Park Specialists' Newsletter

3rd Grade Edition - Second Trimester

A Look Back at Second Trimester

All of Park's Specialists have compiled a recap of what students have learned, mastered, and enjoyed in their classes over the course of the second trimester. Please scroll down, read, and watch what Park's students have been up to.

From Park's Art Instructor - Ms. Kirchoff

Third graders continued to develop their craft and creativity while traveling “Around the World”. In December, we finished our Native American Buffalo Hide Paintings. Third graders told stories about a trip or adventure. The students included who was in the story, what they were doing, where the story took place, and how they got there! The catch was – you could only use pictures! Also, students were only given primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) and neutral colors on their paint palette; therefore, they had to mix their own secondary colors of green, purple, and orange. They even made tints and shades by adding white and black to colors! It was fun traveling with the students as they told me about trips to their grandmas and grandpas, waterparks, and family vacations.

In January, we traveled to a very warm place called Ghana. While in Ghana, we learned about a typical day for a 10 year old girl named Georgina Williams. Georgina took us on a shopping trip with her uncle to buy a Kente Cloth – something that is very special in Ghana. We even had a chance to see and feel a small Kente Cloth! We described the color, pattern, lines, and geometric shapes in the Kente Cloth. Then, students made their own Kente Clothes out of paper! We first had to design our patterns with oil pastel and painted over them with watercolor paints. This is called a watercolor resist because the oil resists the watercolors! Students created their own special paper that was then weaved between construction paper.

Lastly, in February we traveled to London for our musical, "101 Dalmatians". Each class drew a setting from the musical, such as Roger and Anita’s living room or Cruella’s Fur Vault. We also had the chance to listen and practice our songs in the art room during work time! All third grade students did a wonderful job during the musical. Thank you for supporting your student!!

From Park's Librarian - Ms. Shadis

“I know how to look up answers to many different types of questions.”

Third grade has spent most of second trimester learning strategies for finding answers. They are especially good at logging in to Destiny Quest, where they find books, place them on hold and renew them. We explored Brittanica (online encyclopedia) Read and Write Gold, which reads any computerized text out loud and supports writing by predicting words when typing. Quick links to these resources can be found at

Select Park Elementary. Select Resources. Select Electronic Search.

E-books also available via desktop computer as well as iPad, KindleFire, Nook Tablet

Another great resource that doesn’t require a dedicated e-reading device, but works on any internet connection is

Username: park423. Password: login

Students can listen to books while following along with the text at a variety of levels. Check it out!

Coming right up…

In March, Park will celebrate Read Across America with a special parent-guest reader during library time, “What’s in the Cat’s Hat” book clues contest, dress-up days and a grand finale of a special lyceum presented by staff of Hooray for Diffendoofer Day preceded by the Cat-in-the-Hat favorite book award winners. For Seuss-fun you can enjoy at home, check out

Have you read a book to your child lately?

Watch Below

Click on the video to learn more about the wonderful databases available for student use through the Electronic Library for Minnesota.

Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM)

From Park's Technology Integration Instructor - Mr. Durheim

Mr. Durheim decided to forgo writing a summary and instead recorded a video that highlights the content taught in Technology class! Please watch and be informed of the technology skills your student has learned!

From Park's Phy Ed Educators - Mrs. Hahn & Ms. Mueller

Units covered second trimester:

*Basketball skills *Cooperatives- large and small group activities

*Multicultural games * Jumping activities- ropes and Chinese jump ropes

*Table tennis * Juggling

"Walk for Hunger" Update

In December, our students participated in the “Walk for Hunger Food Shelf Drive”. This event combined wellness and community service for our students. We donated 3101 pounds of food to the food shelf. Thanks to all the families that donated and helped make this event a success!

Let's Move!

Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, Let’s Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years through:

  1. Giving parents helpful information about fostering environments that support healthy choices.
  2. Providing healthier foods in our schools
  3. Ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food
  4. Helping kids become more physically active.

For more information, go to

Park Students in Action

View the video clip below of students practicing their juggling skills during one of the last units of the second trimester.
Juggling in Gym

From Park's Music Teachers - Ms. Halter & Mrs. Hoeft

This trimester we continued our efforts to develop an awareness of pitch matching and the use of the singing voice. We encouraged pitch matching through the use of hand signs and echo singing of the intervals Do, Re, Mi, and So. One of the students’ favorite songs using these intervals was Grey Squirrel, which they learned how to play on the Orff instruments. Another fun song, which included these intervals, was There Was a Pig, a Christmas song from England. The students enjoyed acting out the planting and harvesting motions, adding the Orff instruments, then performing the whole piece for their teacher.

In addition to singing, we have been working on reading rhythmic notation of quarter, eighth, half, dotted half notes, and quarter rests. Our dance this trimester was a line dance. The students worked hard to keep the beat and remember the steps in the pattern. The upbeat music made it fun as well!

The highlight of our trimester was performing the musical "101 Dalmatians". Each child had a special part and everyone worked hard to learn the acting, songs and dances and put on a terrific performance! Performing a musical requires a great deal of teamwork among students, teachers and parents. Thank you for all your support with costumes, make-up and attending the show. Your enthusiasm is very important to your child. Please watch the video (below) of some highlights from both performances!


From Park's Science Specialists - Mrs. Kucera & Mrs. Mueller

Have you ever wondered how things balance and why? At the beginning of Trimester 2, Science Lab students investigated the science behind balance. They learned new science terms like balance point, center of gravity, and counter weight. They also experimented with balance by balancing a variety of objects. This unit ended with two very fun activities. We played a “Minute to Win It” balance challenge and created some “Balance Magic Head Wear” using corks, toothpicks, skewers, and marshmallows.

Our next unit was all about motion. Students started learning about spinning things by playing with tops, zoomers, and twirlers. We then moved on to the motion of rolling. We experimented by rolling cups, round discs, and a variety of different wheel and axle systems. We then took it a step further and created rollercoaster runways. This unit ended by learning about the three laws of motion and one of our favorite scientists, Sir Isaac Newton.

The next adventure in the Science Lab is learning about the “Simple Six.” The simple six represents the six basic types of simple machines. Our objective for this unit is to discover how each simple machine makes work easier by using less force to complete a job. We measure the force needed to do the work in Newton Units by using a spring scale.

Park Elementary School

Park Elementary School serves 900 students in second through fifth grade. Our purpose is to meet the needs of the whole child with an emphasis on basic academic skills. We are committed to providing as many hands-on learning experiences as possible in all academic areas. We want our students to know, understand, and apply what we teach. We provide instruction and opportunities in all academic areas. As an elementary school, our focus is on language arts and mathematics.