10/17/21

October 17, 2021

Dear Parents,

Sorry for the late newsletter – I had to take advantage of the sun yesterday to get as much fall gardening done as possible. The kids have been working hard in the garden as well – the We Grow Garden. We spent a couple of hours there on Tuesday as part of our service-learning project. As you may recall, this will be our year-long service-learning project. Now that we have had a chance to get our hands dirty in the garden tilling, spreading compost, planting cover crops, and harvesting fall crops, we will begin learning how what we do impacts others.

In religion this week we continued to learn about what it means to be catholic. We learned about the early church and how it had to come to terms with the idea that the church was not meant only for the Mosaic people, but for all – both Jews and Gentiles. We thought of ways that we see this universality and welcoming in the church in general and also in our own parish. We reviewed for and then took a religion test. You can look for the results of that test in FACTS.

In language arts, we studied verbs – this time focusing on the perfect tenses: past perfect (we had planted), present perfect (we have planted), and future perfect (we will have planted). We learned that these tenses are meant to place an action in time relative to some other action in time. An example of this is in the sentence By the time they arrived, I had planted the entire garden. The past perfect tense here shows that the planting I did happened before their arrival. We will continue looking at other verb tenses next week. We finished our Latin Lesson 3 and took a test on both definitions and spelling (both are important). You may have noticed that your kids were asked to use these in a cohesive paragraph as a review for the test. This is more difficult than simply using them in individual sentences, but it has value in that it requires the kids to think about how they might incorporate their Latin vocabulary more universally. Many paragraphs showed great creativity and depth of thought.

In literature, we worked on a culminating project for the novel The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. We began presenting these at lunch and the few we have seen so far are awesome. After each one, we discuss what was different about it and analyze the way it was done. We are learning from one another what it takes to capture an audience and present effectively. I am hoping that some kids will start choosing this format for their book reports. I have received only two book reports so far this month. Please remind your child that I need two by the last school day of the month (October 29th). Also, please be sure to sign the reading log your child should be turning in each Monday to show what they have read and that they have read a minimum of 250 pages during the week. Beginning Monday, we will be writing an essay about Charlotte Doyle. This will be the students’ first long, formal essay. I will be using an outline to guide them, which should help for this first one.

In social studies we learned how governments organize themselves to avoid the abuse of power. The students understood the importance of this after having read The Tragedy of Antigone in which Creon (the king) abused his unlimited power and chose to do things that were not necessarily for the common good. The kids learned about our system of three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judiciary) and checks and balances, all of which are meant to balance power and keep one person, group, or branch from having too much control. We then learned how the founders based their thinking on the Magna Carta (the English charter that created a greater balance of power between the monarchy and the nobility). The students also learned about British Parliament (akin to our Congress) and the English Bill of Rights. They created a comparison chart in their social studies notebooks comparing the Magna Carta to the English Bill of Rights.

I will be teaching our fall Touching Safety lesson soon (probably Monday, October 25th), so please watch for an email with an explanation of the program/lesson and opt out form early this week.

Have a great weekend,

Chris

 

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