FROM MY DESK TO YOURS #6
September 18, 2016
“The Heart of St. Paul … Growing Together in Faith, Knowledge, and Virtue”
Dear St. Paul Families:
I thought that this week in my bulletin I would share some of the great things that I have seen here at school just in this past week. So here are a few little snip-pits as to why I love doing what I do.
Early this week,I happened to be walking down the Middle School hallway when I was invited by the eight grade class to come in and watch morning announcements together. (For those who do not know, our morning announcements are student written and student initiated by our 8th grade.) As I watched with the kids the one thing I noticed was the look of pride and ownership on the majority of our 8th grade students’ faces. I didn’t know which way I wanted to look … at the screen or at their faces!! We are now at the point where the students have experienced the nerves of a “live production” and they are getting more and more comfortable. As always the announcers were great and they were all smiles. We chatted for a few moments and I asked if they liked doing the announcements “live” as opposed to being “taped” like last year. They unanimously agreed that live was so much more fun. We went on to talk about how rich the experience is for them to participate in live taping and how most high schools have student lead morning announcements which are almost always live. The smiles and the positive vibes I got from that conversation gave me a little more bounce in my step that kept me going throughout the morning.
Also early in the week, I popped into our first grade classroom and was totally pulled into the engagement of our little ones with a Big Book about rhyming words. They were all sitting up front in a group and were so focused on the lesson that most of them (including the teacher) did not even notice that I was in the classroom! (That’s engagement at it’s best!)
A few afternoons later in the week, I stopped by a fifth grade writing class and was so excited about the quality of the writing that I observed for a class in September. I managed to make it around the room and asked almost everyone a question or two about their writing. I was so pleased when Mrs. Bick asked them if they would like 10 extra minutes for writing or would they like to start on their Literature, they all chorused that they still wanted to write. That’s what I like to hear!!! It also impressed me how well the fifth graders understood different points in grammar. Now, are they all applying those rules? Not yet, but they knew what I was asking about when we looked at a sentence that may have been missing something. Fifth grade is the grade when they start putting everything together in their writing and they are well on their way!
Finally, I was humbled in a seventh and eighth grade class when I was helping to proctor their math test on Friday. I could answer the questions that the 7th graders asked, (for the most part) but let me tell you, I couldn’t remember some of the concepts on the 8th grade test. The students found some humor and satisfaction in that and so did I! (They saw me as human … ) Looks to me as if I need an account in our new IXL homework program!!!
In closing, I would like to pass on some quick little reminders about this week coming up in 3-8th grade. This is the week that we have IOWA Testing and sometimes that brings anxiety with the students. Here are some things you can do to help prepare your child:
• Make sure that they get a good night sleep. They won’t have any homework so they should be able to get to bed early.
• Make sure that they have something for breakfast. This was always a tough one for my own kids because they were not breakfast eaters!
• Remind yourself that this is not a test that the kids can study for. Some parents get very stressed on these days and it is transferred to the students. If you are calm about it … they will be too.
• This test is a snapshot of your child’s school performance to this point in their school career during the first month of school. It is not an intelligence test. It does help us as educators see how much your child has internalized in each of the testing areas. This gives us a small road map as to what holes, if any, your child may have in their academic growth. Then together we can work on filling them
Hope this information helps your child to relax this week.
With blessings from my heart,
HATS OFF TO THE FOLLOWING:
v The 6th and 8th Grade parents for the wonderful attendance at our Coalition Meeting and Right Start Meeting. If for some reason you were not able to attend, please check in with our front office for dates and locations of the other meetings.
v The 5th Grade Writing Classes – I have seen these students in action and they love to write. Their stories are interesting and fun to read. Keep up the great writing 5th grade. Can’t wait to see where you will be in a few months!!
v The 8th Grade Daily Newscasters – These students have taken on the challenge of live productions for our daily announcements. They have shown the courage to take a risk and go live and the result is a great production. Way to go, 8th Grade.
THIS WEEK AT A GLANCE:
Monday, September 19
o We will be continuing to collect for the IDF Walk until we run out of bracelets!
For a $1.00 donation you will receive an Awareness Bracelet that can be worn at school as a Thank You from Team Elise. The donations will be placed in Team Elise (Elise McCarthy) who will represent St. Paul School in the IDF Walk on October 9th at Queeny Park. If you would like to join Team Elise and walk with her representing St. Paul, please sign up and let her parents know that you are walking with Team Elise. The link for the sign up is in our Friday Weekly Bulletin.
o IOWA Testing all morning.
o Modified Specials schedule in the afternoon all week
Tuesday, September 20
o IOWA Testing all morning
Wednesday, September 21
o All School Mass – Sponsored by Mrs. Sumner’s 5th Grade Class
o IOWA Testing all morning
Thursday, September 22
o Happy Birthday, Mrs. Craft!
o Last Day of IOWA Testing
Friday, September 23
o NO SCHOOL TODAY – ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND!
o Professional Development Day – Vianney High School –Archdiocesan/Vianney Speaker Series