Week of February 18th Lent Begins

Dear 4A Families,

I hope you all enjoyed President’s Day/ Winter Break. The weather was amazing—it definitely does not feel like mid February. It was nice to have the extra days to get a few things done around the house, and prepare for the busy weeks ahead.

I would like to extend a big thank you to all of the parents and that helped out and contributed supplies for our Valentine’s Day party last Thursday. Special thanks to our room parent, Heather Slee. A great time was had by all. I also want to send out a very special thank you to all of the students and families for the sweet valentines and lovely goodies I received.

ashesuntitledToday we begin the season of Lent with the Ash Wednesday service at 8:45. Perfect uniform is required. Lent is a time when we are compelled to ask forgiveness for our sins and change our lives for the better. The ashes we receive are a sign that we are ready to change our lives. We will be focusing on three types of sacrifice and practices during Lent that will help us grow in our faith: prayer, fasting from excess and unkind actions, and good works or almsgiving. Each day during Lent the students will be reading special Lenten prayers or Bible readings for the season.   In class today and tomorrow we will be reflecting on our plans for Lent. Part of tonight’s homework is to make a “Plan to Grow” for Lent. It is important for students to not only write a few things down they may or may not follow through with during Lent, things that their family may or may not be aware of….I would like the students to spend some quality time talking with you about what types of changes or additions they can make in their lives that will inspire or guide them to grow in positive directions. I will not be grading or commenting on student choices—these reflections will be glued to the back of a special art piece we are making at school. Hopefully, when they look at their art work they will be reminded of their Lenten goals. It might be a good idea to post a copy at home as well! Thank you for your support. Lent is sort of like “Spring Training” for our lives—helping us to get started, giving us time to prepare, time to get in shape and time to focus on the journey ahead.

Religion: Along with our focus on Lent, our class lessons will be focusing on The Then Commandments then the Beatitudes. Both of these topics fit perfectly with this time of year. We will tie on our lessons closely with our Steps to Respect lessons. We will focus on role plays that relate to 4th grade social issues which hopefully in turn will help students treat each other with kindness, respect, empathy and forgiveness.

During Lent the students will be memorizing the Nicene Creed.  It will be split into three sections to make this long prayer more manageable.  The linked prayer includes the latest date each section can be recited.  Why not make this part of your Lenten routine—saying this prayer right before bed each night?

Oral Biography Project: At this point in the project the students should be reading and taking notes on their subject. Often students like to use sticky notes for this purpose, marking pages in books and writing quick notes like, “Use this story when I tell about elementary school.” I also talked with the students about having special note pages or cards labeled with topics like childhood, schooling, early adulthood, etc. As they read their book and explore other sources of information, they should be writing down important facts. Including dates and interesting anecdotes will help when creating notes later on. Let me know if you have any questions. The students will be required to create a bibliography of their books and sources of information. Mrs. Harris will be going over the specifics of a bibliography, and I have posted the formats as well.

Reading/LA: For this short week the students will reading some mini biography books on several different famous folks. Students will be asked to look for character traits and summarize important facts, which are the same skills they should be using on their big bio projects.

The students will be working on their in class bio writing project as well. When the present their writing they will get an opportunity to practice presenting with notes and working on skills that will be needed for their big projects.

Math: Dividing large numbers remains our unit of study. Understanding remainders, especially as related to story problems, will be our focus. Look for math homework Wednesday and Thursday.

Spelling/Vocabulary: There is no spelling test this week. Next week’s list will be sent home this Friday.

That is about it for this very short week.