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.

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.
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.

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.


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.

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.

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.


Harold Daw