daw.com - September 25

We have had an amazing week with so much learning that it is going to be hard to summarize it all - but I will try hard.
One of our big goals this week was to start researching an explorer.  As I alluded to last week, there are four questions that students are attempting to find information about regarding their explorer.  Not all the questions are answerable with the limited time and information we have but it set a direction for students to strive towards.  They have been busy reading books, websites, watching videos and listening to podcasts in an attempt to take notes regarding all four of the questions.  For the most part, they have now completed this stage of the process.  It is now time to start to prepare the presentation on their explorer.  This will start as soon as we get back from the National holiday with presentations set for the week after.
We have also been busy collecting and telling the story of our lives.  Referred to as memoirs, students took the notes they collected from their interviews of their parents and wrote them as stories for their memoir books.  We have completed three more in class and now have 6 stories about their lives.  After the break we will collate all these into a biographical sketch and produce it as a booklet.  One thing I can ask at this time is if you have digital pics of your student then prepare them.  After the break I am sure they will be asking so that they can include them in their memoirs book.
The last part of the memoirs book is a personal timeline.  As part of the learning for the week after break, students will need to know timelines of their life - birthdate, learning to walk, learning to talk, first words, moving away/to homes, starting school etc etc etc.  Anything you can think of regarding their life will really add to the timelines we will create for our memoirs books.
I have had several students forget their homework or misplace it.  I do put a copy of
the weekly homework as a shared document on Office 365 which every student has access to through any internet connection.  They should use their ISB login and password to access their account and from there be able to get to the homework booklets.
We had a great Terry Fox run this morning and I was very proud of the effort put forward by all the students in class.  We also talked a little bit about what it all means the outcomes from doing this.  One thing they were not aware of was that the proceeds from the event are kept here in China going to the China Cancer Society. I also gave them my viewpoint since I was around when Terry was running across Canada.
Reading workshop takes on a new look starting in October.  With the conclusion of our class novel (Pedro's Journal) it is now time to start on small group Literature Circles.  During these times students will be assigned a small novel to read as a group.  As they are reading they will be taking notes, asking and answering questions and learning more about reading.  This will take the form of THINK MARKS.  They will then use the information from these Think Marks to write blog journal entries about their novel.  This is the next step I use in our continual learning about our reading and reflecting on what we read and how we learn about reading.
Parent Teach Conferences are October 15-16 and I am hoping to see all of you.  Sign-ups are right after holiday so please make sure you are able to log in and sign up for a 20 minute slot.
As always, if you have any concerns please contact me and set a time up to meet.  In the mean time, have a great holiday.
 Harold Daw