From the Desk of Miss Foyle

Welcome Back! Week of January 4, 2016

Top 5 Things to Know

1. The Family Life curriculum will begin next week at ICSJ. 6th grade will begin on Tuesday (after we finish up with the Sacraments of Initiation). Please note that 8th grade will not begin Family Life until they have completed their Confirmation preparation (early February).

2. Many people make fitness/health goals at the start of the new year, so consider making and encouraging faith goals for your whole family. This can be something as simple as "We will pray grace together before dinner each night," or, "We will go to Sunday Mass as a family this year." If you're interested in developing a devotion to Mary, consider praying the Rosary - there are lots of apps/websites to help.

3. Red folders are backpacked every Friday. Please remember to review all assessments with your child, contact teachers with any questions/concerns, and return the folder by the following Monday. This is our primary form of communication with you regarding your child's scores and progress.

Assessments coming home this week (from Miss Foyle's classes):

8 Religion: None

6 Religion: OT basketball team project

6 Language Arts: blog post rubric, Hobbit book discussion rubric, three types of essays + rubrics, hero's journey packet + rubric

4.It's never too early to plan ahead. Join the ICSJ school and parish community for our next Family Mass, which will help us kick off Catholic Schools' Week 2016. Mass will be at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph's church on January 31st.

5. 8th graders are in their final preparation for Confirmation. They will receive the sacrament on February 5th. Please keep them and their families in your prayers this month. (8th grade parents, dates are included below as a reminder.)

Class Updates/Info

6th Reading & Language Arts

*Reading Workshop: The new year marks a different genre for 6th grade - nonfiction! Students became familiar with NF text features through a powerpoint presentation on Monday, and they then applied their knowledge on a text scavenger hunt on Thursday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, students used a nonfiction Quizlet about the Chicago Fire to practice using textual evidence to answer multiple choice and short answer questions. Finally, on Friday students began their nonfiction literature circle meetings by looking at their respective text's introduction/foreword.

Here is our Nonfiction Reading Schedule.

*Writing Workshop: Students kicked off the week with a Free Write journal exercise. On Tuesday and Wednesday, they prepared and completed their first timed writing prompt exercise about a time they suddenly understood an ideal, skill, or concept. Later in the week, they engaged in reflective writing brainstorming activities to think about their idea of change.

*Word Study: Students completed their Unit 2 word study quiz that focused on roots such as MAN, STAT, etc. Next week we'll move onwards to Unit 3. These root words are important because students can use their understanding of them to approach unknown words with these roots to make an educated guess on their meanings!

*Grammar: This week's lesson was short and sweet - we focused on appositives, or nouns/noun phrases set off by commas that describe another noun. (Did you see what I did there?) Students quizzed on this concept on Friday.

6th Religion

Sixth graders spent this week learning about the sacraments, which are visible signs of God's invisible grace and His love for us. These seven sacraments were given to us by Christ during his time on earth. Students watched videos, took guided notes, engaged in discussion, and more. They learned that some sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders) can only be celebrated one time due to their indelible (permanent) nature. During the second half of the week, they zeroed in on the sacraments of initiation: Baptism & Eucharist (with Confirmation to come on Monday). These three sacraments are related and grouped together because they welcome us into the church and strengthen our call as Christians to be God's light in the world for others.

8th Religion

Over the break, students reflected on Session 5: The Bible from the Decision Point Confirmation program. Then, this week they turned their focus to relationships and the Eucharist. Through videos, journaling, and discussion, students had the opportunity to really ponder their relationships with family, friends, and God.

All videos can be viewed online at the Decision Point website. I highly encourage you to watch some of the segments - these are great ways to talk about the faith with your child. The messages shared in these videos are VERY powerful.


Confirmation date reminders (required for all receiving Confirmation):

*Sunday, January 24 (10-4pm) = Confirmation Retreat (DePaul Prep)

--> Students only; parents/families/sponsors are welcome to join us for Mass at 3pm

*Wednesday, February 3 (7pm) = Confirmation Vigil & Practice (St. Joseph church)

--> Sponsors & families are welcome; students and at least one parent are required to be present

*Friday, February 5 (7pm) = Confirmation Mass (St. Joseph church)

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