September 17, 2021

Dear Parents,

It was so nice to meet many of you at Curriculum Night on Wednesday. If you have any questions related to what we spoke about that night, please feel free to contact me. I truly mean it when I say that this is a great group of kids. They are making huge strides in the amount of work and responsibility they are taking on. One example of this happened today. Your students led their Kindergarten buddies to Mass and mentored them throughout the service, helping them go through the motions (literally, not figuratively!), also helping them to do their best to listen to Fr. Moore’s message. I noticed a marked improvement in the Kindergarteners’ focus this week as compared to our first time with them at Mass two weeks ago, and your eighth graders can take credit for this improvement. They are doing so well nurturing these young ones and guiding them in the beginning practices of our faith. Kudos to them!

In our other religion lessons this week we began learning about the marks of the Church (One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic). We learned that the Church is founded by Jesus Christ on the Apostles, hence it is Apostolic. We also learned that the first followers of Jesus were mostly Jews who believed that only they were included in the divine plan of Salvation. The Acts of the Apostles taught that God calls all people, Jews and non-Jews alike, to Salvation in Christ: “To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:43) Peter ordered even non-Jewish believers to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Fr. Moore was in on Thursday and spoke about the nature of our relationship with God using a grammar analogy, likening it to a subject/object – a giver/receiver relationship. He then went on to talk about the meaning of Baptism and who is allowed to baptize. The kids had lots of great questions for him and were very engaged in the lesson. Finally, our Second Step lesson this week was about who we are (our identity) and how we express that.

In language arts this week the kids finished their study of Latin Lesson 1, used the words in context, had a spelling bee to practice, and then took their test today. Most did well. For those who didn’t, some extra study and retakes are always possible. Our grammar lessons focused on adding appositives (extra information) using commas, and how to form regular and irregular plural nouns. We wrote an editorial about a school rule that we would like changed. This editorial paragraph focused on the grammar points we are learning and was not meant to be a longer, more involved writing lesson.

Literature lessons this week focused on comprehension of The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. We explored literary elements found is Charlotte Doyle so far. We learned about the different types of conflicts that often show up in literature (person vs. person, person vs. nature, person vs. self), identified some conflicts in the story, and also talked about cause and effect. We are also reviewing a lot of vocabulary as we read through the novel.

In social studies we learned about the early English settlements and what brought them here. We learned about who was already living here when they arrived and what that encounter brought. We began putting together PowerPoint presentations about the different colonies in groups of three. Students are learning that these slideshows should not be filled with a lot of print, but rather, they should have short bullet points and nice visual aids (maps, charts, pictures) to help guide their telling of the topic. I told them that Cornell Notes are somewhat like slideshows – they have titles, subtitles, and short phrases to guide, but they don’t retell the whole story word for word. Students will present their slideshows on Monday and their classmates will take Cornell Notes on what they hear (also using the slides to guide their notes).

Please take some time to sit with your child this weekend and look at their grades in FACTS. This is a great time to see how they are doing and to catch up on missing work. These kids are working really hard and we have hardly any missing work. I am so proud of them!

Remember that MAP testing begins next week. We have testing Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, so please be sure that your kids are getting a good night’s sleep beforehand. Also, studies show that a good, healthy breakfast and snack also helps. Thanks!

Have a great weekend!