Middle School Nugget

Saint Mark's - A Catholic IDEALS School

December 6, 2017

December Family Time Fun!!

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Language Arts - Mrs. Kendra Whinnery

6th: We’re working really hard on mastering the eight basic parts of speech – nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections. As we begin to embark on our next major writing assignment, we’re also reviewing verb tenses to ensure they make logical sense in our sentences and remain consistent throughout our writing. Information regarding our next major writing assignment – a character analysis to accompany The Giver – will be coming home soon. Also, class discussions go so much more smoothly when all students have their reading assignments completed. Any helpful reminders you could provide to your child would be greatly appreciated. It’s a busy time in 6th grade language arts!

7th: 7th graders have completed analysis of many, many poems and have now begun to create their own poetry portfolios. This is the fun part! All learners should be able to find areas of interest, as this project requires students to use their fantastic creativity while incorporating distinct elements in their writing. Each student’s portfolio will consist of 10 original poems – one for each of the following forms: clerihew, free verse, shape, bio poem, wingspark, place, cinquain, limerick, haiku, and ode. 7th graders also have a final test on poetry terminology coming up this Friday.

8th: Students’ character analysis papers based on Ebenezer Scrooge are coming together nicely, and final copies are due in by December 19. This week, we’ve also read some present-day nonfiction articles on charitable giving and analyzed what, if anything, society has learned from Charles Dickens’s lesson over the past 150+ years. In addition, students will focus work on identifying, comparing, and contrasting literary elements as they view different theatrical performances of A Christmas Carol this week and next.

Science - Mrs. Sarah Schwab

This week, all grades have been participating in the worldwide event of the HOUR OF CODE. Be sure to ask your student what they have been working on. Some students have been coding Minecraft games, creating a piano app that plays music and others have been working to code a StarWars game. It really is amazing to see what the students have accomplished. Be sure to ask your student which language they have started to learn - blocks, Python, Java....

6th grade - The sixth graders have been busy learning all about 3-D printing! We have explored the benefits of 3-D printing, products made with 3-D printers and have learned how our classroom MakerBot 3-D printer works. Students have been designing a 3-D Christmas ornament for the annual Christmas 3-D printed ornament contest. I will be sure to display pictures of the finished products.

7th grade - In addition to the Hour of Code this week, seventh graders just finished learning all about Cell Transport, including passive and active transport. Students really enjoyed our egg and vinegar demonstration of osmosis that we have been watching this past week. Be sure to ask your student what happened to the raw egg. Students also had a chance to complete a lab with balloons, demonstrating diffusion of substances across the membrane of the balloon. Up next - Cell Cycle and Mitosis!

8th grade - In addition to the Hour of Code this week, 8th graders have been busy designing and gathering materials for the Piano Staircase. Students presented research to the class about the stairs and then formed groups based on interests and needs of the project. There is a group responsible for the coding of the stairs. A group responsible for the wiring/soldering and speakers. The final group is responsible for the design of the stairs - making it look good and hiding all of the wires. I am impressed with their enthusiasm and determination to complete the project. We have also been breaking up our Piano Stairs work with our unit of Rocks and have just started talking about the Rock Cycle.

Math - Mrs. Katy Kieffer

6th Grade:

6th graders are getting a taste of algebra by evaluating and writing algebraic expressions and using variables with the commutative, associative, and distributive properties. We've sang songs, "gone out" to restaurants, and even made brownies. They've been engaged and working hard throughout. Nice work 6th graders! Please remind your students that they can continue to work through their 6th and 7th grade missions on Khan Academy if they find themselves without homework for math! Please also continue to encourage them to do test corrections (guidelines can be found on their Google Classroom accounts.)

7th Grade:

7th graders have been furthering their algebra skills by solving one and two-step equations. We had some fun with goldfish and starbursts to discover inverse operations in the process. The coming weeks will bring us more algebra with graphing, writing, and solving inequalities. Please remind your students that they can continue to work through their 7th and 8th grade missions on Khan Academy if they find themselves without homework for math! Please also continue to encourage them to do test corrections (guidelines can be found on their Google Classroom accounts.)

8th Grade:

8th graders have been persevering through graphing and writing equations in all different forms, slope-intercept, standard, and point-slope. We've done some human-sized graphing to discover what happens to a line when the slope and intercept changes, and we've also sung some songs to remember y = mx + b. This is a challenging year in math, and some of that has been showing lately. Please continue to encourage your students to ask for help when necessary, keep their chins up, and remember that they are learning some really challenging concepts.

Social Studies- Ms. Kate Heintzelman

6th: The students are finishing their unit on Ancient India. We will be using henna next week and learning about the cultural practice. They will have a test next Thursday on Ancient India. The students will also learn about the fascinating features of the Ganges River. The students are starting their Canada Capital map quizzes Monday.

7th: We are still in the midst of the American Revolution. The students have learned about the most important events and people involved. We have been listening to Hamilton to further reinforce our understanding. The students are starting their North America Landform map quizzes Monday.

8th: The students are finishing their unit on South America. They are completing a take home test that is due on Monday. We talked about how resources can effect a countries culture and the peoples livelihoods. We will be starting our large unit on Europe next week. The students are starting their Latin America Landform map quizzes Monday.

History Day:

All students have Impact & Legacy notes due on Monday. Their Impact & Legacy Checklists are both due the following Monday December 18th. Their project outline is due Monday January 8th.

If you know anyone who would be interested in judging our History Day Fair, please send their information my way!!

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Spanish - Ms. Hanna Brown

8th grade: We reviewed a common verb “tener” that is used and integrated it into being able to discuss physical descriptions of themselves (hair and eye color) and other people. Our focus has been on adjectives along with vocabulary about how to describe themselves and others. Students recently completed writing two paragraphs about themselves and a well-known person of their choice. It was neat to see students being able to have the confidence to write in Spanish! We are starting a new unit this week on “La escuela” (the school) and learning three new, but very common, verbs.

7th grade: Our main focus has been on conjugating -AR verbs. Students have learned the pronouns, and now begins verb conjugations. We wrapped this up last week with a quiz, and students are able to speak and write in a complete sentence using a subject and then conjugating only the -AR verbs we have learned. This week we are starting to learn about the very important verb “Ser.” Students will be able to use this verb in sentences and know how to ask where someone is from, as well as say where they are from, using this verb.

6th grade: Last week we began a new vocabulary unit on learning the parts of the body. We drew a monster in class together, by listening to my descriptions using the parts of the body vocabulary. Then, students were introduced to the verb phrases “Yo tengo” = “I have” and “Mi monstruo tiene” = “My monster has.” Students were able to write in complete sentences using these phrases to identify family members (review from last unit) with “yo tengo” and what their monster is going to look like by using “mi monstruo tiene”. It was neat to see the kids begin writing in sentences! We are continuing to practice this vocabulary through a variety of activities in class. Students have created a quizlet with flashcards to keep practicing their vocab as well. Their quiz for this set of vocabulary with be on Thursday 12/7.

Music - Mrs. Alisa Rogers

Art - Mrs. Ashley Moe

6th grade has been learning all about visual balance, and now will begin to practice physical balance as well! After studying the work of Alexander Calder, students began planning their own structurally sound mobiles. Mr. Gene, one of our fabulous maintenance workers, came by to share his nature mobiles, which have won many awards in the MN State Fair! Sixth graders will begin forming their mobiles out of wire, foam, and natural materials this week.

7th grade learned a variety of origami folds to created a paper relief sculpture. Through this calming art form, students made radial designs that literally pop off of the page!

8th grade has started to look at Modern architecture, and how the buildings of our world said goodbye to ornamentation due to the De Stijl movement. They viewed architecture from the victorian era to Frank Lloyd Wright, and working in pairs, will create modern inspired gingerbread buildings!

Religion - Mrs. Katy Kieffer

6th Grade:

6th graders have finished studying Abraham and his covenant with God, which directly lead to our Advent Calendars and how they represent our covenants with God. We have also begun our Manna & Mercy curriculum which gives us a broader context for the Old Testament and salvation history and helps students to relate it to our world today. They have really been asking great questions!

7th Grade:

7th graders are working hard on their infancy narrative. Date and time to be announced, but in general, the short production just takes place during the day. There is no night performance. Along with their play, they are studying the differences between the 2 accounts of Jesus' birth in the Gospels on Matthew and Luke and will be creating a project to accompany it.

8th Grade:

8th graders are busy studying the marks of the Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. During our study of the mark, holy, we did a great activity where they had to match the object or treat with each of the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit and have a good explanation to accompany their guesses. It was really fun to see how much they got into it.

Physical Education - Mr. Thomas Gorilla

Brain Break


Marker Monday

Monday, Dec. 18th, 4-8pm

1668 Selby Avenue

Saint Paul, MN

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Christmas Program - PK - 4th grade plus Band Students

Tuesday, Dec. 19th, 6:30-8:30pm

1983 Dayton Avenue

Saint Paul, MN

Join us for a joyful presentation of music from our youngest Markers and the school band. Performances at 1 and 6:30pm. K-4 students report to classrooms at 6pm, prek students to their classroom at 6:30pm. Gym doors open at 6pm for family members and friends.