daw.com - April 28

Remember that this is a long weekend and there is no school on Monday.  It is Labor Day here in China and the whole country celebrates it with a day off of work.  The class has also earned this with all the neat and exciting things they have completed.
This week was a week of packed activities and happenings.  The biggest were the three times the students started their transition to middle school with their grade 6 buddies and a concert by MS choir, orchestra and band.  One of the nice things about these in Middle School is they are a part of students regular school day and not an after school activity.  Students will sign up for their enrichments next month some time.
Here are next weeks current events.
Tuesday - no current events
Wednesday - Annabel
Thursday - Robinson
Friday - Poppy
The big event this coming week is Celebrate and Share the Arts (CASTA) starting on Thursday.  The class has been busy in Performing Arts preparing a presentation which will take place in the theatre.  The other grade 5 classes will be the audience and we will be the audience for their presentations.  I would like to see all students in their CASTA shirts on Thursday.

We have finished our unit on Fractions with Area and Volume and now move to Graphing on the Coordinate Plane.  Students usually really like this unit as it involves a lot of problems that are using graphics and drawing.
We will also continue with our reading unit on Economics and Trade and our writing on Persuasive Essays which will both lead into our debates toward the end of May or beginning of June.  We are well on track with this and moving nicely forward.  It is not an easy unit and one that really stretches the brain.
Have a great long weekend and regenerate the batteries for next week.

daw.com - April 23

This week continues to be a busy place in 5HD.  Here is a listing of some of the events your students will be involved with as the week goes by;
Monday - Senior Parade
Wednesday - Panda Reading Program Assembly for Chinese Classes
Thursday - Transition time with a grade 6 class
Thursday - Eat in MS Cafeteria with grade 6 class
Friday - Author Visit assembly
In between all this we are still working on our economics inquiry unit with our current learning on trade.  This week we will explore trade between countries and what his means to the rest of the world.  We will also start to look at globalization in the context of trade and people.
We are also moving forward with our persuasive essay unit using the topic of mobile phones in the class.  Lost of interesting debate and ideas on this one.  We should have our final draft out by Friday.
For current events this week we will hear from the following people;
Tuesday - Maya
Wednesday - Millie
Thursday - Naoko
Friday - Michael
We will complete our unit on area and volume using fractions with a final assessment on Wed or Thursday.  Our next unit is graphing on the coordinate plane.
That is all for this week. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I will set up a time for us to meet.
Harold Daw

daw.com - April 16

This past week seems to have flown by and with all the great learning happening next week, I expect the same will also happen.  We were fortunate to play host to Braxton in our class for just one day on Friday and the students did their usual great job at welcoming him and making him feel at home.  He was an integral part of our class albeit, just for one day.
Here are this weeks current events;
Tuesday - Elvin
Wednesday - Eric
Thursday - Simon
Friday - JungBin
Some important announcements first;
Tuesday is Track and field day.  Students will need a water bottle, hat, swimming clothes (we will supply the towel) and sneakers to run in.  If they are bringing a lunch from home please be advised that we eat outdoors on this day so there is no hot water or microwave available.  Those who have a school lunch have already ordered it.
If the AQI us above 200 at 7:00am it will be cancelled and rescheduled to Thursday.  If it is between 150 and 200 it will go as planned so if you do not want your student out in this kind of air day, please keep them at home.  These are the regular school track and field AQI rules.
Friday is the last of the school book fairs.  If students want to purchase some books they need to bring some RMB to school with them on Friday.  The kinds of books grade 5 students like usually start at about RMB60 and go up from there.  Please use your judgement in sending money in with your student.
We will start our Trade and Interdependence unit this week with a game called Settlers of Catan.  The students got a quick intro into this on Friday and will play it 4-5 times this coming week. The will have a 4C's assignment to complete every day and final copy on Friday - these are Connections, Challenges, Concepts and Changes.
We also have book clubs this week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday so it is important that students stay caught up with this so they are prepared for their part of the discussion time.  There is a yellow Book Clubs booklet that they fill in as well as a Thinkmark to aid in their note taking and discussions.
Our writing takes to persuasive essays and we are doing a class example about cellphone use in class.  There has already been an interesting discussion about this.
This coming week is Take a Stand week where we look at how students can be advocates for others in their school that may be bullied or teased.  At this age it is not just recognizing this but also beginning to learn how to help others when it is seen.  Mr. K and also a group of HS students will help us out with this starting with an assembly on Monday morning first thing. 
I will be out of class on Friday for part 2 of the MSIS training.  This is training in Math that is in alignment with the math program we Have at ISB so there are teachers from all grade levels to grade 10 involved with it.  I will have a full set of sub plans ready for the day.
That is it for today.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I will set up a time for us to meet.

daw.com - April 9

Welcome back and I do hope everyone is well rested and ready for the final stretch to the end.  It is only 9 weeks and there is still a lot of good learning to do.  We will return to regular homework this week.  Monday folders will also resume after a two week hiatus so there will be lots in there.  Please look over it carefully and sign the parent form before having your student return them.  Thanks in advance for this.
One thing that happens at this time of year is people begin to know their plans for next year.  As we will be involved with planning for grade 6 classes, it is most helpful that you keep me as informed as possible when decisions are finalized.  This way I can be sure that my planning and preparation is done with the utmost care.

Here are this weeks current events reporters;
Tuesday - Oscar
Wednesday - Tiffy
Thursday - Kevin
Friday - Elvin
We will complete our unit on Fantasy writing this week with final drafts of our second story.  With all the other things happening the last week prior to the holiday, we did not have the proper time to complete this.  All are edited so now all that needs to be done is correcting and then publishing. 
As part of our use of technology, we will begin responding to blogs this week.  Students will randomly choose a reading blog to comment on each week.  This is an important part of learning for both parties.  Being able to offer suggestions for improvement as well as being able to accept these is part of putting your work out there for others to both peruse and learn from.  There are several lessons I have planned to manage this then we will start this on a weekly basis for the remainder of the year.
We will also complete our Human Body unit this week with a look at the respiratory system as well as the look at nutrition.  When this is completed, I will send it home as part of the Monday folders. I plan on having this finished by Thursday of the coming week.
Our math continues to look at volume and area with cubic prisms.  I was impressed with some of the constructions the students came up with in the lesson before the holiday and now it is time to take the next step and look at how area affects volume - or in some cases, does not change it at all.
We will start our next set of book clubs this week with students choosing their own books, creating their own timeline and also selecting the leaders for the book talks.  So far this has gone OK but I am hoping students push this up a notch by taking more time to really look into the book.  Discussions are very rich when depth is the reason for talking about a book.
We have several special events associated with the APAC Girls Soccer Tournament being held here at ISB this coming weekend.  The Jedi Jugglers are performing for them and several of the girls are coming to talk to my class about their school and country.  A true global connection.
That is all for now.  Let me know if you have any questions or concerns and I will gladly set a time up for us to meet.