Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Pets in the Science Classroom

In March of 2022 the current 8th grade class, then 6th graders, came to Mrs. Beckwith and asked for the addition of a pet to our science classroom.

Mrs. Beckwith said maybe. And here we are a year and a half later with two pets!

Our first pet is our beloved Rex, a red crested gecko. While not the most lively pet during the day, Rex is a lovely addition to our science class. We have had the opportunity to watch Rex grow for the past year and a half. Each time she sheds her skin it’s an exciting day in the classroom.

Rex has been on quite a few adventures, including skateboarding across the lab tables.

With a life expectancy of 10+ years, many ASA students will be able to enjoy her antics!

This year, Mrs. Beckwith had the opportunity to snake sit for a friend for the 23-24 school year, which is how Stanley the corn snake came into our lives.

Stanley has been a great addition to our classroom. He is highly entertaining to watch move around his tank or hide when he’s had enough stimulation for the day.

The middle school students love to hold Stanley and watch him eat every other week.

Stanley has been a fun addition to the science room, and rumor has it that Mrs. Beckwith might be interested in a snake of her own once Stanley goes back home.

Through our classroom pets, students have the opportunity to explore, discover, and appreciate the wonders of God and the natural world around them every day.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

St. Nicholas Day

St. Nicholas Day takes place on December 6th each year. It is an extra special day down our preschool hallway as we await a visit from St. Nicholas! The day starts by discussing who Saint Nicholas is and most kids are surprised to know he goes by another name - Santa Claus! Students also learn that St. Nick helped children who were sick or poor. This opens a much broader discussion about the importance of giving during the holiday season. We then prepare for him to stop by and leave a special treat inside every child’s stocking or shoe. Some classrooms decorate socks from home, some students create their own stocking out of paper, and some set aside one shoe in the hallway for their special treat. 

Students’ shoes with candy canes and prayer cards

In Mrs. Harmon’s classroom, they spent the morning with one shoe on as the other was in the hallway awaiting a visit from St. Nicholas. The kids love the silliness of wearing one shoe at school! This is a fond memory that Mrs. Harmon has of Kindergarten with Mrs. Anderson. She is thrilled to be able to carry on this fun memory with her students!

Students doing brain breaks with one shoe

Throughout the day, preschoolers anxiously await for their stocking/shoe to fill up with goodies! Each time checking creates more and more excitement. Eventually, the students find a candy cane and a St. Nicholas prayer card beside their shoe/stocking. Each year, students are over-the-moon that St. Nicholas stopped at ASA without anyone seeing him! The prayer cards are then read to the students and brought home to discuss with families. Classes also discuss how the candy cane symbolizes a shepherd's hook. Preschoolers are learning all about The Nativity Scene during Advent so they are excited to learn about the history of candy canes! St. Nicholas Day is a great way to stop and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and the importance of giving to the less fortunate. 

Students finding their shoes filled with a candy cane and prayer card

Stockings awaiting a visit from St. Nicholas

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Second Step in Preschool

 All Saints Academy is fortunate to have Mrs.Lynne McMahon share her talents in bringing our Preschool-2nd grade students social emotional learning content from a program called Second Step.  Each week Mrs. McMahon meets with groups of students, offering a focus on helping kids regulate, self-advocate, manage emotions and set goals.  This helps them to be their best not only in the classroom but on the playground, at home and just about anywhere they go! 

She teaches terms such as EYES WATCHING, EARS LISTENING, MOUTHS QUIET and BODY CALM.  Those terms transfer over to individual classrooms and the common language becomes the norm for all.  Teachers are very thankful for the valuable lessons offered and the students seem to engage an take in the messages offered. 

Mrs. McMahon is a blessing to us here at All Saints Academy and touches the lives and hearts of all learners.  We thank you Mrs. McMahon!!

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Third Grade Capitol Tour and Historical Museum Visit

“YAY!” is the onomatopoeia exclaimed every time the Lansing Capitol Building trip is announced in third grade each fall.  Then, for weeks, the conversations buzz around the special third grade all-day Lansing adventure to visit the Capitol Building and the Michigan History Museum.  Perhaps the kids are excited about this long distance bus trip for several years prior to departure.  It’s definitely a third grade highlight!  

The Capitol Building is a huge part of our Michigan history.  Our government home was originally in Detroit, however, the current building has been in Lansing for more than 145 years!  Suffering years of neglect, the beauty was returned with several stages of renovating over the past several decades.  Most recently the beautiful addition of the Heritage Hall in 2020.  This year’s trip was shortened a tiny bit because the beautiful dome was under restoration.  The Rotunda was closed to the public.  


The Michigan History Museum is a short walk away from the Capitol building.  The exhibit timeline reaches far back to the Michigan Native Americans and shares our rich history and growth to modern time. 




Visiting the Capitol and the Museum in the fall gives a great overview picture of our history for all the learning to come throughout third grade.  Using the exhibits as a springboard for discussions during the remainder of the year facilitates easy connections.

Some of the favorite parts of the trip for the kids this year:

  • Riding the bus!

  • Seeing the Capitol chandeliers in person

  • Going into the Governor’s Ceremonial Office

  • Being in the Chambers

  • Seeing fossils in the floor

  • Seeing President Gerald Ford’s portrait

  • Riding the big wheeled bike

  • Holding a Wooly Mammoth tooth

  • Being in a mining cave

  • Sitting in antique school chairs

  • The ginormous elevator

  • Seeing how Michigan participated in the war

Friday, November 17, 2023

Attitude of Gratitude

From the time they are young, children are taught to say thank you when a person does something kind or helpful. A sense of gratitude, or feeling thankful and appreciative of the good things in one’s life, is an important social-emotional skill that can increase happiness and improve health. As they grow, kids can be encouraged to reflect on why they feel thankful. During the month of November, we are focusing on building that skill…and we sure are feeling grateful! Our tree of thankfulness in the main entrance of the lower campus is filled with some of the things our early childhood students are thankful for!

Mrs. Blalock’s preschool 5 students worked to create gratitude stones of their very own. How do you use a gratitude stone? Some ideas include passing and sharing at dinnertime, bedtime prayer and daily reflection, or using it to calm strong emotions. You can also share a gratitude stone by giving it to someone you appreciate,, or share it by scattering stones in your community! 


Gratitude Stones from Mrs. Blalock’s friends, inspired by Fireflies & MudPies

Preschool 5 is also celebrating 30 days of Thankfulness by adding something new to a classroom bulletin board each day. We’re only halfway through the month, and thankful for so many things… like family, love, Jesus, birthdays, and rain for rainbows, just to name a few! We’ve given thanks to the Lord as we’ve learned about creation this month too. The kids have completed creation books to take home, and are experts singing about how God is GOOD!

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

2023 Eagle Award

 The Eagle Award is presented each year by the Home and School Association to a member of the ASA community in acknowledgement of his or her extraordinary contribution to the success of All Saints Academy.  We began a new tradition last year, presenting this prestigious award on our school’s feast of All Saints Day. 

This award enhances the culture of All Saints Academy by drawing attention to those who are living our Catholic faith and supporting our school mission by holding them up as an example for others to follow.
This year's recipient of the All Saints Academy Eagle award is Mrs. Beckie Patterson. Beckie currently directs the Early Childhood Program at ASA which serves over 160 children. She has been a key member of All Saints Academy for all 16 years of our existence.

Beckie is very hardworking and dedicated to the core values of Faith, Learning, Loving and Serving. Not only does she take on the Administrative responsibilities of operating a childcare, but she also spends tons of time in classrooms supporting teachers and working with students. Our childcare and toddler programs are operating from 6:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. which means that Beckie never sleeps!
Mrs. Patterson was nominated by a number of people for the award.

One person wrote, “In a long list of someone who gives their heart and soul to All Saints Academy, maybe nobody does it better than Beckie Patterson.”  

Another person wrote, “As a supervisor, you will not often find her working in her office, but rather working in a classroom. I am not quite sure how she manages all of the scheduling, paperwork, and countless hours it takes to keep an ever growing program running so efficiently.” 

Another wrote, “She works until 6pm daily, she makes sure we are staffed to provide childcare for families from 6:30am-6:00pm over the summer, during the school year and even on snow days!”  

 Mrs. Patterson on your much deserved award!