April 4

He is Risen!

The season of Easter is upon us. It lasts 50 days and will end at Pentecost on Sunday May 20. The Greek Orthodox Easter is celebrated one week later on April 8th.

I hope you enjoyed your Easter holiday and celebrated with friends and family and perhaps some yummy treats, too!

There are many symbols of Easter. The students brainstormed several including:

 

 

  • eggs
  • rabbits
  • flowers
  • candles
  • crucifix

The students enjoyed a little Easter egg hunt around the classroom and a beautiful presentation of the stations of the cross the Thursday before school ended.

How do you celebrate Easter?

Do you have any special traditions in your family?

Have you ever seen these beautifully decorated eggs? Check out this video that shows how the Ukrainian Easter egg is created:

February 26

We are Pillars of Lent

‘Give alms…Pray to your Father…Fast without a gloomy face…’ (Matthew 6:1-18)

 

There are 3 pillars of Lent: Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving.

During Lent, we are called to get closer to God and the Pillars of Lent help us to do just that.

Prayer–when we pray, we let God know we believe in Him. When we pray we learn to feel God’s love in our hearts.

Fasting— Fasting takes a lot of effort and dedication as we offer up to Our Lord the food we’re not eating. Perhaps you’ve decided to sacrifice eating snacks between meals or giving up a favourite treat. Fasting is difficult for everyone but is one way

Almsgiving–We are encouraged to do charitable acts every day and to pay attention to the needs of others.

We hope to approach Easter Sunday with hearts overflowing with love for God.

The students worked in their teams to create tableau (frozen picture) demonstrating what the 3 Pillars of Lent looks like. Check out some of their work:

February 14

Remember that You are Dust and to Dust You Shall Return

Today marks the beginning of Lent–a season of fasting and prayer. It is Ash Wednesday and we received ashes on our foreheads to show that we are sinners and are looking to repent. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. The ashes come from the burnt palms from last year’s Palm Sunday.

Ash Wednesday begins about 40 days before Easter. We are asked to do 3 things during this Lenten season:

  • Fast
  • Pray
  • Give alms

Have a look at this video to get a quick overview of Lent and Ash Wednesday.

February 13

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent. It’s a day of penitence, to clean the soul, and a day of celebration as the last chance to feast before Lent begins.

Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up. So Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that aren’t allowed in Lent. Historically, in the old days there were many foods that Christians would not eat during Lent such as meat and fish, fats, eggs, and milky foods. So families wouldn’t be wasteful, they would have a feast on the shriving Tuesday, and eat up all the foods that would go bad over the next 40 days.

Pancakes became associated with Shrove Tuesday because they were a dish that could use up all the eggs, fats and milk in the house with just the addition of flour.

December 17

Nativity

It has been said that Francis of Assisi created the very first Christmas nativity scene in AD 1223 after a trip to the Holy Land and Christ’s birthplace. Today, around the world, Nativity scenes are displayed in front of Churches, in people’s homes, and in many other places.

The word nativity is taken from the Latin nativus, which means “arisen by birth.” A nativity scene is a representation of the night of Jesus’ birth as depicted in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

This past week, our students created a simple version of a nativity scene using a clementine box, raffia, burlap, and paper characters including baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, an angel, 3 wisemen and some animals.

Do you have a nativity scene in your home? If so, where is it located?

December 6

Feast Day of St. Nicholas

Today began with a special Mass dedicated to St. Nicholas. Mrs. Hollis’ class did a fabulous job leading our school. So, who was St. Nicholas? He was a historical figure whose story begins in a town called Myra (Turkey). When St. Nicholas’ parents died, Nicholas used his whole inheritance to help the sick, poor, and those suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need and his love for children. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra. His gift-giving gave rise to who we now call Santa Clause (St.Nick)

We celebrated the Feast Day with hot chocolate and cookies. A big thank you to all of the parents who organized the treats for us today. We are grateful!

 

December 4

A Savior is Coming

This past Sunday marked the 1st Sunday of Advent. Advent is one of the 7 Catholic church seasons and begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. It ends on Christmas Eve.

Do you know what the word Advent means? 

Advent means “coming” or “arrival.” During Advent, we as Christians focus on preparing for the birth of Jesus. Advent means to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus.

The season of Advent is marked by a spirit of expectation, preparation and longing.

The main colour of Advent is purple. This is the colour of penitence, fasting and royalty.

At the beginning of Advent we normally put up an Advent wreath with 3 purple candles and 1 pink candle decorated with a purple ribbon or bow around it. The Advent wreath is a circle to show that God’s love has no beginning and no end. Wreaths are made out of fake or real pine needles from an evergreen tree because they never lose their needles and are always the same. This shows that God’s love will always be the same and never change. 

When I was growing up, my parents always played a particular album on their record player (ha!) called Gentle Night. It has songs related to Advent as well as Christmas and I still play it to this day (but on my iPod, not a record player!).

Here’s one of my favourite Advent songs on the album:

 

What are some ways you celebrate Advent?

Do you have an Advent wreath at your house or school?

 

 

 

December 3

Welcome to December!

As we gear up for Christmas, our days are filled with plenty of learning, discussion, and activity Students talk about their Elf on the Shelf,  what their plans are for Christmas, decorating their tree, and get excited as we being to play Christmas music.

Check out our students in action in various subject areas over the past few weeks.

 

 

 

 

November 27

UPower Maps are Taking Shape

Today was our first day assembling our UPower Maps. If you don’t know what a UPower Map is, check out this post.

Students brought in an assortment of magazines, stickers, pictures, and flyers to begin creating their vision board, also called a UPower Map.

Take a look at the wonderful creativity taking shape in our class. Woo hoo! I am so excited to see the finished products. Students will be presenting these to the class once we are all finished.

What would be a ‘must-have’ on your vision board?

November 21

UPower Map

Inspired by motivational speaker and singer extraordinaire, Sara Westbrook, who visited our school last week, our class is embracing the challenge of creating our own UPower maps! (Click here to visit our post about her visit, if you missed it).

So, what is a UPower Map?

  • it’s like a GPS for our life. It gives us direction and helps us visualize the person we want to be, our dreams, ambitions, character traits

This week, we are asked to gather ideas, magazine clippings, stickers, pictures, and anything else we can use to help us create our maps. We begin assembling our maps on Monday. We are excited to see the finished products!

 Check out Sara’s music video where you can see her creating her very own UPower map.

If you were to create your own UPower Map, where would you hang it so you could see it easily?