10/27/23

Dear Parents,

Welcome snow in the mountains! We have the best room in the school with its beautiful view of Mt. Baker and the Twin Sisters.  

In language arts this week we went over the two essays the kids had finished. I explained the grading rubric and had them revise their writing based on the notes I wrote both on the rubric and on the essays themselves. I hope you saw the message I sent yesterday about how to submit the Veterans of Foreign Wars essay. I learned today that a representative of the local VFW has offered to come to our school on Tuesday to pick up any entries. If you wish to use this option, please be sure to fill out the entry form and attach it to a printed copy of the essay, then have your child give it to me Tuesday morning.

We also spent time this week working through Latin roots (we tested today) and verb tenses. We have covered the basic tenses (past, present and future) and the perfect tenses (past perfect – I had bought it; present perfect – I have bought it; and future perfect – I will have bought it). Next week we learn the progressive tenses! I told the kids that learning how our own language works will make it a whole lot easier to learn a foreign one.

We started a short unit in literature about the Salem Witch Trials. This period of history is a bit earlier than where we are in our history lessons, but with Halloween coming I couldn’t resist. Most books are historical fiction, but one group is reading a non-fiction book. We should finish these by the beginning of December. While reading these books, the kids are in small groups and are working through a number of literature tasks. The purpose of the tasks is to get the kids talking about their novels together. This is the first step in independent group literary discussions and should be valuable in setting up some discussion habits.

We didn’t have any lessons on Church history this week but focused on getting ready for the All Saints Day Mass. We are putting this Mass on with our Kindergarten buddies. If you would like to attend, it is an all-parish Mass on Wednesday at 12:30. Your kids will be leading and will be processing in carrying their saint posters and with their Kinder buddies dressed as saints. All are welcome!

In history class we finished learning what life was like in colonial times. We learned about the Great Awakening and its effects on religious tolerance. We also learned about the different social classes, about politics and government, and about how important literature, art, and music were. We learned about the French Indian War, and the taxes the British imposed to help pay for the war. We learned about the deep anger and frustration by the Patriots and that the “shot heard around the world” was the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Today we reviewed Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” pamphlet which stated that it was just plain common sense that we should be free and independent from Great Britain. We ended by declaring our independence.  

We had our final fall gardening time at the WeGrow Garden on Monday. We planted cover crops and more garlic, tidied the beds, attended to the compost bins, and disposed of unwanted plants (mostly sunflowers). Thanks to the parents who made this happen by coming along with us each week. We will resume our visits when the garden “wakes up” again in the spring.

Please check grades this weekend with your child. The sports season is upon us and kids cannot participate if their grades are low. Have your child fill out and turn in a reading log on Monday. And if there is any extra time this weekend, please encourage your child to complete the two book reports that are due on the last school day of the month – Halloween! By the way, the kids have planned their own Halloween party and have decided to watch “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. This movie is rated PG, so it should be fine for the kids. Please let me know if you don’t want your child to watch it and I will find an alternate location for him/her.

Have a great weekend,

Chris

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