daw.com - September 11

 Another great week is completed and MAP testing is also over.  We will revisit this again sometime in the spring.  I really feel that students did the best they could.
This coming week there is a lot happening so you might want to get out your calendars as you read through this post.

Starting Monday 5HD will be swimming for PE classes.  This means that all students need to bring their swim gear and leave it at the pool for the duration of the classes.  I expect all my students to fully participate in swimming as it is a great life skill to have.  While I was going through University I was a swim instructor and lifeguard with the City of Calgary Parks and Recreation department.  I saw first hand how much fun learning to swim can be and now as an avid water sportsman, I really feel that all the time I spent learning to swim was really worth it.  If for any reason your child is sick or ill and cannot swim, the PE instructors need a note from a doctor.  Of course, things like broken bones go without saying.

Camp is also this week.  We leave for Singing Deer Lodge on Wednesday morning and will be back on Thursday in time to take the 3:30 bus home.  In order to prepare for this I need all students Passports on Monday please.  This is a requirement of the Chinese Authorities for traveling in China.  If your student is on a diplomatic passport then I also need the card that goes with the passport.  I will return these to the students as they are exiting the bus to go home on Thursday.

Packing for camp needs to be completed Monday night and overnight packs brought to school on Tuesday morning.  Please remember, we are only out for one night.  Keep everything to a minimum.  One thing that is a must is a warm sweater or coat for the evenings.  At this time of year, it gets quite cool at the camp.

Lastly are the day packs.  Students bring these with them on Wednesday.  In this pack should be a snack for the morning and a lunch.  Please note there is no facility to warm anything up or get hot water.  All lunches and snacks should be ready to eat.  Plastic baggies are preferred storage as they can be disposed of when finished with.  Also a rain coat should be in the day pack just in case it is "shining liquid blue" when we arrive.  I also have a couple of things I will be giving the students for camp so make sure there is room for a booklet, pencil and such.  Thank-you for helping to make this experience the best for your student.  I already know we will have a great time.

Book order forms went home last Wednesday and are due into me by Tuesday please.  As we leave for Camp on Wednesday, there is no time to collect forms and money on that day.  It is advisable to keep a copy of what you ordered just in case there are errors in the delivery of the order.

Homework this week will be interviews of the parents - so get ready.  To let you know in advance, I need you to think up three events with your child from early infancy to the start of school.  Students have been writing memoirs about themselves and these interviews will help with including their younger years.  It can be about them learning to walk, the first time they started speaking, a visit to grandmas, a funny event when they were young etc.  If you could help them out with recalling three events it would be greatly appreciated.  Students will be taking notes.  It is OK to do it in your own language as I am sure students will be able to write about it in English once they bring them to school.

Last week the class completed their first fine arts presentation - The Sword Dance.  Here is my video of them on the day of the presentation.  I was very pleased with the effort and out come of their work.  The video is about 6 minutes long.

We have been busy learning about Christopher Columbus and Ibn Battuta as explorers of the world.  We will next look at Zheng He.  Students will also be starting to research an explorer they want to learn more about.  I will be giving them a list of names to choose from and take them through a journey of researching and presenting.  This will be the final assessment for the unit on Exploration.  More on this as we run through it.

The winner of our first estimation contest was Andrew with an estimation of 300 Skittles.  There were 408 in the jar.  Everyone got some as a prize and Andrew gets all the left overs as well as his portion.  Congrats to Andrew.

I would like to introduce our Homeroom Mom Mrs. Ge.  This the mom of Kevin in our class.  She will be in contact with you these coming weeks.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.  I will set up a time we can meet and discuss them.

Harold Daw