Weekly Newsletter

September 30-October 4, 2019

Posted by [email protected] on October 7, 2019 at 8:35 AM

A Field Trip, Fairy Tales, and Overall Fun Week 

Thank you to the parent chaperones who joined us on our field trip. We had an incredible time at Cave of the Mounds. The kids learned so much about the cave’s formation, sinkholes, and interesting cave facts. Even through the VERY rainy weather, we had a lots of smiling faces! While it may have been a rainy field trip day, we did get some beautiful weather one Friday, which benefited the kids as they ran the mile this past week! Thank you to those who joined.

Your child’s pictures from picture day were sent home earlier this week. Retakes take place on Friday, October 11. It sounds like some students have not received their photos and the orders were placed and checks cashed. Administration informed us to have parents call School Pics directly: 262-780-2901. Thank you!

A conference sign-up sheet was sent home to parents in the Sunday Knight News. Fall conferences will take place on Monday, October 21st after school and Monday, October 28th after school. Please note that report cards are not sent home for these conferences. These conferences are a way for you to learn how your child is adjusting to third grade. Report cards will go home in November. Please use the following link to sign up. http://https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090d48aba82ca46-primary8

In other news, the Young Americans organization is visiting our school early next week. This does not directly affect our younger students, as this is an event for the 4th-8th graders. With that being said, on Wednesday, October 9th QP will be putting on their performances with the Young Americans. I strongly encourage you to attend and purchase tickets! I know you’ll be amazed at all that these kids can do!

Here is what we did in third grade this week:


This week the students spent time mastering The Distributive Property, as well as The Associative Property. They then took their Unit 3 test, which was our highest test score average so far (91%!). As you may have figured out, the Distributive Property states that a multiplication fact can be broken apart into the sum of other multiplication facts. This week, the students used arrays to understand the distributive property when dealing with larger math facts (9 x 8, 8 x 7, 6 x 12 etc.). This allows students to break apart larger multiplication problems into easier multiplication problems.

Students sometimes have a difficult time recalling the value of larger facts. For example 7 x 5. By using the Distributive Property the students can think of the larger problem as (5 x 5) + (2 x 5). Facts they have already learned.

When introducing this concept the other week, we first defined the word distribute. In math the word distribute means “to give or use in another way.” We then wrote a sample problem on the board: 7 x 4. We then drew that problem as an array (7 rows of 4 items in each row). We then broke the array into a 5 x 4 and a 2 x 4 array. This shows that, together, the two smaller arrays equal one large array.

As students progress in their work with multiplication, they can apply more strategies to complex problems. By learning the Distributive Property, they gain a stronger conceptual understanding of number sense and the operation of multiplication, giving them greater recall with known facts. While the Distributive Property does emphasize conceptual understanding, it can also be challenging for students. Please note that even though this is one strategy for multiplication, it does not take away from the importance of memorizing our math facts. Continue to drill those facts at home :). Thank you for your continued support and help with new and more challenging material.


Thank you to everyone who attended our Fairy Tale Performances this past week. The kids had an absolute blast performing for you and some of our younger QP friends. Both Erin and I took video footage of each performance. I will be finishing uploading those this week. When they are done, I’ll put them to classroom website.

During the month of October, the students will be reading mystery books and writing mystery stories. We have mixed up the 3A and 3B students to read in groups together. We have over 10 different stories that are being read. Make sure to ask your child what he/she is reading.

For writing this month, the students are in for a real treat! If you have never heard of the book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick get ready to fall in love! Here is what our “mystery” writing prompt is all about:

Introduction by Chris Van Allsburg:

“I first saw the drawings in this book a year ago, in the home of a man named Peter Wenders. Though Mr. Wenders is retired now, he once worked for a children’s book publisher, choosing the stories and pictures that would be turned into book. Thirty years ago a man called at Peter Wenders’ office, introducing himself as Harris Burdick. Mr. Burdick explained that he had written fourteen stories and had drawn many pictures for each one. He’d brought with him just one drawing from each story, along with the title of the story and a small caption.” (The Mysteries of Harris Burdick) 

The most interesting twist to this story is that Mr. Burdick left the images with Peter Wenders and never returned to share the rest of his stories. In 1984, Chris Van Allsburg visited Wenders’ office and was captivated by the drawings and captions. So, the two of them decided that maybe if Chris Van Allsburg repurposed the drawings they could discover who Mr. Harris Burdick was! Ultimately, they never learned who Mr. Burdick was; however, the images (some bizarre, funny, and scary) have engaged children and adults for many years!

So what does this have to do with our newest writing prompt? The students are creating mysteries to go along with the engaging pictures from The Mysteries of Harris Burdick! At the beginning of last week the students chose the image that captivated them the most. This week they started writing their first drafts for their mysteries. We talked about how all mysteries have a main character that is placed in interesting settings with a puzzle to solve! 

Make sure to ask your child what picture your child chose for his/her mystery! Also, if you are looking for fun songs and stories that follow the Mysteries of Harris Burdick book, check out the website below:


Science with Ms. Schuenemann:

Before heading off the the Cave of the Mounds, 3rd graders dug deep into the topic of caves. Students looked at the various types of caves and how each type is formed. Students compared and contrasted the different types of caves. Then, we began talking about different formations in our solution caves, such as stalactites and stalagmites. It was awesome seeing students apply this knowledge and understanding once they got to the cave! This week we will continue to talk about the impact of erosion on Earth’s surface. Here are some review questions to ask your child:

  • What are the different types of caves? (solution/limestone caves, wind caves, glacial caves, sea caves, lava caves, and lava tubes)
  • What type of cave was at the Cave of the Mounds? (solution/limestone cave)
  • How are solution/limestone caves formed? (Rain seeps through the rock and carbon dioxide from the air helps dissolve the rock creating a hollow over time.)

Social Studies:

Due to our fairy tale plays, as well as our field trip to Cave of the Mounds, we had a short week for social studies / science. As I mentioned in our last week’s newsletter, our newest unit focuses on the geography of different communities. Most communities have unique landforms and bodies of water. These features influence how people live, work, and have fun. During our newest social studies unit, the students will learn about geography. This is one of my favorite social studies units of the year, as it is incredibly hands-on and engaging! We started the unit by creating a KWL poster. KWLs are posters where the students share what they know about a subject, what the want to learn about a subject, and ultimately “what we learned” about learned. The students shared that they knew about mountains, lakes, oceans, canyons, and other commonly known landforms. The students then shared that they want to learn how the weather affects geography, different and more unique forms of landforms (like glaciers and caves), and also how our earth has changed since its creation.

We then watched a short introduction video that shared with the students some of the big concepts they mentioned during the KWL. I have placed a link to the clip below if you want to watch the video as a family this weekend or any other time during the unit. http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsqKTJtK_vw


October is the month of the Rosary. “The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. According to an account by fifteenth-century Dominican, Alan de la Roch, Mary appeared to St. Dominic in 1206...Mary praised him for his valiant fight against the heretics and then gave him the Rosary, explained its uses and efficacy, and told him to preach it to others.” (CatholicCulture.org)

This upcoming week the students will be studying the Rosary and then praying it together with the students in 3A. We will be doing this later in the month, so if you would like to send a Rosary to school with your child that would be wonderful. Please try to have the Rosaries to school no later than Monday, October 14. The Rosaries will stay at school over the course of the entire month of October.


Continue to use www.spellingcity.com as resource for your child’s weekly spelling list. Our newest spelling words focus on one syllable words that contain the long i sound.

Here are our new words:

  • New Words: math, toast, easy, socks, friday, stuff, paid, cheese, june, elbow, program, shiny, piles, sticky
  • Review Words: each, both
  • Challenge Words: comb, holiday, detail, echoes 

In Conclusion:

Make sure to check out our photo gallery for more pictures from third grade. Also, make sure to check the “Get in Touch” page for educational websites, fun links, and updated information regarding the Fairy Tale videos. Thank you again for a wonderful week. It is truly a joy having your children in my class. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Mrs. Robyn Bernecker

[email protected]

Love in Every Word, Respect in Every Action, Confidence in Every Heart. 

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