December 1, 2017      

Dear Parents,

        During December, we are learning about the virtue of patience (waiting without complaining).  It was interesting that several students told me (during religion class) that patience is a hard virtue for them to practice.  I love that patience is paired with Advent.  What a wonderful way to slow down and wait joyfully for our Savior’s birth.  Along with the virtue, we are learning about St. Monica.  She is an amazing saint who patiently prayed every day for the conversion of her husband and son.  Her patience was definitely a virtue, as both of them converted, and her son became a great saint in our church (St. Augustine). 

        A homework packet is coming home today.  The packet will be due next Friday, December 8.  Last week, I we started teaching the students about the strategy of asking questions or questioning.  I would love to have students practice the strategy of asking questions, but they are always welcome to use any other strategy we have previously worked on this year.  These strategies consist of predicting, inferring, visualizing, and/or making connections.  This week is a review of past spelling words, so I did not include the ABC order page in the homework packet.  I have two pages of the ELA Drops in the Bucket for students to work on this week.  Of course, students will work on the math reteach pages and the Gospel message too. 

With our spelling review this week, with so much going on with the Christmas Program and our writing projects (see below), we will not have spelling tests or ABC homework pages until January. 

         Coming home today is a graphic organizer for our big writing project this month.  I wanted parents to help with ideas.  The topic will be…What are some family traditions that you enjoy participating in during the Christmas/Advent season?  A sample topic sentence could be…”My family has many wonderful Christmas traditions.”  Please help your child fill out the “star ideas” and “explain” parts of the graphic organizer and return it by Tuesday, December 4.  Thank you!


We are well on our way learning how to add two digit numbers.  The first few math lessons in this unit, teaches children the concept of regrouping.  It has been a difficult week for several students in class.  Students have mentioned that it is confusing.  On Friday, it was the first day that students did very well on their independent work.  As we move into the more traditional way of teaching regrouping (carry over), it should get easier. 

On the feast of St. Andrew (November 30th), our class started saying the Christmas Anticipation Prayer (Hail and Blesseds).  I am sending home another copy of the prayer and reminding students to say it fifteen times on both Saturday and Sunday.  This is not required, but is a wonderful way to practice patience, as the prayer is said fifteen times each day.   J

Next week, St. Mark is doing an “Hour of Code” in every grade.   This is such a great opportunity for our students!

Family formation is this Sunday, December 3 at 10:05 in the gym.  Father would like 2nd grade students to attend these meetings as part of the First Sacrament requirement.  I hope to see you there!

Recess has been going better.  One reason is that the students have been acting like detectives.  They have been cleaning up garbage and finding “clues” everywhere.  I want you to know that we did talk about what can/cannot get picked up.  I also insisted that if they wanted to clean the playground or pick up clues, they needed to wear plastic gloves.  I am glad that they are being creative with their games, but I also want to make sure they are being safe.

We have been working on the concept of comparing and contrasting in reading this past month.  During the month of December, we will compare and contrast some Christmas books to the matching movie.  The kids are excited to see the similarities and the differences. 





Upcoming events:


Sunday, December 3:  Family formation at 10:05 in the gym.

Friday, December 8:  The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Holy Day of Obligation.  We will have the 9:00 mass here at school.  Please join us if you can!

Tuesday, December 12: Reading Volunteer Christmas party

Wednesday, December 13:  Christmas Program 7:00 pm.  All students must be here by 6:45.  Please have students dressed in their Sunday best.

Friday, December 15:  Noon Dismissal


God bless you!

Liz McAllister      

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Hail and blessed


Hail and blessed be the hour and the moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pureVirgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold.  In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires through the merits of our Savior Jesus Christ and of his Blessed Mother.