Principal’s Corner – August 28, 2016

hermiebruceDear OLMC Community,

One of the benefits of being in administration is the ability to move around campus and watch our teaching faculty interact with the students on a regular basis. In an effort to give parents and community members an idea of what transpires at our school, I took the time Friday to drop in to multiple classrooms and want to pass along to you what I was able to see and observe.

Mrs. Vullo’s Kindergarten Class

Mrs. Vullo was reviewing protocols and preparing to practice for fire drills. She gave instructions on what to do if the fire alarm goes off, and then Mrs. Vullo answered questions. My favorite question had to be, “What do I do with my teddy bear when the alarm goes off?” After the Q & A, the class practiced lining up and moving to the proper location in an orderly fashion.

Mrs. Lee’s 1st Grade Class

The first graders had just finished Spanish class. They greeted me with “Buenos Dias” and demonstrated their ability to count to three in Spanish. They then began a discussion about the Bible and verse on Creation (Genesis 1:1), and they practiced reciting, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” This went along with an art activity that asked them to name two of God’s creations and color a picture of the world.

Mrs. Arnold’s 2nd Grade Class

The second graders were finishing up their morning work and discussing number orders and terminology that identfies placement of numbers. They were also working on a crossword puzzle of vocabulary terms and coloring a “Leaping Lizards” worksheet, containing math problems.

Mrs. Hartley’s 3rd Grade Class

The third graders were working on a grammar lesson on identifying subjects and predicates in simple sentences. They participated in an activity that asked them to use their interactive notebook to create a page on the topic. Mrs. Hartley gave them a picture sequence of a scene with a young woman watering a flower pot and asked the students to color the sequence and write the subject and predicate of each picture.

Mrs. Gabreski’s 4th Grade Class

The fourth graders were engaged in a blended learning activity that broke them into three groups. One group was working on a graphic organizer with Mrs. Gabreski which focused on summarizing a non-fiction text with detail. The second group was using the Chromebooks to practice spelling words via the Spelling City Program, and the third group was working individually on writing a silly story with these vocab words and highlighting them in the text they had written.

Mrs. Carmody’s 5th Grade Spanish Class

Mrs. Carmody was working on recognition of feminine and masculine words, as well as turning singular words into plurals. I was pleased to see students verbally participating and utilizing partner time to review vocabulary.

Mrs. McDonough’s 6th Grade Science Class

Mrs. McDonough was giving a lecture on the concept of pressure while students used their Chromebooks to take notes. The lecture included an explanation of how the atmosphere works, what density is, and the elements consisting in the air we breathe. In addition, Mrs. McDonough was teaching the proper way to identify key facts from the text that should populate student notebooks.

Mr. Diamond’s 8th Grade U.S. History Class

Students have been studying the road to the Revolutionary War over the past week. They were engaged in a History Channel movie excerpt on the Revolutionary War, and were completing a worksheet of key terms and information on events, which the students will use as a study guide.

Mrs. Garcia’s 7th Grade Science Class

The seventh graders were completing a lab on flight, in which they crafted paper airplanes of different styles and measured the total amount of time the planes could fly. They used a worksheet to track measurements and developed hypotheses based on the data they gathered.

Mrs. Klass’s 8th Grade Algebra Class

Mrs. Klass went over variables and functions. Students reviewed various problems for homework. My favorite part of the class was when one student asked, “Why do we solve functions, and what do they show us?” Mrs. Klass responded that functions show the relationship between variables in the real world by referencing an activity earlier in the week when the students worked on a word problem about electromagnetism and one’s ability to use a battery and wire wrapped around a nail to pick up paper clips. This tangible example provided real world application to the work the students were doing.

Mr. Abbott’s 7th Grade Language Arts Class

The seventh graders began their study of The Miracle Worker and engaged in a group discussion. Mr. Abbott asked the students to analyze the text and use context clues and vocabulary to gain understanding of the characters and their relationships. Many of the students were using their Chromebooks to take notes and further engage the material.

Although my time in each room was brief and I was not able to make it into all classrooms, it was wonderful to see our teachers in action and the students engaged in their lessons. These interactions are examples of what make up our day-to-day at OLMC. The steps the teachers take with their students serve the whole of their educational experiences throughout the year.

I want to take a moment to thank the Dad’s Club for orchestrating the Welcome Back Cookout this past Saturday. It was a fantastic event, and we are grateful for all the volunteers who contributed their time or brought food for the event. Having the opportunity to gather as a community and share time together is a great blessing.

Finally, a request for all those who drive on campus, especially during pickup and drop-off: Please drive slowly and with caution. When backing out of parking spaces, please do so slowly and check your surroundings. The safety of our students and families is of the utmost importance. Thank you for your cooperation and commitment to providing a safe environment.

I wish all of you a wonderful week ahead.


Bruce Hermie
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic School