From the Desk of Miss Foyle

Week of February 8, 2016

Top 5 Things to Know

In addition to the fact that we do not have school on Monday (2/15) due to Presidents' Day, here are five important things to know/keep in mind:

1. We have entered into the season of Lent, a period of 40 days' preparation for Jesus' Resurrection at Easter. Still trying to decide on a way to make Lent meaningful? Consider being a part of our parish & school communities' efforts to donate to CRS Rice Bowl (info went home on Ash Wednesday) or brainstorm ways to pray together as a family.

2. Congratulations to our 8th grade Confirmandi - they have been sealed with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit! It was a beautiful, reverent Mass with Bishop Kane and a wonderful testament of the Catholic faith. Let us continue to keep them in our prayers as they finish their time at ICSJ and prepare to transition to high school.

3. The 6th graders are presenting an Art/Library book cover project AND their Music cultural fair projects TODAY (2/12) in the early afternoon. All parents and guests are welcome, especially for the dancing portion. It promises to be a lot of fun, and we hope to see you there. (The Valentine's Day party will be from 2-3pm for all middle school students.)

4. Have you heard? A group of ICSJ students has started a service club: "SO WHAT: Serving Others Will Help All Thrive" - the club meets weekly during Thursday lunch to plan and discuss opportunities for meaningful service projects. Stay tuned for opportunities for the entire student body to get involved. The students are full of ideas and are ready to make things happen.

5. As always (and even though it is a long weekend), assessment folders are being sent home today. Please review your child's assessments before signing and returning the folder. Here are the items I will be sending home:

8th Religion: none

6th Religion: "Tuesdays with Morrie" reflection

6th LA: nonfiction book club discussion rubric

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Classroom Updates

6 LA

Students can pat themselves on the back for a job well done with their argumentative essays. From brainstorming to notetaking to outlining to drafting, it was a long and, at times, difficult process, but everyone pushed through. I hope they shared their essays with you - all students have access to them in their Google Drives. (Having Chromebooks in the classroom was SO helpful this week with the essays!)

We embraced the 1:1 pilot program for our daily grammar warm-up by watching a Grammar Flip video before applying the day's skill on practice items. Using our GUM book, we tackled pronouns and their antecedents, and students now know that all short answer and essay responses should start with a noun before a pronoun can take its place. Our Word Study roots were CAP, CAPT, and CIP. Students were able to come up with plenty of other examples of these roots, which mean "to seize or grab."

In reading, we did a lot of thinking aloud with nonfiction text, using a Quizlet about the Chicago Fire and its causes. With multiple choice questions, we reasoned through choices that were clearly not the answer choice, and students were able to agree or disagree respectfully with their peers when discussing answer choices. On Thursday, they applied the strategies we had used all week on a different Quizlet about the Arctic.

6 Religion

This week we wrapped up Family Life by taking a look at family budgets as well as how we fit into the larger picture of the Church around the world. Additionally, the students reflected on mercy - they were able to do this on their respective iPads or Chromebooks right from their desks in class as a check-in activity. On Thursday students took a summative quiz to demonstrate their understanding of the vocabulary and concepts we studied. (Friday we will not have religion class due to the cultural fair and Art/Library presentations.)

Below are photos of some of the students' favorite quotes from "Tuesdays with Morrie" - there is always an opportunity to learn, especially from those we love.

8 Religion

With Confirmation behind us, we are now moving ahead with Family Life. (A parent guide was sent home early this week.) Early lessons have focused on happiness, your moral compass, personality, and emotions. On Friday, the focus will shift to why the Church is pro-life at all stages, from conception to natural death.

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