daw.com - May 26

I want start by sharing a conversation I had with a parent this week regarding writing grades.  You may recall that at Back to School Night and several student conferences, I mentioned that it takes years for students to become very proficient writers.  The learning to write is only one part of the equation with having time to practice the other side.  In grade 5 our writing focuses on several parts of writing - report writing, biographies, fantasy stories, narratives and opinion/persuasive writing.  With all of these there are lessons on both the specifics to make this area more proficient as well as word work that looks at spelling and punctuation.  We then spend time practicing this through the writing workshop model - planning & research, first draft, revisions & edits, final draft.  All of these take a large amount of time but are essential to making sure that a process for writing is what students use.  While it may look like the writing assessments are not showing any growth, because expectations are always growing, as long as a student is remaining or improving in their assessments, they are showing growth in their learning to write.  I return to my first thought - it takes many years to become a proficient writer.  It is also much harder for a student who is EAL as they are also learning the language as well as the process.
Speaking of grades, as we head to the end of the year, if you would like a conference with me about the progress of your student, please let me know and I will be glad to set a time up with you.  Please note that grades are posted on June 14th not the 15th as previously announced.
I am also hearing of summer plans from many of your students that involve leaving early or missing some days of school.  Please keep me informed of these so I can plan accordingly.  There are a lot of events and activities at the end of the year we are planning for and numbers are an important part of this planning.  There are also things like yearbooks, EOY shirts and assembly celebrations I need to account for.
This week I wrap up the Monday Folders.  There will be no need to return these again. All completed work will be sent home as it is finished.  I have had mixed reviews of these so I will reflect on this process for future years.  So much more is digital that it does not really go home, but rather is always available online.  We are also moving to a more updated version of blogs for next year so that will impact these folders as well.
This week there is no school on Tuesday so the current events are as follows;
Wednesday - Kevin
Thursday - Elvin
Friday - Eric
As parents you will need to help your student decide whether they do their homework and CE on Monday evening or Tuesday evening in preparation for the next day.
The week will entail continued work on our 2nd persuasive essay, debates on Is Globalization Good?, our math unit on the coordinate plane, book clubs, poetry and work on economics and trade.
Have a great week.

daw.com - May 19

We are working on finalizing many projects as well as completing end of year assessments.  So far MAP is completed and the writing prompt is finished.  Next week we will get DRA done as well as the Word Work and EOY Math Assessment.  I have been asked when MAP scores will be out and at the moment we have not finished the testing in the school so I would imagine a few more weeks before release of scores.
Here are next week's current events;
Tuesday - Siwoo
Wednesday - Brandon
Thursday - Oscar
Friday - Tiffy
The students reminded me that these are the last ones of the year for these students since there is not 20 school days left.  I will send home the current event booklets toward the end of the year.
Our inquiry unit on Economics and Trade has spend some time looking at what is globalization and how it has changed the world.  This will eventually lead us to a debate on the question Has Globalization Been a Positive Influence?  In order to support this, students have been working on a persuasive essay.  The final draft of this is due in next Wednesday and then there is one more of their choice to close out the year.  These persuasive essays will work in tandem with preparation of the debate.
Our math unit on the coordinate plane has taken us into looking at parallel, perpendicular and intersecting lines from formulas and rules.  Students have had a lot of fun with this unit and the learning is interesting since it is something they have not had in any previous grade level.  We should finish the unit on time before the end of the year.
As the year comes to an end please let me know if you wish to meet with me to wrap things up.  I will send you some times that we can meet.  I would also like to ask you to let me know of any early leaving plans just so I can plan accordingly.  There are a lot of special events for grade 5 students as we prepare them for the move to middle school and there are also things they get as they leave the ES.  Any info you have please share with me so we can have a smooth close to the year.
As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
Harold Daw