Monday, May 21, 2018


    Dear Parents/Guardians,

                Today we had a presentation from the Ulster County SPCA. The children loved talking about pets and learning when it is safe to pet a dog. This is the beginning of a fun week.

                Our field day is on Thursday and the forecast is for a perfect sunny day with temperatures in the 70’s. Please remember that your child will be outside from 10 to 2:00 pm in the warm sun. They should have sunscreen, bug spray, sneakers, and perhaps a change of clothing, in case they get wet during some of the activities. There is a BBQ or the children can bring their own lunches.

                On Wednesday, the children will have their Social Studies test on Australia. They were given a study guide and they have a package on Australia. On Friday, they will have their Math test on perimeter and area.

                In ELA, we haven’t been using the Wonders series. Instead, we are reading the classic novel Stuart Little by E. B. White. We don’t have spelling words but instead will be doing a project. Using shoeboxes, the children will re-create a scene from the book as a diorama.

                In Science, we will have a test on Weather next week. After that, our last two units are on plants and electricity.

                We have completed the first five weeks of the fourth quarter. Progress reports are going home this week. We are almost at the end. Things to look forward to: our field trip to the aquarium on Monday, June 4 and the recorder concert on Tuesday, June 12 at 2:00. There is only the one daytime performance.




    Ms. Viskocil












    March 19, 2018

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

    I am hoping that we get in a full week of school this week. It looks like the storm predicted for Wednesday will stay south of us. On Wednesday, many of our third and fourth graders will be putting on a play called “Great Americans of the Twentieth Century.” This showing will be for the other children at Mt. Marion. The evening performance for parents will be on Thursday, March 22.

    The children will be having a Science test on matter on Friday, March 23rd. The study guide went home today. Students should try to answer each question. Then they should return with their guides, so I can go over and discuss the correct choices. The essay questions are particularly hard, so your child needs to spend additional time reviewing the written responses printed out on the pink paper.

    We are also finishing up Chapter 8 in Math: Fractions. The assessment will be given on Thursday, March 23.

    We have been collecting pictures and coloring pages from a Chinese package in preparation of putting together a travel poster. This poster is due on Thursday, March 23. The children can have help from parents or other adults especially with laying out their pictures in a neat and organized manner. The children will receive extra points if they go beyond the rubric and add creative touches.

    In ELA, we don’t have any new spelling words or vocabulary words as we are using last year’s NY State ELA Assessment as practice. This year’s 2 day test will be on April 11 and April 12. We are practicing a little at a time so the children are comfortable and know what to expect.

    We lost one vacation day from our spring break due to using too many snow days. We no longer have Monday, April 2 off. We will have school on the day after Easter. I am planning our Easter/Spring party on that day when we all return.

    Wishing everyone a very happy Passover and Easter. I hope everyone enjoys their spring break. I know I am looking forward to warmer temperatures!


    Ms. Viskocil







    February 20, 2018


    Dear Parents/Guardians,

                I hope that everyone enjoyed their three day weekend.  It looks like we are in for some crazy weather again this week.  It could reach 70 degrees on Wednesday, and there could be snow on either Thursday or Friday!

                This month we are encouraging reading at home with our PARP program and our Six Flags/Library challenge.  Reading for pleasure helps children to develop better vocabularies and stronger writing skills.  In class, the children have been writing their own books. Remember that we will have an evening later in the month to Build a Book.

                In Math, we are practicing our division facts. This week we are dividing by 8s and 9s, problem solving, and learning the order of operations.  Our next math assessment will be on Tuesday, February 27.

                In Social Studies, we will be reading about China and learning about the Great Wall of China.  The children will have a quiz on Asian vocabulary words on Friday of this week.

                In Science, we are continuing our study of matter.  The students will be using marshmallows to make models of solids, liquids, and gases.

                In ELA, we are learning about the genre of historical fiction.  The first story was about Abraham Lincoln and his love of reading.  Our second story “Finding Lincoln” is about the civil rights movement and speaks of a time when African American children were not allowed in an all White library.  We also learning about idioms.  Our next reading and spelling tests will be given on Monday, February 26.

                We look forward to having an author here in Mt. Marion on Thursday afternoon.  Jerry Pallotta, who lives in Boston, MA, writes imaginative fiction.


    Ms. Viskocil


    January 8, 2018

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

                The weather outside has be frightful! And it has altered our routine with snow days and delayed openings. We have been working on a special project using a book called The Three Questions. Based on a story by Leo Tolstoy, a young boy seeks to find out what is the right thing to do. We have been learning about kindness.   You need to help now, you need to help the person closest to you, and you need to do whatever needs to be done. We created a special bulletin board display on how we are showing kindness by being helpful. The Board of Education will be meeting tomorrow at 6:00 for a walking tour of Mt. Marion. Please join them and the meeting afterwards at 6:30.

                Tomorrow, we return to our Wonders Series. I am skipping a story and moving onto Week 4: Saving Animals. Our essential question (How can people help animals survive?) goes right along with being helpful. Our next spelling and reading tests will be given on Tuesday, January 16, right after the day off for Martin Luther King’s Day.

                In Math, we are completing the chapter on the different strategies for addition and subtraction.   We will be test will be given on Friday, January 12.

                In Social Studies, we are still in the freezing cold continent of Antarctica. It was one of the last continents to be explored due to its extremely harsh climate. The children will be learning about the early explorers, some of who gave their lives, trying to reach the South Pole.

                It is hard to get back into the routine of school after the holiday break and the interruptions due to bad weather. Please help your child check their assignment planners. Tomorrow is B Day: Library. I would like to see all library books returned on time.


    Ms. Viskocil





    December 11, 2017

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

              We had our first snow over the weekend with temperatures really dropping later this week. Please be aware that your child needs a hat or scarf, mittens or gloves, and a warm coat. Also our schedule can be mixed up due to delayed openings, early closings, or snow days. Discuss with your child what your plans are in case, snow causes a change in plans.

              We have two full weeks before our holiday break. This week we will have our winter concert on Thursday afternoon at 2:00. Next week, we will have a special assembly: Mark Rust’s Holiday Music from Around the World.

              In ELA, we are reading about why people immigrate to a new place. Our next reading and spelling tests will be given on Monday, December 18th.

              In Math, we have a Mid-Chapter Quiz tomorrow on how to add three digit numbers by regrouping. Then, we move onto subtraction. I am hoping to complete Chapter 1 before our winter break.

              In Social Studies, we are learning about the geography and explorers of Antarctica. We also will be doing a fun study of penguins.

              In Science, we are using The Great Body Shop to learn more about skeletons and how to take care of our bodies.

              ‘Tis the season to be jolly. However, we should remember that some people are struggling over this time, and we all need to be kind to each other. Wishing you and your family joy, comfort, and kindness.


    Ms. Viskocil











    December 4, 2017

    Dear Parents/Guardians:

                We are beginning our month of fun and excitement. Tomorrow the children will be going to the PTA sponsored Holiday Shop. For $2.00 per item, they can purchase a small gift and have it wrapped. Our school theme is kindness, so I am stressing that we should be doing kind things for each other. The children can give gifts to loved ones and shouldn’t be shopping for themselves. Please send in money if you want your child to participate in this event.

                In Math we are in Chapter 1: Addition and Subtraction. This week we are focusing on estimating the sum of two numbers being added together. We have been learning how to round to the nearest tens or the nearest hundreds. Today we learned how to use compatible numbers (counting by 25) to use mental math to add in our heads. For example: 273 can become 275 and 122 can become 125. Adding 275 and 125 can be done quickly for a sum of 400.

                In Reading, we are starting a new unit and a new theme. We are looking at how working together can help us solve problems. The spelling and reading tests will be given on Friday, December 8th.

                In Science, we are using The Great Body Shop to discuss safety at home and in our community, and we are learning more about how our bones support our bodies. We will be doing a chapter in the textbook on the States of Matter (solids, liquids, and gasses).

                In Social Studies, our next continent is Antarctica. We will be learning about the explorers who had to overcome difficult obstacles to discover the South Pole. We will also learn about the few animals that make Antarctica their home.

                On Thursday afternoon, we are going on a field trip to the Orpheum Theater in Saugerties to see the movie Coco. Permission slips are due by Wednesday, and your child will need a bagged lunch since we are eating in the classroom at 11:00 before taking the bus at 11:30 to the movies.


    Ms. Viskocil


    November 27, 2017

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

    I hope everyone enjoyed the long Thanksgiving break. The children had a good time learning about our early history with the Pilgrims and the big feast.

    We are now heading into a week of writing and assessments. There are no new spelling or vocabulary words this week, as we will not be reading a story from the Wonders series. Instead, we are writing a story about a trip. Tonight, your child was assigned to select a topic and to begin writing about it. I asked the children to share what they wrote in class with someone at home. Their brainstorming piece of writing must be returned to school, because each day we will build upon it.

    In Math we are completing Chapter 6 on division. We will start reviewing tomorrow. The assessment will be given on Wednesday, November 29.

    In Science, we completed Chapter 8 on the Earth’s structure. During our science lessons, we learned about volcanoes and earthquakes. We also learned the differences between weathering and erosion. We are reviewing in class but the children also have a study guide. The test will be given on Thursday, November 30.

    In Social Studies, we have loved learning about Mexico. Today, we discussed all the incredible things we learned. A study guide was handed out, and the test will be given on Friday, December 1.

    Please check your child’s backpacks and folders. Reviewing and studying are important and should be given time and effort even if there isn’t a worksheet.


    Ms. Viskocil





    November 13, 2017

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

              I hope everyone enjoyed this past Veteran Day Weekend. We began November with a major weather change. The temperatures have really dropped. We like to send the children outside for recess for fresh air and exercise, so it is really important that your child is dressed appropriately. Please don’t forget gloves or mittens, a hat, and a warm coat.

              In Math, we are continuing our chapter on division. The children will be learning how division is related to subtraction. They will be using bar models and arrays. They will also have a mid-chapter review/quiz on Wednesday.

              In Science, we are studying about weathering and erosion. This is the final lesson in Chapter 8. We will start reviewing and but will not have our next assessment until after the Thanksgiving break.

              In Social Studies, we will learn about contributions made to the American culture from Mexico. We will learn some fascinating facts about our neighbor to the South. We will also make a Mexican yarn craft.

              In ELA, we are looking at the essential question: How do landmarks help us understand our country’s story? The children read about the Grand Canyon and today, about Mount Rushmore. Later in the week, the children will learn about Olvera Street (which is the birth place of Los Angeles), the Statue of Liberty, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the John F. Kennedy Space Center, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial located in Washington, D.C. Our next spelling and reading tests will be given this Friday, November 17. Please help your child by reviewing both the spelling and the vocabulary words for this week.

    We have completed the first quarter, and report cards are going home on Friday. I have sent out notices for a conference time on Thursday evening for those parents I haven’t seen yet. Please make sure that you confirm whether or not you can make your appointment.


    Ms. Viskocil




    November 6, 2017

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

            This is going to be a short week. The children have Tuesday off, while the staff will be attending a Superintendent’s Conference Day. Then, everyone will be off on Friday in observance of Veterans Day. On Thursday afternoon, Mt. Marion will hold its annual Veterans Day assembly.

            In Math, we will begin Chapter 6: Division. The children will be learning that they will be using their multiplication facts to solve problems: dividing a large number into equal groups.

            In Social Studies, we will be learning about the Mexican flag and will be make one that can be used as a placemat. We also will be learning why we celebrate Veterans Day.

            In Science, we see a couple of videos on volcanoes and earthquakes.

            In ELA, we are finishing up our stories about inventors. Our next reading and spelling tests will be given on Wednesday, November 8.


    Ms. Viskocil




    October 30, 2017

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

              Happy Halloween! I have a number of fun activities planned for tomorrow.   We will learn about skeletons and The Day of the Day, a Mexican holiday. We will read about bones using our health curriculum called The Great Body Shop. We will be creating a pasta skeleton. We will have a party in the afternoon before our physical education class. The children may change into their costumes after lunch but will change back to their regular clothes for gym and for going home. The children cannot bring to school any toys or accessories that represent violence (no guns, knives, fake blood, etc). Children may wear their pajamas in lieu of a costume.

              This week, we are reading about inventors like Mary Anderson, Elijah McCoy, and Victor Ochoa. I will be teaching reading skills and strategies like recognizing figurative language like similes and metaphors. The children will also use cause and effect to improve their comprehension. Today, we took our weekly spelling and reading tests. Our next spelling test will be on Wednesday, November 8th. The children do not have school on Tuesday because the staff has a Superintendent’s Conference Day.

              In Science, we are still in Chapter 8: Changes on Earth. The children are excited to learn more about volcanoes and earthquakes. We will be making a clay model of the Earth showing its layers.

              In Social Studies, our study of Mexico continues. We will be making a Mexican flag and be learning about the different animals, climates, and vegetation of Mexico.

              In Math, we will be finishing Chapter 5 and will be reviewing for the assessment which will be given on Thursday, November 2. Also on Thursday, the children will be dismissed a little earlier than normal as we participate in the county wide evacuation day.


    Ms. Viskocil


    October 23, 2017

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

            We have had a surprising mild autumn with warm days and colorful leaves. The forecast for this coming week is for cooler temperatures and rain. Make sure that you dress your child warmly as the it can be chilly when the kids go outside for recess.

            In English, we are on our third story and our essential question is: How do people from different cultures contribute to a community? The children will have their spelling test (words with silent e) and their reading assessment on Monday, October 30.

            In Science, we completed our unit on rocks and minerals. We are now learning about the layers of the Earth.

            In Social Studies, we will be having a test on North America and map skills tomorrow, Tuesday, October 24. Then, we will begin our study of Mexico.

            In Math, we will be working on our last chapter on multiplication. Chapter 6 is about describing patterns, finding unknown factors, and learning how to multiply multiples of 10.

            On Friday, we will be using balance scales to determine the mass of miniature pumpkins. The children will be working in small groups and using gram weights to find out the mass of their individual pumpkins. I could use parent volunteers for this activity. We will start right after lunch around 12:20. If you are available and would like to join us, we would love to have you in our classroom. Just let me know so I can notify the front door monitor. Thanks!


    Ms. Viskocil


    October 14, 2017

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

            We completed 5 weeks of school and progress reports were sent home last week. I have had the opportunity to meet with many with you. If you haven’t met with me yet and wish to have a parent/teacher conference, please contact me.

            Last week, we learned that Christopher Columbus was one of the explorers who came to the New World and introduced North America to the European nations. This week, the children will be learning more about North America. They will be given a study guide to prepare them for a test to be given next week on Tuesday, October 24.

            In Math, we have been learning multiplication facts and looking at patterns. Today, we used those facts to help us solve word problems. Our Chapter 4 test will be on Thursday, October 19.

            In Science, we are reading about why soil is important. We will continue to use checkpoint reviews.   We will use the test as a study guide and will review during class time. We will be having an assessment on Chapter 7 on Friday, October 20.

            In ELA, we are discussing family traditions. The Dream Catcher talks about traditions in a Native American family. Yoon and the Jade Bracelet talks about a precious gift passed down from a South Korean mother to her daughter. What traditions do you observe or celebrate in your family? The next spelling and reading test will be given on Friday, October 20.


    Ms. Viskocil





    October 10, 2017


    Dear Parents/Guardians,


              Last week, we had so much fun. The children enjoyed the color fun run. The Howe Caverns were exciting, and we learned more about sedimentary rock and limestone. Mrs. Faith treated us to donuts and apple cider on Friday. And then, we had a three-day weekend.

    This week, we have only 4 days. We will be reading a biography of Christopher Columbus. The children will be learning to distinguish between facts and opinions. They will be learning how to take notes from a nonfiction piece. We will also be reviewing for a grammar assessment. The children should know the four kinds of sentences: statement, question, command and exclamatory. They need to be able to identify the subject and predicate of a sentence. For reading and spelling, the children will not be tested until Friday, October 20.

    In Math, the children will be learning about the Associative Property. They will learn how to regroup factors to make getting a product easier. They will be looking at patterns using a multiplication table, and we will be learning our 8 and 9 times facts.

    In Science, we will be reading Lesson 2: What are minerals? The children will be completing a checkpoint for homework to review what we discussed in class. Your child will need to go back and reread the summary to answer the short response questions.

    In Social Studies, we will take notes on North America. The children will be learning about Central American countries like Belize, Panama and its canal, and Costa Rico. They will also have to identify the locations of Canada to our north and Mexico to our south.

    On Friday, we have our Fire Prevention Day and the five week progress reports will be sent home.  



                                                    Ms. Viskocil




    October 2, 2017

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

              We completed our first month of school and had a reward party on Friday.  The children have been adjusting to being third graders with more responsibilities and more homework. 

              October is going to be a very busy month.  This week alone, we have school pictures on Tuesday, the color run fundraiser on Wednesday, and our field trip to Howe’s Cavern on Thursday. Next week, we have Monday off for the Columbus Day Holiday.    

              In Science, we will be studying Chapter 7: Rocks and Minerals.

              In Math, we are starting Chapter 4: Learning Multiplication Facts and Patterns.   This week, the children will learn about the Distributive Property where you can break apart large numbers.  For example: 8 x 6 = 5 x6 plus 3 x 6 (30 plus 18) to get the product of 48.  It is one strategy students can use, but it can be confusing.  The children will also learn about the Associative Property where numbers can be grouped differently.  For example: (3 x 5 )x 2 can be solved by regrouping 3 x (5 x2) or 30. 

              In Reading, the children are reading about different traditions in different cultures.  We will have our spelling and reading tests this F day (tomorrow).  Then, I will be using a different assessment to model independent reading and comprehension skills. 

              Tomorrow there will be a quiz on the 7 continents and 4 oceans.  The children will be given maps and will have to identify these 11 different places.  Next, we begin our study of North America.  The children will be reading and taking notes and learning about the different countries in North America besides the United States.


    Ms. Viskocil







Last Modified on May 21, 2018