Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Kindergarten Outdoor Day & Middle School STEM


Kindergarten Fall 2017 Visit to the Middle School Campus

Check out this video of our day:

Wednesday October 18th the Kindergarten class visited the middle school campus for the first of a series of outdoor days. Their visit started with Mass where Fr. Tom invited them to lead the St Jude parishioners in an opening song!


During their visit the kindergartners also got a church tour from Fr. Tom, they read with 4th grade reading buddies, and they had lunch and recess with the middle school students. Most of their day was spent outside exploring God’s creation!


Exploring God’s Creation by looking for Water “Bugs” from Lake St. Jude!

Some of the critters we found:

Midge Larva


Water Flea


Exploring God’s Creation by working in the garden!

The kindergartners collected marigold seeds to dry and plant this winter for our garden next spring. They also harvested some basil that we used to make Pesto Pasta. The class loved tasting the fruits of their mini-harvest on Monday!

Our favorite things about our day…

“I liked playing on the big playground”  Evy

“I liked finding bugs in the water” Andrew

“I liked eating lunch outside in the sunshine”  Lydia

“I liked going on a nature hike to find shelter for animals”  Wes

Friday, October 20, 2017

Classroom Calming Caddies


Classroom Calming Caddies

Our students are faced with a variety of stressors in school and life.  Part of growing their social/emotional development is to assist them in recognizing and regulating their feelings. At All Saints Academy, we strive to develop the whole child and meet the needs of individual learners. One supportive outlet for all students to utilize, when necessary, includes the calming caddy. All the K-5 classrooms have calming corners, with calming caddies, in their classrooms.


Through a recent classroom lesson, all students were able to reflect on the many feelings we can experience and validating that they are all ok. Discussions were held about comfortable and uncomfortable feelings. Students were provided the opportunity to understand the physiological changes that occur in our body when we experience different feelings. Students recognized that sometimes it might be challenging to focus on the task at hand unless we take time to calm down and refocus.  To prepare themselves for this, students practiced calming breaths at their seats and tightening and relaxing muscles to help feel calm and refocus.


Students were able to rotate through stations to try out different tools in the calming caddies and rate the items.  They were to determine which they felt would be useful to help relax them and return to learning. In the end, they identified two strategies they felt to be the most helpful. In a time of need, they will be able to go right to these strategies to relax, calm down and refocus so to be able to return to learning in a positive manner.


Some of the items in the calming caddies the students learned about were:

Pinwheel Breathing
Stress Balls
Water Beads
Play Dough
Rubik’s Cubes
Motion Bubbler
Glitter Jars
Bendables and Stretch Bands


Some reflections from our elementary students about these options and strategies:

“Use it to calm down and get your focus back.”
“I like the teddy bear because it reminds me of my stuffed animal at home.”
“I like the stress ball because you can squeeze it when you are mad.”
“I like the stress ball because it is squishy.”
“I am going to make my own calming caddy for home.”
“We can slow our muscles and calm our brains.”


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Veneration of Saint JudeThaddeus Relic

3rd class.jpg

Veneration of Saint Jude Thaddeus Relic

On Tuesday October 10th, the All Saints Academy students had a very special visitor! Rev. Michail Ford, O.P., the director of the Dominican Shrine of St Jude Thaddeus in Chicago, came to talk the the students and Saint Jude Parish Parishioners about relics. He brought with him the forearm of St Jude the Apostle, encased in a very special reliquary.

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This 1st class relic is the largest relic of an apostle outside of Rome. Before allowing students to venerate the relic Fr. Mike talked with them about prayer, Catholic devotions, and saints. He explained the rich Catholic tradition of relics with a collection of small first class relics including: St Maria Goretti, St Thomas Aquinas, St Martin DePorres, St John Vianney, St Dominic and St Raymond Penafort.

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Fr. Mike made sure to explain why, as Catholics, we venerate relics and that we don’t worship Saints, or believe that relics are magical. He reminded students that we ask Saints to pray for us, and that relics are not only often associated with miracles, but they are also tangible connections to the history of The Church and the story of our faith! Relics offer us a new insight into the meaning our root belief at ASA that, “We Are One.” In addition to being 1 school with 2 campuses and 4 parishes, The Church is one Body in Christ comprised of the entire Communion of Saints.

During his presentation, ASA students were able to tell Fr. Mike what they already knew about 1st, 2nd and 3rd class relics. A 1st class relic is a part of the body of a Saint. A 2nd class relic is an item that belonged to a Saint. A 3rd class relic is an item that has been touched to a 1st or 2nd class relic. When it was time to venerate the relic students were gifted with a St Jude prayer card that they were able to touch to the St Jude 1st class relic to make it a 3rd class relic.


1st class.jpg

Following veneration of the St Jude relic, Fr. Mike celebrated a special Mass with ASA K-8 students and a number of St Jude parishioners.

If you are interested in learning more check out the Dominican Shrine of St Jude website to learn about the life of  St Jude Thaddeus and the history of this very special relic.

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There are also more pictures and a little more information from this very special visit available at the Diocese of Grand Rapids Catholic Schools Blog about the event.

Did you know All Saints Academy has our own small collection of Saint Relics? On display at the middle school we have a relic of both St Paul the Apostle and St Augustine. Stop in sometime to check them out!

asa relics.jpg

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

8th Grade Top 10 List 2017-2018


8th Grade Top 10 List 2017-2018

10. Book Clubs
9. Catholic Schools Week
8. Talent Show
7. Field Day
6. Camp Manitou Lin
5 Retreats
4. Olympics with Mr. Matlak
3. Capture the Flag
2. Teacher vs. 8th grade games
1. All the teachers!