Park Specialists' Newsletter

Third Grade Edition - Third Trimester

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Third Trimester Recap

All of Park's certified Teaching Specialists have compiled a summary of what students have learned, enjoyed, and mastered in their respective classes for the final twelve weeks of school. Please scroll down, read, and watch what students have been up to at Park Elementary.

From Park's Art Instructor - Mrs. Ovadje

This trimester, students "visited" the countries of Japan and Greece. Our Art Passports are looking quite full as we send them home for the summer. Look for them in your child’s take home folder, and ask them about their favorite art adventure!


We learned that Japan consists of many small islands in which fishing is very popular, for food and for fun. Japanese fisherman make fish prints with black ink and rice paper to record the size and type of fish they have caught. These fish prints are called Gyotaku. After learning about the traditional Japanese art form, we created our own fish prints. We could not use real fish for our prints, even though the third graders begged me! Instead, we drew fish on a styrofoam printing plate to create multiple prints. The print-making process is very detailed, and I’m very impressed with the students’ effort and craftsmanship! This is one of our hardest, yet most rewarding projects!


We traveled back 3,000 years to Ancient Greece and learned about the Olympics, columns, and Greek vases. We used gold scratch-art paper to create intricate geometric Greek vases. Then we learned about the 3 styles of columns: doric, ionic, and corinthian. Did you know that the White House has ionic columns?

K-12 Art Exhibit:

This trimester, we had a very successful K-12 art exhibit at the Hutchinson Center for the Arts. Thank you to all who visited the Art Center to take a look at the fabulous works of art from all grade levels! A sample of some of the displayed artwork is pictured in the photo above.

3rd Grade Musical Preparation:

Many thanks to the students and families who volunteered their time to help paint the backdrop for the Third Grade Musical (they are pictured below)! During classroom instruction, students colored drawings that were used as decorations and/or featured on the screen during the performances. While working, students often sang along to various musical numbers while in Art. Click here to hear!

Thank you for a wonderful school year! I hope everyone has a creative summer!

–Mrs. Ovadje
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From Park's Librarian - Ms. Shadis

In the Library:

From coding collaboration to studying poetry, students learned about a variety of topics during this third trimester.

  • To celebrate April's National Poetry Month, we read the partner poems from You Read to Me, I'll Read to You by Mary Ann Hoberman. Furthermore, students participated in the National Poem in Your Pocket Day.
  • Coding with DASH and Blockly: Tech Time and the Library teamed up for a special coding opportunity. Students are encouraged to continue their learning over the summer with the free Blockly app. See video below of students putting their coding skills to work!

PTO Free Book:

90 third grade students read and turned in their clock sheets to receive a free book from the Hutchinson PTO. Ask them to share their book with you! A big thanks to PTO for this terrific opportunity!

Park Elementary Summer Resources:

The Park Elementary Library will be open every Wednesday during the summer, from 8:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. Need a log to track your student's reading over the summer? Click here! In addition, Ms. Shadis has provided summer resources on the Library Google page. This information can be accessed by clicking here.

Coding in Class
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From Park's Technology Integration Instructor - Mr. Durheim

Third graders spent much of the third trimester learning about computer coding (programming). Students were introduced to a robot named Dash, pictured below (more information at: Using a tablet, groups of students worked together to assemble code blocks in order to train Dash to accomplish task (pictures and video provided above). Check out the TechTime website for more information!
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From Park's Phy Ed Educators - Mrs. Hahn & Ms. Mueller

Even though the weather was not always cooperative, we took advantage of every opportunity to be outdoors. Encourage your child to continue keeping active this summer.

Units covered in the third trimester:

  • Components of Fitness--see below for a video of students in action as they worked at each fitness station!

  • Hockey

  • Softball/Kickball

  • Lawn Games

  • Capture the Flag

  • Track and Field

  • Tennis Stations

  • Fitness Tests

Fitness Tests:

Fitnessgram allows students to compare their scores with standards that have been identified for good health. It does not assess skill or athletic ability. The following are four of the tests that students performed. Each test has a corresponding video. Students stopped each test when healthy fitness zone was reached.

  • PACER Test: Measures a person’s cardiovascular endurance. Click here for a video of the test.
  • Curl-ups: Measures a person’s abdominal strength and endurance. Click here for a video of the test.
  • Push-ups: Measures a person’s upper body strength and endurance. Click here for a video of the test.
  • Trunk Lift: Measures a person’s trunk extensor strength and flexibility. Click here for a video of the test.

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

Much of the third trimester focused on auditioning, rehearsing and performing the musical The Emperor’s New Clothes. The students worked very hard and had a lot of fun learning all of the songs, dances and acting skills to put on a great show! It takes a lot of cooperation, responsibility and teamwork to do a musical--these are character traits emphasized throughout Park Elementary in all curriculum areas. We are very proud of our students. You are invited to watch a short clip from the musical, provided below.

In addition to the musical, students also worked on singing skills, including practicing new solfege notes in the music scale. Students are now fluent in singing, reading and playing Do, Re, Me, So and La, and will continue with these in fourth grade. Click here to watch students as they play percussion and sing, A Ram Sam Sam. Students also practiced new rhythms learned this year. Students could hear, decode and write patterns using half notes and dotted half notes. To conclude the school year, students did a square dancing unit. It was great fun to learn how to do-si-do, promenade, swing your partner and corner to upbeat country style music.
2016 Third Grade Musical Clip

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

From the Lab:

Science Lab spent most of third trimester learning about animals. Students started this unit by learning the difference between inherited and acquired traits. In addition, they identified some of the more fun inherited traits in themselves, such as “tongue rolling.” We then moved on to learning about how living things get energy they need to live. Students focused on how food chains work and how many food chains connect to form a food web. Some of the vocabulary words students studied during this unit were: producer, consumer, predator, prey, herbivore, carnivore, and omnivore. In addition to food chains, students learned that animals need to adapt to their environment in order to survive. Students gained insight about adaptations through learning the difference between physical and behavioral adaptations. Most recently, we studied Toque Macaques. This type of monkey is only found in Sri Lanka. We examined this monkey’s habitat, adaptations, food chain, and social environment. Culminating all this important learning, the students were able to watch Disney’s nature documentary, Monkey Kingdom. The students loved seeing these monkeys in their natural habitat and following the story that unfolds as these monkeys do their best to survive.

Summer Learning Opportunities:

We hope your scientist can take the information they learned throughout this entire year and apply this to the many things they see and do over the summer months! Whether you are hiking, camping, visiting a lake or ocean, playing in your neighborhood park, touring a national park, or exploring your own backyard, there are tons of science activities you can do with things that are all around you! Take these opportunities to go bird watching, find unique plants, collect weird rocks, or discover new insects. Try some of these projects to get outside, have fun, and enjoy science:

Park Elementary School

Park Elementary School serves approximately 875 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. It is important that our students 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.