Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What Are You Doing this Lenten Season?

It is Ash Wednesday and the question on everyone's mind is "What can I do this Lenten season?".  We asked the teachers what they focus on teaching during the Lenten season and what the students can do at home for the next forty days.
In first grade, Mrs. Smith focuses the Religion lessons on doing extra good deeds.  The classroom will have a "Lenten Tree" displayed on their bulletin board that will bloom good deed leaves throughout the season.  The first grade's morning song will change from "Good Morning, Lord" to "Go in Peace" which is a quieter song that focuses on Jesus forgiving our sins and going out into the world with peace and love.  First grade focuses on a more positive tone during Lent, rather than the "giving something up" mentality which they can bring into their homes throughout this season. Mrs. Smith is following the tone set in the classroom by not giving something up, but instead spending time with her father-in-law every Sunday and helping him during this Lenten season.
In second grade, Mrs. Roth focuses on the second graders' First Communion during the Lenten season.  She takes advantage of the many trips to church to teach the Stations of the Cross and learn about Holy Week.
In third grade, Mrs. Cifarelli focuses her Religion lessons on kindness and compassion.  The third graders will think about their actions before they perform them to make sure they are kind.  They also practice bringing that kindness home throughout the Lenten season.
In fourth grade, Mrs. Bevans focuses her Religion lessons on forgiveness.  Fourth grade relates the fact that Jesus died for our sins and was able to forgive those who made him suffer to showing mercy for the little things classmates or siblings may say or do to us.  They also focus on not just giving up something, but also what can they do instead that will help others.  An example is many fourth graders are giving up video games this Lenten season, and they are now being challenged to find good deeds to do for their family and their community during those moments they would have been playing their games.  Mrs. Bevins will focus on being more patient this Lenten season.

In fifth grade, Mrs. Saia focuses her Religion lessons on Holy Week and what they can do during the Lenten season.  The fifth graders have an assignment to read a Gospel passage about Holy Week everyday during Lent and do an activity that coincides with the reading.  They also learn about the flight of the Israelite's in Exodus and how it relates to why Jesus did what he did during Holy Week.  The fifth graders also participate in a "Jelly Bean Prayer" where each student can earn a jelly bean a day by doing a certain action, such as making a sacrifice for a day or doing a good deed.

In sixth grade, Mrs. Claxton focuses her Religion lessons on the Stations of the Cross.  Every year sixth grade portrays the Stations of the Cross during a prayer service for the entire school.  The sixth graders will focus on each station to further understand each one.
In seventh and eighth grade, Mrs. Shortell-Fratantonio focuses her Religion lessons on empathy in the classroom, the community and the world.  Both at home and at school the lesson for the students is to reflect before they speak or do.  The students' should reflect on how their actions can make a difference and be more helpful in their households and also in their communities. They should also reflect on how their words can be used positively.  Mrs. Shortell-Fratantonio will focus on empathy and compassion for those who do not feel safe and try to help where she can this Lenten season.  Mr. Forino will be giving up tea and alcohol this Lenten season.

We look forward to a very kind and helpful Lenten season this year!

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