Middle School Nugget

Saint Mark's - A Catholic IDEALS School

April 25, 2018

Language Arts - Mrs. Kendra Whinnery

8th: The 8th graders are hard at work on their Greek mythology! In-class work days have been spent collecting evidence and assembling god/goddess scrapbooks, focusing on Greek poetry and other selected myths, and creating boards and designing costumes for our living Greek museum which will be held on Tuesday, May 8 from 8:30-10:30am in room 211. Parents are welcome to come pay us a visit! (Please note that any students not fully prepared for the Greek museum on the 8th will not participate in the group presentations, as it is unfair to those who completed the work.) The 8th graders have also begun the process of writing an original myth as a formal paper…final copies are due Thursday, May 10.

All 8th graders will be completing the reading and language portions of the MAP standardized tests on Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27 from 9-10:30am. Please try your best to ensure that your child is on time, well rested, and well fed for those sessions. Thank you!


7th: Although students completed reading The Little Prince and took their final unit test on it this week, they should still be hard at work on their final projects! Two weeks remain until final original chapters, 3D model planets, and oral presentations are due. This is one of my favorite projects of the year, so I hope the kiddos are as excited as I am to see the results!


6th: The 6th graders are just finishing up their Maniac Magee unit. This week and next, we’ll be completing our original tall tales, drawing parallels between the story’s protagonist and ourselves, and working on our language of abundance with some challenging vocabulary. The final test for this unit is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2, after which we’ll delve right into our next spectacular novel – A Wrinkle in Time.

All 6th graders will be completing the reading and language portions of the MAP standardized tests on Monday, April 30 and Tuesday, May 1 from 9:15-10:45am. Please try your best to ensure that your child is on time, well rested, and well fed for those sessions. Thank you!

Science - Mrs. Sarah Schwab

6th grade

Sixth graders have been busy learning all about motion. We've been discussing speed and how it differs from velocity. Students have been collecting data in lab with toy cars as well as themselves, timing how long objects took to travel a certain distance. Students have then taken their data and calculated both instantaneous speed and average speed. We have just started graphing the data and calculating the slope of the line to determine if the object was accelerating or remaining constant. We move on to forces after our exploration of graphs and motion.


7th grade

Seventh graders did a fabulous job on their nervous system projects. It was great to see the variety each student brought to his/her project. We are now studying all about the skeletal system, muscular system and integumentary system. Student will have a chance to dissect a chicken wing next week to see first hand how tendons work as well as to observe periosteum, cartilage and see the blood vessels on the bone.


8th grade

Eighth graders just finished our unit on Earth Dynamics. Students were able to predict and articulate how different plate motion on the Earth cause different landforms to develop. Students also did a fabulous job on their Minnesota Formation projects. Students researched how the landscape of Minnesota was formed and how these landforms shape our life in Minnesota. Eighth graders are just starting a unit on Earthquakes and will be constructing a structure to withstand an earthquake next week.

6th graders calculating speed based on distance and time measurements

Math - Mrs. Katy Kieffer

6th Grade

The 6th graders are just wrapping up their angles unit, including adjacent, vertical, supplementary, and complementary angles. We also explored and discovered the expression for the sum of angle measures in any given polygon with great hands-on active lesson where we created various classroom size polygons with string. Some of the students also moved on to discover the relationship among the exterior angles of polygons. These students continue to impress me with their motivation, engagement, and willingness to take on challenging tasks. I am encouraging students, when they have a Khan Academy assignment, to make sure they try the assignment until they understand it, as I am increasingly using these scores as mini-assessments.


7th grade

7th Graders just completed their unit on area and circumference of circles. Ask them about the Flocabulary song we learned. They will never forget area and circumference. We really dove into this one as they persevered through some challenged applied area and circumference problems. I am increasing proud of how this class is willing to tackle challenging tasks. We will be moving onto cylinders as we wrap up our geometry unit.


8th Grade

8th graders are tackling polynomials, including adding, subtracting, and multiplying monomials, binomials, and even some trinomials. It's been a long road, but they are willing to get the job done. Soon we will be factoring polynomials, which some will find is a bit confusing, but that's learning, right? As we struggle through these concepts, I am trying to remind them that this is typical 9th grade material, so struggling to a degree is completely normal.

Social Studies- Ms. Kate Heintzelman

Spanish - Ms. Hanna Brown

8th grade: We wrapped up stem changing verbs with a quiz, which students did really well! They have been learning about other opinion words to express likes and dislikes. It follows the same grammatical pattern as “Me gusta” (I like). They have learned other synonym words to “gusta.” We are concluding this section of the unit with a Gustar video project. Students had to create a video expressing likes and dislikes. They each came up with a skit and will be watching each groups video in class. I’m excited to see the final products!


7th grade: We are finishing up the vocabulary about school and using the verb ir (to go). Students will have a reading assessment tomorrow that includes this vocabulary and the verb ir to wrap up this unit. We will then begin this week a new unit on food and conjugation of ER/IR verbs.


6th grade: We are continuing to work on our unit of Los medios de transporte (means of transportation). We are wrapping it up this week with presentations from each student. For their presentations, they picked a place they would like to travel to and will discuss how they will travel there and who they will travel with all in Spanish. We will begin a new unit toward the end of this week.

Music - Mrs. Alisa Rogers

What would you do if you met Jesus in a Starbucks? What lessons would you learn? 5-8 students are exploring this as we learn the songs and scenes of "Godspell Jr." for our Spring Concert. Please mark your calendars now for this awesome show, featuring many familiar songs from the original musical. Our concert will be at 11am, Saturday May 19th at Grand Ole St Mark's Days, with a dress rehearsal beforehand. Parents are strongly encouraged to volunteer at the festival during our rehearsal!

Art - Mrs. Ashley Moe

All families and friends of Saint Mark's are invited to the PreK-8th grade art show! I hope you can make it to see the amazing work your children have created over the past few months. Many of the pieces, especially from middle school, haven't been presented around the school before. We have a range of mediums, from clay to paper mache, paintings to paper cuts.

In 6th grade, I'm so excited for you to see the saint icon paintings they've been working on! We took inspiration from traditional Russian Iconography, Gustav Klimt, and contemporary artist Kehinde Wiley.

In 7th grade, they're so proud to share with you the bird sculptures they've been creating. Feather by feather, these little artworks have transformed into birds with their own personality and names!

In 8th grade, I absolutely can't wait for you to see their virtue portraits! I have to admit, it's a bit emotional seeing them all together and representing such a strong group of virtuous students. They'll have engaging art history games for you to play as well.

There's this and much more to see at the art show next Friday, May 4th!
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Religion - Mrs. Katy Kieffer

6th Grade

6th graders are wrapping up their study of Moses and the Exodus. We've been dwelling on it for quite awhile, but only because I believe it is such a critical piece of our salvation history, with so many relevant themes for us to be studying, that it's totally worth it. We compared at the idea of freedom for the Israelites vs. freedom for people around the world today. We studied the seder meal and it's significance for the Israelites and made our own seder plates for our own significant events. We compared our own journey of faith with the journey of the Israelites and how we can live the "manna way."


7th Grade

7th graders completed a unit on parables and are beginning their unit on miracles. They created and acted out their own modern-day parables, heard from Bishop Barron about the parable of the Prodigal Son, and evaluated artwork of the Prodigal Son. It was very interesting to me that this was the parable that they really seemed to latch onto; maybe it was the idea of mercy and redemption. It's always a pleasure to see them take something of faith to heart in this way.


8th Grade

8th graders recently discussed the theme of martyrdom from the Acts of the Apostles, and are now currently studying modern-day martyrs. They first each chose a 20th century martyr to study briefly, and then we moved onto to looking more closely at Oscar Romero, who is set to be canonized this coming October. We are watching and studying a short documentary on Archbishop Romero and will be following it up with a reflection essay. I believe it's important for the students to see and understand that this faith is one that people have been willing to risk their lives for for centuries and that many are still risking their lives for it today.

Physical Education - Mr. Thomas Gorilla

This week we are combining our hand eye coordination work with one and two ball tossing while moving, reaction drills with tennis balls and doing an activity called gaga ball where students are only allowed to use their hands and avoid making contact with the ball on their lower limbs in a limited space. The kids are loving it and it has been one of their favorite activities up to this point.

Congratulations to Jack for placing 2nd place at the CSCOE Big Bang Stem Fair last weekend.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Open Gym

Fridays from 4:30 - 6:00 pm

Art Show

May 4th from 2:00 - 3:30pm

Grandparents Day

May 4th

8th grade Greek Museum

May 8th from 8:30 - 10:30 am

Middle School Field Trip Day

May 16th

6th and 7th grade to Valleyfair

8th grade to MN Twins game

NO SCHOOL - Teacher Planning Day

May 18th

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

Secure your son/daughter a spot at St. Mark's for next year by completing enrollment NOW! Don't delay, click on the link that follows.


The following deadlines are in place:

Tuition agreements due: April 15