daw.com - January 30

I have been a teacher for 27 years now and today we did something that I have never done with a class in any school or at any level before.  We had a lesson in the kitchen and we baked up Cinnamon Muffins.  What a blast it was too.  Just look at all the faces of the students as we completed and started to eat our creation.  I am sold on this and will plan several more before the year is over.  Since all the measurements were in fractions it was also a great real world lesson from recent lessons.

We have also spent some this week doing two things simultaneously - writing a script for our section of Monkey King and learning all we can about Office 365.  It has been a very steep learning curve but so far we have completed a shared writing piece in the script and started to do our heart rate lab with the online version of PowerPoint.  So far all we have on the presentation is a table of the information but by the time we finish it will have a pie graph (something we have just learned in math class) and all the information we find about blood pressure as well.  All students had their BP measured this week and were surprised to find such a wide variation. We will also graph the class landmarks using the data we have collected.

Speaking of math, we started out new using on graphing and adding and subtracting fractions.  I have attached the family letter for unit 6 at the end of this blog post.   We should complete this before Chinese New Year.  It is mostly a continuation of what we started in unit 5. Myself, Mrs. Brister and Ms. Crowe are also experiemting with math stations so each student attends three of the 6 days with another teacher.  It is really great for studenst to work with studenst from other classes they do not regularly get to see and also with another teacher.
We will be restarting current events after the Chinese New year break.  Students will be introduced to NEWSELLA which is an online edcational newspaper.  It really has great articles for students.  We will use this to report on the news and happenings in the world.  Look out for this coming early in the week.
Earlier in the week we had an unannounced emergency drill and I have to report how impressed I was with the students.  It was automatic - quiety moved out of harms way, there was no noise and they listened for recording and anouncements.  There was no movement and everyone showed cool and collected emotions over this.  Being unannounced, there was no way to know if it was real or not.  Kudos to the students in 5HD.  I was so proud of them.

I feel I need to remind all parents that I do expect students to read for at least 5 days a week and I prefer all 7.  10-20 minutes of free reading, reading from news, family reading, oral reading or just interest reading is fine as long as they are reading.  Students should then be recording this on their reading log every day.  I give students a new log every 2-3 weeks.  The bring the completed log in and file it in their folder for future use.  Please help to continue to make this a reality.  If your student does not have reading material at home let me know.  I can arrange to have some brought home.  Thank-you in advance for this.

Talking about reading, we have started ourt first book clubs for the year.  This is assigned reading from me.  All students are in groups of 3 or 4 and they have 5 times they will meet to discuss the book before Chinese New year.  Then we start again right after the holiday and continue to the end of the year.  Students are reading "Just Right" books meaning they are at their reading level.  They get some choice from the selection I give them.
That is all the news from 5HD for this week and announcements for next week. As always, if there is a question or concern please let me know.  I will arrange a time for us to meet and work it out.

Harold Daw