daw.com - August 18

This has been an amazing week and a great start to the year.  The students and I have really taken the time to get to know each other and I feel like I know them so much better than when I started the week.  You have an amazing student and I am so glad they are in my room.

We spent a lot of time this week with two activities - creating a learning community and thinking about our learning.  We wrote two pieces, both published, spent some time creating icons that represent us (these are now on student lockers), learning more about our base 10 system, working through some math puzzles, doing our first open ended math problem, reading for enjoyment and also for comprehension, preparing our technology for use this year and just doing the things that we need to really make this a great year.

Students have now met all their specialist teachers and I have placed a link to their blogs at the top of the blog page.  There are still a few I need to get but I will work on this over the weekend in an attempt to get them all up for you.

Just a couple of housekeeping items to finish this week off.  Please look at and sign the daily planner Monday to Thursday.  This will help you get to know what is going on in the classroom.   Secondly, if you and your student have not signed and returned the Responsible Use Agreement for Technology please see to this as quickly as possible.  Mark on your calendars August 31 in the evening as this is Back to School Night.  I look forward to seeing all of you to update you on the progress of the class.
Next week there will be no homework sent home. I spend the first week doing the homework in class so I can see the students work on it and also so they get to know my expectations.  Regular homework will commence the following week.

I have had several parents ask me about music classes after school. If you are interested in Band, Orchestra (Violin, Cello etc) or Choir, please contact Mrs. Campbell in the Fine Arts department.  She has all the information.

ASA sign up is not for another week.  Look for an announcement from the activities office about this later next week.

I think that sums it up for this week.  As I always end, please let me know if you have any questions.  I will be more than willing to set a time up for us to meet.

daw.com - June 2

WOW!!! How this year has flown by - it still seems like we were just getting back from Winter Break.  Even the students are letting me know how fast this year has gone by. There are a couple of housekeeping things first I need to take care of.
Next week is lunch in the MS cafeteria.  For those students who purchase lunch from the school, it means they need their lunch card topped up.  If they run out of money, the MS cafeteria does not allow students to get a lunch.  Please help your student by making sure their card is topped up.  Also, please talk with your student about how much they should spend for a meal.  Remember, each item costs and there is no single meal price in the MS cafeteria.
Secondly, I am hearing from a lot of students about absences due to leaving early for summer break.  It is very important I know of these so I can plan properly.  Please send me an email about any absence your student will have between now and the end of the school year - the sooner the better.  Thanks for looking after this.
Next weeks current Events are as follows;
Tuesday - Eric
Wednesday - Simon
Thursday - JungBin
Friday - Millie
I am also requesting that all students read in English over the summer.  Next Tuesday is our regular library period where each student can sign out 10 books for their summer reading if they are returning to ISB.  I want to encourage everyone to continue with their 5-10 minutes per night EVERY night during summer just so they continue with the practice of reading.  I know that this skill does decline if not practiced regularly.  Please encourage your student to sign out some books for summer reading.  Here are some online-resources as well;
  1. Raz Kids: Our Raz Kids class account will remain open and active for students until September. I’ve expanded the book room to each child’s current reading level and several levels above, to give them room to grow during summer. Raz Kids is perfect for traveling families because it’s online or available as an app!
  2. Newsela: The Newsela website is one that students have been using a lot this year to read nonfiction news. Each news article in Newsela can be read at several different reading levels, which provides access to a wide range of readers. If your child forgets their homeroom class code, they can login using my class code: KS6PPH. Newsela also has several summer book clubs, on a variety of topics, that your child can participate in online. Newsela is also an online source or available as an app.
I have completed the recording of reading in a reading log for the year but still want to encourage students to read every night for at least 10 minutes.
I am starting to send things home as we finish them and today the daily math book went home.  It is a good review of general math skills. Please remember that I no longer use Monday folders but rather send home work as I complete grading it.
Report cards will be posted on June 14th but if you want to meet with me prior to this please let me know and I will gladly set up a time to meet with you. In the mean time, have a great weekend.

daw.com - May 26

I want start by sharing a conversation I had with a parent this week regarding writing grades.  You may recall that at Back to School Night and several student conferences, I mentioned that it takes years for students to become very proficient writers.  The learning to write is only one part of the equation with having time to practice the other side.  In grade 5 our writing focuses on several parts of writing - report writing, biographies, fantasy stories, narratives and opinion/persuasive writing.  With all of these there are lessons on both the specifics to make this area more proficient as well as word work that looks at spelling and punctuation.  We then spend time practicing this through the writing workshop model - planning & research, first draft, revisions & edits, final draft.  All of these take a large amount of time but are essential to making sure that a process for writing is what students use.  While it may look like the writing assessments are not showing any growth, because expectations are always growing, as long as a student is remaining or improving in their assessments, they are showing growth in their learning to write.  I return to my first thought - it takes many years to become a proficient writer.  It is also much harder for a student who is EAL as they are also learning the language as well as the process.
Speaking of grades, as we head to the end of the year, if you would like a conference with me about the progress of your student, please let me know and I will be glad to set a time up with you.  Please note that grades are posted on June 14th not the 15th as previously announced.
I am also hearing of summer plans from many of your students that involve leaving early or missing some days of school.  Please keep me informed of these so I can plan accordingly.  There are a lot of events and activities at the end of the year we are planning for and numbers are an important part of this planning.  There are also things like yearbooks, EOY shirts and assembly celebrations I need to account for.
This week I wrap up the Monday Folders.  There will be no need to return these again. All completed work will be sent home as it is finished.  I have had mixed reviews of these so I will reflect on this process for future years.  So much more is digital that it does not really go home, but rather is always available online.  We are also moving to a more updated version of blogs for next year so that will impact these folders as well.
This week there is no school on Tuesday so the current events are as follows;
Wednesday - Kevin
Thursday - Elvin
Friday - Eric
As parents you will need to help your student decide whether they do their homework and CE on Monday evening or Tuesday evening in preparation for the next day.
The week will entail continued work on our 2nd persuasive essay, debates on Is Globalization Good?, our math unit on the coordinate plane, book clubs, poetry and work on economics and trade.
Have a great week.