10/23/21

October 23, 2021

Dear Parents,

It was great fun experiencing Holy Hoops this week. With two thirds of our eighth-grade class participating, we had great representation and lots of worn out kids during the day. Despite having no homework for the week, we managed to pack a lot of learning and skill practice in during the school day.

In language arts, we worked more on verbs, especially on irregular verbs. We learned about the elements of an essay and used an essay outline to plan a culminating essay about the novel we have been reading, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. We combined the remaining language arts and literature time this week to work on our essays, since both subjects were cut short by the half day on Wednesday. The kids were able to share their essays with partners on Friday to give critical advice about their writing. I want the kids to get in the habit of using this time not to focus on editing, but to really read with the intent of giving feedback that helps in clarity, organization, and interest. Being critical of another’s work makes us more mindful of our own.

In religion, we learned about the remaining mark of the Church – that it is one. During our discussions about this concept, the kids came up with a few questions to ask Fr. Moore when he came in. One of the questions, “What does it take to be sent to Hell?”, led to a conversation about Heaven. The kids have been really engaged in their time with Fr. Moore and I appreciate his willingness to set his lessons aside to explore and answer the burning questions in students’ minds. As I told them at the beginning of the year, this is their time to figure things out about their faith. Clearly, they are not afraid to ask, and that’s great about them.

In social studies we continued our lessons about the formation of governments, particularly as it relates to the formation of our own young nation. The kids were able to discern the essential question (the focus of our faculty professional development on Wednesday) of this unit: How do governments avoid the abuse of power? Next week, I will have them write an essay with this topic as a culminating activity/assessment of what they learned. Not only will this assignment help them to summarize their learning, it will also help them to understand the value of good note taking. Students continue to learn about events that led up to the American Revolution and have been making placards for the history timeline in our classroom. It’s really fun to watch this timeline grow along with student learning.

You should have received an email about our Touching Safety lesson that I will be teaching on Monday. Please also look for a permission slip (on orange paper) that was sent home with your student on Friday. This is for the eighth-grade fall retreat on Friday, October 29th at St. Joseph’s Parish in Ferndale. I have asked for drivers to and from the event, so if this is something you can do, even if only one direction, please indicate such at the bottom of the form (and the number of students you can take). Please also note that the permission slip has a back that must be filled out. Please return the permission slip on Monday.

Upcoming Events:

  • Touching Safety lesson Monday
  • Door decorating contest Wednesday (in case your kids ask for some art supplies)
  • Pumpkin carving contest Thursday (kids bring already-carved pumpkins to school for judging)
  • Orange and Black Day Thursday (no masks, blood, gore, or weapons, and modestly appropriate costumes)
  • Class Halloween celebration Thursday afternoon (kids are planning this)
  • Fall retreat all day Friday (leaving from school at 8:15, returning to school by 2:45)

Have a great weekend,

Chris

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