daw.com - Apr 24

Here are this weeks Current Events reporters;
Tuesday - Kevin
Wednesday - Elgin
Thursday - Jungle
Several big events are happening this week.  Tuesday is CASTA, Wednesday is our next day to go cooking and Thursday is Sports Day.
Celebrate and Share the Arts (CASTA) is a day when the Performing Arts, Visual Arts and our performance time is 11:50-12:10.  At this time I am not sure where it is but I will let students know through their planners.  Tuesday at 1:30 is the time of the Senior Parade that is the chance we have to celebrate this year's graduating class.
Wednesday we will go back into the cooking lab to bake banana bread with a recipe that still uses fraction amounts rather than ml.  This is a continuation of our fractions unit and using it in the real world.
Thursday is out annual sports day.  Providing the AQI is below all will go as usual.  If it is between 150 and 200 at 7:00am in the morning, then you will have your choice of sending your students or not.  The day will go as planned.  If the AQI is over 200 then the day will be postponed until May sometime.  Students will need a swimsuit for this day and clothes to run and play sports in.  A water bottle is also something that every student should have.
Students will have this this coming week to choose their IMPACT! project and start to plan it.  There is a specific process for this as we have done throughout the year and students will have to start to research the need and possible outcomes of their project.  This is phase one of the project.
There is no school on Friday or Monday giving everyone a 4 day weekend.  I hope you all enjoy it to the fullest.  It is the last one of the year before summer break.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please let me know and I will gladly arrange a time when we can meet.
Harold Daw

daw.com - April 15

It is always great to start off with some really great news and the students have been buzzing about James joining us on Monday.  With only a short time left in the school year we will make him a part of the class and show him the ropes of ISB in our usual friendly and kind manner.  Something I am sure the students are up to.
I made a big error with Current Events last week.  Here is this weeks students and it is correct - I have confirmed with the students.
Tuesday - May
Wednesday - Eric
Thursday - Claire
Friday - Henry
As far as I know, Newsela is working as are the other three in the class email.  Also, since the Impact Unit is in full swing, it is really important that the students show how their choice shows an impact.

Next week is MAP testing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning.  Please make sure all students are well rested and fed in the morning. While not big stakes tests for grades or assessment, they are something that if done with care, should accurately show growth over time.  This is what I am looking for from the students.  We will go over the instructions and practice tests on Monday.
Our Impact Unit looked at several key concepts this week.  First we took a look at the interconnectedness of some of the problems of the world and how solutions also have an impact.  I think the students were overwhelmed with how large a scale this really is.  Next we started to look at real life people who have made an impact and tried to use the 4D's to look at the impact they have made - Define, Develop, Deliver & Demonstrate. We used two different stories and next week we will continue with CNN Hero's and also others who have made a difference.
Next Friday is Earth Day and students are asked to wear their Earth Day shirts.  There are also some activities and actions we will look at next week related to Earth Day.

I have also been asked by the Spring Fair Games Committee to ask you to volunteer some time at the games booth for our class - The Small Bear Slide.  Spring fair this year is Saturday May 7th.  It is usually a great event for the students and families alike.
I am planning on taking the students to the cooking lab on Wednesday April 27th from 9:00-10:30 in the morning to cook up some Banana Bread and other delicious treats.  If anyone can help me I would be greatly appreciative.  It is our last time to complete our Fractions unit in math.
You might also want to mark April 27th off on your calendar as the Grade 6 Parents Transition meeting is that night.  More info to come later.  I am sure you can also look in the school blog for more info on this.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me and I will gladly set up a meeting with you.
Harold Daw

daw.com - April 8

I want to thank all of you for helping your child through their student led conferences. It is a great part of the year when we celebrate all the learning and activity of the year.  Each student had a different perspective on their learning and this was part of their presentation to you.  Having a school with specific objectives for learning in the 21st century is a real incentive to the student to reflect on themselves as a learner in these areas.  I do hope you got as much out of them as you expected.
Current events this week resume with the following people;
Tuesday - Stephanie
Wednesday - Tiana
Thursday - Akari
Friday - Maxim
It has been two weeks since we had this and we have now started the Impact! unit so it is very important that an impact is shown from the news that is read and reported on.
Homework will resume this week and I am hoping that nightly reading has been happening for the last two weeks of break and conferences.  I asked students to return their March reading log last Tuesday but only 4 were turned in.  Please make sure that this is something that is continued right through to the end of the school year.  No time requirement, but everyday is important.  Students have a reading journal blog entry every Friday and one of the books they can write about may be from their home reading.  April's reading log went home this past week.
Two new writing projects begin this week and will be part of our learning for the rest of the school year.  These are the persuasive writing and poetry.  We will start with the persuasive essay this week and continue with the poetry writing we did prior to Winter Break.
The next set of book clubs starts this week and will go for about 3 weeks.  Students work in groups they select to read a book and discuss it.  There is a facilitator for each session of Book Club which gives everyone a chance to experience a leadership position.  As well, ideas and information can be talked about the book as a group with some people not always agreeing.
This week for the impact unit we will look at the interconnectedness of some global issues.  We will start a chart with links to some world issues that both describes and attempts to solve some of these issues.  While usually very utopian, it is still very interesting to listen to youth discuss their ideas for solving some of the worlds issues.  Last week we listened to a young girl talk about how important it is for the youth of today to have ideas.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.
Harold Daw

daw.com - April 2

I sincerely hope everyone had a relaxing and refreshing Spring Break.  It is the last break for this year and now it is time to head to the end.  First up are the very important Student Led Conferences.  If you have not signed up yet please do so soon.  There are two conferences at the same time but the times are filling up.
I have prepared my class for these in the following manner.  First we took a look at the five areas in the Learning 21 standards of ISB.  For each of these we asked what it should look like in a grade 5 classroom.  Then I had each student explain how they show this in their learning, provide examples of their growth this year and finally provide goals for continued growth.  After this we did a similar process for the Habits of a Learner that are the third quarter report card.  Students used these to work through completing their
own report card with my help and assistance.  You will get a copy of this report card during the conferences. Students have also organized their portfolios into these areas as support for what they will discuss with you during the conference.  With all of this in place, I believe they are ready for a discussion with you. The support of your student's learning is very important and I want to thank-you in advance for this.
There will be no current events, homework or Monday Folders this week as there is only two days of school before the conferences.
Before the holiday we did a class construction project.  It started off as a math problem of how to plan to build the largest doghouse from a 300cm x 150cm piece of PVC board.  Students planned and organized this and then proceeded as a class to demonstrate that this would work and that it was the largest possible size.  You can see from the pictures that there work was not in vain.  One interesting outcome from this exercise is that pure mathematics proved to be incorrect.  The actual area of the sheet of PVC board is 45000 cm² and since only five sides are needed (dogs sleep on the ground) it should have neatly fit as five sides of 9000cm².  However, 9000 is not a square number so this would not fit on the board.  From this point the students worked to see how to change the dimensions so that it would actually fit on the board.  A very interesting process.
We have now completed the Human Body unit and Adolescence.  I am sure there will still be some discussion about the latter of the two areas in the years to come but I do want to say how impressed I was about the maturity the students showed in their learning.  Human Growth and Development will continue to be a subject of health learning throughout middle school.  Students will show you their work and projects during their conferences.
Our next unit is called Impact!.  More or less it is how people impact their immediate community and in some cases the larger population of the world.  Students will read and study these people and the impacts they have made on the world.  They will also look at how they can make an impact to their community through the development of an idea of their own.  They will then have to attempt to make this impact a reality.  We will look at this over the next month and then start the final project of the year.
This unit is developed as a Problem Based Learning (PBL) unit so students will have almost total control of the idea - they will still need my permission before actually carrying it out.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me and I will gladly set up a time to meet with you.
Harold Daw