daw.com - February 26

There was not as much going on this week so we took the time to really get into some of the learning we have done in the past 5 weeks and also to start two projects.  It has been a great week with some interesting learning.
One thing that the students did this week had to do with our Human Body unit and their PE classes.  The entire week students were wearing a POLAR monitor which records their activity throughout the week.  Hear rate, calorie use, steps taken, rest monitor and activity profile are just some of the pieces of information that were gathered from this exercise.  It will be interesting to see the data once it is downloaded and evaluated.
Next is only four days so both the homework and the current events are shortened. There is also a change in the reading homework to coincide with the new literature circles.  First off is the current events;
Tuesday - Nicole
Wednesday - Sophia
Thursday - May
We have started our last round of literature circles and these are usually twice a week.  They involve books that I have selected at their reading level and reading takes up to six sessions.  At the end of each reading session students have a page in their lit circles books to complete so they can discuss the book the following day.  On those nights, the reading homework changes to the lit circle books.  Math homework remains a problem a day keeps the math learning in sway.
Please note that next Friday is a Professional Day for teachers and we will be involved with the AVAMIS conference that is being hosted here at ISB.  I have signed up for sessions on Maker Spaces, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and Innovation in the classroom.  I am looking forward to learning more and see if I can institute it in my class. I am planning on doing Genius Hour for the last quarter of the year - more on it as it comes closer.
We should finish out our unit on fractions by Tuesday and move on to Volume by the end of the week.  I expect the final assessment for our fractions unit to go home right after the long weekend.
That is all for this week.  If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.
Harold Daw

daw.com - February 19

This week we celebrated No Name Calling Week as part of our continual learning about Bullying and the effects it has on others.  Out outcome was two graffiti walls as seen in these pictures.  Both represent a discussion in class and then the classes interpretation of what they learned.  We also did our weekly Say Something Nice on Wednesday to coincide with NNCW.
Here are next week's Current Events assignments;
Tuesday - Tiana
Wednesday - Maxcim
Thursday - Harry
Friday - Jovan
We continue to use these talks by the students to look at how much impact there is on our community with the event.  This will lead us into our Impact unit after the Spring break.
Next week will see us continue with our Speculative Fiction story.  Students have done a first draft and revisions with their peers.  I then did some edits with them and now it is time to complete a final draft.  While writing still remains an area of concern in my classroom, I am seeing good growth by doing these writing assignments.  We will continue with them for the rest of the school year to continue with the growth I am already seeing.
We have started our final project for the Human Body unit.  Students have selected a body system and researched the parts and pieces of the system.  Next up is to look at some of the diseases and problems associated with this system.  After that they look at how to keep the system healthy.  They will write a report on these areas.  The presentation they make has to involve the audience so it is interactive.  We will cover this in more depth later in the process.
We are also in process for the Student-Led conferences which are held the week right after Spring Break.  We are looking at the 5 areas of the ISB Learning 21 wheel as it affects each student to show understanding, growth and areas of continued work.  Combined with this is the Student as a Learner which for this report card will be generated 50-50 by the student and myself.  Look for more on this as the quarter continues.
This is a reminder that the annual book fair is next Thursday and Friday.  I will let students know through their planners when we will attend in case any of them want to purchase books to read.
As always, if you have concerns or questions, please feel free to contact me.
Harold Daw

daw.com -February 13

I hope everyone had a holiday of rest and relaxation.  It was my first time to stay in Beijing and I found it full of wonderful events yet also very quiet.  The company of others around me and invitations to be part of ceremonies here in Beijing was most enjoyable.
Here are next week's current events;
Tuesday - Dylan
Wednesday - Andrew
Thursday - Stephanie
Friday - Tiana
Next week is a special week in grade 5.  As part of our human body unit and in conjunction with our counselors and high school students next week is No Name Calling Week.  There is a learning goal and activity planned for every day.  For the past several years and into this year, students have been learning what Bullying is and how to prevent and deal with it.  This week's activities are part of this learning.  I am sure you will hear about it at home.
We will be doing our first video reading blog on Sign of the Beaver.  Students will have to pick three events in that show how either Matt or Attean have changed during the story.  They will have to record a 2-3 minute video on this subject and then we will upload it to our blogs.  While this is a first, it will not be the last.
We will also start to prepare for our Student-Led conferences which happen on April 7 and 8th.  Throughout the year we have collected many pieces of learning and also both discussed and developed better understanding of the ISB's L21 and Habits of a Learner.  It is within this scope that you can expect the conference to be presented.  I have a plan of action set up for the students to cover as much of their learning as possible.
We also begin the final project for the Human Body Unit.  This project is a report on how to keep on of the body's systems healthy.  It involves researching both the body system, possible maladies and how to keep it healthy.  The presentation will involve an interactive component with another class.  This will take us right up to Spring Break.
We will also start our next round of Literature Circles this week.  There are two books to complete in this round that are looking at point of view and also the setting of the book. We will continue to look at characters in the stories as well.
Our next math unit is on Fractions and will look at addition and subtraction of mixed numbers, multiplication of fractions and an area model to explain how this all works.  We will also continue with our foray into positive and negative integers that we started in the last unit.
As you can see, it is a busy week with lots going on.  Please help me by keeping your student healthy.  Missing even a day can put a student behind in what is expected in their learning.  It also helps me keep them moving along in class which in turn improves their learning - something I always strive for.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please let me know and I will gladly meet with you.
Harold Daw

daw.com - February 5

Happy Chinese New Year everyone.  This week there was quite a number of celebrations for our class to participate in.  We started the week off with our performance of Chinese Folk tales and then ended the week watching a Chinese Drum Dance, CNY parade and participating in Sugar Animals and Chinese Yoyo.  The Chinese acrobat show was particularly impressive.  Here are the pics of this week.  Enjoy the week off and see everyone in the new year on February 15th.
Harold Daw