January 23

What is Empathy?

At our school, we are focusing on one particular virtue each month. A virtue is a type of morally good behaviour or character.

The virtue this month is EMPATHY. So, what is empathy? What does it mean to be empathetic?

 

Today, we read a book introducing this word and what it looks like. Students learned what it means to put ourselves in someone’s shoes. We shared examples of how we have shown empathy for others in our own lives. We had lots to talk about!

If you’re still not sure what empathy is, take a look at this short video made by 8th graders from Kalispell Middle School in Montana, U.S.A.

January 18

What Makes a Good Friend?

Friendship is such an important part of Grade 3 life. Not only is it important to us now, but all through our lives. We lean on our friends in good times and in bad. Friends lift our spirits when we are sad, they celebrate with us when something great happens, and they lend a hand when we need help.

In class, we’ve had great discussions surrounding friendship. What is a friend? Here is what our classmates had to say…

We compared friendship to a flower. In order for a flower to grow and flourish, we need to water it, give it light, plant it in good soil. This is similar to what we need to do to nurture a friendship .We must take care of our friendships the way we would a flower.

We’ve also read a couple of books about friendship. There are so many great ones out there.  Here are the 2 we read:

What other qualities would you add to our list about what

makes a good friend?

December 10

Advent–a time to prepare

Advent is important because the advent season is the time leading up to Christmas. Advent means ‘a coming’.  Of course, during Advent, we are anticipating Jesus’ birth.

We light the candles in a special order: Purple, purple, pink, purple, and finally white. The first purple candle means the Candle of Hope. The second purple candle is lit as it symbolizes the Candle of Preparation. The third candle is pink and it represents the Candle of Joy. The fourth candle in the Advent Wreath is another purple candle. It stands for the candle of Love. The final candle is called the Christ Candle which is white. The light represents Jesus who is the light of the world.

This is a beautiful way to represent our Lord, Jesus Christ.

How do you prepare for Christmas?

Do you have any family traditions?

November 9

How Do We Define Peace?

Our class has been talking a lot about peace. What does it look like on the schoolyard? In our homes? In our country?

How can we be peacemakers

not peacebreakers?

If we’re not sure where to find peace, we know we can always seek it in Jesus. After all, Jesus is peace.

Listen to what grade 3 students have to say about what peace means to them…

Have a beautiful weekend.

 

October 19

Talking to God

Learning our school prayer, looking closely at the Hail Mary, Glory Be, praying the Rosary. What do the words mean when we recite these prayers? Do we understand what we are saying?

Prayer is so special because it is talking to God…anywhere at anytime. God listens to us without judgement. He is a good listener. When we pray we give thanks, ask questions, ask for help, and so much more.

Recently, we wrote our own prayers to God. The students showed so much pride in their finished copies. They look beautiful! They are currently on display in our classroom and will go home soon.

What is your favourite prayer and why?

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?