Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Welcome, Mr. McClelland! Lots to do Before Spring Break!

I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome Mr. Jesse McClelland to F3 at Maple. Mr. McClelland is currently working on a Master's degree and Elementary Education teching certificate at Seattle University. He is a graduate of Western Washington University. He will be working as an intern in F3 until the end of the school year. He has been coming to F3 every Thursday since the beginning of 2008, and the kids are now thrilled to be seeing him everyday.

You may have noticed that children brought home a test to work on Monday night. This is because I was deeply unsatisfied with the results of the same test last week. We will grade the tests today and I am hoping for better scores.

Our field trip to Olympia was a HUGE success, and I am so thankful to the parents of Zane, Carmen, Sara, Kevin, Danny and Osanna. And a big thanks too to Karen Craddick. We had a fantastic tour of the Capitol and Temple of Justice.

In this week before spring break, we will work on a writing and communication project in FLASH and work on WASL type problems in reading and math in order to gear up for the test which will begin on April 15.

Have a FANTASTIC spring break with your families, and look forward to having a GREAT week before the break!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

F3 Goes to Olympia

After studying the three branches of government and learning about who our representatives are from Beacon Hill, we are now going to head down to Olympia to see the State Capitol for ourselves. The kids and are really looking forward to this opportunity. Thanks to all the parents who are coming along as chaperones. Karen Craddick will also be joining us!

Students will learn about puberty this week in our Family Life and Sexual Health unit. FLASH will be finished by the time kids go to spring break in a couple of weeks. If you click on the link, you can find the lesson plans that I use for the curriculum. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, let me know.

Also this week, students will be taking their unit 9 math test on Thursday. Students as always are welcome to take home their student math journal to study from. Unit 9 includes area, perimeter, and coordinate grids.

Have a great week ahead, and remember that this is a four-day week for kids. Hope Friday is a fun day for everyone. Cheers!

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Fantastic Week Ends on a FANTASTIC Note

Hello! We had such a wonderful week last week with all of our irregular days and field trips. On Friday we had a field trip that really fed my soul and I think touched many fifth graders in F pod: We went to hear the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall. Ah, what a treat! We had fantastic seats too-- good stuff!

Coming up this week we have our third week of our Family Life and Sexual Health which will cover decision making and issues of abuse. If there are any parents with any concerns or comments-- please do not ever hesitate to call or e mail me. The issues this past week were on self esteem and friendship. Ask your child to talk about their "self esteem bank account". It is in the form of a box they have designed and placed on their desk. I have encouraged them to write themselves compliments to put into their own box, as well as fill up each other's boxes.

Also this week, students will be taking a break from learning about the Spanish explorers to learn about the three branches of government. As with our Astronomy unit, students will be relying heavily on the use of the Internet as a way to learn about the roles of each branch. We are going to Olympia on March 19, and learning about the three branches will be especially helpful. I am a bit bummed that the legislature will not be in session, but the trip will be quite worthwhile.

A Paul update for you: Last week he was enjoying a five day break in Qatar for some rest and relaxation. We are all looking forward to his return which seems like will be happening at the end of April. We'll be sending out our last letters to him this week. The next time you are in the office, make sure you look at the south wall next to the door; you will find one of the flags that Paul sent from Ramadi enclosed in a case. F3 will do the same with our flag once Paul has returned.

Looking forward to another WONDERFUL week with my AMAZING kids. Cheers.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Welcome to March in F3

Have FUN reading this weekend!!
Boy do we have an exciting week ahead. Starting when the kids walk in the door on Monday, our Global Reading teams will have their very first match-up. As we learned this week, we have some competition from E2. I'm really hoping that kids are spending their time cuddled up with their expert book reading and rereading for details. Good luck F3! It'll be a great morning and we'll have fun afterwards regardless of the outcome.

On Tuesday we have a field trip to the Children's Museum to check out the theater version of "One Hundred Dresses". And on Friday we get to go to the Seattle Symphony in the morning.

Wednesday we have a two-hour early dismissal so that teachers can collaborate on what we have been doing in class. This leaves Thursday as the only "regular" day in the schedule!

Please take an opportunity to look at and sign your child's unit seven math test. I will send it home with the kids on Monday attached to their homework for the night. This week the kids will move on to a new math unit, unit nine. Yes, we will be skipping unit 8 until after the kids take the WASL in April. I am deciding to do this because unit eight has more review of fractions-- the kids have now had two units of fractions. And unit nine's content is on coordinate grids, area and volume. These areas will be tested on the WASL and no other units have touched on these areas in math. If you have any questions or concerns, call or e-mail me.

I hope that your children have been coming home talking about what we've been talking about in class. Students have been thoroughly engaged in our discussions in FLASH and in current events. Some students who have been quiet before in discussions are speaking up, which is a very important skill.

As this is the last week before the end of the trimester, we'll be having a reading assessment on Monday. Students just turned in a letter to Judy Blume in response to our last read aloud, Are you there God, It's me, Margaret.

Let's have a GREAT week ahead, and make sure that your child comes to school ready for the Global Reading Challenge on Monday morning! Cheers!