What's New At St. A's


SPRING BAND CONCERT

Bright and early this morning, May 22, 2017, Mr. and Mrs. Mallinson, began our Spring Band Concert with our Third Grade Rocking Recorder Students. The band performed their musical pieces and then demonstrated to the younger students what each instrument looks like and how it sounds. The students who played at the Jefferson Memorial in DC this week-end received certificates and accolades on their performance in the nation's capitol. Mr. Mallison closed out the event by introducing a new technology tool called "Smart Music" which they will be implementing this summer, which is a web-based music education platform that connects teachers and students. Bravo to all of our Blue Ribbon Musicians!

    
  
  
 

8TH GRADERS RECEIVE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION FROM BISHOP CHECCHIO

On May 11, 2017, The Most Reverend Bishop James Checchio was the Celebrant at the Confirmation of our 8th Graders. It was a beautiful and joyful Mass, as the Parish Religious Education Students joined the 8th Graders in receiving the Gifts of The Holy Spirit through the Sacrament of Confirmation. Giving many thanks to Bishop Checchio and wishing all of God's many Blessings on our newly Confirmed. 

 
  
 

See the entire photo album from this event on our Facebook page.

KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS ACHIEVE READING SUCCESS THROUGH TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION

Our Kindergarten students have been using an online program to develop and improve their reading skills through the use of technology. The program is Teach Your Monster to Read and through the proceeds of a charity, the Usborne Foundation, it is totally free and the students love playing it while gaining valuable reading skills at the same time. 
https://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/



Our congratulations to the students pictured who have already completed their First Steps Level and have progressed to Level 2: Fun With Words: Way to go; Super Kids of Kindergarten!

8TH GRADERS HAVE LIVE Q & A SESSION WITH AUTHOR VIA SKYPE

Mrs. Borowick’s 8th grade writing classes Skyped with "Be a Better Writer" author Steve Peha. Mr. Peha spent 30 minutes with each class answering student questions on strategies to generate ideas, deciding what to write, character development, and what inspired him to write among other things. Mr. Peha also gave out his email and encouraged the students to send him examples of their writing and he will give them suggestions! The students look forward to using the strategies presented in the book! According to Mr. Peha (and Mrs. Borowick), the most important part of the writing process is revising. Mr. Peha spends most of his time revising his work--even professional writers find ways to improve! Thank you, Mr. Peha!

 
 

To learn more about Mr. Peha's book, please visit his website at http://stevepehasites.com/babw/.

4TH GRADE PARENT DAY!

Students in Grade 4 enjoyed Parent Day on Tuesday, May 9th. They had the opportunity to complete many activities. Students and parents played a grammar game, created travel posters, and learned about Memorial Day and the significance of the poppy using the technology of the iPad. Other activities included math game with baseball scores, finding items that were magnetized at the Science station and even a STEM balancing activity. A productive and fun day was had by all!

 
 
 

Check out the full photo album on our Facebook page!

THREE ST. A'S STUDENTS AMONG THE WINNERS OF THE 2017 DIOCESE OF METUCHEN RESPECT FOR LIFE POSTER CONTEST

From the May 4, 2017 issue of The Catholic Spirit:

"The diocesan Office of Respect for Life received close to 200 poster entries from 16 Catholic Schools and 15 Religious Education Programs for its annual "Kids Look at Life" poster contest. Students from grades 1- 8 were asked to reflect on the theme: "Say 'Yes' to Life!" and draw a picture of how they can say 'yes' to God and bring Christ to others. Posters were judged on grade level, creativity and visual appeal. Winning posters will be used to create a 2017-2018 Respect for Life Calendar."

The winners were honored with a Mass and an awards luncheon on Tuesday, May 9 at the St. John Neumann Pastoral Center in Piscataway. The honorees included three St. Augustine School students: Dylan W. won 1st Place in the 5th Grade contest; Madison Q. won 2nd Place in the 7th Grade contest, and Grace X. won 1st Place in the 8th Grade contest. Congratulations to all of the winners on their outstanding and creative posters!





“KNIGHTS OF THE BLUE RIBBON” ARE NATIONAL CHAMPS!

Our Rube Goldberg Machine Contest team traveled to the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio over the weekend of March 25-26 to compete in the RGMC National Finals. After wowing the judges with their machine introduction skit and having two consecutive successful runs of their Rube Goldberg machine, they took First Place in Division I (Middle School). They also won two other awards: the Creative Spark award and the Spirit of Rube Goldberg award. After their competition, the team and their incredible creation became a COSI exhibit as they demonstrated their machine for COSI visitors and other contest participants. They also had the opportunity to meet Rube Goldberg's granddaughter and students from many prestigious Ivy League colleges as well. Congratulations to the “Knights of the Blue Ribbon” and their coach, Mr. Kovacs, on this historic achievement!

NEVER TOO YOUNG TO GET A JOB DONE: A PRE-K STEAM PROJECT

The students in Pre-K4 learned about Civil Engineering during Engineers Week In February. They learned about how Engineers use blueprints to plan and design a structure. Then they completed the "Let's Build It" Sesame Street activity on the Computer, in which they are given a blueprint and have to click, drag and drop the correct shapes to complete the structure on the blueprint. For Makerspace Week, they completed two hands-on projects that involved blueprints to reinforce what they previously learned in their Engineering unit.

The students were broken up into two stations: The first station was "The Blocks and Blueprints Learning Center", in which they were given blueprints of various structures and levels of difficulty, in which they had to choose the correct shape and size of the wooden blocks in order to correctly complete their blueprints. The second station was the "If I Were an Engineer I would Build a ________" in which the students were provided with a blank blueprint in which they had to plan, design, and draw their structure. Then they used the plastic building shapes to recreate what they drew on their blueprint. We discussed that if their structure was not coming out they way that they drew it, that they could always revise their blueprint drawing and make the necessary improvements, thus teaching them the basics of the Engineering Process.

 
 
 

NATIONAL ENGINEERING WEEK: HANDS-ON ENGINEERING IN THE NEW MAKERSPACE

St. Augustine School's new makerspace took center stage as the venue for this year's celebration of National Engineering Week. Every class from Kindergarten to 8th Grade had the opportunity to do real hands-on engineering activities using everything from pipe cleaners and construction paper to LEDs and interlocking electronic circuit components.

Our K-2 students combined Engineering Week with Read Across America by completing a project about Horton Hatches the Egg. The project was to build a protective nest for their plastic egg so strong that it would not crack when Horton the Elephant (represented by a gallon jug filled with water) sat on it. All of the students worked very hard together to build their nest. We are happy to report that ALL of the nests built by our future Engineers were strong enough to keep the eggs safe!

Grades 3 and 4 became Civil Engineers and took on the challenge to build a bridge that fit the following criteria: able to withstand an earthquake (shaking of the table), cannot break when moved, and a Matchbox car must be able to travel across it. Each team worked together the first week to create a prototype and then improved their bridge design the following week.

The 5th and 6th Grade students played the role of Electrical Engineers and worked with Paper Circuits to light up a birthday candle on a birthday cake (5th grade project) and build a light-up paper helicopter (6th grade project). The students learned about electrical circuits by using only LED lights, conductive copper tape, and a 3-volt coin cell battery to complete their projects.

Electrical Engineering was also the focus for Grades 7 and 8, as students worked in teams to design, create, and build a working machine that can solve a real-world problem using the littleBits Pro Library magnetic circuits, as well as anything else found in the Makerspace Room. The teams followed the true engineering process, brainstorming and prototyping their project on the first day of the build. The following week, they refined their design, constructed their device, and presented it to the rest of the class.

RUBE GOLDBERG MACHINE CONTEST TEAM TAKES FIRST PLACE IN COMPETITION DEBUT

CONGRATULATIONS to our first ever Rube Goldberg Machine Contest CHAMPIONS 2017!!! Our illustrious students not only won First Place in the Divison 1 Competition but also brought home three trophies as well; one for Best Construction. one for Best Teamwork, and one for Best Spirit of Rube Goldberg. We could not be more proud of this hard-working, innovative, and creative team of students. They are now preparing for the Finals to be held in Columbus, Ohio on March 26th. Stay tuned for a video of their winning Rube Goldberg Machine. WELL DONE KNIGHTS OF THE BLUE RIBBON!

ODYSSEY OF THE MIND TEAMS EXCEL AT LIGHTHOUSE REGIONAL TOURNAMENT

CONGRATULATIONS to all our Odyssey of the Mind Teams that competed in the Lighthouse Regional Tournament 2017. We are so very proud of all of our students and coaches that have been working so hard all year on their performances, and their props and costumes. We now have three teams that will compete in the State Finals on April 8th at Ewing High School. Stay tuned for more pictures of all the teams who participated in Saturday's competition.

  
  

NATIONAL JUNIOR HONOR SOCIETY INDUCTION

On February 28, 2017, we proudly inducted fifteen students into the National Junior Honor Society during a beautiful ceremony in our Church. Sister Mary Louise and Ms. Katie Bash, the NJHS Advisor, opened the ceremony and Ms. Lyndsay Rowe (Class of 2009) was our esteemed Keynote Speaker. The Lighting of the Candles was performed by the current Officers of the NJHS, as well as our Student Council President. Each inductee took the Pledge of the NJHS and pledged to "be loyal to our school, and maintain and encourage high standards of Scholarship, Service, Leadership, Citizenship, and Character" which are the pillars of the Honor Society. There was also a very special reunion this evening, as Lyndsay Rowe (Class of 2009) was reunited with her Kindergarten Buddy, Nicole S. (Class of 2017) and will always be a big part of both of their memories of this very memorable evening.

    

Congratulations to all of the 2017 National Junior Honor Society Inductees:  Grade 8 - Karson C., Ansgar D., Alexandra D., Kristina I., Nicole S., Grace X.  Grade 7 - Spencer A., Lily B., Angela C., Sophia D., Maegan H., Bence K., Madison Q., Madison R., Matthew S.

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