Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School Student Engagement Survey

Good Day Falcons!

Last year we asked students from Grades 4-8 to complete a pencil-paper survey around how you feel about our school and learning. I am asking students to complete the survey again so we can compare the results from last year to this year. Your input will help our teaching team plan next steps to make our school a better place for you.

Here’ s the survey:


Mr. Burke


Exploring and Remembering Sqaures and Sqaure Roots

Good Morning Jesse

The link for the interactive activity I left for you is here.

Remember what we talked about yesterday – I suggest you work in the office – it’s better for you and keeps you on task.

See you tomorrow. Don’t forget to tweet me if you need me.

February Novel Response Task

Learning Goal: We will demonstrate our understanding of the independent novel we read in January by creating a creative book jacket that could be used on the real book.

Grade 7/8’s – you should all now be finished reading your independent novel and you’ll be presenting this novel to the class in a few weeks. To help you prepare for this presentation of the novel wherein you classmates will ask you questions about your book, you’ll be designing a book jacket. You’ll have a little time in class to work on this, but for the most part, this is an independent study project that will be completed at home.

All book jackets are DUE BY February 21 – no late assignments will be accepted unless you have spoken with me before the date and have a good reason for the lateness.

Here’s the assignment PDF. Upload and it read through it carefully. Feel free to ask me questions about it at any time.

Putting a Gun in the Hands of Children Prevents Gun Accidents?

Learning Goal: We will read and respond to the information in the news article by writing an editorial about the issue. In the editorial we will clearly state our opinion on the topic, state three specific reasons for your opinion, use information from the text, and bring in information from an outside source to support your thinking.

Parents Argue Teaching To Shoot Prevents Gun Accidents
from ABC News

As two adults stood next to him to help hold his shoulder, Charlie Doxey, then 4 years old, took aim with a machine gun that was longer than he is tall, and fired.

“Is that fun, Charlie?” an adult nearby asked him, as the little boy smiled.

Charlie was one of several children at a family get-together hosted outside of Atlanta, where young kids can learn how to shoot while their parents look on — and this was not Charlie’s first time.

“I knew that he was safe,” said Charlie’s mother Jennifer Doxey. “Guns don’t have to be bad. They’re good, they’re fun, you can have family fun with them.”

Georgia law allows fully automatic rifles in the state as long as they were obtained before 1986.

While some parents say keeping guns hidden from children protects them, others, like the Doxeys, believe that putting firearms into children’s hands is part of the solution to ending shooting accidents because it takes away the mystery and helps diminish their curiosity.

Charlie’s father Latham Doxey, who owns Rusty’s Rags, a gun accessory and cleaning business in Douglasville, Ga., hosts these shooting get-togethers for families. He argues that these events are safe and that demystifying the gun is the answer to protecting kids from getting hurt.

“There are a lot of accidents that happen because kids aren’t properly trained to use guns,” Latham Doxey said. “So it’s either education or ignorance, is the way we look at it… I would rather be the one to show our kids the proper way to use guns.”

Doxey couldn’t provide numbers about whether allowing young children to shoot really removed curiosity later when parents aren’t around to monitor them. But he was adamant that the children at all of his gun events have never had an accident at home.

Katie Francis, 14, who lives on a farm in Missouri, said she fired her first gun when she was in kindergarten. Now she is one of the top teenage shooters in the country. She can she can hit 40 targets in just over one minute seconds, out-shooting men 20 to 30 years older than her.

Her 4-year-old sister Sagel just recently started shooting for the first time.

Chad and Julie Francis understand why other parents might be outraged at the fact they allow their daughters to take up shooting at such a young age, but they stand by their decision.

“You can’t wrap your kids in bubble wrap. You can make them wear a seatbelt every time they get into a car and they still may die in a car accident,” Chad Francis said.

The Francis family said they lock up their guns now that Sagel is learning to shoot because they fear she is still too curious.

“You have to teach them responsibility with a weapon,” he continued. “If you don’t they’re going to be curious and they’re going to find it, and they watch TV, they know how to put their finger on the trigger and squeeze.”

But even for all the families who say they did teach their children the dangers of guns early, there are still those parents mourning the loss of a child.

Travis Taylor is one of those parents. On the family’s farm in Ohio, Taylor’s eight sons were taught how to shoot at a young age and he thought their curiosity about guns was gone.

“They had been hunting since they had really been able to walk with me,” Taylor said. “I taught them all from a young age, you don’t mess with guns no matter what, you know, no matter what, if you see a gun, you treat it like it’s loaded all the time.”

One day while he was outside working and his sons, Cole, then 8 years old, and Dalton, then 10, were in the family’s garage when Taylor said he heard a shot. Dalton had been hit and died. His seven brothers were shattered.

Travis Taylor said they now keep their guns at a friend’s house.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to bring them back, ’til my kids leave the house,” he said. “I’m serious. I just, I don’t know, I don’t think I can.”

But Kyle Coplen, the founder of the Armed Citizens Project, a program in Texas where single women get free training and shotguns, had a daughter who is almost 3 years old and he said she will learn how to shoot. He believes that as long as children are properly trained in the seriousness of gun dangers, then they won’t go looking for them.

“The children that have been properly trained and know how serious firearms are, are not going to be kids that are going into their parent’s room and playing with their firearms,” Coplen said. “You kill the curiosity before the curiosity kills the kid.”

Reading Response Activity: Demonstrating an Understanding of Your Chosen Novel

Learning Goal: We will demonstrate our understanding of a theme, character, or idea from our novel by describing it using various adjectives.

Task: Make up an acrostic poem that relates to something in your book you are currently reading. It could be the name of a character or it could be a reoccurring theme or idea. Please remember that you should be selecting a variety of good adjectives to describe the word you choose.

HINT: Make a list of words you might use to describe the character chosen. Then use a THESAURUS to find synonyms (words that have similar meanings) that begin with the appropriate letters you need.

Example Acrostic:
(based on “Indian Horse” by Richard Wagamese)

In Minaki,
Died with him
In her

He is
Obediently serving,
Relying on hockey to
Survive St. Jerome’s.
Escape is coming soon.

Narrative Writing Task: The Mysteries of Harris Burdick

From Chris Van Allsburg ( author: “The Wretched Stone”) on the illustrations you looked at on Wednesday:

Thirty years ago a man called at Peter Wender’s office, introducing himself as Harris Burdick. Mr. Burdick explained that he had written fourteen stories and had drawn many pictures for each one. He’d brought with him just one drawing from each story, to see if Wenders liked his work.

Peter Wenders was fascinated by the drawings. He told Burdick he would like to read the stories that went with them as soon as possible. The artist agreed to bring the stories the next morning. He left the fourteen drawings with Wenders. But he did not return the next day. Or the day after that. Harris Burdick was never heard from again. Over the years, Wenders tried to find out who Burdick was and what happened to him, but his discovered nothing. To this day Harris Burdick remains a complete mystery.

His disappearance is not the only mystery left behind. What were the stories that went with these drawings? There are some clues. Burdick had written a title and caption for each picture. When I told Peter Wenders how difficult it was to look at the drawings and their captions without imagining a story, he smiled and left the room. He returned with a dust-covered cardboard box. Inside were dozens of stories, all inspired by the Burdick drawings. They’d been written years ago by Wender’s children and their friends.

I spent the rest of my visit reading these stories. They were remarkable, some bizarre, some funny, some downright scary. In the hope that other children will be inspired by them, the Burdick drawings are reproduced for you for the first time.

Today’s Learning Goal: Each student will choose one of the illustrations from Chris Van Allsburg’s “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick” to use as the basis of a short story they will create and write.

After you have chosen one of the 15 images to write a story about, you may want to revisit some of the inferences and ideas put forward by your classmates on Twitter yesterday. I’ll also remind you that I responded to all of these tweets, mostly asking you to think deeper in your inferences. The illustration is not your whole story, it is just a snapshot. Things need to happen BEFORE the illustration and AFTER it as well.


New Study Links Teens, Music, and Happiness

“Happiness” seems like a simple concept, but you can think about it in two different ways. First, there is feeling happy in the moment, like when you hear your favourite song on the radio. Second, there is the happiness that comes from feeling good about your life overall.

We know that music can contribute to the first kind of happiness, but can it also contribute to the second kind?

It turns out that the answer depends on why people listen to music.

Researchers asked more than 200 college students about their reasons for listening to music. They wanted to know if the students were listening for their own reasons–for example, because music gives them pleasure.

Or were the students listening for different kinds of reasons–for example, to fit in with a peer group?

The research team discovered that the students who listened for their own reasons were happier with their lives.

In fact, the reasons students gave for listening to music turned out to be more important than the amount of time they spent listening. This kind of makes sense when you think about it. When I read this, I started to think about how I feel after listening to music. As you know, in most cases, my music collection isn’t the top 40 playlist that most people like. I’m into alternative music and, of course, The Beatles, and I’m not ashamed of it. This would be why I feel so happy after listening to my music while the top 40 playlist of Hits 1 doesn’t do anything for me. However, it’s a lot easier in your 20’s to not be influenced by peer pressure – teenagers are far more likely to do things because of what others do.

So a mystery remains: Were the students happy because they listened to music for their own reasons, or did their happiness allow them to act on what was important to them rather than doing things just to fit in?


What is the role of music in your own life? When do you listen to music? What types of music do you choose to listen to? Do you think you listen to this type of music because of others, or do you actually really just like it? How does this music make you feel?

Your Response:
Write a one paragraph response to answer the questions posed above.

FIRST, record the brainstorming prompts below and fill in the blanks:
Topic: Music and Happiness
Main Idea of your Paragraph: (either listening to your music makes you happy, or the opposite)
Topic Sentence:________________________________

SECOND, go ahead and write your paragraph draft.

THIRD, read over your paragraph and ensure that you have met the success criteria below:
– has an easily identifiable topic sentence that states the main idea.
– all sentences that follow relate back to the main idea in the topic sentence
– make a connection between the information in the article to your own life and experiences
– check your spelling and punctuation