This week started with a new math unit (multiplication and division of decimals), a new unit of inquiry (Innovations Through Nature - Biomimicry) and a new writing unit (Non-Fiction Articles). We have laid the foundations for all three and are on the move to more and impressive learning in all three areas. While not a new unit, our book clubs takes on a new book and genre as well (Pedro's Journal - Historical Fiction).
The new reading book is about a cabin boy to Christopher Columbus. It takes place during the initial voyage of Captain Columbus to the new world. Pedro is the boy who is assigned to Christopher Columbus to take on the duties of journaling, time keeper and chart keeper. As an educated boy, and this was a rare skill back in these days, the book is written through his lends of history. We do spend a lot of time with the historical aspect of the story so the students will have some background to what they are reading.
Our Innovations Through Nature is a unit we we look at how nature has inspired us to invent new and more sustainable products and structures. We spent this week looking at what is nature and how nature has already helped us. we are keeping an Inquiry Journal for our work for this unit. As we move along we will spend a lot of time look at the innovations that have come about as a result of studying nature.
Our Non-Fiction article work is going to use the inquiry unit as its basis for topics. We will look at how to research for this kind of article and if the internet works for us, all this will be published on a website of the students design. We will also look at how to properly research both in documents and books as well as the internet.
It is important that everyone keep reading at home each night. No time on his, just a time set aside to read is all that is needed. Please continue to help your student make this a reality.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. I will gladly set a time aside to meet with you.
Our first unit in math is also coming to a close. We have had an extensive look at base ten and unit decimals, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of these decimals and also a short session on estimation. I expect to complete the final assessment and project for this unit prior to the fall break.
Our unit on Global Citizen ship is coming to a close as well. The students brainstormed the concepts that Ms. Sayson and Mr. Hurworth could use in hiring new faculty for ISB. We will put these into a large graphic and then present it to the two of them with Mr. Byrne present as well. The students also looked at Difference makers and will be creating a presentation about one of the Difference Makers they wrote about. I used the 4 C's method of studying them (Connection, Challenges, Concepts and Changes) to really help the students dig into what the article was telling them. It will be interesting to see what they come up with as a presentation.
After 5 weeks of school I am pleased to continually tell you how wonderful your students are. They work together well, they are an exciting and excited group of students and most of all, they are wonderful learners in a multitude of ways. I am one of the luckiest people in the world at the moment with such a magnificent group to work with.
In the realm of transparency, I do want all of you to know that I am looking to move on from ISB at the end of this school year. New laws in China have made it not possible for me to stay past the age of 60 which is next school year for me. With that in mind I have already applied for or will be applying for positions at Hong Kong International School, Singapore American School, Seoul Foreign School and the International School of Prague. This was not an easy decision to make but I do think it was made for all the right reasons. I have nothing but the utmost of appreciation for my 8 years here at ISB. It is an amazing school with great students and parents.
As always, if you want to talk to me about something or have a question, please feel free to contact me. I will gladly set up a time or call you at your convenience.