Mr. Williams

HELLO!

Welcome to the class website!  Another chance to learn new things together is right here. This is my tenth year teaching 3rd graders at Edison but my 18th year working for Elmhurst District 205 after working as a substitute and teaching at Conrad Fischer.  I also spent several years on the District 205 Foundation Board (the last year as Chairman) which raises money to support new and exciting grants that help children and teachers through the entire district.

- Mr. Williams

Twitter

Follow our class on Twitter @MrWilliams109.

E-mail Mr. Williams

Williams, Donald

3rd Grade Teacher dwilliams@elmhurst205.org

Assignments

Every night: Read 30 minutes.

Due 4/21: Planet project visual display. 

E-learning assignments will be posted soon.

Other Contacts

DelRio, Sally

Social Worker, sdelrio@elmhurst205.org, ext 4208

Gecsey, Sharon

Staff

Greska, Mary

LMC Director mgreska@elmhurst205.org

Jirout, Patti

Reading Specialist pjirout@elmhurst205.org

Mariani, Mrs.

3rd Grade Teacher lmariani@elmhurst205.org

Smith, Jessica

ELL Teacher jsmith@elmhurst205.org

DISTRICT 205 FOUNDATION

The District 205 Foundation for Educational Excellence was founded in 1989 as a not-for-profit corporation to create and enhance educational opportunities for students in Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205.

The Foundation makes it possible for individuals, businesses and organizations to contribute financially in a way that enhances the quality of education for all students in our public schools.

http://www.elmhurst205.org/foundation
STEM  -  Thiems Grants  -  Study Skills   Community Partnerships

What We Do:

  • Support STEM Education - In order to improve student learning in the critical areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the Foundation has targeted STEM education for fundraising. Foundation support begins with raising funds to purchase additional Nova5000 devices for middle school students.
  • Award Grants for Innovative Learning -  Through the Thiems Grants  program, any staff member, parent or student may submit a grant application for programs that are innovative and enhance the quality of education for District 205 students. Over 518 grants have been awarded since 1990.
  • Partner with Community Group - The Foundation partners with community groups to provide assistance with fundraising for specific needs, including facility improvements. It also works with other groups to recognize distinguished York alumni.
  • Enrich the Education of our Children - Keeping children involved is a community commitment. The District 205 Foundation partners with the York Student  Enrichment Team (YSET) to  provide avenues for financial assistance to those who cannot afford to pay academic and extracurricular fees.
  • Improve Academic Achievement - Since 2008 , the Foundation-funded Study Skills Academies have used staff and volunteers at district schools to assist students outside the classroom who need additional academic support.

Coronavirus Break

  News about the coronavirus is changing rapidly, and it has already influenced what our third graders are doing.  Friday the students emptied out lockers to help the cleaning effort that will go on at school while the students stay at home over the next few weeks. That's what is in the overflowing bags and backpacks that came home yesterday.

   While you are unpacking backpacks and bags, please be sure to look for or remember these important things:

  • Math Journal (spiral with butterfly on cover) - Your child will need this in the coming weeks and for the remainder of the year, so please do not misplace it.
  • Planet research packet - Your child can work on his/her planet project at home. Keep in mind that the project does not need to be a giant display. It can be a Google Slides presentation, interactive board game, video, or other creative project. 
  • Library Books - Mrs. Greska was very generous in allowing us to check out piles of books for at-home reading. 
  • Students can access their Google Drive and Google Classroom from home using the email (@elmhurst205.org) and password they use for their Chromebooks at school. 

   More information about a new version of at-home school called e-learning will be sent from the Elmhurst School District and Edison soon.  Information can be found at the District 205 website.  

   If you have questions or concerns, the best way to reach me will be through my email address.  

Take care and stay healthy

Blast Off Day Display

  Get ready to visit our Planet Museum here in Room 109!  The young astronomers are doing research to present information about a planet, satelite, or dwarf planet in our solar system.  The research is being done here at Edison so the third graders can make a visual presentation at home to present in our museum.  The visual displays will be shown at the Spring Celebration of Learning (formerly BRAG Night) on Thursday, April 23.

Thanks for Coming to Curriculum Night

  Thanks to all of the families that came to Curriculum Night or got in touch with me about it.  It is a wonderful sign to show your children that you are engaged in their learning.  It's a good start in building our teamwork to help the children.

   Here are the important things to know.  Please check your child's Assignment Notebook and Take Home folder every day.  If you can only check it one day a week, Monday is the day.  Graded and reviewed papers get sent home on Mondays.  Our class website is the top source of information.  Homework and upcoming activities for the week are on the site.  Homework will be 30 minutes of reading, one math question that mirrors that day's classwork, and some spelling practice.  Emails are the best way to get in touch with me, unless you need something before the end of the day.  In that case, please call the office because I rarely get to emails until after the school day.  Also, please bring your child to parent-teacher conferences in November.  

   This is a great bunch of kids and I'm excited to have them this year.  I forgot to mention that if you have something that you may be on the fence about letting the teacher know about, it's better to tell me.  I'd rather be aware of too many little things and handle them, than be surprised by an issue that has been bothering students without being able to help.

Growth Mindset Philosophy in Room 109

     “So if I make a mistake I will get smarter?”  Yes!  Our brains learn things better if you make a mistake and then work to fix that mistake.  There have been many recent research findings that are changing the way we should be teaching our children.  There is work done in neuroscience that shows that our brains literally change when we learn something.  Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to continually change during our lifetime as a result of experience.  (Sousa 2017.)  Making new connections in the brain can be done at any age.  Each time we think about and struggle with an idea in our mind, we strengthen the connections with that idea.  If we get it wrong, our brain moves right away to try to correct the error and the connections become even stronger. 

     My job as teacher is to provide the students with as many interesting challenges as possible to get them to think critically, turn ideas over in their minds, take risks, make mistakes, and work hard to improve.  It is wonderful when the students make mistakes.  We celebrate them in third grade because each mistake is a new opportunity to learn.  Our brains benefit from the extra challenges and exercise.

     The research in growth mindsets by Carol Dweck and grit by Angela Duckworth show that successful students are the ones that believe that they can be smarter through these extra challenges and don’t give up when it gets too difficult.  There are rewards to productive struggle in school.  So, we should be rewarding work effort and perseverance, not the end result of a grade or score.  Our jobs then are to work together to provide the third graders an environment where they will be supported in their risk taking and failures and rewarded for working hard and resiliency. 

     Take a few minutes to watch this video with your third grader to help understand why growth mindsets are so important in school.  https://youtu.be/2zrtHt3bBmQ  (Class Dojo:  “Growth Mindset for students Episode 1/5”)

LANGUAGE ARTS STUDENT LEARNING TAGETS

Language Arts Student Learning Targets for Trimester 2:

I can ask and answer questions to show that I understand the story that I am reading referring explicitly to the text as a basis for the answers.

I can describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

I can distinguish my own point of view from that of the author of the text.

I can compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.

I can read and comprehend third-grade level texts.

I can organize and produce writing an informative/explanatory text to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

I can engage effectively in a range of collaborative conversations.

I can report orally on a topic while speaking clearly, using facts and details about the topic.

I can write one or more paragraphs with grade-level appropriate punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.

Updated 8/17/2019


MATH STUDENT LEARNING TARGETS

These are the overarching goals for math in District 205:

Goal 1: We will make sense of never before seen, “messy” problems and persevere in solving them.

Goal 2: We will create viable arguments using mathematics and statistics and critique the reasoning of others.

 

PROFICIENCY SCALES

   P.S. stands for Proficiency Scale and the levels correspond to the questions on the exam. Each question is designed to measure a new level of proficiency on that target skill.

  The scale is a 0 to 4 scale.  We have definitions for each level for professionals and definitions that are aimed at the students to help them understand where they stand.  The scales are shown below.

   The level 4 questions are there to see if your student is getting it better than we did in class. They are designed to be pushing limits. In general, students should be getting practically all of the level 2 points, most of the level 3 points and some of the level 4 points.

 

Proficiency Scales

4

In addition to showing level 3 performance, in-depth inferences and applications that go beyond what was taught in class are present.

3

There are no major errors or omissions regarding any of the information and/or processes that were explicitly taught.

2

There are no major errors or omissions regarding the simpler details and processes, but major errors or omissions regarding the more complex ideas and processes.

1

With teacher help, there is a partial knowledge of some of the details and processes.

0

Even with help, there is no understanding or skill demonstrated.

 

Student-Friendly Proficiency Scales

4

I know it even better than my teacher taught it.

3

I know it just the way my teacher taught it.

2

I know some of the simpler stuff but can't do the harder parts.

1

With some help, I can do it.

0

Even with help, I can't do it.

SAVE THOSE OLD MACHINES

Please save your old machines and appliances!  We are planning on having a Seek and Destroy activity at the end of our Simple Machines unit in Science.  We would like to be able to take apart your non-functional machines to find the simple machines within them.  If you need to get them out of your house and garage, I'll take them.  Thanks for your help!