Welcome to Third Grade 2017-18


I would like to welcome you and your child to the third grade experience.  We have an exciting and very busy year ahead.  This is my 21st year of teaching(eeek!), all of which have been here at Merton.   I am excited that you are in my classroom this year!   I love the kids in Merton!  I believe in helping each child to be their best in every and any  given  moment.  Learning life lessons through the different challenges that await each and every day!   Personal growth is just as important as academic growth.    I believe in creating a community that each child feels safe  in and they each  look forward to coming to school every day!

Our classroom theme this year will be Third Grade Champs.  A lot of our welcome back activities will focus around this and will be the focus of day to day happenings in our class.   

Our Daily Schedule



8:40 - 11:10

Literacy Block (Reader's / Writer's Wkshp)

11:10 - 11:55

Recess / Lunch (11:25)

12:00 - 12:45

Science/ Social Studies Block

12:45 - 1:30

Specials Block (see below)

1:30 - 2:45


2:45 - 3:00


3:00 - 3:45

RTI Block











If you are going to be out of school for an extended amount of time please let me know a few days in advance.  I will do my best to prepare your student for the days that are going to be missed.  I do hesitate in handing out homework that is going to be missed, simply because plans change on a daily basis because of student pacing.  However work can be assigned and shared through email and google classroom and sometimes completed on google docs.


      Students will be immersed more in literature than ever before as they continue to get the instruction they need in becoming mature readers.  Students will be keeping response journals and we be recording connections that will becoming known as 'jotting' with their books.  Throughout the year  I will be providing updates along with ideas and strategies that you can use at home with your child.  Please be asking your child what their current reading band is.  The goal throughout the year is to watch that level continue to grow at least three letters.  Students should be selecting books at or around the level they are assessed at.   


This is the classroom incentive program that I use.  When your child shows positive behaviors (homework assignment completed, gives a great answer, or shows kindness) they will be awarded with great grapes. The student then places the great grape into a treasure chest for a drawing to be held at the end of each trimester for prizes.  At the end of the year all of the great grapes that have been ‘earned’ by each student will be used as money for the end of the year auction.

Students are given 75 great grapes at the beginning of each quarter in the great grape bank.  Great grapes can be deducted from the bank for inappropriate behavior and not following the school rules of being safe, being kind, and doing their job.  At the end of each trimester every student receives the balance of great grapes in their bank to be used at the end of year auction.  


We have 1 to 1 technology in third grade!  Each student will  have their own chromebook (school supplied) to do work on during the school year.  These will always remain at school.  There will be assignments that will need to be completed at home using google docs.  If your child does not have access to internet and technology at home, please let me know so we can make alternative plans.   Students will become familiar with using google docs as a means of sharing assignments and presentations throughout the year.  Students will have their own email address.  In most cases the email address is their last name, first initial @merton.k12.wi.us.  Students often like to share or email work to you so if you have an email address that you would like your child to share work please write that address down in their assignment notebooks so they will have access to it.   

Students will be using various websites that require passwords.  These passwords will be written down in their assignment notebooks as well.  If they lose the notebooks, we will change up any passwords for their protection.  Or you can go here for more information. Tech Tips and Passwords


In third grade students receive an assignment notebook.  Your child will be filling out their assignment notebook every night before he/she goes home.  This notebook is a great communication tool for us.  Please take a look at your child’s notebook every night to see any assignments that he or she might have.  Also, I may have written a note to you as well.  I do not require a parent  signature every night in the notebooks.


The spelling/vocabulary curriculum  that is used is called Words Their Way.  I will be taking pre-assessments results and forming groups of similar spellers and giving lists of words that best fit where they at developmentally.   Students will be bringing words with them on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Students will be doing different sort activities throughout the week to help them gain mastery of using the words. There will be Friday tests on the words assigned.  Spelling lists will only be given mostly on only five day weeks.


Students will be working hard during the day at school and I tend to not give out a lot of homework.  Homework will vary on a night to night basis.  I will always request that your child read 15 minutes a night.  I highly encourage them to read every night to themselves or out loud to  a sibling, a pet, or to a parent.  Math will frequently be assigned nightly as well.  No record is needed to be completed at home.


Third grade is the grade when Merton offers an accelerated math course as part of the differentiating program.  I am teaching the accelerated math program and because of this some students from other classrooms will be having me for math instruction.  Those who are not in the accelerated math program will be going to other third grade classrooms for their instruction.  Please ask your child when they begin math as to who they have.  If you have any questions about math please feel free to contact that teacher.  


Throughout third grade I will be introducing cursive penmanship.  Our goal in the classroom is to have each student feeling comfortable with using cursive for assignments by the end of the school year.


There will be two snack times available for students.  Children are encouraged to participate in these snack times as food is necessary for the body to continue its healthy function throughout the school day.  

MORNING- This snack will break up the morning for students. The morning is very busy with both reader’s and writer’s workshop.  This snack should be healthy in nature.  Fruits, raw vegetables, cereal bars, trail mix, muffins, and dry cereal are some suggestions.   

AFTERNOON- This snack time will occur at 3:00 after recess.    Please notice that our lunch is very early in the day and your child will probably be hungry at this time.  

Please try to keep snacks simple and easy for your child to manage.   No trading or sharing of snacks will be allowed in the classroom.  

   BIRTHDAY TREATS are allowed and will be celebrated and handed out at our first snack break around 10:30.

Also, I encourage students to bring in a water bottle to keep at their desk during the school day.  Please make sure that these can be capped as to not produce spills on our carpet.



Throughout the year help may be needed in our classroom.  The Merton PTO will collect names of people who are interested in volunteering.  I will work with the assigned room parent to help fill out opportunities that may arise for volunteers throughout the year.  There will be no individual classroom holiday parties in third grade this year.  In lieu of we will be spending time together as a grade level doing holiday related activities.


Our PTO does a fantastic job of supporting the teachers in our district!  Throughout the year your child has the opportunity to collect box tops and bring them in to help our PTO raise monies needed to continue support.  The library that was renovated over the summer is a result of PTO giving back to our building.  I encourage your child to participate in the box top collection and for our classmates to be active in the activities the PTO sponsors throughout the year!   Please check out the PTO website:  www.mertonpto.org


I am here to help and guide your child.  If you need to address a situation with me please feel free to email me at freig@merton.k12.wi.us.  I will address your need as soon as possible. If your child is going to be leaving early or has a different way of getting home please also copy Mrs. Smith in the office in the email.   

Please feel free to follow me and our class on twitter @mertonfreij   I will post occasional pictures of our class in action.

Also please download the Remind App to your smart phone.  Text @eb97e9 to 81010 and follow the directions given.  I am going to try to use this app to send out information to parents about our classroom.