Upper School Newsletter

2015-2016 School Year: 1st Quarter

Volume 2, Issue 1

6th Grade

Art - Mrs. Stephan

Students studied the famous artist, Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, co-inventor of cubism. They learned how to break up space into geometric shapes and created a cubist inspired portrait. Ceramic portraits will be fired and painted in a selected color scheme.


English – Mrs. Szymborski

My students have settled into middle school quite nicely. They have routines down pat and are ready to go! In this first quarter, we will be focusing on rules of grammar. In particular, we are going to study prepositions, types of sentences, nouns and verbs.


Gym – Mrs. Martins

Upper school physical education classes have been enjoying learning/playing volleyball in our amazing new gym with high ceilings! The ability to play two courts is conducive to more hands-on practice and playing time. The unit is timed to reinforce and offer additional practice time as well during the girls’ volleyball season.


Math - Mr. Karpin

For the beginning of sixth grade math, we have been working on estimation, ordering numbers from least to greatest, and working with decimals. The chapter one test will be held this week; then we are heading into mean, median, and mode by finding them and learning different ways to graph them. There will be a mini project of surveying the class and making a poster of the data.


Music - Ms. Storck

Grade 6 is off to a great start in music class. They have music on Friday afternoons, just once per week. They will be singing with Grade 5 at our upcoming Fall Concert, which is on Oct. 22. They will be performing selections which represent the Catholic Social Teachings we promote at SFB School, such as Life and Dignity of the Human Person, Call to Family and Community, Human Rights, Social Justice for All, etc. Special thanks to students who have volunteered to be cantors, altar servers, and musicians at mass! Keep up the great work!


Reading - Mrs. Harding

Both sixth grade reading groups began the year exploring the origins of the English language. Vocabulary units have been started. Students will have weekly vocabulary assignments on all full weeks. Students in 6A have begun reading Peter and the Starcatchers, an interesting Peter Pan like fantasy. Students in 6B will be reading the Newbery Award winning adventure, Hatchet.


Religion - Ms. Stecker

Grade 6 will continue to study the Old and New Testament, along with expanding

and understanding our Catholic roots and dogma.This will incorporate more scripture application and service opportunities such as the Tablesetters. Our “Giving Garden” has moved to the new school! We have done some winter preparations and planting and look forward to the spring planting and service component of this project.


Science - Mr. Ewig

Sixth grade science class this quarter will be studying biology. Our study of biology will look at classification, characteristics, lifestyle, and reproduction of plants. During this quarter, students will take part in labs, in-class activities, and projects. The main project we do first quarter is the tree identification project. This will have students exploring the outdoors while collecting and identifying leaves in the area.


Social Studies - Ms. Stecker

Grade 6 social studies will begin their first “adventure” with the study of the world of

geography. This will incorporate culture, history, government and economics, emphasizing the connection between reading and social studies. One of the differentiated projects will be our Postcard Project, which teaches the five themes of geography through technology.


Spanish - Senorita Baires

¡Hola! (Hello!) from the Foreign Language classroom. Here is a recap of what your child has done so far in Spanish class. These past three weeks we talked about some interesting cultural points such as Hispanic names, formal vs. informal speech and the Latino countries that received their independence from Spain in the month of September. We have also learned some new songs and have reviewed other familiar songs as well. Some other fun things we have done include a couple of fun games to review and learn new and old Spanish vocabulary like the “Tsum tsum toss,” “Simon says,” and some students even got to play the “Post-It Note Race.” We also had our very first quiz!

7th Grade

Art - Mrs. Stephan

Students reviewed clay terms and techniques. They put their creative problem-solving skills to use by constructing a ceramic mug using at least one hand built ceramic technique. The mug must be able to hold liquid and should have a handle. The rest is up to their own creative design. Mugs will be glazed.


English – Mrs. Szymborski

In first quarter 7th grade English, we are working on grammatical structure. Similar to 6th grade, we are going to study prepositions, types of sentences, nouns and verbs. Our focus, however, will be greater in depth. We will begin to fill our class skill binders with pieces of work for all to see.


Gym – Mrs. Martins

Upper school physical education classes have been enjoying learning/playing volleyball in our amazing new gym with high ceilings! The ability to play two courts is conducive to more hands-on practice and playing time. The unit is timed to reinforce and offer additional practice time as well during the girls’ volleyball season.


Math - Mr. Karpin

Seventh grade is getting back into the groove of math by starting with integers. This is a big part of getting ready for Algebra by adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing integers.


Music - Ms. Storck

Grade 7 is off to a great start in music class. They have music class on Monday mornings, just once per week. They will be singing with Grade 8 at our upcoming Fall Concert, which is Oct. 22. In keeping with Jesus’ message of “Love One Another”, we will be singing a pop hit recorded by the Beatles in 1967, "All You Need is Love." Grade 7 will also be leading the music for our school mass on October 2 and will be singing a spiritual entitled "Promised Land." Special thanks to all the students who have volunteered to be cantors, altar servers, and musicians at mass! Keep up the great work!


Reading – Mrs. Szymborski

My seventh grade will be studying short stories and elements of literature in this first quarter. We began the year with a powerful story called "The People Could Fly" that dealt with escaping slavery. From there, we reviewed genre, basic components such as characters, settings, plot and moved on to discuss foreshadowing, predicting, and imagery. Each of the short stories we read reinforce these elements.


Reading – Mrs. Stenz

We will spend first quarter working on short stories and reviewing elements of literature such as characters, plot, and setting. We started with “Flowers for Algernon,” and the students loved it! Next we will read “The Most Dangerous Game” and “The Monkey’s Paw.” These stories definitely capture students’ attention and generate some meaningful class discussions.


Religion - Ms. Stecker

Grade 6 will continue to study the Old and New Testament, along with expanding

and understanding our Catholic roots and dogma.This will incorporate more scripture application and service opportunities such as the Tablesetters. Our “ Giving Garden” has moved to the new school! We have done some winter preparations and planting and look forward to the spring planting and service component of this project.


Science - Mr. Ewig

Seventh grade science class this quarter we will be studying astronomy. We will begin this unit with a focus on Earth, the moon, and the sun. We will then study the solar system, meteors, asteroids, and comets. And, finally, we will end with a study of the universe, including, galaxies, black holes, and lives of stars. We will be taking a field trip this year to the planetarium at UW-Milwaukee to learning more about stars and our night sky.


Social Studies - Mrs. Stecklein

In 7th grade social studies, we will be covering ancient civilizations. We started this quarter learning about the basics of archaeology and will then move on to the Fertile Crescent region. We will spend a majority of 1st quarter on ancient Egypt. In addition, we will be using several different technological resources including Google Classroom, Chromebooks, interactive websites, and online group and individual research projects.


Spanish - Senorita Baires

¡Hola! (Hello!) from the Foreign Language classroom. Here is a recap of what your child has done so far in Spanish class. These past three weeks we talked about some interesting cultural points such as Hispanic names, formal vs. informal speech and the Latino countries that received their independence from Spain in the month of September. We have also learned some new songs and have reviewed other familiar songs as well. Some other fun things we have done include a couple of fun games to review and learn new and old Spanish vocabulary like the “Tsum tsum toss,” “Simon says,” and some students even got to play the “Post-It Note Race.” We also had our very first quiz!

8th Grade

Algebra - Mr. Karpin

Algebra is getting right into things by working with integers, combining like terms, and one-step equations. After the first chapter, we will start to work on tougher equations and really get into the Algebra material.


Art - Mrs. Stephan

Grade 8 artists studied the well-known guidelines developed by Leonardo da Vinci in order to create accurate portraits. The students manipulated these guidelines in clay to create a ceramic portrait and to exhibit a facial expression. Portraits will use a variety of mediums to complete with both texture and color.


English - Mrs. Stenz

Eighth grade is in the middle of a descriptive writing unit. Students are learning strategies for organizing and writing a descriptive composition, such as imagery and point-of-view. Look for their Perfect Autumn Day compositions hanging in the Upper School hallway by the middle of October.


Geometry - Mr. Karpin

We have been working on basic geometry. Now things will get rolling and we will be getting into proofs and working deeper into triangles.


Gym – Mrs. Martins

Upper school physical education classes have been enjoying learning/playing volleyball in our amazing new gym with high ceilings! The ability to play two courts is conducive to more hands-on practice and playing time. The unit is timed to reinforce and offer additional practice time as well during the girls’ volleyball season.


Literature - Mrs. Rieboldt

We started the year with a selection of short stories on identity, and just last week the students started using their new vocabulary books. Usually vocabulary workshop is due on Thursday, and the test is taken on Friday. Often the novels we read are related to the time in history the students are studying. This week we started the novel, Soldier’s Heart, by Gary Paulsen on the Civil War. Be sure to ask about the packet and ongoing work for this book.


Music - Mrs. Storck

Grade 8 is off to a great start in music class. They have music on Monday mornings, just once per week. They will be singing with Grade 7 at our upcoming Fall Concert, which is Oct. 22. In keeping with Jesus’ message of “Love One Another,” we will be singing a pop hit recorded by the Beatles in 1967, "All You Need is Love." Grade 8 will also be leading the music for our school mass on Oct. 30, where they will be singing a song called "Down to the River to Pray." Special thanks to students who have volunteered to be cantors, altar servers, and musicians at mass! Keep up the great work!


Pre-Algebra - Mr. Karpin

This year 7A and 8th grade math will be getting into Pre-Algebra. So far we have dealt with integers and one-step equations. We are working our way into two-step and multi-step equations.


Religion - Mrs. Stecklein

At the end of last school year, the current 8th grade class voted on a graduation theme. They picked Timothy 4:12, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity." Other new and fun things for the 8th grade include their voted on theme days (Super Hero, Pokemon, Under the Sea, Famous Historical Figures) as well as writing and presenting the Focus before every all school Mass.


Science - Mr. Ewig

Eighth grade science class this quarter will be studying chemistry. This unit will cover chemical/physical reactions, balancing chemical equations, types of bonds, acids and bases, and solutions/mixtures. We start out the year with a lab that helps students to understand the difference between chemical and physical reactions. Later on in the quarter, students will be doing a lab to determine whether substances are acids or bases and putting them in place on the acid/base spectrum.


Social Studies - Mrs. Stecklein

Our major unit in 1st quarter will be the Civil War. We will have a paper about the causes of the war at the beginning of the unit. We will work closely with their English class on this paper in order to better prepare for the controversial term paper. In addition to English, we also have an interdisciplinary aspect in literature class as they read a novel based on the Civil War.


Spanish - Senorita Baires

¡Hola! (Hello!) from the Foreign Language classroom. Here is a recap of what your child has done so far in Spanish class. These past three weeks we talked about some interesting cultural points such as Hispanic names, formal vs. informal speech and the Latino countries that received their independence from Spain in the month of September. We have also learned some new songs and have reviewed other familiar songs as well. Some other fun things we have done include a couple of fun games to review and learn new and old Spanish vocabulary like the “Tsum tsum toss,” “Simon says,” and some students even got to play the “Post-It Note Race.” We also had our very first quiz!