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Classroom Newsletter for the Week of March 9, 2020

Dear Families,

I hope that you are all healthy.  I heard that one of my students prayed for me since I was not at school on Wednesday and Thursday.  (I stayed home with my son who has a double ear infection.)  Thank you for your prayers and thanks to Mrs. Williams, substitute extraordinaire!

I realize that there are many questions and disruptions of work, school, routines, and shopping trips for toilet paper, but I have so much faith that we will get through this.  The faculty met today to explore ways to provide your children with the best education that we can give them.  I will email you on Monday to let  you know what that will look like for 5th graders.

I put together some of the work that I hope students will do for the next six weeks.  If you are available to do so, please pick these items up from the classroom on Monday.  Each student has these materials on his or her desk.

Remember that the Bellingham Public Library provides books through Libby if your child needs reading materials.

https://www.bellinghampubliclibrary.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/libby-on-smartphone-and-tablet.pdf

This week:

Math: adding and subtracting fractions

Reading: “Where the Red Fern Grows,” “Old Yeller,” “The Secret Garden,” and “Summer of the Monkeys” were read in literacy circles.  Students looked for the author’s purpose and the setting.  When these books are finished, we will be reading “Esperanza Rising” as a whole class.  This will be done during the distance learning days.

Writing: Some students finished their business letters and couplets.  Students reviewed capitalization of proper nouns.

Science: Students planned the making of their robots and told the class why they chose certain materials to withstand the atmosphere of the planets their robots will be landing on.  We were going to create the robots in the classroom and label each part.  We’ll see how this will work out in the upcoming week.

Religion: “God Saves Us” chapter 13.  Students wrote about the Prodigal Son and God’s mercy.

Spelling: Unit 19: -tion, -sion, -cian endings

Cooking Class: Students cooked curry garbanzo beans with coconut milk.  It smelled incredible!

Please see the specialists’ classes by visiting their webpages.

Thank you to everyone who went to the school auction to support ACS!  Thanks to all of the volunteers to put so much time into setting up and cleaning up.

Prayer corner:

I pray for all of the parents and children who are struggling through these school closures and business closures, for all of those who are now jobless as a result, and for the faithful who are hurting spiritually because they miss the mass.  I ask for comfort for all, for communities to rally, for people to help one another, and for flexibility during these uncertain times.  I especially pray for the first responders, doctors, nurses, and their families.  God bless you all!

 

 

Classroom Newsletter for the Week of March 2, 2020

Don’t forget to spring forward this weekend!

Congratulations to the 5th grade Math Olympians: Nicolas, Marshall, and Peyton (who likes lollipops).

Monday was Read Across America Day!  A HUGE thanks goes out to Mrs. Whelan for all that she did that day: making snacks for each child in the school, making posters for each classroom’s Dr. Seuss book, providing project resources for classes, and sharing her wonderful ideas.

Math: Chapter 6 Adding and subtracting with fractions

Many students enjoyed working with fraction tiles.  I think that these are great tools for students to use while they are learning how to add and subtract fractions. If your child would like to have his or her own set, I would strongly recommend buying a set for home use.  Our sets came from Launching Success here in Bellingham, courtesy of parents who donated them to the class.  They can also be ordered on Amazon.

Literacy/Writing/ELA: Students chose poems, learned about some of the elements of poetry, and looked for those elements in the poems that they chose.  Students tried to memorize the poems and then recited them in class.  We began to write couplets which we will make into poetry pinwheels next week.

Here are some of the students who recited poetry:

Genevieve’s poem

Daliah’s Poem

Liam’s Poem/Song

Taylor’s Poem

Nicolas’ Poem

Micah’s Poem

Bea’s Poem

Faith’s Poem

Students finished their final projects for their literacy books from last week and turned them in today.  Here is an image of some of the creative work they did:

Students brainstormed ideas that they’d like to use for their business letter.  Students were given a rubric, a sample business letter, and a prewrite paper to get them started on their business letter to Mr. Anderson.  The paper was sent home as homework over the weekend so that a rough draft could be written.  The letter is to be persuasive, yet professional and cordial.

Students are to be reading their famous women’s books at home in order to create their PowerPoint that will be due on the last Tuesday of March.

Students reviewed contractions.  Students learned how to correct sentence fragments to make them into complete sentences.

STEAM: Students presented their ideas on how to create a robot that could withstand the spheres of the planets they previously studied.  Next week students will take their ideas and the suggestions of their peers and create their robots.  If there are any special materials that they’d like to bring from home, they are welcome to do so.

Religion: Students learned about the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation and the season of Lent.  A few were tested on their 5th grade prayers and Deacon Kheriaty answered many of their questions about sin and forgiveness.  Fifth graders are scheduled to have a discussion with Father Moore and they have their own time set aside for confession later this month.

Next week students will be reading new literacy circle books.

We will NOT have school next Friday because teachers will be at workshops.

Upcoming:

March 7th Archery Tournament

Growing Great Kids Auction & Gala

March 9th– Pizza Lunch 

March 9th Sehome High School 8th Grade Parent Information Night, 6:30 pm AND Meridian High School 8th Grade Parent Information Night, 7 pm 

March 10th Bellingham High School 8th Grade Parent Information Night, 6:30 pm 

March 16th– School Bus meeting for the 2020-2021 school year in the school library at 8:15 am 

March 18th- Early Release at 11:45 am, casual uniform AND 7th Grade parent meeting on their Wash. D.C. trip for 2020-21, Ms. Gottschalk’s room @ 5 pm 

March 25th– Hot Lunch 

Check out what is happening in the other teachers’ classes by clicking on their classroom webpages!

 

Newsletter for the Week of February 24, 2020

Dear Parents,

Please be aware that student groups and emails are to be used for academic purposes ONLY.   This has been a problem this week.  Students have been advised.

Math: Students began the Chapter 5 decimal division test today.  Some did not finished and as it is not a timed test, they can finish it on Monday.  Marshall is becoming the classroom tutor and teaching other students how to do the story problems.  Thanks, Mr. Brandt, teacher extraordinaire!

Spelling: Unit 17 /k/ and /s/ sounds spelled with -c, -ch, -ck, -ce, or -ci

Reading: Students are finished reading, “The Secret of NIMH,” “The Giver,” and “A Wrinkle in Time.”  Next week we will begin a unit on poetry.  We will read, explicate, and write poems.  If your children have a favorite poetry book at home, please have them bring it.  Students turned in their African-American biography reports.  These were done for extra credit.  If students are not satisfied with the grade they earned, they can add more to their reports to earn a higher grade.

On Monday, students went to the library to check out books on famous women for their March book report.  That book report will be done in the form of a PowerPoint.  Students who want to do the book report using another medium are welcome to do so after they present their ideas to me.  Ngansi did this when she made a bus for her Rosa Parks book report rather than doing the rainbow book report.  It was fabulous.  Liam added a family photo to his book report, showing the motel that is now a museum of Dr. King.  What a great personal touch!

Here are just some of the educational, creative, and beautiful reports:

Writing: Holocaust final drafts are due on Monday (the original due date was 2/28/20, but students wanted more time).  Students are finished with their final drafts of their Holocaust reflection paper and their friendly letters to Mrs. West.

STEAM: Students presented the natural/human-made disasters that they researched and presented the ways in which the 4 spheres were impacted by the events.  Students were graded on how they explained the interactions of the spheres, in other words, how one sphere’s change impacted other spheres.  Timmy, Baynes, Sam, and Micah did a great job explaining how the hydrosphere impacted the geosphere, in turn changing the biosphere so that it was affected by the atmosphere when the Chernobyl disaster happened.  Julian, Faith, and Liam also did a great job explaining the interactions of the spheres when the Amazon Rainforest is cut down.

Religion: Students studied Chapter 14: The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.  Students did an examination of conscience and wrote plans to avoid sin.  We discussed how merciful God is and his love for us.

Social Studies: Students are studying the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, particularly the three branches of government.

For information on what is happening with Spanish, music, and P.E., please visit those teachers’ webpages.

Upcoming:

February 27th Bellingham, Sehome and Squalicum High Schools visitation for 8th Graders, 12:30-2:30 pm 

March 2nd Read Across America.  Come to school dressed as your favorite book character!  

March 4th Squalicum High School 8th Grade Parent Information Night, 6:30 pm 

March 7th Growing Great Kids Auction & Gala 

March 9th– Pizza Lunch 

March 9th Sehome High School 8th Grade Parent Information Night, 6:30 pm 

March 10th Bellingham High School 8th Grade Parent Information Night, 6:30 pm 

March 18th- Early Release at 11:45 am, casual uniform AND 7th Grade parent meeting on their Wash. D.C. trip for 2020-21, Ms. Gottschalk’s room @ 5 pm 

March 25th– Hot Lunch 

 

 

Classroom Newsletter for the February 18, 2020

This week…

Math: Division by decimals

ELA/Writing: Editing, revising, and rewriting Holocaust research papers, friendly letters, and Holocaust reflections

Reviewing capitalization, correct grammar and punctuation, proper format of bibliographies, proper use of parenthetical citation

Literacy: Answering inferential and literal questions from “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH,” “The Giver,” and “A Wrinkle in Time” with a focus on the author’s purpose

Religion: Chapter 14 the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, reviewing the Act of Contrition

STEAM: Students used the research they did on various human/natural events to show their understanding of how an event can begin to impact one sphere.  Then students will show how the results of that change affects other spheres.

Social Studies: Students read in their history books how the U.S. government was created after the Revolutionary War.  On Wednesday, Judge Mura (ret.) taught the class about the three branches of the government of the United States and how each branch works.  Thank you for coming to our class, Judge Mura!

For information about what students are learning in their specialist classes, please click on the teachers’ links.

Pictures from Mrs. Campbell’s physical education class:

Upcoming:

February 25th Hot Lunch 

February 26th- Ash Wednesday, School Mass at 12:30 pm 

February 27th Bellingham, Sehome and Squalicum High Schools visitation for 8th Graders, 12:30-2:30 pm 

March 2nd Read-A-Thon  

March 4th Squalicum High School 8th Grade Parent Information Night, 6:30 pm 

March 7th Growing Great Kids Auction & Gala 

March 9th– Pizza Lunch 

March 9th Sehome High School 8th Grade Parent Information Night, 6:30 pm 

March 10th Bellingham High School 8th Grade Parent Information Night, 6:30 pm 

March 18th- Early Release at 11:45 am, casual uniform AND 7th Grade parent meeting on their Wash. D.C. trip for 2020-21, Ms. Gottschalk’s room @ 5 pm 

March 25th– Hot Lunch 

Classroom Newsletter for the Week of February 10, 2020

Happy Saint Valentine’s Day!!!

I hope that you are enjoying the long weekend.

This week in 5th grade…

Math: Division with decimals 5.1-5.3

Spelling: Words with suffixes ending in -er, -est, -ing, -ed.  Students sang, “Drop the e, add -ing!”  They don’t like that.  🙂

Writing/ELA: Students learned how to properly write a friendly letter and they wrote a reflection piece on why it is important to learn about the Holocaust.  ELA: capitalization of proper nouns (names & special places)

STEAM: 4 spheres: biosphere, hydrosphere, litho/geosphere, and atmosphere and how they interact

Cooking Class: rainbow salad

Religion: Deacon Kheriaty had students work in groups to list the order of the mass.  Students studied the meaning and importance of the Holy Eucharist. Practice the Prayer for the Faithful Departed.

No art due to sports assembly.

Please see the specialists’ classes to see what students are doing in orchestra and choir.

Physical Education: Jump for Heart!

 

Upcoming:

February 17th– NO SCHOOL (President’s Day!) 

February 19th– Regular school day, not an Early Release as planned(Make-up for snow days missed.) 

February 21st- PTC Movie NightFrozen II!  See today’s envelope for a flyer.  BRING A CAN OR BOX OF FOOD FOR HOPE HOUSE!

February 25th Hot lunch 

February 26th- Ash Wednesday, School Mass at 12:30 pm 

March 7th Growing Great Kids Auction & Gala 

March 9th– Pizza Lunch 

March 11th– Hot Lunch 

 

 

 

 

Classroom Newsletter for the Week of February 3, 2020

Thank you for the birthday cards, presents, balloon, and cake!!!  You just can’t beat cake and coffee!

Happy birthday to Liam and Jermaine!

In January, the focus was on kindness.  This month, we are focusing on goodness!

This week students took the MAP tests in science, math, and reading.  There are a few tests to make up next week and those tests will be done with Mr. Anderson.  Thank you, Mr. Anderson!

Math: Students worked on decimal multiplication and decimal division using Base-10 blocks.

Spelling: Students studied words with prefixes co-, pre-, re-

Literacy: Students began their new theme on fantasy by reading, “A Wrinkle in Time,” “The Giver,” and “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” (A.K.A. “The Secret of NIMH”).

Social Studies/Writing: The rough drafts of the Holocaust research report were due on Friday.  I will be spending a large chunk of time editing the reports this weekend so that students will have them back on Monday.  Then they can revise them and turn in a final draft.

Mrs. Barbara A. West came to the classroom on Wednesday to share her father’s story about being on the kindertransport during the Holocaust.  She gave an amazing presentation and she answered many questions that the students had. The fifth graders knew so much of the background through all of the research they’ve already done.  Micah read a book about the kindertransport and was particularly able to connect with Mrs. West’s family history.

Religion: Students are reading about the Holy Eucharist.  We went to the church to understand the symbolism of the Sanctuary Lamp and what it means when it is lit.  Students were very reverent as we entered the chapel where we saw the tabernacle.

STEAM: Some of our STEAM time was taken up by MAP testing, but we began an new unit on the four spheres: biosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, and atmosphere.  For the next few weeks we will be studying how the spheres interact and how human activity impacts them.

I would like to congratulate the new members of the Boy Scouts who celebrated a crossover ceremony led by the wonderful Mrs. Webb.  I was honored to have been invited by the 5th grade boys to witness this important event.

Upcoming:

February 9th– Open House 2-4 p.m.

February 10th– Pizza Lunch

February 12th– Principal’s Coffee at 5 pm in the School Library

February 14th NO SCHOOL (Happy Valentine’s Day!)

February 17th– NO SCHOOL (President’s Day!)

February 19thRegular school day, not an Early Release as planned. Make-up for snow days missed.

February 21st- PTC Movie Night

February 25th Hot lunch

February 26th- Ash Wednesday, School Mass at 12:30 pm

Please click on the music, Spanish, and art teachers’ websites to see what students are doing in those classes!

 

Classroom Newsletter for the Week of January 27, 2020

Happy Catholic Schools Week!  We had lots of fun during Catholic Schools Week.

Sunday: Students went to mass in uniform to show their school pride.

Monday: There was an assembly with various organizations represented.  Each one supports families.  If you’d like to help, please put an item in the bins that are in the school lobby.  A list of items was included in an email that was sent out to families.

Tuesday: Students ate lunch with parents.

Wednesday: Students dressed up as someone whose vocation they admire.

Thursday: Students dressed in pajamas or college gear.  Third graders and fifth graders played together.

Friday: We honored alumni and saw the Variety Show.  Dr. Calderon came to class to talk to about his vocation as a medical doctor.

Math: This week students reviewed math on IXL.  Next week we will be studying decimal division.

Literacy: Students finished the books from the Holocaust Center of Humanity in Seattle: “Hana’s Suitcase,” “Behind the Bedroom Wall,” “Daniel’s Story,” and “Faces of Courage.”  Next week we will be reading, “The Giver,” “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH,” and “A Wrinkle in Time.”  The theme is…FANTASY!

Spelling: No spelling list due to CSW

Writing: Holocaust Research Report

Science: Students presented their Planet Posters.

Religion: Students studied the Sacraments of Confirmation and Baptism.

Next week students will be taking the MAP test.  Please be sure that their laptops are charged each night and brought to school each day.  Please check that each laptop is in top working condition.  Make up tests will be taken the following week.  Thank you!

Many important dates are coming up in February.

Feb. 5: State of the School

Feb. 9: Open House

Feb. 14: No School

Feb. 17: No School

Feb. 21: Movie Night

Feb. 25: Hot Lunch

Feb. 26: Ash Wednesday, Mass at 12:30 p.m.

 

Classroom Newsletter for the Week of January 21, 2020

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Overall picture of the weeks ahead:

  1. This week was a shortened academic week with no school on Monday to honor Dr. King and an early release on Friday.
  2. Next week is Catholic Schools week with minimal homework so that those rehearsing for the Variety Show can breathe a little easier.
  3. We have three MAP tests during the first week of February: on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Make-up MAP tests will be the following week. 5th graders will be taking the science, math, and reading tests.  Students must charge their laptops and bring them every day.

This week:

Math: Ch. 4 test multiplying decimals

Writing: Holocaust research report (Because of the snow days, the research report will not be done in time to be included on the first report cards.)

Literacy: Hana’s Suitcase, Faces of Courage (only the stories I chose), Behind the Bedroom Wall, Daniel’s StoryDaniel’s Story has graphic images, but I have gone through and put post-it notes over those parts of the book.  I have omitted some stories within Faces of Courage.  These are all Holocaust stories.  I am not attempting to “sugar coat” the Holocaust, but much of the information can be learned at another time, not in 5th grade.  Please continue to discuss this unit with your child as they research and learn new information.  As parents, you make the best choices of age-appropriate materials for your child.

Social Studies and Writing: Holocaust research and expository writing

Spelling: diphthongs ow, ou, oi, oy

Science: Since two of our science blocks are on Mondays and Monday was a holiday, the planet posters are not done.  We will finish them next week.

Religion: Ch. 6 Baptism and Confirmation.  Students brought some of their Sacramentals and gifts they received during their baptism.

The following prayers are the ones that 5th graders are required to memorize.  A few of the students have passed all the tests.  I will periodically test others throughout the year.  All students are expected to memorize them and be tested by May.  Due date: MAY

Prayers for the Faithful Departed:

Eternal rest grant unto him/her, O Lord. 

And let perpetual light shine upon him/her. 

May he/she rest in peace.  Amen. 

May his/her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. 

Amen.

 

The Joyful Mysteries

  1. The Annunciation
  2. The Visitation
  3. The Nativity
  4. The Presentation in the Temple
  5. The Finding of the Child Jesus After Three Days in the Temple

Act of Faith  

O my God, I firmly believe that you are the one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. 

I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches because you have revealed them who are eternal truth and wisdom, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. 

In this faith, I intend to live and die. 

Amen.

Jesus Prayer  

Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.      

Please click on the specialists’ links to see what is happening in their classes.

Upcoming:

January 25th– 31st– Catholic Schools Week 

Sunday: Catholic Schools Week Kick-Off:  Students wear their mass uniforms and show school pride at the masses they normally attend.

Monday: Honor Community Organizations that Honor Family Life.  There will be an assembly 10 a.m.  Baby items will be collected throughout the week.

Tuesday: Lunch will be from 11:30-12:15. There will be ONE lunch time for students to eat with their parents. Recess will be from 12:15-12:45. There will be ONE recess time for parents to play with their children.  If parents have multiple children in the school, please eat with all of them at once.

Wednesday: Students come dressed as a person whose vocation they admire.  Please have them practice a short statement that they can present to the class which tells about their chosen subject.  This can be a saint, a doctor, scientist, firefighter, soldier, priest, nun, etc.  It is also teacher day, so please have your child write a card or draw a pretty picture for their teachers: P.E., orchestra, Math Olympiad, choir, art, or Spanish.

Thursday: Honor Students Day: Students come to school in their pajamas or wear clothes of their favorite college or university.  5th graders do NOT bring a blanket, do not bring a stuffed animal, and do NOT bring slippers to wear with pajamas.  Wear school shoes.  Students asked me if I am going to wear pajamas or wear a onesie.  The answer is, NO! What a frightening thought… 5th graders and 3rd grade buddies will be playing a game together.

Friday: Mass uniform.  A distinguished ACS alumni will be honored at mass.  At 1:00, students will be able to watch the Variety Show rehearsal.  Snacks will be provided by the PTC.  I heart the PTC!!!  Thank you for all that you do!!!

January 27th Wrestling season begins 

January 29th– PTC Honors Teachers Lunch, 8th Grade MOD Pizza Fundraiser- You must mention the school by name! 

January 31st Variety Show at 7 pm in the Gym 

February 5th– State of the School Address at 7 pm (At least one parent is required to attend. Childcare provided.) 

February 9th– Open House 2 pm to 4 pm. All current families are asked to bring a prospective family for a visit. Receive two hours of credit towards your volunteer hours for attending. 

Monthly Book Reports Info

 

5th Graders,

  • Beginning in January, you will be presenting book reports. Book reports will be due on or about the fourth Tuesday of each month.
  • You will be reading an independent book outside of class and presenting the books in various formats.
  • It is important to remember that you will be reading this book on your own. Because of this, you may need to create a schedule as to how many pages you should read each night in order to have time to plan and finish your report.
  • Here are some project ideas: diorama, food representation, oral report in costume, timeline, stop-motion movie, rainbow report, poster, biography fold-out figure or a format that is pre-approved by your teacher.
  • Do not use the same project more than once. To clarify, if you do a diorama in January, do not do another diorama (unless you do a report in June).  Choose another option for a project.
  • All projects that earn a grade of 3 or above will be added as extra credit to your literacy grade.

See the chart below:

Month Theme Presentation
January Holocaust, fiction Diorama

1.      Choose one scene from the book

2.      Write a summary of the scene that you are depicting in the diorama

3.      When you present the diorama in class,  you must summarize the book and give details about the scene that you recreated.  Be sure that the book, the title, and author are included.

February Famous African-American scientist, explorer, doctor, professor, military personnel, inventor, or civil rights activist (no sports stars, no T.V./movie stars) Timeline

or

Biography fold-out figure

or

Rainbow report

·         Include at least 12 facts total.

·         You can do four facts for the beginning, middle, and end of their lives.

·         If the person is still living, include current information about what they’re doing.

Be sure that the book, the title, and author are included.

March Famous Woman (no movie/T.V. stars, no singers) PowerPoint

On the first slide, write the title of the book, author, and your name.

·         Include at least 12 facts total minimum.

·         You can do four facts for the beginning, four for the middle, and four for the end of their lives.

·         If the person is still living, include current information about what she is doing.

On the last slide of your Ppt, write a paragraph (at LEAST 5 sentences) telling what you found interesting about her, what you have learned from her life, and how she has inspired you.

April Famous Native-American, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, Hispanic-American, or Latino-American Biography fold-out figure

or

Rainbow report

or

Timeline

or your creative idea (get approval first)

·         Include at least 12 facts total.

·         You can do four facts for the beginning, middle, and end of their lives.

·         If the person is still living, include current information about what they’re doing.

Be sure that the book, the title, and author are included.

May Famous Artist of any genre (painter, dancer, architect, visual artist, etc.) “Movie poster”

or

Food representation (choose a theme or one scene from the book)

1.      Choose one scene from the book

2.      Write a summary of the scene that you are depicting on the poster or food art

When you present the poster or food art in class,  you must summarize the book and give details about the scene that you recreated.

Be sure that the book, the title, and author are included.

June (optional) Your choice!

Ideas: athlete, war hero, animal, president, saint, etc.

Your choice (even if you have used this format before)

·         Include at least 12 facts total.

·         You can do four facts for the beginning, middle, and end of their lives.

·         If the person is still living, include current information about what they’re doing.

Be sure that the book, the title, and author are included.

Samples of the formats: