Dear Parents,

We celebrated Valentine’s Day with treats provided by the kids. They decided what they wanted to do for this special day. The boys broke off into their own group and played poker, and the girls played a rousing game of charades (and never the twain shall meet). 

Speaking of valentines, we continue reading “Romeo and Juliet” and are learning about a variety of literary devices such as irony, puns, and foreshadowing. The language in this play is difficult to understand, so I told the kids that they are welcome to look up translations or summaries of each act online using such sites as Spark Notes or Lit Charts, but they are still expected to read the actual play. Please remind your child that two book reports are due on the last school day of the month (turning them in earlier is always appreciated), and a reading log is due (signed by a parent) each Monday.

In language arts, we began our adverbs unit and learned that adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. They tell howwhenwhere, and to what extent (how much). These last are called intensifiers (e.g. They spoke very quickly.) We learned how to form adverbs, where they should be placed in a sentence, and how to use them to compare two or more actions. We also finished a Latin lesson and tested today.

In religion we started learning about how the Roman Empire had two different centers: one in the west (Rome), and one in the east (Constantinople). Because these two centers were surrounded by different cultures, the Church started to develop different styles of liturgy. We will dive deeper into these differences next week. We took some time to learn how to speak up or start a movement when we see bullying. We had a frank discussion about why kids don’t speak up. I reminded them that we have a duty to stop others from getting hurt (physically or emotionally),if we can do it safely. Remember that what we don’t confront, we condone.

We have been learning about the early presidents and about the two-party system in our U.S. history class. The kids have been having debates in class and have been doing a variety of other activities such as “jigsaw” and “four corners” to break up the monotony of book learning. They seem to enjoy this movement and variation.

Your child should now be gathering information about their relative for the Legacy Project. As I have said before, they may keep their information in any format they choose. I recommended that they have a document started and divided into different life eras (birth, early life, marriage, etc.) so that they can add notes to those sections. Then they can use the notes that are right there to start writing up the narrative for each section. Next Friday they will need to bring in their Interview Completion Sheet so that I know they have completed at least one interview to gather facts. If they do multiple interviews (and many will), I do not need completion sheets for those. Next Friday I will also explain some helpful ways to keep notes. I will also look at some samples of family crests, since both those deadlines are coming soon (fact check-in and family crest both due Friday, March 1).

This is a reminder that your final payment for World Strides is due on Feb. 21st. At this point, we have 15 students going on the trip and two adults (me and Pete Lockhart). I’d love to have one more adult along with us, if possible, so that our ratio is 1:5, so if you are considering coming along, please make that decision soon. If you decide to come along after the 21st, you may have to be on the waiting list as World Strides will start making flight arrangements for us.

Have a great, long weekend!


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