daw.com - April 27

IMG_0022.JPGOur second time in the cooking lab was just as successful as the first.  This time the students cooked banana bread from scratch.  We even had to make our own buttermilk so they looked up the portions of milk to vinegar on the web and in the end, everything was amazing.  The taste tests by many teachers and all the students indicated that the bread was quite a success.  Our last time in the cooking lab will be for a brunch in which the students will both plan, organize and cook for the whole class.  Besides the great opportunity for Experiential Learning, this also is a real world use of fractions.  Unfortunatley most of them are in imperial measurements rather than metric, but that just adds to experience.
Students will be having a totally different homework experience this week as they plan and organize their Impact project.  Each student has a journal that has many activities and sheets to plan and keep themselves orgainzed. This work is in conjunction with the teaching that will happen each day in class during our Inquiry classes.  Students will work in groups for this project.
Added to this, there is the planning process for the last report/research of the year.  This time students have to choose a topic of their own choice and there is no booklet for them.  There is timeline and also a rubric to allow them to know both what the deadlines will be and the assessment of the project.  I look forward to some really interesting topics for this.
Celebrate and Share the Arts (CASTA) is this Thursday and 5HD is first up in the theatre at 9:00am.  I have organized the morning to make sure they have time to get into costume and be prepared for their acts.  I am looking forward to seeing it for the first time.  I am sure they will do just great.IMG_0568.JPG

We have started our next math unit on Coordiantes, Area, Volume and Capacity.  I ahve attached the family letter to the bottom of this post.  Students did well on the last assessment except for the open response.  Most of the students seemed to have trouble with unit fractions to represent other unit fractions.  I have gone over this with them again in class and we re-did the open response as a class to see what was expected.
Although I am sure that the students will remind you, please be aware that this Friday is a national holiday and there is no school.  I am sure the students will enjoy their last holiday before the end of the school year.
As always, if you have any questions or need to see me please email me and I will gladly set up a time for us to meet.
Harold Daw

daw.com - April 17

IMG_1759.JPGThis week started with a set of guests representing Peking Opera and what an exciting time it was.  First students got to watch the actors put on their makeup and costumes.  Great questions where asked of the actors and students left with a better understanding of what they are going to have to do with their makeup when it comes time to perform our version of Monkey King.  Just a reminder that the grade 5 perforamces will be on May 28th and 29th.  Times to be confirmed later.
We finished up our Human Body reports this week and started our next piece of writing which is an essay.  Our first attempt at writing an essay was with the Cafeteria piece.  THis time students chose their own topic, read articles from Newsela, summarized the articles and then created a plan for their essay.  We are now in the process of writing our first draft of the essay.
Poetry is also on the horizon and students will be both writing and presenting poems.IMG_1744.JPG
The presentations will be to small groups and also the whole class.  Towards ​the end of the year parents will also get a chance to hear the poems.
I hope that students had all their questions about puberty answered this past week.  We covered the physical, emotional and intellectual changes that will occur during Adolesence with many great conversations.  Some of the questions I left for students to ask their parents.
The Impact unit is in full swing with a look at people around the globe who have made an impact with the work they have done.  This coming week students will continue this study with readings in their homework and Impact sheets to fill out.
IMG_1733.JPGStudents will return to the cooking lab next Friday to once again use fractions to bake up a storm.  This time we will be doing Banana Bread.  I could use 2-3 moms to help so if you are available please email me and let me know.  It would be from 12:30-2:00.
As always, if you have a question or concern, please let me know.  I will arrange a time to meet with you.
Harold Daw

daw.com - April 11

These weeks are flying by far too fast.  I guess when there is so much to do and lots of intersting events, time escapes us all - including 5HD.
The students were quick to find that I made a mistake with last week's math problem solving homework.  I accidently printed the answer sheets.  What I hope happened is that students still took a look at the problem and learned from it.  I have double checked this coming weeks problems to make sure the same mistake is not duplicated.
Our Impact unit is in full swing and we continue to look at others and how they have made an impact in the world.  Each day next week there is an in class assignment based on a reading from the night before.  I have attached all the readings to the homework booklet.  Students can use this reading as part of their nightly reading time.  In class we will look at the idea, investigation, planning, action plan and evaluation of the service projects undertaken by these individuals.
IMG_1728.JPGOur last study of the Human Body begins this week with a look at Puberty in both boys and girls.  We will look at the physical, emotional and social changes happening as these students grow up to become young men and women.  Students will have three methods to have their questions aswered - in class, through an anonymous ​question box and also with you at home.  Please help where you feel you are comfortable and can.
Students have an opportunity this week to view Peking Opera both from behind the scenes as the actors dress and prepare their make-up and also in the form of a special performance for grade 5.  After this one of the actors will come to the classroom to answer questions about Peking Opera.  Lastly their is a specialis in Peking Opera that all students will work with during their Performing Arts classes.  Mrs. Winkelman has done an excellet job of preparing this opportunity for our class and we thank her greatly.
This week's MAP test is reading.  It will be on Friday morning.  Students did a great job on the Language part last week so I expect they will do the same this week.

We continue to work on our Human Body Reports, essays, book clubs and fractions andratios this week.  It is taking longer to complete the written pieces but I want to make sure that the final products reflect the process they have gone through so I feel the extra time is well worth it.
As always, if you have any questions or need to mee with me, please feel free to contact me.
Harold Daw

daw.com - April 3

IMG_1616.JPGI want to thank all the parents who attended the Student Led Conferences these past two days.  I hope it was both informative and showcased all the growth I have seen in your students this year.  If you need more information please feel free to contact me to set up a time to meet.  I have to say that it was an interesting journey in learning for the students and really stretched their thinking about areas that are not normally done in class.  L21 skills are areas of learning that take many years to master and sometimes a whole lifetime.  Having students reflect on their learning has been an interesting insight into what they see as strengths and challenges.  I had several parents ask if they could take the portfolio home with them. Since I plan to continue using it for the rest of the year students need to keep it in class and will take it home with them at the end of the year.  There will also be a final year-end reflection that goes with it.
I would like to remind all parents that the meeting about our upcoming unit on Puberty will be in Wednesday April 8th at 8:30am in the ES Cafeteria.  If you have questions about this unit, please plan on attending.  You can also send questions to me and I will gladly answer them.
We have started our report on the Human Body and I anticipate that we will complete the first draft this week.  Then students will revise and edit it before completing a final copy.  The process we are going through involves identifying text features that could be used in a report and then choosing which ones to use in the report.
Students selected their third books for Book Clubs and are busy at work reading the first section, coming up with FAT questions (questions that cannot be answered with a single word or phrase), identifying words/vocabulary use and making connections.  Each student gets a leadership chance with these clubs, as they have to be facilitator at least once through the book club.
IMG_1724.JPGOur reading program was given an extra boost with the visit of author Michael Buckley.  He took the students through his journey in becoming an author.  A lot of the visits this year have had a similar theme in how what you do in your early years, may open doors for you later. 
This week we start the second round of MAP testing.  It will be the Language test.  One of the most important parts of this test is that it can show growth over the years that a student does the test.  It also helps me know where I still need to put more effort in helping students continue to grow in their learning.
We start our last inquiry unit this week.  The unit is a look at the local and global impact people can have on others.  We will start by looking at vignettes of people who have successfully managed to create a positive change in the lives of people all over the world.  These will be followed by a critical look at both what the service idea was, the goals of the program, preparation and planning and finally the change (impact) it had on the community.  This unit leads up to the students working in groups and identifying a local community project they can undertake to make an impact locally.  I am sure this will become more of a topic around the dinner table in the coming months.  The final project will be the Impact fair towards the end of the semester.
I would like to ask all of you to help keep your student on track for the remaining time left in grade 5.  It is a time of a year when student thoughts begin to wander as they prepare for the end of the year.  There is still a lot of learning to accomplish prior to the end of the year and I do not slow down.  We have good systems in place in the class that I would like us to stay focused on for the last 9-10 weeks of school.  This will help all the students continue to learn.  Thank-you in advance for this.
As always, if you have a concern or problem, please let me know and I will gladly set up a time to meet with you.

Harold Daw