Archive for August, 2011

Looking at blogs

Posted: August 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

Hey  gang,

As we started to look at other student’s work in class today relating to blogs I thought it would be a good idea to take a more detailed look.

Go to the following link (blogs) and then on the right select the student who has the matching student number as yourself.

So, tonight you are going to be exploring other students blogs. You are going to be looking at the following criteria:

1. The written content. How are they writing? It is fluent? Does the writer know the audience? Do they provide detail where appropriate?

Write a paragraph explaining what they do well as a writer. Then write a paragraph explaining where you feel they need to improve.

2. Topics: Writers and publishers have to choose a topic to write about. What do you think about the topic the student you are reading has done? How do you think they are selecting the topic? Write a paragraph to explain.

3. Presentation. What do you think of the visual presentation of the blog? What do you like? What would you change? Write a paragraph explaining.

There you go. We will talk more about blogs in the morning.


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We began some science exploration today and the students were right into it. we are looking at the scientific method. They were asked 2 key questions. Of the 5 provided tape samples, which was strongest and which was stickiest? They worked in pairs to observe the 5 tapes and then as a class we developed a procedure to follow for our experiment. They are really into it and are having some intesting results. We took the time to talk about why they are not yet getting the exact same results and what additional varaibles may be contributing to the difference. I got all excited to share a photostream of their learning, grabbed the camea, took some shots, uploaded it and … nothing. Seems flickr knows I have new photos (twice) but somehow can not put them in the recent feed to the RSS photo file is not working.

Here are a few shots of the kids working, the rest are on the photostream found by clicking the more photo button on the side.


1.5 down

Posted: August 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

There you have it, the children have made it a day and a half. They are all here and happy, a good sign. So far we have put some time into getting to know eachother. I already know who the listeners and non-listeners are based on them asking me if I am married, have kids etc as I did a whole intro on this…Ahh the first day, a big blur for the fifth graders.

We have started our first math assessment and all the students worked so hard on it. They were very dilligent and ready to show their stuff.

But it is not all work, here they are getting to know Mrs. Bucknall’s students.


Welcome to the 2011/2012 School Year

Posted: August 5, 2011 in Communication

Welcome to Mr. Howitt’s 5th Grade


I would like to offer a very warm welcome to the new school year here at SAS.

Many of you are probably very interested in “Who’s my teacher?!”, just as I am equally interested in “Who are my kids?!”.

Like some of the students I am new to Singapore American School this year, although I have been to Singapore many, many times before for vacation.

I am originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Home of a big mall, and the Edmonton Oilers Hockey team. I studied at the University of Alberta and never thought I would leave home. Why would you ever leave beautiful snow?

But, In 2003 my wife Lynsey and I moved to Shanghai where we taught at Shanghai American School (SAS). We were going for 2 years for an adventure, we stayed eight years. During my time there I spent six years teaching fifth grade and then the last two years were in seventh grade math. While at SAS I had the great privilege to be working with a very talented group of students and staff and I look forward to more of the same at my new SAS!

Over the years Lynsey and I added to our family, we first brought Orange and White home. They are our Shanghai street cats who are interestingly colored orange and white. In 2008 we had our first son, Benjamin who will start preschool this year at SAS. 2010 we had Luke right before Christmas. At that point I joked to Lynsey we should change the cats names to R2D2 and C3PO, as we already had Obi-Won (Ben) and Luke, she did not agree. (Star Wars reference).

And now here I am, in the beautiful tropics, with the blue sky, sunshine and ready to have a terrific year with you all.