Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We went to a Gingerbread Village, and then we BECAME a Gingerbread Village!

We had such an exciting week in F3 the week prior to break! On Tuesday last week, students climbed aboard the #60 bus to the Light Rail, zoomed downtown and checked out the Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Hotel downtown. It was fantastic! Five creations were made by different architect firms in Seattle.

One of those firms, KMD Architects, won first place in the Village with their take on ""A Charlie Brown Christmas" -- a doghouse for Snoopy. Stacy Smedley, a lead architect on the project, came to our classroom on Wednesday and told us all about how she made Snoopy's Doghouse. Stacy then gave us pointers on how we could make our own creations. She even went around to all the tables and saw all of the gingerbread house blueprints the kids had made.

On Thursday, those blueprints were used to make fantastic houses. Congratulations, F3, for all of your talent and patience! You made some awesome creations on Thursday!!

Have a GREAT break! Don't forget to log onto Study Island a few times between now and January 3. Cheers F3!

Ms. V.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

No way! Thanksgving is NEXT WEEK?!?!?! We've gotta get busy!

I am happy to report that all continues to be going very well in F3. The kids are GREAT, and are currently taking quite a leadership role in the school. They have been scouring their homes for pennies; bringing in more pennies for the penny harvest than any other intermediate classroom.

What else? The kids have gone throughout the school to collect goods from Maple kids and their families to donate for our care package project. The big day will be on November 20th when we will putting together care packages for troops currently serving in Afghanistan. Please let me know if you can come in to volunteer that day-- from 10:30am to 12 noon.

What else? F3 has just gotten through their third unit test in Math and with few exceptions, most students did an excellent job. We're moving on to a different curriculum now until January called "Connected Math Project". This math unit returns to learning about number sense, specifically factors and multiples.

I really look forward to meeting with all of you to talk about your child's progress in school. Please let me know if the time I've given you doesn't work. I have some wiggle room and may be able to fit you in to a better time slot.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Census! Multi-Ethnic Dinner Night! Getting Ready for Veteran's Day!

Things are going mighty well in F3! Today we got to speak with Dr. Robert Groves, Director of the US Census. Dr. Groves was kind enough to talk to us on the phone for fifteen minutes. About a dozen kids asked great questions such as: How are homeless people counted? How are people in the military counted? and, Are translators hired? Dr. Groves wrote about our interview on his blog! The kids were thrilled to do the interview and I am excited to focus on the census throughout the year.

Tonight was the Multi-Ethnic Dinner night at Maple. It was fantastic to see so many F3 parents! Thanks so much for signing up for conferences. I look forward to seeing you in a few weeks.

The next exciting event for F3 is Veterans' Day, and the Veterans' Care Package drive. For the last two years, students in F3 have helped organize the assembly and the care package drive that follows. We'll be asking kids at Maple to bring in items for the drive from November 12 to the 19th. On the 20th, we'll be busy packing up the boxes to send to a base in Afghanistan.

All the best,
-Ms. V

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Camp and Cupcakes!

WOW!!! We had such an AMAZING time at camp! YAY! We learned how to canoe, learned about the camp's "Living Machine", played co-operative learning games, had a TON of fun with the fourth graders, and basically got to be super silly for three days straight. Camp will be the source of many stories and lessons for a long time to come.

Mrs. Hunter came for two days and got to spend quality time with the kids. She even got to spend a night in one of the girls' cabins! (I did too.) Here's a big shout out to Ella's dad and Alma's dad for being amongst the fabulous parents that were cabin leaders at camp.

Pictures are coming soon. Parents with pictures, please send them to school on a disc or a jump drive so that I can make a slide show of everyone's pictures.

So... Cupcakes. Wow. Lots of cupcakes this week. We celebrated Tony's birthday on Monday, Justin Z's birthday today, Roussevelt's birthday tomorrow, and Alma's birthday on Saturday. We'll just be calling ourselves the Libras from now on :)

In other news, now that it's post camp we are back at it! Today the kids learned about a cell and actually saw cells in a slice of cork. Later this week, we'll be looking at living micros under the microscope.We're finishing our first writing unit on writing personal narratives. The kids have told some GREAT short stories.

That's all for now! Cheers!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Off to a fantastic start in F3... Next Stop: Camp Seymour Next Week!!!

Hello everyone! Thanks for such a fantastic first week and a half at Maple in F3. So far, so good!

We've already started on a great unit in science called Micros and Me. Kids are doing interviews this weekend with their parents and other community members asking questions about what the major community health issues on Beacon Hill and the Rainier Valley. We'll compile the results of the interviews, as well as the pictures that kids will be taking throughout the week next week. The pictures will be documenting the health issues that exists in our community.

Also, we've gotten started on a read aloud book by Carl Hiassan called Flush. Please ask your child to keep you up to speed on this very exciting and fast pasted story about a 12-year-old boy on a quest for environmental justice.

Students will have their first unit math test on Thursday this week. Please help your child study for the math test. They will get the results on the same day-- so please ask at the end of the day how your child did on their math test.

Lastly... we're off to Camp Seymour in a week and a half!!! Woohooo!!!! Make sure your child has everything they need on the packing list! We're going to have a GREAT time.

Cheers everyone!
Ms. V.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

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 ten years, and this is my third year at Maple, and I love it here deeply!

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. Because next year is 2010, we'll be learning a ton about the Census! Math starts to get a little tricky for kids, and for that reason, I have a Math Breakfast club that will begin in October for kids that need a little extra help.

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 taught during that school day.

Coming up very soon will be FOURTH and 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 :). Camp is very exciting and will be taking place at Camp Seymour in Gig Harbor from September 30, October 1 and 2. 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. Wood and Ms. Tyler, 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.

Check the blog often for updates and pictures throughout the year, and make sure to get all of the paperwork signed by the end of the first week.


Ms. Ventura

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thanks for a Great Year 2009 F3 Grads!!!

Thanks for a fantastic year, F3, I really enjoyed having such a GREAT class. Have a fun, safe summer and keep in touch! I look forward to hearing about your summer adventures.
Ms. V

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What?! It's June Already?!

Congrats to all students in F3! We've made it to June! It's been a FANTASTIC school year so far, and I wanted to let you know of some highlights coming up.

But first, there seems to be some sort of mystery person out there commenting like mad on the blog. You're cracking me up... but, may I suggest you spend your time with say... Study Island? Just a thought.

Today, a good 1:2 kids in F3 is on a field trip with Ms. Escobar for being fantastic conflict managers. Meanwhile, we'll be continuing our experiments in science. So far, kids have preformed nine experiments with go carts. They have become experts in collecting data, figuring out the mean (average number), and writing conclusions based on that data. Kids have been so amazing in their analysis that it's no surprise that F3 scored 25% higher than the district average on a recent spring math assessment. GREAT job F3!!!!!

Tomorrow is our last day with the go cart experiments. The kids will weep a little, but we do have one more week before our BRIDGES will be finished. That's right! Kids are building bridges out of toothpicks, popsicle sticks and glue. They look AMAZING. Many are modeled after floating bridges in the area as well as famous bridges such as the London Bridge and the San Fransisco Golden Gate Bridge.

Another favorite activity lately has been reading Carl Hiassan's latest book, Scat. It's a real adventurous, dramatic and SUPER funny book. We're really loving it. :)

Thanks for a great June so far! We're having a TON of fun here in F3.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

We're Done with the WASL-- Great Job F3!!! Now, Moving on.... :)

Great Job F3 for working SO HARD on the WASL. The scores do not come out until August, but I have a good feeling that kids did an excellent job this year. They took their time, went over their answers, and were thoughtful while taking the test. Way to go!

It's been so long! Sorry about that! What have we been up to? Well, we're just about finished with our Family Life and Sexual Health unit. Students are well versed in friendship skills, knowing about various kinds of families, decision making, the changes they are and will go through during puberty, the reproductive system, pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. I am very proud of this class for being so focused during this unit as well as their great maturity. We will be doing FLASH public service announcements which I will link to on this site in the next couple of weeks.

We are learning about colonial times and what led up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Students will be writing an essay due near the end of May about a public issue. They will need to take a stand on that issue and write about how that issue relates to individual rights or the right of the common good.

Lastly, I wanted to write about some events coming up for F3. First, our FLASH puberty night will be on May 7. This is a very important night to come to with your fifth grader. There will be sex educators from the King County here to guide you and your child in how to discuss issues regarding puberty and sexuality. I strongly encourage all parents to come on May 7. Also, on May 15, please join us for the annual Maple BBQ. It is a great time to sit out in the sun and enjoy food with the staff and students.

Thanks for your fantastic support of your children. It's been a pleasure to teach them.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Wastewater Treatment Field Trip on Friday and.... FLASH starts this week!!

Hello F3 Students and Families-- hope your March is going well thus far. F3 kids have been really enjoying themselves lately. We'll be ending our science unit on Land and Water this week. Students have become experts in issues of erosion and deposition and could absolutely tell you the best places and worst places to build a home. Good job F3 for all of your learning!

On Wednesday, we will be starting our unit on Family Life and Sexual Health. We'll be starting our unit with an Introduction and a class lesson on Family, and we will work to come up with a working definition of family. Our classes will take place between 11 and 11:50, and if parents ever have questions or comments about what we are learning about in school, please feel free to call anytime. You are always welcome to look at the curriculum.

On Thursday, we'll take a unit 9 math test on coordinate graphing, area and volume. Remember that math homework should always be done independently, and that I welcome any students to come to Math Breakfast Club on Thursday mornings with questions, concerns and curiosities about the math unit we are currently studying.

Lastly, on Friday, we'll be heading out to the Wastewater Treatment Facility near Discovery Park. This field trip, as well as the one on Friday the 24th to the Cedar River Watershed. These will be fantastic learning experiences for kids and will really bring the science they have been learning to life.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Welcome back from Mid Winter Break!

Sorry, once again, for the delay in renewing the website and posting a new message-- I was taking a fancy to seeing our new President's face each time I logged onto the website. :) Thanks to my Mom and to Kevin for reminding me to update.
Congrats to Alan, Irene, Nina, Marco, Betsabe, Isa, Kaiji and Athena for working on Study Island during the break!!! You guys ROCK. I hope you have also enjoyed the spectacular weather we have had lately!

It'll be so great to see the class next week!! In the next week we'll be preparing ourselves to go to the symphony at Benaroya Hall for the 10:30a show on Friday the 27th. It will be SUCH a treat-- especially for students who have never heard a live performance of a big time orchestra. Prepare to have your socks knocked off!

SCORES will resume on Monday after school this week, and go for six afternoons: the 23rd, 24th and 25th, and then again on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th. We're all bummed that we can't have a longer SCORES session this spring, but due to the lack of funding, we have to settle on only six days. College Kicks will take place later in the Spring.

I'm seeing some big improvements with many of the kids coming to Math Breakfast Club. Remember, the club is on Thursday mornings from 8:30 to 9am. During that time I can work closely with kids that are struggling with the math unit we are currently working on.

Check out the March F3 calendar as we have more field trips coming up. More about those in the next posting. In the meantime, click on the composers' names to the right to learn information about each one. Also, as it turns out we have lots more seats than we need for the concert. Parents, please call if you can come on the 27th!


Ms. V

Monday, January 19, 2009

Barack Obama will be Inaugurated on January 20th-- and F3 is going to watch it live!!!

View Obama's Inaugural Address!

Here we are making FANTASTIC Gingerbread houses :)

Hello everyone and welcome back! This week will be a short four day week starting off with some MAJOR EXCITEMENT! President-elect Barack Obama will become President Obama at 9:00 am. The teachers in F Pod have set up the room so that all fifth graders will get to watch the inauguration tomorrow morning!

We'll be studying some famous inaugural speeches this week-- and each student will get the chance to discover for themselves the history behind each inaugural speech. At the same time, we'll continue to answer questions that we have about Martin Luther King, Jr., the man whose birthday we are celebrating today.

In science, the class will be continuing to do tests on their stream tables modeling the connections between land and water. Kids already know the terms water cycle, erosion, and deposition. If there are any parents who do work in the field (Seattle City Light, Puget Sound Energy, construction, etc), please let me know.

I hope that everyone is working on Study Island when they get the chance! There is time to work on the reading portion during center time, but there is also a math assignment this week that I would like for students to work on at home.

Cheers!!! -Ms. V.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a safe a fun break!

Okay, LOTS to catch up on. The last time I saw my awesome fifth graders was the Tuesday before break. We had one fake snow day and two real ones to finish off 2008 before the winter break. That was a bit of a bummer because we had a lot planned for those last few days in F Pod, but we'll get around to the Gingerbread houses soon enough... stay tuned.

This week we'll have a bit of a review on our fractions unit before taking the test on Wednesday. We will start our next science unit after listening to the public service announcements that all of our kids created at the end of 2008. Our next science unit is called Land and Water. We'll be modeling different landforms and learning how the flow of water affects those land forms.

The first Global Reading Challenge contest will be coming up in late February. That gives us less then two months to really focus on those ten books, and build teams in the classroom that work well together, so that they do well in the first round. Check out the Reading Challenge link to check out those ten books.

Speaking of reading, I am looking forward to our next read aloud, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, a work of historical fiction based in a small town in Texas in the late 1960's. Don't worry kids... we will finish Surviving the Applewhites-- probably by Tuesday.

My New Years' resolution (well, one of them anyway), is to blog at least once a week. :) Hold me to it kids! See you tomorrow!!