1/21

January 21, 2022

Hi Parents,

We had a short week with the MLK holiday on Monday, then skiing on Tuesday. Nonetheless, we were able to squeeze in the first few lessons of our adverbs unit. We learned that adverbs modify verbs, adverbs, and adjectives (but never nouns). We learned that they answer the questions how, when, where, and to what extent (how much). We learned that the words how, when, where, and why are also adverbs. We will continue next week and then test our knowledge of adverbs as well as our ability to distinguish between adverbs and adjectives.

We continued reading our literature circle novels. Some groups are nearly done and will be given their choice of a culminating project to complete. Others are working hard to complete their novels and the accompanying packet by next Friday, January 28th (end of semester). As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, please be sure that your child works on the two book reports that are due no later than January 28th. I will not take them after that date as I have a grading deadline. Please also remember to look at and sign the reading log that is due each Monday. The kids know that late or unsigned reading logs will be marked down.

We had only one lesson in religion this week and are learning about the early Church and the distinction between the Church in the East and the Church in the West, especially as far as the Eucharistic Liturgy and how it was celebrated by each one. We will continue learning about this next week and then test in the new semester.

In social studies, we learned more about Thomas Jefferson and his ideas about government. We learned the difference in ideas between the Federalist and Democratic Republican (also called Republican) parties of government and realize that Federalist ideas align more with current Republicans, while Democratic Republican ideas align more with current Democrats. We learned about the Louisiana Purchase and how important this event was to our country’s size, resources, and power. Today we learned about the events and struggles leading up to the War of 1812 (which we will cover more in-depth next Monday).

Reminders:

  • Winter Ride – skiing next Tuesday (see Ms. McIntosh’s email with details)
  • All missing work/re-takes must be completed by next Friday, January 28th
  • Elective preference due next Friday, January 28th
  • MAP testing continues next week Wed – Fri; please avoid pulling kids out during testing
  • Two book reports due by next Friday
  • 9 service hours due by next Friday

Have a great weekend!

Chris

 

1/15/22

January 15, 2022

Dear Parents,

What crazy weather we’ve had – I don’t know whether to break out the spring wardrobe or put on an extra layer! Hopefully everything is set for our Tuesday “Winter Ride” program. Please be sure you re-read the details and expectations so that your child is ready for the program on Tuesday morning. We leave bright and early.

Our winter MAP testing starts Wednesday. We will spread out our testing a bit so that the kids have two shorter sessions, rather than one long one for each subject. Please be sure that your child gets a good night’s rest before each test, and also that he/she eats a healthy, hearty breakfast each morning.

We have been studying hard in language arts and have finished the first part of our unit on modifiers, focusing on adjectives this time. We tested on Friday and will move on to adverbs next week. We also completed Latin lesson 7. The kids are showing confidence and competence using Latin roots and this should help them as they move into high school.

Kids are at least halfway through their novels and have been busy with the writing activities associated with each novel. I have collected their packets and will grade what they have finished so far over this long weekend. They have been reminded many times that the schedule they have set within their reading groups should ensure that they have finished reading their novels by January 28th. They have also been encouraged to complete one of their two book reports over this long weekend so that they have ample time to complete their second one before January 28th. Please remind them of this, and also to turn in their parent-signed reading log on Monday  Wednesday for full credit.

We finished a chapter in religion about the early Church and the ecumenical councils that were held to combat heresies. The kids took a test and that should have come home with all the other finished, graded work on Friday. I hope your kids are showing you their finished work. I require them to take it home each Friday and to keep it until they see their grades for each assignment posted in FACTS.

In social studies we have been studying the Supreme Court. The kids have been presenting the landmark cases they have studied using Power points. They are asking great questions of one another and are really showing an understanding of the law and its origins in the Constitution.

As COVID cases rise in our community, please remind your kids that safety is the most important thing right now. I am sanitizing desks several times a day and am constantly reminding the kids to keep their distance from one another, especially when they are eating. I’d appreciate it if you can give them similar reminders.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the extra day off.

Chris

1/8/22

January 8, 2022

Dear Parents,

Despite the funky schedule this week, we accomplished a lot. We started new literature circles groups. The kids are reading either “My Brother Sam is Dead” (a Revolutionary War novel), “Lord of the Flies” (a novel about human nature in the face of adversity), and “Treasure Island” (the classic coming-of-age novel). We intend to finish these novels this month and the groups have set their own schedules in order to accomplish this. You will likely see your kids reading these novels at home as I prefer to use class time as group discussion/activity completion time rather than quiet reading time. Remember that they can add this reading to their weekly reading-log requirements. I told the kids that I was going to be a bit stricter on reading log completion through the end of the semester (January 28th). Any reading logs not turned in each Monday will get a late penalty of 10% (as is done in both 6th and 7th grades). Reading logs not signed by parents will receive only 50% credit until they have been signed (I will then add up to 40%, having deducted 10% for not being fully completed on time), so please check on their reading and sign their logs each weekend. Please encourage your kids to turn in one of their two book reports by the middle of this month. The second one must be turned in by January 28th so that I can include it in this semester’s grades.

We began both a new Latin lesson and a short unit on modifiers (focusing on adjectives for now). We will continue these units next week. I am hoping that a deeper understanding of modifiers will help improve student writing as it should give kids more tools for elaboration and specificity.

In religion this week we continued a chapter about the growth of Christendom. We learned about the first ecumenical councils and the importance of the Council of Nicaea (origin of the Nicene Creed). We learned about heresies and listened to a song called “We Believe” by the Newsboys to see if it included any heresies. I encouraged the kids to listen to contemporary Christian music (our local station is 106.5FM) as an uplifting form of inspiration and unity among Christians. We also talked about the ACRE (Assessment of Catholic Religious Education) test that will be given in April. The ACRE assesses knowledge and attitudes about faith (two parts). In order to prepare for this (in addition to what we already study in our lessons about the history of the Church), the kids are beginning each of their religion lessons by practicing vocabulary for the first ten minutes using Quizlet. This format will really help, since the knowledge portion of the ACRE test is multiple choice vocabulary. I will let you know some time in March when the ACRE test has been scheduled.

We finished learning about the U.S. Constitution in December (last year!) and started a brief unit about the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). We learned who the current members are and talked about what the role of the Supreme Court is – to use the power of judicial review to determine whether the laws and actions of our government conform to the U.S. Constitution. Its power extends to all cases under the Constitution, federal laws, and treaties. We learned that the Supreme Court only takes on about 80 cases per term and began reading a few cases that are of interest to us. We will study some landmark cases next week. I am hoping that having an understanding of our constitution and justice system will help our kids become more aware of what is happening in the news and make them better-informed citizens.

As I mentioned earlier in this letter, January 28th is the end of the semester. Please look over FACTS with your child to be sure there are no missing assignments as those are due by January 27th. I will reserve January 28th for book reports and assessments given that day. I have been reminding the kids that their nine service hours for the semester are due by January 28th. The form can be found on the “Resources” tab of the 8th grade web page.

Have a great weekend!

Chris

12/10/21

December 10, 2021

Dear Parents,

We didn’t have Mass this morning, so we read the daily readings from the USCCB website instead. The readings talked about how Jesus was a friend of sinners. We listened to a song by Casting Crowns called, “Jesus, Friend of Sinners”, and enjoyed the painting that was “performed” alongside the song at one of Casting Crown’s live concerts. We also finished filming and editing the scenes for the Nativity video. This was a huge deal for the kids and took two weeks of research, writing, and filming. During the process, they learned how to use a green screen (it’s trickier than it seems) and how to use one of the many video editing apps, Power Director. Today we sent everything off to Mr. Anderson so that he could add in each grade’s contribution to the final production. Look to the newsletter for information about “Opening Night”.

This week we read “A Christmas Memory”, a short story by Truman Capote. This is an iconic work from the author of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “In Cold Blood”. Truman Capote masterfully uses imagery in his writing, and we saw many instances of imagery that ignited the senses. After doing some research about the author’s life, we realized that “A Christmas Memory” is autobiographical in nature and is a nostalgic telling of Capote’s relationship with a much-older cousin. We will begin writing Christmas memories of our own next week and will finish them in time to send home for the holidays.

We started a mini unit called “Protest Nation” in which we explore what it means to protest. We talked a lot about some of the protests we have experienced (either live or on the news) and how protests are meant to get people’s attention and spur them to think differently about an issue. We looked at some great examples of art as protest and explored the idea that art can plead, argue, and provoke as much as other forms of protest (like marches and sit-ins). Today, the kids chose an issue and will need to do some research about that issue. They will have only next Monday during social studies time to complete an art project (a poster) that represents that issue in a creative way. They may not use a slogan or artistic idea that was created by someone else – it must be original. When they present their posters on Tuesday, they will first need to present the issue they chose, tell why they chose that issue, give some background on it, and mention both sides of the issue. They will then present their poster and explain why they created it in the way they did. This will culminate our “abuse of power” unit.

I will be sending an overview of the “Legacy Project” next week. This is a long-range project in which the students study an ancestor and write a narrative biography about the person, then create a 50-page album about them. Although we won’t really launch the project until January, I am sending the overview before Christmas so that those who will be seeing relatives during the break can start gathering information, family stories, photos, etc. about the person they choose. The person must be a grandparent or (preferably) older relative.

Next week will be busy with a few things:

Thursday, December 16th: “Hamilton” watch party in the afternoon. Kids can bring treats and blankets for the floor. I am still waiting on a few permission slips. Kids without permission will spend the time helping in another classroom.

Friday, December 17th: Kids have a white elephant exchange in the morning. They should bring a wrapped gift worth no more than $10. It need not be store bought.

Friday, December 17th: Kids make gingerbread houses with their Kindergarten buddies. We still need a bag of candy (jellybeans, gum drops, etc.) from each 8th grader to make this happen.

Friday, December 17th: School out at 11:45 for Christmas break.

Have a great weekend!

Chris

 

12/4/2021

December 4, 2021

Dear Parents,

I hope you enjoyed the Thanksgiving break with family. The students came back to a classroom fully decorated for Christmas, complete with holiday lights, Advent wreath, and stockings (hung by the virtual fireplace). The kids decided to have a white elephant gift exchange the last week of school before break. They haven’t hashed out the details yet, but I don’t expect it will affect you other than getting them to the store to do their shopping. We will be making gingerbread houses with our Kindergarten buddies on the last day before break and I am asking for one bag of candy from each student to use for decorating. Please send these in starting next week. Thanks!

We have been working hard on writing the script for the Nativity video and these are now complete. We will be filming the various scenes next week and are prepared to start the long editing process using the video-editing app Power Director. This has been a long process, but it has allowed the kids to see how important it is to understand the subject being filmed to “get it right” and also to think about how to portray this in a way that is clear and interesting to the audience. We have located only a few of the costumes that we need, so if you happen to have anything at home that looks like it could be of use (rustic-looking robes, shawls, head scarves, etc.), please send them in with your child on Monday.

Nativity writing has taken most of our language arts and literature time, although we did manage to squeeze in some Latin lessons. We will finish the Latin next week and test on Friday. We will be able to resume a mostly normal language arts and literature schedule next week, depending on how well Nativity filming and editing goes. Please be sure that your child is reading each night as I will continue to be checking reading logs (which can be found on the eighth-grade webpage under “Resources”) each Monday. I told the kids that I will only be asking for one book report for the month of December in order to honor students’ time on vacation. I will ask for these to be completed and turned in by Friday, December 17th.

In social studies we started learning about the U.S. Constitution and why the framers chose to organize it in the way that they did. Again, we came back to our essential question: How do governments avoid the abuse of power? The kids memorized the Preamble (the opening lines of the Constitution) and began working on a pamphlet about the U.S. government that will include the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and U.S. citizenship. This is an alternative form of assessment of their knowledge, so there will not be a typical unit test. I will be showing the musical “Hamilton” on Thursday, December 16th in the afternoon as a culmination of our Revolutionary War unit. Since this musical is rated PG-13 (due to some colorful language), I will be sending home a permission slip next week. If you choose not to have your child watch this video, I will arrange for him/her to spend time in another classroom.

We have been using our laptop devices quite a bit to do research, create documents, and edit videos, so please be sure that your child brings a fully-charged device each day.

Upcoming:

Monday, December 6th: St. Nicholas Day special surprise for kids

Tuesday, December 7th: Assembly in gym 1:15 PM (Second Step, basketball)

Wednesday, December 8th: Feast of the Immaculate Conception Mass in church 12:30 PM

Friday, December 10th: Daily Mass 8:20 (includes Peacemakers)

Have a great weekend!

Chris

 

11/19/21

November 19, 2021

Dear Parents,

We celebrated a great Grandparents’ Day Mass today with our Kindergarten buddies, who were leading the Mass. Although we had only a few grandparents attend Mass, we still made it a special time, and the Kindergarteners did an amazing job. You will be receiving your children’s grandparent greeting cards in the Wednesday envelope next week. We hope many of you will be able to deliver them over the holidays. On Monday, we will have a special prayer service in the morning after which we will be creating a human food chain to bring our Thanksgiving food donations from the school to the Hope House. If you haven’t had a chance to do so, please send in some food items (no glass, please) on Monday so that we can help as many people as possible to have a food-filled Thanksgiving dinner.

We used our religion lessons this week to finalize the scenes for the Nativity play we are creating. Next week and the week following Thanksgiving will be the writing phase during which the kids will write the actual narrative of the play. Once finished, we will work on costumes, filming, and final production/editing. We have our hands full, but I know we can do it.

In language arts this week we finished up our lessons on verbs and then began a review of the concepts in preparation for the unit test on Tuesday. Creating a chart of the different tenses (simple, perfect, progressive, and perfect progressive) was a great way to show how these tenses follow a very simple pattern. The kids will be allowed to use this chart for their test.

In literature, most kids are well into their poster project, a three-panel set of posters with a variety of elements representing their novel. They will finish these next week and present them to their classmates on a gallery wall before Thanksgiving break. With only a few weeks before Christmas break remaining, the students will read a short story by Truman Capote, “A Christmas Memory”, and perhaps have time to write a Christmas memory of their own. Mrs. Demry is asking you to please check your home libraries as it seems that the kids did not return their copies of “The One and Only Ivan” from their literature class last year. If you find a copy, please send it in on Monday so that current seventh graders can begin reading this novel.

In social studies we have been busy – we won the American Revolution, then started thinking about how we would form our new government. We made some mistakes in the first draft of our country’s constitution (the Articles of Confederation) and decided that we wanted to create a completely new document that would give us more rights as a people (having learned how to avoid the abuse of power). We also debated how to divvy up power between states and came up with a couple of compromises, including the Great Compromise and the 3/5ths Compromise. After a lot of hard work, we finally drafted our new U.S. Constitution.

I hope you were able to escape the flooding early this week unscathed. Beautiful, sunny days like today certainly help. Let’s hope for more sunshine and pray for those who lost so much.

Have a great weekend,

Chris

11/14/21

November 14, 2021

Dear Parents,

We have begun working on our Christmas program. After creating a storyboard that lists the main events of the Nativity, the kids will begin writing the narrative for each section. We will then start working on costuming and scenery. We are considering using a greenscreen for our backgrounds so that we have more flexibility in what our scenes look like. We will be filming December 8-10. Because of the major focus on producing the Nativity video, we will be putting our normal religion lessons on hold for the next few weeks, although I will continue to teach our Second Step lessons. We learned in Second Step this week about the social factors that contribute to bullying and harassment and will continue with this touchy subject next week.

We studied some tricky concepts in language arts this week. We learned the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs, direct and indirect objects, and active and passive voice. We will have our final verbs test next week after doing some review of this long unit. We completed Latin lesson 5 and tested on Friday.

In literature circles we learned how setting can have special significance to certain characters and identified some of these special settings in the novels we are reading. Some students have finished their novels and are working on a poster project to share with the rest of the class. Those who are not finished with their novels are working on tasks that elicit deeper understanding of their novels. Our goal is to finish these colonial time period novels by this Friday, November 19th, so that kids have time to complete their posters and share them Thanksgiving week. Please be sure that your child is reading every night and sign their reading logs Sunday night to be turned in Monday. We have reached the middle of the month, so this would be a good time for those who have finished an outside reading book to complete and turn in a book report rather than waiting until the end of the month.

In social studies we learned about France’s role in the American Revolution and listened to “Guns and Ships” from the musical “Hamilton”. We then reached the Battle of Yorktown and independence, playing “Yorktown – the World Turned Upside Down”, also from “Hamilton”. We made our own feather quills and used them to write a favorite quote from that time period or a quote from the Declaration of Independence. We took a test on what we’ve learned about the Revolutionary War and will get the results this week.

Upcoming:

  • November 19th– Grandparents’ Day Mass (streamed), 8:15 am.
  • November 22nd– Human Food Chain/Prayer Service 8:15 am in gym, Pizza Lunch
  • November 24th– Early Release for Thanksgiving (11:45 am dismissal), NO EDP today
  • November 25th-26th– NO SCHOOL, Thanksgiving holiday

Have a great weekend!

Chris

 

10/30/21

October 30, 2021

Dear Parents,

We had a great retreat yesterday, starting with Mass in the morning and followed by large- and small-group discussions. The main theme of the retreat was about making choices that lead to our best selves and that build up others. Our retreat leader, Joan Williamson, did an amazing job leading the retreat and connected well with the kids. With lots of sunshine, we ate outdoors and played volleyball with a “living net”. Thank you to all the parents who helped with driving to and from the retreat. We couldn’t have gone without you!

We completed our Touching Safety lesson on Monday. The main idea of this lesson was how to be a friend to others who may be undergoing unsafe situations. The students learned the steps to take if they or someone they know is being threatened or harmed. We also used our religion time to finish learning about the marks of the Church – that the Church is One – and then tested our knowledge.

In language arts, we finished learning about irregular verbs, which usually have their irregularities in past tenses and past participles, and moved on to learning about progressive tenses. Students learned that progressive tenses show a progressive or ongoing nature, such as is walking, was walking, will have been walking. They noted that progressive tenses all use the present participle (a verb with -ing). This past week was the second week of our Latin 4 lesson. Because of the retreat on Friday, we had to move our Latin 4 test to Thursday. Not all kids had studied for it, so I told them to consider it a pre-test. If they did well, they are done. If they didn’t do well, they can retest on Monday or Tuesday during study hall time. I also reminded them that they can always re-do work to show new learning. I hope this will relieve some kids of any anxiety about testing.

We began reading new novels that center on colonial times. While our first novel was whole-group, this time the kids are reading in groups of three, each group with a different novel. They have a variety of tasks to complete as they read (found on a task rubric), and will also have lessons about a variety of literary elements along the way. We hope to complete these novels in the next three to four weeks so that we can move on to Revolutionary War novels. I reminded the kids that they have two book reports due by Monday for the month of October. Please remind them of this deadline. They will also need to turn in their weekly reading logs on Monday.

In social studies this week, we wrapped up our unit on colonization of our nation and talked about the essential question: How do governments avoid the abuse of power? On Monday, we sketched out the ideas from what we learned on the board, then transferred them to an outline in preparation for the culminating assessment of our learning – an essay. I gave them time each day during social studies to work on the essay and while most have finished and turned them in, some needed a bit more time because of the loss of a social studies period in lieu of a Halloween party on Thursday. Please remind your child that the essay should be emailed to me by Monday for grading.

Upcoming:

  • Thursday, November 4th- Early Release “A” Day 11:45 am dismissal with casual dress. Conferences from 12:30 pm to 7:30 pm. See sign-up in Wednesday newsletter, if you still need a slot. Please remember that these are student-led, so you must bring your child to the conference.
  • Friday, November 5th- No school for students; conferences today 8:00 am to 3:30 pm 

Have a sunny weekend!

Chris

10/23/21

October 23, 2021

Dear Parents,

It was great fun experiencing Holy Hoops this week. With two thirds of our eighth-grade class participating, we had great representation and lots of worn out kids during the day. Despite having no homework for the week, we managed to pack a lot of learning and skill practice in during the school day.

In language arts, we worked more on verbs, especially on irregular verbs. We learned about the elements of an essay and used an essay outline to plan a culminating essay about the novel we have been reading, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. We combined the remaining language arts and literature time this week to work on our essays, since both subjects were cut short by the half day on Wednesday. The kids were able to share their essays with partners on Friday to give critical advice about their writing. I want the kids to get in the habit of using this time not to focus on editing, but to really read with the intent of giving feedback that helps in clarity, organization, and interest. Being critical of another’s work makes us more mindful of our own.

In religion, we learned about the remaining mark of the Church – that it is one. During our discussions about this concept, the kids came up with a few questions to ask Fr. Moore when he came in. One of the questions, “What does it take to be sent to Hell?”, led to a conversation about Heaven. The kids have been really engaged in their time with Fr. Moore and I appreciate his willingness to set his lessons aside to explore and answer the burning questions in students’ minds. As I told them at the beginning of the year, this is their time to figure things out about their faith. Clearly, they are not afraid to ask, and that’s great about them.

In social studies we continued our lessons about the formation of governments, particularly as it relates to the formation of our own young nation. The kids were able to discern the essential question (the focus of our faculty professional development on Wednesday) of this unit: How do governments avoid the abuse of power? Next week, I will have them write an essay with this topic as a culminating activity/assessment of what they learned. Not only will this assignment help them to summarize their learning, it will also help them to understand the value of good note taking. Students continue to learn about events that led up to the American Revolution and have been making placards for the history timeline in our classroom. It’s really fun to watch this timeline grow along with student learning.

You should have received an email about our Touching Safety lesson that I will be teaching on Monday. Please also look for a permission slip (on orange paper) that was sent home with your student on Friday. This is for the eighth-grade fall retreat on Friday, October 29th at St. Joseph’s Parish in Ferndale. I have asked for drivers to and from the event, so if this is something you can do, even if only one direction, please indicate such at the bottom of the form (and the number of students you can take). Please also note that the permission slip has a back that must be filled out. Please return the permission slip on Monday.

Upcoming Events:

  • Touching Safety lesson Monday
  • Door decorating contest Wednesday (in case your kids ask for some art supplies)
  • Pumpkin carving contest Thursday (kids bring already-carved pumpkins to school for judging)
  • Orange and Black Day Thursday (no masks, blood, gore, or weapons, and modestly appropriate costumes)
  • Class Halloween celebration Thursday afternoon (kids are planning this)
  • Fall retreat all day Friday (leaving from school at 8:15, returning to school by 2:45)

Have a great weekend,

Chris

10/17/21

October 17, 2021

Dear Parents,

Sorry for the late newsletter – I had to take advantage of the sun yesterday to get as much fall gardening done as possible. The kids have been working hard in the garden as well – the We Grow Garden. We spent a couple of hours there on Tuesday as part of our service-learning project. As you may recall, this will be our year-long service-learning project. Now that we have had a chance to get our hands dirty in the garden tilling, spreading compost, planting cover crops, and harvesting fall crops, we will begin learning how what we do impacts others.

In religion this week we continued to learn about what it means to be catholic. We learned about the early church and how it had to come to terms with the idea that the church was not meant only for the Mosaic people, but for all – both Jews and Gentiles. We thought of ways that we see this universality and welcoming in the church in general and also in our own parish. We reviewed for and then took a religion test. You can look for the results of that test in FACTS.

In language arts, we studied verbs – this time focusing on the perfect tenses: past perfect (we had planted), present perfect (we have planted), and future perfect (we will have planted). We learned that these tenses are meant to place an action in time relative to some other action in time. An example of this is in the sentence By the time they arrived, I had planted the entire garden. The past perfect tense here shows that the planting I did happened before their arrival. We will continue looking at other verb tenses next week. We finished our Latin Lesson 3 and took a test on both definitions and spelling (both are important). You may have noticed that your kids were asked to use these in a cohesive paragraph as a review for the test. This is more difficult than simply using them in individual sentences, but it has value in that it requires the kids to think about how they might incorporate their Latin vocabulary more universally. Many paragraphs showed great creativity and depth of thought.

In literature, we worked on a culminating project for the novel The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. We began presenting these at lunch and the few we have seen so far are awesome. After each one, we discuss what was different about it and analyze the way it was done. We are learning from one another what it takes to capture an audience and present effectively. I am hoping that some kids will start choosing this format for their book reports. I have received only two book reports so far this month. Please remind your child that I need two by the last school day of the month (October 29th). Also, please be sure to sign the reading log your child should be turning in each Monday to show what they have read and that they have read a minimum of 250 pages during the week. Beginning Monday, we will be writing an essay about Charlotte Doyle. This will be the students’ first long, formal essay. I will be using an outline to guide them, which should help for this first one.

In social studies we learned how governments organize themselves to avoid the abuse of power. The students understood the importance of this after having read The Tragedy of Antigone in which Creon (the king) abused his unlimited power and chose to do things that were not necessarily for the common good. The kids learned about our system of three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judiciary) and checks and balances, all of which are meant to balance power and keep one person, group, or branch from having too much control. We then learned how the founders based their thinking on the Magna Carta (the English charter that created a greater balance of power between the monarchy and the nobility). The students also learned about British Parliament (akin to our Congress) and the English Bill of Rights. They created a comparison chart in their social studies notebooks comparing the Magna Carta to the English Bill of Rights.

I will be teaching our fall Touching Safety lesson soon (probably Monday, October 25th), so please watch for an email with an explanation of the program/lesson and opt out form early this week.

Have a great weekend,

Chris