Middle School Nugget

Saint Mark's - A Catholic IDEALS School

October 25, 2017

Family Time Fun!

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Language Arts - Mrs. Kendra Whinnery

8th: This week, we’ll finish up our reading of the last section of Night and continue shining up those literary analysis essays. (Does your kiddo remember the necessary elements of successful introduction and conclusion paragraphs?) Reminder that drafts are due no later than Tuesday, 10/31. The final test on the memoir is scheduled for this Friday, 10/27. 8th graders have also finally gotten back in the groove of our myPerspectives curriculum. Unit #1 is entitled “Rites of Passage” and the essential question we’ll be answering as we read and analyze of a variety of texts is “What are some of the milestones on the path to growing up?”

7th: To celebrate our completion of our unit on The Outsiders, the 7th graders are watching the acclaimed movie to start off this week. Essay rough drafts with feedback will be returned to all students by this Thursday, and final revised copies are due no later than Friday, 11/3. This week we’ll also be going further in our myPerspectives curriculum, reading and analyzing a novel excerpt, news blog, and memoir all relating back to our essential question of “What can one generation learn from another?” We’ll also incorporate work with common/proper/possessive nouns and personal/possessive pronouns.

6th: As the 6th graders finish up their final projects for Tangerine (drafts due 10/26 and all final projects due no later than 11/6), we’re focusing our work on our myPerspectives curriculum. Students are gaining annotation skills, strengthening vocabulary, practicing reading for different purposes, and learning to write concise, complete, and accurate summaries. While it may sound impossible, in the coming days we’ll also be doing some really fun in-class activities to strengthen our familiarity with different parts of speech. Please also remind your child that the final test on Tangerine will be this Thursday, 10/26. We thoroughly discussed the review in class at the start of this week, and students also have it shared with them in Google Docs. Happy studying!

Science - Mrs. Sarah Schwab

6th grade: Now that sixth grade is back from Wolf Ridge, we have been busy studying different types of mixtures and different methods used to separate them. Students were able to make and eat a heterogeneous mixture in lab this week and tomorrow we continue our study of mixtures by doing a chromatography lab, separating the ink of markers. Up next, we will study how we measure mass as well as the law of the conservation of mass.


7th grade: Seventh graders did an excellent job on designing their own organism project. Be sure to ask your student about their 'creature' they designed and the characteristics it has which makes it alive. We had a great time at Como Park exploring different binomial nomenclature among similar plants. Student were also able to use a dichotomous key to classify trees in the park. We are just starting our microscope unit and will move into our study of cells. It is always an exciting time using microscopes almost daily during this unit.


8th grade: Eighth grade has begun the study of minerals. Be sure to ask them how minerals are different than rocks . Students started a lab today constructing minerals structures, using candy to represent the atoms in the crystal structures and tooth picks representing chemical bonds. Students will be learning all about mineral formation as well as mineral identification. Eighth graders will be using different methods /tests to identify minerals in lab.

7th grade - Como Conservatory Field Trip

Math - Mrs. Katy Kieffer

6th Grade:

6th graders are diving into multiplying and dividing fractions and mixed numbers. Although they did some of this last year, it is a very important 6th grade standard that we want them to have mastered. Ask them about their Flocabulary division song, and what it really means to divide by a fraction. We are continuing to use Khan Academy occasionally for homework. My rule for Khan Academy homework is that they should get at most 1 wrong, so they should continue to attempt the assignment until they get a score of 3/4 or 6/7.


7th Grade:

7th graders are plugging away at operations with rational numbers, which includes multiplying and dividing negative decimals and fractions. It's not usually anyone's favorite lesson, but we are making the best of it. We are having a bit of trouble remembering how to use long division and where to place decimal points in a multiplication problem, so we will be spending a few days on practicing those skills. We will also have one more quiz before the end of the quarter. We are continuing to use Khan Academy occasionally for homework. My rule for Khan Academy homework is that they should get at most 1 wrong, so they should continue to attempt the assignment until they get a score of 3/4 or 6/7.


8th Grade:

8th graders are beginning a pretty fun unit (I think) on linear equations. We first took a look at actual hurricane wind speeds and used a linear equation to determine how many hours it took the tropical storm to reach those speeds. In the next couple of days, we will be studying and building roller coasters to investigate the idea of slope in a linear equation. We will likely have one additional quiz prior to the end of the quarter. Please encourage your students to use all the resources at their disposal when doing practice problems at home, such as their Khan Academy videos and video tutorials from the book. I'm trying to encourage students not to come with incomplete homework and say "I didn't get it" with concepts that they can easily look for help with.

Social Studies- Ms. Kate Heintzelman

6th Grade: The students have now selected their History Day topics. If they are working in a group they need to sign a group contract. The students were also assigned the Background & Build-up Notes and Summaries. They will have 3 work days for this assignment. We have also started our unit on Ancient Egypt. We will learn about the pyramids, mummies, and pharaohs.


7th Grade: The students have now selected their History Day topics. If they are working in a group they need to sign a group contract. The students were also assigned the Background & Build-up Notes and Summaries. We have started our unit on the US Colonies. We are learning about how America is settled and how we grow as a nation and survive.


8th Grade: The students have now selected their History Day topics. If they are working in a group they need to sign a group contract. The students were also assigned the Background & Build-up Notes and Summaries. We are finishing up our unit on North America Geography. The students have an essay for their assessment on Thursday. They have the prompt on google classroom to help them prepare.

Spanish - Ms. Hanna Brown

8th grade: We finished up on how to conjugate the very important verb SER. This verb means to be. This was incorporated in learning how to ask where one is from and be able to respond by saying “I am from ____.” It is a word for is/are in English. This week, we are going to be reviewing everything we have learned this quarter to prepare for our quarter 1 test on Friday 10/27. Then, next week we will be learning about the Mexican holiday, Dia de los muertos (Day of the Dead) because it begins Oct. 31st until Nov. 2nd, to conclude the end of the quarter!


7th grade: Last week, we wrapped up the lesson on how to tell time/the appropriate ways to identify time in Spanish. Last Tuesday students began a project with a partner and presentations will take place on Thursday. For their project, students pick a Spanish speaking country and a city they would like to visit. Students are told they have four days there for travel and have to research 4 activities/events they can do while there and what time of year they would like to go along with talking about the weather. We will then be reviewing for the Quarter 1 test which will be on Monday 10/30. After, we will be learning about the Mexican holiday, Dia de los muertos (Day of the Dead) because it begins Oct. 31st until Nov. 2nd, to conclude the end of the quarter!


6th grade: Upon their return from Wolf ridge, we have concluded their presentations on conversations. Students did an excellent job with being creative and constructing their conversations; I was impressed! This week we are spending the next two days on reviewing what we have learned in Quarter 1 and their test will be on Thursday 10/26. Then we will be learning about the Mexican holiday, Dia de los muertos (Day of the Dead) because it begins Oct. 31st until Nov. 2nd, to conclude the end of the quarter!

Music - Mrs. Alisa Rogers

6th graders are digging into one of the most important ways we have used music throughout history: story telling! In addition to looking at examples of how music tells a story, students will be writing their own spooky stories and recording them with sound affects.


7th graders are reviewing the instruments of the orchestra, including what defines an instrument, and looking at how history and cultures have shaped instruments. They will cap off this unit by creating their own instruments and the cultures they come from in the Maker Space!


8th graders are continuing their study into the Romantic Era by diving into the life of one of the most prominent composers: Beethoven! This unit will encompass many aspects, including composing our own melodic themes on classroom instruments. Stay tuned for more details on upcoming projects within this unit!

Art - Mrs. Ashley Moe

6th graders have missed art the past few weeks due to ELC and MEA, but will be wrapping up their study of world masks this week.

7th graders did an incredible job drawing the Japanese Garden at Como last week! They used techniques practiced by the Impressionists to create colorful landscapes, drawing from observation.

8th graders are continuing to practice art analysis, while beginning to create still life drawings. Our subject for these drawings... candy! Students are encouraged to bring their own to class this Friday, which they'll use for observational drawing.

7th grade field trip to Como Conservatory

Religion - Mrs. Katy Kieffer


6th Grade:

As soon as we wrap us our Genesis unit, we will finally be starting on our service projects, which I think is going to be really great. As soon as next week, we will be looking more closely at Laudato Si and relating it to the students' experiences at Wolf Ridge. We will then take a look at the recent natural disasters and how those disasters typically impact underdeveloped communities and nations the most. Finally, I have a good lead on a great organization that we could use as a final service project. Tying all of this together will be the idea of "covenant" and how, like Moses and Abraham, we can also form a covenant with God to be good stewards.


7th Grade:

We are wrapping up our unit on life in Palestine. We've had dancing, food and games, and now we will wrap it all up with a little quiz before the end of the quarter. Starting next quarter, we will be looking into the issue of hunger and how it impacts our community. We will be putting together a Thanksgiving food drive that will benefit Keystone Community Services to do our part in loving our neighbor.


8th grade:

8th Graders recently began a small chapter on prayer and it's significance in the life of the Church. We expanded our definition of forms of prayer to ideas such as singing, dancing, silent reflection, the Mass, and simply being aware of God's presence in our lives throughout the day. We will finish it up by creating our own short one line prayers that we can use on a daily basis to help us continue to be aware of our need for God daily. Beginning next quarter, we will finally begin our service projects where the students will need to find their own service projects done individually or in small groups that somehow serve the Church and fit with at least one of the Corporal Works of Mercy.

Physical Education - Mr. Thomas Gorilla

6th, 7th & 8th Grade: We have started our lesson on the skeletal system and bones this week. For the first day, we are just scraping the surface of information by learning about the basic function of the system such as movement, support, protection and blood cell production, then we will soon dive into the structure of our bones and why they are built the way they are. Later on we will go over the main bones in our body and how they help us to perform our everyday activities while also learning about how they help us succeed in sport/higher intensity activity. Lastly, I will introduce the different breaks a bone can obtain so that students understand the difference and specifics between them all. Our activity for the next couple weeks is basketball, where we’re learning new skills, gaining strength, confidence, enhancing our awareness, hand-eye coordination, and warming up with different drills that increase the demand on our body a little further than a general warm up at times.

Upcoming Events

Care-A-Thon Dates for Middle School Activities:

OCTOBER 30 - 8th grade

NOVEMBER 1 - 6th grade

NOVEMBER 2 - 7th grade

NOVEMBER 3 - Early Dismissal - 11:30 AM - END OF FIRST QUARTER
NOVEMBER 8th - 8th grade Field Trip to WE Day
NOVEMBER 14 and NOVEMBER 16 - Parent/Teacher Conferences