A letter from the Principal
God is with us. Every day we see His face in your children and are blessed to share their joy, growth, and experience as they build the frames of who they will become as adults. It is a rich, rewarding job to work closely with students, and one that takes a good deal of humor, patience and creativity. How blessed we are!
We have been working on becoming a stronger learning organization with professional development on how the brain works and how we teach, reading fluency and comprehension, budgets, and PowerSchool. Some of us were even lucky enough to hear an author talk from Francisco Jimenez. We are growing and while we are doing so, we are listening. We have heard key pieces of feedback that we will be working to address including the following:
Creating ways for parents to better understand what is happening in the classroom;
Training for both teachers and parents on how to read and use data;
A need for a greater sense of community.
Feedback is essential to help us better serve the community, and each voice matters. We thank everyone for their input through SAC, PTG, the parent surveys, coffees and meetings letting us know what is working and what could be improved. With the addition of Todd Tuttle to communications and Margaret Reynolds to data, curriculum and special projects, we are working through new ways to address these needs, and are confident that positive changes are in the works.
Please continue to communicate your needs, questions, reasons to celebrate, and expectations. Your thoughts help shape ours, and together, we can model collaboration and growth for the children. The best schools are learning organizations, and Catholic Academy is just that. Help us learn, and participate where you can, when you can. Parents, grandparents, and friends who add their gifts to Catholic Academy make a real difference in the lives of our community. Thank you for all you add to the sum of us.
May you and your family be blessed with a peaceful, happy weekend.
This week in Toddlers we are excited about Valentine's Day! We talked about our virtue of loving and how we show our family and friends that we love them.
Our Montessori lessons this week have us experimenting with sound. We used test tubes and varied levels of water to hear different sounds. We also used handbells to distinguish between high and low sounds.
The Toddlers have enjoyed their nursery rhyme "Mary, Mary Quite Contrary". They have also been tracing the letter W and finding words with the W sound.
This week preschool did five experiments focusing on nature. They made different observations with rocks, leaves, and flower petals. Using a variety of plants, the preschool did an experiment to find out if plants need oxygen to survive. As a class they went on nature walk and learned how to determine the age of a tree by measuring it's circumference using a measuring tape.
Thank you to Mrs. Michelle Broome, Watson's mom for being our community helper this week!
This week in kindergarten, the students learned about patterns and shapes in art class. They designed and created their own original art pieces using layers, symmetry and balance techniques. Also, students began a new unit in science on objects and comparison that they utilized during their art class.
Grade 1 authors experienced two of our favorite activities this week: writing and showing appreciation. We put pencils to paper as we created appreciation cards for one of our favorite teachers. The students discussed which words and pictures would be best in our planning session. We then picked out colors and got to work!
As the children are working on their "whole child" development, it is timely for them to know how they are perceived by their peers. Each one wrote the best things that they can think about each other. This will help boost their morale and confidence. This will help them realize that they have friends who are supportive of them and who appreciates their presence. In return, they too, become appreciative of other's efforts to help them who they want to be and be successful at it.
Writing is E’z
Students have finished their anchor text, Freedom Crossing. They are writing the concluding essay using the Step Up to Writing process. The focus of this assignment is to expand their writing skills by exploring additional ways to present their ideas. The focus E’s of Step Up to Writing this week are evidence, experience, and examples.
The fourth grade class if focusing on applying their skills of multiplication and are building a foundation of measurement. We are focusing on the American standard of inches and feet this week. The goal is to have students become comfortable measuring and reading measurement units, including the metric system. This week the class is working on a project where they are collecting data points in the form of measurement. From there, they will have to produce a chart and a graph to represent their data. The next step would be for students to learn and apply these skills, but using electronic tools such as excel spreadsheets and an online chart builder. Students can see the relationship of their work and how the collection of data is a valuable asset and application of many life experiences.
This week in 5th Grade Robotics, the students worked on programming the puppy robot. The puppy robot had a color sensor and a touch sensor attached to it.
They also had to take a Kahoot 1:1 quiz on the basics on EV3 programming. Diego won the quiz! They had another quiz on the basics of Coding, which Marisa won!
In Coding, they had to work on building their own Star Wars galaxy. They programmed BB-8, R2-D2 and C-3PO and on the last level made their own Star Wars game.
The students demonstrated the use of function coding to create a pattern in robotics class.
In graphic design class, the students are learning the elements and principles of graphic design. Graphic design is the process of visual communication and problem-solving through the use of typography, photography and illustration. The field is considered a subset of visual communication and communication design; compositions are evaluated based on the use of (and the successes or failures of) hierarchy, harmony, emphasis, gestalt, pattern, movement, rhythm, proportion, and unity.
The young graphic artists are designing their own personal logos by combing their first initials from their first and last names.
They are to add some personality to their logo.
We were blessed to host Francisco Jimenez this week, author of The Circuit. Professor Jimenez spoke to CAS students about his stories of life as a migrant child. He shared insight into his writing process, but also spoke valuable words on global unity and diversity. His visit left an impression on all of us.
The theme of February is "hobby." There are three vocabularies for this week. The words are "看電視 kàn diàn shì (watch TV)," "滑雪 huá xuě (skiing)," and "畫畫 huà huà (drawing)." Using the action lets the students memorize these words while having fun. After learning these words, the students learned to speak the whole sentence. So, the sentence structure is "I like..... and I don't like ......." On the other hands, the 1st to 4th grade students made a skiing craft.
我喜歡 (I like) ....看電視 kàn diàn shì (watch TV)," "滑雪 huá xuě (skiing)," or "畫畫 huà huà (drawing).
我不喜歡 (I don't like).... 看電視 kàn diàn shì (watch TV)," "滑雪 huá xuě (skiing)," or "畫畫 huà huà (drawing).
看電視 kàn diàn shì (watch TV)
滑雪 huá xuě (skiing)
畫畫 huà huà (drawing)
喜歡 xǐ huān (like)
不喜歡 bù xǐ huān (don't like)
Physical Education and Health
Now that the Super Bowl is behind us, so has the football unit in Physical Education come to its conclusion. To go out with bang, we put all of our students to work in an applied skills test in the form of a football-themed obstacle course. This drill hits on all the fine and gross motor muscle areas we were developing including spatial awareness, hand-eye co-ordination, and cardio-multi-tasking. One after another students threw and caught from each other, tucked and weaved through single step patterns and bunny-hopped through 18 inch hoops, then running back to start all over again.
In Health, our 7th and 8th grade students were hard at work completing their scripts, storyboards, and pre-productions for their 'Public-service' style anti-smoking commercials. These films will be viewed by our younger students and voted on in terms of content and creativity.
This week's grey skies hasn't slowed down the Extended Care one bit as we have been taking as much advantage of every bit of break in the weather as we can. While we do help with homework completion, guide arts activities, create tasty snacks, and encourage fun and growth where ever we can, we also want to keep our kids moving. The Extended Care room itself has a great and popular variety of games, craft materials, and toys to keep anyone busy for the whole day, but interactive involvement and active play in the fresh air is just what some kids need to de-stress and unwind after a busy school day full of academic challenges.