Middle School Nugget

Saint Mark's - A Catholic IDEALS School

March 7, 2018

Language Arts - Mrs. Kendra Whinnery

6th: As our reading of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry comes to an end, 6th graders are just getting started composing their personal narratives. Students have chosen stellar topics relating to instances in which they used their imaginations to solve a problem or find another way to do something. We’ll be reviewing important aspects of the writing process - and how to punctuate that tricky dialogue - as we move forward. Students will have some time during class to draft, but the majority of the writing will need to occur at home. We’ll also be finishing up our mini unit on various types of figurative language.

7th: The 7th graders are about two-thirds of the way through reading our latest novel, Of Mice and Men. As we progress, we’re also focusing attention on use of dialogue, types of conflict, and identifying themes. We’ve been having a lot of fun with allegory, too! This week, students will be given a choice of four specific prompts from which to construct a formal essay.

8th: The due date for final To Kill a Mockingbird projects is this Friday! Worth 100 points and requiring solid comprehension of the novel’s themes, events, and characters, this project will comprise a large portion of students’ 3rd quarter grades. Please make sure that your child is on the right track and meeting (or exceeding!) the necessary requirements for his/her chosen project. Thank you!

Science - Mrs. Sarah Schwab

Science Fair Update

The Middle School Science Fair will be on Friday, March 16th from 10AM - 11:30am in Carolyn Hall. Please come see the wonderful projects the students have been working on. Judges are still needed! If you have some time next Friday morning, it would be greatly appreciated. You wouldn't be judging your son/daughter's grade, but is a great experience to talk to middle school students and learn about their projects. Please email Sarah Schwab if you would like to judge. Thank you!

6th grade:

In addition to working on the Science Fair, sixth graders have been learning about metalloids, nonmetals and metals. We have been learning about where these elements are located on the Periodic table, what the location means as well as their physical and chemical properties.They have been busy in lab conducting electricity to pull a tin can across the lab table as well as observing a chemical reaction where temperature changed once a metal was added to the solution. Students will be working and Element Newspaper Project next. Next week is "Brain Awareness Week" and sixth graders will be focusing on the brain in between Science Fair Presentations. It is always such a fun week.

7th grade:

In addition, to working on the Science Fair, seventh graders are working on a informational brochure about a Genetic Disorder. Students have been busy researching and learning new information about the causes of these disorders. Next week is "Brain Awareness week", and is perfect timing to kick off our unit of the Human Body- up first is the study of the Nervous System.

8th grade:

In addition to working on the Science Fair, 8th graders have finished up our unit on Plate Tectonics. One of the labs we completed involved frosting, crackers, drops of water and wax paper to demonstrate how the plates move and form different boundaries depending on movement of the plates. Eighth graders will be researching and completing a project about the brain starting in class at the end of this week, getting ready for "Brain Awareness Week "next week.

Reminder for ALL Middle School Students:

Science Fair Papers - Due Friday, March 9th

Science Fair Display Board - Due Tuesday, March 13th

Math - Mrs. Katy Kieffer

6th Grade:

6th graders are getting into a bit more algebra this past week and upcoming week with writing equations and inequalities. We explored inequalities by creating and flying paper airplanes. They had to write statements about their flights that did not include anything that would be "equal to" the actual distance it flew. They continue to be engaged and hard-working on a daily basis. I will be requiring test corrections for the next few tests because it's been difficult for students to get into this habit. Please ask your students if they have done test corrections!

7th Grade:

7th graders just got their percents test back in which nobody scored lower than a C-! This is an awesome accomplishment that we will be celebrating. I am confident in saying that these kids really know their proportions (including percents.) We are not quite finished as we still have to study some real-world percent applications such as percent change as well as discounts and mark-ups. We are looking at percent change through the lens of the diversity in Congress from 1977 to now. We had a great discussion about it on Tuesday.

8th Grade:

8th graders are finishing up linear functions by looking at arithmetic sequences. We had some fun throwing student-created parachutes and various balls out the window to look at which represented a linear function, leading to a discussion about how gravity works and why the ball did NOT represent a linear relationship but the parachute did. We even had a discussion about how linear and arithmetic relationships in nature point to evidence of an omnipotent God. We will move on to various geometric sequences such as exponential functions.


Social Studies- Ms. Kate Heintzelman

6th Grade: The students are still in the middle of our Greek Unit. We are continuing to learn about Ancient Greece. They have learned about Athens v Sparta, and culture. This week we will begin learning about Greek Mythology focusing on the specific gods. We will then move onto the Greek Thinkers (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Pythagoras), Persian and Peloponnesian Wars and Alexander the Great. The students will start their Latin America Landforms Map this week their first quiz will be on Thursday.

7th Grade: We will be finishing up our unit on George Washington and the start of our nation. The students will have a brief open note quiz. We will then start a presentation project. Each student will select a topic corresponding with where we are at in our study of our history and give a 5-10 minute presentation to the class about that topic. The students have just finished their Latin America Landforms Map and will begin their Europe Country Map this week.

8th Grade: Students are in the midst of learning about African History and Colonialism. Last week the students read a college level essay about colonialism and its effect and completed comprehension questions as they went along. I was very impressed with them. They have begun their Africa assessment. Each student selected an African Country to complete a project/essay. They are researching the history of their country, if they were colonized, by who, the effects of the colonialism, modern day conflicts, everyday life for the people in the country, (specifically how its been effected by colonialism), and finally summarizing their research and the effects of colonialism. They will then present to their classmates what they discovered in their research in a round table sort of format. The students will take their Africa Country Test Wednesday and begin Africa Landforms later this week.

Spanish - Ms. Hanna Brown

8th grade: We have wrapped up the unit on food and how to order at a restaurant. This week, we have began a unit on sports. In this unit students will be able to talk about sports, compare and contrast sports in Spanish speaking countries and the US, learn how to conjugate stem-changing verbs and how to express likes and dislikes. We have just started learning the vocabulary about sports for this unit.

7th grade: We are still in the unit that is all about family. Students have learned the vocabulary to talk about their family and how to conjugate the verb “tener” = to have. We will be having a quiz on Wednesday (3/7) on family vocab. We are now going to transition into possessive adjectives where students will be able to speak about relationships and belongings.

6th grade: We are still in the unit on “La Ropa” (clothing). We have done a variety of activities for students to be able to use the vocabulary to describe clothes. We have learned the placement of an adjective in regards to talking about clothes. In Spanish, the adjective comes after the noun. We also have been working on the verb “llevar” = to wear, for students to be able to express what I wear, you wear, he/she wears...etc. We will wrap up this unit soon with a fashion show. Students will design outfits and need to be able to talk about them in Spanish.

Music - Mrs. Alisa Rogers

Art - Mrs. Ashley Moe

6th grade is making way on their faux stained glass pieces. By the end of the week, you should be able to spot their creations on the windows around our school! Ask your 6th grader which era they were inspired by, their color scheme, and where you can find it to see in person.

7th grade
is putting the principles of design to use by designing a skateboard or snowboard deck. With a focus on repetition and one other principle, they've started working on a diverse range of ideas!

8th grade
has shown much perseverance on their Shepard Fairey inspired self-portraits. I can't wait for you all to see how these turn out, as they've used a wide range of technical and creative skills. See a sneak peek in the photos below!

8th grade Self Portrait in Progress

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Religion - Mrs. Katy Kieffer

6th Grade:

6th graders are doing an awesome job with their service project to benefit Watts of Love. They babysat during conferences, are currently having a bake sale, and will also be doing a class-wide walk/bike/run/swim-athon to raise additional funds. We are simultaneously studying Moses and the 10 commandments and how God taught the Israelites to live in the "manna way."

7th Grade:

We just completed our study of the Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism, First Eucharist, and Confirmation. We are delving a little more deeply into our uniquely Catholic belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Heavy stuff, but they are really engaged. Starting in April, we will again be participating in the "Water for Life" project headed by the Archdiocese Center for Mission in which we conduct a coin drive to raise funds to help our sister parish in Kitui, Kenya with their water issues. 7th graders will be spearheading the project at St. Mark's.

8th Grade:

8th graders are currently studying the beginnings of the Church through a close look at the Acts of the Apostles. They were assigned certain chapters Acts in which they have to pick out the important themes and construct a "photo" journal of the characters in the chapters. To accompany our study, we will also be viewing a pre-recorded event that highlights the movie coming out in theaters later this month that is all about Paul, Luke, and the writing of the Acts of the Apostles.

Physical Education - Mr. Thomas Gorilla

These past couple weeks, we’ve been working on a lot of linear and lateral speed development, footwork, and reaction activities. The kids have been loving these simple activities where they compete and not only push themselves to be quicker and faster each time, but their classmates as well. We don’t have to spend a lot of time on this either for them to really benefit from it so a lot of it is implemented into our warm up so we can progress each week and feel ourselves be more explosive, light on our feet, and grow. All of these exercises translate into any activity we may do in class because they all involve these key aspects of efficient and effective movement.



Brain Awareness Week - March 12th- 16th

Saint Mark's School is once again a Dana Foundation, "Brain Awareness Week" Partner. The entire school will be learning more about the brain through various activities next week. One of the highlights of the week will be a presentation about the brain from two University of Minnesota PhD students on Tuesday, March 13th. Middle school students will have their presentation from 10:30 - 11:15 in Carolyn Hall . Feel free to check in at the school office to come and see the presentation. We would love to have you.
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What is Brain Awareness Week?


Open Gym

Fridays from 4:30 - 6:00 pm

2018 - 2019 Enrollment - Don't delay, enroll now!

Preschoolers entering Kindergarten, and students entering grades 1-8, please check your email for your re-enrollment link, or log in to your TADS account and click the ‘enrollment’ tab.

The following deadlines are in place:

Financial aid applications due: Feb 15

Financial aid awarded: March 15

Tuition agreements due: April 15