daw.com - November 4

Here are next week's current events;
Tuesday - Elvin
Wednesday - Eric
Thursday - Inseong
Friday - Jungbin
We return to regular homework next week with a math problem and reading passage per night.  One question I was asked during parent conferences was about students pre-learning the homework.  I do know I made one mistake last quarter but for the most part, everything they are doing in the homework is an extension of things we do in class.  In some cases we might just have done it once before the homework goes home, in other cases we have repeatedly gone over the concepts and ideas.  I also want to remind parents that the homework is only an extension of what we do in class.  There are special times where students are completing work from school, such as the past week with the Exploration Projects, but for the most part, if students have something else scheduled on the night of the homework, they can just complete it the next day.  At all times, the homework should not take more than an hour to complete as that is the Elementary School guideline.
We have been busy with our Science Unit - Prove It!  For this unit students are learning about the states of matter (solid, liquid and gas), the changes in matter and also about the scientific process.  This past week we did 4 investigations that involved M&Ms where students began to look at things critically and identify further questions that have not been answered.  It has been a very interesting week.
We are also in process of out first fiction story.  We have spent a lot of time planning the story with a brainstorm, ending, events leading to the end, character description and setting.  As we complete this the next thing students will do is record their rough ideas to their story.  From here we will then start to write it and finally publish it.
In math we have started division of whole numbers.  We started division with unit numbers (10, 100, 1000) and then started to look at single digit division (276 / 5) with and without remainders.  At this time we do not include decimal remainders - just whole numbers - ie 276 / 5 = 55 R1 or 276 / 5 = 55...1.  Both are acceptable representations as long as the student sticks with the one they like.  We also started to look at estimating division problems but this is a little more tricky since the entire expression needs to be looked at rather than just one number.
I will be away at a conference from Thursday Nov 10 to Tuesday Nov 15.  The sub will have all the plans for each day and my expectations remain the same with the learning.  Everyone should be well versed in this by now --- Do Your Best.  It will mean that for the week of Nov 14-17 there will be no Monday Folder and on Nov 11 there will be no blog.  I will return to both of these the week I return.
The student council (STUCO) is selling apples as a fund raiser for an orphanage here in China.  This is an annual event and something is very worth supporting.  The apples are RMB6 each and I think it would be a great community builder if students also support this.  They can bring in their RMB6 next week to me.
On Monday the ISB Book orders will go out to students.  If there are books you wish to purchase the order and money will need to be in by Nov. 15th.  On that day the PTA will pick up the orders and send the money off for the order.  It will not be possible to order after that time.
A reminder that the week of Nov 14-17 is a 4 day week with Friday a PD day for teachers here at ISB.  There is no school on the Friday.
I would like to ask at this time that if you know you will be leaving early or coming back late from Winter Break, could you please let me know so I can plan accordingly.  We have a couple of special events for the students and I want to make sure I know who all will be here.
One of these events is our Science Fair.  It is on December 14th starting at about 1:30 in the afternoon.  This is immediately after lunch so if you want to come early and have lunch with your student, please feel free to do so.  I know they would really enjoy a respite from the regular cafeteria for a chance to be with a parent and eat in the MS Cafeteria.
A little longer than normal today but as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let me know and I will gladly meet with you.
Harold Daw