Friday, April 26, 2019

Day 159: Putting Our Faith Into Action

The best way to know what a student has learned is when you see them apply it through their actions.  The most important life long lessons we teach at Christ the King come from our weekly Masses with Father Todd and during Religion class.  The students learn about their faith and how Jesus wants us to live on a daily basis. We have also put an emphasis on being Protectors of one another, based on the following quote from another of our greatest teachers, Pope Francis, “Let us Protect Christ in our Lives, so we can protect others, so we can protect creation”.  

Our students applied these lessons of our Faith in an amazing way through their donations to our Haitian Student Lunch Program. We set a goal of raising $1,000 in three months.  This would supply 5 students with lunches for the entire year. We had previously collected $400, and this week we collected over $800 in one day to exceed our goal! I am very proud of our students.  I know that they will continue to apply the lessons they have learned about helping others throughout their lives.

Day 158: disAbility Awareness Week

We had another great disAbility Awareness Week at Christ the King.  All week students participated in activities, interacted with speakers, and listened to stories that helped them to understand the similarities and differences that all people share.  We started our week with our very own puppet troupe performing skits for our K-4 students about physical and learning disabilities. Each grade level focused on a different physical, cognitive, or learning disability.  Below you will find more specifics on each grades focus.

The program builds as students progress each year.  We focus on people’s unique abilities through the following events scheduled for each grade.

  • Kindergarten “Everybody is Different”
  • Puppet show, book reading, and hands on activity
  • First grade “Everybody Needs Help”
  • Puppet show, book reading, and speaker
  • Second grade “Visual Impairment”   
  • Puppet show, book reading and hands on activity
  • Third grade ”Living with a Disability”
  • Puppet show, book reading and speaker
  • Fourth grade “Learning Disabilities”
  • Puppet show, book reading and speaker
  • Fifth grade “Hearing and Communication Differences”
  • Speaker, hands on activity, and video lesson series
  • Sixth grade “Living with a Physical Disability”
    • Speaker and video lesson series
  • Seventh grade “Autism”
    • Hands on activity, speaker, and video lesson series
  • Eighth grade “Putting it All Together”
    • Taking on disabilities for the week and video lesson series
We wrapped things up with a presentation in Tuohy Hall by an adaptive Lacrosse team.  This unique week allows our students to put their faith in action by developing empathy for all people and living by the Golden Rule of treating others as you would want them to treat you.  A huge thank you goes out to our collaborators at the Joseph Maley Foundations for making this possible. They supplied us with the speakers, equipment, and lessons this week.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Day 157: Escape from the Normal Math Lesson

The 4th graders had to work collaboratively to escape during the Math class today.  I had the
opportunity to sub in Mrs. Leising’s class today while she attended a writing professional
development session.  She left behind an amazing lesson plan.

The students were stuck on “Emoji Island”. To escape the mean king (me), they had to work
together to accomplish 5 challenges. I was allowed to remove a student if they were the only
ones working, but I didn’t have to.  They got started right away and were focused on getting
off the island. Students had to complete the 5 challenges, but before moving on, they had to
get checked by me. Each challenged required the students to find a hidden code by either
rounding, identifying angles, or using a lettered spinner. A lot of students made mistakes but
were able to figure it out together. They had to take their time and read the directions a few
times. I am happy to report that everyone escaped. They wrote reflections afterward that
reflected our school’s Growth Mindset approach.  The majority of the students liked the most
difficult challenge the best! Throughout the lesson, every student was able to review math facts
and improve their problem solving and collaboration skills. I am looking forward to subbing
for Mrs. Leising again soon.

Day 156: 8th Grade Stations of the Cross

The 8th grade did an amazing job of leading us in the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.  
They have spent well over a month working on the songs, choreography, and words that led
up to their performance.  Every 8th grader played a part. The Stations are performed from the
point of view of Mary as she watches them unfold.  Each stations was acted out while a narrator
described the scene. Then a second narrator made real world connections to each station.  After
that the choir sang a few verses from a relevant song. The entire school and I watched on silently
as the students guided us. It was an excellent reflection on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us
and how we can incorporate the lessons from the Stations in our daily lives.  
Checkout a photo album spanning the entire performance.

Day 155: Interactive Beatitude Lessons

The 5th Graders were getting interactive with the Beatitudes last week. Their goal was to create
a lesson to teach their fellow students. They had to have a text, visual, and oral component for
their lessons.  First they broke up into pairs and selected four or more Beatitudes. They had to
put each Beatitude they choose into their own words and then come up with visual and written
examples.   I stopped by over the course of several days and found students researching,
creating slideshows,and even including Father Todd in a video. Father Todd told the students
about the importance of the Beatitudes by saying they are a guide from Jesus on how to get to
Heaven.  It was great to see the students taking charge of their learning!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Day 154: Lunch at the Saints Isadore and Maria Garden

Today I hosted 2A for the second ever Lunch with the Principal at the Saints Isadore & Maria Garden. I have had  lunch with the principal in the students’ classrooms before but this has been a major upgrade. This format still allows me to touch base with the students and learn about their favorite things, answer questions, and take suggestions. It also allows time for the students to take a walk around the garden and discuss things that they like to do outside.  2A and I filled our bird feeders today. As we were filling them, we talked about what the problems of having bird feeders can be. They mentioned having to constantly fill them up, ward off squirrels, and find places to hang them. I challenged them to brainstorm solutions to these problems. I also challenged them to set up an observation experiment to answer the question of how long it takes for the bird feeders to need refilling.  They had some hypotheses that spanned one month to one day. We wrapped our lunch up with a selfie. Overall, we had a great time, and it definitely got the students excited to come out to the garden again soon.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Day 153: Learning Through Service

Today marks our 4th Annual Christ the King Day of Service.  Our middle school students spent
the morning at the following local nonprofits: Wheeler Mission, Growing Places Indy, Down
Syndrome Indiana, St. Elizabeth Coleman Pregnancy and Adoption Services, and the Fay
Biccard Glick Community Center. They did various tasks like sorting clothes, planting vegetables
and flowers, removing debris, and filling Easter eggs. This was a perfect way for our students
to spend part of their Holy Week. When they got back to school, they shared information about
their nonprofits with their classmates and then worked in teams to create their own nonprofit.  
They had to identify a problem in the world that needs solving and create a plan to solve it.

The kindergarten - 5th graders will also be learning about service this week. They will be
experiencing service lesson plans that help them to learn more about what nonprofits do and
discover little things they can do to help others.

I’d like to thank all of the students, parents, and teacher protectors who served today.  I’d also
like to thank the Joseph Maley Foundation, provided the lesson plans and coordinated with
the nonprofits to make today possible.