daw.com - August 25

 The so called "honeymoon phase" of grade 5 is now over.  At this point just about all the routines in the class have been formalized and now it is just a matter of reinforcing them over and over.  Perhaps the largest of these is the daily reading and recording of the reading.  Yes, it is true that reading is a 7 day a week experience.  After all, I am fairly sure that a day hardly goes by that all of us adults does not read something be it a report, letter, proposal or research grant application.  Just about all adults in our community read every day of the week.  Therefore, so should our students.  About the only different component of this is that I do make them record the name of the book and time they read each of the 7 days.  A burning question from the students is what about holidays?  As much as it is feasible, I recommend that reading continue through all days of a holiday too. By doing this, and making sure that the students are thinking about their reading, something I have just started to teach them, there should be quite an improvement in reading ability over the year.  One thing that you can do as a parent is have your student read to you - just what they are reading now is fine and only for a couple of minutes.  This way you can watch their progress throughout the year.

Homework will commence in earnest this week with a problem to be solved and a reading/writing sheet every night.  We did these in class this week to show the students both what is expected and also to let them understand what the homework is.  For the reading/writing, there are two levels as my EAL students need a different kind of reading/writing assignment as they learn the English language.  As the year progresses, I will monitor the students homework and if I feel they need
something more challenging, I will change the homework accordingly.  We mark the homework the next morning so there is no such thing as late homework - they can copy and learn from the answers given in the morning.  Later in the year, when students are more familiar with the homework, they will be presenting the answers to the class.

This week coming up has several events built in.  The first is a couple or workshops with the visiting author Matt Holm.  These are important as it allows the students to see how a professional writer using the writing process to go from idea to publication - the same thing we do in class in our writing workshop.  Thursday evening is our annual Back to School Night starting at 6:00 in the theatre.  I am looking forward to seeing all of you there.  I will review the curriculum and let you know about the class in general.  Lastly is out start to Counseling lessons by Mr. Kooienga who is the grade 5 counselor this year.  These lessons are designed around a once every second rotation system so we will see him approximately twice a month - more toward the end of the year as
we look at moving to Middle School.

ASA registration opens next week so if you are interested in having your student take part in any of the activities make sure you login in and sign them up.  Some of them have limited spaces so early signup is suggested.  Also, starting next week is all the advanced strings program.  You should already have read the blog post from Mrs. Campbell about this but if you forgot, remember the link to her blog is at the top of our blog.  Students interested in Band will get a taste of it on Tuesday as there is a performance that will look at showing students what it is all about.

Whew! This is a long one today but all the information is important as we continue to move forward with our learning.  If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me and I will gladly meet with you.