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.

Enjoy the summer break!

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.

Summertime Resources

  We made it!  School is out and summertime is here!  Congratulations on reaching a well-deserved break.  I heard from many families that it is time to load up the camper and hit the road.  Hopefully everyone can enjoy the break with their families.

  Some of you have asked about resources students can use over the summer.  Mrs. Mariani put together this list of suggestions:

  • EPIC! will be free through the end of June. Our class code is: kas7085.
  • Your child can continue with math lessons in Zearn (through Clever) or in the math workbook to prepare for 4th grade math. Splash Math (through Clever) may also still be available. Practicing multiplication/division with math fact triangles and skip-count songs are more good ways to prepare for 4th grade.
  • This Scholastic Learn at Home site is great! Mrs. Mariani and I used many of the articles for our E-Learning, but there are still so many we haven't read yet. The 3rd graders really seemed to enjoy reading these engaging passages.
  • Your child may still have access to Storyworks Jr. with my subscription.  Students should log in with Google.
  • The Elmhurst Public Library's Summer Reading Program info is linked here.  They will begin the program on June 20 and run through August 1.
  • The school district has purchased a new online digital library resource for next year and made it available over the summer.  MyOn Reading begins with a student interest inventory and a lexile level assessment that can take some time, but it is worth it for the amount of books available.  
  • is still available.  Login with Google to keep track of progress.  (Remember to stay on home row!)

  I also have a gift summer reading book for your new 4th grader.  I will drop them off over the next couple days in your mailboxes.  Feel free to trade and exchange books with classmates over the summer.

E-Learning Begins

  Our first days of e-learning are beginning.  This post has some information and reminders about what is coming up in the next several days.  Because information and news are coming in so quickly, there may be changes to some of this information.  I will do my best to keep you up to date.

  Daily attendance is first on the list.  The district is asking parents of K-5 students to log in to their PowerSchool parent account via a web browser to check their children in for the day.  This should be done between 8:00 and 11:00 am.  Instructions from the district are attached below.

Daily E-Learning Check in For Parents

  Next up are the expectations for an e-learning day.  The district has provided all elementary school teachers with a basic plan for the first 5 days of our e-learning period.  Each day the children are expected to choose 4 activities from a menu.  Ideally, each of the 4 subject areas (English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies) will be covered in the 4 choices.  After the activities are completed the children are expected to choose only 1 of those activities and provide me with evidence that it was completed.  Making a Seesaw video or drawing, and writing a reflection using page two of the Menu are two great ways to show that evidence.  The first menu is already posted on our Google classroom.  Each day's menu will be posted there for the rest of the week.  I do not have a daily deadline for submissions.  But, I'm sure it will be helpful in managing your home if you set a guideline for your child to be finished.  Choose a time that is best for your schedule.

  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:

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 - 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.  I am negotiating a way to meet online with all the kids.  As soon as I can, I'd like to send out invitations to include all of them.

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

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 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


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!