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S T .

M A R Y

( N A T I V I T Y )

Second Grade Stars
March 2013

A Word from Ms. Kushnar…
March is finally here! Spring is approaching quickly,
Easter is coming, and First Communion is right around the
corner! This month is full of so many wonderful activities and
events (see the calendar at the end of this newsletter), so we will
be incredibly busy in Room 202. We are progressing through all
of our subject areas with flying colors and everyone is excited to
come to school and learn new things.
I would like to send some thanks to the people who
helped and supported us last month. Thank you for all of the
help and support from the families during Catholic Schools
Week. A special thank you goes out to Mrs. Campbell, Mrs.
Daniels, and Mrs. Lazuka for making our Valentine’s Day
party full of love and for providing the delicious snacks!
Remember to check your child’s BEE Book for all other
school announcements!

What’s Inside
This Issue?

What we are doing
in the classroom

What you need to
know to prepare for
First Communion

Home activities

Classroom wish list

Class
announcements

Our monthly
calendar

Important Dates!
First
Communion
Preparation

Meyer’s
Greenhouse
Field Trip

3/18
7:00PM
St. Mary
(Nativity) Church

3/27
9:00AM
PERMISSION
SLIPS DUE 3/22

Easter Break
NO SCHOOL
3/29 – 4/1
Early dismissal at
12:00PM on 3/28

SECOND GRADE STARS

MARCH 2013

What Are We Doing
This Month In…
Science?
Our butterflies are getting ready to go into their
chrysalises to transform into butterflies. Once they
emerge, we will have a butterfly release. Keeping with
our unit on life cycles, we will be going on a field trip to
Meyer’s Greenhouse on Wednesday, March 25th to
start our introduction to plant life cycles. We will then
grow our own bean plants right in our classroom!

Math?
This month in math, it’s all about area and perimeter.
Each student will create their own unique robot and
then find its area and perimeter. Then, we will take
this out into the school and find area and perimeter of
different places around the school such as the gym, the
garden, and our classroom.

Language Arts?
This month, our focus is on Tomie DePaola and his
books. The books we will cover are The Art Lesson,
Strega Nona, Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland, Nana
Upstairs Nana Downstairs, and The Bubble Factory.
Through these stories, we will learn about different
literary elements, art, history, and character lessons.

Social Studies?
We have just finished our discussion about
neighborhoods and communities. It was so wonderful
hearing the students talk about where they live and see
it through their eyes. Later this month, we will be
building our own community from top to bottom. This
is going to be a large project, so we are going to need
help from everyone! See the last page of this newsletter
for items we need for this project.
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SECOND GRADE STARS

MARCH 2013

First Communion Preparation
In the Catholic Church, second grade comes with the joy and excitement of celebrating First
Communion. Our celebration is fast approaching, and we are in the final stages of preparing. This
day is the first of a lifetime of coming to the Eucharistic table. There are many things we are doing
right now, but we shouldn’t stop – relationships with God and friendship with Jesus will continue to
grow.
Since this is an important and exciting milestone in the Catholic faith, have to make sure our
children are spiritually prepared. Here are seven ways we can help prepare out children for the day of
their First Communion.
1. Talk to your child about his or her baptism. All sacraments are related to Baptism, and since
most children were baptized as infants, they won’t remember it. Show them items from that
day such as pictures and their baptismal candle and explain what that day means and how
their First Communion is extending the promises made on that day.
2. Talk to your child about your own First Communion experience. Try to remember as much
as possible about your own First Communion and encourage other family members to talk
about their experiences as well.
3. Help your child understand and participate in the Mass. Encourage your child to pay
attention to the Mass and pray the prayers and sing the songs with you. You can also practice
the prayers of the Mass with your child at other times. Show them how to use the missal to
follow along.
4. Point out and explain special places and objects in the church. Take a few minutes after Mass
to explore the church as a family. Explain gestures of reverence, such as genuflecting to the
presence of Jesus in the tabernacle and the reminder of our Baptism when we bless ourselves
with holy water.
5. Celebrate meals together as a family. Our busy schedules make family dinners less common,
but family meals are an important opportunity for sharing and becoming closer. For children
to understand the Eucharist as the family meal of the Church, they must experience dinners
at home with their family – “the domestic Church.”
6. Spend time in family prayer. Blessed Pope John Paul II called prayer “the source of all
renewal of family life.” Spend some time praying together asking God to prepare your child
to receive Jesus in the Eucharist and thank Him for this wonderful gift. These prayers don’t
have to consist of anything as major as the Mass – it can be as simple as praying as a family
before bedtime. Another popular time to pray is during dinner. The family can mention
something they were grateful for during the day or even read the passage of the Last Supper
during dinner and discuss it as a family.
7. Receive the Sacrament of Penance with your child. Review the
rites that your child received last fall. Talk about why we need to seek
God’s forgiveness, mercy and grace through this sacrament. Your
child should receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before their First
Communion. Our parish offers weekly confession every Saturday at
2:30 PM.
More information will be distributed and discussed at the
MANDATORY First Communion Preparation Meeting on
Monday, March 18, 2013 at 7:00 PM in the School Hall.

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SECOND GRADE STARS

MARCH 2013

What Are Our Second Grade Stars Up To?
I am so proud of each and every student for what they do both in and out of the classroom! These are
just highlights of the amazing things that these children can do.




Alyssa, Brooke, and Faith’s dance trio won a Silver Award at the StarQuest Dance
Competition last month in Columbus, Ohio. They performed a jazz routine to “Bop ‘Til You
Drop”.
Ryan, Joey, Katy, Sierra and Marissa are all members of the Little Raiders Soccer Team.
They beat the Mini Mustangs in the championship game with a score of 5-2. Both Sierra and
Ryan scored goals in the championship game. Congratulations!
Christine recently tried out for the Colonials Softball team. She has been trying out for the past
two years and she has finally made the team! Way to go!
One of the paintings that Natalie made in class has won the regional contest sponsored by the
Knights of Columbus. Her painting is now in the state contest. Good Luck Natalie!
Steven, Anthony, Tyler, Olivia, Laura and Julie are all members of the Children’s Chorus in
Bishop Bosco High School’s production of Beauty and the Beast. Show your support by
attending the shows at 7:30 PM on Friday, March 22nd and Saturday, March 23rd or at 2:00
PM on Sunday, March 24th in Grassi Auditorium. Break a leg!
David is a big brother again! His new little sister, Sophia Grace, was born on February 25,
2013. Congratulations to the Collins Family on their new bundle of joy!
Preston won our school spelling bee and has progressed to the regional spelling bee. He will
compete against students in second, third, and fourth grade. This event will take place at
Bishop Connaire Center on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 3:00 PM. Good luck Preston!

Congratulations Alyssa,
Brooke and Faith!

Thank you to Mrs. Galloway
for this picture!

Natalie’s Artwork

Tickets are $10 and can be
purchased either at the door
or by calling 724-628-5600.
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Sophia Grace Collins
Thank you to the Collins
Family for sharing this!

SECOND GRADE STARS

MARCH 2013

Home Activities
Suggested Reads

Banana Berry Yogurt Pops

We are very active readers, so here is a list of
suggested books (or series) to read at home!









For a healthy after school snack, these are quick
and easy to make. (Bonus – Making these also
reviews fractions!)

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel
Silverstein
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
The Magic Treehouse Series
Junie B Jones Series
Frog and Toad Series
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by
J.K. Rowling (Advanced Readers!)
Click Clack Moo! Cows That Type by
Doreen Cronin
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by
Judi Barrett

INGREDIENTS:
• ¼ cup milk
• ¾ cup thawed Cool Whip
• 1 container honey non-fat Greek yogurt
• ½ cup fresh strawberry halves
• ½ small banana, cut into chunks
• ¼ cup blueberries
MAKE IT!
• Blend ingredients in a blender on high
until smooth.
• Pour into 6 (3 ounce) paper cups and
cover with foil. Insert popsicle sticks into
the center of each cup.
• Freeze several hours or until firm. Peel
off paper cup and enjoy!

Get Out and About!
Here is a list of places around the area that are
perfect for some family quality time!
• Pittsburgh Zoo – Explore the 77-acre
zoo and see over 4000 animals! Prices
and directions can be found at
pittsburghzoo.org.
• Carnegie Science Center – Right now,
the Science Center is home to Space
Place, a 2-story replica of the
International Space Station! You can
also visit Exploration Station and let the
discovery unfold! Information is found
at carnegiesciencecenter.org.
• Fort Necessity National Battlefield –
Uniontown is home to the battlefield
where the French and Indian War
began. Come relive the history!
Information is found at nps.gov/fone

Nature Scavenger Hunt
Spring is finally here! Take advantage of the
nice weather and go on a Nature Scavenger
Hunt! Look online for a list of items to look for
(I found an excellent one at
http://www.parents.com/blogs/homeschoolden/2012/03/09/nature/nature-scavengerhunt/) or feel free to make your own. Go
outside as a family, searching for the items on
the list. Take pictures of the items as you find
them and then compile them into a presentation
and have them talk about what they found.
Examples of things to look for are items of
various colors, items with different textures, and
items involving animals. This can be adapted to
match the area that you live in.

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SECOND GRADE STARS

MARCH 2013

Odds and Ends
We are in need of some items in our classroom, but we always accept donations:

Recyclable items such as milk cartons and jugs, boxes (various sizes), cans, newspaper,
boxes, bottles, paper towel or toilet paper tubes, etc. (PLEASE RINSE OUT ALL
CONTAINERS)

Clear 2-liter bottles

Painter’s Tape

Paper towels

Kleenex

Hand sanitizer pumps

For a gift I am making for the students for their First Communion, each student needs to bring in
an 8x10 gold frame.
We are making t-shirts for our field trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo in April, so each student needs to
bring in a plain white t-shirt. Students also need to bring in $5 to cover the cost of lunch and a
small gift.
The annual Scholastic Book Fair is during the week of March 11th. We need parent volunteers to
help during the week. Remember to send in the volunteer form by Wednesday, March 6th so our
secretary, Mrs. Sikora, can make the schedule and contact you with your scheduled time.
I am beginning to plan our end of the year field trip and I am looking for suggestions! Contact me
with basic information about the places your would like to visit.

Remember…
My door is always open, so do not hesitate to stop in and visit or contact me. My first priority is
your children, and I will do everything in my power to help them be the best they can be.
Thanks!
Ms. Kushnar
How to contact me:
St. Mary (Nativity) School
17 Gilmore Street
Uniontown, PA 15401
s.kushnar@smnativity.org
724-438-8471