April 15, 2022

Dear Parents,

I’m sure you’ve felt the pressure of how busy the kids have been these last couple of weeks with all the deadlines looming. They’ve been working hard in class to finish things like homework so that they can use home time for the longer projects they’ve got going. I’m so proud of them for working hard and hardly complaining. They’ve been pushed this year and have been building resilience in their work habits.

One of the big things they’ve been working on is the Legacy Project. They’ve written their introduction and thesis statement and should now be working on the body of this ten-page biography (rough draft due next Friday for peer editing). We went through some possible paragraph topics (early life, home, school life, marriage, historical context that may have impacted them, etc.). I suggested to the kids that one way to be sure they’re not overwhelmed is to take one paragraph topic each night and write about that part of the story. In fact, I suggested they make a list of all the topics directly onto the document so that they remember, and then just write about each one when they have enough info gathered. That way, they won’t leave big gaps in their relative’s life. Another important piece to any “non-Wikipedia-sounding” biography is the inclusion of stories or anecdotes about the person. If you have any of these to tell your child, be sure they include them in their narrative.

One part of the Legacy Project is to write a poem about their relative and one about themselves. We studied different types of poetry (April is poetry month) and made posters for our walls. I will give the kids time during class next week to get started on writing their poems, although they probably won’t finish them during one class period.

We’ve been reading Civil War novels in literature class. To relieve some of the pressure of outside work, I told the kids that they weren’t required to do two outside reading book reports this month, but only one book report about the Civil War novels we are reading in class. I will give them time the last week of April to complete this report (I will show them what format I would like them to use); I want the majority of their home time to be spent on the Legacy Project biography.

The majority of our religion time this week was spent in preparation for the Triduum. We listened to a song by Will Reagan and United Pursuit called “Take a Moment”. This was especially important for the kids, as busy as they are, to remember that God lightens their loads, even though they don’t always recognize it. The kids finished their Lenten books and shared them with their Kindergarten buddies this morning before escorting their buddies to the “Prayer in the Garden” and Stations of the Cross. The eighth graders had taught their little buddies about the Stations on Thursday in the church with a simplified version so that they would have a better understanding of this prayer form on Good Friday. We spent the day today unplugged and quiet, in keeping with the solemn nature of the day.

I hope you saw and returned the field trip permission slip that came home yesterday. This slip has the dates for our service to the We Grow Garden for the rest of the year. You might remember that we went in the fall. It will be great for the kids to see the things they planted way back in October. We will be going on Wednesdays from 1:15 – 2:40. This includes walking time (the garden is across the street from Bellingham High School. To prepare for this service, the kids did research and learned about food insecurity/food banks, at-risk youth and other marginalized groups, community gardens in Bellingham, the importance of organic gardening, and sustainable gardening/permaculture. They’ll present their learning to one another on Tuesday next week so that they have a good understanding of why they’re serving at the garden. We will need a parent or two to walk with us each week, so if you are able and are already Save Environment trained, please let me know.

I hope you have a very blessed and peaceful Easter!



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