Thursday, December 27, 2007

Winter Break Update and Letters from Paul!!

Check this out!!! We each got a letter from Paul on Christmas. What a great gift. Thanks Paul!

Hope everyone is doing well. I took a plane from Miami to Maryland today. What a great time in Miami. It was nice to get so much sun and heat. Also, since Miami is farther south than Seattle, there were far more hours of daylight. Ok, I'll stop bragging.

Thanks to Danny, Kevin and Benny for being in touch since our last day before break last week. I hope everyone is having a ton of fun over break. Don't forget to read lots . I'm now in the middle of Dave at Night, having just finished When Tia Lola Came to (Visit) Stay and A Single Shard. So nice to have so much time to read. Ahhhh.

Over the next few days I look forward to meeting a brand new baby named Dana, and spend a ton of time with my Mom and Dad. I might even go to one of my favorite places: Chesapeake Beach. More later :)


Monday, December 24, 2007

Have a FANTASTIC break!

Look at our future architects. You kids ROCK!

Happy holidays and greetings from Miami, Florida. I got here yesterday morning and so far I am having a great time with family. My Aunt Margie and Uncle Frank are great hosts, and it has been lovely to hang out with them and my Mom and Dad. My parents will take off tomorrow to go back to Maryland, and on the 27th I'll head up there as well. But for right now I'll enjoy temperatures in the 70's and remember the sun block.

Hope you guys are having a great break. I've been reading A Single Shard. My plan is to read as many of the Global Reading Challenge books as I can while on break. After finishing this book I'll move on to When Tia Lola Came to Stay. I am also reading a book about jazz, which makes me wish I could listen to jazz.
Ok boys and girls, keep e mailing and writing comments. It's been great to hear from you. Also-- check out our AWESOME graham cracker creations above!


Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Fun-Smelling F3, Astronomy,'s Almost Winter Break!!

Here's a very cool shot of a lunar eclipse. F3 students have been learning all about astronomy for the last week.
Wahoo! It's almost time to take a break from school, but for the next five days, we're going to have a TON of fun and do a lot of learning in F3.

Last week kids took a good look at Astronomy, learning about the phases of the moon and movement of the sun in the sky. Early this week, students will review last week's lessons, compare planets, and learn a bit about constellations. There will be an astronomy quiz
on Wednesday.

Also this week students will design plans regarding their graham cracker creations which they will make on Thursday. Kids will be drawing views of their designs from several directions, and I expect that the finished product on Thursday will reflect their design. Please please please bring in any candy or all shapes and sizes by Tuesday.

Over the break, I hope that kids read at least one of the Global Reading Challenge books and keep copious notes on the book chapter by chapter. Also, I will give some fun math activities for kids to work on if they wish over winter break. I will write a few messages during the break, and I encourage all kids to keep in touch wither by writing comments or by e mail.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Preparing for Gingerbread House Day, Research in Science, and Starting Global Reading Books!

Get ready for Gingerbread House Making Day by checking out the incredible creations at the Seattle Sheraton at 6th and Union downtown. I wish I could take the kids myself! Get inspired by going yourselves-- bring the whole family to Union and 6th to the Seattle Sheraton. It's well worth a trip-- try to make it there before the big day on December 20th.

Our Astronomy unit will be starting this week. Students will be learning about the patterns in astronomy as well as basic facts about the sun, earth, and moon.

We finally received our Global Reading Books last week and the kids have been reading away, taking copious notes after each chapter to become as familiar as they can. About two-thirds of the kids in F3 are taking part in the Global Reading Challenge. They have set up their own schedules with their reading partner to ensure that they finish their first book by December 20. Please ensure that your child has a nice quiet place to read in the evenings. I expect kids participating in Global Reading Challenge to read an additional two books during the December break. GRC kids will read all ten books before mid-March, when the competition begins.

In the afternoon of the 20th, we will be making our own Gingerbread creations. This will be an art and math project that I hope parents can join us for-- I will need many adults to help between 11:00 and 2:30 pm. By Monday, December 17th, please bring in something to share with the class for the Gingerbread House Making Day. Graham crackers will be provided!

Thanks as always for your support!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Report Cards Coming Out This Week

Already the first trimester is over. It feels like the trimester has gone by so quickly. The kids have a lot to celebrate, and also have much to work on. Unit four math tests were taken just before the end of the trimester on Friday, and the result was a mixed bag. Your child will take home their test on Monday for you to look over it and sign.

If your student did not do well on the last math test-- that is-- your child received less than 75% on the test-- I invite you to bring them in early to school on Thursdays for help in math. We started last Thursday, and the students who did come seemed to benefit just in that thirty minutes of individualized attention. Please call me at school or write me a note if you would like your child to come on Thursday mornings at 8:30 for the math breakfast club.

You should know that Paul and his comrades got early holiday presents last week when our care packages arrived. What a success! We were on channel five news last week but unfortunately I have not secured a copy of the news segment. We were also mentioned in the Seattle School District Employee Newsletter.

Coming up this week, we will be finishing our Land and Water science unit. Next in science, students will be doing research on a earth/space, physical, or biological science topic of their choice to study for the next two weeks. I will work with students on finding appropriate articles on line and in books at the library.

Your child should have brought back paperwork regarding a study involving Maple's fifth grade students and researchers at the University of Washington. This study benefits teachers and students immensely, particularly in the spring, when students learn about the structure of a cell in the Microworlds unit.

Lastly, check out Global Reading Challenge books made public this week. About two-thirds of the students in F3 are participating in the Global Reading Challenge. They will be expecting to complete one novel before the December break, and two novels during the break. There are ten books in all that each team wil be required to read prior to mid-March.

Lastly, Erin and Jill will be with us for one more week this week. We look forward to having them in the class! Cheers!!