daw.com - January 24

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 - Christos
Tuesday - Nikhita
Wednesday - day 2, no current events
Thursday - Brock
Friday - Alex

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.

Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids

We are well underway with the Civil War unit. You can follow some of the work we are doing on your student's website. A listing of the links is located here. This coming week will see the first entry in out Journal/Portfolio as well as the completion of our first written report on the causes of the Civil War and Life before the Civil War. Students have had one lesson on report writing and there are two more scheduled this coming week. We will also start watching a video called The Blue and the Gray. While it is a Hollywood creation, it is fairly accurate. We do not watch all of it but rather the parts that give students ideas and concepts for their journal entries.

This week will also see us prepare for the Stanford tests next week. Grade 5 has a short 5 lesson unit on how to read a test and take a test. It has always proven both relevant and successful. One of the more interesting problems students have is incomplete reading of instructions or questions. This is one of the concepts addressed in this unit.

For math this week we will continue looking at order of operations. I have had students learn a quick way to remember this. PLEASE EXCUSRE MY DEAR AUNT SALLY - if you take the first letter of each word you get PEMDAS which is the order for mathematical operations - Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication and Division and last is Addition and Subtraction. It is fun to watch them rehearsing this in class. I really feel it is a great way for students to internalize this important concept. We will also move on to Negative Numbers later in the week. There are resources on our class website for all these concepts if your student needs help. You can find them here.I have now completed about 20% of the Science Project video taping. The rest will happen this week. I am hoping to find a way for students to link this on their website for their portfolio. The biggest wall to this is usually the size of the video when it is digitized. I am working on this and will keep you informed. The pictures this week are of the students presenting.

Please keep students reading at home. This is important now as the students will find that there is much more reading for the Civil War unit that is done at home. They should record all their reading on the reading log which is the first page of their homework packet. 20-30 minutes per night is best when it is possible.

This week the second session of After School Activities begins. If you student has signed up there is a listing in my room to remind them and also tell them which room it is being held in. I can show this to them if they have forgotten.

I have noticed an increase is students forgetting Chinese folders, homework and homework folders at home. This is not a good habit and would like to ask your assistance in this. Please ask your student to think about what day it is today and do they have everything needed for their schoolwork. It is a quick 15 second stop and think time - and all this needed. Thanks in advance for this assistance.

As always, if you have a concern or question please let me know.


Harold Daw