celebrate with families and friends in a “social distancing” sort of way!  🙂

Core Lessons

This week the kids will focus on Energy during their two core reading lessons.  They will consider the question, “What are different kinds of energy?” during their expository text stories.  They’ll practice cause and effect, will ask and answer questions, and review homophones.  The weekly spelling words are posted in their Reading Google Classroom, as well.

In math, the two core lessons this week will shift to word problems.  The kids will review various strategies as they break apart one and two-step problems.

The kids will also begin Embryology this week.  They have a new Google Classroom to join called, “Integrated Studies.”  From there, they will see a link for Science and Embryology lessons.  They are very self-explanatory, and the kids will simply follow the list of directions to complete the lessons.  There are also two cam links to let them watch the chicks virtually hatch when the days comes!

Kami PDFs

I have attempted…crossing my fingers…to post their PDF worksheets via “Kami.”  Kami should allow the kids to open the documents and type on them!  If I did the uploading correct…this would be very helpful if you don’t have a printer at home.  Let me know how this goes!  I will continue to post necessary PDFs on our class web page, as well.

Lexia and Dreambox

On our class web site under the reading and math tabs, you will find two new links to consider.  Lexia is an online reading program, and Dreambox is an online math program.  The directions to enroll are posted, and these two resources would be a great way for kids to practice their skills interactively!  I hope you consider having your child participate in both!

I think that’s all for this week!  I truly hope you are settling into a nice routine, and making the best of this situation we’re in.  I can’t thank you enough for your patience, and all you’e done for your kids during this time to help them continue on their educational journey.

Eric Wachter

April 6th, 2020 – A New Beginning

Hello Families!

Thank you all so much for the work you’ve done the past two weeks.  We are living in some challenging times, to say the least.  I’m sure the fact that you had to take on the role of teacher didn’t make things any easier!  Thankfully, this week marks a new beginning in your child’s remote learning education.  The following email is long, but will have some precious little nuggets of information, so thank you in advance for reading.

Google Classroom Daily Routine

Beginning tomorrow, your child will have lessons posted in his/her Reading Google Classroom each morning by 8:00 AM.  In order to access the video lessons, they will need to first go to the LPS Portal, and open the “MyVRSpot” application.  This is like using a key to unlock the door to the lessons, if that makes sense.  Then, your child will log into Google Classroom and click on the “Reading” class.  Every morning I will have a “Job Board” posted.  On it will list the lessons and activities for each day.  The lessons and accompanying materials will also be posted.

Your child will have a new reading lesson on Mondays and Wednesdays, and a new math lesson on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  These are the only “must do” lessons this week.  Everything else posted is only suggested practice, though highly encouraged.


Spelling practice is encouraged!  Lists will be posted on Mondays, and suggested practice will be posted during the week.  A Friday test is optional.  You can give the test the traditional way, or have the kids go to “Spelling City” and take the test online.  Under the “Spelling” tab of our class web page, there are directions how to access the online test.  Those directions will also be posted in their Reading Google Classroom every Friday.


The lessons (especially Math), have accompanying links to PDFs or documents you can access.  Ideally you can print those resources out at home, but I know that is not possible for some.  I don’t believe Chromebooks can print either, so you would need to rely on a home device of some sort for the printing.  This is far from ideal, I know.  Thanks for doing the best you can under these circumstances to help your child practice his/her lessons.

Introduction Videos

Each reading and math lesson is produced by LPS.  However, each lesson will begin with an introduction by me.  Even on math lesson days, the kids should first go to their Reading classroom to view the daily Job Board.  Then, they access the math lessons by going to their Math classroom.

Just to note, I’ve invited all the kids that travel to another teacher for math to join my Math Google Classroom.  That way they can watch my math lesson introductions, if they are so inclined.  There are also a long list of Math Fact Quizzes they will be able to access for practice.

Web Site Changes

I know this is a lot to take in, so thanks for staying with me!  To make your life easier, there is a new tab on our class web page called “Remote Learning.”  There you will find the following links to make your life much, much easier!  🙂

Daily Digital Routine – This shows the kids how to begin each morning by accessing the MyVRSpot application.

Remote Learning Suggested Weekly Schedule – Here you will find a suggested template of what a week of Remote Learning school could look like for your child.

Digital Books – Lists a number of access points to free digital books!

Educational Game Sites – Lists a number of educational sites to enjoy!

Zoom Conferences – Feeling stressed and in need of support?  This link shows how you can still access the school’s counselor and other support staff.

Zoom Class Meetings and Reading Rainbow Watch Party

I really enjoyed our first “Zoom Class Meeting” last Friday!  I would like to make that a regular, weekly appointment.  So, this Friday we will meet again at 12:00.  We can chat about the week, and I can hopefully answer any questions the kids might have about their weekly lessons.

Then, at then end of our meeting I would love to have a Reading Rainbow watch party!  I can share the video through my computer, and we can enjoy the show together.  The Reading Rainbow this week is called “Germs Make Me Sick.”  A very timely lesson for what we are all experiencing right now!

Well, I think that covers it all!  Please let me know if you have any questions today or during the course of the week, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.  Thanks again for all your hard work the past two weeks.  I’m very happy to take it from here!  🙂

Eric Wachter

April 1st, 2020 – Remote Learning Update and Friday Zoom Meeting

Hello Families!

I hope you are all doing well, and staying safe from the spread of the Coronavirus!  Crazy days we’re living with, indeed!

I have gotten a bit more clarity as to what Distance Learning will look like for your child for the foreseeable future.  Starting next Monday, the kids will have a new lesson posted in their Google Classroom each day.  On Mondays and Wednesdays, the kids will have a reading lesson posted in their reading classroom.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they will have a math lesson posted in their math classroom.  These lessons will be produced by LPS, so each child will get the same, consistent instruction during these school closure days.  I get the sense that this will be the pattern going forward.

For each lesson, I will provide a short video introduction.  I have made a few of these already, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to set up each lesson.  The reading lesson intro videos will be seen by all the homeroom kids.  I’ve had some fun with these!  Each one includes some jokes, and I’m learning how to include silly images and posters to help me complete the introduction.  I hope your kids enjoy them!  The math lesson intro videos will be delivered by your child’s math teacher.  This way kids that travel to another teacher math can stay in touch (per se) with their regular math teacher.

For some lessons, I will post a worksheet or two that can be printed out to help your child with the lesson.  For the most part, however, the lessons are designed to only need a few pages of blank paper, or a marker board if you happen to have one.  LPS understands resources at home might be scarce, so I’m assuming most lessons can be completed by simply following along with the instruction.

I will also post some optional work for your kids.  There might be spelling activities, grammar lessons and most certainly will include a digital book to enjoy with a follow up lesson or two.  I highly encourage reading 20-30 minutes a day, too.  Next week, I’m hoping to provide you with a list of some free eBook sites that might help your child stay engaged with reading.  All of this, of course, will evolve as we go along.  Like you, I’m doing my best to adapt to Distance Learning.  Thanks so much for your patience as we sort things out!

Last but not least, I’d like to try a “Zoom Class Meeting” on Friday, April 3rd at 12:00!  The kids have access to “Zoom” through the LPS portal.  To join our class meeting, they would follow these steps:

  • Visit the Portal on your Chromebook
  • Click on Zoom (You might need to click ALL to find it)
  • Enter the meeting code:  526-181-3917
  • Enter your name
  • Click Join

You can also do this via other devices.  The Zoom app is free.  Once you download it, you just join a meeting with the code above.  I have never done this before, so we’ll see how this goes.  Ha!  I anticipate our meeting being 30 minutes or so, but who knows?  We’ll play it by ear!  If this goes well, I’d love to do it regularly.

This is A LOT to absorb, so thanks for reading through everything.  I am so appreciative of all the work you’ve done with your kids so far.  Next week, I think you’ll feel less pressure, as the kids begin to assume more responsibility for their learning.  You and I will always be resources to assist them, of course, but I’m excited for the kids to begin a more independent approach to Distance Learning.

Thanks so much for reading, have a great rest of the week, and I’m looking forward to seeing the kids at our class meeting!

Eric Wachter