February 2, 2024

Dear Parents,

We made it through the first semester! Your kids should feel proud of what they have accomplished. As we begin the second semester, the kids and you should notice that I have “taken off the training wheels” and will be giving fewer reminders about missing work. I want the kids to be responsible for checking their grades and keeping up with their work on their own. If their bike crashes and they skin their knees once or twice in the coming semester, this is the safest place it could happen – before they get to high school. I hope you support nurturing responsibility.

With only three days of school this week, and those punctuated with assemblies to celebrate Catholic Schools Week, we got through only a few key lessons. We finished reading Lord of the Flies last week and I introduced our essay topic: Based upon your reading of the novel, do you think the author is implying that humans are basically good or evil? To get our thoughts flowing, we started with a debate in class. The kids chose sides and took notes during the debate so that they might use any good ideas they heard in their essays. I provided a template (outline) so the kids could organize their ideas and be sure they had all the parts of a good essay. They then had four class periods to finish the essay. I will be grading these this weekend. The kids know that they can revise their essay based upon my feedback to improve their writing and grade. The only thing I will not allow them to correct for a better grade is their conventions (spelling, punctuation, capitals, and grammar), since I did the correcting for them.

Today we spent time talking about how to break up a large project like the Legacy Project into manageable sections. We talked about what stages of life/categories people would like to find out about and came up with: Birth, location (describe place, time period), Parents (brief history), siblings, Stories of childhood (What was life like where/when they were growing up?), Education/school life, Historical context during different periods of life, Interests/hobbies, Marriage/children/family life, Career, Extended family, coming to U.S. (how/why did that happen in history?), Your relationship with that person (if any), Celebrations/struggles, Inspirations/Dreams, Family traditions, Faith, Death

I had the kids make a Word document with these categories listed. As they find information about these different categories, they can write notes (bullet points are fine) in the section where they belong. Once they have enough information for a section, they can type it up into a narrative format. Having the categories already listed on the paper reminds them which areas of their relative’s life they still need to research. Of course, they may add categories, if they think of different ones.

I have checked the family trees for the Legacy Project and have noted who the kids are researching. If your child begins researching and then realizes there just isn’t enough information to put together an in-depth biography, please let me know right away so that they have time to change who they research.

The next due date is next Friday, February 9th, when they will need to turn in the Interview Questions sheet. This sheet asks them to come up with some helpful questions to ask about their relative, so that they can gather as much information as possible about them. Good luck and thank you for guiding your child and keeping him/her on track!

Have a great weekend,


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