Upper School Newsletter

2015-2016 School Year: 2nd Quarter

Volume 2, Issue 2

6th Grade

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Art - Mrs. Stephan

The art department is busy completing artwork for the annual "Evening in the Arts." Grade 6 will continue to work on the elements and principles of design and explore both 2-D and 3-D mediums. We are connecting to other subjects and artists throughout history.


English – Mrs. Szymborski

Sixth grade will be concentrating on our creative writing unit during this quarter. Writing components will be broken down into 6 Writing Traits. Students will be focused on learning how to choose their topics, organize their writing, and bring their personality or voice into the projects. We will concentrate on strong word choices and sentence fluency, as well as editing skills. Watch for projects coming home!


Gym – Mrs. Martins

“Omnikin!” is the name of the game for December in Upper School P.E. classes. This popular intramural game was developed to encourage teamwork, fair play, and fitness through the use of a unique piece of equipment – a large 4’ ball with a rubber bladder that “floats” in the air. The goal of the game is simple: catch and control the ball before it touches the ground. Perhaps I will play Christmas music in the background on the new sound system!


Math - Mr. Karpin

In sixth grade second quarter we are getting into the lovely world of fractions. We will be adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions. Then students will pick a recipe and use fractions to change the size of it.


Music - Ms. Storck

The sixth graders will be hosting the school mass on Friday, Dec. 4, as well as leading the congregation in song from the choir loft. Our Advent and Christmas concert, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is on Tues., Dec. 15, 6:30 p.m. in the SFB School Gym. 6th grade will be singing two selections with the 5th grade, entitled “Gloria” and “Hurry, Hurry, Shepherds.” Abby Schwarz and Liam Davis will be featured as soloists, and Elena Garni, Alison Ancher-Jensen, Ellie Larson, Rachel Gauthier, Molly Lanning, and Abby Schwarz will lead us all in singing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." Gianna Stelter will treat us to a piano solo, and Fred Ehrlich will be singing a solo and playing the part of Angel Gabriel. More and more students are taking the brave leap to be showcased in performance. I’m so proud of them! The SFB Bands will also be featured at the concert. Hope you enjoy the concert and have a very Merry Christmas!


Religion - Ms. Stecker

Sixth grade classes have focused on the Catholic Social Teachings and incorporating them in our school/community service projects. The students are looking forward to working on the school wide "Kindness Project” that will be continuing during Advent and will culminate during Catholic Schools Week.


Science - Mr. Ewig

Sixth grade science class this quarter we will be studying ecology. Our study of ecology will look at ecosystems, animal relationships, food chains/webs, animal adaptations, biomes, and environments. During this quarter students will take part in labs, in-class activities, and projects. One of the labs we will be doing this quarter will be to dissect an owl pellet. The project that we are just starting is the Imaginary Predator project where students use their imagination and knowledge to create a predator.


Social Studies - Ms. Stecker

Sixth grade social studies will be doing a short mini lesson on economics. Then we will begin our culture unit and culture fair.


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. This past quarter we talked about some interesting cultural points, such as our continued conversation on formal vs. informal speech, and we also talked about the Day of the Dead. We learned some new songs and have reviewed other familiar songs as well. Some other fun things we have done include a couple of games to review and learn new and old Spanish vocabulary, such as “hot potato verbs.” We have also started the difficult topic of Spanish verbs. A verb we are working on at the moment is ser. Our main goal at the moment is for your child to simply associate the different verb conjugations with its appropriate subject.


As we work together to instill in each child the importance of learning a second language, it is my hope that each child will strive for his/her highest potential. Might I suggest that you have your child spend at least 10 minutes a day Thursday-Friday reviewing the aforementioned verb and practicing the verb conjugations by writing them out on a separate piece of paper and saying out loud the subject and its corresponding verb form. If, at any time during the year, you should have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at bairesa@sfbschool.org.

7th Grade

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Art - Mrs. Stephan

The art department is busy completing artwork for the annual "Evening in the Arts." Grade 7 will continue to explore various drawing techniques, such as scratchboard and gesture drawing. They will use these as preliminary sketches for sculpture. They will also prep for a semester exam to reinforce note taking skills and keeping an organized journal.


English – Mrs. Szymborski

Seventh grade will be concentrating on our creative writing unit during this quarter. Writing components will be broken down into 6 Writing Traits. Students will be focused on learning how to choose their topics, organize their writing, and bring their personality or voice into the projects. We will concentrate on strong word choices and sentence fluency, as well as editing skills. Watch for projects coming home!


Gym – Mrs. Martins

“Omnikin!” is the name of the game for December in Upper School P.E. classes. This popular intramural game was developed to encourage teamwork, fair play, and fitness through the use of a unique piece of equipment – a large 4’ ball with a rubber bladder that “floats” in the air. The goal of the game is simple: catch and control the ball before it touches the ground. Perhaps I will play Christmas music in the background on the new sound system!


Math - Mr. Karpin

Seventh grade is diving into the world of Algebra and will be starting two-step equations. Then they will be working on percents, so mom and dad don't have to pull out the calculator to leave a tip.


Music - Ms. Storck

Please join us for our Advent and Christmas Concert, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” on Tuesday, December 15, 6:30 p.m. in the SFB School Gym. Seventh and eighth grade students will sing together, and will be performing “Follow the Star,” featuring soloist, Kourtney Wollner, “We Bring Our Gifts,” featuring a solo sung by Kate Ketelhohn, and a fun, jazzy arrangement of “Mary, Mary.” Kathy Michaletz will be playing the part of Mary, and Ben Gibeau will play the part of Joseph. Each will be singing solos in the program. We will also enjoy piano and trumpet music performed by Matthew Lemes, as well as a piano solo by Kathy Michaletz. Ladd Stanton will also be sharing his musical gifts with us, and the 7th grade girls will lead us all in singing “Silent Night.” Our goal is to get the 7th graders to sing out! They continue to improve every day, and I’m so proud of them. The SFB Bands will also be featured at the concert. Hope you enjoy the concert and have a very Merry Christmas!


Reading – Mrs. Szymborski

We have finished reading Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and our brief study of the Holocaust. Over 8,000 Jewish people were safely transported to Sweden by Danish fishermen over a two week period without the knowledge of the Nazi soldiers. Ask your student what they learned during this unit.


Our next book is The Watson's Go To Birmingham 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. While fiction, this book also allows us to bring non-fiction to our reading program. We will be discussing the Civil Rights Movement in America as we work our way through this unit.


Reading – Mrs. Stenz

We have finished our short story unit and moved onto our first novel, Where the Red Fern Grows. Seventh graders began the book by researching either an animal or landform that appears in the story. They worked with a partner to present this information using Google Slides. All groups did an awesome job! As students read the book, they are keeping track of characters, setting, and vocabulary, all of which will be turned in at the end.


Religion - Ms. Stecker

Seventh grade classes have focused on the Catholic Social Teachings and incorporating them in our school/community service projects. The students are looking forward to working on the school wide "Kindness Project” that will be continuing during Advent and will culminate during Catholic Schools Week.


Science - Mr. Ewig

Seventh grade science class this quarter we will be studying electricity. We will study in this unit the interactions of magnets, the earth as a magnet, electromagnets, how electron movement causes electricity, circuits, and circuit measurements. During this quarter we will be doing several in-class labs that have students applying their knowledge to build electromagnets, simple circuits, and complex circuits.


Social Studies - Mrs. Stecklein

One of the major units that the 7th grade is working on this quarter is Ancient Greece. This is one of the most popular units in Social Studies, so we include a lot of fun activities throughout. A couple of the things we will be doing include writing an original myth, designing pottery, and competing in our own Olympic Games.


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. This past quarter we talked about some interesting cultural points, such as nationalities. We continued our conversation about formal vs. informal speech, and we talked about the Day of the Dead. Some other fun things we have done include a couple of games to review and learn new and old Spanish vocabulary. We have also started the difficult topic of Spanish verbs. Two verbs we are working on at the moment are ser and estar. It is a topic that is taught and reviewed quite extensively in high school Spanish.


As we work together to instill in each child the importance of learning a second language, it is my hope that each child will strive for his/her highest potential. Might I suggest that you have your child spend at least 10 minutes a day Thursday-Friday reviewing the aforementioned verbs and practicing the verb conjugations. If, at any time during the year, you should have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at bairesa@sfbschool.org.

8th Grade

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Algebra - Mr. Karpin

Algebra is working on graphing functions and linear equations. Then we will be solving systems of equations and will finish the quarter off with a semester exam.


Art - Mrs. Stephan

The art department is busy completing artwork for the annual "Evening in the Arts." Grade 8 is learning to express themselves in a self-portrait. They have studied pop art and are going to complete a stylized portrait in linoleum block printing. Thank you for your continued support of the arts!


English - Mrs. Stenz

Students are wrapping up an interdisciplinary project in social studies and English for second quarter. This project is a controversial term paper, and the benefits are twofold: students learn about the topic they research and familiarize themselves with the research and writing process for a term paper. Students are able to pick their own topic, which can range from current events to historic incidents. Some of the topics being researched this year include: the Bermuda Triangle, drones, and animal testing. Ask your eighth grader how their term paper is going.


Geometry - Mr. Karpin

Geometry has been working on proofs for a while now and will be finishing up with writing them. We are working with different types of polygons and will finish the quarter with the semester exam.


Gym – Mrs. Martins

“Omnikin!” is the name of the game for December in Upper School P.E. classes. This popular intramural game was developed to encourage teamwork, fair play, and fitness through the use of a unique piece of equipment – a large 4’ ball with a rubber bladder that “floats” in the air. The goal of the game is simple: catch and control the ball before it touches the ground. Perhaps I will play Christmas music in the background on the new sound system!


Literature - Mrs. Rieboldt

The first quarter was a great time to get to know the students. Vocabulary was started and will be ongoing throughout the year. We began the year with a selection of short stories and then read the first novel, Soldier’s Heart, which was followed by Seedfolks. In the month of December, we will complete informational reading on immigration, complemented by short stories. Students will also prepare and read a Christmas story orally to the class and to one of the primary grades. Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year.


Music - Mrs. Storck

Please join us for our Advent and Christmas Concert, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” on Tuesday, December 15, 6:30 p.m. in the SFB School Gym. Seventh and eighth grade students will sing together, and will be performing “Follow the Star” and “We Bring Our Gifts,” featuring a solo sung by Addie Johnson and a fun, jazzy arrangement of “Mary, Mary.” The eighth grade girls will lead us all in singing "Joy to the World,” and Nate Mazza, Kallie Theiler, Theo Ruzicka, Will Garni, Olivia Larson, Julia Sergio, Luc Monet, and Jack Bogenschutz will serve as speakers, reading bible readings. Our goal is to get the 8th graders to sing out! They continue to improve every day, and I’m so proud of them. The SFB Bands will also be featured at the concert. Hope you enjoy the concert and have a very Merry Christmas!


Pre-Algebra - Mr. Karpin

Students are starting the quarter off working with percents. Then we will really be getting into Algebra with multi-step equations, having the variable on both sides of the equation. They will be finishing the quarter off with a semester final.


Religion - Mrs. Stecklein

One of the main focuses this quarter is the marks of the Church. We will be using the textbook, along with supplemental materials and assignments, to take a closer look at what it means to be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. In addition, this quarter we will be using the Catechism of the Catholic Church to write an essay on morality.


Science - Mr. Ewig

Eighth grade science class this quarter we will be studying cells and heredity. This unit will cover cellular biology, the human genome, mapping heredity, genetic characteristics, and genetic disorders. During this quarter students will be using microscopes to see and draw different plant and animal cells. We will also be starting the science fair later on this quarter. Please keep an eye out for more information!



Social Studies - Mrs. Stecklein

During 2nd quarter, the 8th graders will start a unit on WWI. They will have several opportunities to explore different aspects of the Great War. For example, they will have to complete a picture journal that includes their reactions to primary sources. Also, they will use an interactive website (www.pbs.org/greatwar) to complete an informative assignment.


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. This past quarter we talked about some interesting cultural points, such as nationalities. We continued our conversation about formal vs. informal speech, and we talked about the Day of the Dead. Some other fun things we have done include a couple of games to review and learn new and old Spanish vocabulary. We have also started the difficult topic of Spanish verbs. Two verbs we are working on at the moment are ser and estar. It is a topic that is taught and reviewed quite extensively in high school Spanish.


As we work together to instill in each child the importance of learning a second language, it is my hope that each child will strive for his/her highest potential. Might I suggest that you have your child spend at least 10 minutes a day Thursday-Friday reviewing the aforementioned verbs and practicing the verb conjugations. If, at any time during the year, you should have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at bairesa@sfbschool.org.