Mr. Williams

HELLO!

Welcome to the class website!  Another chance to learn new things together is right here. This is my eleventh year teaching 3rd graders at Edison but my 19th 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.

Other Contacts

DelRio, Sally

Social Worker, sdelrio@elmhurst205.org, ext 4208

Gecsey, Sharon

REACH Teacher sgecsey@elmhurst205.org

Greska, Mary

LMC Director mgreska@elmhurst205.org

Jirout, Patti

Reading Specialist pjirout@elmhurst205.org

Mariani, Mrs.

3rd Grade Teacher lmariani@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.

Welcome to Third Grade!

 

   Curriculum Night is Thursday at 6:00 to 6:30 for our class.  You will be able to use the same Zoom link as your third grader to access the meeting.  If you'd like you can even use your third grader's Chromebook.  I'll be explaining the basics of third grade and be ready to answer your questions.

   The third graders are about halfway through our first unit in math which means they're ready for a mid-module check in.  On Tuesday they'll complete a quiz on Seesaw to track their progress.  

   In reading we will be learning about point of view of the author this week.  We will focus on first-person and third-person on our first exposure to this idea.

   Thank you to the families that have answered the questions on the short survey. If you have not answered the questions yet, please do so soon.  I would like to get your expert insight into your child.  Here is a link to the Getting to Know Your Student survey.

  If you have any questions, just let me know.  Email is a good way to send me questions or concerns.

E-Learning Begins

  Our first days of school and e-learning are beginning.  Because information and news are changing and coming in so quickly, I'm sure there will be changes to this information.  I will do my best to keep you up to date.

   The first week or so we will be getting to know each other, our daily routines, how to operate our new devices, and how to get connected.  As the students get more familiar with our resources, we will be adding academic subjects.  The plan is to get comfortable with our new ways of learning and communicating. 

  We will be following a schedule of daily activities during our remote learning time together.  Our school day will begin at 8:15 with a morning meeting.  Math will be our first class from 8:35 to 9:35.  Our specials classes will be from 9:35 to 10:05 each day (M: Library, T: Music, W: P.E., Th: Art, and F: Spanish).  There will be a 30 minute break after the specials.  Socials Studies or Science will be from 10:35 to 11:05.  English Language Arts will be from 11:05 to 12:45.  Followed by Acceleration fro 12:45 to 1:15.

  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. 71234@elmhurst205.org) 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:

Zearn - Clever

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

Seesaw - Clever

Spelling City - 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 

BookCreator.com - 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.

  If you have questions, just let me know.  I am looking forward to seeing how this will work for all of us.

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 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 (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 charactes.

I can read and comprehend third-grade level texts.

I can organize and produce writing a real or imagined narrative  text 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 8/13/2020


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.