daw.com - June 5

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.

Monday - day 2, no current events
Tuesday - Sabrina
Wednesday - Christos
Thursday - no current events
Friday - no school

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.

Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids


It is time to say goodbye as this year is quickly becoming history. It has been a magnificent year in grade 5C1 this year made all the more memorable by the wonderful students who are in the class. I could not have asked for a more perfect class for my last year at HKIS. I have enjoyed all of them a great deal and watched as their learning reached new highs throughout the year.

We have to say goodbye to two students who are permanently leaving HKIS. Faven will move on to Germany and Christos to Singapore. They will both be fondly remembered and contact can continue through the emails. There are goodbye books for each of them as they prepare to move on to their new adventures.

This week's homework is optional. I will be sure to mark any that is turned in but it is not required. My gift to such a wonderful class. Reading is a must as students will have their last literature circle on Wednesday to complete the book they are reading. Tempreature logs and homework folders MUST still come to school each day, even if students opt out of the homework for the week.

Monday is the class luncheon and I am suppling Pizza, Soda and Ice Cream for the students. They should not need any lunch unless there is something there not to their liking to taste. Students will still need their regular snack for the day.

Tuesday is our annual Poetry Cafe and Awards Ceremony. This all starts in the classroom at 10:00 where your waiter will greet you and show you to your table. From the menu there will be coffee and tea as well as a myriad of scrumptious Poetic novelties. Please note that your waiter and poet will most likely not be your son or daughter. Since they are bringing their poetry books home, I feel it best that you hear from some of the other poets in the class. I have asked the students this day to wear black pants and a white uniform shirt if they have them. Makes the ambience even more authentic.

From here we will make our way to the Church of All nations where our Awards Assembly will be held. At the start of the assembly all students will be seated with their classes but after awards are handed out they are welcome to sit with their family should they so desire. There are some surprises as well so be sure not to miss this. This should take us to lunch so if you want to join your student for lunch in the Cafeteria, please feel free to do so.

This week will see students complete the last two projects - Hong Kong walkabout Photo Essays and the Car project for our Variables unit. I sent home the variables work booklet last Thursday and there is a short write-up about this towards the end of the booklet. In a short synopsis, students are designing and building a card as cheap as possible that will go as far as possible.

Monday students will complete unit 12 with the final assessment. I will get it marked and have it back to students by Monday I hope - Tuesday for sure.

Thursday is the last day of school for the grade 5 students and dismissal is at 11:30 in the morning. We will have a games morning that morning so if students want to bring some games to play until we head to the gym for the end of the year assembly, they are welcome to do so. report cards will go home with students on thursday.;

Throughout the week materials will come home until students have everything that is theirs. Look for it daily. It actually started last Friday with Clip Boards and Math Journals.

Yearbooks are expected on Monday. We are hoping to find a time to let students get signatures during the day and then yearbooks can go home on Monday. Presently this has not been confirmed.

It has been my honor to teach your students this year and I shall rmember them for many years to come. As you are all aware, I am moving on to Beijing next year so if you find yourself in that part of the world please look me up at International School Beijing.

Have a safe and wonderful summer holiday and to all my students, good luck in middle school.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - May 30

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.

Monday - Simon
Tuesday - Pablo
Wednesday - Kaori
Thursday - Maxwell
Friday - Norika



Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.

Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids

I want to give a big THANK-YOU to all the parents who volunteered for the Hong Kong walkabout last Tuesday. It was a great success due to the volunteering of your time. I offer this on behalf of all my students who also had a great time.

Here is a list of events coming up in the next two weeks. Some of these are strictly for your information, others may require your attendance.

May 31 - class variables Olympics - all projects due, blogs must be complete.
May 31 - Visit by astronaut
June 1 - Grade 5 Variables Olympics finals. One from each category from our class will compete.
June 2 - Human Growth and Development unit begins.
June 3 - Peer Helpers pizza lunch (just Christos and Claire)
June 3 - Music rehearsal for entire class - year end assembly song
June 3 - Lit Circle #3 - all reading up to required chapters need to be completed
June 4 - Grade 5 Fling at the Aberdeen Marina Club
June 7 - Class pizza lunch
June 8 - Poetry Cafe, Year End Awards Ceremony (I think this is also Yearbook Day)
June 9 - All final class materials will come home
June 9 - Final Lit Circle - book needs to be completed by this date.
June 10 - Half day - dismissal is at 11:30 - report cards are carried home

We are coming to the end of our first part for the Variables unit. Students should now have completed their project, written it up on their blog and be ready to compete on Monday. One student from each category will go on to represent 5C1 in the grade Olympics on Tuesday. Lots of fun.

We are fortunate to have an astronaut from the American Space program visit us for a talk on Monday. It will be interesting to hear his views on the program and his background in becoming an astronaut. These are usually highly intelligent and motivated people who have undergone an amazing training program to get to where they are.

We are in the midst of two projects at the moment, both of which I expect to culminate this week. The car construction project for our variables unit and the Hong Kong Walkabout photo essay project. Both promise to have some interesting outcomes. I will have these on display at our Poetry Cafe on the 8th of June.

I want to thank all of you for assisting me in getting all the students library materials back. I have been told by Mrs. Robinson that 5C1 is clear so that is one thing to cross of the end of year list. With the library undergoing major renovations this summer I am also sure it is a relief to Mrs. Robinson.

Wednesday is our Human Growth and Development unit. Students will be grouped by gender and shown two instructional videos on the material. They will write down questions they have on index cards anonymously and then in the afternoon, Dr. Kelsh will answer the boys questions and Yvonne our school nurse will answer the girls questions. It is a perfect time to introduce this unit as it is a yearly health unit in middle school.

This week students have assigned reading to do at home as part of their daily reading. I cannot offer them school time to read their Literature Circle books in time to have their meeting on Thursday afternoon. All students took home their books on Friday with the assigned chapters so they should know what to do.

On Monday you will receive and keep the Monday Folders - no need to return them anymore. From now on as I get work marked I will send it home in students homework folders to keep you up-to-date with your students progress and assessments.

As we head to the end of the year, please let me know if you need to meet with me and I will send out some times. If you are leaving early please let me know ASAP so I can have all the report cards and materials ready to go home on time. Thank-you to all who have already informed me.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - May 23

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.

Monday - Tara
Tuesday - Jonas
Wednesday - Zehra
Thursday - Trey
Friday - day 2, no current events

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.

Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids

Hong Kong Walkabout Take 2 will happen this Tuesday and the weather looks much better for this day with only intermittent showers during the day. Looks like an umbrella will be a necessary tool for the day. Students will need either a lunch or lunch money for the day and also an Octopus card to help ferry them around town. The regular plans will be reviewed tomorrow with only one group making changes due to some changes in their group plans. Students have planned three rests during the day in which they will do some writing in preparation for their photographic essay. Students will also need to have digital cameras for the day. If they could be cleaned out of other pics it would make it easier to download when we get back to school. This is a highlight of the school year and one that I think students will really enjoy.

Library books are all due back on Monday. With the major renovations happening this summer in the library, they want to have all books and materials packed up by the end of the school year so they are asking for all books back now. I have a listing in my room that I will keep reminding students of. The first class to get all their materials back will get an ice-cream party compliments of the library staff - mmmmm - anf Hagen-Daz too. It should be noted that the library will be closed all summer due to renovations.

We will complete the forth memoir this week and get it published. Students have been keeping copies of these in their poetry and memoirs books they have created for our Poetry Cafe on June 8th before our awards ceremony. There is one more memoir to complete prior to the end of the year but this will not be completed until we finish the Hong Kong Photographic Essay.

By now students should be well along on their Variables Olympics project. They should have finished testing two variables, and this week will see these on their blog. Please remember that the instructions are located here (at the bottom of the page as a PDF file). If possible, blogs should include pictures as well a charts of their experiments. Instructions for the blogs are in each students Google Docs accounts. We will have the class competitions on Monday May 31 and the winners in each category will go on to the grade level Olympics the next day. I am looking forward to seeing their projects.

We will start the next science project in class this week. This time teams of students will have to design a car that meets certain requirements. The overall goal is to have the car go the farthest down a ramp. All materials will be supplied for them in school and will be materials like straws, pins, note cards, tape, and other office supplies. This is the final assessment for this unit and promises to be a in interesting event.

Our math unit is continuing and we are looking at what makes up a 'fair' game. This week students will play several games in an attempt to see if they are fair to all players and if not, why not. There will be a time this week I will ask if students can bring in games to play but at the moment I am not sure what days this will be. We also continue to look at probability and ratios.

I am more than two thirds complete the initial DRA testing. While this takes a long time it has confirmed what I have felt all along in showing the growth in your students reading this year. I will begin the few second tests I need to do later in the week.

We are also continuing on our last literature circle books. The students second book talk will be this Friday. It is interesting to listen to some of their discussions as they bounce ideas and concepts off each other and also listen to what others have to say. It also provides an opportunity for students to gain further insight they may have missed in their reading and provide it for others.

This is just a reminder that permission forms and cheques for the Grade 5 fling are due in by this Friday. Please be careful making out the cheque as it is not made out to HKIS but a parent who is a member of AMC that is inviting us. Thanks for your attention to this detail.

I want to thank Tara, Maxwell and Christina for their time as the class executive and welcome the last one for the year - Faven as President, Norika as VP and Alex as secretary. I hope that this opportunity for leadership has provided all students a glimpse into what it is like. I am very proud of all of them and the work they have done this year.

It is now time for students to start collecting all the digital work they want to keep. During the summer the O: drive will be re-formatted and all work erased. If there is something there that students want they should bring a thumb-drive to collect it and move it to a computer at home. Most of it will work on their lap-tops next year since it is simple word/excel/powerpoint files. All blogs, websites and Google Docs will remain as student property since it is their account and password that opens it up. Those moving on I will help to move the work should they want to keep it. All they need to do is let me know. Otherwise, their account is deleted over the summer.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - May 16

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.
Monday - Christina
Tuesday - Lucas
Wednesday - day 2, no current events
Thursday - Michael
Friday - no school




Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.
Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids

This week is only a 4 day week and so there is only three nights of homework. By now, all students should be well on their way to completing their first tests of a variable related to the section and contest they chose. Monday will see students putting up their results and Tuesday is preparing for the second variable test. Each variable changed should have a minimum of 3 tests to make the data valid. All students should be keeping record of their test findings and putting it on a chart on their blog. I did forget to include the due date for the projects - May 31 is when students need to bring their Variables Olympics projects to school for the class competition where everyone particiaptes. The winners of these competitions will move on to the grade level competition next day.

Tuesday is our final trip to the MS for transition and students will be paired up with a current grade 6 student and there are various activities that need to be completed. We will have lunch with our buddies at the MS on Tuesday.

The next and final unit in math is on Probability, Ratios and Rates. This is kind of a neat unit where we look at what makes something fair and what are the chances of either winning or completing something. Later in the unit we will play games to determine if they are fair or not. We did one last week and it was determined that since it is completely luck, it must be fair since everyone has the same chance at luck. The parent letter for this unit was in the email sent home. You will get the final evaluation of the last unit in the Monday folders this week.

I had a number of people last week ask about the math assessment sheet. This is the form at the front of the final math assessment. Please remember that it is a complete assessment of the unit and not just the final test. We also grade the work from student journals, exit slips and some of the oral work we do in class. The problem solving is a combination of the exemplars and the open response that students do.

One thing I need to let everyone know is that it is time to prepare for final grading and reports. In order for me to do this it is now very important that work be completed on time. There is almost no room for me to give extensions any more as I have to get things graded and then I will begin final reports. Please see that everything that has deadlines be followed a closely as possible or it may not make it on your students report card. I thank-you in advance for this.

Our walk about is a go now with only one group without a parent helper. I am working on some arrangements for these girls and if nothing pans out then either Mrs. Lee or myself will go. I think students are really looking forward to this and so are a bunch of parents.

That is about it for the week. If you want to meet with me before the end of the year let me know or if you have questions please feel free to contact me. Have a great week.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - May 9

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.

Monday - Max
Tuesday - day 2, no current events
Wednesday - Faven
Thursday - StephenFriday - Claire

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.
Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids

There is a huge change in the homework for next three weeks. This is because it is time for our annual Variables Olympics. This project is entirely done at home. Except for the Math Study Links, all other homework will be based on the Variables Olympics. This is a good chance for students to see what doing a project at home is like since there will more like this in middle school. Here are the details;
  1. All information is located on our webpage here - I would suggest this site be bookmarked.
  2. Homework is on student's Google Site Variables Olympics web page. They are all blog entries.
  3. Homework assignments are in their Google Docs and are complete with due dates.
  4. If possible students should keep track of their progress with pics to be uploaded to their blogs.
As this is at the end of the year, I must insist that due dates be watched very closely. It is now very difficult for me to extend dates as I have time constraints for reporting students progress. Please stay in touch with me if there are time problems.

We will complete our math unit this week with the final assessment later in the week. Students will also have an open response to complete. Our next unit will start next week and take us to the end of the school year.

Since our Hong Kong Walkabout was postponed last Friday, we will postpone the assignments until we have completed this day. At the moment I am not sure what the plans are but I am hoping to have it rescheduled for later this coming week. I will stay in contact with you throughout the week as we make decisions. The students were quite disappointed about the cancellation on Friday.
We have a new math challenge that the students are working on. This time they have to use the five numbers 3, 7, 9, 14 & 17 to equal all numbers from 1 to 100. They cannot use the exponent 0 this time nor can they combine numbers (ie. 3 & 7 to make 37) but all the other rules are the same. Although I have not taught anything about factorials (!) they are using them in this challenge and I am glad to see it.

I want to thank Zehra, Nikhita and Christoffer in their roles as class executive. We have elected a new executive which will start on Monday. The new students are Tara, Maxwell and Christina. Congratulations to them.
If any of you know that you might miss some days at the end of the school year please let me know so I can make sure all is ready for your departure and your students move to middle school. Just send me an email.

During the summer months the school will moving its computer system over to a Mac system in preparation for the 1 to 1 laptop program in the fall. It would be a good idea for students to transfer any work they have in their :H and :O drives to a computer at home. This is accomplished easily with a thumb drive or USB drive. They can start this anytime now. The :O drive is erased every summer in preparation for the new school year. Middle school students will not have access to the drive that is here in the UPS so the move is essential unless there is nothing there they want to keep. All their blogs and Google Docs will not be affected since they are on-line.

All our pictures this week involve water. Some are from our buoyancy experiments and others are from our capacity through displacement lesson in math.

As we head to the end of the year I know some of you might want to meet with me. Please let me know and I will gladly arrange a time we can meet. In the mean time, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - May 3

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.

Monday - none assigned
Tuesday - Brock
Wednesday - Alex
Thursday - Christoffer
Friday - Halle

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.
Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids

First off some kudos to the students: Christos and Michael for shaving in the name of Childhood Cancer victims. Here is a before and after picture.


The big event this week is the Hong Kong walkabout. Please make sure students have the following items for this event; octopus card ($100.00), hat, umbrella, water, sun protection and sunglasses. All students need a lunch as there are none being provided. Either students can bring a packed lunch in their backpack or they can purchase lunch en-route. Any student that has a digital camera should bring it along. Please clear all pics off it before they go out as it makes it easier to download when we get back to school.

Today we are at the Aberdeen field for the last field day of the year. Appropriate gear for the day, a snack and water are all needed.

We will continue with our new math unit this week as we look at geometric solids and their properties. There will also be an open response later in the week.

The memoir unit is going well and there should be a second one completed this week. We are keeping these in a book so that parents can see this when it comes time for our end of year Writer's Cafe in June. Our poetry will also be in this book.

Reading this week will see students complete their Lit Circles with a blog entry and a summary. We will begin the last lit circle for the year next week. I will also start DRA testing this week as a summary of the students year in reading.

Four our science unit we continue with the boat lab and move on to the flying lab. These have had some interesting discussions in class and I hope at home as well. Students are learning that by changing only one variable at a time, a set of results can be obtained that can be graphed. Not all the graphs we are making are straight line either - some are elliptical and giving rise to interesting math discussions. We will also go over the Variables Olympics project this week as it begins next week. Please note the entire project is a homework project and will be reflected on their weekly homework starting next week.

I hope all of you are able to make it to the party on Thursday and I look forward to seeing all of you that can make it. The party is a family affair so please bring the family. It is being hosted by Mr. & Mrs. Chen in the 6th floor lounge, starting at 4:00pm.

As always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. As we head to the end of the year I will make myself as available as possible should you want to meet with me about next year, summer work or review of this year. Please contact me and we will set up a time.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - April 25

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.

Monday - Sabrina
Tuesday - Christos
Wednesday - Nikhita
Thursday - day 2, no current events
Friday - PD day, no school

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.
Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids

A short week this week with only four days. This means only three days of homework and it is due on Thursday morning. We are also switching around days so this Thursday is a day 2 and the following Monday is a day 1. I will be in Beijing over next weekend so I cannnot say if there will be a class letter or not. I will attempt one, but it is dependent on the time I arrive back from Beijing on Sunday afternoon. I will be away from school on Thursday as I prepare for my move to Beijing by finding a house/flat to live in when I arrive.

I want to thank Kaori, Simon and Brock for their job as class executive and welcome Zehra, Nikhita and Christoffer. I am sure they will continue the tradition of excellence in these positions.

We will complete Unit 10 in math this week with the final assessment and open response. We will then move on to Unit 11 and I have included the family letter with the weekly email. Please keep it for future reference.

For writing we will continue with our memoirs on friends. Students have had a great time writing about this but have had some difficulty weaving a thread or theme through their writing. It is not vital they do this but we are still trying to get the idea of theme in writing into our own writing. We are also completing the LUNE poem and will move on to the Sense Poem next.

This week we have the Middle School counselor visit our class so students should have questions ready to be answered by the counselor. Topics could include lockers, schedules, recess, after school clubs, homework etc. Just about anything is fair game.

In reading this week, students will complete their current set of Literature circles and prepare for the next ones. I have started to interchange this title with Book Talks as that is the more appropriate name for them.

In science we will move on to Lifeboats from Swingers. Our pictures this week are from the students experimenting with Pendulums. We discovered that it does not seem to matter what the material is that the pendulum is made of, only the length of the pendulum effects the number of swings.

As always, if you have questions please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - April 18

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.

Monday - Simon
Tuesday - Pablo
Wednesday - Kaori
Thursday - day 2, no current events
Friday - Norika

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.
Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids

After last weeks missive, this one promises to be considerably shorter. First off is dates;

Field Day May 3 (error on last week's blog - this one is now correct)
Poetry Cafe - June 8th - same day as our final awards ceremony

As each of these comes up I will give out more information such as times. Please start to put these on your calendar so that you do not miss any of them.

This week is swimming for Mr. Watson's class so students will need their swimming togs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Mr. Billington's class will be do High Elements so students should be appropriately dressed for this neat unit in PE.

Our Hong Kong walk about is now one week closer. At present I have three parent volunteers and I need 8 so that means that one more is needed. Please let me know if you can help out. This is one of the events of the year and parents are a must. We cannot go if there is not enough help.

Students will need two items for this day. First off is an Octopus card. Since students will move about Hong Kong on public transportation this is a must. They are free since the initial down payment is returned upon cashing in the card. I would suggest about HK$100 on the card for traveling around. Any left over can be cashed in with the card at the end of the day. The other thing I need for this day is as many digital cameras as possible. The assignment for the day will be a photo essay so the more cameras we can get the better off we will be.

Our Science unit on Variables begins this week with a look at pendulums. Should initiate some interesting discussions at home as well. We will also begin to look at some non-fiction reading about the subjects we will study.

This week will see the continuation of our memoirs unit and poetry writing. IF you can talk about memories you have about your students it will help out with their writing as we continue this unit until the end of the school year. We will publish our first memoirs about the HOME and move on to FRIENDS later in the week.

Students have a reading blog entry due by Friday morning this week. It is part of their homework and they have been preparing for it since last Monday so it should not come as a surprise. It must be on a book they have recently completed. The instructions for the three paragraphs are in their Google Docs account.

Joe Winston and myself are giving a short talk on home requirements for computers next year this Thursday morning from 8:00-9:00. It will be in the 6th floor lounge. Please feel free to attend if you have questions or need further clarification.

This weeks pictures are with parents, during our civil war finale.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - April 11

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.
Monday - Tara
Tuesday - Jonas
Wednesday - day 2, no current event
Thursday - Zehra
Friday - Trey

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.
Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids



This is a very long letter today and it is filled with a lot of important information about coming events, new units and a host of other important news flashes. Please read carefully. I will include subheadings for this letter to make things easier.

Civil War
I want to thank all the parents that attended our unit Finale. I hope you all enjoyed the readings, marching and sharing of Journals. The pics and movie this week are from this events. Students will NOT be bringing their Civil War materials home this week as there are just too many students not complete with various assignments. We will complete this week.
I want to thank Jonas, Sabrina and Stephen for their excellent service during this unit. The leadership they provided was exemplary. Our new class executive is Kaori as president, Brock as Secretary and we will elect a Vice President on Monday.

Walk-About
May 7th has been assigned as our annual Grade 5 Walkabout. This is a day where students are in groups and visit various places in Hong Kong to complete a Photo Essay as part of their Memoir writing unit. Before we can begin to plan for this day I need parent volunteers. The general plan is to drop off at City Hall by 9:00 and return from City Hall by 2:00. I would need parents for this entire time to supervise student groups. If you can help me with this, please let me know and I will put you on my list. You can also expect students to start talking this up at home since we need to start the planning for this immediately.
Math
Our last unit is complete and all the final assessments will come home in the Monday folder. Our next unit is on Using Data and Algebra Skills and Concepts. The family letter is attached to the email I sent home. Please save for future reference.

This week starts the first of two class math challenges. It is hung outside the classroom for the students to work on as they have time. They have about three weeks to complete the first one. It is to use four 4's to equal all numbers from 1 to 100 (ie. 4+4+4+4=16). They can use all the operations they are use to (+, -, *, /) as well as square root, exponents and one that I will teach them on Monday called a factorial. Written as 4! it means 1*2*3*4 which equals 24. One of the more unique pieces they can use is 4 to the power of 0 which equals 1.

Writing
This week will see the spring Writing Prompt take place. It is the same format is in the past. Students will be given two prompts and must choose from one of them. They will then have three writing periods to complete their piece; planning, drafting and editing, publishing. This will start on Tuesday. The two prompts the students can choose from have to do with an event in their life or an important change in their life.
We will also start our last two writing units this week. Poetry will be using different forms of poetry to construct their own poetry tome. Memoirs will have weekly topics and students will complete a published piece each week from now to the end of the year. In order for the students to do a good job of this it helps out if discussions are held at home about what students have been involved in, what they were like as an infant, special events reminders, discussions about grandparents, uncles, aunts and other extended family members. These discussions should go one through out the next two months. This weeks memoirs will be on the home - the different homes they have lived in, the way a home is organized, chores, visitors, comings and goings, special places in the home, etc. It is not about the family in the home - that comes later.





Reading

We continue with our Literature Circles which have been going very well. I am impressed with the depth of discussion that is starting to evolve through this. We do this twice a week with books students chose from my library. We continue with this through out the rest of the year.
We will also continue to look at summarizing books and stories. This will include general summaries and plot summaries. For this we will mostly use the books students are reading. I must reiterate how important it is for students to be reading at home 20-30 minutes each night for a minimum of 6 nights a week (I prefer all 7). Students should be keeping track of their reading on their weekly reading log. I would appreciate any hep you can offer on this as it is rather inconsistent. YOu will begin to see their summaries show up on their reading blog.

Science
We will prepare to start our last unit of study for the year, Variables, this week. Just a quick heads up on some important things about this unit. In about two weeks or so I will assign the Variables Olympics project which is fully done at home. It will involve the scientific process that we cover in class and have lots of options to best fit with the students own choices. This will become part of the weekly homework. This project will reflect the learning in the unit which is on planes, boats, and catapults. It is a great project and one that always brings some interesting results.

You can now view your students pollution video on their website. It took a lot longer than I thought to get these up and working but they are all there now for your perusal. Ask your student to show it to you.

video
Reminders
This week is the start of the last session of after school activities (ASA). I have a list posted in the class and it would help to remind your student if they are registered in one.

This week students start their Trash Kids projects in art. This will be on Wednesday so they still have two days to bring in the things they might want to use on their projects.

Home work starts again this week. Please help students get back into the swing of things with this. You can also count on computer use every week now so please help where this might be a problem at home.

Here are some dates to start keeping track of;

Apr. 30 - PD day, no school for student
May 2 - Field Day
May 7 - Grade 5 Walkabout
May 21 - holiday
June 4 - Grade 5 Fling
June 8 - 5C Awards Ceremony
June ? - Poetry/Technology Cafe

There are also Middle School transition events in there to be calendared. I will keep you informed as these come up. We will also do our unit on human development and adolescence sometime in the first two weeks of June.

As I thought before I started, this is quite lengthy but filled with a lot of important information. As always, if there are concerns or questions, please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - March 28

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.
Monday - day 2, no current events
Tuesday - Christina
Wednesday - LucasThursday - Michael
Friday - holiday, no school

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.
Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids

Just a brief reminder that this week is only 3.5 days. Dismissal on Thursday is at 11:20 with buses leaving at 11:30. If anyone is planning on leaving for the holiday early or coming back late please let me know so I can plan properly. Thanks in advance for this.


I will need all three sheets for Middle School registration in before holiday break this week. Please note that one of the forms is two-sided. Students and parents need to sign these forms. Please review all of them with your student prior to signing them. Thank-you for your assistance with this. It really makes transition in the fall much smoother.
A reminder that the parent night for Middle School transition is this Tuesday in the Black Box Theater in the middle school. The start time is 7:00pm. This is a forum for prospective parents to ask questions of the middle school administration and teaching staff.

The end of the Civil war is close at hand. Our unit finale will be held this Wednesday from 2:00-2:50 and all parents are invited - bring a camera. We will start on the 5th floor playground so wait for us there. We will do some military drilling there and then come back to the classroom for some readings from our Civil War journals, the Gettysburg Address and some time for parents to look over the journal before it is time to pack up and go home. Students will take their Civil War uniforms home at this time as well. They may keep them.
We will complete our math unit this week with the final assessment later in the week. We also have an open response to complete that is related to the learning from the unit. Our next unit will start right after the Easter break.

For homework this week students have three vocabulary lists to look over and learn. One each night with a vocabulary test the next day. These will be in the same fashion as previously with the definitions given and the students correctly spelling the word. There is no homework over the Easter break but I do want to request that all students continue to read everyday.

This is also the week students have to have their trash kids materials ready. Any plastic bottles, plastic containers, lids, trays etc. that you might throw away make perfect materials for the construction of their Trash Kids. We have boxes in the room for the collection of this material. It would be a great help if all the materials are pre-washed.

Our school Easter Chapel will happen on Tuesday morning from 8:15-9:00.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please contact me.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - March 21

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.
Monday - Halle
Tuesday - Max
Wednesday - Faven
Thursday - Stephen
Friday - Claire

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.
Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids

Thank-you to all of you for participating in your students Student-Led conference. There was a l of great conversation that was started during this time. Since there is so much of the students work on-line, these conversations should be easily continued at home. Sometimes the generic, "So, what did you learn today?" does not elicit the response wanted, but a conversation about learning can have long lasting positive effects.

This week will see us continue with our Civil War journal. Students will work on a Biography, two maps and a spreadsheet all that will end up in the journal. Lots of interesting work in these journals/portfolios and something that students will be proud of for many years to come. I still have students, who are now in grade 10 & 11, writing me and telling me about how they have kept their Civil War journals and occasionally look through them. Kind of nostalgic.

We are well underway with our Book Talks. Each student has chosen a book and the groups have met once. This week they will meet again and talk about the 5C's of reading - clarification, connections, comments, context and continuation. Since this is the second time this year, these book talks are really taking on an interesting tone and discussion.

In math class we will continue with coordinate geometry and also begin to look at area, volume and capacity. Some of this is done with experiments that prove certain points. Very interesting learning here. Students will also complete a second exemplar involving area.
We have a special guest speaker for our Chapel this week. He is a member of the Friends of God and he will be in to talk about his religion and his relationship with God. We use to have a teacher here in the UP that was a member and when she gave this talk the students always learned a lot about the worship of other people. Should be an interesting talk.

Students have been busy collecting used cans, bottles, cartons, plastic trays, etc. as they are getting ready to construct their Trash Kids. Please help by giving students all the left items after a meal or that are no longer needed in the home. Make sure that they are properly cleaned out and washed. Thanks for your help with this. In the past these sculptures have been a highlight of the students art year.
I am a little behind with the movies from our last Pollution Unit but hope to complete these and get them up on our websites by the end of the week. Students have been anxiously awaiting these for quite some time now.

Please make sure that students are reading at home for 20-30 minutes each night for at least 5 nights a week. There is little time in class to do this so it really helps if they have time at home to complete this important part of their learning.
Students are going to need about 20-30 minutes on a computer each night this week as they are now commenting on other students blogs. We have practiced this in class for the last couple of weeks and now it is time to put it into action. Please help with the computer time if necessary. Next year this will not be a problem since each student will have their own lap-top.

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - March 14

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.

Monday - Alex
Tuesday - Christoffer
Wednesday - day2, no current events
Thursday - no school
Friday - no school

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.

Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids

Our first trip to the Middle School to start the transition period will be this Tuesday. It is to listen to the choices that students have for music and languages. Middle school is the first time that students have choices for their education so it is important that they have a chance to listen to the choices they have. Students can then talk it over with their parents before a final decision is made. The choices for music are Band, Strings, Chorus & Bach to Rock while the choices for languages are Chinese, French and Spanish. One important change is that all music classes are part of the regular day and not after school as they are here in the UP. Students need to take a music and language class each year in Middle School. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Students will also have their first chance to have lunch at the Middle School with the grade 6 classes. All students on the school lunch program will continue while students who pay or use their Octopus card can do so. Students who bring their lunch will do so for this day and eat as usual. One thing that is quite different in Middle School is lunch organization. It is about the same length of time but students are not organized for an eating or playing time. The entire lunch time is up to the students.On Thursday and Friday you will have a marvelous opportunity to participate in a conference led by your child. These student-led conferences reflect the HKIS Student Learning Result of “Self-Motivated Learning.” Your child will have an opportunity to be an active participant in reviewing and reflecting his/her own learning. Accountability and responsibility are built into the reflecting process. Self-respect and self-esteem are enhanced, as students are asked to focus on strengths and give their own perspective on areas they are trying to improve. I have structured the conference, making it possible for your child to assume leadership during the one-hour conference. This conference is not meant to be a progress report, but an opportunity for your child to share with you the successes and challenges of his/her learning.

Here is what you can expect at your child’s student-led conference:
  • Your child will be in charge of the conference. He/She will have planned specific areas to share, and will have rehearsed them. Please allow your child the opportunity to share their plan.
  • You will see a demonstration of skills, and learn a little more about the class and your child’s part in it.
  • Several children will be conducting conferences in the classroom at the same time.
  • Your child may be unsure of your reactions to his/her presentation. Please provide encouragement and feedback as your child proceeds with the conference. Ask questions to clarify, but please try not to control or direct the conference.
  • Above all, expect your child to share his/her strengths, successes, best work, and most comfortable areas.
  • Plan to have fun---this is a day for celebration!
We also start our next unit in math on Coordinates, Area, volume and Capacity. The family letter is attached to the email that was sent announcing this letter. The final assessment and all exit slips from our last unit will be in the Monday Folders.

I will require a quick turn around for Monday folders this week as it is only a three day week. Please return them on either Tuesday or Wednesday so I can have them ready for the following week.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - March 7

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.

Monday - Sabrina
Tuesday - day2, no current events
Wednesday - Christos
Thursday - Nikhita
Friday - Brock

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.

Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids



Things are really hopping here in 5C1 with a multitude of projects currently underway. Some are continuations of what we have been doing in various units and others are preparing for events coming our way.

Our big event this week is the Author visit on Friday. Derek Landry is here in Hong Kong for the annual literary festival and he has consented to come and talk to all the grade 5 classes. He is the author of Skuldugery Pleasant. The library has copies of this book but for the next while it might be a little hard to get them. These talks are good for students as they see what professional writers do and how it is close to what we do in the class. Sometimes it inspires students even further in their writing.

In our Civil War unit we have now completed 1863 with a look at the Battle of Gettysburg. This week we will concentrate on the Emancipation Proclomation and Gettysburg Address - both very important events from the Civil War. Students hve been very busy adding to their journals/portfolios and this week we will get this caught up as well as adding in some other neat things.

We will also continue to prepare for Student Led conferences which are next week. It is my understanding that sign up for this starts this Tuesday. If you have any questions you can call the office and they can help you out.

We will complete our current unit in math this week with the final assessment later in the week. There is also an open response to complete for this unit and some other problem solving exercises. The final Math Olympiad test is this Tuesday. Awards for this will be given out at the end of the year ceremony.

Students will start their second round of Literature Circles/Book Talks. This time they get to select the book they will read rather than having it assigned. Which book they choose will also determine the group they are in for their talks and discussions.

I am a little concerned about reading at home. There has been a general decline in this over the last few weeks and I would like to encourage a strengthening of this imporant element in the reading program here at HKIS. Students should be reading for a minimum of 20 minutes per night, 6 nights per week. This needs to be recorded on the weekly reading log attached to the homework packet I send home. Please help me boost this back to previous levels. There is no free reading time in school at the moment and this is the only time students get to be totally in control of their own reading.

The pictures this week are from our class in their Civil War uniforms. Students will get their pics in sepia tone and an additional army photo to place in their journals. If you want your students pics please let me know by email and I will forward them to you. There are 3-5 of each student and are fairly large - please make sure your email client can hold large attachments.

As always, if you have any questoins please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - March 1

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.

Monday - day2, no current events
Tuesday - Pablo
Wednesday - Kaori
Thursday - Maxwell
Friday - Nikhita

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.

Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids

I had a great experience at the USB-Unplugged conference in Mumbai last week. American School Bombay (ASB) has been a 1:1 laptop school now for the past 6 years and it was amazing to see what the students have accomplished in that time. It was also gratifying to know that what I am doing with your students on the computers and internet this year, will have far reaching benefits later on - and we have not finished yet.

We continue this week with 1863 in the years of the Civil War. This was especially important as the sway of the war happened in the summer of this year with the Battle of Gettysburg. Students will be doing several things with this as well as some more work on their journals/portfolios.

We will begin preparations for the Student Led conferences this week and this will mainly involve students telling the story of their learning. We will be doing these conferences with the computers and connections to their blogs and website. Should be a very informative time for you.

Wednesday is Field day and since it has warmed up it is important that students come with hats, sun-block and water. There is not a lot of shade at the Aberdeen pitch.

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Harold Daw

daw.com - February 21

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.

Monday - Tara
Tuesday - Sabrina
Wednesday - Zehra
Thursday - Trey
Friday - Simon

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.

Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids

I hope everyone had a restful and enjoyable Chinese New Year holiday. It was a bit cold here in Hong Kong but there was lots to do and lots of spirit in the people. The weather hardly registered as we all went about some great CNY celebrations.

I will be away from Tuesday until Friday this week as I attend a technology conference in Mumbai, India. There is a sub me during this time. I will be looking at a school that not only went one to one computers but opted for tablet computers. These are the computers with a touch screen for all sorts of interesting studies. I own one and will share it with the students upon my return so they can see what it can do.

This week students will continue with our look at the Civil War and finish up the year 1862. There are some interesting events with the people we have been watching and studying in this time era and these will be looked at in detail. Students will continue to write in their journal/portfolios as well as put in the first maps and diagrams.

In math this week we continue with Unit 8 which is Fractions and Ratios. We will look at adding and subtracting mixed numbers and also ordering fractions. Also, a start to multiplyiong fractions with an area model which is kind of neat. It really explains why multiplying fractions comes out with a smaller number.

Homework will resume as normal this week so please help in getting your child back into this routine. Monday folders will also come home with our last week of school work in them and the assessment for their non-fiction presentation. Students did very well on this and I was quite pleased.

Not too much happening in the special events area this week. Pictures are from our last week of school before the Chinese New Year holiday.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Harold Daw