daw.com - January 16

IMG_1337.JPGA new year is upon us and already it has been quite a week.  I hope everyone had a restful holiday.  I really enjoyed seeing my family and being back in Canada for a VERY cold Christmas break.
I want to let everyone know that our class picture will be on Tuesday January 20 so I would ask that everyone dress up nicely.  It is a non-PE day so students do not need to worry about having to change in and out of gym clothes during the day.  An order form was sent home on Friday for families that want to order a class picture.  Bring the form and the money on Tuesday to give to the photographer.
This week we have returned to many of the things we were doing before break.  Regular homework started again but this time with a look at Synonyms and problem solving. This will continue for several weeks to come.  I am hoping that reading is a nightly activity in your house now and that it continues every day of the week.  Being a well read student is part of being well educated.  20 minutes every night should not change any routines in the household.  Homework packets are always due on the last day of the week - usually a Friday.IMG_1358.JPG
Monday folders will return next week with many items in it as we completed several projects this past week.  They should also be signed and returned by Friday of each week.  The student's work is yours to keep.
We are now in the Human Body unit and I have indicated to the class that while some people look at this with almost an unkind eye, really it should be held in awe.  To think that the machine we call a body works all by itself for 24 hours everyday, is truly a magnificent thing to behold.  The emphasis of this unit is on living a healthy lifestyle as well as learning about the human body and how its various systems integrate to keep us happy and healthy.

Starting next week the students will rotate through seven(7) stations representing various systems and contexts of the human body.  They will be involved in disecting heart and lungs, looking at lung capacity, working on wellness excersizes and many more concepts.  There is also some front loading of information reguarding the skeletal and muscular system happening.
I am quite pleased that for the most part, students bring very healthy snacks.  During our unit on the Human Body, I would like to ask that this both continue and become a discussion at home.  It is certainly part of what keeps us healthy.  It also makes learning far better when a student's body is happily satisfied with the intake of food.
We also started to write our part of the Monkey King.  This is a performance that will happen as part of the Performing Arts classes later in the year.  To start off, each class is given a section of the tale and this has to be written in a script to be performed.  It is the student's responsibility to complete this as they are the ones performing the play.  I have reviewed how to write a script, the technique of script writing and we have already divided into two groups for Act 1 and and Act 2 of the performance.  Students have listed the characters (cast) and already started writing the script for each act.  I find this very exciting as I have done a lot of acting in my life and also written a script that was performed at another school I worked at.  I am hoping this motivates them to really put their heart and soul into the performance.  As time comes closer, I will also help them with the choreography and blocking of the performance.
Our math unit on fractions continues and I have to admit that the students are finding this a little more challenging than some of the other units.  I have slowed down somewhat to really make sure they understand what I need them to know about fractions, decimals and percent.  We should finishe the unit later next week but I am not goping to rush this as these concepts are very important to future math.

As part of this unit I am hoping to get into the kitchen and do some baking of muffins.  So much of cooking is fractions (in the imperial measurement system) that it should help students make a real world connection with fractions and baking.
I had students repeat their explorer presentations this week as I was not pleased with their past effort.  It was amazing to see the improvement.  I take some of the responsibiluty for this as we ran out of time just before Christmas break.  We covered what is really needed for a great presentation.
As always, if there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
Harold Daw