Miss Foyle's Classroom Updates

Room 322 - November 14, 2014

Important Announcements

*Report cards will be backpacked with your child (middle school only) on Monday, Nov. 17th.

*There is no school on Friday, Nov. 21st, due to parent/teacher conferences.

*There is no school from Wednesday, Nov. 26 through Friday, Nov. 28 due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy the time with your families and friends to celebrate the many blessings God has bestowed on us!

8th Grade Service Opportunities

These are offered through a Catholic youth group called "The Gen" (short for "new generation of saints"):

Assisting with preparations for the "Baby Jesus Project, 2014" Sunday, November 16 - from 2 to 4pm at Focolare's Center in Hyde Park (5017 S Greenwood Ave, Chicago, 60615, directly across the street from President Obama's home): students will help to prepare figurines for Baby Jesus distribution on December 13. This service work involves making the little Jesus figurines, coloring and wrapping them, as well as preparing the message that is attached to the basket holding the Baby Jesus.

Christmas Caroling to Nursing Home Residents: Saturday, December 6 - from 1:30 p.m. til 8pm in Naperville. We will meet at 1:30pm to practice the carols, and then at 3 p.m. we will go caroling to Alzheimer patients of a nursing home, followed by bowling and pizza party. Practice as well as pizza party will happen at the home of the Rogg Family in Naperville (1441 Swallow St, Naperville, 60565).

Saturday, December 13 - from 10 am until supplies last - Baby Jesus distribution. We will meet at the Focolare Center in Hyde Park (5017 S Greenwood Ave, Chicago, 60615), to get ready for the distribution, which will take place at 2pm at the Water Tower Park (Pearson St and E Tower Ct). The 8th graders will help supervise the 1st-4th graders who will be distributing the Baby Jesus figurines. Hot chocolates will be provided to the group afterwards and a warming center has been arranged within a block of Water Tower for bathroom breaks.

Please contact Mrs. FioRito with any questions or if you are interested in participating.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It...

6th Grade Reading and Language Arts

Reading Workshop: Book Clubs are off and running with Hobbit, Beowulf, and Sir Gawain (Arthurian legends). Groups met for the first time this week to touch base, discuss a few things about their respective books, and start their reading assignments. Students will be charting the course of their heroes over the next month. Much time is devoted in class for students to complete reading assignments, but some students may need to complete them at home.

Writing Workshop: Students brainstormed and used a graphic organizer to plan their Flash Fiction stories - these are short (roughly 500 words or less) stories complete with characters, plot, conflict, and resolution. The challenge is for the students to pack a punch in their writing, cutting out unnecessary details while still developing a worthwhile and entertaining fictional story.

Word Study: This week, students examined the first four prefixes on their charts, and they composed sentences with words that use each prefix. On Thursday, students acted out a chosen prefix as if that prefix was a real character. For example, students that chose "ab" (meaning away) acted out a scene in which they went away from each other. The idea is to mix in various learning styles and opportunities to help the meanings stick.

Grammar: Topics this week included progressive verb tenses, adjectives (words describing nouns or pronouns) & adverbs (words describing verbs or adjectives), and prepositions & interjections. Students completed some workbook pages in class and then finished at home. In class, students were able to receive feedback on their work and ask clarifying questions. Some extra practice may be needed before this unit's quiz, which we will review for next week.

Genius Hour: On Thursday students spent about 30 minutes in the computer lab, many making progress towards a final product for their Genius Hour presentations. Students worked on Powerpoints, watched videos, and created how-to's. They were very busy. Additional time was devoted to Genius Hour preparation on Friday while some students worked on their independent reading and writing assignments.

7th Grade Religion

The 10 Commandments took center stage on Monday, as we discussed how these help Christians form their consciences. On Tuesday and Thursday, students examined the Bible a little more closely and how there are different authors, books, themes, types of genres, and more in the Bible. It all makes more sense when you have the historical context and take time to make a spiritual interpretation (versus solely a literal one). The Bible is truly a library of books! Students watched the video embedded below to help emphasize the key points they read about from their textbook and from their notes. Finally, on Friday, students watched a video on the Jewish Temple and its significance to the Jewish people to this day. Students filled in notes as they viewed the online film.
Who Wrote the Bible?

8th Grade Religion

The 8th graders zeroed in on the birthday of the Church - hey, where's the cake? - when it was founded at Pentecost. They explored the significance of the coming of the Holy Spirit, and they gave some thought to when the Spirit will come to them at Confirmation. (Speaking of Confirmation, there are lots of service hour opportunities listed at the top of this newsletter.) On Friday, students moved forward in Church history by examining the Apostolic Age, or "Age of the Apostles." Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be covering about 2000 years of Christian history - so, needless to say, it's going to barely touch the surface. Therefore, students will be receiving a project assignment next week that will allow them to pick a Church movement that they would like to research and explore in more depth.

Students did not have Religion class on Tuesday due to the ASPIRE test.