Dear Parents,

The kids transitioned back to school well after the long break. They were calm and ready to learn. They’ve really come together as a class and are genuinely happy to be with one another. That is so fun to see!

During our language arts time this week I reminded the kids of the optional submission to the Catholic Daughters of the Americas contest. The theme this year is “God’s light will shine upon us like the sun that rises in the sky.” Their submissions could be art, photography, poetry, music/song, or essay format. The deadline for submission is January 30th, and the kids can bring their submissions directly to the office with the entry form attached. We also began another Latin unit during language arts and will take our test next Friday. We continue to work through our modifiers unit, focusing on adjectives. We learned how to use adjectives to combine sentences, to elaborate, and to compare. We also learned that definite and indefinite articles (the, a, etc.) are a type of modifier. We will test the kids’ knowledge of adjectives next week.

During literature, we began reading William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”.  We will relate this novel to our study of U.S. history by talking about how societies are formed and why it is so important to avoid the abuse of power. Fr. Moore learned that we were reading this novel and will be tying it to his lessons on morality, asking the fundamental question: Is man basically good or evil? I can’t wait for the conversations that will come from reading this novel! Please remind your child to turn in a reading log on Monday morning. These do count toward their literature grade (100 pts. each week). The kids know that what they read during class time in all subjects can be counted toward the 250-page weekly requirement. I will ask the kids to turn in one of their two monthly book reports by January 24th so that I have time to grade them and include them in this semester’s grades. The second book report will be due, as usual, on the last school day of the month and will count toward the second semester’s grades. The semester ends on January 26th, but all assignments must be submitted by the 25th. This would be a good time to check FACTS with your child to be sure all assignments are in. I will be adhering to the two-week deadline for corrections and submission of late work, so please do not ask about missing assignments that go further back than that. The kids understand this guideline and most work hard to stay on top of things.

We began studying for the ACRE test (coming up in the last half of April) by beginning each religion lesson with a 10-minute review of vocabulary using Quizlet. This will help students with the first part of the ACRE test – knowledge of the faith. The second part of the ACRE test tests their attitudes toward their faith. It asks questions about their faith/parish community, their school community, and their practice of faith within their families. The remainder of our religion lessons each day continue to focus on the history of our faith. Currently, we are learning about how our Church is catholic (one of the four marks of the Church) and how this means universal (for everyone). I reminded the kids that their service hours form is due on January 25th. They have already completed 9 hours for their work at WeGrow Garden. They must have 18 hours total per semester, so please help them find opportunities to serve if they are short. The form can be found on the “Resources” tab of the eighth-grade page. Remember that they may not receive any type of monetary compensation for their service, so their Washington, D.C. fundraisers do not count toward service hours.

In social studies, we began the week reviewing some of the early concepts of American government. We learned about the different ideologies of the Federalists and Antifederalists.  We grow closer to having the background knowledge to watch the musical “Hamilton”. I will send a permission slip home when we know the date, since it is rated PG 13.

I mentioned before break that we will be launching the Legacy Project when we return from break. I hope your child had some time to decide upon a relative and to do some preliminary research while at family gatherings over the holidays. Your child’s homework is to show you the packet for the Legacy Project this weekend. This is a major research project and the culminating long-term project for the kids’ time here at Assumption Catholic School. This packet can also be found on the 8th grade web page under the “Resources” tab, in case you lose yours. We looked up what legacy means in preparation for the first step of this project. We talked about how legacy is something you receive, but it is also something you give. The kids will be focusing on both aspects of legacy throughout the project. For the first part of the project, the kids need to start creating a family tree as far back as possible. They should gather information from family members but can also use the Internet. Their final family tree can be displayed in whatever format they wish. Last year, we had kids with huge, artistic posters, but we also had family trees printed out on pages that could easily fit in their final binders/scrap books. The kids will need to choose a relative (grandparent or older) to focus their research on from that tree. Most of the elements of the Legacy Project will be introduced in class and the kids will have some class time to begin each new element. However, there will also need to be a lot of research and fact/document gathering done outside of school time, and this is where your child may need some prompting and support from you. Please do read the packet, as it explains the ways in which you can support your child.

Winter Ride begins this Tuesday. Please be sure that you re-read the instructions for this event in order to be fully prepared. Any questions you have should be directed to Kristi Eager, the PE teacher.

Enjoy your weekend!


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