Park Specialists' Newsletter

Third Grade Edition - Second Trimester

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Second 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 past twelve weeks. Please scroll down, read, and watch what students have been up to at Park Elementary.
For your viewing pleasure, a short video montage of the school-wide Reading Celebration lyceum is available below. This event took a lot of planning and preparation on behalf of some of our Specialists. Watch and enjoy!

From Park's Art Instructor - Ms. Kirchoff

Time Flies! Second Trimester is complete! This trimester in art we talked about illustrator Charley Harper and created Charley Harper-inspired winter cardinals. In January we learned all about Vincent Van Gogh and we got lost inside his painting The Starry Night. We talked about line and color and created swirling skies just like Van Gogh. Although Van Gogh used heavy layers of oil paint, our third graders stuck with oil pastels and watercolor paints! After our Starry Nights, we discussed an abstract artist named Piet Mondrian. Mondrian used line, shape, and color in his paintings. Can your third grader name the type of lines, shapes and colors Mondrian used in his artwork? I hope so because we create a “Mondrian” collage and a “Not Mondrian” collage using A LOT of construction paper. Thank you to the janitors for cleaning up the mess we left behind! We are currently looking at Op artists named M.C. Escher and Bridget Riley and creating some Op Art with shapes. Hopefully these will trick your eyes, just like an OPtical Illusion!

I have started to select student artwork for the Elementary Art Show in May. Keep a look out for information in the months to come! Also, I will be choosing a few students to help paint the Third Grade Musical backdrops! If your son or daughter is chosen, information will be sent home soon.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call or email me!

320-587-2837 x1014 //

If I Ran the Circus -Excerpts from the staff student play

From Park's Librarian - Ms. Shadis

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

Third grade spent most of second trimester learning strategies for finding answers. Students became particularly good at logging in to Destiny Quest, where they found books, placed them on hold and renewed them. We explored Brittanica (online encyclopedia) and 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 For Students.
  • Select Library.

Click here to see a video about ELM - the Electronic Library of Minnesota.

Read Across America

Park culminated its I Love to Read/Read Across America celebration with a special parent guest reader during library time. Click here to see the photo album of students posing with the guest and book! Students also participated in other festivities such as: Guess the Seuss Silhouette, daily dress-up days, and attending the grand finale of a special lyceum presented by staff of If I Ran the Circus. Preceding the performance was a special appearance by the Cat-in-the-Hat to announce the favorite book award winners. Here are the top five that garnered the most votes from third grade students:

"My Weird School" series

"Fly Guy" series

Author Dr. Seuss

"Percy Jackson" series

"Geronimo Stilto" series

Nonfiction (variety of topics)

For Suess-fun you can enjoy at home, check out

E-books are available via desktop computer as well as iPad, KindleFire, and Nook Tablet.

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

Both websites require the following: Username: park423. Password: login

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

Have you read a book to your child lately?

From Park's Technology Integration Instructor - Mr. Durheim

Students have been busy learning, creating, and collaborating during Tech Time. Click here to learn more!
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From Park's Phy Ed Educators - Mrs. Hahn & Mrs. Mueller

A typical day in the Physical Education class begins with a fitness warm-up activity. These activities vary from cardiovascular, muscular strength/endurance, and/or flexibility. The purpose of these activities is to increase the students’ awareness and level of fitness. After the warm-up, students have a lesson that focuses on the skills that will help them to be successful in the games of a unit. The students will then participate in an age – appropriate game using the skill(s) practiced in that lesson.

Units covered during second trimester:

*Basketball *Cooperatives- large and small group activities

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

*Table tennis * Juggling

Watch the video excerpt below of third graders as they work on their coordination and cooperation while using Chinese jump ropes!

Walk for Hunger:

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 2768 pounds of food to the food shelf. Thanks to all the families that donated and helped make this event a success!

Healthy Living Steps

See below for simple steps that make a real difference in children’s lives by helping build healthy habits for life.

  1. Keep fresh fruit in a bowl within your child’s reach to grab as a quick snack.
  2. Take a walk with your family after dinner.
  3. Plan a menu for the week. Get children involved in the planning and cooking.
  4. Turn off the TV during meals and share some family time.

For more information, go to:

Jumping Skills with Third Grade

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

This trimester we continued our efforts to develop an awareness of pitch matching and 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. A 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 classroom teacher. Students also practiced teamwork and cooperation as they worked in small groups to create a melody using Do, Re, Mi, and So. After creating their melody, students practiced singing, playing, and performing it for the class. We have recently begun adding other notes in the music scale, including the pitch La. Students learned a fun song about Music Street called Do-Re-Mi from the musical Sound of Music.

Work on the third grade musical, Pinocchio, has commenced! Third graders will perform for the public on May 7 and 8. You will be receiving information shortly after spring break about your child’s part and the date their class is performing. The students have begun singing the songs and have been practicing their dancing and acting skills as they participate in auditions. Every child will have a special part in the show.

Mrs. Mallak's Class Performs with Xylophones

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

In the Science Lab we have been learning all year about energy. We finished up our focus on energy with sound energy. Tuning forks, long gongs, boomwhackers, and 3-way telephone lines were some of the activities that kept us busy and excited about learning about sound. Check out the video below to hear a simple song that some of our fifth graders were able to play while exploring sound with the boomwhackers! Students also explored pitch by changing a variety of variables such as length, tension, and thickness.

After learning about sound energy, we switched gears and started learning about matter. The following questions were posed to students: What is matter? What 3 main states do we find matter on Earth? How can we change matter? How do we measure matter? Students started answering all of these questions while exploring matter in a variety of experiments. Students measured matter in many ways: mass in grams and kilograms, volume in liters and milliters, length in centimeters and meters, and temperature in degrees Celsius. Who knew how much matter, matters?!

Science Lab Boomwhackers

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. 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.