daw.com - November 27

We seem to be right on track with the current events and I am really pleased with what I have seen so far.  Students have found some great articles to report on and they have tried to make connections as to how this event impacts someone around the world.  Remember that one of the objectives of this program is to work our way up to the Impact unit at the end of the year by looking at current news and happenings around the world. Here is next week's schedule;
Tuesday - Claire
Wednesday - Henry
Thursday - Kevin
Friday - Elgin
Since Newsela.com is not blocked here in China, here are three other websites that students might find helpful.  They are also welcome to use newspapers, magazines or other information sources you might have at home.
BBC Newsround
Dogo News
Scholastic Magazines
Any assistance you can offer your child I am sure will be greatly appreciated.

Next week students will start their science project experiment as their weekly homework.  They have spent some time in class formulating a question, researching some information about their experiment, developing a hypothesis, creating a materials list and making up a procedure.  When students do their experiment they are expected to keep track of the results.  It is also a good idea to take photos of their work as they do it so they can display these when it comes time for the science project fair on Dec 15th.  In class we will start to do the writeup of the lab and also prepare for the showcase.  The experiment is entirely done at home as a homework assignment.  There will be no other homework next week other than this and those involved in current events.
As I prepare to complete the end of semester reports, I have been doing some informal testing in writing, reading and problem solving.  If at any time you want to know anything about this, please let me know as I would be more than willing to meet with you.  Obviously, I am hoping to see some real growth since the start of the school year.  I will be in touch with you should I not see this or see that it is not where I expect it to be.

We completed our last round of literature circles this week and will return to these with new books starting right after Winter Break.  Students got a taste of what they needed to read and learn from the reading in order to talk about the books in the discussion time.  The only written assignments for this is completion of think marks that involve FAT questions, making connections, a look at the setting and changes in the characters.
We have also completed our Biography Sketches and I was pleased with both the research he students did and also the final write up.  They did a first draft, edited and revised it and finished off with a final draft.  We move on to Fiction writing next with a look at realistic fiction first.

Our math unit on Fractions started off by looking at unit fractions (fractions where the numerator is 1) and how this can help solve problems with other multiples of this fraction.  We will then move on to comparing fractions and also making equivalent fractions as we get ready to add and subtract fractions next week.  There are a lot of manipulatives we use in this unit so students can both see and prove various algorithms.  Our problem solving has taken us to a running race with students that start at different times and places.  Should have an interesting finish.
Last thing is a reminder that November reading logs are due in on Monday when I will give students a December reading log.  Please help to remind your student about this.
I you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.  I will gladly set a time up to sit down with you and discuss these.
Harold Daw