daw.com - Sep. 27

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.

Monday - Michael
Tuesday - Tara
Wednesday - Jonas
Thursday - holiday - no school
Friday - day 2, no current events

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.

http://gimundo.com/news/
http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/pages/search.asp?catid=7
http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/teachers/wr/article/0,27972,1888376,00.html

What a fabulous week and finally a full five days. It was like Christmas morning all week long as the MacBook computers finally arrived on Tuesday. There still are some technical glitches to try and work through but over all the students have really risen to the challenge of this new resource. I will try to outline some of the events of the week.

We started off by learning what some of the possibilities of the MacBook are. Thanks to all the students for teaching me and each other as well. This was truly a collaborative affair. The school now has its own domain for Google Docs so I have changed over all students. If you have this bookmarked at home you will need to change the bookmark to:

docs.google.com/a/hkis.edu.hk

If you need help email me and let me know. From here we looked at how to share a document and work on it together. We did this with a presentation I had set up and it was a fun learning time for all in the class. Students have been using this sharing of documents to peer edit their writing documents. It has been a slick addition to the class. You can see examples on my video this week. We have also started to use Google Docs for our Cultural Encounters and this coming week will continue to add to our character sketches we are developing.

We added a second post to our Learning Blogs this time looking at the math we have done this year. I fed the students three questions they needed to answer on their blogs. This is really going to be a great record of each students learning. Please have a look at their posts when you have some time.

This coming week you will begin to see some of the students reading projects posted on thier reading blogs. I have taught them how to start with iMovie where they can video their own Book Talk. I will be moving to Podcasts this coming week and will expect one of each before camp. The students are really enjoying this.

I have emailed students a link to our Book Log. This happened two weeks ago and there are still a lot of students who have not been using it. As soon as students complete a book they must fill out the book log. The link is in their school email accounts.

This coming week will see us come to an end of our first writing and reading unit. The writing is almost published now and will be sent home with Monday folders when I have finished assessing it. We use the 6-Traits rubric to assess all writing in grade 5.

Colony day is just around the corner. Mark your calendars for Thursday Oct 8 at 11:30am. Students are encouraged to dress the part of the character they have been given for this simulation. We will also have a colony day lunch that day in which I will be asking the following;

Students with last names A-J please supply a main course dish for 15 people. (we do have a microwave).
Students with last names K-N please supply a dessert dish for 15 people.
Students with last names O-V please supply drinks for 12 people (tetra-paks or cans please).

I will have all the plates, napkins and cutlery for the luncheon. I will even have coffee and tea for the parents. We will sit down at lunch and have a real luncheon much in the way as the colonists did back in the late 1600's to early 1700's. Since students will be dressed in colony attire, they can continue with the role play through lunch. Parents are invited to attend and if I could have two parents to help me I would appreciate it. The time is 12:15-1:00. Just email me to let me know.

Four your information, the Grade 4 and 5 parent coffee is this Wednesday from 8-9:30 in the 4th Floor Cafeteria. Hope many of you can make it.

This week has a holiday in the middle of the week and unfortunately it is on a Thursday. Because of this, students may need to study for their Vocabulary test on Thursday night. They can also do it on Wednesday night if they know they will be busy on Thursday night. Just how things worked out this week. Please keep this in mind as you plan your week.

I would like to congratulate Michael and Lucas who were elected as the class's Student Council representative and alternate. I also wish to thank all the other students who ran. It was a job well done by all. I was quite impressed with the speeches and posters.

We also had our classroom executive elections. Thanks to Sabrina, Christos and Lucas for a job well done and congratulations to Halle (president), Michael (vice president) and Max (secretary). These positions will continue for about the next 5 weeks of school.

Some neat interviews and work in this weeks video. Have fun viewing it. Quite long - over 6 minutes in length.
video
As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - Sep. 20

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.

Monday - Claire
Tuesday - Christina
Wednesday - day 2, no current events
Thursday - Lucas
Friday - Jennifer

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.

http://gimundo.com/news/
http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/pages/search.asp?catid=7
http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/teachers/wr/article/0,27972,1888376,00.html

Students now have a link to enter the books they have read. This will be their book log for their year of reading. I sent an email to each of my students and asked them to keep the email until the end of the year. For each book they complete, an entry needs to be made to their book log. They might want to bookmark this form for future entry as well.

We are almost completely caught up thanks to the diligence of the students. The extra two pieces of homework this past week that included blogs have really helped with this. Thank-you for this assistance.

We seem to be well entrenched with the routines now so I will begin to expect these from students on a daily basis. Our broken start to the year has been hard for some students to remain with these. I am also thankful to all of the parents for keeping up with the daily temperature logs. This really speeds up the morning opening and start. Please continue.

Learning is a journey that does not start and stop at the doors of the classroom. Students will have to explore their own learning this year through reflections and blog entries. They completed their first exploration this past week and coming up is an opportunity to do this in math. Throughout the year they will be asked specific questions that have them critically look at themselves.

This week I expect to start reading projects. These will involve the students looking into characters, setting, and plot of the books they have completed. Should be some interesting outcomes from this.

I spent the weekend at a Learning in the 21st Century conference over at the Tai-Tam campus. It was very enlightening to explore what learning and teaching will look like as we progress through the next century. One of the most compelling ideas is that we are educating students for jobs that do not yet exist. It really made me stop and think. One other study session involved looking at defining 21st Century teaching. Just what does collaboration, technology infusion and creativity look like - and I mean in a very broad sense. It was quite exhilarating to be a part of these panels.

Student council elections are this week and permission forms must be in by Monday. There is no extension for this. Students running for election will have poster paper given to them on Monday, posters are up Wednesday to Friday with elections on Friday. Best of luck to all the participants. I do remember fondly my time in Student Councils throughout my education.

If you have not returned Camp forms could you do this ASAP. We cannot move forward with planning and organization until these forms are returned. Monday would be great if it is possible.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - Sep. 13

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.

Monday - day 2 - no current events
Tuesday - Max
Wednesday - Faven
Thursday - Stephen
Friday - no school

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.

http://gimundo.com/news/
http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/pages/search.asp?catid=7
http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/teachers/wr/article/0,27972,1888376,00.html

I want to thank all the parents who attended Back to School Night last Thursday. I hope I was able to answer questions you might have as well as show you what we do in the class and how I look after all the learning needs of your student.

You are getting a mixture of work home in this week's Monday Folders. I have completed marking all the work from Virtual school and also all the home and school work for the past week. The school packet is the same for both weeks as I just continued it from where we left off before Virtual School. Please remember to keep the work at home and return the folder and the title pages signed.

We start unit 2 in math this coming week. The Family letter was attached to the email about the weekly blog. The final assessment for Unit 1 will be in the Monday folders. Because I have a parent signature on the Monday folders I do not need you to sign the assessment. The next unit looks at algorithms of math that students are not use to but will be responsible for learning. It also goos deeper into estimating.

Wednesday is photo day fopr 5C1. This means that students need to dress nicely. All students must have their photo taken for the annual yearbook. There is also an opportunity for parents to purchase photo packages and I sent this form home last week. Forms, with payment, need to be returned prior to photo day on Wednesday. We will also have our class photo taken on the same day.

It is the time of the year again to start preparing for grade 5 camp. Permission forms, medical records, water sports authorization and volunteer forms were all part of a package sent home last Thursday. I would like the completed and returned by this coming Friday. All the grade 5 teachers are well into the planning stage for this annual outing. Grade 5 goes to Sai Kung Outdoor Recreational Center (SKORC) which is a magnificent place for our students. More on this as we get closer to camp. Just a reminder that Camp dates are Oct 19-21, 2009.

Starting tomorrow all students will need to keep their temperature logs updated daily. I am now responsible for this and will have to check every morning. If there is no temperature or the log is missing I need to send students to the nurse to have a temperature taken. This will take up a lot of valuable time so I would request that you make this part of the morning routine at home. Student should keep their temperature logs in their homework folders as that is where I will be looking for them each morning.

Dr. Kelsh gave a short presentation to the class on Thursday last week about a project the school is undertaking with the help of Kiva.org. These are microloans to women in developing countries. There is a website that gives information about this at www.kiva.org. The money we raised last Friday with free dress day will be a part of the school's effort to work with this organization. Since the loans are repaid, the money will constantly be used for helping women in their goal to improve family situations.

In a continued effort to catch up from the week we missed, there will be no Vocab test this week. Instead, I have added an additional homework item that will need to be completed. It involves a reading and a Blog posting. With this and a few other items in class completed, we should be right back on track by the end of the week.

Just a reminder that this week is a four day week. Teachers will be completing the marking of the writing prompt and attending a technology conference in preparation for next year's 1 to 1 laptop program on Friday.

Just a continued reminder to keep everyone happy and healthy. Washing hands is a first line response to the slowing of the H1N1 virus and many other illnesses.

Should you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - Sep. 6

Dear Parents,

Each week there are students in charge of a current event. I have sent home a reminder with these students but I will also list them here.

Monday - no school
Tuesday - Alex
Wednesday - Christoffer
Thursday - Halle
Friday - Mr. Daw

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.

http://gimundo.com/news/
http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/pages/search.asp?catid=7
http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/teachers/wr/article/0,27972,1888376,00.html

Basically speaking, this week will be the completion of last week. There will be some minor adjustments but I am confident we can pick up right where we left off. As a reminder - it is a Day 4 when students return.

Please remember we are still on daily temperature checks so have your student's temperature checked every morning and see that they take the form with them to show the school as the enter in the morning. This will speed things up considerably. These forms will always be available on the school's website.

Here is a list of what we will try to accomplish this week - all left over from last week.

Math - complete unit 1 and the first Open Response
Writing - complete timelines and first group of seed moments
Reading - continue with guided reading and comprehension activities
Cultural Encounters - two more blogs on reading we have done in class.

I would ask for your assistance in getting back last week's homework packet. I will get it marked as the week goes on and everything will be in next week's Monday folder. Please remember to return Monday folders so I can have them ready for the next time they go home.

Homework will continue as before. There was no way for me to get this to the class last Friday so I am hoping students can also make adjustments to complete this in the four days this week.

Congratulations to Christos and Claire who were selected by their classmates to be the peer helpers for 5C1. Also congratulations go out to Sabrina, Christos and Lucas for being elected to our class executive. The next elections are in about three weeks and each stint is about 5 weeks in length. All students will get a chance at this sometime throughout the year.

All students now have 3 blogs set up. I am sure they would be happy if you as parents were one of the followers. This will only work if you have a Google account. If you do not have one you can still see the blogs, but you will have to bookmark them. The format is the same for all students:

Learning Blog = 5c1(studentnumber)mylearning.blogspot.com
Reading Blog = 5c1(studentnumber)reading.blogspot.com
Cultural Encounters Blog = 5c1(studentnumber)culturalencounters.blogspot.com

Thursday is Parent Night and I am looking forward to meeting all of you. I do understand if prior commitments make this impossible. The office has sent out an invitation to all of your emails.
video
The media video this week is brought to you by the classroom.

I must admit that I am anxiously awaiting the return of the students. I guess this really has been a time when a teacher has no class. I miss them all and look forward to seeing them all again.

Regards,

Harold Daw