daw.com - October 20

You should have received your students report card on Student as a Learner last week.  If you did not please contact the office to have this corrected.  The student as a learner looks primarily at how your student recognizes their own learning. This is a broad scope of concepts and ideas that should make them think deeper about themselves and reflect on what needs strengthening.  We do a reflection piece on student as a learner every 2-3 weeks throughout the year that is also goal setting.  This way students can both reflect on themselves as they grow and set a goal to be reached in a short period of time.

I forgot to show you something that the class was involved in about two weeks ago.  The high school Human Health and Fitness IB class needed to collect age date about health and fitness so I volunteered the class.  Mr. Smyth, the high teacher of the class, had stations set up that were manned by the students in the class.  I think the class enjoyed the time with the HS students as they had quite a list of questions for the students.  I like to be involved in these activities as it shows the students that there is more going on at ISB than just our class.

Remember that next Monday and Tuesday are parent teacher conferences so there is no school on these days.  I hope all of you have set up your conference and look forward to seeing you to discuss your student.  They are a continued manner the school uses to keep the home - school connection open.  I also like them as it allows me to take the temperature of the class and where we are headed.

We are well along with our writing unit on feature articles.  We have spent some time this week researching biomimicry, nature, innovation and innovation in biomimicry.  We have also looked at 4 videos and gathered more information and evidence of innovation through nature.  Next week we will move on to the outline phase of the writing as we get ready to actually take all this information and write about it.  The final outcome is a feature article about innovation through nature.  We will be posting these on an online website I have set up for this assignment.  Students will also Seesaw this and reflect on the process and the product.

Next week we will take our math class into the kitchen.  Cooking is an excellent use of fractions in the real world.  We will be making muffins and smoothies.  I know everyone is looking forward to this as it is a really neat activity.  I have one other time we will go to the kitchen to also look at fractions but in an extended manner.  Of course, it goes without saying, that the students get to eat their projects.

Although I have no Jedi Jugglers in my room this year, I do want to let you all know that next Friday, October 27th is the annual Jedi Jugglers show.  I am sure it promises to be quite a spectacle.  The students always enjoy this show every year.

I want to remind everyone that your student should be reading at home all seven nights a week.  All research shows that this is a very positive way to improve reading skills.  We do not have a lot of time to free read in class but there are lessons almost every day and discussions and assignments based on the readings we do in all out subjects in class.  Help your child continue to improve by reading every night.  They should be recording this in their planner so they can put it in their reading log at school.

Our math has taken us to multiplication of 2x3, 2x4, 3x3 and 3x4 digits.  These are large numbers and for some students it is taxing their basic facts.  By this time I hope students understand the necessity of basic facts up to 9 x 9 = 81 and the division reverse.  It will help them as we continue to explore multiplication of whole numbers and move into decimals up to thousandths. If they are a bit rusty, saying the times table out loud is a fantastic way to quickly bring it to mind. we spent time this week proving our standard algorithm with tape and ribbon diagrams as well as area models.  As your students about these as they should be able to tell you and also decompose the numbers for them.

That is it for this week.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me and I will gladly set up a time to meet.
Harold Daw

daw.com - October 13

Friday the 13th - is this an omen or what.  If it is, then I am positive it is a positive one. We have had an amazing week of learning that continues to show just how much we can move in one week.
This week started with a new math unit (multiplication and division of decimals), a new unit of inquiry (Innovations Through Nature - Biomimicry) and a new writing unit (Non-Fiction Articles).  We have laid the foundations for all three and are on the move to more and impressive learning in all three areas.  While not a new unit, our book clubs takes on a new book and genre as well (Pedro's Journal - Historical Fiction).

The new reading book is about a cabin boy to Christopher Columbus.  It takes place during the initial voyage of Captain Columbus to the new world.  Pedro is the boy who is assigned to Christopher Columbus to take on the duties of journaling, time keeper and chart keeper.  As an educated boy, and this was a rare skill back in these days, the book is written through his lends of history.  We do spend a lot of time with the historical aspect of the story so the students will have some background to what they are reading.

Our Innovations Through Nature is a unit we we look at how nature has inspired us to invent new and more sustainable products and structures.  We spent this week looking at what is nature and how nature has already helped us.  we are keeping an Inquiry Journal for our work for this unit.  As we move along we will spend a lot of time look at the innovations that have come about as a result of studying nature.

Our Non-Fiction article work is going to use the inquiry unit as its basis for topics.  We will look at how to research for this kind of article and if the internet works for us, all this will be published on a website of the students design.  We will also look at how to properly research both in documents and books as well as the internet.

It is important that everyone keep reading at home each night.  No time on his, just a time set aside to read is all that is needed.  Please continue to help your student make this a reality.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.  I will gladly set a time aside to meet with you.

daw.com - September 22

This year’s camp is over and what a great time we all had.  Your students were spectacular and I would gladly take them on another camp if we only could.  Added to this was probably the finest air quality I have seen in the 8 years I have been in China and great weather.  Everything seemed to align just in time for 5HD camp and it showed in the faces of the students as we came home.  Smiles from ear to ear.  This post is filled with pics from camp and here is a brief video of your students at camp.

Next week is a week of some really neat
experiences.  As part of their Performing Arts class, they will do the sword dance for a special meeting on Tuesday morning.  On Wednesday the HS Science class is collecting data on heart rates and breathing so the grade 5 class will help them with the collection of this data for their experiments.  Then on Friday is the annual ISB Terry Fox run.  The specifics for this will come from the ES office as it is determined on the day depending on the air quality. If you ordered a shirt, it will be delivered in time for the students to wear during the run.

Students will complete their first formal writing piece this week and publish it.  We will complete our first book club this coming week and then do a blog post on it.  Finally we will complete our current math unit with the end of unit assessment.

Homework this week will also be completely different as students use Newsela to report out on a different article each day.  As we get going with this, you may have to spend some time with your student getting them into the site and locating news articles that interest them.  We are doing this in class as well so it should be a mostly seamless transition from home to class.  There is a special current event book they use for this. Use of a computer/device each night is necessary.

There will be no blog post next Friday as we head into Fall Break but there will be one the following week as we prepare to return to school.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.