daw.com - April 25

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 - Sabrina
Tuesday - Christos
Wednesday - Nikhita
Thursday - day 2, no current events
Friday - PD day, no school

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.
Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids

A short week this week with only four days. This means only three days of homework and it is due on Thursday morning. We are also switching around days so this Thursday is a day 2 and the following Monday is a day 1. I will be in Beijing over next weekend so I cannnot say if there will be a class letter or not. I will attempt one, but it is dependent on the time I arrive back from Beijing on Sunday afternoon. I will be away from school on Thursday as I prepare for my move to Beijing by finding a house/flat to live in when I arrive.

I want to thank Kaori, Simon and Brock for their job as class executive and welcome Zehra, Nikhita and Christoffer. I am sure they will continue the tradition of excellence in these positions.

We will complete Unit 10 in math this week with the final assessment and open response. We will then move on to Unit 11 and I have included the family letter with the weekly email. Please keep it for future reference.

For writing we will continue with our memoirs on friends. Students have had a great time writing about this but have had some difficulty weaving a thread or theme through their writing. It is not vital they do this but we are still trying to get the idea of theme in writing into our own writing. We are also completing the LUNE poem and will move on to the Sense Poem next.

This week we have the Middle School counselor visit our class so students should have questions ready to be answered by the counselor. Topics could include lockers, schedules, recess, after school clubs, homework etc. Just about anything is fair game.

In reading this week, students will complete their current set of Literature circles and prepare for the next ones. I have started to interchange this title with Book Talks as that is the more appropriate name for them.

In science we will move on to Lifeboats from Swingers. Our pictures this week are from the students experimenting with Pendulums. We discovered that it does not seem to matter what the material is that the pendulum is made of, only the length of the pendulum effects the number of swings.

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

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - April 18

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 - Simon
Tuesday - Pablo
Wednesday - Kaori
Thursday - day 2, no current events
Friday - Norika

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.
Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids

After last weeks missive, this one promises to be considerably shorter. First off is dates;

Field Day May 3 (error on last week's blog - this one is now correct)
Poetry Cafe - June 8th - same day as our final awards ceremony

As each of these comes up I will give out more information such as times. Please start to put these on your calendar so that you do not miss any of them.

This week is swimming for Mr. Watson's class so students will need their swimming togs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Mr. Billington's class will be do High Elements so students should be appropriately dressed for this neat unit in PE.

Our Hong Kong walk about is now one week closer. At present I have three parent volunteers and I need 8 so that means that one more is needed. Please let me know if you can help out. This is one of the events of the year and parents are a must. We cannot go if there is not enough help.

Students will need two items for this day. First off is an Octopus card. Since students will move about Hong Kong on public transportation this is a must. They are free since the initial down payment is returned upon cashing in the card. I would suggest about HK$100 on the card for traveling around. Any left over can be cashed in with the card at the end of the day. The other thing I need for this day is as many digital cameras as possible. The assignment for the day will be a photo essay so the more cameras we can get the better off we will be.

Our Science unit on Variables begins this week with a look at pendulums. Should initiate some interesting discussions at home as well. We will also begin to look at some non-fiction reading about the subjects we will study.

This week will see the continuation of our memoirs unit and poetry writing. IF you can talk about memories you have about your students it will help out with their writing as we continue this unit until the end of the school year. We will publish our first memoirs about the HOME and move on to FRIENDS later in the week.

Students have a reading blog entry due by Friday morning this week. It is part of their homework and they have been preparing for it since last Monday so it should not come as a surprise. It must be on a book they have recently completed. The instructions for the three paragraphs are in their Google Docs account.

Joe Winston and myself are giving a short talk on home requirements for computers next year this Thursday morning from 8:00-9:00. It will be in the 6th floor lounge. Please feel free to attend if you have questions or need further clarification.

This weeks pictures are with parents, during our civil war finale.

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

Regards,

Harold Daw

daw.com - April 11

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 - Tara
Tuesday - Jonas
Wednesday - day 2, no current event
Thursday - Zehra
Friday - Trey

Here are some student friendly sites for Current Events.
Good News Daily
Science News for Kids
Time for Kids



This is a very long letter today and it is filled with a lot of important information about coming events, new units and a host of other important news flashes. Please read carefully. I will include subheadings for this letter to make things easier.

Civil War
I want to thank all the parents that attended our unit Finale. I hope you all enjoyed the readings, marching and sharing of Journals. The pics and movie this week are from this events. Students will NOT be bringing their Civil War materials home this week as there are just too many students not complete with various assignments. We will complete this week.
I want to thank Jonas, Sabrina and Stephen for their excellent service during this unit. The leadership they provided was exemplary. Our new class executive is Kaori as president, Brock as Secretary and we will elect a Vice President on Monday.

Walk-About
May 7th has been assigned as our annual Grade 5 Walkabout. This is a day where students are in groups and visit various places in Hong Kong to complete a Photo Essay as part of their Memoir writing unit. Before we can begin to plan for this day I need parent volunteers. The general plan is to drop off at City Hall by 9:00 and return from City Hall by 2:00. I would need parents for this entire time to supervise student groups. If you can help me with this, please let me know and I will put you on my list. You can also expect students to start talking this up at home since we need to start the planning for this immediately.
Math
Our last unit is complete and all the final assessments will come home in the Monday folder. Our next unit is on Using Data and Algebra Skills and Concepts. The family letter is attached to the email I sent home. Please save for future reference.

This week starts the first of two class math challenges. It is hung outside the classroom for the students to work on as they have time. They have about three weeks to complete the first one. It is to use four 4's to equal all numbers from 1 to 100 (ie. 4+4+4+4=16). They can use all the operations they are use to (+, -, *, /) as well as square root, exponents and one that I will teach them on Monday called a factorial. Written as 4! it means 1*2*3*4 which equals 24. One of the more unique pieces they can use is 4 to the power of 0 which equals 1.

Writing
This week will see the spring Writing Prompt take place. It is the same format is in the past. Students will be given two prompts and must choose from one of them. They will then have three writing periods to complete their piece; planning, drafting and editing, publishing. This will start on Tuesday. The two prompts the students can choose from have to do with an event in their life or an important change in their life.
We will also start our last two writing units this week. Poetry will be using different forms of poetry to construct their own poetry tome. Memoirs will have weekly topics and students will complete a published piece each week from now to the end of the year. In order for the students to do a good job of this it helps out if discussions are held at home about what students have been involved in, what they were like as an infant, special events reminders, discussions about grandparents, uncles, aunts and other extended family members. These discussions should go one through out the next two months. This weeks memoirs will be on the home - the different homes they have lived in, the way a home is organized, chores, visitors, comings and goings, special places in the home, etc. It is not about the family in the home - that comes later.





Reading

We continue with our Literature Circles which have been going very well. I am impressed with the depth of discussion that is starting to evolve through this. We do this twice a week with books students chose from my library. We continue with this through out the rest of the year.
We will also continue to look at summarizing books and stories. This will include general summaries and plot summaries. For this we will mostly use the books students are reading. I must reiterate how important it is for students to be reading at home 20-30 minutes each night for a minimum of 6 nights a week (I prefer all 7). Students should be keeping track of their reading on their weekly reading log. I would appreciate any hep you can offer on this as it is rather inconsistent. YOu will begin to see their summaries show up on their reading blog.

Science
We will prepare to start our last unit of study for the year, Variables, this week. Just a quick heads up on some important things about this unit. In about two weeks or so I will assign the Variables Olympics project which is fully done at home. It will involve the scientific process that we cover in class and have lots of options to best fit with the students own choices. This will become part of the weekly homework. This project will reflect the learning in the unit which is on planes, boats, and catapults. It is a great project and one that always brings some interesting results.

You can now view your students pollution video on their website. It took a lot longer than I thought to get these up and working but they are all there now for your perusal. Ask your student to show it to you.

video
Reminders
This week is the start of the last session of after school activities (ASA). I have a list posted in the class and it would help to remind your student if they are registered in one.

This week students start their Trash Kids projects in art. This will be on Wednesday so they still have two days to bring in the things they might want to use on their projects.

Home work starts again this week. Please help students get back into the swing of things with this. You can also count on computer use every week now so please help where this might be a problem at home.

Here are some dates to start keeping track of;

Apr. 30 - PD day, no school for student
May 2 - Field Day
May 7 - Grade 5 Walkabout
May 21 - holiday
June 4 - Grade 5 Fling
June 8 - 5C Awards Ceremony
June ? - Poetry/Technology Cafe

There are also Middle School transition events in there to be calendared. I will keep you informed as these come up. We will also do our unit on human development and adolescence sometime in the first two weeks of June.

As I thought before I started, this is quite lengthy but filled with a lot of important information. As always, if there are concerns or questions, please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Harold Daw