12/4/2021

December 4, 2021

Dear Parents,

I hope you enjoyed the Thanksgiving break with family. The students came back to a classroom fully decorated for Christmas, complete with holiday lights, Advent wreath, and stockings (hung by the virtual fireplace). The kids decided to have a white elephant gift exchange the last week of school before break. They haven’t hashed out the details yet, but I don’t expect it will affect you other than getting them to the store to do their shopping. We will be making gingerbread houses with our Kindergarten buddies on the last day before break and I am asking for one bag of candy from each student to use for decorating. Please send these in starting next week. Thanks!

We have been working hard on writing the script for the Nativity video and these are now complete. We will be filming the various scenes next week and are prepared to start the long editing process using the video-editing app Power Director. This has been a long process, but it has allowed the kids to see how important it is to understand the subject being filmed to “get it right” and also to think about how to portray this in a way that is clear and interesting to the audience. We have located only a few of the costumes that we need, so if you happen to have anything at home that looks like it could be of use (rustic-looking robes, shawls, head scarves, etc.), please send them in with your child on Monday.

Nativity writing has taken most of our language arts and literature time, although we did manage to squeeze in some Latin lessons. We will finish the Latin next week and test on Friday. We will be able to resume a mostly normal language arts and literature schedule next week, depending on how well Nativity filming and editing goes. Please be sure that your child is reading each night as I will continue to be checking reading logs (which can be found on the eighth-grade webpage under “Resources”) each Monday. I told the kids that I will only be asking for one book report for the month of December in order to honor students’ time on vacation. I will ask for these to be completed and turned in by Friday, December 17th.

In social studies we started learning about the U.S. Constitution and why the framers chose to organize it in the way that they did. Again, we came back to our essential question: How do governments avoid the abuse of power? The kids memorized the Preamble (the opening lines of the Constitution) and began working on a pamphlet about the U.S. government that will include the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and U.S. citizenship. This is an alternative form of assessment of their knowledge, so there will not be a typical unit test. I will be showing the musical “Hamilton” on Thursday, December 16th in the afternoon as a culmination of our Revolutionary War unit. Since this musical is rated PG-13 (due to some colorful language), I will be sending home a permission slip next week. If you choose not to have your child watch this video, I will arrange for him/her to spend time in another classroom.

We have been using our laptop devices quite a bit to do research, create documents, and edit videos, so please be sure that your child brings a fully-charged device each day.

Upcoming:

Monday, December 6th: St. Nicholas Day special surprise for kids

Tuesday, December 7th: Assembly in gym 1:15 PM (Second Step, basketball)

Wednesday, December 8th: Feast of the Immaculate Conception Mass in church 12:30 PM

Friday, December 10th: Daily Mass 8:20 (includes Peacemakers)

Have a great weekend!

Chris

 

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