Mr. Williams


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


Follow our class on Twitter @MrWilliams109.

E-mail Mr. Williams

Williams, Donald

3rd Grade Teacher


Every night: Read 30 minutes.

Due 11/19: Skip count by 6 to find 54 divided by 6.

Due 11/20: Write down a skip count by 7 from 0 to 70.

Due 11/21: Three boys and 3 girls each buy 7 books.  How many books did they buy altogether?

Due 11/22: Use parentheses to make this number sentence true 2 + 8 x 7 = 70.

11/22: Spelling Sort Quiz.

Other Contacts

DelRio, Sally

Social Worker,, ext 4208

Gecsey, Sharon


Greska, Mary

LMC Director

Jirout, Patti

Reading Specialist

Mariani, Mrs.

3rd Grade Teacher

Smith, Jessica

ELL Teacher


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.
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.

Your Student Is Invited to Parent Teacher Conferences

  Yes, your child is invited to attend our Parent Teacher Conferences.  I have found that it is a wonderful chance for us to show that we are interested in your child's education and efforts. Having the students there gives us an opportunity to develop goals for the rest of the year.  

  Having the students there works for students of all abilities.  All of the students will be rewarded for some aspect of their successes.  Students that need to improve their work will see that we are there to help them succeed and hope they will improve with our support.

  If you have issues that you would like to speak with me without your child present, I have ways to smoothly transition to having a private conversation.  Just let me know if you are interested in a private talk.

  The online conference sign up through the district has completed.  Many families have already signed up for their time slot.  If you have questions or still need to sign up, you can contact Martha McGreal in the Edison office.

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.  (Class Dojo:  “Growth Mindset for students Episode 1/5”)


Language Arts Student Learning Targets for Trimester 1:

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 characters in a story and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

I can distinguish my own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.

I can read and comprehend third-grade level texts.

I can organize and produce writing a narrative to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

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


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.



   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


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


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


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.


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


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


Student-Friendly Proficiency Scales


I know it even better than my teacher taught it.


I know it just the way my teacher taught it.


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


With some help, I can do it.


Even with help, I can't do it.


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!