Saturday, September 27, 2008

We Had a Phenomenal Time at Camp!!!!

Thanks to all the parents and kids that made Camp Seymour 2008 a HUGE success! More pictures will be arriving on this slide show this week as I get pictures back from all the parents who came.

We had so much fun!! The kids went boating, rock climbing, and took classes in marine science and orienteering. Due to huge parent support, kids had a fun and safe time in their cabins at night. The food was fantastic, and kids learned all about food waste and the importance of clearing their plates :).

This week students will be working on a writing activity about camp. They will be working together to produce a brochure that will give information to next years' campers about Camp Seymour.

Also this week, students will have a big homework assignment: they have to interview someone in the community who knows about environmental, physical, or emotional health problems in the community. Yes, this could be a parent! These interviews need to be done by Monday, October 6th.

Rest well this weekend! See you on Monday!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sorry for the delay... we're going to camp this week!!!

Hello again!! The school year has been a good one so far for the kids in F3.

We started to have centers for literacy time. During this time, the students are reflecting on our read aloud book, A Girl, In Parts, learning about grammar usage, reading about the presidential candidates, buddy reading a short fiction story together, or reading a book of their choosing on their own.

In science, we started a unit called Micros and Me. Maple School has had a partnership with the UW Department of Education Graduate program, and through this partnership, a unit that would have otherwise been just about cells is now also about health issues in our community. After we get back from Camp Seymour, kids will be interviewing members of their community about health issues that affect us on Beacon Hill. Parents, if you yourselves, or if you know of anyone who is a health care provider, please contact me.

We'll be leaving for camp on Wednesday morning. Please make sure your child beings a sack lunch for Wednesday. All other meals will be provided. If you'd like to send a message to your child while they are at camp, please visit the Camp Seymour website. They will be happy to print out any messages you send.

Your child will be quite sleepy on Friday afternoon. If you are able to PLEASE pick your child up on Friday at 2pm. They will have stories for you all weekend long. :)

That's all for now! Cheers!

Ms. V

Monday, September 1, 2008

Welcome to Fifth Grade in F3!

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 nine years, and this is my second year at Maple, and I love it here deeply. In the 2006/2007 school year I took a very invigorating travel leave from Seattle Public Schools in order to take a three-month bike trip throughout the deep south of the US. I have enjoyed using what I learned during my time on the road with my students-- especially during social studies.

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.

Homework will be given Monday through Thursday. Students should be spending about 45 minutes to an hour per night on homework. I expect homework to be done completely independently. If your child is asking for help often with the homework, please let me know. All homework given in class will be directly related to what was tauight during that school day.

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. For the next two months we will be following the presidential campaigns very closely.

Coming up very soon will be FIFTH GRADE CAMP!!!! Woohoo! Most of the students are already signed up and paid for. If you are not, you'll be receiving a phone call from me very soon :). Fifth grade camp is very exciting and will be taking place at Camp Seymour in Gig Harbor from September24-26. More information about camp can be found in the links on the right side of the screen.

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. Felber and Mr. Gonzales, 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.