daw.com - March 23

 We are ready for Student Led conferences.  This week we finalized all the parts so that students will now be able to show you their learning this year.  Here is what you will see.  Each students has 5 placemats (Reading, Writing, Math, Inquiry & L21)  with most of these there are artifacts that show the learning that happened.  They will discuss these with you and show you their work throughout the year.  At any time, you can stop them and ask them questions.  This should take the allotted 40 mins and I think you will find that time flies by.  Towards the end of each conference, I will join in for about 5 minutes to support and answer questions you might have.

I have to admit that I love this time with parents and students.  Personally I think it should happen on a much more frequent basis since there is so much to gain from them.  It is true that the students will be very anxious over these.  I find that many of my students do not take the time throughout the year to talk with their parents and now when faced with it in school, they can be very scared and anxious.  Please take the time to put them at ease and make them feel comfortable.  It is a time of celebration and goal setting for the last quarter of grade 5 and as they prepare to move on to middle school.

Next week is a very short week.  Homework next week will be to complete the final draft of their Fantasy story.  It will be due in to me on Friday.  Most students are well along with this and just need some time to complete it.  They will take home with them a first draft, the part of the final draft they have completed and some blank paper.  The will need some scissors, glue and pencils to complete this project.  We are writing it as a book draft so there are sketches to accompany the writing in preparation for where pictures would be used.

Math is moving very fast.  Students do not find the learning in this unit difficult and there is a lot of hands on building and constructing of prisms before calculating the volume.  Today we looked at the calculations needed to get from area to volume and this went over really well.  In order to make the as real as possible, I use actual prisms I have collected as well as specific math related ones.

Next week is spirit week with Wednesday being Neon dress day, Wednesday being theme day (we will determine this as a class) and Friday being house color day.  I find these are great ways to bring the school together as a community and also let the students have some fun.  I am looking forward to seeing what they do for these days.  I will join them to the best of my ability - yipeeeeee!

Next week we say goodbye to a Masa and welcome Linda.  We will all miss Masa and hope that he stays in touch with us when he is settled back in his home.  At the same time we welcome Linda to the class and I know everyone will help her feel welcome and make her a part of this wonderful community of learners.

After this is a much deserved break and, where ever your holiday takes you, I hope you have a relaxing and fun time.  I look forward to seeing my class back, all refreshed, after the break.