a letter from the principal
Many, many blessings to all who attended and so graciously gave to the school through the Auction! What a wonderful event for the whole adult community! The team of strong volunteers who gave of their hearts and hands created a special Catholic Academy memory. I am grateful for the hours and hours of service to make this great annual event possible. From the dinner prayer to the hula dancers to the BBQ to the final clean up, what great spirit!
Speaking of spirit, I took time this week to speak with many students about their impression of their school experience and the new program design with those children who were here last year and this year. I was struck by the unanimous answer that the school is more exciting this year. The two main things the students mentioned for their positive feelings were these: 1) Many commented that they liked having more than one teacher, and that they felt known and connected to the entire faculty this year, and 2) They also liked "having things to do." They referenced robotics, industrial design and science where they could really use their hands to build, make and create. It was an interesting learning experience for me, and I enjoyed hearing their stories about just what makes this year stellar.
I have been talking quite a bit about raising morale and bringing back the fun in our community meetings. If you are interested, and want to get involved, stay tuned...I will be hosting a meeting soon to add some spunk to the end of the calendar year! I am looking forward to it.
May you each have a blessed and peaceful weekend!
The Toddlers experimented with light this week. We discovered that light travels in a straight line by creating a tunnel. We were very excited to move the light around and see how we make our own shadows.
We welcomed our new friend, Rudy to Toddlers. He is showing us his impressive face washing skills. He demonstrated how to wring out our face cloth and rub in the soap.
In the spirit of Spring beginning this week, kindergarteners worked with a partner in STEM to create miniature greenhouses. The students used recycled cd cases, plastic wrap and tape to build their own greenhouse designs. These small structures will be able to house small flowers / plants this Spring at our school!
First grade had a wonderful time last week writing letters for our Auction basket. This basket of goodies will be sent overseas to a military hero. The class had a collaborative discussion on what words we could use to really show someone that we appreciate his or her actions. Each student then penned his or her own letter to show gratitude and to share a smile with our unknown hero. At the Auction, our basket was a success! We hope it travels safely; we’re sure the recipient will appreciate our first-grade letters.
Second Grade readers explored a biography on Helen Keller, a young girl who was blind and deaf. Even though it was difficult, Helen learned to communicate with the world. She learned to speak sign language, learned to write letters, and learned to read Braille. The class took a Braille Hunt around campus, finding Braille all over the school that we had never seen before! The real treat, however, was watching a short clip of The Miracle Worker. Some students even took it upon themselves to go home and watch the entire movie with their family!
Third Grade students have been working on Lent projects for the past few weeks. The project completed this week asks students to collaborate and share their knowledge. Students broke into groups and discussed favorite events and scriptures of the Lenten Season. Each student then put together a booklet they can share with their families.
The fourth grade students began working on individual Minecraft “Selfies”. Each student is given the task to cut out 1” by 1” squares to design an image that would look like them. The purpose of this project is for students to apply their measurement skills, improve fine motor skills (cutting, gluing, etc.), use their imagination, and apply area and perimeter. This will be a lengthy process for students to complete, but it will involve meticulous work of planning and execution of their squares.
This week in Robotics, the students worked on coding the Minecraft Designer. They programmed animals and other creatures in their own version of Minecraft. On the final level, they designed a Minecraft world where they could spawn multiple creatures and make them do any tasks they desired. The students also took turns to work on completing the robot Maze Challenge #1
The young art apprentices understood the movement of Ukiyo-e art, the "floating world" and it shows in their art. During this study of Ukiyo-e movement, the artists explored using watercolor and their artwork turned out great.
The young designers are ready to present their product design projects. They worked hard and diligently on their projects. It's exciting to see the young designers take an idea and produce a product to a simple prototype model.
This week in 8th-grade science the students have been learning about Bernoulli's and Pascal's Laws. They are using their knowledge of physics to build a model that simulates an astronaut landing on a planet's surface from low orbit. The models they are constructing are very similar to the classical egg drop projects with a 21-century twist.
The third and fourth grade students made the ice cream craft because they learned three desert vocabulary such as ice cream, cookie, and cake. They used the cupcake papers to create the ice cream scoops. Moreover, they needed to write the pinyin and Chinese character for ice cream word.
The fifth and sixth grade students had three pictures on the handout and they needed to write the pinyin and Chinese character for ice cream, cookie, and cake words. The sentence structure was: “Would you like to eat ….?” They used three desert words to practice oral conversation in Chinese language.
THIS WEEK IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION/HEALTH
After months of rigorous practice and rehearsals, we are again testing our longitudinal developmental progress with several of our regular fitness exercises, . . . starting with our PACER tests! The PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run) is a multi-stage aerobic capacity fitness test adapted from the 20-meter shuttle run and is progressive in intensity. Slower timed and easy at the beginning and more difficult with shorter time intervals towards the end. This test is set to musical rhythm for fun but accurately timed by CD player. All students from K and up participated and cooperatively scored each other this week. These scores were compared to our baseline scores from back in September to see how far each child has progressed. Similar metrics will be conducted for the next few weeks for more of our floor exercises like the the trunk lift, 'leg-ups', curl-ups, push-ups, and jumping-jacks. To great smiles and surprises, most of our students improved their scores significantly and are excited to challenge themselves even further the next go-around.
THIS WEEK IN EXTENDED CARE
Spring is here and rain or shine, fun will always be had at Extended Care! This weeks crafts included beaded necklaces and bracelets, custom paper-craft boxes and colorful 'name-oodles'. Each month we post a calendar of daily art projects and activities to challenge your young ones after-school. Outdoors, our students get a chance to run and participate in teacher run games like soccer, kickball, or (Nerf) football, or to organize simple games of tag. Sunshine or rain, we are flexible as the large muscle motor development and wiggles can usually be brought back inside on our stormier days as we move into our large gymnasium. In addition to team based ball games, children also got to ride along on floor scooters to truly keep them dry but wear them out!