daw.com - February 24

I want to say a big thank-you to all of the parents and students in my class who made my birthday such a special and memorable day.  I was surprised by the attention to this and also honored.  I told my students that really the best gift is just that I get to see them everyday.  Thank-you.
Here are next week's current events;
Tuesday - JungBin
Wednesday - Millie
Thursday - Maya
Friday - professional day, no school
One of the neatest things to see is how students work with specialists that visit our school.  This past week we as our link to China in the Human Body Wellness unit.  Students did TaiChi, Meditation, Calligraphy and a Tea Ceremony.  The experiences were wonderful and I was pleased that they came away with some things about
China they may not have known before.  Thanks to the Office of Experiential Learning for setting these up.
We have started out Human Body Wellness research with the final outcome being an info-poster.  We came up with a list of questions to research, some things that could be on the poster and looked at what makes a good info-poster. Then we started researching.  Each student is in a group of 3 or 4 and we should complete this project in about 2 more weeks. I am already looking forward to our presentations.
Our Genius Hour projects are also well underway and I am very interested in what students have chosen to do.  They have five more lessons to complete the project before presentation day which is on Mar 16th.  They will be presenting to groups of students and adults around the school.  With this in mind, if any of you are
interested in being part of a presentation panel, please let me know.  I must let you know that I cannot guarantee you will get your own child as the presentations are specific to levels of groups and that ranges from Grade 1 to adults.  Let me know.  You will need about 20 minutes at school on that day.
Our math unit is almost complete.  We are currently looking at multiplying fractions and unit decimals (tenths, hundredths and thousandths).  Most of the students are moving nicely with this and the models I am showing them are really helping.  The last part of this unit is division of fractions using like denominators - we do not use the reciprocal method for division of fractions since it makes no sense to students this age and does not follow with anything I have been teaching.  I know a lot of students know how to do this but I do not believe one of them knows why it works so.
We completed the first draft of our first fantasy writing and the final drafts will be done next week after they are revised and edited.  There is then a second assigned story before they can write their own.  All of these are based on the teaching of the Hero's Journey as the process for making a fantasy story make sense.
In a couple of weeks our Human Body Wellness unit will look at Human Growth and Development.  There will be a parent meeting set up with a doctor and the teachers so please be on the lookout for this announcement.  Grade 5 is the start of this unit that continues each year until grade 9.  As it states in the unit title, our concern is the wellness of the students as they grow and develop into adults so we will look into physical, emotional and social growth during this all important time.
The students have enjoyed their work with Kofi in their Music classes these past two weeks and it was completed with an assembly on Friday afternoon.  I was pleased with how the students learned from Kofi and also their interactions with a person from a culture not often available to them.  Not only did they learn about the rhythms and cadence of African music but also some of the cultural aspects of living in Africa. It was a great experience for the class.
That is it for this week.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me and I will set up a meeting time with you.