• Mr. Harder's 5th Grade Math & Science Class

    I want to welcome you and your student to my webpage and my classroom.  I'm Mr. (Wes) Harder, and I'm so excited to be back at Norterra Canyon for a fourth year !!





        As the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year begins, I'll be posting updates here (as well as email blasts to you all once I have all parent emails) regarding what you and your student will want to do to get prepared for during each phase of the school year.

        Please warn your students that my tests can be tough, but I feel obligated to create tests that challenge students and that will help them prepare for AzMerit testing. Not only do I take the tests out of the module and sometimes modify them to include a lot of older material, I also do not make them multiple choice. For this reason, they may actually find the AzMerit math test EASIER than mine !! :)

       Without multiple choice, I can truly see how the student works the problem and whether they're on a pathway to the correct answer. I can be sure that they did not just guess.
       Also...my math curriculum (at the end of the school year) will start involving special projects that will help lessen the possibility that a poor performance on a big test will have a dramatic effect on an existing grade.
       In terms of science, you will be updated when ever a new science unit starts. The 1st unit will be on levers and pulleys, and know that the science grade is made up primarily of work done on special projects, maintaining their science notebooks, and being effective teammates. More to come on that in my next big email :)
    I can be reached at my email (wesley.harder@dvusd.org), or by calling our school's front office at 623-445-8200. My room this year once again is #703, and the number there is 623-445-8265.
    The best time to reach me, of course, is after school lets out at 3pm and can usually be done most effectively by email. I am an early riser, though...so I am often able to respond to emails promptly if they are sent to me in the morning before 7:30 a.m.  Also...if you would like to try and set up a conference with me to discuss anything urgent or special regarding your student, just email me anytime with a subject heading of "Can we set up a special meeting ?"


    First major science announcement:

       As some of you will hear at our upcoming Curriculum Night, I have a special project that I assign as an accompaniment to each of the four 9-week science units that I teach.
       Our first unit is Levers & Pulleys, and your student will be assigned to a team (in most cases with 1 other student) that is tasked with building what I call a 'creature trap'.
       The students are to work with their partner on building a trap for an imaginary creature of their choice. They'll be provided a detailed rubric that allows them to clearly understand what's expected of them in order to get a high grade.
       They'll need to be creative, and their trap must of course involve a combination of levers, pulleys, and simple machines.
       As we progress through various activities in science to help them understand this unit (including videos, FOSS kit experiments, vocabulary exercises,
    and interactive discussions), their projects are likely to change .
    It should be a lot of fun, and you should of course expect your student to ask for items like boxes, string, and paint as they construct their traps.
       I am usually able to provide numerous opportunities for trap-building in class, but almost every team will probably see a need to work at home on the
    project as well.
       And it is often common for students to want to coordinate working together at one of the teammate's homes.