11/19/21

November 19, 2021

Dear Parents,

We celebrated a great Grandparents’ Day Mass today with our Kindergarten buddies, who were leading the Mass. Although we had only a few grandparents attend Mass, we still made it a special time, and the Kindergarteners did an amazing job. You will be receiving your children’s grandparent greeting cards in the Wednesday envelope next week. We hope many of you will be able to deliver them over the holidays. On Monday, we will have a special prayer service in the morning after which we will be creating a human food chain to bring our Thanksgiving food donations from the school to the Hope House. If you haven’t had a chance to do so, please send in some food items (no glass, please) on Monday so that we can help as many people as possible to have a food-filled Thanksgiving dinner.

We used our religion lessons this week to finalize the scenes for the Nativity play we are creating. Next week and the week following Thanksgiving will be the writing phase during which the kids will write the actual narrative of the play. Once finished, we will work on costumes, filming, and final production/editing. We have our hands full, but I know we can do it.

In language arts this week we finished up our lessons on verbs and then began a review of the concepts in preparation for the unit test on Tuesday. Creating a chart of the different tenses (simple, perfect, progressive, and perfect progressive) was a great way to show how these tenses follow a very simple pattern. The kids will be allowed to use this chart for their test.

In literature, most kids are well into their poster project, a three-panel set of posters with a variety of elements representing their novel. They will finish these next week and present them to their classmates on a gallery wall before Thanksgiving break. With only a few weeks before Christmas break remaining, the students will read a short story by Truman Capote, “A Christmas Memory”, and perhaps have time to write a Christmas memory of their own. Mrs. Demry is asking you to please check your home libraries as it seems that the kids did not return their copies of “The One and Only Ivan” from their literature class last year. If you find a copy, please send it in on Monday so that current seventh graders can begin reading this novel.

In social studies we have been busy – we won the American Revolution, then started thinking about how we would form our new government. We made some mistakes in the first draft of our country’s constitution (the Articles of Confederation) and decided that we wanted to create a completely new document that would give us more rights as a people (having learned how to avoid the abuse of power). We also debated how to divvy up power between states and came up with a couple of compromises, including the Great Compromise and the 3/5ths Compromise. After a lot of hard work, we finally drafted our new U.S. Constitution.

I hope you were able to escape the flooding early this week unscathed. Beautiful, sunny days like today certainly help. Let’s hope for more sunshine and pray for those who lost so much.

Have a great weekend,

Chris

11/14/21

November 14, 2021

Dear Parents,

We have begun working on our Christmas program. After creating a storyboard that lists the main events of the Nativity, the kids will begin writing the narrative for each section. We will then start working on costuming and scenery. We are considering using a greenscreen for our backgrounds so that we have more flexibility in what our scenes look like. We will be filming December 8-10. Because of the major focus on producing the Nativity video, we will be putting our normal religion lessons on hold for the next few weeks, although I will continue to teach our Second Step lessons. We learned in Second Step this week about the social factors that contribute to bullying and harassment and will continue with this touchy subject next week.

We studied some tricky concepts in language arts this week. We learned the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs, direct and indirect objects, and active and passive voice. We will have our final verbs test next week after doing some review of this long unit. We completed Latin lesson 5 and tested on Friday.

In literature circles we learned how setting can have special significance to certain characters and identified some of these special settings in the novels we are reading. Some students have finished their novels and are working on a poster project to share with the rest of the class. Those who are not finished with their novels are working on tasks that elicit deeper understanding of their novels. Our goal is to finish these colonial time period novels by this Friday, November 19th, so that kids have time to complete their posters and share them Thanksgiving week. Please be sure that your child is reading every night and sign their reading logs Sunday night to be turned in Monday. We have reached the middle of the month, so this would be a good time for those who have finished an outside reading book to complete and turn in a book report rather than waiting until the end of the month.

In social studies we learned about France’s role in the American Revolution and listened to “Guns and Ships” from the musical “Hamilton”. We then reached the Battle of Yorktown and independence, playing “Yorktown – the World Turned Upside Down”, also from “Hamilton”. We made our own feather quills and used them to write a favorite quote from that time period or a quote from the Declaration of Independence. We took a test on what we’ve learned about the Revolutionary War and will get the results this week.

Upcoming:

  • November 19th– Grandparents’ Day Mass (streamed), 8:15 am.
  • November 22nd– Human Food Chain/Prayer Service 8:15 am in gym, Pizza Lunch
  • November 24th– Early Release for Thanksgiving (11:45 am dismissal), NO EDP today
  • November 25th-26th– NO SCHOOL, Thanksgiving holiday

Have a great weekend!

Chris