Mr. Williams


Welcome to the class website!  Another chance to learn new things together is right here. This is my thirteenth year teaching 3rd graders at Edison but my 21st 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.

M 3/20 Lesson 4.11 p. 305

T 3/21 Lesson 4.12 p. 309 

W 3/22 No homework-Late start

Th 3/23 Lesson 4.13 p. 313

F 3/24 No homework - Catch up day

Other Contacts

DelRio, Sally

Social Worker,, ext 4208

Gecsey, Sharon

REACH Teacher

Greska, Mary

LMC Director

Jirout, Patti

Reading Specialist

Mariani, Mrs.

3rd Grade 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.

Welcome to Third Grade!

Current Events in Room 124

    This is our last week before Spring Break begins on Friday after school.  I hope the you have a relaxing break with your families.  The week that we return to school after break, the third graders will be taking the Illinois Assessment for Readiness (IAR).  This is the state-wide standardized test given to all 3rd through 8th graders.  The students will take the test on their Chromebooks.  They will need headphones to complete the exam.  Please ask your third grader if they have working headphones at school.

   This week the students are reading Tea with Milk by Allen Say.  It is another story based on Say's family's relationship with the countries of Japan and the United States.  The book will help us dig deeper into what it means to be an immigrant and a natural born citizen.  It is another text to help us examine the immigrants' experience in the United States.

  In November the district sent out information about Flexible Learning Days.  The general idea is that since we are good at remote learning District 205 will not have snow or severe weather days off.  Instead we will have a "Flexible Learning Day" where students and teachers work through a remote day.  In order to prepare and practice for these potential Flexible Learning Days, there is a very brief (and hopefully fun) homework assignment for you and your third grader.  Using their Chromebook, they should use Clever (the blue C button in their top bookmarks ribbon) to navigate to Seesaw.  There are instructions to take a photo with a parent using the Chromebook.  Next they will navigate to our Google Classroom--again using Clever--to find a secret code and fill in a couple lines on a Google doc.  The third graders are used to these routines in the classroom, but may have not done them recently at home.

How to Find Math Homework

I had a few questions from the kids about how to find math problems for homework.  I gave out the math Succeed books on Curriculum Night and showed parents how to find the parent helper pages for each lesson.  That is the book with the homework questions.  To find which lesson and page for each night, you can look on our class website (which is linked at the bottom of all my emails) on the left column.  I'm adding the page numbers and short explanations if we don't have homework that day.  An example would be Late Start days when we do not have math and the MAP test.  I am adding this information to the front page of our Google classroom too.  The kids can log into their Chromebooks, go to our Google classroom, and look at the top message for the lesson and page number.  They only need to complete one question each night.  Problem #3 is usually a good one for them to try. 

Technology Resources

  We have resources for you!  Access to most of the children's online resources have been collected in a sign in website named Clever.  To access Clever, students should use the Google Chrome web browser using their 5-digit email username (e.g. and their password (e.g. facat123).  Access to Clever is also on our Google classroom page.  From Clever, the children can use the Google Sign In button with almost every site we use.  Here is a partial list of sites that we use most often at Edison and the best way to access that site:

Freckle - Clever

BrainPop and BrainPop Jr. - Clever (Google Sign in button)

Seesaw - Clever

My ON Reading - Clever

Epic! - Clever (also use 1st 4 digits of email address for password)

Raz Kids - Clever

NewsELA - Clever

Prodigy Play - Clever (Mostly a math game site used as a reward)

PebbleGo and PebbleGoNext - (username: edisonstu, password: edison)

CultureGrams - Google classroom link

Discovery Education - Google classroom link

Encyclopedia Britanica - Google classroom link

Noisli - Google classroom link

Scholastic True Flix & Science Flix - Google classroom links - Google sign in

Kahn Academy - Free site

Math Playground - Free site

Hit the Button - Free site

ST Math - Free site (Great spatial awareness math games)

  I am available for help via email.  I can also comment on Google docs and Seesaw videos submitted by the children.

Growth Mindset Philosophy in Room 124

     “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 a fiction text referring explicitly to the text as a basis for the answers.

I can describe the characters in a story (e.g. their traits, motivations, feelings) 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  compare and contrast themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author or similar characters.

I can read and comprehend third-grade level texts.

I can write narratives with real or imagined events, adding dialogue for sequencing actions, thoughts, and feelings then provides a closure.

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 8/11/2021


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.