Primary Grades Religion Teacher
Instructor: Sr. Margaret Sue   
Contact me by email at mbroker@shsm.org





 

 



 

 

Class Announcements
The First Week of November
I know that Mrs. Martin has mentioned the school Book of Remembrance and the altar or table of pictures for 'el dia de los muertos"
.We hear about Halloween, All Saints Day, All Souls Day, and " el dia de los muertos" at this time of the year. They actually all have much in common.. Halloween is a slurred or contracted form of "Hallowed Evening" ,"Holy Evening" , or " Holy eventide". These were greetings that people in more christian times gave each other on the holy night or evening before the feast of All Saints Day.
Halloween
Hallowe(d)
e en
v ing

​In earlier days many people went to church on the eve of All Saints Day to begin the vigil of the day to come. It was considered a very holy time. Like the feast itself, it was, and is about celebrating the known and unknown saints in heaven. However, it doesn't stop there. We are all called to holiness here on earth and so we should be able to speak of ourselves as saints. There are some churches who refer to their members as saints.
All Souls Day is a day to remember and rejoice and pray to and for our friends and loved ones who are face to face with God or are waiting to see Him face to face. The feast or season known as " el dia de los muertos" is a celebration of all the good that lives on in our hearts after our loved ones die. People celebrate with picnics, mementos, flowers, pictures,etc. It is a happy time of remembering. I think that we could say that this feast celebrates both All Saints Day and All Souls Day. There is a book called "Dia de Los Muertos" by Roseanne Greenfield Tong that might help us better understand this celebration.


Gesture before the Gospel
Sometimes people ask why catholics make the sign of the cross on their forehead, lips, and heart before the Gospel reading. The answer is quite simple. We do it, asking that the word of God might ever be in our mind, that His Word be on our lips, and that His Word be in our hearts. Some people say a simple prayer while making those three little crosses: May Your Word, O Lord, be on my mind, on my lips, and in my heart. There are different ways to make the sign of the cross also. Many simply use their thumb and make the small sign on their forehead, lips, and heart. Others put their thumb and a finger together( somewhat resembling a triangle and symbolic of the Trinity) make the three crosses, and some add a kiss at the lips.
blessings
Tomorrow is the feast of St. Francis. It is a good time to think about blessings. Francis praised and blessed God for all of creation. He sang "Be praised my lord for Mother Earth..." For him everything was a gift which needed to be thanked for as praise. How often do we think of praising God for our gifts of life, of love, of a planet home? Do we think about blessing our children before they sleep or go someone? Do we remember to bless our food before we eat it.Here at school each class asks a blessing upon the food we are about to eat. There are many versions of this blessing.
Bless us O Lord and these our gifts which we are about to receive......
God is great. God is good...
the blessing sung to the Johnny Appleseed tune
And then there are those wonderful homemade blessings that come straight out of our heart.

Take time to bless. Happy St. Francis Day.

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Feast of the Assumption
This coming Tuesday is the Feast of the Assumption of our lady into heaven. It is a holy day for catholics.In our S.C.J. parishes and schools the schedule of masses are as follows:
Monday, August 14th vigil masses
5:30P.M. atSt Gregory
5:30 P.M. at St.Joseph
7:30 P.M. at Good Shepherd
7:30 P.M. at Queen of Peace
Tuesday, August 15th masses
8:00 A.M. at Holy Spirit
9:00 A.M. at Christ the King
9:00 A. M. at Queen of Peace
1:40 P. M. at school
7:00 P.M. at Christ the King
7:00 P. M. at Holy Spirit


First Communion
This weekend many of our second grade students will be receiving their first holy communion. Let us remember them in our prayers. This is a very big step for these children and we pray that it will only be the first of many times that they will receive our dear Lord in communion. Since all the parishes here celebrate on the same weekend friends often are not able to be at each other's celebration. I know that some find that hard but for whatever reason that is the way this celebration is set up. So let us at least rejoice with them , even if we can't be with each other in person.
Holy Week
This is the holiest of all weeks in the christian church. We remember and celebrate what Jesus did the last week of His life with us on earth.May we all celebrate these days. In religion we have been using the Resurrection Eggs to learn about this.
Lent is on its way
Even though it seems as though we just came through the Christmas season we are close to Ash Wednesday.

On March 1st we enter into the lenten season with our Ash Wednesday Services. Here at school we will celebrate mass at 1:40 in the afternoon. The first and second graders are cutting palms from last year. We will burn the palms and make our school ashes from those burned palms.Lent is often called the Spring time of the Church's Year. It is a time to look at our life of service, love, giving, and sharing..May we all look at this season with a sense of what we can do and give rather than what can I give up.
Baptism of the Lord
Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This officially ends the liturgical season of Christmas. Normally it would be celebrated next Sunday but due to when Epiphany fell this year we celebrate the baptism tomorrow. In years gone by the Christmas season ended on February 2nd when the church celebrates the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. In the Greek and eastern rite churches it is on Epiphany that manifestations of Jesus are celebrated in one feast, His birth , the visit of the Wise Men, Jesus in the temple at age 12, and the baptism of Jesus. Personally I am glad that we celebrate each of those manifestations separately.
Next week
Next week we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Many years ago Mary appeared to a Mexican Indian named Juan Diego.As Juan crossed the hill of Tepeyac on December 9th that special year Juan heard beautiful music. Then Mary appeared and called Juan by name. The Lady told Juan that he, an Aztec, had been chosen to tell the bishop that Mary wanted a church to be built on that spot so that she could show her love for all her children.

Of course the bishop did not heed the request in the beginning. Finally the bishop told Juan to ask the lady for a sign. And most of the world now knows of the sign that Mary gave the bishop, roses in winter AND her picture on the tilma that Juan wore that day and in which Mary had wrapped the roses.The Virgin of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico.
St. Nicholas
Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Nicholas.Here are some things that we know about St. Nicholas:
  1. He is a saint.
  2. He is the patron saint of children and of sailors.
  3. He gave his goods to those in need.
  4. He was a bishop who worked hard for his people.
  5. According to tradition he was known for throwing bags of money through open windows or down chimneys.
  6. ​He lived in Asia Minor, now Turkey.
Here is a great website.

www.stnicholascenter.org

YouTube also has some good material such as
The Story of Saint Nicholas(for children) by Victor Hoagland
St. Nicholas Music Video for Kids by CCCFamily Films
Wee Sing Jolly Old St. Nicholas

Halloween
Halloween is a time for fun. It is a time to pretend to be someone we are not.In chapel on Friday we studied two stories of people pretending to be who they were not. The first book was Miss Nelson Is Missing. Miss Nelson plays a funny trick on her students to help them learn about respect. It was fun and no one was hurt. The second story was about Esau and Jacob from the book of Genesis in the Bible. In this story the trick was mean and the brothers did get hurt. We discussed how it is okay to pretend that we are someone else as long as we remember that the one God loves is the person under the mask and costume.....The one God loves is us.
Travel

As some of you know, I was blessed to be able to go on a community pilgrimage in September. It was titled "Walking in the Footsteps of Mother Alexia." Thirty sisters and associates of my religious community went to Germany. There we visited the house where Mother Alexia was born, the chapel where she was baptized, where she worked after her father died, and the place where she started our community: the School Sisters of Saint Francis. We visited our motherhouse in Erlenbad and our sisters in the state of Baden and the countries of Austria, and Switzerland. We spent one day each in Austria and Switzerland and prayed and ate with our sisters there.

After Germany we went on to Assisi, Italy, the home of St. Francis and Franciscanism. Pope Francis had been there the week before we got there so many door ways were festooned with flowers. We saw where Francis was born, preached, prayed, and died. We saw the baptismal font where he was baptized. We walked miles each day trying to see as much as we could and to feel his spirit in our souls. The holy cards I gave the students were purchased at the Basilica of St. Francis.

I prayed for the students, the staff, and all our families wherever I went during my time away from school. I loved every moment of the time but am glad to be back.
Coming back just in time for the Feast of St. Francis was good. The classes for the feast were very much alive in me.
Mother Theresa of Calcutta
This week we saw Mother Teresa of Calcutta officially elevated to the status of Saint Teresa of Calcutta. She is certainly a model for all of us in her care for God's poor and neglected. Very likely most of us will not feel the call to such direct service to God's needy ones. However: we are all called to that service in one form or another. Some literally feed the poor. Others of us help donate money or food to give to those who provide the direct service. Mrs. Martin's emphasis on our children learning about service to those in any form of need is one way the seeds of service, love, respect, and care are sown and grown in the hearts of our children We don't have to be a Mother Teresa to learn early in life about the dignity of all God's people..
Mass
This morning Fr. Thi again celebrated Mass with us. Again he taught the children a song. His homily was about belonging to God and caring about God's people.

In Pre- kindergarten we have been talking about what friends do and how they should act. This follows the story of Jesus calling Peter and Andrew and James and John to come follow Him and to be His friends.

In kindergarten we have been learning about how God created the world and about taking care of the world.

In first grade we have been learning about how special we are. We learned that we find out about God's love for us in the Bible. That led us into God's holy Word as found in the Bible and that the Bible is divided into two big parts. We have also been reading the first story in the Bible- the story of creation.

In the second grade we have been learning about being a welcoming community at home, school, church, scouts, etc. We have read the story of the disciples leaving Jerusalem and going back to Emmaus because they were disappointed that Jesus hadn't come to them. We talked about the custom of welcoming strangers in the time of Jesus. We found out that because the disciples followed that practice they welcomed Jesus into their home and recognized Him in the breaking of the bread.. This is a powerful introduction into communion.

Tomorrow the sisters of my community will travel to Milwaukee for the funeral of our beloved Sister Margaret Held who was killed in her home last Thursday. Please keep us, her family, and our community in prayer. Also, do the same for Sister Paula Merrill's family and community. Your prayers and wishes are deeply appreciated.

Thank you all.
Building up the temple
At mass this past Wednesday Father Thi taught the children the following song:

Building up the temple
Building up the temple
Building up the temple of the Lord

Building up the temple
Building up the temple
Building up the temple of the Lord

Brothers, come and help me
Sisters, come and help me.
Building up the temple
Building up the temple
building up the temple of the Lord 2 times

I am the temple.
You are the temple.
We are the temple of the Lord.

Building up the temple
Building up the temple
Building up the temple of the Lord.

The children loved the song. Ask your child to sing the song. Join in.
If any one has this music I would love to borrow it.
Father's point was that we are supposed to help build each other up, not tear them apart.



summer time
Dear Parents,

Summer time is a wonderful time for children. Enjoy time spent with your child and read to and with them. It would be great if some of that reading could be Bible stories. There is an innate love of God in children. It's intuitive, gentle, and loving. Help that aspect of your child to grow every chance you get. Go to church with your child. Please don't take a vacation from church. God doesn't take a vacation from us and we shouldn't take one from Him.

If you have time during the summer to drive out to the garden here at school, do so. Watch everything grow. If you are so inclined, pull a few weeds. In August the first and second graders will get to help harvest what is there. The garden is a place to get in touch with God in His creation. Peace and blessings during this time of rest from the hustle and bustle of school.
Our Book of Bible Stories
This week the second graders will be making

a book of favorite Bible stories. I am encouraging parents to help their children work on a first draft. By the end of the week each child will write his or her story on special paper. Then each one will illustrate the
story. We will ship our 31 stories and illustrations to a special publisher called Student Treasures. The hardback books should come back to us in about 10 working days. The publisher will print only as many as are paid for when we ship it this Thursday..So, if you want to purchase a ( or more than one ) book be sure to send the money to school with the order form.
ALL FORMS NEED TO BE RETURNED SIGNED WHETHER YOU WISH TO PURCHASE A BOOK OR NOT.

Congratulations to Mac Collins and Tripp Martin who received their First Communion this past Sunday at St. Ann Catholic Church on Highland in Memphis.

Our Book of Bible Stories
This week the second graders will be making

a book of favorite Bible stories. I am encouraging parents to help their children work on a first draft. By the end of the week each child will write his or her story on special paper. Then each one will illustrate the
story. We will ship our 31 stories and illustrations to a special publisher called Student Treasures. The hardback books should come back to us in about 10 working days. The publisher will print only as many as are paid for when we ship it this Thursday..So, if you want to purchase a ( or more than one ) book be sure to send the money to school with the order form.
ALL FORMS NEED TO BE RETURNED SIGNED WHETHER YOU WISH TO PURCHASE A BOOK OR NOT.

Congratulations to Mac Collins and Tripp Martin who received their First Communion this past Sunday at St. Ann Catholic Church on Highland in Memphis.

Work Day
Thank you to the ten families who came on Sunday and helped in the courtyard. You were fabulous! Mrs. Winans took a crew out to work in the vegetable garden and the rest worked in the courtyard. We did a lot of cleanup, but there is a lot to do yet. Next week we have our Mississippi Accreditation team here at school. If anyone else wants to help, just let mknow. me
Feast Days
Happy St. Patrick's Day for yesterday and St. Joseph's Day tomorrow.
Holy Week
This Sunday, Palm Sunday, begins the holiest week of the year in our Christian calendar.
In Pre-K and K we will talk about this week called Holy Week. Since we have already talked about Palm Sunday, our emphasis will be on The Last Supper or Holy Thursday,
Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. When the children bring home papers please ask your child to tell you about what was studied or learned.

In the 1st grade we will continue working in our religion binders on our Holy Week stories. I encourage you to open eggs in the Resurrection Eggs set and share the stories.

In the second grade we will continue making our " Easter Story" booklets.
I hope that you enjoy the Resurrection eggs that your child made last week.
Encourage your child to continue to open the eggs and tell the stoy represented on the egg shapes.


Have a blessed Easter. Celebrate this great triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday/Easter.
Lent
In the second grade we have been learning about the heart of Christ and His great love for us. This week we will begin making a Holy Week booklet. We need to start now since it takes about two weeks to do if we spend time learning about each event. That will take us up to Spring Break. When we come back after that it will already be Holy Week, the holiest of all weeks in the year for christians.

We will also begin studying about Holy Week this week for the same reason that we need to start now in the second grade. You might want to begin reading chapter 21 in the Gospel of St. Matthew. It tells the story of Holy Week.

If you google " Holy Week for Kids" or " Holy Week for Young Children" you will find some special activities to do with your child.

Pre-K and K will work on their Lenten material.
Last week the Kindergarten classes learned about Zacchaeus and the Pre-K learned about Jesus feeding more than 5ooo people.
LENT
As we continue our journey to Easter, please talk to your child about Lent as a time for us to tell our Loving Father in heaven how much we love Him and that we want to thank Him for sending Jesus to us. We have talked about Jesus as God's greatest valentine to us. In the second grade this week we are going to be learning about the love of the Sacred Heart for us.
Meetings
Parents of children preparing for their First Holy Communion,
There will be a meeting for all parents this coming Saturday. The English Language meeting will be at Holy Spirit Church in Hernando.
The Spanish Language meeting will be at Christ the King Church in Southaven.
Both meetings will be from 9:A.M. till 12:00 noon.
These meeting are for the parents. We do not provide the parent meetings at school. You must attend one of the two meetings listed above. In school we will start the First Communion classes the week after Catholic Schools Week.
Congratulations to all the children who received the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance or Confession. The children were very happy about their experience with this sacrament. Thank you for all the additional help received at home.
First Reconciliation
Reminder:

First reconciliation or confession for the students in all of the SCJ parishes is on January 16th at Christ the King Church. There will be a free pancake breakfast afterward. Let the CTK office know how many people will be there for breakfast.
Preparing for Christmas
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Here is a wonderful website for the Feast of St. Nicholas:
http:/www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/stories-more/
There are story books that you can read with your child by simply clicking on each page. You will find the story books under the St. Nicholas Center heading
on the right hand side( the first category). There are also all kinds of activities.For some reason this will not link up. Perhaps if you type it in you will be able to get it.

You Tube has some good videos to help with understanding the season of Advent.
Advent HD by Catholic Online
What is Advent Again? by De La Salle
Bethlehem Rhapsody(with lyrics) by You Tube pub. April 20,2012
Our Lady of Guadalupe HD by Catholic Online,pub. on Dec. 3,2015
Jesse Tree(North PresChurch)


The spanish Our Father
Padre Nuestro
​Pah dray new ways troh
​Que estas en el cielo
​K a stahs ain ail see ay low
Santificado sea tu nombre
Sawn tea fee cahdo too knome bray

Venga tu reino
Vein gah too rain oh
Hagase tu voluntad
Ah gah say too vo loon tahd
En la tierra como en el cielo
Ain la tea ay rah ko mow ain ail see ay low
Danos hoy
Dah nose oy
​Nuestra pan de cada dia
New ay stroh pahn day kaw dah dee ah
Y perdona nuestras ofensas
Ee pear dough nah new ay strahs oh fence ahs
Como tambien nosotros perdonamos
Ko mow Tom bee ain know so trahs pear dough knaw mow s
A los que nos offenden
Ah lows K know s oh feign dain
No nos dejes
No know s day hays
Caer en tentacion
​Ki air ain tayn tah see own
Y libranos de mal
Ee Lee bruh know s day mall
Amen
Ah men


Padre Nuestro
We are learning to say the Lord's Prayer in spanish so that as a school we will all be able to participate when the school says it in spanish each morning in December. We will also pray it in spanish at our school wide masses.
The Lord's Prayer
In chapel yesterday Mrs. Pennington had a wonderful lesson with the children on the Our Father prayer. Line by line they discussed the meaning of the words we say. The prayer in traditional form was on a large chart. As each phrase was discussed, the "meaning" words were put on the chart. The end result was this.

Our Father of everyone on earth
who is in heaven,
God, Your name is holy.
We want the world to be a beautiful
peaceful place.
We want to live like God wants us
to live.
God, please make sure we are fed
and help us to feed the poor.
Help us not to harm or hurt people
and to forgive those who harm or hurt us.
Help us to make good choices
and to stay away from bad choices.
Amen
Mass
Yesterday Father David celebrated Mass with the entire student body. He celebrated a mass in honor of Saint Francis. Father spoke of Francis' love of nature and how he cared for every living thing. He then tied into this Pope Francis' call to all of us to protect Mother Earth. He reviewed with the students some of the things we do at school to protect Mother Earth: recycling paper, coke cans, plastic, lunchable containers, drink pouches, etc. He had the students try to come up with things we do. He also talked about the children's garden out back. We had a large stitching of Saint Francis in the gym. It was made by the artist Sister Helena Steffensmeir.
Angels and Saints
On Friday we celebrated the Feast of the Guardian Angels. Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Francis after whom Pope Francis took his name. On Wednesday we will celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

In the Catholic Church we pray a lot in October that we will all learn to respect life in all its forms, aspects, and ages. St. Francis had great love for all things created by God, whether it be a stone, a bird, the sun, or a human being. Pope Francis urges us all to follow in St. Francis' footsteps and to respect all of creation including this wonderful world.
Pope Francis
TThis past week we spent time learning about Pope Francis.
We learned the names of three symbols : miter, crozier, pectoral cross In all the classes we made crosses similar to the Pope's cross with sheep and Jesus, the Shepherd. In the second grade we made miters. In all classes we learned a bit about this amazing Pope. We are doing what he asked everybody to do. We are praying for him each day.
Birthday of Mary
This week we celebrated the Birthday of Mary. We talked about birthdays, what we do on birthdays, and what birthdays signify.Depending on the grade level, those discussions were very different. We found out that the earlier christians felt that it was important to remember the birthday of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Whenever we think of Mary we automatically think of Jesus. Mary brings us to Jesus. In pre-k we colored a birthday cake and sang happy birthday to Mother Mary. In kindergarten we colored a picture of Mary and a cake. In first grade we read about Mary's birthday and colored a picture of St. Ann holding Mary as a baby. In the second grade we had a special reading along with a picture. Their discussion and insights, naturally, were deeper than the others. Ask your child about Mary's birthday.
The beginning days of religion class
After giving the little ones a chance to adjust to their new teachers, classes, and schedules we started religion classes. Children have such unbounded faith! I love visiting with them.

In Pre-K we have spent the past two weeks learning about how Jesus had important work to do when He grew up. There was so much that He needed help.And so Jesus walked along the lake shore and saw Peter and Andrew fishing. He called to them and said," Come follow Me." And they did. Jesus then found James and John mending their father's fishing nets. He asked them to follow Him also. And they did. We made Andrew and Peter and put them in their boat. Homework went home with notes and a story to share. Thanks to those who shared with their children.

In Kindergarten we learned that things nave a beginning. The alphabet begins with A.

We begin counting with the number 1. And then we found out that God's wonderful storybook, the Bible, has a starting place too. We have been learning about how God created the world, the sun and the moon and stars, day and night, sky and land, water and dry land, plants and animals and people. Oh yes. And God rested. Last week we made a cover for a little book about some of the things God made. The 6th graders are putting the pages together. We will then add the covers from last week..Two flyers or leaflets have gone home: one on the Bible and one on creation.
summer
As we come close to the end of our school year remember that our religion and religious practices do not end. Your children learn so much by observation. This morning at Mass I watched a mother kneel down to pray. Her little one watched her and then knelt down beside the mother. Pray with your children. Go to church. Periodically go through the religion leaflets that went home each week in Pre-K and K. Go through the religion folders and binders in the first and second grades.. Don't let your child forget the words to their prayers. If they are still having trouble with them, help them throughout the summer. I hope to see all our little ones back with us in August. I have enjoyed teaching the children about God during this past year. I have also enjoyed having the Kindergarten and first graders for library. Keep reading all through the summer.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus
This month we celebrate Mary in a special way. Just as we celebrate our own earthly mothers on Mothers' Day, so too, we celebrate our heavenly mother, Mary. We Christians honor Mary because God honored her by choosing her to be the mother of Jesus. This week before mass we will have a May crowing ceremony. We will start in the gym at 10:00, have the May crowning, then celebrate mass.
I do hope that you are reviewing the words to the prayers that we sent home last week.
Please review the stories on the back of the leaflets brought home each week ( Pre-K and K )
Here are a few important dates:
This Week...Book Fair(Buy One Get One
MAY 6..........may Crowning
May 7/8........Muffins with Mom
May 15.........Denim Day
Prayers
This week a list of prayers will go home. It is a list of the most common prayers we say in school in the lower grades. We hope that you will help your child learn the prayers if they are still having trouble with the words.

Alleluia is our favorite Easter word. We use this word in church all during the 50 days of Easter. Some of the little ones sing it almost every day. Let us continue to rejoice in the Lord.
Poor Boxes
Poor Boxes are due. If your child hasn't already returned the poor box sent home at the beginning of Lent, please have it returned so that we can send the money off to help children in need. This is one part of almsgiving that children can do. It is even greater when families join in the almsgiving.

This is a program of children helping other children in greater need than themselves.
Poor Boxes
Poor Boxes are due. If your child hasn't already returned the poor box sent home at the beginning of Lent, please have it returned so that we can send the money off to help children in need. This is one part of almsgiving that children can do. It is even greater when families join in the almsgiving.

This is a program of children helping other children in greater need than themselves.
Easter
Easter is our church's holiest season. We just celebrated the Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Liturgically it is one long but beautiful service of three days that lead us into this season of "Alleluias." Alleluia is our new Easter word and it will be said and sung many times during these 50 days . The gospel of today's mass told the story of dispirited apostles. The angels had told the women that Jesus was risen. The women had run to Jerusalem and told the apostles that Jesus was alive. Jesus had foretold it, but these apostles just couldn't quite believe. They left town and headed for Emmaus, some seven miles from Jerusalem. As they were walking a stranger joined them and joined in their discussion. Their hearts were warmed as he discussed the scriptures with them.They still did not recognize Jesus-not until He broke bread with them.Through this season we will frequently come to this theme of Jesus with us, our communion with Jesus. If your child is preparing for his or her first communion, take the opportunity to talk about these stories. This is the best possible church season to prepare for this sacrament.
At the forty day point we will celebrate the ascension of Jesus going to be with His Father in heaven. Ten days later we will celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
Two Saints this Week
eThis week we celebrate the feast of two great saints. On Tuesday we celebrate the feast Of St. Patrick. Born in what we call England today, Patrick was kidnapped as a young teenager, taken to Ireland, sold to a Druid chieftan, and became a slave. He spent most of the next six years as a shepherd with little companionship except for the animals and God.In time Patrick was able to return to his home and family. He finished his education, became a priest and bishop, and returned to Ireland to teach the people about God. Legend is that Patrick used the shamrock to teach the people about the Blessed Trinity. Ask your child about the Trinity. In K,1, and 2 we will be doing different shamrock activities.

On the 19th we celebrate the feast of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary. We will be talking about what the children know about St. Joseph, about what he did to take care of Mary and Jesus, and what you do to take care of your family. We will learn that when we care for our families we care for God's family. And God sees that it is good. Little is known about Joseph. During Jesus' hidden years Joseph was taking care of Him in his own hidden way.
Religion classes
We have been talking about Lent as a time to get our hearts ready for Easter. In scripture we read about the need for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Fasting can come in many forms. We can fast or give up food, bad habits, time consuming things that keep us from doing things we should do, saying mean things,etc.. Almsgiving is about service to people in need. At the beginning of Lent the children were given a coin folder or "poor box". This is a program for children to help children. It is one form of almsgiving that we have talked about. We have also talked about food for the food pantries, angel tree gifts, and our Denim Day dollars. There are many ways to pray, to fast, and to give alms.

The second graders are making a set of drawings depicting Jesus' last day on earth. In the catholic church we call these reflections the Way of the Cross or The Stations of the Cross. It is one of many prayer forms frequently used during Lent.
A Day of Many Names
Today is a day of many names. It is called Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, and Pancake Day. Fat Tuesday, Mardis Gras, and Pancake Day are all names referring to the fact that at one time christians did not eat meat or meat by-products during Lent. This necessitated using such things as lard and eggs before Lent. Another name for lard is fat, The day before Lent was always Tuesday so the day had names about the fat and the Tuesday. Pancakes were a good food for using up eggs and fat. In many areas the custom of having pancakes or even pancake parties on that Tuesday gave the name Pancake Day. In some place catholics went to church and confession on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. A very old word for forgiven is shriven, and so the day became known as Shrove Tuesday,
Ash Wednesday
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent for christians around the world. Ashes are an outward sign of our sinfulness and our need to turn more deeply to the Lord. In ancient times the Jewish people wore sackcloth and ashes as a sign of their sinfulness and their need for prayers and as a sign of their repentance. The early christians followed this same practice. Repentance was a very public thing. In the eleventh century, Pope Urban ll asked all christians to wear ashes on Ash Wednesday. It is certainly a day on which we publicly show everyone a sign of our belief in Jesus and our need to turn to God.
Take Home Materials
Dear Parents, In Pre-K and K religion, leaflets and /or special run-off pages are sent home at least twice a week. Please take time to sit down with your child and have your little one tell about the paper: What did you do with this?, Who is in the picture?, Can you tell me what the picture is all about?, Did Sister tell you a story from the Bible? You can keep going as long as there is interest. When the commercial leaflet is brought home, please don't just throw it away. Have your child tell you about the story on the front of the leaflet. The story is on the back of the leaflet. Read it and continue the discussion. The more interest you show, the more they will show. The constant re-telling is what helps make the learning become an integral part of their life..

In first and second grade we also frequently have papers not in their religion notebook. Talk about the message told in the picture, paragraph, or writing. Encourage discussion. See what they remember. Last week during Catholic Schools Week the first and second graders did a service project for one of the local nursing homes. We made large Valentine Day cards with a combination of messages, drawings, and stickers. I took them to the nursing home the other day. The woman was so excited. She said that it was really special for the People there to get something made just for them. During Lent every year the bishops ask us to collect money for needy children in mission areas. This is a program that lets children help other children less fortunate than they.
Boxes will go home very soon. Please encourage your child to give from their allowance, etc. Our children sometimes prove to be the best missionaries in the world.
February 2nd
Today is another of those days with several names. Yes, we celebrate the legendary groundhog. However, of much more importance, we celebrate the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. It is a feast that helps us to remember that God keeps His promises. Long, long before Jesus was born, God had Isaiah tell the people that He, God, would someday send a savior. That promise was kept when Jesus was born. God promised Simeon that he would not die until he saw the savior. We remember that today. Simeon praised God, sighed a sigh of relief and said, " Now, oh Lord, you may dismiss ( let die) your servant for I have seen the Savior of the world." In other words,God had kept his promise. Jesus was presented to the shepherds. He was presented to the Wise Men. At 40 days of age He was again presented in the Temple in Jerusalem. Isaiah had said the Savior woul be a light to all nations, Simeon and Anna say that again. Today, or at the weekend masses, we had the blessing of candles and a reminder that the second theme of this feast is Light. The Light refers to Christ, the light of the World. Candles used for baptisms during the year are often blessed on this day. The candles of Candlemas are to remind us of our baptism.

Tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr. If you are lucky enough to go to mass you may have your throat blessed.
Grandparent/Best Friend Day

Our program was simple and lovely this morning. Little Ingrid Michael, in kindergarten, played the violin. Each class sang songs. A poem in honor of grandparents was read by one of the older students. The program began with the scouts presenting colors and the recitation of the Pledge to the Flag. The program then ended with the school song. After that people dispersed to the Book Fair area, to have pictures taken, to visit classrooms, etc. Thank you to all who came to make this day so special to our students. Several students also read essays they had written.
Catholic Schools Week
This week we celebrate National Catholic Schools Week. Across our nation catholic schools will celebrate and honor what they are about. We celebrate and remember those who came before us with their dreams of a catholic school and an exemplary education all wrapped up in a christian catholic setting. It wasn't easy.Permits for building supplies were hard to obtain with all the war restrictions. There was very little money and most of the original school was built with volunteer labor, Father teaching them how to do everything. And he could be found doing much of the work himself!

In September of 1947 the dream came true. The school opened with 17 students and two sisters and a lot of prayer. The dream is still here. The school is bigger. It looks very different, but it still strives to provide academic excellence within the setting of our faith. So let us remember those who haven given, and still give, to keep the dream alive. This week in special ways we remember our communities, our families, our pastors, our students, and all who work to provide this wonderful amazing thing we call education.

The Baptism of Our Lord
This weekend we celebrate the baptism of Jesus. This feast ends the Christmas season in the Catholic Church.
The Feast of the Holy Family
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. Sometimes we forget that Jesus was part of a family just as we are part of a family. He had a mom and dad to give Him love and guidance as He grew. Mary and Joseph taught Jesus His prayers and religious rituals as a member of a Jewish faith community. More likely than not Joseph taught Jesus how to make chairs, cribs, beds, tables, toys, and whatever else he built as a carpenter. And as Jesus learned to walk and run, they had to fix his scraped knees and arms.

We don't know a lot about Jesus' life as he grew up. We do know that Mary, Joseph, and the unborn Jesus traveled to Bethlehem, that Mary and Joseph presented Jesus in the temple when He was 40 days old, that shepherds and Wise Men from the East visited, that the little family fled to Egypt and lived as immigrants in a foreign land, and that eventually they returned to their home in Nazareth, and that at the age of 12 their was an amazing episode in the temple in Jerusalem. Then we know only that He grew in stature, grace, and age.
Christmas
Christmas is more than a day IT IS A SEASON IN OUR HEARTS. IT IS AN ATTITUDE . It is a time of saying yes to God, a time of "birthing" Christ to those we meet. It should be a joyful time of celebrations in the home, at church, and with others. The liturgical season of Christmas is celebrated for several weeks after the actual day. We celebrate Mary's Day, the Holy Family, Three Kings Day, and the beginning of Jesus' public ministry with his baptism. We kneel in wonder and awe at the physical birth of Jesus. We wonder at the arrival of the Maji. We marvel at the Father's manifestation at Jesus' baptism. This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased . Listen to Him.

Classes
We have been learning/reviewing the story of the Annunciation to Mary by the Angel Gabriel and how our God asked Mary if she would be willing to be the earthly mother of the /son of her God. God did not force her, any more than he forces us, to make Christ incarnate in our lives. These Marian feasts we celebrate during Advent constantly remind us of our " Thy will be done" and assure us that Mary models that "Amen" to us.
Trex Plastic Recycling
Please remember to save and send to school plastic for our Trex recycling program.. A lot of the plastic Trex recycles is plastic that doesn't go in the regular plastic recycling. We have two bird houses and two benches made of recycled plastic. We would love to earn another set as we help protect Mother Earth. Please save:
dry cleaning bags
bread bags
napkin, paper towel, bathroom tissue bags
produce bags( potato, celery, etc. )
newspaper bags
grocery bags
food storage bags ( ziplock, sanwich)
plastic air pillows
plastic case wrap ( water, beverages )
palllet wrap.

The 2nd graders will soon be tested on the Act of Contrition which we have said every class day since school started.

All my religion classes have had a unit on Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Talk about things we have to do for our pets if we have them. Shepherds aren't the everyday thing in most of our lives. The PK and K classes have been working hard on the concept of sharing as a way to show that we care about people.PK brought home a run off sheet to go along with their religion leaflet. Please cut out the pieces and play the game with your child. It's all about sharing.
Thank you.
All Saints/ All Souls
At this time of year we read and hear so much about Halloween, All Saints Day, All Souls Day, and el dia de los muertos. They actually have a lot in common.Halloween is a slurred or contracted form of " Hallowed Evening" or holy evening,holy even, holy eventide before the feast of All Saints Day. In earlier days many people went to church on the eve of All Saints Day to begin the vigil of the day to come. Like the feast itself, it was , and is about celebrating the known and unknown saints in heaven. However, it doesn't stop there. We are all called to holiness here on earth and so we should in all honesty be able to speak of ourselves as saints. There are some churches who refer to their members as saints. I told the students that if we had the money we should be able to have a banner clear across the front of our school proclaiming " HERE ARE THE SAINTS OF SACRED HEART SCHOOL." All Souls Day is a day to remember and rejoice and pray to and for our friends and loved ones who are face to face with God or are waiting to see Him face to face. The feast known as el dia de los muertos is a celebration of all the good that lives on in our hearts after our loved ones die . People celebrate with picnics, mementos, flowers, pictures, etc. It is a day of happy remembering: I think we could say it celebrates both All Saints and All Souls Days.
Holy Water
Why do we use holy water upon entering a catholic church?
The water in the fonts, dishes, baptismal spaces, etc. has been blessed by a minister of the church and is called holy water. Water and the words " I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" are used in every baptism. By dipping our fingers into the water and signing ourselves with the Sign of the Cross we are reminded of our baptism.
Upcoming Feasts
On Thursday of this week we celebrate the Feast of the Guardian Angels. .In Greek the word angel means messenger. Angels are messengers from God. We each have a special angel given to us by God. In the Bible God says," See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way..." Exodus...23:20 I've given my angel a name and that helps with staying aware of my gift from God. You might talk to your child about their Guardian Angel. Discuss naming and making personal their angel.

On Saturday, October 4th we celebrate the Feast of Saint Francis. Francis, born into a wealthy family, gave up his riches in order to serve God in a special way. He became known as The Little Poor Man of Assissi. He loved all God's creatures and sang their praises constantly. He called all of creation his brothers and sisters, and is the patron saint of ecology. Believe it or not , he even has that title in many secular books on the environment and ecology.

We will be talking about both of these feasts in religion class.




The cross
Yesterday was the Feast of the Exhaltation of the Cross.
The readings reminded us of Jesus' great gift to us and our duty to honor Jesus name. In all the religion classes we have been talking about the meaning of the prayer with which catholic christians begin and end their formal prayers, the Sign of the Cross. We have learned ( I hope ) that the "AMEN" at the end of the prayer means that we agree, we truly believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And all christians have that same belief, they just don't necessarily put it into that short prayer. It is however, stated in the Nicene Creed which is used in many christian churches.

Tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Mary had many sorrows during her life time. She had to face Joseph with her pregnancy. With Saint Joseph Mary had to leave the comfort of her home and go to Bethlehem for the census. After Jesus' birth she and Joseph had to flee to another country in order to escape Herod's soldiers. Even in the Temple where Mary and Joseph took Jesus, Simeon told Mary, " A sword of sorrows shall pierce your heart." That must have grieved Mary deeply. And connected to yesterday's feast, Mary stood there as her beloved Son was placed on the cross. It is no wonder that these two feasts are celebrated next to each other.
Birthday of Mary
September 8th is the Feast of the Birthday of Mary.
We do not know on what day Mary was born. We, as Christians, honor Mary, the mother of Jesus. Early on the Christian Community decided that it was important to honor Mary in a special way and chose a birthday celebration as one of those ways. And so , each year in the catholic faith tradition we take time out to honor Mary and remember the grace of her birth. According to tradition we give Anna and Joachim as Mary's parents. Also, according to tradition, like Sarah and Abraham of the Old Testament, Mary's parents were elderly when their child was born. We can only imagine what joy came to them with the birth of their daughter. You celebrate your child's birthday each year. Take time to celebrate Mary's birthday with your child(ren). Talk about how you chose your child's name. There must have been much discussion among Anna and Joachim trying to decide on a name for their child. We know Mary under many names given to her by Christians over the years. You may wish to discuss some of her many names.

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Sacramental Preparation
Students receiving the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion
Please see the schedule below regarding information for the parishes of Christ the King, Queen of Peace, Holy Spirit, Good Sheppard and St. Gregory’s. While our school does provide sacramental preparation, we are not a parish school and do not provide parent sessions. You will need to be in contact with the religious education directors at your parish. The students normally receive the sacraments in their own parish church. The directors are listed below.

Christ the King: Donna Williamson
Queen of Peace: Victoria Stirek
Holy Spirit: Amanda Ready

St. Gregory and Good Sheppard please contact Sr. Emily at Christ the King.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation
The Parent Meeting for all children receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation is November 8th from 9:00-12:00 at Christ the King. This is a diocesan requirement for all parents.
First Reconciliation will be on January 17th at 9:00 at Christ the King for all parishes. There will be a pancake breakfast immediately following. A breakfast signup sheet will go home with students at a later time. The Knights of Columbus need a head count.

First Communion
February 7th at 9:00 will be the parent meeting for first communion for all parishes at Christ the King.
There will be a First Communion Retreat for students at Christ the King on May 2nd from 9:00-12:00.
There will be a First Communion Retreat for students at Holy Spirit on May 16th from 9:00-12:00.
There will be a First Communion Retreat for students at Queen of Peace on May 2nd at 9:00-12:00.
For retreats at St. Gregory’s and Good Sheppard please contact Sr. Emily at Christ the King.

First Communion Times
Christ the King and Queen of Peace will celebrate the Sacrament of First Communion at all the Masses the weekend of May 16-17. Students should attend their normal Mass time.
Holy Spirit will celebrate the Sacrament of Communion on Sunday May 17th.
St. Gregory will celebrate the Sacrament of Communion on Sunday May 17th.
Good Sheppard will celebrate the Sacrament of Communion at all the Masses the weekend of May 17th .


What We're Doing
PreK has been learning about how Jesus called Andrew, Peter, James and John to follow Him. He calls us to follow Him too. We are also learning what it means to be a friend.

K has been learning about the Bible as the most special book in the world. This week and next week we will learn about the first story in the Bible, the story of creation.

In the first grade we are learning about how special we are and that our life is a gift from God and our parents.. A gift is a sign of love.

Grade 2: We have studied the concept of belonging to a set of communities such as home, family, school, church, sports, scouts, etc. Our church should be a welcoming community.
We are beginning to learn the Act of Contrition so that the students preparing for their first reconciliation will learn it. As a community we will all help each other learn the prayer.
Please keep the extra copy of all the important sacramental dates.

Library: We are talking about the parts of a book,such as the spine, front and back cover, and the title page and what all that means.
Conferences
Conferences are this Friday, March 7, 2014.
If you have an only child in the school( no siblings in any other room ) you are free to come as early as you like to conference with your child. The front office will be open by 6:45 A.M. and will let you in. If you would like to come earlier than that simply let me know ahead of time so that I can go up front and let you in. Remember that the teachers do not have to be in their rooms until 10:00 so you cannot come to my room early and expect to go to another classroom expecting that teacher to be ready for you unless they have told you that they are also having extended hours.

Come to help your child explain their work. Be honest but encouraging. Praise whenever and wherever possible. On the other hand do not praise where you know praise is not due. Children must be held accountable for what they do and do not do.
Ending February
We will finish our unit on Lincoln and Washington this week. We will also spend a lot of time this week on the literature of Dr. Seuss and enjoy his marvelous play with words.
Google Dr. Seuss for children and you will find all kinds of fun things to do. His is a wonderful world of fantasy, realism, and politics.
Please remember to study flashcards and math facts every day. And intersperse into reading questions about what is being read.
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The Olympics
We have enjoyed learning a bit about the olympics and Russia, this year's host country. We learned that Russia is the biggest country in the world. We learned about Russia's flag and found out that its colors are the same as ours. We read three Russian folktales and found out that they are also similar to ours. We learned about nesting dolls and even made our own version of nesting dolls.
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The Sacred Heart in the Jesus Commons
Holy Love
      Yesterday in chapel Mrs. Winans reflected with the first and second graders  about the true meaning of the essence of Valentines Day-LOVE.  After letting the children talk about what we do on Valentines Day, Mrs. Winans proceded to discuss the main symbol used on this day.  It took the children no time at all to come up with the symbol of the heart. From that point on she moved to the heart as the symbol not only of our love, but that of God who loves us so much that He sent us His only begotten Son Jesus .Following that thread of thought took us to the name of our School. SACRED HEART SCHOOL.  Mrs. Winans then reflected with us on the meaning of Sacred as holy, thus talking about the Sacred Heart school community as a community of holy love. Woven throughout the reflection was the phrase " God loves us so much that He will never stop loving us no matter what we do." We ended with a story about a child who really didn't think that he could ever love or even tolerate a neighbor named Tim. In the end he discovered compassion and love.  Thank you, Mrs. Winans.

     

Catholic School Is Here
   Catholic Schools Week has begun.  Tomorrow is Grandparent or Best Friend Day.  Remember that if you wish to allow your child to go home with someone after the program we need a permission note and the person must be on the list to pick up your child or you need to put them on the list.

     The program begins at 9:00.
     The children must wear complete uniform attire tomorrow.
 
     On Tuesday we have mass at 9:00 and they may wear
          jeans
          tennis shoes
          school shirts

          Wednesday is Pastor Appreciation Day and the children may wear their PJs.
Catholic School Week
    Catholic Schools Week is almost here with all of its fun.  Mrs. Spencer is getting ready for Grandparent/Best Friend Day on Monday, January 27th.  Mrs. Spencer would love for you to email her pictures of your child's grandparents.  Or, just send an old fashioned picture picture.  Mrs. Spencer will scan the picture and return it to you.
Reading
With the beginning of this new semester it is very important that your child has instant recognition of vocabulary words. The words must be recognized the second they are seen, with no hesitation, no trying to figure it out. There will be more and more vocabulary to learn.

Please practice the flashcards every night. Read and have your child re-read the same passage trying to sound just like you. You read it again in a different tone of voice, again having your child re-read sounding like you.

Study those flashcards.

Read!

Study those flashcards.

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.
Fabulous website for Your Child
 Here is a wonderful website for your child.  It has many different divisions such as religious studies, language arts, math, games etc.

www.topmarks.co.uk

www.topmarks.co.uk/Christmas/NativityStory.aspx

www.topmarks.co.uk/ChristmasGames.aspx


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Angel Gifts
      Thank you all for your great generosity toward our two angel children.  Your generosity toward those in need is absolutely wonderful.   And I know that for some of you this isn't always easy.  I purchased gifts for three children fron the angel tree at our church and I know how much it costs to buy things.  I know that J esus treats these items as given to him.  In the Bible we read ..." Whatever you do to the least of these you do to me."
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Broccoli
      Here is broccoli from the children's winter garden.  How about that?
Christmas Program
      This is one final reminder about the Christmas Program.  Red or green shirts with the uniform navy pants or blue jeans is what Mrs. Spencer sent to everyone in her e-mail as the accepted attire.  The shirts may be solid red or green or red or green with nice Christmas graphics.  No tennis shoes, please.


Thank you very much.
Looking Ahead to Christmas
      Our Christmas program is coming soon.....December 12Th.
Mrs. Spencer would like the children to all wear red or green Christmas shirts with their jeans or school pants..  

We are again doing the Trex plastic wrap recycling program.  Save clean plastic bread bags, laundry bags from the cleaners, ice bags( dry of course), bubble wrap, plastic packaging wrap.
Thanksgiving Thoughts
     As Thanksgiving nears let us take time to do what is in both syllables of the word:  thank those to whom we owe thanks, beginning with our Maker: and give in many different ways.  Give  thanks.
                                                                                                                    Give alms.
                                                                                                                     Give gifts.              
                                                                                                                  Give good deeds.
                                                                                                                  Give loads and loads of love.
     Some Thanks from this end.

Thank you for caring so much about your child.  Thank you for helping your child study and learn.  Thank you for sharing with those in need on our Denim Days. Thank you for helping as journal moms and dads,  Thank you for counting out flashcards.  Thank you for making flashcards. Thank you for saving Boxtops for Education, Labels for Education, Coke tabs, and coke lids and codes.








      
Pumpkins
his past week we spent studyng pumpkins: how they grow and the parts of the pumpkin. Using our Scholastic magazine, we learned about headlines, captions, labels, and bold print,
As you read the newspaper help your child to find these print features.
Caterpillars and Cooperation
      This week we all worked together to make our version of Eric Carle's caterpillar.  Each child did a segment, which when put with forty some other segments,  produced a magnificent caterpillar who now "crawls" across the entire wall across from our bathrooms.  The sun and the flowers are made from large circles which the children worked on in groups of three.  
     As part of our study we did a great job of learning about metamorphasis and the life cycle of a butterfly.  We also started working at finding specific text within a piece of writing.  Believe me when I tell you this is a major piece of learning--as difficult as can be imagined for six and seven year olds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     Each child also made his or her own individual small caterpillar.  They have learned much about the art medium of working with tissue paper which is Eric Carle's main art medium..
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An Individual Caterpillar
 
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Our Caterpillar
 
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Our Caterpillar
 
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our caterpillar
 
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Eric Carle, Author and Illustrator
     
this week and next week we will continue our study of Eric Carle and his works in preparation for our trip to the Orpheum to see the live production of The Very hungry Caterpillar as well as Little Cloud and his travels through the sky, as well as the story of the Mixed-Up Chameleon.
     Some of the skills we will be studying are, the metamorphasis of the butterfly, the three main body parts of an insect,calendar math related to the metamorphasis of the betterfly, compound words, syllabication, changes that take place in the caterpillar as well as changes that the children have gone through in their lives so far.  We will be comparing 5 or6 fiction and non-fiction books about butterflies.
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Woops! That was the wrong picture.
 
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Parent-Student Conferences
      Thanks to all who came for conferences.  It seems that the winning favorite thing for the parents was the stories and illustrations in the writing journal!    Thanks to the journal moms and dads.
Columbus, the Sailor
     This week we are learning about Christopher Columbus the great sailor who believed that the world was round and actually proved it.  Did he get where he thought he got?  No.  Indeed he did not get to India.  Instead he found a land full of people that the people on his side of the world didn't know existed.  And the Taino people met people they knew nothing about.  The people were not Indians because they were not in India.  Columbus called the native people Indians because he thought he had arrived in India.  The name has stuck through all these hubdreds of years even though it is an incorrect name.  As we read and studt this week we are trying to put stries into sequence, find main ideas, find details that verify some statement, etc..
Southaven Library and Chick-fil-A
     This afternoon the librarian from the Southaven library and the owner of the Southaven Chick-fil-A resturant made a visit to our school to show their appreciation for so many students registering or updating their library cards in September.  The Kid Cow from Chick-fil-A made a grand appearance to the delight of our pre-K through fifth grade students.  She even danced when we sang our school song, and what a fabulous rendition it was!  Both of the speakers talked about the value of reading.  Ms. Rae talked about the good reading does to the brain.  Thanks to all who participated in this event and allowed our school to win the cow visit.
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The Kid Cow
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Reward Day
A Big, Big Truck
     To the amazement of the first graders an 18 wheeler rolled onto our campus this morning with a gigantic load of mulch..I wish you could have seen the children's eyes as that truck came in.  From where they stood on the hill it was unbelievable.  They clapped and cheered as the driver managed to go around the circle.  While the children are on spring break the men are going to fill in the playground areas with new mulch, -non-dyed mulch.  They are also going to fill in some holes on the grounds.  Time and rain wreak havoc on mulch filled areas.  If your child talks about the big truck, believe what is said.
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Truck with Mulch

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Truck with Mulch
Chalk Festival
     Thank you to all who participated in the Chalk Festival.  It was amzing to see the art produced both by individuals and by families. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves immensely and it was fun just walking around watching people work.  The pictures are still here, so if you haven't seen the work, please come by and admire it before the next rain washes it away.
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Chalk Festival
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Chalk Festival
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Chalk Festival
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Chalk Festival
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Chalk Festival
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Chalk Festival
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Chalk Festival
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Chalk Festival
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Chalk Festival
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Chalk Festival
The Feast of the
 
The Feast of the
 
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Apple Tasting
 
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Apple Tasting
 
Johnny Appleseed
     As you can tell by now, we are learning about Johhy Appleseed and apples.  Tomorrow is Johnny's birthday.  As we enter into the fall season and celebrate Johnny Appleseed's birthday it is the perfect time to introduce tall tales and exaggeration.  It is a great time to learn a little about the season's of the apple/appletree.  We have been trying to find words to describe apples:  juicy, tart, delicious,sweet, crunchy, wonderful, tasty, etc.  As you enjoy the apple and or Johnny Appleseed books with your child, talk about what happens at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the book.  With another book, on another day, talk about a more detailed sequence of events: what happened first,  what happened after that,  after that, next, following that ,etc.  Good reading.
Southaven Library Contest
      Don't forget to go to the Southaven library and sign up for a card.It doesn't matter where you live, or even if you have a card somewhere else.  If you already have a card, get it updated.  The school with the highest percentage of people doing this gets a visit from the Chick-fil-A cow and coupns for free icecream.  Just a little side trip could help our school out  a lot..






fil-A
Chalk Art Festival
Don't forget the Chalk Art Festval on October the 6th. Come and have great fun.There will be all kinds of groups here to do art with the children. There will also be lots of great music.
Test Week
     This week the older students will be taking their standardized tests.   This means that our extra classes will not be at their regular times nor their regular days.  We are trying to work out something for each day if possible.  It may or may not happen, but we are doing our best.  P.E. class WIL be onThursday.L 
Constitution Day is September 17th
 Constitution Day is on September 17th.  In preparation for this day we have been studying a book of non-fiction called “Bubble Land”.  The book helps the children learn what happens when there are no laws.  Ask your child what happened in Bubble Land when there were no laws to help the people.

     As a follow up to Bubble Land we read a Reading a-z booklet called” Laws for Kids”  This story explains that laws are rules everyone must follow to protect people and property.  Most pages begin with the words “A law says…”.Students have the opportunity to connect to prior knowledge as well as to identify cause-and-effect relationships about laws.  It considers laws about pets, such as tags and leashes; about cars, such as seat belts and child seats: about walking in crosswalks and not crossing unless there is a walking signal, in such places where there are crossing signals; about riding bikes, such as wearing helmets, using bike lanes where they exist, and riding with the traffic; about not picking flowers in parks( or flowers that don’t belong to us) and about putting trash in trash cans, not on the ground.

     Paralleling needing rules in Bubbble Land we talked about the need for our early states to have rules also.  We even learned that the men who were chosen to make up the rules were called the Framers.  Of course the children wanted to know why there were only men among the Framers, so we talked about the fact that in those days women were not allowed to do many thing that they can do now.  Of course I don’t expect that all the children will remember this.  My hope is that at some future date when this topic comes up it will not feel like something entirely new.

 

    The Orpheum and The Very Hungry Caterpillar

 

     We have made reservations at the Orpheum to see” The Very Hungry Caterpillar”and other Eric Carle stories .  The date for the show is October 31 at 10:00.  The cost will be $8.00 for the students and $15.00 for chaperones.  At this point I am not sure what our cost for the bus will be.  A permission slip with all needed information will soon follow.

 

        Scholastic Book Club Orders…Added time if Necessary

 

     I will give another couple days if needed to get in your book orders. For those who prefer to order online, go to scholastic.com/readingclub and register.  You will have to enter our class activation code which is  HJZ2W .    Submit your order.  For those who prefer, just fill in the paper form and return it to me with the money.  If you send a check be sure to make it out to Scholastic.

 

    Sunflowers and Plant Parts in Science Class

 

     Since the students are learning all about plants and their main parts, we went out to the garden and pulled up two sunflowers and two okra plants.  They now hang on the walls in the hallway with labels of all the main plant parts, also on the walls.  Come and enjoy our live plant parts.

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Our Gigantic Sunflower
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Flashcard Work
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Tasting Party
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Tasting Party
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Tasting Party
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Tasting Party
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fLAG mAKING
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PEPPERS
Gardens
Dear Parents,
     We have been enjoying the vegetables in the garden.  The carrots, okra, and cucumbers are gone, but they'll come back next spring.  We are getting ready to try a little winter garden so the children can see a garden from planting through harvesting in one school year( that is, if we don't have an early frost).  It is so good for the children to understand tha food doesn't begin in the grocery store.  In science Mrs. Winans has been studying the parts of a plant.  So now we have okra and sunflowers from the garden hanging on the wall in the hallway, all labeled.  You might review the main parts of a plant and the function of each.
     As with all assessments, there is something to be learned.  We see strengths and weaknesses.  Of all the assessments done in September I feel the most important ones deal with the alphabet, the letter sounds and sequence, colors and color words, plain basic flat shapes:  square, triangle, rectangle ,star, heart, and rhombus.  I know that we called the diamond shape a diamond.  Today, however, we use the term rhombus.  When you see the shape use both terms and it will soon be a part of your child's vocabulary.  Being able to write, and recognize the numbers and number words is also very important at this stage.  Each child has a number journal in which they will freqently write their numbers.  The challenge is to be able to write fom 1 to 1,000 before the end of the year.  It is much more difficult than we would think.
     We are currently working on a unit on the concept of rules as related to a story called Bubble Land and as it relates to our constitution.
     Here is a web site you might be interested in looking at these days.   Scholastic.com/Parents.
Clifford, the Big Red Dog and reading
Clifford is a favorite among children. I will be sending homeClifford books every night. Read, read, read. There is a whole range of reading levels and interests in any family and in every classroom. Enjoy the books. Share the reading. You read. You read and have your child read the same thing after you, trying to sound like you. Let yor child read to you. Have your child find all the words they recognize and read them to you. Make flashcards of some words in the story and let them write a little story using the flashcards. Play games with the story content and see who ( you or your child ) can find the word that best answers a question you might ask. Help your child feel great about books and reading books. On another day I will put in some pictures of our tastin parties.
This summer
Dear Parents,
Thank you so much for all your help with your children this year. We did have a good year and and should have a great year next year.

In order to help your child stay up to par this summer read, read, read, and read some more. We also sent home a red folder that we called Mrs. Stanford's language folder. It is full of good work to finish. They also have a packet of contraction work. Mrs. Pennington also sent home the undone pages of the supplemental math workbook. Continue to study the flashcards each week. Read, read, read, and read some more. Each nine week period I gave you your child's paper work for that nine weeks. If your child can do all of that work they will do fine. Read
End of Year Skill Review
I will be sending home a list of words your child should have mastered this year. Included will be the basic vocabulary from the reading text book, from class composed stories, and from the Dolch Basic Word List. I will not attempt to alphabetize the words. Many, many of them will be repeated in the different lists. That is exactly as it should be.

In math your child should be able to add and subtract all math facts through 10, with immediate, instantaneous recognition. If your child is still counting on their fingers, using other objects, or still in need of a number line, he or she does not know their number facts! The answer should be as instantaneous as the recognition of their name...NO THOUGHT.....NO COUNTING
Another basic skill is the ability to read number words such as two, eight...eighty-five, ninety-four, etc I cannot tell you in words that are strong enough how important these skills are. Second grade will be comparatively easy if this is all mastered. On the other hand, if it is not mastered,your child will struggle. We have drilled and drilled and read and read ,studying these skills. You have a file box of flashcards that we have asked you to study every night. Keep these flashcards and continue to study them during the summer. Make math flash cards and study them also.

I am not trying to scare you but these are expectations of the second grade teachers from the first day your child walks through the door next August.
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CBHS Jazz Band
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Zucchini Seeds
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Zucchini Seeds and Name Tags
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Planting Zucchini Seeds
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Planting Zucchini Seeds
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zucchini seeds planted and all lined up
Planting turnip seeds in the room
This week we began our unit on enormous things.The different versions of the folktale THE GREAT BIG ENORMOUS TURNIP have enlarged our vocabulary wit words such as: tugged/pulled, budge/move, stuck fast, pulled with all their might, they huffed and puffed, We were also introduced to some interesting Russian names such as; Ivan, Luba,Natasha,, Olga, Aloysha,Anya,Manya,Dedushka, Babushka, Mashenka,Geouchka, and Keska. This has been a great opportunity to talk about respecting people and their names.

We mixed some soil and planted tiny turnip seeds just to feel them and then to awtch them grow. And they are growing. Our hope is to be able to plant the big garden next week.

Thank you again for all the soil, sand and peat for the beds.

All picture orders Spring pictures) are due by Monday of next week.
Enormous Things
We are now beginning a unit on ENORMOUS things. From their reader we will begin with The Great Big, Enormous Turnip. This version is retold by Leo Tolstory and is a Russion version of this ancient tale. We have five differerent versions which we will compare by characters, names, and setting. Basically the plot is the same . We will then read about other enormous plants,sandwiches, and lies!

Thank you for the garden materials. This begins our big gardening season and matches our current book on food.

Please continue to work on using the correct verb tense and good adjectives. Our unit will provide lots of examples of quotation marks, a newly introduced skill.

Please, please study at least some flashcards daily

Math facts must be memorized, not counted out, etc. That's fine when first studyng the facts, but by now the facts through ten should be part of your child's " math D>N>A> "
The Little Red Hen
This week we begin a short unit on two folktales: The Little Red Hen and How Zebras Got their Stripes.The children should be able to tell you that a folktale is a story that was TOLD over and over before anyone ever wrote it down. Now when someone writes the story the way they know it, it usually says RETOLD BY-------. There is also usually a lesson to be learned. The Little Red Hen tells us about cooperation or its opposite and about needs and wants. The hen and her chicks need food just as we do. We also need food, shelter, clothes, and love and care. The story will be read from several different books. We will also read a new book about the Red Hen making pizza. The text to self lesson here is the advantage of making a to do list before tackling a job such as grocery shopping. In line with the Common Core emphasis on non-fiction we will also read two non-fiction books on real chickens.
Some good new vocabulary we will meet: grain wheat scythe scycle mill thresh flour bread ground(past tense of to grind)

In math the children will continue to work on facts, to add and subtract two and three digit numbers, to master skip counting, to be able to identify ones, tens, and hundreds in numbers, and to read numbers such as seventy-two, thirty-six,etc.

We are studying nouns, verbs, and adjectives. With regard to verbs, please help your child recognize and use the correct past tense of verbs such as: am, is /are, was get,gets, got, getting find, finds, foung, finding.
Holy Week
This week is the holiest week in the year for us christians. Those of us who went to church celebrated Palm Sunday. Talk to your child about what this day is/ was all about. What do we remember? How do we celebrate Christ as important in our lives? Ask what the donkey in the Resurrection Eggs symbolized. Have your child tell the story of the apostles going and getting the donnkey, about Jesus' ride into Jerusalem, and about how the people acted. What did they do.

W have also studied the story of the Last Supper- the last meal that Jesus ate with his apostles before he died. Again, ask your child about the stories to be remembered when we used the Resurrection Eggs and the symbols of the cup and of the praying hands. This week we will talk about Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

As you talk about these holy days, ask questions about what happened, why they happenened, what happenened as a result of certain things. Not only will you be helping your child better understan this week's events, but you will also be strengthening your child's comprehension as they make and confirm predictions, sequence events, and relate them to specific acts of Jesus. These are all Common Core skills that can be related to the events we remember this week. They also help your child make good connections.

When reading stories at night, help your child to identify the main character inthe story, note the setting, and tell the events(plot). Help your child identify sequence or other logical order in the stories.. What happenened? What happenened next? Then what happened?

Help your child describe pictures, objects, thinngs in and aroun your home, yard, etc. What is the size, the color, the shape? What does it feel like? What does it smell like? Cann they use sensory details to describe? Last week we talked about how we get ready to go to bed. Maybe this week you could expand the bath or shower to the feel of the water, the smell of the soap or the bubble bath, the feel of the towel, the taste of the toothpaste, and try to re-write the story of getting ready for bed.
HOLY WEEK
Week of March 4,2013
Monday, March 4.....No school for the children
Tuesday, March 5....P.T.O. Meeting at 6:00 P.M.
Grade One is the sponsoring
class this month. We will be
singing "Our Abe Lincon" at
the beginning of the meeting.
Meet in the room at 5:45. We
will go to the cafeteria from
there. After the singing we
will return to the classroom.
Friday, March 8.....Student-Parent Conferences...
You do not need a set time.
The time is for you and your
child. The school will be open
by 6:45 and if your child is an
only child in our scholl you may
come as early as you wish. I
will be here. Just remember
that we cannot expect other
teachers to be here that early.
They do not have to be here
until 10:00 A.M.
This week
This week we will continue to learn about Lincoln, Washington, and Obama. Homework reading book choices will continue to be from the Easter tub or from the presidents tub.


" When the Elephant Walks" gave us lots of opportunities to study cause and effect which is difficult to understand for many first graders. This week we will be reading the story " Sitting in My Box" It is another great piece of fiction which provides a lot of cause and effect questins. High frequency words in this story include all, has let over set. In this story from their reader we will also be doing a lot of sequencing of events.

Please take the time to have your child to speak in complete sentences. I know that it takes a little more time but it pays off in the end. We expect the children to write in sentences, yet we frequently do not have them speak that way. The two things go hand in han.


We will be using the Resurrection Eggs a lot between now and Holy Week. Initially I purchased my set at WalMart. I don't know if they still sell them. Possibly the Christian book store in Southaven carries them.
Things to Study
Skills that we are studying right now include cause and effect( ask your child what happens in a story and why it happens),one and more than one( single and plural), singular and plural verbs, nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Pick out names of things in your home. Have your child think of adjectives to describe the noun.Example: BALL: round, red, soft, pretty
CUP : empty, full. decorated, smooth
PAPER: white, smooth, empty.
After readind a page or two with your child ask questions about who did what, why did they do it, what action happened first, next, last; what do you think might happen next? Why etc.

This week we will be learning more about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington Homework reading books will include choises of books about Easter and the presidents. Your child should know that George Washington was our first president and that he was the person who had the White House built. He also is the only president who never lived in the White House. They should know that President Lincoln was the sixteenth president, that he was a lawyer, that he grew up very poor, and that he made a very important law called the Emancipation Proclamation.
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Ashes for Ash Wednesday
The first and second graders cut up old palms. Then we went outside and burned the palms and turned them into ashes for our Ash Wednesday Service.
The Week of February 11
This week we have two major days of celebration
#1: Ash Wednesday is this week and we will celebrate our Ash Wednesday Mass at 9:A.M. in the gym. You are always welcome to celebrate mass with us. If the weather permits, the first and second graders will cut up old palms from last Palm Sunday. We will then burn them. After that I will sift them and we will have the ashes used for the Ash Wednesday Mass.
#2 On Friday we will be going to the Orpheum to enjoy Clifford the Big Red Dog....We will leave the school at or close to 11:oo o'clock. The children will ride the bus. Usually there is no room for parents on the bus, as we have 43 students and 2 teachers. You may go in a caravan with us or meet us there. However, you must get a bracelet to wear into the Orpheum. I have them. Children may be checked out and taken home from the theater.
The Week of February 11,2013
The
the Foot Book by Dr. Seuss
This week we will be reading The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss. In Dr. Seuss great tradition this is another wacky book that thoroughly thrills young readers. We will be reviewing rhyme and putting a lot of emphasis on antonyms or opposites. I will refer to antonyms as a fancy word for opposites. Take time during the week to look around different places and find as many antonyms as possible.
We will continue to read books that fit into our DreamUnit theme.As part of this unit we have been zeroing in on fiction vs. non-fiction and biography and autobiographay as forms of non-fiction.
Mrs. Pennington continues to work hard at instant recognition of math facts and being able to take math word problems and read the problem, study the clues, and follow the directions on their own. The Common Core Standards are pushing 'Cold Reads"---students taking unseen passages and reading them on their own without help...We are doing our best to teach the children ways of studying the previously unseen. It isn't easy!
New Year, New Things
Today we ploanted an amaryllis bulb given to me by one of the children. It truly had "magic " soil- abig hard disc! After adding two cups of warm water the disc grew into a pot full of soil. We already have one flower growing. Two more stalks are coming up.
Sometimes this semester I will give the students older first grade reading text books. They will not be as excitng as those they have been bringing but it will provide reading in a different format. The ones that I gave the students yesterday are early early beginning of school books. When your child encounters new vocabulary and concepts rejoice. Don't say,"Oh this is too hard" Treat it as a challenge and plough right ahead. As before, Your child can read to you. You can read to your child. You may both share the reading. Periodically ask questions about what has been read. Ask about the setting of the story, about the main character(s), and about the plot----THE EVENETS IN THE STORY, Talk about seqence..These are big elements in the Common Core Continuum. We will also have story books that we will read together in class. And we will be talking about main idea, main chacter, setting, plot, etc.
We will move more and more into nouns, vers, and adjectives.
Read Read Read Read Read.....ENJOY
New Year, New Things
2013
I hope you all had a great Christmas and that the children celebrated the birthday of our Lord and King.I did mail a thank you note to your children but realize that you are the ones who probably chose and paid for the gifts. Thank you for your extreme kindnesses to me for Christmas.
When we return to school we will be studying the calendar. We will talk about the sequence of the months( in English and in Spanish). We will learn that January is always the first month on the new yearly calendar. This will be correlated to using the new numbers in dates, 1-2-13
We will also study the story of the wise men coming to visit Jesus. This coming week we will have two main topics: the calendar and the Three Kings. These topics will be used to study seqence, main character, setting, and main idea.
2013
Thanksgiving Week
     Thanksgiving Week was a wonderful couple days for us at school.  We did a wonderful art piece making graphic the beautiful poem your child brought home.  We also read the booklet " Thank You, Everyone."...We learned different meanings for the word fall,  sequencing the story, and test taking skills.  We watched a Thanksgiving prayer of the ancient native people.  The art pieces are now hanging in the hallway.  Come by and take a look at them.
     Next week we will begin talking about Advent and our wait for Christmas.  Each week during the Advent season the student body will meet in the Jesus Commons for an advent candle lighting ceremony.  Think about ways to help minimize the commercial aspects of Christmas and ways to wait, to expect, to pepare our hearts for the celebrating/the remembering of Jesus' birthday ( the fact that Jesus came to earth out of love for His Father and out of love for us).
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Dalton
Voting, Elections, and Veterans Day
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Ian
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Natalie
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Elaina
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Danielle
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Jaiden
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Houston
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Eli W.
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Morgan
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Kylie
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J.D.
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Sailor
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Austin
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Sydney
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Joseph
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Emily
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Talon
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Carson
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Eli B.
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Allie
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Conner
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Will
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Alex
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Annie
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Maria
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Cameron
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voting
Elections Elections Elections
We have been studying two types of elections or voting: open voting and secret voting. Last Thursdayeach child was give a green card and a yellow card, In the pocket chart were pictures of a banana, watermelon, and a pineapple. Each child went to the front of the room and placed their green card in the pocket under their favorite fruit. We tallied the votes and made a bar graph of the resuts. Using their yellow cards, the children chose their second favorite fruit. Again we tallied the results and again made a bar graph.
Todaywe had open voting to choose our class saint. The choices sent in were St. Francis, St. Jude, and St. Christopher. Each child had their own tally chart and tallied the votes as each child gave his or her vote. The homework reading paper tonight tells all about it.

As one form of a secret vote, the children were given a paper with two apples on it. They had to color one apple red. The second one could be green or yellow. Then each child took their apples behind the book shelf and put their favorite color apple in a bowl( one yellow, one red,and one green. When everyone had voted in private we read out the colors in each bowl..Again we tallied the votes and made bar graphs of the results.
Tomorrow on election day the children will go into our own private voting booth. fill out a ballot about different kinds of candy and place it in a ballot box. These will also be tallied. Hopefully the children will have at least a small idea of voting, elections, the White House, and the jobs of a president.
Election Work
     This is the second time I am doing this tonight so it will probably be shorter than it would have been.  After spending 45 minutes only to find nothing on the website now .....
     We have, as you well know, been studying about what a president does and where the president lives and works.  We have read a lot of fiction and nonfiction material and enjoyed it all.  I want the children to realize that it is more important to know how to find information than it is ti try to remember it all.  We have used our Election2012 magazine, the encyclopedia, the internet, book called The White House, and a tub full of patriotic books.  The Common Core puts great emphasis on using both fiction and nonfiction material.  And we use plenty of both.
     This week we will be learning a lot about the voting process, both open and secret.  We will vote for candy, pets, apples, etc.  Some voting will be open.  One for certain will be secret with a ballot and a ballot box.
     In religion we are working on a unit on choices.
Conferences
     Thank you for coming to conferences.  I truly enjoyed listening to you talk with your child about their work: both strengths and weaknesses.  It was quite obvious that you all enjoyed their writing journals.  Thanks to all our journal moms and dads for their help with the journals.
Please Note:
     Trunk or Treat has been moved back one day due to getting ready for the Bishop that Monday.
     Be creative about goodies for the first grade basket for the auction on the night of the 20th.  A garden basket can be so much fun.
Math Vocabulary
     Please continue to study the list of math words sent home by Mrs. Pennington some time ago.  These are Common Core requirements.  I have given out flashcards for the number words one through ten.  I will begin adding the words for the teen number words.
     Also please study the flashcards for reading every day.

I cannot stress enoiugh how important it is that these become sight words that are recognized in three seconds or less.  Thank you.
Common Core Language Skills
     Common Core Language skills that we are working on right now include the following: 
                    Demonstrate command of the conventions of
                    standard English-capitalization, punctuation, 
                    and spelling when writing
                    Capitalize dates and names of people.
                    Use end punctuation for sentences.
                    Add drawings...to descriptons.
                    Produce complete sentences.
                    With propting and support, read informational  
                    texts appropriately complex for grade 1.
                    Retell stories...
                    Explain major differences between books that 
                    tell stories and books that give information, 
                    drawing on a wide reading of a range of text 
                    types. 
Dates to Remember
     October 19.....Conference
     October 20.....Fall Dance and Live Auction
     October 26.....Native American Dancers
     October 28     Trunk or Treat
     October 29.....Bishop Latino at School for Mass
                             Holly Sprins School Here All Day
     October 31.....Plain Old Halloween
    
Long Ago and Now
     This week we have been studying the differences between schools long ago and now.  As a tie-in we also discussed some differences in our own school long ago when we started in 1947 and now.  On opening day there were two classrooms in use.  There were two teachers:  Sister Spes who taught first, second and third grades, and Sister Joan, who taught fourth through eighth grades and was the principal.  There were seventeen students, there were no desks, and no windows.  Now we have a staff of over thirty, three hundred thirty-seven students, windows everywhere AND air-conditioning.  There are over twenty - eight rooms, and we sit on a fifteen acre campus.  There are no classrooms with multipe grades, and the principal does not teach a class of students.
     It would be interesting for you to talk to your child about what kind of school you went to as opposed to the school of their ( or your ) grandparents.
     Please keep studying those flashcards and read, read, read with and to your child.
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Fr. Jack's homily at our 65th birthday mass celebration
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Fr. Hogya the priest who helped start the school
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65th Birthday of the School---Mass
Friday Chapel
     On Friday we read the book What Is God? by Etan Boritzer.This was our literature connection to Bible quotes about God as a good and loving God.  The book takes the children on a journey through the places and peoples of the world.  In the introductory pages we read 
               "  What is God?  You are asking a very, very big 
               question!   Boys and girls, grown-ups and old peo-
               le,  Everyone wants to know "What is God?"...
               Maybe we can't really talk about God
               Because maybe we can't see God
               Or maybe we can't hear God
               Or even taste or smell or touch God!
               Maybe we can only feel God
               Like we can feel love..."
     The story proceeds to give us ideas about what God might be like.  This would be another good book to check out and discuss with your child.

Announcements
     Wednesday Mass.....9:00:  Lunch.....11:40 approximately
     Please continue to save:
                                                boxtops for education
                                                labels for education
                                                pop tops from cans
                                                chip bags
                                                drink pouches (not boxes)
     Tuesday, Sept.11.....wear red, white, and blue in honor
                                                of 7-11, Remembrance Day,
                                                Patriot's Day
     Tuesday, Sept. 11.....P.T.O. mtg. at 6:00P.M.
     Thursday, Sept. 13.....Fall Pictures
Chapel
In chapel this week we listened to the beautiful story" You Are Special" by Max Lucado.  The story illustrates God's love for us and shows the children that what matters most in the world is what God thinks about them.  It took the children no time at all to realize that the woodcarver Eli stands for God in the story, and that the Wemmicks stand for us.  The main character in the book is a little boy named Punchinello, who in the beginning knows nothing about Eli, his creator.  Lucia, one of the Wemmicks, leads Punchinello to Eli and to the love of his maker.


If you want to buy some beautiful stories about God and his love for us in a fictionalized setting, there are probably no better books than Max Lucado's books for children.  We will use more of his books this year.
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Flag
The Week Past
During this past week we worked on a basic understanding of 7-11.  We talked about what happened.  We discussed ways people show love for their country, and then talked about the flag as a symbol of our country.  We read the big book _The Pledge of Allegiance  and studied the marvelous pictures and what they showed.  Yesterday the children made their very own flag using one inch squares of red, white, and blue construction paper.
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Looking at the root of a 7 foot sunflower plant
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The Cucumber Garden
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Chester
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Chester
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Chester
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Chester
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Chester
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Chester
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Chester
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Chester
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Chester
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Chester
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Flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work
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flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work

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Flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work

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Flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work
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Flashcard Work
Labor Day is coming
     Labor Day is coming and this week we will be talking about what Labor Day is about and what we are supposed to celebrate.  This real life connection to something in the real world is a big aspect of the Common Core Curriculum.  We will look at some of the jobs people in the school have and what would happen if they didn't do their jobs.  If you would like to send us a note about your job and what you do we would love that connection also.

     In chapel on Friday we talked about our friend, Jesus, and how we can be friends to each other.  Reinforce those ideas at home and we'll all do a better job for sure.

On Wednesday we will again celebrate an all school mass in the gym.  Father David from Father Jack's office is going to be our celebrant this week.If you are interested in the gospel reading that day, it will be John 6: 60-69.

     We will continue to review consonant sounds and rhyming words while continuing to practice sounding out and spelling short a words such as
hand, mask, jacks, bag, and words that rhym with man and at.  These are all words that have letters that can all be heard and thus sounded out for spelling.  It is important at this stage to encourage your child to sound out phonetically correct spellings.

In reading I also encourage you to read with and to your child.  The best way to learn fluency is to hear and imitate fluent reading.  Read.  Read the same sentence but change how you read it.  Have your child re-read trying to sound
  like you.

     Each day as we compose stories in class we work at spacing between words,capital letters at the beginning of sentences, and ending punctuation.  At this point your child should be able to write all the capital and small or lower case letters.  A few are still having a bit of difficulty with this.  We are also doing work to help your child learn about capitalizing days of the week and the months of the year.

Thank you to all who worked hard this summer teaching your child how to tie their shoes.  They are doing a great job.  I really do appreciate that very much.




What a Week
     On Friday we had our first chapel service with the first and second grades.  We learned that in the Bible God told us that He will always love us and no matter what;  God will never stop loving us.  He won't give up on us.  We connected that to the message of the NED show:  Never give up:  encourage each other:  Do your best.  We then read the book- ) Winners Never Quit by Mia Hamm( the great lady soccer player. 
     The children may have told you about the rhyming books we have been making in class.  So far we have worked on -at and -an rhyming words.  Substituting beginning consonants in front of word parts is a great way to learn new words.Sometimes we will write lists of words and then write some silly stories using the new words.
     Your child will bring home last week's work.  Study the work, talk with your child about the work.  Again, praise praise, praise.  However, be honest.  If your child is having trouble, acknowledge that and work with your child.
     We will continue to read and write stories and bring those stories home to read with and to you.   READ!   READ!    READ!  with and to your child. 
    We will continue to study and review consonant sounds even as we also review short a words.

Here are some sites that you might use with your child.

http://www.starfall.com/n/level-a/learn to read/load.htm
http://makoto-nakamura.sakura.nejp/animation.html

http://teacher.scholastic.com/clifford/flash/phonics/index

.htm
Parents, another marvelous site about a "zillion" different topics and for all different groups is:

GOASKALICEK12@aol.com  Although this site is free, Alice certainly would appreciate any donation.  Alice is a friend of mine, a former teacher, who now does this fabulous website.

First Day of School
     What an amazing class.  We got so excited reading today that we almost missed lunch!  ( We didn't though ) !
We practiced how we walk in the hallways so that we don't disturb other people.  We learned the way first graders line up for the bathroom.  We had loads of fun reading about Little Critter on his first day of school.  Ask your child about a little animal that was hiding on each page of the book.  We also studied about Title Page, Author, Illustrator, and Publisher.  We began talking about another animal on his first day of school.  His name is Chester.  Tomorrow we will read and write more about Chester.  Your child has a homework paper tonight with two sentences about a raccoon.  Chester just happens to be a racoon.  There are 4 words to learn.
                                                      
This   is     a   racoon   .

                            Is   this    a   racoon   ?

The flashcards need to come back to school each day.

Homework papers need to be signed at the top of the right hand side of the paper----ALWAYS
There will be a signature line for you unless I forget to make it.  Sometimes it gets a little hairy trying to copy the story we write, run it off, and getting it to the school bags before going home.  But we will try.

     Ask your child if he or she remembers what the gymnist Gabby Douglas said she had to do in order to get to the Olympics.  She said that she had to work hard, put forth a lot of effort, and be determined to always do better.  We are going to use these three things as a mantra or constant saying this year.   I told them that my Latin teacher always told us   Good
                                                                   Better
                                                                   Best
Never let it rest until our good was better and our better was best.   Return the red folder with the reading paper signed

Don't forget to sign and return those three white papers in the salmon colored packet!  Thanks
Read
   I hope that you all are enjoying your summer vacation.
Be sure to read every day.  Go to the library or come to school and I'll give you some books to read.  If you can't think of anything to do, take out your file box and study those flash cards.  Make up sentences.  Find rhyming words.  Find all the number words, the color words, the nouns, the verbs, or the adjectives ( those good describing words ).
   Play.
   Swim.
   Visit your friends.
   Read.
   Go to the library.
   Water your squash plants.   Take pictures of your squash.
   Read. Read.  Read.  
   I'll see you  early in August or just  come by school and give me a hug.
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M-m-m-m-m!
This is what we did with the squash when they got humongous.  Oh so good to eat!

Cut the squash in half.
Remove the seeds.
Place the squash cut side down in about an inch or two of water and put in the oven. 300 degrees
Bake until very tender.
Remove from the oven and scoop out most of the flesh and mash.
While the squash is baking, brown some sausage, turkey,etc. and cook some rice.
Mix the sausage, rice, diced tomatoes, and mashed squash.
Place this in the squash shell.
Add some cheese.
Put in the oven until the cheese melts.
Enjoy.
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Cucumbers
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Banana Peppers

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Banana Peppers

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Banana Peppers

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Banana Peppers
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The Latest from the Garden
Squash
See our squash growing on the vine.
Sorry.  I can't get the pictures to come up.

Here are some web sites you might like to use this summer.

www.starfall.com
ABC mouse.com
http:// www.cookie.com/
www.Activity Village.co:uk
http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/summer olympics.htm
Bogo Book Fair
   This week the small book fair is going on in the Jesus Commons. Buy one book and you get one of equal or lesser value free.  For those who wanted Pete the Cat last time and didn't get one-- there are some now. 
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Resurrection Cross
On Friday the first and second graders turned the large Lenten cross into a resurrection cross by gluing on flowers made earlier in the week.  If you come in the building for the book fair, etc., take a look at it.  It is outside the chapel
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Resurrection Cross
On Friday the first and second graders turned the large Lenten cross into a resurrection cross by gluing on flowers made earlier in the week.  If you come in the building for the book fair, etc., take a look at it.  It is outside the chapel
Enormous Things
   In our reader last week we enjoyed reading "The Great Big Enormous Turnip."  The children had so much fun reading this Russian Folktale.  We then read three other versions of the same story, comparing and contrasting characters, setting, plot, and resolutions in the different versions.  As a follow up to our discussion of" enormous" the children( with your help) made a list of enormous things.  Dinosaurs topped the list so we will see a video about dinosaurs.  Although not at the top of the list, my favorite was " God's Love".  How enormous is that?
   This week we will continue to read other "enormous " themed books....potatoes, sandwiches, carrots, lies.
   Our school is going to take part in a program called Battle of the Books.  It is competition between students in schools sponsored by the Priests of the Sacred Heart.  Our books are:
                  Click, Clack, Moo! Cows that Type
                   Leo the Late Bloomer
                   Henry and Mudge ( the First Book)
                    The Napping House
                    Miss Nelson Is Missing
If you have any of these books or can check them out at the library read them with your child.  Ask questions.  Ask for details in the stories.  Ask what your child most enjoyed and why.  Discuss characters, the setting, plot ( what happens throughout the story, and how the situation or problems were solved.  Talk about the themes.  In these books we have themes of respect, cooperation, compromise( give and take),predictable behaviors, etc.   Read to, be read to, laugh, rejoice, wonder, marvel with your child.  Laugh, talk, rejoice!
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Cabbage to Cole slaw
   This Thursday hot dogs and cole slaw is on the menue...
The cole slaw is going to be made with our organically grown cabbage from our winter garden.  We have three wonderful heads of cabbage from some of the plants we put out towards the end of fall!
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Parent- student Conferences
   Thank you for the time you took to conference with your children regarding their school work.  I know that it took a lot of time, but I do hope that you felt it was time well spent.  This morning I studied all the evaluations by you and your children.  Most were very honest and well thought out.  Please continue to study flash cards every night.  It does not have to be all of them.  If you take a small hand full of cards, flash them back and forth, lay them out on the table or floor and have your child see how many can be used in sentences.  Then copy one or two sentences on paper, checking carefully for capitalization and ending punctuation.  The flashcard words should not have to be sounded out.  They should be recognized instantly with out thought, the way one's name is instantly recognized.  You might take a verb and see how many ways you can change it .Example:  run, runs, running, ran.
When reading, ask questions such as:
          Who or what is this about?
          Who is the main character?
          What is the setting?( Where does it take place?)
          What happened first, next, last?
          Can you retell the story to your grandma, me, your fr
          iend, etc.
          Show me the sentence that proves------(whatever)
          Why do you think--------happened?
          Do you think that could really happen?  Why?  Why n
          ot?
          Did anything like that ever happen to you?
          What did you like best about this story?  Why?
   In math continue to work hard at addition and subtraction facts through 10.  Again, like the flashcard words, the math facts need instant recognition.  4+6=10 should be an automatic response with no hesitation or thinking.  If these facts are not automatic when your child enters the second grade just think of how hard it will be to learn the rest of the facts through 20.In third grade the expectation is that all the multiplication and division facts will be instantly known with no hesitation or trying to figure them out.  Our 4th grade teachers are constantly complaining that the children do not know their facts.  Please save your child from that fate.  Drill those addition and subtraction facts now.  Work on recognizing coins and their value plus being able to count the money.

HAVE A GREAT SPRING BREAK.
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P.T.O. Meeting
   On March the 6th the first graders were the sponsoring classes for the monthly P.T. O. Meeting.  All our wonderful art work on the animals in the story Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?were put to use entertaining our parents and other parents at the meeting.  Brown Bear, via the large brown bear art poster, entered the stage area.  A reader called out, " Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?  The first graders answered, " I see a red bird looking at me." Then the redbird entered via the large art poster.  And so the play went-each animal entering and the children answering.  Thank you, parents, for allowing your children to perform for you and the other parents.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear Art
   As a follow up activity to our Eric Carle unit and our visit to the Orpheum, the first graders chose the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You Dee?, illustrated by Eric Carle  as the basis for a major art project.  Paramount to the project was painting tissue paper and using the paper to do some of the animals.  Eric Carle's art work is so vibrant and different looking because he does not just paint the pictures.  Eric First paints tissue paper in  many and varied colors.  He then files all the paper by color.  When he is ready to color his work he chooses paper of the color desired.  He then cuts out paper in the shape he needs to fill in the spaces.  Later he may add streaks of color, lines, etc.  Marvelously,his work is done.  I wanted the children to experience a bit of  of that process.  I also wanted them to work with many kinds of art media, which they did.  The children used paint rollers, paint brushes, pencil erasers, glue, tissue paper, glitter, sequins., markers, crayon, paint, crinkled paper, and sponges.  Now you may visit and see our amazing art wonders.
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Yellow Duck
Yellow Duck has an outstanding wing!  First the class colored the body of the duck with yellow marker.  Next small yellow silk flowers were glued to the wing area.They make a fabulous wing that stands out amazingly well.
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Black Sheep
Black sheep has curled wool.  The students curled small black strips of construction paper and glued them all over the body of the bear.
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Brown Bear
Brown Bear was colored with marker.  1A is thinking about adding something else to it.  We'll see.  It will be a surprise for all of us.
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Gray Mouse
We painted the main body part of the mouse with what we thought was gray paint.  As the paint began to dry it began to turn a copper brown.  Since the mouse had to be gray we found another bottle of gray craft paint.  We then put little gray dots all over the brown paint.  The dots were made by dipping the eraser of pencils into the paint.  Each child made a row of ten gray dots.  Most were able to make two sets of dots.  The head was done with the dots also.  (with no brown paint under the dots).  The ears were done with blue glitter and the legs and tail were done with shades of blue marker.
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Redbird
Redbird is a mixture of marker and tiny red srips of crinkled paper.
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Blue Horse
The children began the horse by using two shades of blue marker and designing a repeated pattern on the legs.  The second step was to color the head with crayon.  And the last step was to use two shades of blue glitter on the body of the horse.  When the horse was completed we added a fun kid's hair extender for the tail.
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Green Frog
For the frog we began by filling in all the spots with green sequins and green glitter.  The body was then colored in with marker, and the legs were designed with the green and yellow tissue paper the children had painted the day before.
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Gold Fish
For the gold fish's tail and fins we used ready designed tissue paper with pastel dots and circles.  The back half of his body was covered in gold glitter and the front was done with good old markers.
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White Dog
For the white dog we glued white crinkled paper pieces to the surface.
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Purple Cat
In order to color the purple cat the children had to first paint tissue paper purple.  We did a heavier purple and a lighter purple. After the tissue paper dried I cut it up into hundreds of very small pieces. 
the next day the small pieces of tissue were glued to the cat's surface.
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Pink Elephant
The pink elephant was painted with sponges on handles.  The children dipped the sponge into paint and then placed the sponge on the elephant's surface.  Each child was able to do it five times.
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Painting Pink Elephant
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Painting Tissue Paper for Green Frog
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Working on Purple Cat

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Painting Tissue Paper
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Eric Carle
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The Wonders of the Microscope
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Seeing the Way Ants See
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A Visit by Geoge Washington
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Reading to Each Other
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Valentines Day Craft
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Amaryllis in Full Bloom
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Hope Chain in the Gym
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50 s Poodle Skirt
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Non-50 s
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50 s Day
Eric Carle
   Eric Carle-what a great children's author and illustrator!
The program at the Orpheum was great and I am so glad that 28 parents were able to go with us and enjoy the show with their children.  We will continue to read and enjoy more of his books.  This week we will be making some of the characters in Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do You See?  Actually we won't make them.  Jennifer Stugeon made the outlines for us.  We are going to fill them in with different art materials- some in the Eric Carle format.  Please come to the P.T.O. meeting next Tuesday evening.  We will be asking for forms to be signed promising your child's presence that night.  The first graders are the sponsoring grade and we want to do the Brown Bear story for those present that night. The art work will be a big part of our presentation.  Plan on coming.

We are working hard at compound words, comparisons, more than and less than, money, time,and we will begin double digit addition and subtraction.  Please continue to help

Thanks to all who went with us to the Orpheum.  The ushers complimented our children's behavior.
Orpheum Field Trip
   I am delighted that all our children will be going to the Orpheum on February 24th.  We will have the official permission slips ready right after Catholic
 Schools Week.  We will also be collecting the money at that time.  We didn't want to bother you with too much at this time but we had to have solid numbers of tickets to reserve,  and we barely managed to make our reservations before they were sold out for the show.
   Go to the following website and you can read about the  program.  Actually, just google mermaid theater of Nova Scotia.
  Lindsey from the Orpheum says that the show is fantastic.  Their is no actual parking for the Orpheum, so parking is in parking lots.
Catholic Schools Week
   On Monday we celebrate Grandparent/Best Friend Day.  At 9:00 A.M. there will be a special program in the gym.  Following the program the children may give their grandparents or special friends a tour of the school..........
If you are allowing the grandparents to check out your child that day, they are to do that in the classroom on a special blue form provided by the school office.
   We continue to build our Hope Chain throughout the week and of course we also continue to have our Book Fair.
   Our class already has $31.00 in Hope Chain money.   One child asked her parents to give $26.00 from her piggy bank.  They proudly allowed her to do it, proud that she was so willing togive her money to help feed the poor.  This is living proof and living out of the third aspect of our
catholic Schools Week motto this year....service.  As I told you in the note about the Hope Chain,  we encourage the children to buy links with their own money but we also gladly accept  money from mom and dad, grandpa and grandma, and friends.  The food pantry is in desperate need of food for the hungry..The funds from the Hope Chain will be given to the food pantry in Walls run by Sacred Heart Southern Missions.
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Our Amarylis
   The children are fascinated by the growth of the amarylis that they planted earlier.  It seems to grow upward day by day.
Catholic Schools Week
As you all know by now, our celebration of National Catholic Schools Week begins this Friday, January 27,2012.  The 7th and 8th graders go to Holly Springs to play basketball with our sister school, Holy Family.

It is also Denim Day for January.   Pay $1.00 and wear denim and


catholic Schools Week shirts or school shirts.  THIS MONTH'S CHARITY IS THE oLIVE bRANCH sOCIAL sERVICES PROGRAM OPERATED BYSacred Heart  Southern Missions. 
adjectives
   We are studying adjectives right now.  They are words that describe.  Try to play games thinking of adjectives that will describe trees, rooms, cars, pictures, clothes, etc.
Color words and number words are also adjectives.
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Jerusalem
   A picture of Jerusalem
Tis Week
   This Friday we will have student-parent-teacher conferences.The conferences are scheduled from 10:00 A.M. til 5:00 P.M.  We are fortunate to have this time set aside for you to leisurely sit down with your child and review this past quarter.  There will be a guide for you to use ( on your child's desk).Also, on the desk you will find a bound book of most of your child's paper work, the writing journal, the number journal, and the religion notebook.  Since the conference is really designed for you and your child to discuss strengths and weeknesses you do not need an appointed time to come in.  Come when you can and enjoy the time.  Report cards will be given to you after going through the material.  It does take a while!  When you go in the hallway to see some of your child's artwork, take the work down and take it home.  Have a great time with your child..Discuss the weaknesses and work at those at home. Praise accuracy, improvement, color, neatness, creativity,and over-all good attitude.  Praise is good, but so is helpful,upbeat criticism given with honesty and a positive outlook.

Thank you.
Columbus Unit.
   I just spent an hour writing to you about our unit on Christopher Columbus.  The program evidently expired while I was slowly typing .When I saved it there was nothing to save.  Sorry.  I even had typed the four verses to a song we are learning about Columbus.  If I can find time over the weekend to add more, I will do so.
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Garden Produce
Tomie de Paola
   Today we began a short unit on the children's author and illustrator, Tomie de Paola.  As the children bring home their nightly book, please continue to read to your child, have him or her read to you, read with your child, you read and then have him or her try to read sounding like you.  Fluency in reading is one of the most important tests of comprehension.  It is so important that we actually have to give a reading grade for being able to read in such a way as to sound like talk.  And we all know that we don't normally drag out our reading or call words in isolation.  Try to make reading fun and exciting.  Enjoy it with your child.  In the world of non fiction we are learning some of the author's techniqes for getting our attention and helping us know what's going on.  Periodically take the paper or an article and help your child find the headlines.  Then explain why that headline might make you want to read the article.  Let your child draw pictures and label them.  Later on we will study photographs, glossaries, etc.
  When your child uses complete sentences when talking to you, take time to give a lot of praise.  We expect our children to be able to write good sentenes, when in fact, we are asking for miracles.. If children answer in words, syllables, or grunts, we have no right to expect sentences to miraculously show up in written material.  Enjoy Tomie de Paola:  both his stories and his illustrations.
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Our 9-11 Remembrance Flag
   As part of our Remembrance Studies our class made a huge flag.  The blue in the flag symbolizes the blue in the state flagsof each of the three places where planes crashed.  Then there are stars for the twin towers, the Pentagon, and the Penn. field.  The black is for mourning.  The children did a fantastic job of painting the blue.  Many of them continue to pray for the victims of 9-11.
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Making Flags Symbolizing Our Country
   We made the American flag as a sign of our love for our country.  Walk through the hallways outside our classroom and you can see all 25 of our flags hanging on the walls.
All School Mass
Dear Parents,
   Today we celebrated our first School-wide mass in the gym.  Mrs. Martin and Mr. Miller assigned eigth grade buddies for the first graders for whenever we celebrate mass together.  The buddies took to being role models with with great conscientiousness.  Yesterday each buddy even wrote a special note to their young charge.  Today the eigth graders showed up and took their charges to the gym for mass.  It was a very good experience for everyone.  This will happen every time we celebrate mass together.  Read the notes.  They are in the take-home folders.

   The children are doing very well.  I appreciate all your time helping with the homework.  I am excited about this new year.  If ever you need to talk, or you need help,  just send a note or call.

   Thank you one and all.
   Sister Margaret Sue
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From Our Garden
Some early thoughts
     We have had an exciting beginning to our new school year.  Children can learn most anything if we encourage them along the way.  They can learn good manners,  how to be polite and respectful.  They can learn to count into the thousands with a little initial help.  They can learn how to read and enjoy it.  They can learn how to write marvelous stories, descriptions, and explanations if only we encourage them, praise them for effort, and take time to help them.  We can help our children to be grateful, kind, loving, able to stick up for other children, and how to have fun.  We can teach them the wonders of the universe and help them go to worlds not known, written about, or ever seen if only we allow them to do so.  If the important adults in their lives model kindness, gratitude, wonder, study, the enjoyment of reading a book, the fun in writing numbers, the awesome uses of a dictionary, organization, and pure delight, our children will also learn these things exactly as they are modeled for them.

Take delight in studying flashcards and seeing how many different sentences can be made.  Delight in how funny sentences sound minus ending punctuation or different punctuation.  Be a student with your child.  Model PATIENCE and LAUGHTER and ENTHUSIASM,andFUN.
Summer Comings and Goings
   Here at school people are cleaning the rooms and getting everything  ready for August.  The classrooms have been stripped and waxed.  The floors are clean and shiny now.  Soon you will all be returning and making the school alive and happy again.

Our new principal, Mrs. Martin,  has been working getting used to  schedules, classes, workers, and children.  She is studying pictures from the yearbook and trying to match names with pictures.  We welcome Mrs. Martin back to Sacred Heart.  She is a graduate of our school and delighted to be coming home.
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Sunflowers Growing
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Canna Lillies
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tomatoes in the garden
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Preparing our Garden
You all know how beautifully the childrens' squash grew.  I hope that all those lovely plants have found good homes by now and are adjusted to their new homes.  Here at school we have been working diligently preparing garden space for our class garden.  Mr. Will Dickson built us beautiful new raised beds.  The eight beds are centered around the circle in the back drive.  From up on the hill, looking down on the garden it looks like a gigantic flower.  Each bed is 12 feet long and 6 feet wide at the top end and 3 feet wide at the lower end.  Hopefully you have been watching our progress as you drive the turnaround out back..
The children filled the firstfour beds using gallon cans, carrying that wonderful soil one can at a time to the beds.  They are so proud of themselves.  Today Mr. George came and started working on the other beds using a shovel and wheelbarrow.  Yesterday we planted one bed with the rest of our zuchinni plants.
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Examining the Squash
We added some learning experiences to our tasting party by using magnifying glasses and studying the seeds.
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Tasting Party
Since we have spent so much time planting and growing zuchinni we decided to have a zuchinni tasting party.  On Monday we had zuchinni sqash, yellow summer sqash, and cucumbers as the main ingredients of the tasting party.  In order to make the tasting experience more appealing we added salt and Ranch dressing. The problem was two-fold: see if the vegetables tasted about the same and to find out whether or not we could change the taste of the vegetables.  Soon the children were deep into the experiment and eating up the vegetables.
The Garden
We are actively preparing our school garden in the back.  We are filling our new boxes with good soil.  As soon as the boxes are full we will soon begin to put out plants and plant vegetable seeds.  The zuchinni seeds that we planted before Easter are up and several inches tall now.  They are ready to be transplanted into gardens.  The children will soon bring their sprouted plants home to be planted in gardens or larger pots.  We will transplant some of them into our garden boxes.  Then we will watch them grow, weed them, and hopefully actually see the plants bloom.  Last year we actually saw some baby squash!
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Easter Sun Catchers
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Oiled Paintings
This is a sample of pictures that we oiled in order to turn them into sun catchers.  First the students colored a prepared spring picture of flowers. Next, they used baby oil on a cotton ball and rubbed the back side of the picture.  Then the picture was turned over and lightly oiled on the front side.After that the pictures were put aside to dry.  Finally the pictures were cut out and hung in the room.  When held in front of light the pictures act like sun catchers.
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White Hyacinth
This is one of several hyacinths currently in bloom in the children's flower bed.  We had a beautiful pink one two weeks ago.  The children are so excited seeing their gardening come to fruition as the bulbs they planted now bring forth such colorful beauty.  When you drive up to drop off the children , take time to see the semi circle of pansies that edge the front of the front flower bed.  Our class set those pansies out on Valentine's Day as our valentine gift to the school.
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Tulip
Here's a tulip in bloom in the children's flower bed.
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kid's flower bed
Jonqils planted by the children
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Turning Palms into Ashes
Today we burned the palms we cut yesterday.  Tonight I will sift the ashes and they will be soft like black powder.  Tomorrow when the children are signed with the sign of the cross on their foreheads, they will know where the ashes came from, especially since they made them.  Hopefully this will be a life lesson they will always remember.

Your child will be bringing home a poor box.  Encourage your child to share coke money, candy money, some of their allowance if they get one.  The poor box is a physical reminder to give alms-- to share with the less fortunate.We give up something(our money)in order to give more freely help others.  The money from the boxes is used primarily to provide food,clothes, and medicine to children in dire need.  I don't think most of our children have any concept of the hundreds of thousands of children who go to bed each night hungry, bedless, homeless,etc.  Jesus said that what we do to others He takes as done to Himself.  Here is a good opportunity to bring this home.
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Last Year's Palms
Yesterday we cut up palms from the palms given to us last year on Palm Sunday.  We talked about the reasons we use palms each year.  You might want to find that story in your Bible and read it with your child.





















Sunday
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"Mary Had a Littl Lamb"
Several weeks ago we had a photo story of "Mary Had a Little Lamd" in our reader.  The Timers have their own Mary, known as Old Momma.  Old Momma had triplets last week, something quite unusual.  This morning Mrs. Timer brought Old Momma and her darling babies to school to visit.  When the babies were taken from Momma to show the childre she got a bit upset and had to go back to the carrier.   The children really experienced a sheep bleating.   The babies were amazing and the children really enjoyed petting and holding them.  Thank you, Mrs. Timer.
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snow
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snow
The rare weather
From eight degrees to seventy in a week is one way to celebrate the gift of weather!  During all this unusual cold weather we thanked God for sunshine when we had it, when it was cold and overcast we thanked God that it wasn't raining.  And when we had six inches of snow we made wonderful amazinf life-size snow people!

This week we are saying, "Thank you, God for sunshine, warmth, and jonquils that are poking up every where.  On Valentins Day our class planted purple pansies to brighten up the flower bed.  You would have been proud watching the children plant,  If I can get  some snow pictures to work I'll remind you of how grateful we can be this week.
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books
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books
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books
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books
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Books
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Catholic Schools Week
The children have been enjoying all the celebrations of this week.  Grandparents-Best Friends Day was a grand success!The hats were funny, cute, wild, and rare.  Many pastors joined children on Pastor Appreciation Day. Thanks for getting those invitations to them.  And of course today's Pajama Day was , in the words of the children, totally awesome.  They also loved being read to by the 5th graders this mornig. I wish you could have seen the children's faces.
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Let it Snow. Let it Snow
Oh, the children loved their unexpected snow days!  We loved reading and writing about snow.  We made compound snow words.  And we used chalk on blue paper to make snow pictures.Some of the children are still making snowflakes whenever they have time ( or sneak it in).

Currently we are reading books about dream: daydreams and nighttime dreams.Right now we are reading the book Cherries and Cherry Pits.  It is a wonderful story of a little girl who has a wonderful dream.  She dreams of planting cherry trees and having enough cherries to share with the world. As an added bonus we learn about the sequence of seed planting all the way to the cherries to be shared.  We will make a picture book of that sequence.

Thanks to all who participated in the Doughnuts with Dad days-both as volunteers and as those sharing with their children.  We can always use volunteers foe Catholic Schools Week.
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Working on the Christmas Mural
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The Advent Wreath
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ornament
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Some odds and ends of pictures:
The New Year
 With the advent of this new calendar year we are working hard at studying time as marked on a calendar. We are studying the months of the year, days of the week, and how weeks are shown on the calendar.  Amazingly we found that even though there are only four and a half weeks in January this year they are spread over six different weeks.  We are also working on verbs and nouns.  This sounds simple but it is anything but simple for these little ones.The newest hard thing we are working on in math is learning the symbols for more and less than.  The children can use all the extra help you can give.  We are also learning about the Kings who visited Jesus.  We found out that Three Kings Day is the same as theTwelth Day of Christmas.  On the calendar that day is January 6.
Dr. Seuss Hardback Books
Kohls has several hardback Dr. Seuss books on sale for $5.00 a book.  This year's selection includes There's a Wocket in my Pocket, Oh Say Can You Say?, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose.  They also have matching large very soft characters to go with the books-also $5.00 each.  These are at the front of the store as you go in from the Goodman Road entrance. These are part of  Kohl's Cares for kids project. Not only are the Dr. Seuss books famous for their outragious rhymes, they also always carry a marvelous social lesson. Later on we will have a unit on Dr. Seuss.
Advent
This week we begin the beautiful season of advent. These four weeks help us prepare our hearts and homes for Christmas.We will make an advent wreathe that your child can bring home.  Use it as a way to prepare for Christmas if you like.  The green symbolizes life.  The circle reminds us that God's love for us is everlasting and that God is , was, and will always be.  Each candle symbolizes a week in advent.  The pink candle symbolizes joy.  At the mid point we rejoice that we are half way to Christmas.
Thanksgiving
We have been learning about the hardships of the pilgrims, first in England, then in Holland.  We are now learning about the trip to America.

Today we started an art project that is helping us to learn a beautiful poem about thankfullness.

I'm thankful for
The grass so green,
The earth so good,
For oceans, lakes, and water to drink,
For beautful trees and the good food they bring,
For mountains tall and beautiful,
For the sun that gives me heat and light,
For the sky so blue and the air we breathe!

Work with Yams
In studying the -"am"word  family we found out that "yam" was an unknown word so we had a "Yam Day."  We explored ways of measuring yams, weighing them, and eating the.  We peeled the yams and ate some of them raw.  We also baked them as french fried yam sticks.  Enjoy a couple pictures.
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PETCO fIELD tRIP
As part of National Field Trip Month our local Petco offered free field trips to their store.  A major purpose of the field trip was to teach children about the proper care of animals, especially the care of pets.  In the words of the lovely certificates the children received, each child now" knows what it takes to be a responsible pet parent."  For those children who do not have a pet of their own the trip gave them a chance to see and feel live animals in a safe environment.  Thank you for letting your child participate in this wonderful event.  Thanks too to all the parent chaperones.  Needless to say the bus ride was a big part of the day!  So was touching the chinchilla.  At $169.99 most of us will never have one as a pet.

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Petco
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Field Trip to Petco
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Seeds
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Pumpkin Meat
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Pumpkin Work
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Pumpkin Mania
Yesterday we measured the circumference of two pumpkins that we named Pumpkin A and Pumpkin B.  We measured with rope and with a soft bendable tape measure.  Both pumpkins were exactly33 inches around the middle.

Today we had a new Pumpkin B.   It was a good bit smaller than the one we used yesterday.  We guesstimated how many pumpkin seeds would be in the pumpkins.  Then we pondered the question " Do you think the size of the pumpkin will make a difference about how many seeds will be in each pumpkin?"  Then we got down to business finding out our answer.  I cut the top out of the pumpkins, scraped out the pulp and the seeds, and gave each child a hand full of seeds to count out into sets of 10......What fun!
We then proceeded to put the sets of ten into sets of 100.

Pumpkin A had 509 seeds and the smaller Pumpkin B had 521 seeds.
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Gage
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Katie
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Andrew
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Reese
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Zoe
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Ethan
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Emma
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Seeds

Christopher Columbus
In our learnings about Christopher Columbus we found out that Columbus was a great sailor and an important explorer.  When he arrived in what we now call the Bahamas in 1492 Columbus thought he had arrived in India and so he called the native people there Indians.  He was not in India.  North and South America was a giant land mass unknown to the people of Europe at that time.  We learned a fabulous song called 1492 by Nancy Schimmel.  The children love the song and it certainly explores some of the questions about "discovering" a place already inhabited and known by a group of people

For more information you might want to visit www.sisterschoice.com    .
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apple pie
As part of our apple unit connected to our learnings about Johnny Appleseed we made apple pie.  The children peeled the apples, mixed the dough, filled the pie shell, and ate the pie once it was baked.
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guacamole
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lemonade
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squeezing lemons
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cutting lemons
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avacado
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caterpillar
Here is a picture of the largest caterpillar we ever saw.We think it is an imperial moth larva.  You may haveto come to school to really see the picture big enough to appreciate its size.
pictures
Below are pictures from earlier this year.  I can finally add some picture to the webb sight.
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Class Pictures
Constitution Week
This is National Constitution Week.  It started on the 17th and goes through this Friday.  We spent a lot of time last week discussing rules-rules at home,rules at school, rules for games, all kinds of rules in our lives.  We also read about Effy and Orb in a book called Bubble Land.  Ask your child to tell what happened to Bubble Land as a result of not having rules.  The book led us into the need for rules or laws for the group of states that broke away from Engish rule .  And so a group of people known as the Framers wrote the Constitution.
From insects to Italian grandmas
We are slowly letting go of  our unit on insects,  We have read fascinating stories both fiction and nonfiction.  Eric Carle provided us with worlds of fabulous books of fiction filled with fascinating facts.  It is amazing when the worlds of fiction and nonfiction marry and produce literature that wows the six-seven year old child.  Even though we have moved on to the author-illusrtator Tomie dePaola many of the children still ask to take home the science books and Eri Carles books.  That is more than okay,  It thrills me to know that most of the children are hooked on books.  To me that is one of the finest things that can happen to our children;to love to read.  Reading pictures is a most important step  and for some reluctant readers science books fill that need.  They not only study the pictures, but they also begin to marvel, to reason, to ask questions, and to fall in love with books..GLORY OH BLISS to hook a child on books.

It was Tomie dePaola,s birthday this past week and so we are now immersing ourselves in his world of literature and art.We enjoyed Tomie's autobiographical account of his first art class in the first grade.  The book is The Art Lesson.At a workshop I was fortunate enough to have met Mr. dePaola.  This week I will put my picture of Tomie on the board.  I happen to be in the picture with him,  His Italian grandmother comes out in the famous Strega Nona books.  Pete and Bill and Pete and Bill Go Down the Nile were instant hits with loud laughing.  On Friday we read The Popcorn Book..It tells of the Ancient Indian legends of why popcorn actually pops..The native peoples thought that tiny tiny demons lived in each kernal of corn.  When the corn got too hot the demons went into a rage and bust through the corn.
Guacamole Party
The other week we made guacamole and lemomade, and then had a party..The children scooped the avocado from the shells, mashed the guacamole, added salsa, salt, and lime juice.  Yum! Yum.  We now have avocados sprouting in glasses on the window sill,  They are growing very fast.  It is interesting to watch.

I took many pictures but I can't figure out how to put them on our web site.  Our computers were updated this summer and I'm having trouble figuring things out.  If anyone has a lot of computer-photo-savy, I would love some help.
Insects
We are deep into the study of insects right now. We have used wonderful magnifying glasses to study cicadas, beetles, praying mantises, wasps, butterflies, and June Bugs. The children have been bringing in all kinds of insects and we have really enjoyed studying them.  We have also been reading all kinds of animal stories.  Today the children were grouped, given a large poster, and drew large posters of insects.
Our Class
   Welcome to the class of 2010-2011.
We have finished one and a half weeks of school and are quickly becoming the first grade family of Room 1B.  We have read and discussed something called " Our Civil Rights ", and such books as:

God Made You Special
It's Okay to Be Different
Chester Racoon and the Big Bad Bully
The Chester books by Audrey Penn, and
Max Lucado's book about green noses.

We have put these ideas into a class mission statement which follows.

Room 1B knows that God loves us the way we are.
We will act the way God wants us to act.
We promise to talk in a kind way.
We promise to act in a kind way(Be nice).
We promise to listen to each other.

We have learned that if we keep these three promises we don't need a list of rules as long as a sheet of paper.  Please discuss our new mission statement and help your child memorize it.

Thanks for all your help so far.  I am so proud of how well the children are doing.
School supply sales
Walgreens has 70 count spiral notebooks on sale hor 29.
2 pocket folders without brads are 9.
Pilot G2 pens are 19 for a two pack.Boxes of kleenex are 99.
They also have backpacks for $9.99 and a second one free.

Office Depot has the 2 pocket folders for 5.
Notebook paper is 25 for 150 count.  Both items have a limit of 5 eac

Walmart has their supplies on sale now also.

We'll see everyone in two more weeks.
Blue birds
This morning Mama and Papa Bluebird were at their house in the courtyard.  They fussed at me for being out there in the yard.  I was so excited at seeing both birds.  It is getting close to school time again.  Please keep reading.
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From Mrs. Stanford's Garden
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Sunflowers
    Here is one of our first sunflowers in bloom.  These are Miss Warwick's favorite flowers.
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More Tomatoes
    Here are more of those round, plump, red fruits that we call vegetables.  They taste fantastic in salads andB.L.T.S.

    I hope that you are reading some good books this summer, going to the library, and having lots of fun.
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More Tomatoes
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Tomato
We picked the first tomato today!  Here's another good word for you to use when you describe food.: "delicious"
Doesn't this tomato look delicious? It is round, red, and plump.
It will taste delicious in a sandwich or in a salad.
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Peppers
Today we picked the first banana peppers.
Awesome job, First Graders!  Have any of you picked zuchinni from your plants?  I hope so.  Happy farming.
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Today's pick
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Our Garden
Today I picked three nice zuchinni squash and one yellow squash from our garden  I also picked a squash from Ms. Bibb's garden.
Sweet, Sweet Summer
We hope that you all have fun in the sun, in the water, and in good books!

When you are near the school stop and look at the gardens. Mrs. Bibb's corn is really looking nice.  You can see red on her radishes.  Mrs. Stanford's beans and cucumber's are wonderful, and Mrs. Kelly's flowers are gorgeous.  Of course we love ours too.  The tomatoes look great and the squash has gone wild!  The sunflowers are really getting very tall.  Inside the court yard the cabbages are humongous, the strawberry plants are beautiful, and the tomatoes are lovely.

WATCH YOUR GARDENS GROW.
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More from the Garden
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squash
The latest harvest of our squash!
They're yellow.
They're big.
They're ours .
They're yummy in our tummy!
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The Garden
Look at the squash!
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Baby tomato
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Watch Our Garden Grow
Our garden is really growing.  We have three baby tomatoes already.
Last two Weeks of School
Our main focus during these last two weeks of school will be the study of Mississippi: the river, the flag, symbols, state trees, animals, etc.
On Friday, May 21, 2010 we will go on a field trip to the Mississippi River Museum in Robinsonville,MS. We will go on a one hour boat ride on the Mississippi River.  Hopefully we will see some tugboats pushing barges. After the cruise we will go to the museum.  There we will see gigantic catfish, largemouth bass. big turtles, many other fish ,and perhaps even some alligators.  In the next room we see the brown bear, white-tailed deer, fox, wild turkey, cotton-tailed rabbit,and many other animals native to Mississippi. Next is the historical area.  There we will see a large dugout boat such as those used by the Native Peoples , Indian and Spanish 
artifacts, stories and pictures of the Mississippi River and its power.

Don't forget to pack a bag lunch that day.

We are supposed to leave school close to 8:30 and return in plenty of time for the 2:00 dismissal.  Parents wishing to take their children home from the museum must sign my list before leaving the grounds.

Right now there are three (3) projects going on:
          Yearbook orders.....$25.00
          School Supply Kits for next year if you are
           interested....$34.00
          Money and permission slips for the field trip:
           $15.00 for the children
           $14.00 for the parents
Some of you may want to take pictures that day.  I would appreciate if you would share your pictures with me.  The zoom lens on my camera has quit working and I'm having a hard time getting good pictures now.
Deserts
This week we are stil reading a bit about the desert and its plants and animals.  If anyone has any interesting pictures, articles ,etc. about things desert please share them with us.

Don't forget to search for books that you might want to donate to the book drive for needy children.

As soon as we get the exact leaving time for the field trip on the 21st I'll get the permission slips out to you.  The Mississippi Field Trip include a one hour cruise on the river and a tour through the Mississippi Museum.

The cost for students is:
                                   6.00 for the cruise
                                   4.00 for the museum fee
                                   5.00 for the bus fee
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                                   15.00 total

I know this is a lot but it is actually two in one with the bus fee only once.  Sack lunches will be the order of the day.

Adult fees for the cruise are $ 10.00 and $4.00 for the museum.  In order to get the school discount these fees will have to be paid along with your child's fees.

I hope that you have all found a nice home for your child's zucchini plants. 
they are so very excited and turning into responsable little gardeners.  They watch the garden daily.
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The Gardening Crew
After planting zucchini seeds and turning over the newly tilled soil the farmers of Room 109 headed back to the bunkhouse to get ready for the last activity of the day.
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The ggarden
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Below picture is a hornet and it's nest.
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Gardening in 109
The children have found out that chopping up soil can be hard work.  Hopefully they will find out that it is all worthwhile.  We have really been working hard at preparing the soil for our garden...Mr. Standard brought in his little tiller and Mr. Jesse tilled up our broken soil to which we added 100 pounds of garden sand thanks to Yvonne Johnson, a large bag of peat, and two bags of fine soil.  Hopefully this deep tilling with the additional material will help our plants grow.  Due to the expected storm we are waiting until next week to set out plants and to plant more seeds.  However, we did plant our zucchini seeds this morning with the help of Mrs. Johnson and Mrs.Leonard.
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Work Day Pics
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Work Day Pics.
Easter Greetings
Dear Parents,
   I do hope that your Easter was filled with blessings of every kind imaginable: friends, church community, family, and on and on.
   Congratulations to Jack Standard's family.  Baptisms are glorious times for families and faith groups.  Holy Saturday night
must have been filled with happiness, pride, and awe.

   Thank you to all who came on the Saturday before Palm Sunday and also on Good Friday.  All the hard work and fun of those two work days has truly added to the beauty of our flower beds and the courtyard. Thanks also to all who provided soil, mulch, and flowers. We are a blessed school family to have such caring families. I'll see if I can get a picture or two into this note.
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Conferences
Dear Parents,

Thank you all for coming to our conferences on Friday.  We had 100% participation.  It was most gratifying to watch most of you interact with your child, enjoy the time reviewing work, and talking about school, learning, etc..  I was also pleased that so many of the students remembered to bring their A.R. book and do the quizz with and for you so that you can better understand what your child is talking about when discussing A.R. books.

We have a lot of work to do this last nine week period.  Please continue to keep up the good work , study those flashcards, money, and math facts.

The action card will ook different.  For some of the children losinf a sticker seems to have lost its effect so we are trying something different.  As spring comes with its warmth, baseball, and general pull to be outside please help your child to realize that school is still their main job or responsibility.

I do really appreciate you all and how much you do to help your child, your school, teachers, friends, etc.  Keep it up.
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Crazy Socks Day
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Crazy Socks Day
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Crazy Socks Day
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Crazy Socks Day
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Crazy Socks Day
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Crazy Socks Day
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Reading

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Reading with the 5th grade
Today the fifth graders read with the first graders in their room.  Sometimes the little ones read and sometimes the bigger students read.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it very much.


Tomorrow is open House and a special Catholic Schools Week Mass.
Happy New Year
Happy New Year.

May you all have a blessed new year.As a friend sent this to me , I send it to you:

May peace break into your home and may thieves come to steal yor debts.
May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet for $100 bills.
May love stick to your face like vaseline and may laughter assault your lips.
May
happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be those of joy.

May the problems you have forget your address.
We'll see everyone again on Tuesday, January 5th, the day before Three Kings Day.

Thank you for all the Christmas gifts.  I really do appreciate your kindnesstOne child's gift had no tag.  If your child did not receive a thank you card in he mail, please let me know and I will send a note.

I still have a November book order that had no name on it.  The order was for $23.00 and must have been paid in cash.  There were no checks in that amount.
Christmas play
Our annual Christmas program for the Pre-K through fourth grade children will be on December 10th at 7:00P.M.


We will be stars.  The school has the robes, however, you may be asked to wash and iron the robe prior to the play.  If the robe is too long you may need to shorten it.  This will come a little later.


I will send home the words to Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem.  Please help study the words with your child.  Perhaps you can start Singing After Supper from now until Christmas.MS. Spencer says this song is the hardest one for the children to learn   Thanks
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Thanksgiving Food Drive
Thank you to all who have been sending in the soup.  The social service people will be so very happy when they pick up the food at school..The children decided to decorate our box for the cans of soup.  They are putting feathers all over the box.
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Pumpkin Mania
We certainly had alot of learning fun as we measured the distance around our pumpkins, counted seeds and did place value activities with the grouped seeds.  We ended by making pumpkin cookies and frosting.  Yum! Yum! Good!
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popcorn party
After studying Tomie dePaola's The Popcorn Book we decided to see what happens when the popcorn is put right into the heat.  The Native American Indians often threw the popcorn into an open fire.  We put ours into a heated popcorn popper with no lid.  We had popcorn fireworks.
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911
In remembrance of 911 we have been working on making a beautiful symbol of our country---the United States flag.
CLifford the Big Red Dog
By now you know that Clifford has taken over our hearts in the first grade.  Keep reading those books to your child, with your child, or have it read to you.  If we run out of time and don't get to change the Clifford books the children are heart broken.  I do appreciate all your help with homework.  Studying those flashcards is most important.

Thank you, also, to all of you who are helping with so many jobs to help us.
Class Web Pages
Class Files
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