Hi parents! I’m so sorry for the delay, but it has been HECTIC around here. We’ve been crazy busy with all sorts of cool stuff, so I’ll take this opportunity to give you some updates and a few things to look forward to as we move into our final four weeks before Christmas Break!
Math: No doubt you’ve been hearing all about Math class lately. Seesaw has been abuzz with many posts and activities lately. I’m super proud of the kids for their focus and hard work during this unit. And, I’d like to thank all of you for your support in their endeavor to master these standards. As you’ve no doubt seen, the way we attack math problems these days looks very different than perhaps what you or I remember from our own childhoods. However, it is this deep, rich understanding that will pave the way to future success for all of the kids as they move closer and closer to MS/HS and Pre-Algebra/Algebra. The kids have been very successful, and that’s absolutely due to their determination and hard work. The class has mastered multi-digit multiplication and presently, we’re working our way through long division. Once we conclude that, we will have a heavy focus on word problems and problem solving strategies. Upon our return from holiday, we will be having our next round of MAP tests beginning in January. I am looking forward to seeing their progress. After that, we’ll be moving on to…FRACTIONS! This will be the most challenging unit by far, however, I’ve been strategic in the way I’ve been laying down the foundation all year with previewing strategies. I have no doubt that they’ll love deepening their conceptual understandings and will make some powerful connections throughout the unit.
Reading & Writing: These kids have been writing machines lately. They continue to strengthen their non-fiction reading skills, note-taking and researching abilities, and then, to synthesize this information into five paragraph essays. I’ve read a few in the last couple of days that have been really impressive. We are looking forward to holding our first ever “Publishing Party,” and hope to have an invitation out to all of you soon. The tentative date is Friday, December 7th from 8-9 AM. More details to follow. In the meantime, I hope you will be sure to check in with the kids to see what topics they’re learning about, to encourage them to discover more interests, share your own, and keep them reading!
PYP- Today, we are wrapping up our second unit, “How the World Works.” This has been an investigation into what makes up Earth, from the core to the outer crust, landforms and how they’re made (along with some GREAT presentations by ALL the kids), soil composition, and for their final act, the kids have been playing around the process of weathering, erosion, and deposition while working on “Stream Tables” in an effort to save houses from eroding river banks. The kids have been working in groups of three, and yesterday, the class voted on two to send to this weekend’s Maker’s Fair. You should have received an email from Ms. Alice Cheung with all the details.
Yesterday, as I looked at my “Countdown Timer” app, I saw that I had 30 days until I fly back to SF for Xmas. I looked at how long I’ve been here and saw that it had been 15 weeks. It just blew my mind how quickly the time has gone. I then thought about how much time the kids and I have all spent together and how much they’ve changed. I have moments in class where I look at what’s going on around me, where I hear deep and thoughtful questions and comments, and see kids working diligently and making phenomenal growth. I am beyond proud of all of them, and, as I have shared with the class, it is not my intent to slow down. I am a “race to the finish” kind of guy. I plan to keep my “foot on the gas” with rigorous instruction, high expectations, and all the learning and thinking you’d expect from an institution like SIS. We have four more weeks, and in that time, there is still lots to do. Then, we take a three-week break to refuel, and come January 7th, we hit the road again! In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the rest of 2018 together, but look forward to the second half of the school year with just as much excitement and anticipation!