daw.com - February 10

Here are next week's current events;
Tuesday - Siwoo
Wednesday - Brandon
Thursday - Oscar
Friday - Tiffy
I have been pleased with the reporting and presentation of the current events this year.  It will help students as we move into our action unit of the year.  Knowing what goes on around the world is important for all students and this is one way to look at what is happening that interests the students.
Speaking about interest, we are now in our third week of genius hour.  This is a time where students get to choose what they are interested in to learn more about.  Here is a partial list of some of the interests.
Aerodynamics and Forces on airplanes
Designing recycled clothing
Saving the Polar Bear
Determining the best chew toy for a rabbit
Computer systems on airplanes
and even a few more I have forgotten off the top of my head.  In order to make this a reality, and part of the reason I waited until the second semester, is that we had to learn more about inquiry.  Asking questions is at the heart of inquiry but what are the best questions to ask and how do I ask questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.  We have spent time on this so now it is up to students to see what they can do.  Watch for more on this in the coming weeks.
We started our student led conferences this past week with a look into the Learning 21 styles here at ISB.  Just what do these look like in a students learning.  After this is done students will complete their portfolio and prepare for a meeting with their parents.  Report cards for this time will be shared between both me and the student.
In math we have completed the section on multiplying fractions and whole numbers.  In starting with multiplication of fractions we will start with unit fractions only and then move on to the rest of the fractional pieces.  As with all units, there is lots of problem solving that has to be done with every lesson and some lessons are nothing but problem solving.
This past week students have been introduced to the Cardio Vascular system, nutrition in wellness, respiratory system and the skeletal system.  There are two more rotations left and then we will look at depth for keeping the human body healthy and well.  The unit on human growth and development will happen as part of this unit from March 13-17 with a parent meeting the week before.
It has been a difficult week for some students as they get back into a school routine.  While nothing has interrupted learning, I have had to talk with several students about taking responsibility for their learning and education.  The class has moved well so far and I see no reason to change now.  As we talked about this in class, several students seem to see that perhaps they have not followed the class mantra of 'Do Your Best.'  This is all I have ever asked of them.
Next week sees us return to Reading/Writing workshop with students doing studies in Fantasy.  We have looked at the Hero's Journey as well as the aspects that make the genre of fantasy.  It is an interesting unit and one that students can really let their imagination run wild.
Thats it for this week.  As always if you have a question or concern, please let me know and I will gladly set up a time to meet with you.