Middle School Nugget

Saint Mark's - A Catholic IDEALS School

November 8, 2016

CARE-A-THON Service Projects

6th grade

7th grade

8th grade

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Language Arts - Mrs. Kendra Whinnery

6th: The 6th graders have just begun their next novel, The Giver, which is a futuristic fantasy/science fiction story set in a dystopian society. In general, students will have a couple chapters of reading due each week. Your 6th grader should be able to tell you that each time “chapters” are due, it really means that reading is complete, note-taking pages are filled out, comprehension questions are answered, and vocab is defined and studied. Throughout this unit, we’ll incorporate study of setting, conflict, and character development, as well as work with parts of speech and new vocabulary. We’ll also start looking carefully at point of view and how it relates to our writing.


7th: This week, the 7th graders have continued to work in our myPerspectives curriculum and have focused their time on the study of adverbs! We’ve reviewed definitions, figured out which questions to ask, focused on comparatives and superlatives, and played a fun charades-like game to help us remember the basics. Next week, we’ll begin a large poetry unit, during which we’ll study a variety of poetic forms, terminology, figurative language, and literary devices. As we move along, students will be creating their own fabulous poetry portfolios that we’ll be sharing at a later date.


8th: 8th graders have just started our next novel, a perennial favorite, Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. We’ll have each stave read aloud to us in class (thanks, Lit2Go!) and students will be completing study guides, reading response journals, and occasional quizzes as we move along. Next week, watch for your child to bring home really helpful information regarding how to craft his/her character analysis of Ebenezer Scrooge. And, mark your calendars…The 8th graders are headed to the Guthrie to see a grand performance of A Christmas Carol on Wednesday, December 6! J

Science - Mrs. Sarah Schwab

6th grade: Sixth graders have been learning about the International System (SI) of measurement and why we use it in Science. Students have practiced measuring volume in lab as well and length and mass. We just started our discussion of chemical reactions and the conservation of mass. We will end this week doing a lab where students will get to see exothermic and endothermic reactions as well as other chemical reactions.


7th grade: Seventh graders have been learning all about eukaryotic cells of animals and plants. Students have been exploring different parts of the cell by completing a virtual lab and will be exploring a variety of microscope slides in lab tomorrow. Students have also been doing a variety of activities to help them learn the functions of the organelles of the cell as well as the difference between plant and animal cells.


8th grade: Eighth graders have been busy learning how to identify minerals. Students have been in lab performing tests on a variety of minerals - such as luster, streak, breakage and hardness tests. We will finish our unit of minerals by students researching a specific mineral and creating a mineral advertisement. Up next - ROCKS!!

Math - Mrs. Katy Kieffer

6th Grade

6th graders are pushing through operations with rational numbers now with decimals rather than fractions. They loved working with Base 10 blocks to model multiplication and division, which was fun to see. It really reminds me how much they love getting their hands on materials and discovering math processes for themselves. This class really seems to love math. I don't hear any negative math talk with these students, which is truly awesome for a math teacher. Please remind your students that they can do test corrections for half credit. Guidelines are on Google Classroom. They can also re-take mini-assessments for full credit after getting help with the concept.


7th Grade

I love algebraic expressions, simplifying, evaluating, and solving them, and I'm hoping that your 7th graders are learning to like them too. Some kids get really excited about doing math that looks more and more like Algebra, but for some, it's very intimidating. The more positive math talk at school and at home, the better. If they seems frustrated with the topics, please continue to encourage them to ask more and more questions. I love when students come to me during Advisory for math help. Please also remind your students that they can do test corrections for half credit. Guidelines are on Google Classroom. They can also re-take mini-assessments for full credit after getting help with the concept.


8th Grade

8th graders are really digging into linear equations. We built roller coasters for slope and learned a great song for slope-intercept form. I know they love those songs, even if they pretend they don't! We will be continuing graphing linear equations in all different forms, including standard form and point-slope form. The concept of "Algebra" for some reason can be very intimidating to some students, so please continue to encourage your students to seek help during advisory, after school, or before school. I truly love when students come to ask for help (makes me feel useful ;) Please also remind your students that they can do test corrections for half credit. Guidelines are on Google Classroom. They can also re-take mini-assessments for full credit after getting help with the concept.

Social Studies- Ms. Kate Heintzelman

6th Grade: This week the students finished up our unit on Ancient Egypt. They will be having a test on Friday to assess their knowledge. We covered prominent pharaohs, timeline of Egypt, achievements, and culture. Next week the students will be doing a mini project where they are able to write their names in hieroglyphics. The students will then move on to our next unit learning about Ancient India. We have finished US Capitals and will be moving onto Canada Providences and Capitals.


7th Grade: We have been focusing on the colonization of America. We have learned about the three major regions and the differences between them along with the similarities. We have discussed slave trade and the effect it has had on our history. Earlier this week the students practiced a very minor activity of what it would be like to travel in a slave ship, ask them about what it was like. The students will have a test on all they have learned next week Thursday. We have started Canada Provinces Quizzes and will have the test Friday. We will then move onto Canada Capitals.


8th Grade: We have started our mini unit on Central America and the Caribbean. The students have learned that the region is largely comprised of rainforest and volcanos. They have worked towards an understand of how that geography effect the people who live there and their way of life. The students will learn about the history of the region and how it was colonized by European nations and how the effects that followed from that. We have just finished our Map Unit on North America. We will begin Latin America Countries next Monday with our first quiz.



History Day:

The students have completed their background and build-up portion of their project. Their build-up checklist is due this Friday. This includes using EasyBib.com to create citations and selected 3 visuals and a quote that directly apply to the content in their build-up. The students have received their Main Event Note Packet. This is due Monday November 20th. Next week we will be venturing to the Wilson Library to help them find sources to complete their project.

Spanish - Ms. Hanna Brown

8th grade: Last week, we have been learning about día de los muertos (day of the dead), the Mexican holiday that is celebrated October 31st - November 2nd. Students came up with a research question, and we created a class presentation, with each student having a slide to present. It was fun to see what each student was interested in and wanted to learn more about! This week, beginning of quarter 2, we are continuing learning about the verb SER by learning the differences between countries and nationalities (how to tell the difference in Spanish). We will then transition into learning about adjectives and apply that to describing people, places, and things.


7th grade: Last week, we have been learning about día de los muertos (day of the dead), the Mexican holiday that is celebrated October 31st - November 2nd. Students came up with a research question, and we created a class presentation, with each student having a slide to present. It was fun to see what each student was interested in and wanted to learn more about! This week, beginning of quarter 2, we are learning about the pronouns in Spanish and will transition into learning how to conjugate verbs. Students will be able to express how I, you, he/she, we, they can do something (using a verb).


6th grade: Last week, we have been learning about día de los muertos (day of the dead), the Mexican holiday that is celebrated October 31st - November 2nd. Students came up with a research question, and we created a class presentation, with each student having a slide to present. It was fun to see what each student was interested in and wanted to learn more about!

This week, beginning of quarter 2, we are beginning a new unit on family vocabulary that will be tied in with some Thanksgiving vocabulary toward the end of the month. We will learn/review words to express how one describes their family through a variety of activities.


Music - Mrs. Alisa Rogers

6th grade is wrapping up recording their spooky stories using the online tool SoundTrap. We had a fun day of exploration in class, and students were able to teach each other how to use the program!


7th grade just finished their instrument projects, where they had to create an instrument that reflected a culture they made up. The presentations were great - look for pictures on the Facebook page soon!


8th grade is working on a short unit on Beethoven. They have so far listened to several of his works, as well as watched a short documentary on his life. Next we will dig into his work using musical motives, or themes, and do some composing on classroom instruments.

Art - Mrs. Ashley Moe

All middle school students put a pause on their projects this week to work on a big and special art piece! Each student, preK-8, painted and designed a feather. Inspired by the artist Kelsey Montague, they'll each place their feathers together to create a set of wings for Unity Day, with the idea of "lifting each other" with kindness.

Ms. Livingston and Mr. Fomafung gave a presentation on kindness, and how it impacts our brains and daily lives. Students then reflected and shared stories on acts of kindness that were special to them, and will write those acts on their feathers.
Next Tuesday, November 14th, all students will celebrate kindness on Unity Day by wearing the color orange and placing their feather on the collaborative mural. Stay tuned to see our fantastic result!

Religion - Mrs. Katy Kieffer

6th Grade

6th graders have been studying Abraham and with subsequently be looking more closely at the idea of a covenant. Simultaneously, we have begun to look at the season of Advent and will be making Advent calendars that focus on prayer, scripture, and service to prepare our hearts for Christ's coming, just like we prepare our homes for Christmas. They will connect the idea of a covenant with their Advent calendars as well by looking at the calendar as an agreement between God and himself/herself.


7th Grade

7th graders did a great job very quickly organizing our Thanksgiving food drive benefitting the families served by Keystone Community Services. I was very proud of the way they pulled together to get something worthwhile done so efficiently. We will be looking a little more at the issue of hunger itself after the fact and how it relates to the call of our Church in that we are all responsible for our larger community of brothers and sisters.


8th Grade

8th graders just recently finished their study of Pentecost and will be moving on to early Church history. At the same time, we have begun our service-learning unit with the idea of servant-leadership. They had to come up with 5 traits and descriptions of each that they felt were necessary to be servant-leaders. I was petty impressed by the thoughtfulness of some of the responses. From there, we will begin to research some service opportunities. These service projects will need to be completed by the end of 2nd quarter and may be done individually or in small groups. I will provide class time to do some research.

Physical Education - Mr. Thomas Gorilla

Upcoming Events

November 14 and 16 Parent/Teacher Conferences
Scholastic Book fair open Mon 11/13 2:30-3:00p, Tues 11/14 2:30-6:30pm, and Thurs 11/16 2:30-6:30p.

You can also order online: http://www.scholastic.com/bf/markerspride.

November 14 Wilson Library Field Trip for History Day (entire Middle School)
November 22 - 24 NO SCHOOL - Thanksgiving Break

Brain Break

Effects of Bright Screens on Sleep Patterns - another reason to limit screen time at night