A number of "Thank You's" are due! First of all, thanks to all of those parents who helped make sure that our Native American day was a smashing success. Your help setting up the Xavier Room was invaluable. Students worked incredibly hard on their dioramas, artifacts, and reports. Their effort shined through. I don't think Native American villages have looked so good since before Columbus showed up and ruined everything. (We will be covering Columbus' various voyages this week).
Our class has had a tremendous offering of help for field trip chaperones - both for the trip to the Mitchell Museum as well as the upcoming venture to the CSO. Please know we appreciate your help even if we cannot accommodate every parent as a chaperone on every trip. Ms. Howard and I generally do random drawings to insure fairness.
Additionally - Thanks to those who brought in food to keep the faculty fed this past Thursday. The spread was enormous and delicious. I received a number of wonderful compliments from other faculty members. I assured them that I was not responsible but rather the parents of my wonderful students.
Thanks again to all - and especially my room parents who have done a masterful job of coordinating these activities.
As the first quarter comes to a close, please ensure that your scholarly children are taking time out of their busy schedules to do some independent reading at home. Their aim should be a bare minimum of twenty minutes per evening.
Beginning last week, students in both 5th grade classes have been participating in an island survival simulation which imitates the situation that Karana, the heroine of "Island of the Blue Dolphin" finds herself in as Scott O'Dell's novel of survival progresses. Each round of the simulation, groups of student must choose a specific survival strategy to implement which will result in an increase in any of a number of necessary resources (food, shelter, etc.). They journal about their decisions each round and are thus compiling a parallel log of survival to the novel itself. As readers, we have been spending a great deal of time focusing on different points of view in the novel and how identical pieces of information are presented in a variety of ways.
In religion, students have been wrapping up reports on assigned saints who celebrate their feast days during the month of October. Leading up to All Saints (and Souls) Day next week, students will begin to work on an "Icon" of a family member - living or dead. This is to help students recognize that saints are not merely those individuals canonized by the Church - but also everyday people who go about their lives with a spirit of charity to those around them. I'm looking forward to compiling our very own book of saints!