Classroom News

September 24, 2022


I’m happy to report that my mom was able to be moved from the hospital to rehab. It’s been such an exhausting week for my family. Thank you for all your prayers and positive thoughts. Mrs. Harris didn’t allow our class to skip a beat. We were very fortunate to have her in the classroom.

The Friday folder did not come home yesterday.  I will send the folder home at the beginning of the week and again on Friday. 

Monday is Johnny Appleseed’s birthday. Our genre study this week will be on tall tales. There are many fun activities planned that will incorporate language arts, social studies, and science. We will end the week by making our own applesauce. I’d like each student to bring in a favorite apple by Thursday to add to the pot. 

We are starting vocabulary unit 3. Our spelling list this week will be the ten words from the unit. I stapled those words to their assignment books on Friday. They are also found on the vocabulary words tab. There will not be a spelling packet this week. 

Xtra math will be practiced daily. I did not give the place value and number sense test at the end of the week - a few students still needed review with our resource teacher. We did move into our addition chapter and will continue adding larger numbers. 

In religion we will be focusing on our domestic Church and being a good neighbor. We will be talking about St. Martin of Tours as part of our discussion. 

I really enjoyed students sharing all their family traditions. Students were proud to share about their culture or new traditions their families had started. 

After Mass yesterday I had the students remain in church so that we could review proper church behavior. Fr. Ken came back into church and joined in our discussion. He shared some great stories with the children and invited them to start coming to church every week with their family. It is important that we teach the faith, but it is more important that we join in the celebration at Mass every weekend. I encourage you to start this weekend if you haven’t already done so. 

We really enjoyed the all school assembly yesterday afternoon. It’s especially nice to be able to come together as a whole SCA school community!

Enjoy the last week of September!

Mrs. Bucko

September 17, 2022

What a busy week! 

We completed our first iReady diagnostic. I will be conferencing with students the next two weeks so that they know where they have strengths and where they need to make improvements. I will share more information about iReady next week to help you better understand how it works.

We celebrated Roald Dahl Day and International Dot Day. We have a dot museum on our lockers and in our classroom. We talked about making our mark on the world.

The first chapter in math covers so many areas. We are moving into chapter 2 this week, but will spend time each morning reviewing place value and number sense with larger numbers before we take our test on Thursday. Chapter 2 focus is addition. We will move through this chapter quickly since we have been doing a short review of skills during morning work these past few weeks. We had a few more students pass levels in Xtra math. We will continue to practice each day.

We completed our vocabulary chapter on Thursday. We did a big review in class yesterday. We will review again on Monday and take the test on Wednesday. Spelling words this week will come from the Wonders series. The words are short vowel e, o, and u words. There will be a spelling packet to work on each night for homework. Our writing focus will be writing a friendly letter. Grammar focus will be on adjectives.

Our main reading story this week is “Yoon and the Jade Bracelet”. The stories included this week are all realistic fiction. Our skills will cover character, setting, plot, and sequence.

Mystery science will help us learn about and use the scientific method skills of observing and asking questions. Further discussion on the different steps in the scientific method will continue later in the week.

We have a homecoming assembly on Friday. It will be a fun way to end our busy week.

I ask you to keep my mom in your prayers. She was admitted to the hospital last night. I’m heading to be with her as soon as I complete this post.


Mrs. Bucko

September 10, 2022
hittin the books

What a busy week! I was so happy with how well our class did on all the assessments. The vocabulary tests are challenging. Our class definitely rose to that challenge. 

We are wrapping up our math chapter on place value and number sense. There will be a test on Friday. We have been practicing our addition skills so that we are ready for chapter 2. Our math centers have been focusing on money, fact families, and reading graphs to solve problems. We had 6 students pass the addition level of Xtra math and 2 students have passed subtraction. We will practice Xtra math daily in the classroom and at home. The addition and subtraction are second grade levels. I’d like all students to pass both by the end of the 1st quarter.

We started unit 2 in vocabulary. Our spelling words will be the ten words from the vocabulary unit. The grammar focus this week will be on adjectives. 

There are many special days this week that we will be celebrating: Roald Dahl Dahl, International Dot Day, Exaltation of the Cross, and The Seven Sorrows of Mary. (more to share later)

This past year our Catholic faith had a special focus on St. Joseph. In June the Catholic Bishops announced the new focus will be on Eucharistic Adoration. Third graders will learn more about the beautiful practice.

On Tuesday we will have the assessment on our reading story Wolf. This story showed what can happen if you have a growth mindset. The new word we learned - Perseverance. Later this week we will be digging deeper into having a growth mindset. 

I had all intention of practicing with zoom this past week. The problem was with my laptop. Miss Soch reached out to our IT, and he spent Thursday afternoon fixing the problem. Everything should be good to go this week. 

Have a blessed week!

Mrs. Bucko

September 3, 2022
happy september

Now that we’ve completed two full weeks of school I really hope that we can flow through a normal day with ease. We are still working on transitioning from task to task. I developed a program over the summer that I am waiting to implement. I need everyone able to move and work independently before I can begin. 

We have been able to log into many of the programs we use in third grade. Students have been asked to save usernames and passwords as we’ve been adding programs so that they can get into those programs easily. They will still need their code ring if they would have to log into a different device. I have posted the direct link to programs we use often on our google classroom. 

This coming week I will be asking students to go to google classroom and get on a zoom conference with me. We will be practicing this in class first. It is important that students know how to do this by themselves in case they - or our class - would ever need to stay at home for a lengthy period of time. I do NOT want parents to help. I need to know that the student can do this on their own. I will set up several different times for them to join me so that everyone will get to practice outside of school. We don’t stay long on the conference. I am just checking that they know what steps to follow to join a zoom. Once they are able to do it independently twice - they will not have to do a practice again. I use the same zoom link for all my zoom meetings with this class. My last two classes did amazing with this. We only needed 1 week to accomplish this task. 

If a student would be home sick for more than 1 day I ask them to check google classroom after 9:00 AM to see if there is a message from me with work they can get started on at home. 

This coming week we will be wrapping up many of our first units. I don’t normally give homework on the weekend, but I did ask students to go on vocabulary workshop to practice unit 1 words one more time before we take the quiz on Tuesday. We practiced the past three days. There is an actual practice quiz on vocabulary workshop. We will be taking a math quiz on Wednesday or Thursday to show mastery of place and value of a number, comparing numbers, ordering numbers, forms of numbers (standard, expanded, and word form). We will continue with practice of larger numbers the remainder of the week.

We will be starting the Wonders reading program this week. Spelling words will be from this program. 

Students will have homework in reading, spelling, and math every night next week. It will help form homework routines. 

Labor Day falls on one of my favorite saint feast days. September 5 is the feast day of St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa). We will be discussing this amazing saint on Tuesday. We also celebrate the Nativity of Mary on September 8. 

Our first Friday folder came home. Please review work, remove it from the folder, sign and date, and then have your child put the folder back in their book bag. 

Enjoy the rest of your long weekend!

Mrs. Bucko

August 26, 2022
check box

I want to start off by thanking everyone for attending the Back to School Parent Night. We had great attendance. It really shows me that you are invested in your child and are ready to partner to make this an amazing year.

Getting supplies organized and working through routines has taken more time out of our schedule than I planned. I hope that next week we won’t have to spend so much time going over routines and following directions. Transitioning to greater independence does take time.

In math we were able to cover lessons in place, value, and comparing numbers. This next week we will read and write numbers in standard, expanded and written form, compare and order larger numbers, and round numbers.  Our new math resource teacher, Ms. Tesmond, was able to join us in learning about 2 more math centers. She will be working in our classroom and pulling students out for small group instruction. We started the Xtra math program online and already have 2 students who passed the addition level today! It will be part of regular homework next week.

Students are really enjoying Sideways Stories from Wayside School. We will continue this chapter book through the week so that we can start the Wonders program after Labor Day.

Like Ms. Owens said on Wednesday, we will start the iReady diagnostic in both reading and math on Monday. It usually takes third graders 4 – 5 days to complete. I only have them work 30 minutes or so each day until they complete it.

I look forward to our stem activities this week. For one of them - students will be coming home to demonstrate what we did in class.

Expectation stations came back! Eighth graders presented and led discussion about expected behavior at lunch, recess, hallway, and church.

We will have math words for our spelling list this week. They will be posted on the side tab on Monday.

In religion we will focus on sacraments of Christian Initiation.

I will be sending home scholastic book orders. If you choose to order online our class code is GTRHH. I’d like to send the order out on September 2.

Here’s to a great week!

Mrs. Bucko

August 20, 2022
school buddies

Welcome! I’m so happy that we will be working together to make this year amazing for your child! I’m excited that I will get to meet you face to face on Wednesday at parent open house.

We had a good start. Thank you for making sure that all supplies were at school the first day. We were able to attend Mass on Friday as a whole school. That has never been able to happen since I’ve been at SCA. There were a lot of us, but it was nice to see what a big faith family we have at St. Catherine. We were also able to experience our first STEM lesson. Students were asked to SAVE FRED! It was challenging, but most students were able to figure out how to work together to make the rescue a success.

Every week I will be posting a letter informing you of what went on the past week and highlight what is ahead.

Students will receive their new emails and chromebooks on Monday. It will be very exciting. Students will take them home and charge them for the following day. Chargers stay at home. It is important that you create a place where they will charge their chromebook when they come home from school. It is also important that it gets back in the book bag in the morning. We use our chromebooks every day in class.

We will follow a normal routine starting Monday. A schedule for our special classes is on a side tab.

Thank you for sharing your child with me!

Mrs. Bucko

August 18, 2022
back to school

August 1, 2022


Hello third grade family!
My name is Patricia Bucko. I am excited to start my third year at St. Catherine of Alexandria in third grade. I am originally from Stillwater, Minnesota. I moved to Illinois to marry my husband, Jon, of 30 years. We have 3 incredible children. All 5 of us are at home at the moment. My boys are in college, and my daughter is a junior at Mother McAuley. Thirty of my thirty-two years in teaching have been in third grade.
I love my job! Teaching is my passion. I try to create a classroom space where students love to learn and strive to grow to their true potential. My classroom has always been faith based. I hope to create this same learning environment this year. I look forward to meeting you soon!

Mrs. Bucko