26 October, 2020
All Saints Day
This Friday, October 30th, we are celebrating All Saints Day here at St. Thomas. On this day, students are encouraged to dress up as their favorite saint. There will be a competition for the best saints costume among other fun activities for our students.
The Visible and Invisible
In class, we have begun to discuss God’s creation of the world. in this creation, God creates the visible and the invisible. We know what the visible stuff is because we can sense it with our senses. But what is the invisible?
Last year, someone shared with me a short film, “The Veil Removed”, that shows the invisible parts of the Mass. I am posting a link to the video here, so you can watch it and if you deem it appropriate, show it to your student at home. I found it helped me think about the mass in a deeper way.
Read, Read, Read
Reading is such an important skill to obtain. In class, we are learning about how the ancient people developed language to exchange information. In reading/writing, we study how that information is put together and how we can decipher it. In math and science, we look at how God is providing information about himself in numbers, shapes, patterns, and nature. In choir and art, we use our tools and skills to create beautiful expressions of information. All of these are ways that we read and understand the information all around us.
But this should not stop when the school bell at the end of the day rings. Please help your student with their reading at home. I am asking for at least 1/2 hour of parent/child reading time a day. Read to them, read with them, have them read to you. Any way you do it, you will be successful. Thank you!
Mad Libs (updated)
As we continue our exploration and practice of the parts of speech in class, there is a way to continue this work at home: Mad Libs! We have been introduced to nouns, verbs, and adjectives. An additional level to challenge your student would be to have them practice sounding out the words they come up with and/or writing the words out on paper. When we find fun ways to practice our school work, it’s kind of like getting a picky eater to eat their vegetables by hiding them in baked goods.
A family in our class has shared with me a wonderful source to find some family-friendly mad libs. Enjoy! https://www.glowwordbooks.com/blog/category/kids-online-mad-libs/
- Ambulances: OW and OU say “Owwwwww”… It’s time to go to the hospital!
- (short vowel)CK: When you hear “k” after a short vowel, it is written as “ck” like in duck or pack.
- ing House: ing can be found at the end of a verb that is happening NOW!
- Magic E (Silent-E Library): The silent e at the end transforms the short vowel sound into a LONG vowel sound.
- R-Street: er like in Xavier and in teacher
- R-Street: or like in for and order
- Long U-Street has the house “EW” which says ewww, like in few and pew.
- Baby-sitter Lane has the “AW” house, where it says awwww, like you would say in raw and law.
- Silent E Library (where the e helps its friends change their sound the the e stays silent) we have “CE” house, where is says “ssss”, like in ice and cent.
Across all of the grades, the students are broken up into 3 Angel Houses, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. These houses are like their school team. As members of their house, the students are trying to earn points to increase their Angel House Score. Students earn these points by demonstrating the virtues, being classroom leaders, and showing love to their neighbors. Points can be earned and points can be lost in this school-wide competition.
In our class, we are here to help each other. Our Angel points are tied to the clip chart. or each level you clip up, you earn one additional point for your house. For each level you clip down, you lose a point for your house. But here is the beauty of this competition: You have teammates to help you when you are down. If you find yourself down, your house members are there to support, encourage, and guide you so you can make the good choices to clip back up. We celebrate each other’s success, but we support and help those in need. The whole idea is that we are not alone, even in our mistakes, but with the encouragement of our friends, we can fix our mistakes and grow to be better.
As a kindergarten teacher, I often get comments like “Oh you must have a lot of patience” or “I couldn’t do that job! I don’t have the patience for it!” It is true that this job requires someone that can manage 16 different students at a time, but that does not mean that I am any more capable of patience than you. It just means that I have more opportunities to practice patience.
We all need to practice using patience. How many times have we been at the store and been stuck behind someone in line that just seems like they have the world record for doing everything slowly? We just stand there and tap our foot, or make rude comments to our shopping partners about how we are in a rush and that we’re going to be late. But what are we in a rush for? What are we going to be late to?
When you are feeling like this, please stop, breathe, and say this prayer:
“Grant me patience, Lord, as I await Your answers to my call. Teach me to be still in the midst of the storms. Lord, Your timing is always perfect, never too early and never too late. Knowing that You hold the future, it is definitely worth the wait!”
I noticed from several student comments that October seems to be a big birthday month. I am excited to be a witness to this stage of their lives. Having stated that, I have some good news and some bad news.
Good News: If you wanted to, you may send in treats to the class as a way to celebrate their special day. There are 16 students in the class, and after reviewing the medical list Mrs. Steffy has provided me, there are no food allergies.
Bad News: With the extra precautions we are taking with Covid-19, we are not allowing home-made treats into the classroom. All treats must be sealed in their original packaging. If a treat is brought in that does not follow this rule, it will be sent to the office and be sent back home at the end of the day.
Recess & Snack Information
We will have snack time in the morning and afternoon. This will coincide with recess. Morning recess will be from 9 am to 9:30 am and afternoon recess will be from 12:45 pm to 1:15 am. In order to facilitate this arrangement, I am requesting a student’s snack to be within the following parameters:
- Labeled with students name.
- carried outside of their lunch box. (in order to limit students having to access their lunchbox when preparing for recess/snack)
- be eaten without the use of utensils. (storing dirty/used utensils can be problematic)
- small enough to able to be finished within 5 minutes.
*As stated above, there will be two recess/snack times, so please plan accordingly based on your student’s needs.