10/9/21

October 9, 2021

Dear Parents,

We had a full week in all our subjects and the students are starting to be more challenged in what they are being asked to do – both in mechanics (grammar, writing) and creativity (literature projects). They are also being asked to think more deeply about things that matter, such as what it means to be Catholic. Fr. Moore came in to continue his lessons about the sacraments and was able to answer one of the kids’ burning questions (we write these on the board as we think of them so that we remember to ask): Is there anything that God won’t forgive? This question came up because the kids were discussing the idea of catholic meaning “universal/for everyone”. They wondered if those who were not born into a Christian society would still be held accountable for believing in Jesus, which eventually led to the question of forgiveness. For an interesting dinner conversation, ask your child what Fr. Moore’s answer was.

Social studies also had some interesting concepts to discuss that some kids tied to religion lessons. Kids learned about common good, civic virtue, and higher power as they relate to government. They read a synopsis of the Sophocles’ play “The Tragedy of Antigone” in which a couple different characters (sisters Antigone and Ismene) must decide whether a ruler (their uncle Creon) should have absolute power, or if it is a citizen’s duty to obey a higher power (the gods of ancient Greece). After learning about these characters’ points of view through student group presentations, the kids had to type a lengthy, detailed paragraph about what they thought. This was an opportunity for them to learn my expectations about word-processed assignments and also what makes a well-written paragraph. While I led them through each expectation and gave them a sheet to follow with these listed, I will eventually expect them to be able to do this without my guidance by merely reading the question being asked and then responding. This will prepare them well for what will be asked of them in high school and on any type of standardized testing.

In language arts we began a unit on verbs and learned that there are both action and linking verbs. The kids learned a sneaky trick that to tell if a verb is linking, it must be able to be replaced by the verb “be” in some way. For example, “the tomato tastes sweet” can be replaced by “the tomato is sweet”, so the verb tastes is a linking verb. Compare that to “the man tastes tomatoes” which is not the same as “the man is tomatoes”, so that verb tastes is an action verb (something that happens – has action). We learned that there are verb phrases (two or more verbs working together) and counted up to four verbs working together in a phrase (good work, kids!): The puppies will have been sleeping five hours by the time I get home. We started learning about tenses and learned about the base form (infinitive) of a verb (e.g. to talk), the present participle (talking), and the past participle (talked). I reminded the kids that they already use all these forms of verbs and that this is their chance to learn what they are called. We will continue with verbs and different tenses next week. Any work on tenses will also help the students when learning Spanish or any other foreign language, so I hope they hold on to this learning.

Finally, in literature we are nearing the end of our reading of The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. I showed a couple of sample book trailers for the novel online and the kids are being asked to create a trailer of their own. They will begin work on this next week. I can’t wait to see how creative they can be with these trailers. I told them that this would also be a good form of book report for their two monthly book reports. Thank you to those parents who continue to look at and sign the book logs that are to be turned in each Monday morning. I cannot impress upon you enough the power of reading!

You have surely seen the permission slip for our service project next week. We will depart school at about 9:15, so if you have signed up to walk with us to the We Grow Garden, please be at school a few minutes before that time. We will go rain or shine, so please be sure that your child has adequate outer wear. The kids may wear their casual uniform (jeans and blue Assumption t-shirt, for those new to ACS).

Thanks for all your support and have a relaxing weekend,

Chris