daw.com - March 25

A very big thank-you for your attendance and observations at the Student Led Conferences.  These are a great way to celebrate all the learning that your student has been involved with this past year with the Learning 21 concepts as a guide.  While this is over now, it does not mean you have to stop.  It is always a great idea to ask what you student is learning and what have learned about their own learning style.  We call this a metacognitive process.
Here are next week's current events;
Tuesday - Angel
Wednesday - Siwoo
Thursday - Brandon
Friday - Oscar
This is the last week for our human body unit and it will primarily look at the digestion system and the foods we eat.  The nutrition part of this unit is a good start for students to look at what foods are made of and why certain foods are needed for our wellness and health.
Students will also be completing their last Fantasy story.  First drafts are already in but their is further work needed in editing and revising before they can be published.  I have read all the stories and so far they are both more interesting and better written than previously.  This is what I am looking for as it takes practice to become a good writer.  This will end our Fantasy unit.
We will also complete this round of book clubs where students choose books from lists I present to them.  As a group they come up with the routine they will follow and then for each day of the meeting they need to complete a thinkmark, summary and questions all of which will be discussed in the book talk.  We will resume this after the Spring Break.
Our math unit has moved on from volume of 3D objects to a look at how liquid volume relates.  There are some investigations we will do that will allow students to better understand how liters and cubic centimeters are linked.  Might be a part of a home conversation this week some time.
If you are planning on leaving early for Spring Break, please send me an email so that I can plan accordingly.  Also, it is important that all work is completed prior to the student leaving. I thank-you in advance for this.
Have a wonderful break and I look forward to seeing everyone again after the holiday.
Harold Daw

daw.com - March 1

This is a packed week with a lot happening in the life of your child.  First off is next week's current events;
Tuesday - Ada
Wednesday - Poppy
Thursday - Leo
Friday - Cici
First thing on Monday morning students will be visiting a high school science lab to participate in some experiments the students have prepared for them.  Should be an interesting time.
Next is the due date of three major items.  On Wednesday, students will complete their Human Body Wellness Infocharts.  These are based on 6 questions we came up as a class covering everything from what are the parts to what can be done to keep it healthy.  They will present their posters to another group in the class.
Thursday is the presentation day for Genius Hour projects.  Students are presenting to Grade 1-8 classes as well as 2 groups who will present to the ES Administration and ISB Administration respectively.  Each presentation will complete their Genius Hour project and will have 4 assessments; self, homeroom teacher (me), room teacher of presentation and also students.  We will complete this with a reflection at the end of the week.
Next is our week on Human Growth and Development which takes place one period each day of this week.  The basic structure of the program is to instruct and introduce students to adolescence in all areas including growth, socialization and life changes.  It will begin to prepare them for this important part of their life as well as middle school.
Lastly is the first draft of their fantasy story which is due on Friday.  After revisions and edits, students will move on to their final drafts which will be due prior to spring break.
We have finished out unit on Multiplication and Division of decimal fractions.  Overall I am pleased with the work the students completed and how well they have learned the many concepts.  Like all things in learning, further practice is still needed to really cement the ideas and use them smoothly.  Our next unit is on Volume - I will have more on it in next week's post.
I believe that signups for Student Led conferences start this week.  I am hoping to see you all over the two days of conferences.  We will start these in earnest on Wed of this week although we have done some work on them since we started school back in August.
With all the projects due this week and the time students need to rehearse and practice their presentations, there will be no homework this week other than book clubs and current events.
Thats it for this week.  Let me know if you have any questions.

daw.com - March 4

Another power weekend is upon us and I hope that everyone takes the time to rest and be ready.  I will be with the Beijing International Model United Nations all weekend welcoming over 700 students from as far away as South Africa, Sweden, USA and Mexico.  It is quite rewarding to see students debate and discuss the issues of today in a forum that is real to the rest of the world.
Here are next week's current events;
Tuesday - Naoko
Wednesday - Michael
Thursday - Annabel
Friday - Robinson
We will begin a new piece of writing this week in our fantasy unit now that our first piece is behind us.  This next one will involve me providing the setting and title (idea) for the story.  The characters, plot and hero's journey will be up to the students.  They will have two weeks to complete this next piece of writing.
We are also well into our Human Body unit.  Students are each in a group that is working on the health and wellness of a human body system. Questions like what kinds of exercise are good for the system, what are healthy foods for the system and how to avoid some of the injuries are all part of the research completed as the prepare to make a info-poster on their subject.  We should bring this to a close either late in the week or early next week.
Along with the Human Body unit is a section on Human Growth and Development.  There are three sections that the whole class participates in and two that are gender specific.  There is a meeting next Friday March 10 at 8:30am for the parents to learn more about what will be discussed and taught.  Teachers will start the meeting then a pediatric doctor will finish up with a medical look into this subject. I am hoping all of you can attend.
Please make sure you sign up for student led conferences later this month.  Students have already started to prepare their portfolios as they present their year of learning to you with in the realm of L21 skills.  While I know not always possible, I would it if both parents could attend this.  It is a great way for you to get first hand, the learning of your student this year and the goals for the rest of the year.
We will complete our math unit on Multiplication and Division of Fractions this coming week with the final assessment later in the week.  So far the unit has involved both the learning and modeling of these two important parts of math learning.  The students have taken this to task and done very well.  Our next unit us a look at volume and the multiplication needed to calculate volume.  It is more of a hands on unit with the use of geometric shapes.
We are coming to the end of our Genius Hour projects.  This week students will concentrate on being prepared to present their project to a class, a set of adults, some of the administration here at the school and also to special guests.  While I know they are a bit nervous about this, I feel they will do a fine job as I help them to prepare for this.  The assessment of this project will come from the audience they have and be organized by the students themselves.
Later in the month we will take off again for our Spring Break.  If anyone is planning on leaving early, please remember to let me know so I can plan accordingly.  This is greatly appreciated.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me and I will gladly set up a meeting time with you.