August 24, 2016
Welcome to third grade at Sunnyside Environmental School! I would like to introduce myself and the grade as a whole to you.
I am a native Northwesterner, born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. I love the Pacific Northwest and try to spend as much time outside exploring it as possible. I did my undergraduate studies at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington and in London, UK before settling in Portland in 1998. Eventually, I found myself at Portland State working toward my Master’s degree in education.
I am about to enter into my 12th year as a teacher (I can’t believe it’s been that long already!) and my 9th year here at Sunnyside. My wife, Amy, and I live in Northeast Portland with our two daughters, Olivia (starting 5th grade at SES) and Angela (starting 3rd grade...in Heather's class). We had a wonderful summer filled with camping, hiking, bicycling, swimming, reading Harry Potter, and hanging out in our yard.
Third grade is an exciting year full of learning, challenge, and fun. Our main theme in 3rd grade is Portland, our home and city. Throughout the year, we'll ask questions, learn stories, explore, and make meaning about our hometown.
Weaved in and out of this Portland theme are a Reader’s Workshop that focuses on teaching students to become focused, independent, and diverse readers and a Writer’s Workshop that teaches students to write effectively in a variety of genres. Our Bridges Math program will hone students’ skills in addition/subtraction and introduce multiplication, division, fractions, and geometry.
In addition to these academic skills, third grade will continue to focus on social and community-building skills. We will build these skills through Morning Meetings, sharing, games, reflection, and gratitude. As a school and a third grade team, we feel that we are not just educating children, but global citizens.
I will go into more detail about our curriculum, answer questions, and present volunteering opportunities at our Back to School Night (date and time TBD). I’m so excited to work with your children this year! See you soon!
Jeremy Thomas, 3rd Grade, Sunnyside Environmental School