a letter from the principal
As we begin this great season of reflection, I am reminded that CAS is represented by the Cross and the phoenix, and intend to spend time this Lenten season considering the meaning in our true beginning at Catholic Academy of Sunnyvale. We are a relatively new school, and the investment of our time, talents and resources will shape the future for our students and the greater community.
Inspired by Saint Katharine Drexel's notion of "education for all," it is our hope that many voices will help us learn and become the best school we can be for His children. Your time and voice matter. Whether you are working on the auction, speaking up for the parent experience or serving on a leadership committee...we are one body in Christ, and I thank you for all you have done to make Catholic Academy a wonderful place for students to grow.
May your weekend be peaceful and blessed.
This week in Toddlers we talked about Dr. Seuss. We read many wonderful stories written and illustrated by him. We even made some hats to go with our story, The Cat in the Hat.
We also learned about Lent and Ash Wednesday. Father Maurice came in to bless us with the ashes.
Our Montessori lesson this week had us working with instruments (as well as patience). We used the rhythm sticks, drum and hand bells. We worked on the letter Y and it's sound. We also worked on geometry attributes and matching shapes.
This week the children worked on their art skills. They did their own interpretation of Jackson Pollock's masterpiece. These young artists are ready to showcase their talent through our art gallery. The art gallery is located at the entrance of the Gym closest to our Preschool hallway.
Thank you to Father Maurice for blessing us on Ash Wednesday.
This week in Kindergarten, students continued learning about the significance of the relative location of a place. They created a rough draft drawing of a city with community buildings, and then made models with a partner. Also, the students explored a variety of objects in class and then discussed the similarities and differences of the materials.
March 2nd marked the 20th anniversary of National Read Across America Day. This also happens to be the birthday of beloved author Dr. Seuss. Grade 1 students enjoyed sharing their favorite Dr. Seuss books with one another. We wrote letters to our kindergarten friends, sharing a few fun prizes to celebrate this day. What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?
At second grade, we are already pondering about life.
At one point, we compared life to MATH-- we count (our blessings), add worthwhile experiences, subtract undesirable thoughts, multiply kindness and divide tasks.
This week, we said that life is like ART. We did our blowing/ marbling /scratching art masterpieces and evaluated our efforts.
Some of the comments were: Life is... colorful. We can plan, draw and design our own the way we like it. We can have our perspective. We can get inspired from others and go from there.
One child covered up the entire paper with paint and said, "I want to maximize and live life to the fullest. Another child concentrated on an area and said, " I focused on one area -- his comfort zone-- because I want to explore what I have and expand later when I am good at it.
One child had his awesome masterpiece but had splatters and got messed up. He was upset and said, "I had a plan. I was careful and focused... but others who did not know my plan came and tried to help and they meddled and eventually messed up what I was doing right." He then looked at me and said, "Ohhh, that happens in life... Maybe, they should let me work on my plan and just be there for when I ask for help...because I could have done it on my own."
To me, that was very Montessori... the realization of what we are capable of doing and finding ways for independence to nurture.
Wednesday was the first day of Lent. Students at CAS attended Mass and received their ashes. The Third Grade students made Lenten goals for themselves. Each student set three goals related to Lenten JOY. The goal for “J” shows how each student wants to come closer to Jesus, the “O” is for forming a closer relationship to Others, and the “Y” relates to becoming a better You. Each student will revisit their goals every week during Lent to decide if the goals were successful. This will allow them to reaffirm their good work or set new, different goals for the next week.
This week the fourth grade class got their hands and smocks a little messy when creating their portion of the fourth grade auction project. Each student received a small canvas in which they painted their own design. Students expressed their creative abilities in this compilation project.
This week in 5th Grade, the students worked on finishing their presentation of the animated story that they coded. They chose their friends to play their story's characters. Then, they started working on Course 3.
Course 3 is designed for students who have taken Course 2. Students will delve deeper into programming topics introduced in previous courses to create flexible solutions to more complex problems.
On Thursday, the students worked in pairs to finish our 5th Grade auction project. We couldn't have done it without the much appreciated help and support from our homeroom parents. Thank you so much!
This week in 6th-grade science the students are gaining first-hand experience using climate models to make predictions as they analyze and interpret data. In addition, they are all becoming advocates for the healing of the Earth by working in groups to create interactive presentations they can share with the world.
The designers are well on their way designing a new product for their projects. Students are on the ideation phase with their project. They are brainstorming why certain products are great and why some are bad. Researching the pros and cons about a product they want to redesign is the first process. Some are working as groups while others are working independently on their redesigns. From redesigning new mobile devices to football helmets, the young designers are excited to get to the next phase of their product.
In art, the students started drawing landscape drawings. They did an exercise during art class where they needed to draw what they saw in a limited time. They were to draw with a fast pace and work on the elements of art they've learned so far such as line, value, and space.
Since they learned about perspective drawing earlier this year, they needed to sketch "what they saw" and create vanishing points to show space and distance.
They were also introduced to Japanese artwork and it's movement, the Ukiyo-e movement. Please take a look a the link to learn more about this art movement: https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/entity/m0bwbv?categoryId=art-movement
It is a common misconception that Dr. Seuss wrote stories for only young children to enjoy. Grade 8 spent Read Across America Day investigating the author's thematic books for older readers. The Lorax explains the importance of environmental protection and what could happen if we neglect the earth. The Butter Battle Book echoes the events of The Cold War. While The Sneetches teaches us about discrimination and the price we could pay for shunning our neighbor. The class examined Dr. Seuss's beloved books with a more mature eye - hearing his messages with a big heart and an open mind.
This week is for reviewing and assessment. February's theme was "hobby." The students were taught six vocabularies,one asking sentence and one answering sentence. The students practiced the sentences and vocabularies on listening and speaking skills in Chinese language. Most of the students' listening skill in Chinese language was good. Some students need to practice speaking skill in Chinese language. Thus, the younger students matched the pictures and the words at class; they could practice those words and the sentence at home. The older students had the handout for practicing.
March's theme is "Foods." The students are going to learn three vocabularies each weeks.
This week we have been continuing our soccer unit with practicing ball control with specific parts of our feet. Utilizing the front (big toe) for strong forward kicking, inside of the feet for maneuvering, outside of the fee for passing, and in-step (top of foot) for long and high kicks, students have been learning to better manipulate the soccer balls through mini-obstacle courses. Scrimmages and team-position based play will commence upon completion of these ball control practices.
In HEALTH, we are winding down and concluding our anti-smoking unit. Don't be surprised if students warn you of the dangers of first and second hand smoking. Younger groups learned how to protect themselves should any grown ups be in their area smoking while our middle school students put their final last edits into their long-term "Public Service Announcement" group video projects.
Concluding February, Extended Care is ready to MARCH along!!! Puns aside, with the extra sunshine comes some very welcome outdoor fun transitioning from physical play in the gym to enjoying some fresh air in the field before twilight. Seasonal themed art projects included some color resistant cross paintings for Ash Wednesday, perler beads, and even some colorful steampipe hats to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday.
Things to remember: Students may create many wonderful art projects in Extended Care, grab a snack or two from their backpacks outside, or simply shed off their school sweaters to play in the sun. At pick-up time, please be sure to help you children take home any and all belongings when signing out of the EC program. Labeling items is just as important as these can be returned to you child's homeroom the following day, but only if there are legible names written somewhere in them. Un-labeled clothing, lunch boxes, sweaters, and even water bottles will be delivered to the school's main "Lost and Found" located in the foyer between the gym and main hallway.
Need a change in your monthly usage or need to add/delete allowable persons from your EC pick up list? Please contact Mr. Lee and/or the main office to make any changes to your child's program.