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St. Aedan-St. Brendan Principal Newsletter “Nurturing the Spirit, Educating the Mind” November 2012 Picture Day November has arrived and we have certainly been very busy here at St. Aedan-St. Brendan School. Picture Day has been rescheduled for Tuesday, November 13th. Students should be dressed in their uniforms. You should have received the information on the various packages you can purchase and must have your child bring that back with payment before November 13th. No pictures will be taken of any child without that form completed and the payment enclosed in the envelope. No class picture will be taken this time. Instead we decided to do that in the spring when we can have the children pose outside. Hulley Grant St. Aedan-St. Brendan School has again been awarded 2 mini-grants from the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation (www.jamiehulleyartsfund.org). This is the third time our school has been fortunate enough to receive this grant. Mrs. Slayton, the 3rd grade teacher applied for this grant and both 4th and 5th grade students will be able to participate in this year long program. Grade 3 will work on a project creating a scrapbook with journal entries describing school events which will create enthusiasm for writing. Grades 3, 4 & 5 will also be working on mapping projects for Social Studies. Grade 3 will be working on a quilt/sewing map project of the community, Grade 4 will create 3-D regional maps, and Grade 5 will be making maps of the 13 colonies. Mrs. Couden also was awarded a grant and she will have an author present several workshops for Grade 8. Box Tops/Register at Stop and Shop and Shop Rite Just another quick reminder that we are actively collecting Box Tops for Education and have collected over 1300 so far this school year. Each Box Top collected is worth ten cents and they do add up quickly. Please check any General Mills product for the box top. Also, as you know, we are enrolled in the education program at Stop and Shop and Shop Rite. Basically all you need to do is make sure you have a card from those stores and once you have that card you can go online and register your card. For Stop and Shop go to www.stopandshop,com/aplus or call 1-877-275-2758 and have your card number. Use the code, 08694 to insure our school gets credit. For Shop Rite, go to www.shoprite.com and be sure to write in our school code which is 17659. Once this is done at either store, each time you shop there and swipe your card at the register, our school gets a percentage of the sales. This is a very worthwhile program because the money we make from these activities is used to buy extra teacher supplies and materials that we cannot cover under the budget. Veteran’s Day On Veteran’s day Saint Aedan-Brendan Catholic School will be hosting a Veteran’s Day Assembly. During the assembly students will have the chance to listen to and interact with veterans from a variety of wars, ranging from World War Two up to present-day. This assembly is to show appreciation to all those men and women who served or are currently serving our country. Conferences Conferences will be held this month on Thursday and Friday, November 15th and 16th. They will begin in the afternoon and end in the early evening. You will be getting information concerning conferences from your children’s teachers soon. You should receive some useful information about conferencing with your child’s teacher as well as schedules and how to sign up for a conference. Grades 6-8 will be having student-led conferences. Your child will be at the conference and he/she will sit with you and discuss his/her progress in each of his/her classes. The 6-8 teachers will be in the room and will address any questions you may have or simply just sit in on the discussion between you and your child. Further information on this type of conference will be going home soon. Please remember that those two days are half days and that lunch WILL be served. Student Council The St. Aedan- St. Brendan Student Council recently conducted a donation of supplies for the New Haven Ronald MacDonald House. Our students brought in donations of much needed supplies including toothbrushes, soap, baby wipes, tissue, cups and plates. They are now busy planning the grand opening of the school store which will be located just outside the school gym. The store’s inventory will include notebooks, pens and pencils, calculators, book covers and many other necessary items, all at an affordable price. The council is also busy planning for a Thanksgiving food drive. They will be taking donations of canned goods to help make Thanksgiving happier for those in need. The food will be donated to Christian Community Action. An area Cleanup Day is in the planning stages. Students will be raking leaves for people in the surrounding community. Learning about the Election In the month of October and middle school children took part in a study conducted by Mr. Garitta. In this study students were given political viewpoints of two candidates for President, candidate A and B. All students voted for the person they believed was best suited for the position. The outcome was 25 students voted for candidate A and 20 voted for candidate B. Two weeks later we voted again, this time the students were given the platforms of President Obama and Mitt Romney. Forty-two students voted for Obama and 3 voted for Romney. In the first mock election candidate A was Obama and candidate B was Romney. The point of this study was to show students that we must not, as a society, allow ourselves to make decisions just because of ethnicity, religions, language etc, but rather make our decisions for Presidency based on who we feel will make the best positive impact on our lives and nation. HOPES Dinner On Sunday, September 25, the Office of Catholic Schools sponsored its annual HOPES dinner at Aqua Turf. This very worthwhile event honors those people who volunteer their time and talent for our parochial elementary schools. Parishes throughout the diocese have a specific weekend to have a special collection to help support our Catholic Schools and the profits from the dinner add to that fund. Each Catholic school applies for a HOPES grant for specific needs and that is where the monies come from to support that grant. Our school was able to secure a $14,000 grant from HOPES the last school year. The majority of that money was spent to buy textbooks and I am also looking into purchasing more IPads or graphing calculators this year. This year our school honored two individuals who have volunteered their time and talent to benefit our children. Mrs. Paola Civitillo, our school chef, was honored for her many hours of volunteering to prepare banquets for various school functions. Paola never refuses to help us out and we are grateful for the extra time and effort she gives us in addition to the great dinners she prepares! Mrs. Sonje Smith was also honored at this dinner for all the time and effort she has volunteered for our Tennis Club. It was her idea to get this wonderful activity started at our school and it has blossomed into one huge sports program! She has also been instrumental in securing several grants from state and national tennis organizations to assist us in acquiring tennis supplies and professionals to teach our young athletes. Kudos to both of these women who do so much for our children! (Check out our website for a photo of the honorees at the dinner. www.staedan-brendanschool.org) Red Ribbon Week Character Counts/Red Ribbon Week was October 22 – October 26. Last year we focused on anti- bullying. This year the focus of Red Ribbon Week was Being Drug Free. Ms. Amy Melillo, our school social worker, kicked off the week with an assembly at each grade level on Monday. Information Day was Tuesday. Students learned what it means to be drug free and connect it with the Character Counts theme of Responsibility. Drug-taking in sports repeatedly makes headline news. On Wednesday the students looked at athletes that are good role models and help them to make better decisions for their own health. We ended the week on Friday with a Wear Red Day. Students dressed down in red to recognize the Character Counts theme of Caring and about Being Drug Free! Tennis Club The St. Aedan-St. Brendan School Tennis Club is having a great fall season. Students in the club have been improving their skills and playing other towns in the area like Guilford, Madison, and West Haven. The students usually practice after school each Friday either in the gym or at Edgewood Park. Our thanks to the coaches who volunteer so much of their time to make this wonderful part of our sports program so successful. The coaches are: Mrs. Sonje Williams Smith, Mrs. Claudia Bedoya-Rose, Mrs. Lynette Johnson, Mr. Darin Wilborne, and Mrs. Igo-Amadi. Home-School Association The Home School Association recently completed its first fundraisers. The first was the Jeannine catalogue followed by the magazine drive. It seems both were very successful and we thank all those parents and teachers who organized both fundraisers. Special thanks to Home-School Vice-President, Mr. Matt Luft, Math teacher, Miss Anastasio, and parent, Mrs. Tatiana O’Connor. On October 27th the school held its second outdoor Fall Festival. Chairpersons Mrs. Candace Manning and Mrs. Diane Couto helped organize this very successful event. Many of our teachers were also very instrumental and making this new event the success it was. It seems everyone who came to the event had a great time with great people on a beautiful autumn day! It was so great to see so many of our parents volunteer at this family fun day! Home/School is presently winding down its second fundraiser which is the sale of pies. All pie orders are due November 5th. Please bring them to the office. Pie pick up is November 12th from 3-5:30 in the garages by the parking lot. Home/School is also participating in a new fundraiser this fall from Mixed Bags. They are selling a great assortment of bags and totes as well as Ipad and phone covers. Catalogues will be coming out soon. The bags from this fundraiser will make great Christmas presents and we get 50% profit. Columbus Day Breakfast The Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Schools (FACS) held their annual Columbus Day Breakfast at Anthony’s Ocean View Restaurant on Friday, October 8th. Fr. Tom, Mrs. Couden, Miss Criscuolo, and I attended this wonderful annual event. Many parochial schools from the New Haven area were represented as well as many prominent individuals from the business and political world attended. This breakfast in honor of Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus, is one of the yearly fundraisers that benefits the catholic schools in this area. I will let you know exactly what this event was able to raise for our school when I receive the check! Coaches Needed! Basketball season is getting close to commencing and we have many students interested in various grade level teams. The grade levels are Varsity-Grades 7 and 8 Boys and Girls Teams, Junior Varsity- Grades 5 and 6 Boys and Girls Teams and Grades 3 and 4. Presently I have a Boys’ Varsity coach and Boys’ Junior Varsity coach as well as a Grades 3-4 Boys’ coach. Please, let me know if you are willing to help out in this capacity. A full time coach entitles you to fulfill your Fair Share whereas co-coaching will entitle you to half Fair Share payment. We want our children who express an interest in participating in a sport to be able to take part in it but we can only do this if we have coaches. Won’t you please consider giving some of your time to this very worthwhile cause? K-2 Field Trip The Kindergarten, First and Second Graders had a wonderful time on their field trip to Norton’s Apple Farm in Cheshire. When we arrived, we were taken on a hayride around the apple orchard where we saw many different kinds of apples being grown. Next, we joined the apples that had already been picked, in the HUGE refrigerator where they were being stored. Brrr! We saw a machine which cleaned off the apples that would be going to stores in the area. Finally, we watched the apples being bagged and crated. We also enjoyed picking our own bag of apples to take home to our families. After enjoying a picnic lunch, we were treated to apple cider and donuts. It was a great day! Eighth Graders Debate Eighth Grade students recently took center stage for a presidential debate. Jonathan Williams played the role of Barack Obama and Roy Smith represented Mitt Romney. The moderator was Sabah Banse. Students followed a debate format. Candidates delivered their speeches followed by pertinent questions from the moderator. Students were then allowed to stand and ask one question with one follow up. The debate was concluded with final statements from each candidate. Jon and Roy then shook hands. It was decided by the students that due to the excellence of each candidate the debate would be a tie. Inservice/Election Day There will be school on Election Day at St. Aedan-St. Brendan School. However, there will be no school on Wednesday, November 7th for teachers to attend a workshop sponsored by the Archdiocese of Hartford. Our yearly calendar that you received the first day of school gave the incorrect date (from the Archdiocese) so please note the correction. There will be another half day that is not presently on our November calendar to allow our teachers to attend another Inservice. The day of that half day is November 29th. Lunch will be served that day. Art Work On Display Mrs. Ireland, our Art teacher, along with Mitchell Librarian, Mrs. Tatiana O’Connor, recently announced that our students’ art work will be on display at Mitchell Public Library for the month of November. There will be a formal reception on Monday, November 5th from 6:30-7:30. Please take some time to go there to view our children’s efforts in art class! What’s happening in our classrooms? Pre-K/Readiness Program-Mrs. Zvonkovic, Mrs. Bonini, Ms. Durante The preschool classes have been busy bringing the outside environment into our classrooms by doing many activities with leaves. We have gone on a leaf hunt, painted with leaves, sorted leaves, and made our own Leaf Man after reading the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. On October 26th, all the preschool classes went to B & B Farms for a hayride and to visit the Pumpkin Patch. On Tuesday, October 30th, we had a Fall Festival including a Fall scavenger hunt, a variety of Fall art activities and eat some yummy Fall snacks. In the month of November we are going on a field trip to Stop & Shop to learn about healthy eating and see how food comes from a farm to the store. They will give us a tour of the"behind the scenes" areas, we will get to pet a lobster and taste some delicious healthy foods. We will also be talking about being thankful and all that we have to be thankful for. We will be having a Preschool Thanksgiving Feast to celebrate all our blessings. Kindergarten-Mrs. Odell This month has been a busy one here in Kindergarten! We have begun meeting in groups for centers and are on our second list of sight words bringing our total to 20! Keeping with the apple theme after our trip to an orchard, we did taste testing with different apples and caramel and we made applesauce. In math we are working on reading and writing numbers. In reading we are continuing with letter sounds, reading sight words so that we can begin to learn to read. To prepare for the election the students are learning about the process of holding an election and about the two men running for the office of President. We will be holding our own elections in class. We will be voting on the best way to eat corn: popped, on the cob, or caramel corn. Kindergarten will be backing the popcorn, first grade is backing the corn on the cob, and second grade will be backing the caramel corn. Each of these three classes will make posters for their type of corn, come up with pro’s for why their way is the best and have a taste test to persuade the other classes. Once the tasting is over the three classes will go to their voting booths and vote. Votes will be counted and results will be graphed and announced! Last but not least we walked over to the firehouse to learn about fire safety and to see how the firemen live in the firehouse. We also had the opportunity to get outside to collect leaves for an activity called leaf rubbing. I’m sure you saw the beautiful pictures coming home. Grade One-Mrs. Timmeny V-O-T-E V-O-T-E V-O-T-E That’s the theme song for First Grade. We’ve been learning a lot about the voting process, and the two candidates that want to be President. We will be voting in school for the man that we think will do the best job for us. We’ve watched the men on the T.V., read about them in the newspapers and in a magazine. We need to make an informed vote. We would also like to thank Fireman Kennedy for bringing the Fire Trailer to school. We SAFELY experienced being in a real fire. We felt a hot door, felt and saw pretend smoke surround us, and had to escape out the window. We hope we never have to experience it for real, but if we do, we’ll know what to do. Grade Two-Mrs. Pacelli This month, the Second Grade class has been very busy learning about the parts of a story. The students are in the process of writing their own narrative story. The class is learning how to revise their writing in the areas of capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. In Science, we have been exploring solids, liquids, and gasses. The Second Grade had the opportunity to work with the Seventh Grade Science class making Oobleck. The students learned that Ooblick was not a solid or a liquid, but a suspension. In November, we will be working with the Kindergarten and First Grade classes to learn about the election process. Each class will be given a type of corn to campaign that it is the best. First Grade will be campaigning for kernel corn. Kindergarten will campaign for popcorn, and Second Grade will be promoting caramel popcorn. The classes will make posters for their type of corn. The students will be able to taste each type of corn and then vote on which one they like the most. After the students vote on which corn they feel is the best, the students will graph the voting results. This activity will help the students understand the election process. The Second Grade will also be discussing the political election. Grade Three-Mrs. Slayton In Religion, we continue to study the Apostle’s Creed and we will make Thanksgiving cards for Arden House residents. In Social Studies we are studying about the Presidential election and working on the Character Counts program. In Math we will begin multiplication after we complete our unit on addition and subtraction. In Reading we have finished our first theme “Identity Awareness” and began the second theme “Perspective Taking.” We will receive funds for a year long project funded by the Jamie Hully grant (www.jamiehulleyartsfund.org). Funds from this grant will allow us to create both a “hands- on”writing project and a mapping project. We are planning with grades 4 and 5 to go to the Yale Peabody Museum to study animal habitats. Grade Four-Mrs. Boynton This month, grade four will complete our saint reports in time for All Saints Day on November 1, 2012. We will present the reports in class. We are now in Theme 2 of our Voices Reading Series and the title is “Perspective Taking”. This Unit helps us to understand the perspectives of others and become aware that others points of view can have validity. Grade four will be participating in the Christmas Tree Decoration Contest held by the Knights of Columbus. We will take a trip museum this month do decorate the handmade ornaments made in art class. Please encourage your child to read and practice multiplication facts nightly. Grade Five-Miss Criscuolo As the first Marking Period winds down, the fifth graders will be in the age of exploration with Columbus, Magellan and Marco Polo setting sights on new territories in Social Studies. Mapping and art projects will enhance our study. We will also be continuing our work in multiplication and division of decimal numbers and with the help of our Quinnipiac students conquer our fears in math. Voices Reading program continues with the study of Freedom in all areas such as Speech, Education and Expression while spinning our Character Counts pillars around the literature we read and discuss. Middle School Grades 6-8 Mathematics-Miss Anastasio Miss Anastasio’s Middle School math classes have been working individually on skills each student needs to practice or review. The students enjoy being able to move at his or her own pace. They are motivated to review the skill, practice it, and move on to the next skill. Students are not embarrassed to keep reviewing a skill they do not understand. We are fortunate to have small math classes and to have help daily from Quinnipiac University students. We are doing some great math activities for the upcoming elections. The United States of Numeracy: The Math of a Presidential Campaign is a wonderful site. The students were excited to use our new school lap tops to investigate campaign finance. They were stunned to see the amount that is raised and the individual amounts that people donate. We will be continuing to use the lap tops to look into fact checking candidates, explore voting patterns, and to graph results. The students always find it amazing to see math IS used in life every day and in many ways. Language Arts-Mrs. Couden November brings to mind two special days, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Seventh and Eighth graders will be using various genres to produce writing pieces. Prayers, poems and personal narratives will allow students to reflect on the history and personal connections in relation to Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Eighth Graders will also be analyzing and memorizing Flanders Field, a famous poem written during the First World War by John McCrae. Language Arts/Social Studies -Mr. Garitta Voices – This month students will be choosing a new reading book to present to the class. We will also focus on improving our writing using descriptive imagery. Students will learn to use imagery in their writing to help create pictures within the reader’s mind. Geography – This month in geography students will be learning about our neighbor, Canada. In this unit we will discover the extreme diversity that is found across the nation. In addition, we will understand how Canada and the United States, although different countries, share many similarities. American History – This month in class students will be examining the Articles of Confederation, the first attempt at creating a government in the United States. Students will discover why the Articles failed and how Congress attempted to fix those problems. Ancient History – 6th grade will be learning about Ancient Nubia in November. Throughout the unit we will focus on how these people lived and the influences they had on other civilizations and us today. The students will learn how trade helped spread culture throughout the world. Science-Mr. Celentano Grade 6- The 6th grade recently completed a chapter on earthquakes. They experimented with building earthquake safe homes, locating the epicenters of earthquakes and plotting earthquakes and volcanoes using coordinates. They are now beginning a chapter on volcanoes and will be working on creating travel brochures. These brochures will give detailed information on world volcanoes and why they might make wonderful (and dangerous!) vacation destinations. Grade 7- Our 7th graders recently completed a chapter on photosynthesis. They used a variety of methods to understand this process including labs and music. Some of them may now be willing and able to sing the “Photosynthesis Song”! They are now beginning to study the subject of Genetics. Soon they will be extracting DNA from strawberries. They also had a lot of fun working with second graders making oobleck, a substance which has the properties of both liquids and solids. Grade 8- Eighth grade has finished learning about the states of matter and is now beginning to study atoms and the periodic table. This is a challenging area of Science. They have begun their study by using artwork to distinguish between different models of atoms throughout history. In the coming weeks, they will create an “alien periodic table” and a large floor sized one. I would also like to add that 5th grade has begun their study of life science and will be dissecting owl pellets to study the skeletal and digestive system. Spanish-Mr. DiLella 6th grade: We will continue practicing verbs that act like gustar, and expand our speaking and writing capabilities with new grammar concepts this month. 7th grade: Vocabulary and more irregular verbs will be the focus this month. Students will have a variety of opportunities to converse with each other utilizing their new words, as well as get practice in writing and listening exercises. 8th grade: We will be focusing on "practical" vocabulary and grammar, in this case words and concepts that relate to travel and dining. Students will get chances to play the roles of diner or traveler, and receptionist or waiter, and practice interacting with each other in a variety of ways.
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