This is our ninth year with the students participating in the learning project URBAN/RURAL. This year they named their community Small Town, USA. The students are experiencing many important life skills, including budgeting, voting, taking care of their health, and stewardship. I love seeing the fifth and third graders work together!
I hope everyone has been having a holy and renewing Lent. Soon we will begin Holy Week. The students will be learning about Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday with a special craft. But this week they made a great art project that has been on display in our cafeteria. I am very proud of the students' work and I know they are too.
We had a great discussion about stewardship after watching these videos!
The costume box came out again while the students wrote their own story problems about area and perimeter. This is one of the important math standards third graders learn, and every year, there are always a few students that are confused about it. But hopefully, with these videos, and with the help of parents reviewing at home, everyone in this class will go on to 4th grade as area and perimeter experts!
The students did a great job teaching about their saints! I am excited to teach them about even more saints this Lent!
For years, the third graders and first graders have worked together on a project, making videos of Jesus' parables and miracles. And this year, we crossed the last one off our list and began repeating! They did a great job! You can check these out or go to the class links to see all the videos from the past years.
Happy 2017 everyone! I am looking forward to all that this new year holds! I remember Fr. John Reinkemeyer coming around to our classrooms on the feast of the Epiphany and blessing our doors with CMB, symbolic of the names of the 3 magi (Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar) and also an abbreviation for the Latin blessing Christus Mansionem Benedicat (Christ Bless this House). I think it is a great Catholic tradition that deserves a comeback. If your family is interested in this blessing, you can read more about it here. Today we blessed our classroom door! May all who enter receive "health, purity, the strength of victory, humility, goodness and mercy" and many other blessings!
Another year, another new song, to help us learn the weird complexities of English grammar. This time it's all those confusing rules for making nouns plural. We hope you enjoy this carol, even though the sun was a little bright in the students' eyes!
Merry Christmas to you and your family! I hope you have a great Christmas break! I am looking forward to 2017!
My students betrayed me just before Christmas. I challenged them to read, read, read in December. Every year, this is the month where students read the least, but if they could earn 100 points as a class, they could shave my beard however they wanted. At first, I didn't know if they could do it, but they read, they read, and they read some more. And they earned the reward. They read 177 points, double what they read in November! Every single student met their goal! I suppose they deserve some congratulations for that. But I got a little nervous when they clicked on the buzzer. Ok, I'll admit it, I was scared. And then my students made me look ridiculous. Well, I hope they're happy. And I hope they'll continue to read, read, read some great books the rest of the year.
They took pictures of my humiliation. grumble grumble grumble.
Wow! The compound machines arrived this week! And they can do so much work!!! Have you ever needed help hitting snooze on your alarm clock? popping pesky balloons? dunking a cookie? Well, these machines have got you covered! For the last month the students have been brainstorming, sketching, designing, planning, adjusting, tinkering and creating! For many of them, their machine became an intergenerational family project, where parents and even grandparents offered sage advice and shared their years of experience. I hope it was a memorable experience for everyone! In addition to learning about pulleys, inclined planes, wheels and axles, wedges, screws and levers, I hope that the students gained wisdom about organizing time, setting goals, and working hard! Congrats to the students! They should be very proud of their contraptions.
I am so proud of these students! They did a wonderful job performing Shakespeare's comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream. They performed it for our Family Reading Night, for the residents at Wheatlands, and finally so we could have it on video. They were ready to adapt and learned that "the show must go on!"
Last week, we walked to Wheatlands to perform our play for the residents there. As we walked along under the bright autumn trees, with the morning light shining through the leaves, the kids broke out into a spontaneous rendition of the Old Testament song. The moment was so joyful and so beautiful, I knew I needed to record it and share it with all the parents.
I hope that you have a wonderful holiday with your family, remembering all your blessings! I am thankful for a class of such bright, creative, and kindhearted students. Have a great break! Have fun outside! Read, read, read! And put the finishing touches on your compound machines! Can't wait to see those!
October is also the month of the Rosary!. The third grade class has a special green Rosary that was made by my students several years ago. Each family will get an opportunity over the next few weeks to take this Rosary home.
A while back, our diocesan paper, the Catholic Advance, published an article. It suggested the idea of taking one Rosary and "Praying it Forward." First, think of a person and then pray a Rosary for that's person's intentions. Lastly, pass the Rosary on to them and encourage them to pray for another person and keep passing on the graces. And so, one by one, the students will bring the Rosary home, pray for another student in class and then pass it on to them. By praying for each other we will join our school community even closer together. This is the ninth year our students have been praying it forward, with over 100 students using it to pray! To see a complete list of how the Rosary has been passed on, click on Pray It Forward Rosary History in the Documents section. This is one of my favorite projects, and looking over that long list of students joined together by the power of prayer makes me feel like a very blest man.
October is Respect Life month. Here in the classroom we will be learning about the wonderful creation of our human bodies and how life is a gift from God. The students viewed a Power Point on the miraculous development of a baby in the womb. This Power Point can be viewed under Documents. We also read some great books like Angel in the Waters. In Horton Hears a Who we were reminded that "a person's a person, no matter how small!" In Horton Hatches the Egg we learned that even though other people might make fun of us for defending the defenseless, it's still the right thing to do.
Sunday was the Life Chain where people from our church witnessed for life. Our St. Pat's students made their own signs that they proudly held. We also made baby blankets that we have donated to A Better Choice pregnancy center in Wichita, which will distribute them to expecting mothers! Most importantly, we will continue to pray for a greater respect for all life.
The students got to see four different planets tonight! Steve Higgins brought his high-powered telescope so that the students could see Saturn's rings and galaxies millions of light years away! The kids also spotted Venus and Mars, as well as Arcturus and Vega, two of the night's brightest stars. They heard the myths of Cassiopeia and Cygnus, identified the Big Dipper and Scorpius constellations, and even played a game of flashlight tag! Thank you to Mr. Higgins! Thank you to all the families who brought their children to enjoy the night! I hope it will be a great memory for the kids!
We had such a fun time, I almost forgot to take a picture until it was too late. We had 30 St. Pats come for Telescope Night!! My apologies to the students who had already left when I remembered to take a group picture!
We are nearing the end of our science unit on the Solar System. Each of the students selected a different object from the solar system to research. They used their creativity to design a hat that showed their topic. Then they moved around the classroom teaching their classmates. It was a lot of fun!
Here are two videos to learn more about the solar system.
STEM stands for Science Technology Engineering and Math. The students will be doing several of these creative experiments throughout the year. To go along with our medieval room, the first STEM project was to create a catapult. The students were giving a spoon, a binder clip, a clothespin, popsicle sticks and rubber bands. Then they used their engineer minds to design a working catapult!
A year ago, I brainstormed story ideas with these students. They wanted to write about knights! Together, they wrote this fantastic story!
Time flies, and now they are 3rd graders! The theme of our knight classroom is Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. In all we do, whether it is doing science experiments, playing soccer, or studying our multiplication facts, we want to do everything "For the Greater Glory of God!" The students have helped paint our vocabulary castle and have designed family heraldry banners. We also took knight pictures where each students got to sit on the throne.
I am so excited for all the possibility this year holds!
St. Joan of Arc, pray for us!
St. Martin of Tours, pray for us!
St. George, pray for us!