daw.com - January 19

Just a quick reminder that I will out of class next week from Monday to Wednesday.  I have a family event to attend to in Los Angeles. While I will be on my email, there will be a time delay in responding.

Also a reminder that report cards for the first semester are out now.  If you did not get yours please let the ES office know.

Our week looked at fighting diseases as part of our wellness unit.  We had a discussion about how we fight disease and how our body helps us with this.  It included getting shots to help with our immunity and also about eating properly, sleeping enough and exercising.  This will be a big theme in this unit as there is not a single piece that makes us healthy - it is a combination of things.  We move on to look at our image and what we think about it.

This week you should have got the latest writing assessment and Historical Evidence assessment.  If you have not seen these please ask your student about them. One was sent home on Wednesday and one today.

We are well along with our first Fantasy story which is titled A Day at the Beach.  The idea is that I have given the students the setting and they have to create a story around this setting.  It is a short story so we have started with the ending and are now crafting the rest of the story.  We should be finished later next week or early the week after.  Following this we will be creating a story as a class and individually based on The Hero's Journey which is a formula for writing fantasy writing.

Our math unit has looked at dividing and multiplying whole numbers by fractions.  The hardest concept here is that the answers are smaller than the original - yet when reasoned out, it should make perfect sense.  We have looked at a fractional set as well as the splitting of a whole number into fractional components.  We mostly use perfect fractions which are factors of the whole number to make learning easy and well understood.  We will move to more difficult factions later in the unit.

That is all for today, have a great weekend.  If there are any questions you have, please feel free to contact me and I will gladly set a time up to meet you.

daw.com - January 14

Welcome back everyone, welcome to the new year, welcome to the second semester and welcome to our new student Charles.  Whew - that is a lot to welcome people to.

We have started off this semester with the completion of the presentations from our Historical Inquiry unit.  I was pleased with what I saw and I am hoping that students learned what a presentation is and what it is not.  I did not let students put words on their visual presentation as this is just to be used to support what information they are trying to present.  It was a new concept to many but I think they saw the reasons for it and there were some great presentations.

We also started our wellness unit on Friday with a look at Fitness.  It is one of the four areas we cover in this unit, the others being nutrition, disease and as a part of this unit, human growth and development - puberty.  Students will be exploring all sorts of thing about their wellness over the next 6-7 weeks and complete this with both a fitness evaluation and nutrition study.  I have asked students to start to take pictures of nutrition labels on foods so that we can study them as part of this unit.  The can email them to me or bring to school were we can transfer them.

Our next writing unit is on Fantasy writing - Learning from the Elves is the title.  We will use the Hero's Journey as the basis for this kind of writing.  I also had students complete a third on-demand piece of writing last week that I will use to continue to see where their weaknesses are.  This unit should see students complete two-three pieces of writing.

I have to leave my class for three days on Jan 22-24th as I have a family event to attend in Los Angeles.  I will be leaving the substitute teacher a full set of plans and my expectation is that students continue to learn the things we are doing in class.

Homework will look different for this week.  I have noticed that students need some further work on word problems in our fractions math unit so instead of problem solving this week, there is four nights of review for word problems.  They are all related to our math unit on fraction operations. Remember, as all homework is in my class, any help needed should be given if possible.  This is the best learning for the student.

Report cards come out this week for the first semester.  If you are worried in any way, or just want to meet with me over them, please let me know so I can set up a time for us to meet.  Last week I sent home the last math assessment rubric, this week you will get the latest writing one as well as the Historical Unit assessment rubric.

Have a great week ahead.

daw.com - December 15

My how time flies.  This has been a repeating theme this semester and once again we hit a milestone - half way through grade 5 or 1 semester until middle school - depends on how you want to look at it.

I want to thank all of you for the wonderful semester.  I keep telling everyone what a magnificent class I have and I am very pleased with the progress so far.  We still have a long way to go, but I remain confident we will make it.  I also want to thank all of you for the assistance during our Winterfest yesterday.  It was a huge success and it could not be so without you.

If you are traveling I hope your travels are safe and happy.  Where ever you end up for the holiday, it is my sincere wish for a time of rest and regeneration. There is not a student in my room who has not earned it.

To all of you, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - see you all again on January 8th.