Language Arts: The students have completed their first non-fiction essay concentrating on the trait of Ideas. This week we’re adding the writing skill of word choice. Each time we add a skill, a new layer of a rubric will be added to their score. This helps students know what expectations they must reach and why they received a certain score. Next week students will begin or resume working in the 1100 Words You Need to Know skill book.

Reading: We have begun three new novels. The sixth grade crew is reading, Extra Credit by Andrew Clements. This is a story about a girl in Indiana and a boy in Afghanistan who become pen pals. The seventh grade group is reading. The Conch Bearer by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. This is a fantasy taking place in India. The eighth graders are reading, Boys Without Names by Kashmira Sheth. This novel focuses on child labor but in a humane, personal and uplifting way.

Comparative Religion: We had an incredible time in Vancouver visiting different religious/spiritual centers. We visited with gen Kelsang Deleck at the Tilopa Buddhist Centre who taking about the tenants of Buddhism and lead the students in a guided meditation. We got to speak with Imam Fode Drame of the Islamic Zawiyah foundation who furthered their knowledge of Islam.

We also visited the Xa:ytem Longhouse Interpretive Centre to learn about the spiritual and cultural practices of the Sto’:lo nation. The students watched a house post being carved out of cedar, went into a model of an ancient pit house, observed the archeological dig sites and learned about the story of the spirits of the transformer stone which is sacred to the Sto’:lo people.

Once we returned to school, we learned more about the practice of Buddhism. We will visit the Buddhist Center of Tacoma next week. This Friday we spoke with Reverend Frances Lorenz of the Center of Spiritual Living.

Sciences: We are continuing a physics follow-up related to our day at Playland’s “Physics Day” in Vancouver, B.C.

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