Middle School Nugget

Saint Mark's - A Catholic IDEALS School

March 21, 2018

Brain Awareness Week Highlights

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Brain made of 'pipe cleaner' neurons that each student created

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Language Arts - Mrs. Kendra Whinnery

6th: The 6th graders are hard at work on their personal narratives relating to the idea of a time at which they used their imaginations to solve a problem or see things from a new perspective. In addition, we have just begun Unit 2 of myPerspectives,and our focus this time around is “Animal Allies”. This unit’s essential question is, “How can people and animals relate to each other?” and we’ll read historical fiction, memoirs, essay and novel excerpts, fables, and news articles to gain some perspective. We hope to still fit in two novels before the end of this school year, and our next one will be the quick and fun read of Maniac Magee. More info will follow after spring break!

7th: The 7th graders have used this week to get a solid start on their Of Mice and Men essays. Which of the four theme choices did your child select? We’ll complete a short grammar unit before beginning our next story, The Little Prince, which not only has some incredibly beautiful messages and themes, but will also bring some exciting student projects and presentations.

8th: Time for Greek mythology! During this week before break, students will focus their reading by completing a webquest to research life in ancient Greece. After break, we’ll continue by reading about and discussing the Olympian gods and goddesses, family trees, and begin our study of some lesser-known gods and goddesses such as the Graces, Fates, and Muses. Each 8th grader will eventually select a god/goddess on which to focus for his/her final project. In the coming weeks, students will be creating poetry, scrapbooks, formal writing, visual aids, and costumes in preparation for our living Greek museum that will take place in mid-May. Info will be posted soon on an exact date. Enjoy spring break! J

Science - Mrs. Sarah Schwab

WOW! What an excellent job the middle school students did on the Science Fair last week. I am so proud of each of them. It was such a great experience to watch them all go through the process on their own and complete the project. I love seeing Science in action. All students were able to present their projects in front of their classmates last week before the Science Fair on Friday. All of the judges commented on how well prepared the students were and how confident they were in their speaking skills while talking about their projects. They all did a very nice job. Here is what is coming up next for each grade:

6th grade: Sixth graders are ending this week with a test on the Periodic Table including information about metals, metalloids, nonmetals, alkaline metals, halogens and noble gases. We will begin our study of forces and Newton's Laws when we return from break!

7th grade: Seventh graders have started our Human Body unit with the study of the Nervous System, which lined up perfectly with Brain Awareness Week last week. Students were able to chain neural pathways in lab this week by wearing 'altered reality' goggles. Students will end this week by designing their own experiment with the goggles. Our study of the brain continues next week with a few more labs learning about the brain as well as our lab where students will get to dissect a sheep's brain. What a fun week we have planned when we return from break!

8th grade: Eighth grade finished up our unit on Plate Tectonics and has been focusing this week on the Musical Stairs project. It is exciting the see the progress in this project. The flashlights are finally fitting in the PVC pipes. Wires are getting soldered and measured with sensors connected and the coding group has assembled the Arduino board - now they are focusing on getting the code not to show any 'errors'. I can't wait to see the final product, and I know the students are excited to see it as well.

Have a great Spring Break!!

Middle School Science Fair - 2018

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8th grade- Musical Stair Project

7th grade - 'Altered Reality Goggles" Lab

Math - Mrs. Katy Kieffer

6th Grade:

6th graders recently finished up writing equations and inequalities and are moving onto geometry with 3 dimensional figures. We are discovering formulas ourselves for surface area and volume of prisms in order to really embed the information. Brain research in math of course tells us that students remember formulas better if they are discovered rather than simply taught and memorized. We found the volume formula, for example by estimating how many kernels of popcorn (about 1 square inch each) will fit in a paper bag (a rectangular prism.) In the process, we are discovering why we label area in square units and volume in cubic units.

7th Grade:

7th graders are wrapping up their unit on percents with an upcoming test on percent change, including applicable concepts such as mark-ups, discounts, sales tax, and simple interest. They were astounded to figure out how much it costs to buy a home with a 30-year loan after interest! We will be moving on to geometry with angle relationships and angles in polygons.

8th Grade:

8th graders are really cruising lately with some Algebra I concepts including radicals, rules with exponents, and exponential functions. It seems to me that they really like the challenge. For the remainder of the year, we will be working through many standards that would be considered Algebra I because we have made it through most of our 8th grade Algebra standards.

Celebrating Pi Day

Social Studies- Ms. Kate Heintzelman

6th Grade: The students are wrapping up our Greek unit. We have just finished learning about the Persian & Peloponnesian Wars and Alexander the Great. The students have really enjoyed talking about Ancient Greece. We will begin our unit of Ancient Rome after break. They have completed their Latin America Landforms and will begin Europe Maps when we return from break.

7th Grade: The students are in the midst of presentations on a section of history. They have been doing awesome so far. Ask them if they can name the first 7 presidents. After break will start learning about the Civil War. They have their Europe Country Map test on Friday. They will begin Europe Capitals after break.

8th Grade: The students just finished writing awesome papers about an African country of their choice. They learned about the effects of colonization and then presented their research to their classmates. They all were able to take away that colonization has had long term effects on Africa today. We have started North Africa & Southwest Asia Geography. They have finished African Landforms and will move onto Asia Maps after break.

Spanish - Ms. Hanna Brown

8th grade: We are continuing to learn about “los deportes” = sports. Students are learning vocabulary for a variety of sports. They are able to identify verbs and nouns that describe certain sports. They have learned how to conjugate the verb “jugar” = to play a sport. This verb is a very common verb and is a stem changer, meaning when they conjugate the verb, the u is changed to a ue. To wrap up before break, students are picking a famous spanish speaking athlete and will talk about their person through a class presentation. Their final quarter 3 examen will be when they return from break, thursday April 5th.

7th grade: We are continuing to talk about “La casa” (house) vocabulary through a variety of activities. We are incorporating a TPRS (total physical response story) where I will be reading a story about la casa and students will help act out through the use of props. This is a beneficial way for students to grasp and understand the vocabulary better. We will wrap up this unit on La casa this week and their quarter 3 examen will be thursday, April 5th.

6th grade: We have continued to do activities with “La Ropa” (clothing) vocabulary. Students worked on preparing for a fashion show. In groups, students wrote a paragraph describing their outfit for which someone else would read about them as they walked down the runway. Their group chose Spanish songs to have playing while they did their show. It was a great success and the kids had a lot of fun! We are wrapping up this unit this week and will review for our quarter 3 examen when students return from break. Their final examen will be thursday, April 5th.

6th grade Fashion Show

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Music - Mrs. Alisa Rogers

Please mark your calendars! The Spring Concert is Saturday, May 19th at 11 am. This is the Saturday of Grand Ole St. Mark's Days! We will have a dress rehearsal for our production of "Godspell" at 9:30 am in the gym before the performance. Please consider volunteering while your child is rehearsing and then join us for the performance! There will be an email shortly with more details.

Art - Mrs. Ashley Moe

6th grade finished their faux stained glass, inspired by a variety of eras from the Middle Ages to mid century. They've began to compare the work of Russian iconography (saint portraiture), Gustav Klimt, and contemporary artist Kehinde Wiley. Using a combination of multiple patterns and stylized portraiture, they will be painting saints on wood.

7th grade learned about tableaux vivants-- living pictures. Working in groups, they will carefully recreate works of art using themselves, and give presentations on their given artist.

8th graders have started to work on a fun project the whole school can participate in-- art history games! Taking inspiration from the Walker Art Center's artist mini golf, students are making interactive pieces based off a famous work of art. Some students are creating mini golf holes, bean bag tosses, and balloon popping games, while others are creating a new style of game unlike anything you've seen before!

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Religion - Mrs. Katy Kieffer

6th Grade:

6th graders have completed their Watts of Love service projects with their bake sales and conference babysitting. I am extremely proud of how they were able to organized themselves and meet their goals. I don't know our totals quite yet, but no matter the totals, these students are learning how to be servant leaders. We are also working through our study of Moses and what the idea of freedom meant to the Israelites and how it relates to us today.

7th Grade:

7th graders completed their study of the Sacraments of Initiation, including Baptism, Reconciliation, and First Eucharist, understanding that these aren't mere celebrations, but events that demonstrate the gift of grace given to us by Christ. This week, we are beginning to organize our Living Water project that we participate in each year through the Archdiocese Center for Mission. We are beginning simply by looking at the significance of clean water around the world both in our daily lives as well as in our faith. Details coming soon.

8th Grade:

As we begin our study of the early Church, 8th graders are working diligently at their Act of the Apostles projects in which they must create a photo journal of a particular part of Acts in the first person (as Paul, Peter, or other disciples.) Acts is not always easy to understand, and I've been getting a lot of great questions. As a side note, the movie, Paul, Apostle of Christ, is coming out in theaters on March 23rd. It is I offered students extra credit if they go to and report back on the movie. The movie recounts the writing of the Acts of the Apostles from the perspectives of Luke and Paul. Here is the link to the movie for more information: http://www.paulmovie.com/site/.

Physical Education - Mr. Thomas Gorilla

This past week were able to get outside for the first short portion of our class to enjoy some sunlight, fresh air, and just a different way to lead in to our warm up that kept the students on their toes and involved our naturalistic side to class. It has been a cold and long winter, so when it warmed up we wanted to get outside when we could. This week students are doing an activity that involves just about every aspect of human development. It includes full body fitness as a group, teamwork, communication, balance, throwing accuracy, and muscle endurance to name a few. Students try to stay afloat on their ships (mats) by defending their pins that keep it afloat. They are also trying to sink other ships by knocking down the pins of the other teams. If their ship sinks, they are to knock out a short fitness circuit on another mat “land” to come back and rebuild their ship together. There are also scooters used as rafts to go retrieve balls from the ocean. Every student thinks of their own creative way to retrieve items in the ocean which also works different every sort of muscle group, especially if they decide to sit and push with their legs and push with their arms. The students have been loving it. It’s intense, high energy, and everyone has a role they take on to help each other succeed.

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Open Gym

Fridays from 4:30 - 6:00 pm

2018 - 2019 Enrollment - Don't delay, enroll now!

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The following deadlines are in place:

Tuition agreements due: April 15

Spring Break

Spring Break is from March 26 - April 2nd.

School resumes on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.

Enjoy the break!