Monday, September 24, 2007

Prime Time in F3

When your child gets home from school today, please take a look at their unit one math test. I am expecting students to review their tests with you tonight (Monday). We'll be moving onto Unit two in Math which will have a lot to do with estimation to solve problems.

We will be starting our first science unit this week, Land and Water. Students will be learning all about groundwater, erosion, the water cycle, and various landforms. It will be a messy and fun science kit. Please let me know if you can help with the science kit inventory or clean up.

It was so great to meet so many of you this past Thursday at the Annual Multi-Ethnic Family Dinner. Thanks for coming and bringing such amazing food. I can't remember the last time I felt so full. I hope to see you again the next two Thursdays. This week on the 27th we will be meeting in the F Pod to talk about fifth grade camp. At the meeting we'll be answering all of your questions and showing slides of Camp Seymour. I really hope you can make it. I expect every student in F3 to go to camp, as I believe it is truly a highlight of fifth grade. Not only will the kids have a fantastic time with their classmates, they will also have academic learning experiences they could never have in a classroom.

Next Thursday, October 4, come back again for curriculum night. I'll be talking to parents about what we will be doing this year in F3. I hope you can make it. There will be cookies :).

This week students will start working on their Family Project. I will be helping students come up with questions to ask their family members about early family history. This week we'll also start gathering materials for making our own first aid kits. I'll be asking all students to chip in by bringing in one of the materials on the list in bulk-- such as band aids or gauze. We'll be putting the first aid kits together early next week.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sweeter than Apples and Honey

Here are pictures from Paul's first visit!

The class continues to be a joy to be in. Last week, students in F3 had a fantastic time learning all about prime and composite numbers, writing often in their communication notebooks, and best of all, meeting LCPL Paul Craddick and his wife Karen on Tuesday, September 11th.

Paul came in to F3 to talk about his future deployment to Iraq starting on September 28th. The students loved meeting Paul and asking many questions about his fears and goals about Iraq. He gave students a list of his favorite foods and candies, which we will be using in order to send Paul packages throughout his seven-month deployment. Already the students have written Paul a first round of letters which we'll be sending to his base in North Carolina so that he gets them before he leaves.

Paul told us that his job will be to protect rebuilding supplies being driven across Iraq. He will be the driver of the convoy while four other Marines will be protecting their vehicle and the trucks they are traveling with from IEDs.

In other news, as you have noticed on the class calendar, the next three Thursdays look pretty busy. I'm sorry about the timing of all these meetings, but I guess we'll have them all over with by the beginning of October! This Thursday I look forward to meeting all of you at the Multi-Ethnic Family Dinner Night which starts at 6 pm. Next Thursday we'll see each other again for a meeting about fifth grade camp. And on Thursday October 4th, we'll have curriculum night-- I promise cookies to all parents who come to this one. :)

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Fantastic First Week!

Hey everyone! What a great first week we had in F3! Students and I got acquainted over discussions about desired superhero powers, writing in communication notebooks, making a class quilt, and some tough math lessons.. I am so happy to be at Maple and I am thrilled to be the teacher of this wonderful batch of students.

I just wanted to write a quick note to tell parents and remind students about a very exciting visit that will happen this week in our classroom on Tuesday, September 11 at 12:30pm. Paul Craddick, a Marine who is about to begin to serve his first tour of duty in Iraq, is coming to F3 to meet our class and talk about his future deployment and answer any questions to kids may have. We will be keeping in touch with Paul during his deployment by way of email and good old letter writing. During the months Paul is gone, we will periodically send care packages to him. I will be asking all students to participate in sending Paul some gifts from home. (We'll be sure to ask him on Tuesday about his favorite kind of candy.)

Also coming up this week is the deadline to get your Scholastic Book Orders in-- that's on Friday. Please also remember to bring in $5.30 to pay for the year-long subscription to Time for Kids.

Thanks to all parents who filled out ALL that paperwork last week. There are still several students however that did not turn in the paperwork for F3. That includes the Internet release form for this website and a parent survey. Please bring these in as soon as you can.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Welcome to the 2007/2008 School Year!

Hello! I am Marcia Ventura, and I will be your child’s fifth grade teacher this year. I have taught in the Seattle School District for eight years and this year I am returning to teaching after an invigorating one-year travel leave. I’m lucky to be here at Maple and very excited to get off to a great start this fall.

Fifth grade is a very exciting year for students. At this moment they are one year from starting middle school, and as such, it is critical that throughout the year, students become academically and socially ready for that transition. Instruction, especially in the areas of reading, writing, and math, will be rigorous to ensure that readiness.

What will students learn this year? In science, they will work with microscopes, learn about erosion and ground water, and even become engineers. In social studies, your child will learn about early US history and the principles this country was founded on. We will also be studying the evolution of the civil rights era of the 1950s and 1960s and the affects that it continues to have in the world today.

As you know, Maple is an open-concept school, and because of that, students will not only have me as their teacher, but they will also learn from Ms. Koeller and Ms. Litvack, the two other fifth grade teachers. The three of us have worked hard in preparation for the start of the school year and will continue to work closely together throughout the year.