Friday, October 9, 2015

Getting off to a great start in F3!

Even though school got off to a late start this year, our class is going full steam ahead!!  Here are some updates:

Students are currently working on multiplication of whole numbers, for example- 129 x 45.  We're learning to do the problem using the standard algorithm and then check the work with estimation.

English Language Arts
I'm so excited about our curriculum this year: we are using Engage NY.  This curriculum is highly engaging and highly demanding of students.  Their vocabulary is growing by the second!  We are reviewing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and having excellent discussions about the importance of those rights.

Students are testing out experiments in their model stream tables and learning about flooding, erosion and deposition.

Social Studies
Our F3 Constitution is already on its way to being completed.  We'll have Constitution Wednesdays in which we will work on its completion and adding necessary amendments.  This week we started learning about the First Peoples of North America, and soon we'll learn about the encounter between these early peoples and the first European explorers.

Also:  Remember that Multi-ethnic Dinner Night is October 22nd, and our field trip to the Cedar River Watershed is the next day on the 23rd.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Welcome to 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 twelve years, and this is my 9th year at Maple, and I love it here deeply!

Families: come visit often!  You are ALWAYS welcome.  We are located in Portable 3 on the north side of the main building.  Don't forget to sign in first at the office. 

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.  

Homework will be given Monday through Thursday. Students should be spending about 30 minutes on homework, 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, or is completing homework very quickly, 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!!   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 23-25. 

Please visit the blog often!  Also, the kids will get started on podcasts soon.  They will be their reading stories over "the air" and you will be able to listen to their weekly KOF3 radio shows.


Ms. Ventura

Monday, June 1, 2015

F3 2015 Legislation

Over the course of the spring, the government of F3 has been meeting weekly to discuss legislation.  The legislation is then signed into law by our class president.  First our president was Kim, but then the representatives decided to have term limits, and now our president is D'Andre.  He is facing Impeachment proceedings today.  Good luck, D'Andre!

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Here we are getting filmed by the Teaching Channel!

F3 has been spending the last week learning about microsatellites called CubeSats!  These satellites are used by scientists and engineers all over the world who have a small communications or imagery systems to put out into orbit.

So far, students have begun work on their model CubeSat.  Yesterday, they added "solar panels" onto their model, and next week they will learn about their specific missions and put the necessary items into their model.  On Wednesday, May 6, all of the students will present their designs to a mock NASA panel.  The NASA panel will be scoring the students on their CubeSat model and presentation.

Click on on the links on the right side of the page for more information on what we are learning about satellites!  Soon this unit will be available for teachers across the country to teach on the Teaching Channel.

Update:  Check out this article on our CubeSat unit!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sorry for the LOOOOOOONG delay in posts!

Boy have we been up to a lot in F3!  Here's a run down of what we've been doing:

We had a fantastic time with our engineering unit.  In fact, during the last week, students went through a series of challenges in which they needed to optimize their go-carts to meet certain criteria.  For example, students had to make their go cart climb a ramp, or stay between the lines.  We had so much fun!  Ms. V and Veronica McGowan from the UW LIFE Center are going to a conference in Chicago to talk all about our success with engineering so far this school year!

Next, in things have gotten really fun in social studies.  Now that we're all Patriots and are fighting the British in the American Revolution, it's time to think about how we would run our own country.  What a better way to do that then to start working on a constitution.  We are doing just that!  Students are working on ideas of how to run our own classroom here in F3!

Students went home with cameras this week to take pictures of what reminds them of health either at home or in their community. They also did interviews with adults regarding health issues.

What's coming up?!? We'll be taking a look at all of our self documentation of health issues and start researching a health topic.  In addition, we'll be doing a unit all about micro satellites called CubeSats in late April! So exciting!

We do also  have testing coming up in late April and May. This testing is called Smarter Balanced Assessment.  This is the first year of the test, but the students have gotten many opportunities to look at how the test looks on line.  If you have any questions or concerns about the test, write an e mail or give me a call.  Testing dates will be available soon. I am confident that students will follow the Maple Way and do their best.  Students are excited about the fact that the tests (with the exception of science) will be on the computer.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Having fun and working hard in F3

We are busy as bees here in F3.  Students have been recording the lates episode of KOF3 radio in their native language, testing their go carts for speed and distance, reading up a strorm, and getting more familiar with decimals.

On the last math test, students showed a tremendous amount of growth.  In fact, the students that have come in for morning tutoring twice a week showed more growth than ever.  Congrats!

There are some exciting events coming up soon.  First, tomorrow night is our Math, Pizza and Engineering Night in F pod.  There will be two workshops that night. One is on bar modeling in math and the other is a engineering design worshop.  I'm so excited that so many kids have signed up!

Also, remember that Friday the 30th is a no school day for kids, and on February 12 we will be going to see the play Mwindo at the Seattle Children's Theater.

Next week I'll be sending home surveys to parents about the latest round of KOF3!  Make sure you listen :)