Middle School Nugget

Saint Mark's - A Catholic IDEALS School

October 11, 2017

Family Time Fun!

Language Arts - Mrs. Kendra Whinnery

6th: We’ve finally found some time to begin working with our myPerspectives curriculum. Unit #1 is entitled “Childhood” and our the essential question we’ll be answering as we read and analyze a variety of texts is “What are some of the challenges and triumphs of growing up?” We’ll eventually work towards writing our own nonfiction narratives.


7th: 7th graders are finishing up our unit on The Outsiders by studying necessary aspects of plot development, discussing the four types of conflict, and learning to identify themes. Our final test on the novel will be later this week. While some class time will be available, students should also be working independently to complete their essay assignments. Rough drafts are due Monday, October 23.


8th: Welcome home, 8th graders! This week, we’ll continue to work through various elements ofNight and make sure that all students have a solid thesis on which to base their literary analysis essays. We’ll also continue to develop our vocabulary while also incorporating the use of analogies.

6th grade Language Arts Class

Science - Mrs. Sarah Schwab

6th grade: I have missed the 6th graders this week and I cannot wait to hear about all the Science learning that took place at Wolf Ridge. Sixth graders have been studying matter. They have explored physical and chemical properties of matter in lab as well as explored the properties of water doing a variety of activities. We start discussing parts of an atom, elements, compounds and mixtures when they return next week.


7th grade: Seventh graders have been busy working on a favorite project - "Design your own Organism", where students create an organism with adaptations, all 6 characteristics of life, a food web and a written story about their organism. It is always fun to see what the students come up with. We will be going to Como Park next week to look more into the biodiversity of plants as well as explore binomial nomenclature and discuss the importance of classification.


8th grade: Eighth graders have been studying landforms this week as we study of the surface of the Earth. They were able to construct certain landforms out of clay and have explored landforms around the world by completing an internet activity. Before we start our study of minerals, students will be constructing 'landform tiles' on the 3-D printer and assembling an 'island'.

6th graders at Wolf Ridge

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Math - Mrs. Katy Kieffer

6th Grade

6th graders have been working recently on greatest common factor and least common multiple. We created Venn diagrams to discover how to find a least common multiple and also did a scavenger hunt with word problems for both GCF and LCM. We will be testing on these concepts when the students return from ELC. Outside of class, some of your students have been working on completing their 6th grade mission in Khan Academy. They can move right on to the 7th grade mission if they finish. If they say they don't have any homework, there is always Khan Academy! There are also times when they will be assigned something specific on Khan Academy. They should do the assignment as many times as it takes to get at most only one incorrect answer (3/4 or 6/7.) I highly encourage you to have them show their Khan Academy assignments so that you can see what the site has to offer (such as video tutorials, helpful hints, and example problems.)


The students often do notes for homework, and I have been helping students in class figure out how to do this best for math, but for awhile, it would also be helpful for parents to look at their students' notes to make sure that they are meeting expectations. You can find a guide to note-taking for math in your student's Google Classroom account in the "About" Tab. You can also find a guide to making test corrections there.


7th Grade

7th Graders have been delving into operations with rational numbers (exciting, right?) It can be! We did a human number line to discuss what negative fractions and decimals are and also played rational number war (like the card game, war.) We will be looking at adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing negative fractions and decimals. If you are looking for a helpful tip when it comes to adding and subtracting negatives, have your child think of temperature or money (whatever motivates them more!) These two concepts help them to make sense of the negatives. Please take note that your students all have a Khan Academy account which they will sometimes use for homework. They should do the assignment as many times as it takes to get at most only one incorrect answer (3/4 or 6/7.) I highly encourage you to have them show their Khan Academy assignments so that you can see what the site has to offer (such as video tutorials, helpful hints, and example problems.)


The students often do notes for homework, and I have been helping students in class figure out how to do this best for math, but for awhile, it would also be helpful for parents to look at their students' notes to make sure that they are meeting expectations. You can find a guide to note-taking for math in your student's Google Classroom account in the "About" Tab. You can also find a guide to making test corrections there.


8th Grade

Upon returning from D.C., the 8th graders will be finishing up their study of solving equations with absolute value equations and solving for a variable. We have been spending quite a bit of time on these concepts because solving equations of all sorts is something that we will utilize all year.


Please take note that your students all have a Khan Academy account which they will sometimes use for homework. They should do the assignment as many times as it takes to get at most only one incorrect answer (3/4 or 6/7.) I highly encourage you to have them show their Khan Academy assignments so that you can see what the site has to offer (such as video tutorials, helpful hints, and example problems.) Khan Academy can also be used to help students move along to other concepts that we have not yet reached in class. A good goal is to complete the 8th grade mission.

Social Studies- Ms. Kate Heintzelman

6th Grade: The students just finished up learning about the Beginnings of History. We will start History Day as soon as the students get back from Wolf Ridge. We will also be starting to learn about Ancient Egypt.


7th Grade: We will begin studying Colonial US, learning about the different regions and their roles in the shaping of America. We have begun History Day and we will be selecting topic shortly.


8th Grade: We are all getting back into the swing of things after DC. Today we did a written reflection of DC. It is very clear the students gained a lot from this great experience. We will dig deeper into History Day topic selection in the next two weeks. We are starting our Unit on North America Geography and brief history.

8th graders in Washington D.C.

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Spanish - Ms. Hanna Brown

8th grade: Students have been continuing working on how to conjugate AR verbs. Students are able to piece and create sentences in Spanish and we wrapped that up with quiz, right before they left for D.C. Students did great on their quizzes! Now, we are diving into conjugating the verb Ser which is a frequently used verb. From there, we will begin to talk about adjectives and how those are structurally placed in a sentence. It is great to have 8th grade back and I am looking forward to watching their vocabulary and sentence structures grow over these next months!


7th grade: We did a lot of work with how to have a structured conversation in Spanish. This includes a greeting, asking how are you?, asking their name and some type of goodbye. We did lots of practice with this, and then students were paired up and created a script and performed that conversation in front of the class. I was very impressed with the creativity and how they discovered/utilized new words by using their resources. This past week we focused on reviewing numbers and how to talk about the date in Spanish. It was great for everyone to review and students had a quiz last Friday and they did excellent! Looking forward to reviewing time in Spanish and how to tell it/talk about it throughout this week.


6th grade: Last couple weeks we worked on talking about the seasons/weather through a variety of activities. Every day when students arrive, we have been talking about the weather in Spanish because they now know how to say phrases and create a little conversation. Recently, we have started learning about how to have a structured conversation that includes a greeting, asking their name, asking how are you?, and some type of goodbye. I have done lessons to introduce this idea and given opportunities for practice. Students have a partner and they have been writing a script (conversation) that they will perform/act out in front of the class when they return from Wolf Ridge. We have had practice prior to this, and students have a checklist of what is expected of them in their conversation with their partner. They have been getting very creative and I am excited to see/hear these conversations when they get back from their trip!

Music - Mrs. Alisa Rogers

Art - Mrs. Ashley Moe

6th grade has been working on creating masks inspired by a variety of cultures, using a variety of materials. We've been discussing how culture impacts artistic choices, and what we can learn about people through the art they create.


7th grade completed their symmetrical designs, and are getting ready to learn about impressionism and plein air. Looking at the work of the impressionists, students will learn techniques to create landscapes using oil pastel. Next week, we'll be putting those skills to use by drawing at Como Park!

8th graders are continuing their study of the principles of design. In groups, they acted out each principle and are finishing up their illustrated books.

Religion - Mrs. Katy Kieffer

6th Grade

6th graders have been delving a little more deeply into Genesis and looking into not just our creation stories, but also into other Genesis stories such as Cain and Abel and the Tower of Babel to discover that it is also through these stories that God reveals Himself to us, showing us His goodness, mercy, and compassion. Upon returning from ELC, we will be looking at the idea of "covenant" and Pope Francis's Laudato Si to begin to think about our role as stewards and how we can each play a role in the care for God's creation.


7th Grade

7th Graders have been looking at life in Palestine during the time of Jesus to gain a better understanding of how Jesus lived, which provides some insight into his parables as well as helping us to understand our Jewish ancestry. They are currently working on projects to teach their classmates about one particular aspect of life in Palestine and will be presenting these next week. We will soon begin to put together service-learning projects as well that focus on community.


8th Grade

8th graders will be taking their first religion test on Thursday. Please encourage them to look over their notes and take the test seriously, as religion assessments can sometime not be taken as seriously as assessments in other classes. 8th graders have been looking at different aspects of the Church and how it functions in our lives such as the 6 models of the Church according to Cardinal Avery Dulles and images of the Church (i.e., Vine and Branches). We have also begun early Church history by taking a look at Pentecost, it's significance in our history and it's revelation of the role of the Holy Spirit in the Church. We will also soon be taking a look at how we can serve the Church through individual service-learning projects.

Physical Education - Mr. Thomas Gorilla

6th, 7th & 8th Grade: Starting in October I began our unit on the brain, breaking it down into three sections (anatomy + function, exercise + the brain, and concussions). To relate this info into our activity I switched things up a bit from a usual class setting and held yoga and meditation to try and teach them about maintaining a calm and relaxed state during times of stress on the body and mind. Also, part of what yoga requires is core activation, static muscle activation positions, balance, and deep breathing for premium mind and body relaxation. All of this challenges one’s brain and stimulates a new way of going about activity. After a week of yoga I created another multi-sport circuit where the students were to complete a variety of different tasks as a team, individually, and in a relay race sort of atmosphere. During both yoga and the circuit training course, two types of music were played. The music during yoga was compiled of slower ambiance sounds and beats while the relay course had an uptempo, uplifting energy to it to add another dynamic to the activity and inspire the students.

Upcoming Events

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7th grade Art and Science Field trip to Como Park

Tuesday, Oct. 17th, 10am-2pm

1225 Estabrook Drive

Saint Paul, MN

NO SCHOOL October 18 - October 20th

MEA break