Classroom News

March 24, 2023

shy hi

It is our last week of March. I can hardly believe it. I just finished making lesson plans for the next two weeks. Almost all subjects have a chapter or unit ending. So, there will be several assessments before we leave for break. It will make these next two weeks very busy, but it will allow for a fresh start in almost all subjects when we return to school. 

This week’s spelling words will be plurals. We complete our study of linking verbs on Monday and then go right into a review of all the concepts we learned over the past 7 weeks. We start Unit 12 in vocabulary. 

We will have our last lessons in geometry this week. It has been fun learning so many new concepts and vocabulary words. We have been filling up our math journals. Today we created symmetrical designs. The pictures are in our photo gallery. Sheppard software has amazing games to practice everything that we have learned so far. Epic has some catchy tunes to help us remember all the new vocabulary. We will be creating geometry booklets on Monday and Tuesday to help us review. 

Our classroom growth mindset continues. Students are setting their own goals to stretch their brains. I am so proud!!!

We will try to finish safety lessons this week. 

We will celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation on Tuesday morning. We will reflect on how we have been doing on our Lenten promises. We will have “live” stations of the cross on Friday. 

Wednesday is spirit wear. Students playing soccer or boys volleyball need to wear their team jerseys that day because they will take a picture for the yearbook. 

Thursday night is - MAMA MIA! WE LOVE TO READ! Please read the advertisement below or in the Charger Check-in. Everyone needs to RSVP to attend. Everyone needs to come with a parent. It is going to be such a fun night!!! I will be one of the guest readers that night. 

Friday is National Crayon Day. Student council has asked our class to dress in yellow that day. We have some crayon fun planned during the day. 

Friday folders did not come home today because I have several papers that need to be entered into powerschool over the weekend. They will go home on Monday. 

I wanted to share that Jake, Allory, and Ava M. will be representing our class at the Young Authors Festival on April 26. All third grade authors will be able to participate in the meet the author night on April 25. Please mark your calendars. I'll be posting the flyer and more specific information once we get closer to the date. I am planning an Authors' Tea in May to celebrate the writing creativity of the entire third grade. Again, more information will be shared after we return from break.

I hope you join our class in praying for Phoebe Knibbs each morning. Prayer is a powerful thing. Together our voices will be stronger. 


Mrs. Bucko

March 22, 2023

Next week a really fun family opportunity is coming to SCA! Remember to RSVP!
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We also have a service opportunity this next week:
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rch 17, 2023

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Growing up in Minnesota - most families near my town had relatives from Scandinavian countries, Poland, or Germany. It sure is fun to celebrate this holiday with families that celebrate their Irish heritage. Irish dancing for girls here - Swedish and Norwegian dancing where I grew up. Somehow I was named Patricia.

Our leprechaun traps were amazing! I couldn’t get over how creative the students were. Every trap was unique. I have posted all 26 traps on our classroom photos link. Third graders gave demonstrations to two of the preschool classes and then to their own classmates. Afterwards we wrote opinion paragraphs on why we had the best leprechaun trap. I’m glad to see that the majority of third graders realize that their paragraphs need to be more detailed - and support their opinion statement. Our papers are hanging in our classroom. Most leprechaun traps came home on Thursday. The rest will go home on Monday. 

We continue working through our geometry chapter in math. I know that I mentioned this last week, but there are so many new concepts - so much new vocabulary. This week we will be covering symmetry, transformations, solid figures, perimeter, area, and volume. I am having students go to Sheppard Software on their chromebooks to practice concepts after they’ve been introduced. In Prodigy I have assigned geometry concepts in the game. 

In grammar we will be wrapping up helping verbs and moving to linking verbs. We will have the Unit 11 vocabulary test on Wednesday. Spelling and phonics will be words with variant vowels /u/ (oo, u_e, ew). Daily 5 activities will begin again as we move back into the Wonders text. Our comprehension skill will be point of view. Students will be working on better fluency. Fluency passages will be practiced daily for homework. 

Safety lessons will be part of our social studies/science block this week. 

We will attend Stations of the Cross on Wednesday afternoon. I know that the sacrament of reconciliation will be sometime soon. Our religion discussions this week will cover both.

We ended our busy week with an amazing St. Baldrick celebration. We had 3 students from our classroom that raised money for childhood cancer - and got their heads shaved. I’ve included a few photos in the classroom photos link. Thank you Jake, Nate, and Finn for doing such a great thing - and making our class proud!!!


Mrs. Bucko

h 11, 2023

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We are officially in our last trimester of the school year. When I look back at where we started, I am proud of the growth we’ve accomplished so far. 

Report cards went home on Thursday. I hope that you had time to talk about the positives that went on this past trimester. I also hope that you had time to discuss where there could be improvements - especially with classroom behaviors. 

After reading all the third grade stories - I am very impressed! I have never had a group that everyone submitted something to be proud of. Mrs. Loewe and I are planning an afternoon when we return from Easter break where parents can come in and view all the amazing writing going on. I’m bringing back my “Authors Tea” event (more details to come). 

We have done several pieces of research and creative writing. Now this coming week we will start working on opinion writing. We will use our leprechaun traps to write an opinion piece about how our trap will do the best at catching a leprechaun. 

I have a table all set up for the traps to be brought in Monday and Tuesday. Other classrooms will be invited to view our traps when they come upstairs for library, computers, or music class. For reading for this week, stories will be about leprechauns, Irish folktales, and St. Patrick. 

Spelling will be words with r-controlled vowels. Grammar will be helping verbs. We are working on Unit 11 in vocabulary. 

We’ve started our math chapter in geometry. We’ve already covered a lot of new vocabulary just in the first two days - endpoint, line segment, line, ray, parallel, intersecting, perpendicular, 90 degree angles, acute angles, and obtuse angles. Students are adding a lot of reference information to their math journals. They are writing out definitions and including drawings to keep all of the information straight. This week third grade will explore and classify polygons, identify different kinds of triangles, identify congruent and similar figures, and locate points and name ordered pairs on a coordinate grid. 

We will be watching mystery science videos: Where does metal come from?  How is a rainbow made? They will tie into our themes of the week. 

We participated in Stations of the Cross on Thursday. It was nice being in a smaller group in church. In religion this week we will talk about Jesus as the “Good Shepherd”. We will continue working on our Lenten promises. Stories and legends will be shared about St. Patrick. Students really enjoyed getting cards from their first prayer partner. I read a few of them. It warmed my heart reading about how they had prayed for their special friend the past week. 

Thursday afternoon will be all about St. Baldrick. Several of our own classmates have raised hundreds of dollars that will go for research and support programs for childhood cancers. What a great reason to come together as a faith family. 

St. Patrick’s Day is Friday. Friday will be a day off for students. Teachers will be traveling to Lemont for professional development. The fish fry is later that evening. 

Yesterday we celebrated our middle names. Our class wore name tags and tried to refer to each other by those names throughout the day. Student Council has other fun things planned during March. This Monday students can wear a sweatshirt of choice with their uniform. 

I’ll send out an email if other activities involve a change in uniform. 

Have a great week!


Mrs. Bucko

March 3, 2023


Today marked the third day in the third month of third grade. For morning work we found words related to three in a puzzle. Then we wrote out our favorite 3 things about school, 3 subjects, etc. We found out that there are a lot of things to love about third grade. 

Both third grade classrooms led the school in Mass today. Mrs. Loewe and I were so proud of how our classes represented themselves. Students who read did an AMAZING job! Students who brought up the gifts did an AMAZING job! I could see and hear singing, responding… It was the perfect way to start the day! (So much better than all that snow they forecasted)

Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of Dr. Seuss with students across the United States. Read Across America was a great reason to enjoy books throughout the day. We joined Mrs. Duh’s class downstairs in the morning. We read different Dr. Seuss books and then completed a rhyming activity. We had flashlight reading in the afternoon, and then we read with someone at home before we went to bed. 

We really started our “seussational” activities on Wednesday. We created Wacky Wednesday stories and made up rhyming poems. We had math puzzles for morning work with a secret birthday message. Today we tried to solve a puzzle with Dr. Seuss book titles. This afternoon we had flashlight Friday to end the week.

One of our classroom behavior rewards is to be the teacher. Jake presented a lesson on 10 of his favorite baseball players on Wednesday. Harper read to preschool, and Bridget read to first grade the last time they filled their behavior card. Third graders are showing their leadership qualities.

Prodigy is nothing new to third grade, but I don’t know if your child has ever shown you what they do in Prodigy. Throughout the year I have been assigning specific skills that are tested within the game. Lately I have been assigning daily challenges. There are 3 top scorers every day. Because this challenge does not have a specific skill attached, the questions involve all areas of the third grade and even some fourth grade curriculum. I have been teaching a lot of mini lessons in order for students to be able to figure out problems where we haven’t gotten to that part of the curriculum yet. Have your child play prodigy near you some time this week so you can watch how your child problem solves within the game. Prodigy also added an English component. I can’t set up challenges yet, but I will be able to assign specific skills.

We will spend one more week with multiplication sweets timed tests. The entire class is on 8x’s or higher. ⅓ of the room has completed all levels. ⅓ of the room has also completed all levels of Xtra math. I will keep Xtra math up until everyone has passed all levels. I know our class can rise to the challenge. On Monday Mrs. Zawaski's first grade class will come to our classroom to complete a measurement activity. It involves several steps on creating a house with specific dimensions.

Part of Read Across America was taking the Rally to Read 100 chapter books by March 2. Our class far surpassed that goal. We are going to count up all the books we read on Monday. Just on epic, our class has read 1,447 books this year.

We have the last lessons in our investigating electrical systems unit this week. We will be discussing electrical safety and completing electrical lessons in Mystery Science. 

Mrs. Loewe and I hope to gather our classes together to share our presidential facts. Reports will come home at the end of next week.

Ideas are really buzzing about the leprechaun traps. Students brought home a design sheet that they can fill out when they begin working on their trap. The leprechaun traps aren’t due until March 14. We will be doing a writing project and doing some sharing with the younger grades the week of March 13. 

We will have tests in both math and vocabulary this next week. The division test will be on Tuesday. The vocabulary unit 10 test will be on Wednesday. The spelling words will be words with digraphs. 

We continue on our Lenten journey. This week we will attend stations of the cross with K-4. We will also take a closer look at how our words and actions affect others - both positive and negative. Our classroom is always striving to be our best selves. There will be many opportunities to look at how we are being disciples of Jesus. 

Report cards go home on Thursday.

I’m glad that the storm didn’t affect us too much. I’m especially glad to not be shoveling when I wake up tomorrow. I hope that many of you made it to the fish fry to enjoy good food with our SCA family!

Mrs. Bucko

February 25, 2023


I did not expect it to snow last night. Everything was so bright when I came downstairs this morning. That’s a good motivator to get the day started. 

A lot of writing and research went on this past week. Everyone completed their presidential research packet and filled out the posters that we will be putting out in the hallway. Right now they are hanging on  our north wall. Mrs. Loewe’s class is covering the other presidents this week so that all past presidents will be represented. I loved listening to the excitement in sharing facts with table group members and to me. We will be coming together with the other third grade class once they are done with their posters. 

All different kinds of stories were turned in this week. I know a few of you will be helping finalize the last stories over the weekend. I will be reading them first, and then a team of teachers will be helping me read them to decide which 3 we will choose to attend the Young Author Conference at Trinity Christian College in April. There will also be an upcoming day that all third grade stories will be on display for families to read and enjoy. 

Our room transitioned over for the season of Lent. Thank you for the serious discussions that most families had to help determine their child’s lenten promises. Those promises were written out Wednesday morning and were rolled up and hung on our lenten bulletin board. Part of our almsgiving is to put spare change in the rice bowl that came home on Thursday. Each week of Lent students will be given the name of a classmate that they will be praying for every day. The special prayers that we promised will have a deeper focus. This week we will be doing acts of kindness - thinking of others before ourselves. We will have quiet time during the week to slow down and focus on Jesus. Lent is a great opportunity to work on the things that separate us from God. If our whole classroom family embraces Lent - imagine the possibilities!

In vocabulary we started Unit 10. Our spelling words for the week will be words with three letter blends. Our grammar lessons will be on verb tenses. 

We will be wrapping up our math chapter - more multiplication and division facts. Several lessons this week will involve word problems with all operations. Yesterday 5 more students passed levels on Xtra math. Keep practicing multiplication facts every night. 

This week we celebrate Read Across America on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2. In the morning we will go down to first grade and read Dr. Seuss books and work on an activity together. It is a great day to read as a family! 


Mrs. Bucko

bruary 16, 2023

knowledge is power

Thank you to the families who came for conferences today. It was nice to share news of growth. I did not schedule behavior conferences yet. I really felt that today should be about the positives that I see happening in the classroom. 

Everyone has been assigned a president and is busy gathering facts. There are great books on epic, and I posted some links on google classroom to help complete the research packet. This project will be done in class. I don’t mind if students ask you to take a trip to the library so that they can read more at home. 

I have been hearing mixed reviews of stories that have been written so far. Students still have 8 days to complete their written work. I told them that with the long weekend they should spend some time writing or going over the story with an adult. My suggestion is that if the story involves too many corrections, perhaps the student could write a new short story and come back to the current story later in the year. 

I also asked students to discuss their Lenten promises with an adult over the weekend. Our focus involves 3 items: prayer, fasting, and giving alms. In the notebook in their book bag I had them write out a few items that I am asking everyone to take part in. Every family will get a rice bowl to add coins to during Lent. Our class will make lunches for the homeless in a few weeks. We will be doing acts of kindness. These all fall under giving alms. I would like them to start a discussion about what they plan on giving up - fasting from. Maybe they spend too much time on video games. They could “give up” playing during the week - or limit their game time. Maybe they could “give up” talking back to mom or dad when they are asked to do something. In regards to prayer I have asked that they think about how they can increase prayer in their daily life during Lent. I shared that my daughter and I say a Hail Mary on the way to school every day. As a family we make an effort to say grace before all meals - even when we are not at home. Saying prayers before bed to thank God for the blessings that have been given that day is a great way to end the day. We will be filling out a formal promise and try to stick to that during Lent. We have the burning of palm branches on Tuesday. Ash Wednesday Mass will be on Wednesday. We will still have our regular Friday Mass. 

Students should continue practicing facts in multiplication so that they can pass up to 12x’s. I’d like a majority of the class to be done by the end of February. We have other areas of math that will need our focus the remainder of the year. Students are able to do Xtra math Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. They can email me if they pass a level. Ms. Tesmond and I have been team teaching on Mondays and Thursdays so that we each have a smaller group of students. 

We will move into the February Storyworks issue for language arts. Our nonfiction story is about inventor Garrett Morgan. Our fiction story, The Snow Day Without Snow, focuses on determining a story’s theme. Our spelling list and phonics practice will be words with silent letters. There will be a nightly spelling packet next week. 

Our room will transform as we enter the Lenten season. Hopefully this will help focus our thoughts on Jesus - and being our best selves. 


Mrs. Bucko

February 11, 2023

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Yesterday Friday folders came home packed with papers. They will also come home again at the beginning of the week with the remainder of the graded work. At the top of this week’s folder are the results from the January diagnostic for iReady. There are two pages, one for reading and the other for math. I highlighted at the top. I know it’s been awhile since I shared their first diagnostic with you. If you have questions about any of it - please let me know. I still have a few open conference slots on Thursday if you need help reading the report, or you can send me an email. Those are your copies. Make sure to put the folder back in the backpack so I can refill to go home again.

Abraham Lincoln shares a birthday with my daughter tomorrow. So,  Monday we will talk about his life and the impact his presidency had on our country. Students watched short video clips with their Scholastic News article last week on the Emancipation Proclamation. We will be sequencing major events in his life after reading Abe Lincoln’s Hat.

On Tuesday we will celebrate Valentine’s Day. Throughout the day we will be completing valentine inspired activities. Our story Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch will be our language arts focus. If you haven’t read it yet - I would encourage you to do so. There will be a read aloud posted on google classroom. We will sequence story events and look at how a character changes throughout a story.

On Wednesday and Thursday students will choose a president that students will be learning more about. They will have a research notes packet that they will be filling out. This research will go into the following week. They have a presidential poster that they will be filling out once their research notes are complete. 

We have completed Unit 9 vocabulary unit. The test will be on Wednesday. That gives us two days to review and practice. There will be no spelling list this week. Our grammar lessons will be on possessives. We will have a valentine review of sorting nouns, verbs, and adjectives. 

In science we will be creating a switch. Students will use an index card, paper clip, brass brads and some wire to make a switch that will turn a light bulb on and off. It is one of my favorite lessons in the unit. Last week we worked on building circuits. Students combined teams and put 2 light bulbs and 2 motors on the same circuit. They set it up hands free. It was very exciting to watch the team work! 

Students will continue working on their story writing. My hope is that most of them will be finishing this week so that next week we can proofread, revise, and print. Over the long weekend I am asking that you put eyes on their stories and proofread with them. Remember it doesn’t have to be a long story. It needs a beginning, middle and end.

Our class donated 35 cans to the soup drive. Thank you to everyone who was able to support stocking the food pantry. Our chapter in class reviews the sacrament of reconciliation/penance. We will review the steps and how this sacrament brings us closer to God. We always receive the sacrament again during lent. 

We will complete the first half of our math chapter on Monday. The whole first half was multiplying 6 - 9. The second half will be on dividing with those same numbers. Besides our math book, we have been going math crazy!!! I restarted Xtra math. I am blown away at the growth! Students who struggled this past fall are getting a record number of smiley faces when they race the teacher. When I reset the program they have to pass addition, subtraction, and multiplication. We have three students who finished in the first week and several close behind. Our timed multiplication tests for our multiplication sweets is a daily joy. Students are sharing how they are practicing at home. Thank you for supporting their growth! The only problem is that they expect me to correct all the tests in 2 minutes. I had to show them the math - that I have to do 546 problems every day that I test the whole class. We now have 6 students who have passed all the way through their 12’s. On Friday Mrs. Zawaski’s first grade class joined us for several rounds of addition connect four. We hope to invite other classes for weekly math challenges. Our Tuesday Valentine’s Day challenge is fraction logic puzzles in teams. 

It is a short week packed with learning. We have Valentine’s Day and conferences. I know I will be going to bed early. 


Mrs. Bucko

February 4, 2023

super awesome

What a busy, fun-filled week! 

On Monday we made cards for all new families to SCA. The notes we made will be included in welcome packets. We talked about reaching out to those who are less fortunate. We decided as a class to try and collect 100 cans of soup for our sharing parish from the third grade. That would only be 2 cans per student - and we would be providing a “souper” warm up from this cold weather. 

On Tuesday, Mrs. Loewe and I kicked up student appreciation day by doing a “third grade swap”. All the boys from both classes came to my room to play a math game together, and all the girls from both classes went to Mrs. Loewe’s room to play a language arts game. We switched again just before lunch. I think the students enjoyed being with friends that happen to be in the other classroom this year.

On Wednesday I enjoyed a delicious and very beautiful luncheon! Thank you to everyone who helped make the faculty and staff at SCA feel so special and appreciated. 

On Thursday there was discussion about what our families do to make it possible for us to attend SCA. As a parent who has sent all three of her children through Catholic education - it is not always easy. There is sacrifice and teamwork to make it all possible. I hope the students shared their thanks with you when they got home on Thursday. 

On Friday we had the blessing of the throats during Mass. The hot dog and ice cream lunch was a big hit. Student council members came and did “minute to win it” games with the class in the afternoon. The challenges were not easy, but everyone had fun.

Besides all of the CSW fun, we had a lot going on in our own classroom. All groups went in front of an audience of 50+ and performed their author interviews. I was so proud! Groups really took their practice time seriously. It showed when they got up in front of the room. Mrs. Loewe was also impressed! We did have a few students absent this week, but I was able to watch them with their group when they were practicing earlier. 

After we had completed our first multiplication math chapter, I had given timed tests for multiplication facts 2 - 5x’s. I restarted the timed tests. Students will be tested up to 12x’s. My hope is that everyone will pass all levels by the end of February. I have 8 students who passed their 11’s yesterday. Every night they should be spending a few minutes preparing for the next day’s test. Our new math chapter is multiplying larger numbers.

We also started Xtra math back up. I told the students in November that I would be restarting the program in February. I had 4 students pass addition the first day, and someone passed all 3 levels. Students who had struggled this fall had numerous smiley faces when they raced the teacher. Our brains are growing and stretching! 

We celebrated the feast day of St. Brigid on February 1. We learned many new facts about this amazing saint. I didn’t know about the wondrous miracles and stories that are associated with St. Brigid until about 10 years ago. This week I have read her stories over and over. I am touched by her generosity and kind spirit. We made St. Brigid crosses. This next week we will be creating one to take home. 

It was Groundhog Day on Thursday. We read stories, watched videos, and completed activities. 

Students have been writing stories the past few months. This next week I will be asking them to choose a story that they will make into a book. If they want, they can start a completely new story. Students will have 3 weeks to complete their story. It can be typed or handwritten. It cannot be done with a partner or group. It needs to be an original idea. I ask that you help proofread their draft copy before they work on their final draft. It needs a title page. Illustrations are optional. Clip art should not be included. All completed stories will be turned in by February 24th. Stories will be judged by a team, and the 6 top stories from third grade will be asked to go to the Young Author Conference at Holy Trinity College near the end of April. We will also be having our books on display on a literacy night scheduled later in the year. I will be assigning homework time for this over the next weeks.

I am only requesting a few conferences for the 16th. If you’d like to schedule a time to talk on that day, the form needs to be returned Tuesday morning. The forms will be in the student’s homework folder on Monday. 


Mrs. Bucko

January 28, 2023