daw.com - September 18

By now I am sure you have heard all about camp.  It never ceases to amaze me how a 2 day/1 night event can end up with so many neat and interesting stories associated with it.  While I admit to being exhausted by the end, it was a great experience and already one I know some of the students are looking forward to next year in grade 6. I have to tell you that I was very pleased with the students at camp, their attitude and how the managed themselves.  While not perfect, there was nothing that even remotely deserves saying anything except how proud I was of them. Today everyone completed an article about camp and a newspaper was published.  It is attached to this blog post.  It was a quick write/edit so there are still some errors but I wanted to get this done while camp was still at the forefront of their thoughts.
Next week is a big week for writing as there are two major assignments that we will be working on - Explorer reports and memoirs (Biographies).  The homework this past week combined with what we have been learning in the last couple of lessons with the librarian have created a pathway to seeing some really neat final products.  Both of these are my final assessments for the two corresponding units.
The final project for our Explorers unit will have the students answer the following questions as they research an explorer of their choice:
Who was _____________ (life history, character, education and training etc)
Why did they undertake their exploration?
What were the impacts of their discovery (positive and negative)?
What traits did they have that made them leaders in their exploration?
How did their exploration change the world?
You will notice that none of these can be answered with single words or sentences.  They all take some serious research and then the meshing of ideas to formulate a conclusion or answer.  This is the process of historical inquiry.
We will complete our math unit 3 next week, probably on Wed or Thur.  Our recent exemplar problem will also finish next week.  One thing that I have been very specific about as I am teaching mathematical problem solving is the students must show that there are no other answers and be able to prove it.  I have also been pushing how to stay organized when tracking problems that have multiple answers.  This is an important skill and one that takes students time to learn effectively.  Since most of the problems I give do have multiple answers it is up to them to prove they have them all.
We had our elections for Student Council (STUCO) on Friday and Jovan will be our class representative with Stephanie our alternate.  Congrats to these two and a HUGE thank-you to all that ran for office.  Please help your student understand that being unsuccessful does not mean they should give up.  I sincerely hope they continue on in future years with leadership positions.
Next Friday is the 35th Anniversary of the annual Terry Fox run.  It has special meaning for me as both a Canadian and also being a member of the welcoming committee for Calgary, Alberta when he arrived.  Unfortunately he never made it that far having succumbed to his illness. As a class we will participate and I hope that you can find it in your heart to donate to the Cancer Fund we hope to raise from this run.  All monies stay here in China and are made a part of the Chinese Cancer Society.  Having a personal connection to some who passed away from Cancer, I know how important events like this can be to someone special.
Next Wednesday there is an opportunity for you to hear from a Math Specialist about how the teaching and learning of Math has changed over the past couple of decades.  ISB's math program is under review and this same specialist will be visiting with us as we move forward.  I would highly suggest you attend to hear first hand what is happening in mathematics teaching/learning.
I think that is is for this week.  If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me and I will set aside a time we can meet.
Harold Daw