daw.com - December 16

It is hard to believe but half of the school year is now over.  And what a great semester it was.  This past week we took some time to celebrate our accomplishments and victories.  It is now time for a three week rest and recuperation.  It is my wish to all of you for a safe and enjoyable holiday.  I look forward to continuing our journey in 2017.  Here are some pics from this past week.

daw.com - December 9

Here are next week's current events;
Tuesday - Elvin
Wednesday - Eric
Thursday - Simon
Friday - no current events due to assembly
There is no homework for next week.  This is my gift to the students for the end of the semester. There will also be no Monday folders for this week.
Just thinking about what this is going to be about is already looking it could be a long one. There is just so much going on and finished that it is almost mind boggling.  The first big event was the music performance by the bands orchestra's of ISB ES.  It was a great fiesta of music and wonderful to see the progress made by the new students in such a short time.  Everyone was fully entertained.  A hearty congratulations to all the students of 5HD involved in Strings, Orchestra and Band.
We had two sessions with Mr. Watson this week in which the students investigated the movement of air in a chimney and also a look at sound movement.  Students discovered for themselves what was happening and tried to make sense of what they were observing through models of explanation.  It was simply amazing to watch the science being investigated.
With this in mind, I hope most of you have blocked off Wednesday afternoon starting at 1:30 pm.  This is our science fair where the students will display some of their learning in this unit.  It should be an interesting time of display for the students.  It is in the classroom and don't forget your camera.  Looking forward to seeing most of you there.
Friday was our second time in the Kitchen and this time we used fractional measurements to complete cooking Banana-Rama bread.  Everything turned out OK and there was not much left when the eating was over.  The students were simply outstanding.  They even cleaned up super well leaving the kitchen in better shape that when we arrived.  I want to thank the parents that volunteered to supervise during this time.  It is always appreciated by the students in the class.
Next week we close out most of our units and topics of study.  We will have our end of unit math assessment, science fair, complete the story writing, and complete the lab reports.  I do not see any problems with finishing these on time.
Thursday is our annual Winterfest and everyone should have received an email from the homeroom mom about what food to bring.  It is always a highlight of the end of the semester for the students.  Students can dress up holiday style for this day should they wish.
Friday is a half day and students are dismissed at 11:30.  The school has asked that everyone go home at that time so please have drivers or cars available at that time to pick up students.  There is nothing happening after school so there is no reason to be at school.  The cafeteria will not be serving lunch that day.
I am in the midst of preparing report cards at the moment.  If there is something you want to know about or have questions in advance, let me know and I will gladly set up a time to meet with you.
Harold Daw

daw.com - December 2

Some neat things happening this week and next so you might want to grab a coffee first as you read through.  First off, here are next week's current events.  There was some confusion this week with absences and also me being away for a day.  I think it is all sorted out now;
Tuesday - Angel
Wednesday - Brandon
Thursday - Oscar
Friday - Tiffy
At the start of the week the students completed the performance of Ibn Batutta from a book we read in class called The Traveling Man.  Much of what they did was created by the students and it involved learning from a number of professionals and experts in the field.  I was very impressed with their work.  If you were not able to attend, here is a short video of the students.

Here are pics from our class.

We also did our first baking/cooking of the year.  This was part of our fractions unit as all the measurements given for the recipe were in fractions or mixed numbers.  All this had to be completed by the students.  In the end, we had delicious cinnamon muffins to eat.  I think it went very well and I want to say how proud I was.  A big thank-you goes out to the four moms who volunteered to help us.  We are in the kitchen again next Friday for Banana-Rama bread and Smoothies.
We are just about finished with out adding and subtracting of fractions.  It is not a very hard unit but it does make the students draw models to prove their work.  This is something I believe is very important as students need to have a high level of understanding of their math.
We have also just about completed our first story.  I would say that about 80% of all the students are now done and published.  We will move on to report writing for the remainder of the time before winter break.  This is in conjunction with our Prove It science unit.
I want to remind everyone that Dec 14th at 1:30 pm we will have the science exhibition in which students will present the learning they have done through the unit.  I hope some of you will be able to make it.
Roots and shoots is a worldwide organization that brings conservation awareness to students at schools.  We have an ES and HS chapter of Roots and Shoots here at ISB and they are once again doing the Holiday Hounds.  This is a program where you can financially support a dog or cat that is currently at a shelter here in Beijing.  Donations will be taken during lunch hour in the cafeteria for the next week.  There is even a small gift with donations of RMB50, 100 and 150.  I will ask the Student Council Reps to talk more about this with the class in case they want to do something as a class.  In the past every student has gone without ice cream once to use their money to support this very worthwhile cause and my class has supported a farm animal each year.  If you are asked for RMB5 for this cause as part of 5HD's contribution, I know the rest of the students would be very thankful if everyone could participate.
Time is speeding through at the moment and it is coming close to holiday time.  I would ask you to please keep your student on task with the things we are doing as I need to complete them and assess them as part of the first semester reporting.  There will be no work to do over the holiday so they can have a total respite from school during these three weeks.
As always if there are questions or concerns, please let me know and I will gladly make a time to meet with you.  You can also contact me through my email.