Friday, December 9, 2011

Lunar Eclipse this Weekend!!

F3 has been studiying about all things related to the Sun, Moon and Earth these days. How exciting is this: There is going to be a Super-Sized Giant Lunar Eclipse on December 10th. Wake up early (4:45a) to check it out! Should be awesome!

Read all about it here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Cedar River Watershed was AWESOME... Next up... GIngerbread!

Testing the water quality of Rattlesnake Lake

We had a fantastic time at teh Cedar River Watershed yesterday! We learned ALL about the water cycle, and got to use high-powered microscopes. Thanks to the parents of Oskar, Erika and Sara for helping out. Listen to a live podcast done from the bus back to Maple here.

ALSO! We were mentioned recently in the Magnolia Voice Newspaper regarding our involvement with the upcoming Gingerbread Vilage at the Sheraton. Good stuff, F3!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Connected Mathemematics 2: A Break from Everyday Math and a peak into Middle School Math

Hello Parents and Friends!

This week we will begin a new math unit, called "Prime Time". This unit is about factors and multiples. The Seattle School District made the choice a couple of years ago to moved two of the sixth grade units to fifth grade in order to supplement our Everyday Math units of study. The other unit of study is called "Bits and Pices", which has to do with fractions and decimals.

The homework will look different. There will be more reading involved. The homework should still take about 20 minutes, leaving another half hour for your child to read.

For homework help and extra activities, please click here. This website is GREAT. It has videos explaining the work we'll do in class in English and in Spanish. Please call or e mail if you ever have questions about homework!

Ms. V.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Podasts, Watershed, Care Packages, Gingerbread, Oh My!

There is A LOT going on in the next two months in F-3.

First off! The podcasts are going SO well. I hope you've gotten to hear at least one of them since we started. They come out almost every weekday. These last few are all Halloween episodes.

Next, we're getting ready for our first field trip which is to the Cedar River Watershed on November 15th. There, students will learn all about the source of their drinking water. They will also learn all about the water cycle.

That same week, November 14-18, F-3 students will be doing community service by collecting items like leftover Halloween candy, toiletries, magazines, etc., to send over to troops in Afghanistan for the holidays. On the 18th, we'll pack and send all of the items off in the mail.

On December 2nd, kids will be going to the Downtown Sheraton to check out the annual Gingerbread Village. Each year, top architect firms from across Seattle compete for the most lavish and creative gingerbread house. Kids will be going briefly in the morning to get inspired to make their own gingerbread houses on December 15. An architect who has designed many past gingerbread houses will talk to the kids about architecture and using math in her job. She'll even be in the classroom on 12/15 to help the kids make their own gingerbread houses.

Parents and friends--email Ms. V and let her know if you can come to F-3 or come with F-3 on any of the dates mentioned above!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Our first stories are Live and ONLINE!

Parents, Friends and F3 Kids!

We're all set! Our first radio show is up on the blog and out in the world! Congrats to the producer and host David L for a GREAT first episode. It's going to be A LOT of fun to record our stories and listen to them in the class and online at home. F-3 is famous!

To listen to KOF3 radio click here or at the top right corner of the blog.

Ms. V.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Big News: F3 Radio Podcasts Are Coming!

F3 received GREAT news today! We have received funding for several audio recorders in order to produce our own podcasts. Read the proposal here.

Looks like we'll be able to start those podcasts up in mid-October. The students will be reporting about what they learn in school, read their poetry, record class projects... really... the sky is the limit!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Learning about 9/11 in F3

Today we started to learn about the events of September 11, 2001. There seemed to be a divide in the class between those who had seen video footage or had heard rumblings about the tragedy to those who had no knowledge of what happened that day.

Cor ten years I have struggled to have a good jumping off point to have a discussion with students about 9/11. Finally, this age-appropriate film, The Second Day, has provided just that.

We watched half of the film today.

Please take the time to talk to your child about the memories that you have from this day.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hooray for fifth grade in F-3 at Maple!!! Welcome!!

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 twelve years, and this is my fifth 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.

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 30 minutes on homework, and and thirty minutes reading a book of their choice.

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 28-30. 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. Salas Hayes and Mr. Allen, 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

PS: You will also see links on this page to the Maple PTSA because I am the co-president again this year with parent Jen Moore. In the packet that comes home during the first week of school, please remember to sign up as a PTSA member for this coming school year!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wow! We only have Eight More Days!!

The kids have done an amazing job this spring. Not only have they made it through many rounds of testing-- with MSP and then MAP, they have also become experts on Civics! F-3 kids could tell you all of the rights listed in the Bill of Rights, and the critical importance of the Common Good. They have taken a stand on tough issues like backpack searches, a ban on Shark Fin sales, cyberbullying vs. free speech, corporal punishment in schools, banning smoking in public spaces, book bans and school uniforms. Students know how to argue appropriately and clearly. On June 3, students held formal debates on these issues and did a GREAT job!!

But not only have students become great learners of civics, students also have finished the FLASH unit! They know so much more about their own bodies and how their bodies will change as they go through puberty. They also are ready to make hard decisions as they go into middle school. They are aware of the pressures they may face, but I am confident they will make great choices.

Please join us on Thursday, June 16th at 11:45 at Maplewood Park for an F-3 Picnic!!! Bring a dish to share and blanket to sit on! Then, On June 21st, at 10:45, the kids will graduate from Maple! At 11:30 following the assembly, we'll have cake and juice back in F Pod to celebrate. All kids are dismissed to go home with their families after the reception.

Hooray F-3!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

We're starting the You Decide Unit! and FLASH!!

Two very exciting units are going on right now in F-3.

First, You Decide! You Decide! is the last unit in social studies in fifth grade at Maple. Now that students are familiar with the founding of this country, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the three branches of government, they are each researching a controversial topic and will be writing a research paper in the next several weeks, and will participate in a debate on their topic at the end of the unit.

Also, we have started the FLASH unit. Please keep up with our unit at school by reading over the lessons that I'm teaching. Today we'll be learning all about how to build up our self esteem. If you ever have any questions about FLASH, please contact me. FLASH night is coming up on May 24 at 5:30. You'll be welcome to come, eat pizza, and take a class with your child about what they have learned about!

Cheers! -Ms. Ventura

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Our Field Trip on Friday, April 16th

To learn more about where we are going and what we'll be up to, click here to visit the Duwamish River Clean Up Coalition. We'll be visiting the neighborhood of South Park to learn as much as we can about the Duwamish River.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Good News about F3!!

  • Check out this GREAT e mail to Ms. Hunter from the Mayor's office about our visit!

  • To: Hunter, Patricia Subject:

  • Maple Elementary Visit to Mayor's Office

  • Good morning Mrs. Hunter, As you know one of your 5th grade classes visited the mayor’s office last week. The student’s teacher and volunteers did a great job preparing them for their visit to City Hall. The class shared a little bit of time with the mayor and had a quick tour of the office and were polite and engaged throughout the visit. Please thank your teachers and students for taking the time to stop by.

  • James Bush Office of Mayor Mike McGinn James.Bush@Seattle.Gov 206-684-9288 (desk) 206-261-2317 (cel)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We're Learning about Government in F3!

This week and next, we will be learning about the three branches of government. yesterday, we learned what those three branches are: Executive, Legislative and Judicial.

On Thursday next week, we will go downtown to City Hall to visit a member of the local legislative branch, Counclimember Nick Licata. We'll also visit Judge Hightower, and hopefully visit the Mayor's office (though we will not be getting a chance to visit the Mayor himself).

As we learn about what the government's jobs are, we will get smarter about the rights and responsibilities that we have in the United States!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Finish First

Is Finish First a fair game? A game is fair when all players have an equal chance of winning. If there is an advantage or disadvantage in being the first player, then the game is not fair.

Play Finish First with a family member or friend.

Materials: A deck of cards, using only four of each of the numbers 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 (Do not use any other cards).

Number of Players: 2

1. Shuffle the cards. Place the deck face down.
2. The player going first turns over the top card and announces its value.
3. The player going second turns over the next card and announces the total value of the two cards turned over.
4. Partners continue to take turns turning over cards and announcing the total values of all the cards turned over so far.
5. The winner is the first player to correctly announce "21" or any number greater than 21.
6. Play as many games as you can and make a tally chart for first player wins and second player wins.
Practice your math skills at the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives.

Try the virtual manipulatives for "Fraction Equivalents", or click here.

Mr. C

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

After the Boston tea Party, Britain passed the Intolerable Acts. Learn about the British reaction here.

In your centers notebook:

1. Briefly summarize each part of the Intolerable Acts.
2. The year the each act was passed.

Mr. C

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Math after break!

Wondering what we're going to be working on after break???!? Check it out-- play this game about mean,median and mode:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Greetings from Mr. Calaski

Hello Parents, Guardians, and Families of F-3.

My name is Jeff Calaski, but the students call me Mr. C. I am co-teaching a social studies unit on colonial Boston with Ms. V in F-3 as part of my teacher internship for the Master in Teaching program at Seattle University. This unit will address the essential question: Why do people want to be free? Students are participating in learning activities that help them answer this question for themselves.

I am using a StoryPath curriculum called "The Struggle for Independence", in which students actually become colonists living in coloni
al Boston. Students have created characters, homes, and businesses based on content from the unit, and have displayed this work on our class frieze, or mural. Students role-play in character during town meetings and other group activities in order to see the world from the perspective of someone in a different time and place.

Here are some highlights and concepts of the unit:
· Creating an interactive mural of colonial Boston.
· Creating a realistic character.
· Learning about the many perspectives that surround historical events.
· Understanding the tensions between individual rights and the common good.
· Experiencing colonial life and significant events through the eyes of their character.
· Declaring a position as either a Loyalist or Patriot.
· Learning how different cultures helped shape colonial Boston.

I am very excited for your child to be a part of this amazing learning experience.

There will be opportunities for you and your family to support your child’s learning at home. You can read about these opportunities at my learning support page.

Thank you for taking the time to read this information. I look forward to meeting all of you at our open house next Wednesday.

You can learn more about me at my website,

Best Regards,
Mr. Calaski

Monday, January 31, 2011

Late January Update from F3

A narrow street in Colonial Boston. Still there today!

First off, make sure you've read Ms. V's letter to parents asking for supplies.

Second, you should know that the kids right now are deeply engrossed in learning about the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1760s and 1770s. Tomorrow F3 will take part in a special assembly just for fifth grade at Maple about the involvement of African and African Americans in the American Revolution. This multi-media presentation will take place at 2:20 tomorrow, 2/1.
Students are also learning all about erosion and deposition in science. Please show your child or talk to your child about any landslides or mudslides you have heard about lately.

As always, make sure your students are getting their daily Xtra Math practice. Eight students have completed Xtra Math!!! Hats off to: Venus, Jaden, Yu Yang, Michael, Vincent, Jennifer, Junjie, and Jessica!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Tremendous Start to 2010

Moving up with Xtra Math!

January has stared out so well for us in F3! Back in December, we had started using Xtra Math, and now we have had three students complete all four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. I truly believe that the students will be much successful in middle school once they can prove mastery of the basic math facts.

What else is new, teacher candidate Jeff Calaski is now full time in F3. Mr. Calaski will be at Maple everyday from now through to the start of April. He is very enthusiastic, and is looking forward to the next few months with all of the students. Mr. C, as the kids call him, is very much looking forward to leading the students through their learning of Colonial Boston, our next Social Studies unit. He started out as a volunteer in F3 two years ago and is now getting his teaching degree at Seattle University.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Step 1.
Make a new T-chart on a new page in your science journal. Label one side "Sunrise" and the other side "Sunset".

Step 2.
Use the almanac again to find the sunrise, sunset, and day length times for each of the following dates: June 21 and December 21.

This time look up each date for the following places:
Fairbanks, AK
Boston, MA
Miami, FL

Record the sunrise, sunset, and day length times for each date on your T-chart.

Step 3.
Learn about the path of the sun as it travels across Earth's sky.

Step 4.
Click the start button to watch the video animation of the sun.

Draw the path of the winter sun in your science journal.

Next, draw the path of the summer sun.

What happens to your shadow when you stand facing the winter sun? How about the summer sun? Write your reasponse in your journal.

Angle of the Sun

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Astronomy Scavenger Hunt for the Week of January 3, 2010!

Step 1.

Make a T-chart on a new page in your science journal. Label one side "Sunrise" and the other side "Sunset".

Step 2.

Use the almanac to find the sunrise and sunset times for each of the following dates in Seattle, WA: March 21, June 21, September 21, and December 21.

Step 3.

Record the sunrise and sunset times for each date on your T-chart.

Step 4.

What do you notice about the times? Write your observations on the same page.