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Hello Third Grade

Third grade at Gardner is a big step up for kiddos, for a couple reasons. One is this is the first year the homerooms are not in the main building but in a portable. I know when I write “portable” it doesn’t sound very charming, but they are actually quite nice, and with painted cheery colors.  Also, the dropoff routine is implicitly changed–no more walking our kiddo inside. As big 3rd graders, it’s now time to drop and go…maybe not on the first day!!

Like all the classrooms at school, it’s mixed grade–34d and 4th graders together form the Wy’East classroom. Wy’East is the native name for Mt. Hood. Here is the story of Wy’East from the Salish and Klickitat tribes:

Wy’East was one of the young braves who fought with Pahto for Loowit’s love. When the Great Spirit destroyed Wy’East, he erected a strong, tall mountain that lifts its head in pride. That mountain is now known as Mt. Hood

We received a sweet postcard from our new teacher Amelia Carter, over the summer. It featured an image of her scuba diving with a thumbs up. I love her spirit! We know her a bit already since she was in the Loowit 1st-grade classroom as an aide while she finished her master’s degree. So it will be neat to have a teacher who knew the younger version of D. Won’t she be surprised to see how far he’s come!?

Here’s the welcome email from Amelia…even though we know how busy life at Garnder is, it’s still always a bit of a surprise to get emails like this. Ready? Set? Go!

Dear Wy’East Families,
 
Welcome to Wy’East! 
 
I have been excitedly preparing and planning for the start of the upcoming school year. I can’t wait for our community to be together again!
 
Here is an overview of what is to come in our Wy’East community.
 
Throughout the year we will be working on thematic topics focused on migration. This fall, we will focus on Lewis and Clark and the Oregon Trail. Our winter thematic is Ecosystems, and finally animal migrations in the spring. We will even be launching our very own weather balloon this spring with help from the Ellis family and our friends in the Engineering Department at WSU Vancouver. I can’t wait!
 
Traditions: 
  • Class Mascot! Our class mascot is an owl. Your student will have an opportunity to democratically decide the name of our owl stuffy along with taking our owl stuffy home for a weekend. Part of this adventure will be to write a journal entry as if your student is our owl; this is to practice creative writing skills out of everyday life.
  • Mystery Reader!  Each week we will have a mystery guest come and read his or her favorite picture book to the class. The students will be given three clues throughout the week about the mystery reader. If you choose to participate please keep your mystery reader date and clues a secret from your kiddos, so he or she can be surprised too! The fall dates are already full but don’t dispair! More dates will be available after the winter holiday.
  • Birthday Celebrations: I love celebrating and know that your kiddos do too; I would love to have our classroom community focus on affirmations, instead of material objects. When it comes time for your child’s birthday or half birthday (for summer birthdays), the class will celebrate your child during closing circle by sharing affirmations and compliments about the birthday person. I will be videoing this exchange and emailing it to you at the end of the school day.
Communications:
  • Email:  Email is the best way to communicate with me if you have any questions or concerns. I will do my best to respond to all emails as quickly as I am able. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. 
  • Newsletter: Wy’East has a weekly newsletter called The Hoot! This newsletter is published once a week and has all sorts of great information about events and goings on in the classroom.
  • Homework Folders: Every Wednesday, we will be sending homework folders home; this means homework folders should be returned Wednesday mornings each week. Within these folders, there will be a reading log, a newsletter and juicy conversation starters to have with your kiddo. The juicy conversation starters will be based on our essential questions we are working on that particular week. This will be a wonderful opportunity for you to have specific questions to ask, instead of the typical “How was your day?” 
Field Trips:
  • Calling all volunteers!  We have a few field trips coming up this fall, and we are in need of parent drivers! If you are interested in driving for field trips, please respond to this email as to which trips you are available, and the number of kid seats in your car (children may not ride up front in the passenger seat). Please also make sure that your insurance information is up to date in the front office..
Columbia Gorge Discovery Center :  Friday, September 20th    8am departure
 
Fort Clatsop :  Monday, October 22nd    8am departure
 
Bring to Class the 1st Day:
  • Supplies from list.
  • Extra clothes in a big ziplock bag.
  • Rain boots
  • Backpack and lunch box
  • Reusable water bottle
Thank you for sharing your kiddo with me this year! I am so excited for the first week of school.
 
See you Wednesday!
 
Warmly,
Amelia

1 Comment

  1. My Mom loved owls. That is a cool mascot. Sounds like another exciting year for Dash. I love their curriculum.

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