11/3/23

Dear Parents,

Next week we will be welcoming a student teacher to our classroom. Christopher Merrifield will be joining us for the remainder of the year. He will initially observe how I teach, then progress to teaching alongside me, and finally lead the teaching (in the spring). I will be with him the entire time and will still be your child’s teacher, but it will be a great opportunity to mentor someone who is taking up this calling. Please read the following introduction from Mr. Merrifield:

Dear Parents,

I’m thrilled to introduce myself as your child’s upcoming student teacher! My name is Christopher Merrifield, and I’m originally from Chico, California. I hold a bachelor’s degree in US History and a minor in Military Science which I obtained from UC Davis. I moved to Bellingham over 5 years ago after discovering, and subsequently falling in love with, the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and specifically this wonderful town of ours! I am now in the process of pursuing my teaching certification at Seattle Pacific University.

In addition to my studies, I currently serve as an intelligence officer within the Army National Guard in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit, which has been an incredible source of inspiration for my teaching philosophy. It has instilled in me the values of teamwork, adaptability, and resilience, qualities that I am eager to pass on to the young minds I’ll have the privilege to work with.

Beyond education and my military service, I have a passion for painting miniatures, hiking, and learning more about history! I’m excited to bring my enthusiasm, creativity, and dedication to the classroom and to work alongside your child to help foster their growth and development. I’m looking forward to a rewarding partnership with you and your family during my student teaching experience at Assumption Catholic School!

Very Respectfully,
Christopher Merrifield

This week in language arts class we continued learning new vocabulary using our Latin roots. We also continued our verbs unit learning about the progressive tenses, irregular verbs, using consistent tenses, and subject/verb agreement (especially with compound nouns). We will finish this unit on Monday, then assess our learning.

The kids made headway in their Salem witch trial books and completed a variety of literature tasks associated with these books. After their first week and a half of reading in book groups, I gave them a self-evaluation sheet so that they could give me an honest assessment of how much energy and attention they think they are putting into their time together. We will look at these and other reading skills during conferences. Please remind them that a reading log is due on Monday.

We had a great All Saints Day liturgyWednesday. Your kids did a great job leading their Kindergarten buddies in this celebration. They processed in with their Kinder buddies dressed as saints and carried portraits of saints with the Mass, the saint’s name, feast day, symbol, and patronage. Fr. Moore spoke about how Jesus is the cornerstone on which we build our faith. I was excited, as this is the exact topic of one of our religion lessons this past week. I had just taught the song “Cornerstone” by Leon Patillo. I got a few glances from the kids as Father started talking about Jesus as the cornerstone, so I know they took the lesson to heart.

I will be teaching a Circle of Grace lesson this month. This lesson will replace the Virtus lesson about safety that used to be taught twice per year. I will send you a link so that you can check out the program. As always, if you do not wish for your child to receive the lesson, please let me know.

In social studies we finished learning about the Revolutionary War. We completed a timeline of the significant events during this time period. We also had many discussions that connect this chapter’s essential question “When is war justified?” to both the Revolutionary War and current conflicts. To prepare for our viewing of the musical “Hamilton” (permission slip to come – we are still a couple weeks out), we learned about the historical context of certain key songs. Kids shared their research about these contexts and we listened to these songs. It will be fun to view the whole musical with lots of background knowledge to get the full impact of its historical importance.

I hope you all received your “Take and Bake” order forms. Our D.C. fundraising volunteers are working tirelessly to provide ways for us to reduce the cost of our trip to Washington, DC. Thank you!

Have a great weekend!

Chris

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Phone: 360.733.6133 | Fax: 360.647.4372
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