A Look at Week 4

8th Grade Social Studies

We finished reading chapter 1 and focused on an assimilation of Jamestown.  You may have seen some of the pictures I sent through Class Dojo which showed the students at the beginning of the project.  Here students were engineering walls and buildings to replicate the first English settlement while making key leadership decisions that either helped or harmed their settlement.

6th/7th Grade Social Studies

We finally wrapped up the first chapter in our book.  We’ve been focusing on note-taking skills while learning about how the population of man began to expand.  We will begin an early settlement assimilation next week if anyone is interested in helping I’ll send a note home this weekend with specific needs.

 

Language Arts:

We had our STAR testing this week which will allow me to look at individual students’ strengths and weaknesses.  This will allow me to individualize my instruction during Reader’s Workshop.

This week we began looking at author’s craft through an author study of Patricia Polacco.  We watched an interview and read one of her books.  We are talking about how she comes up with her stories this will lead us into author’s craft.  This is a perfect springboard into Writer’s Workshop where kids will get to become authors and create their own stories.

 

Upcoming Events:

SEPTEMBER

  • 30th FRI- Bake Sale hosted by 8th grade

OCTOBER

  • 4th TUE- St. Francis Feast Day: Blessing of the Animals at 3:30
  • 5th WED- Ms. Silady’s birthday
  • 6th THU- Noon dismiss (school grounds being prepared for Oktoberfest)
  • 7th FRI- Noon dismiss (school grounds being prepared for Oktoberfest)
  • 8th SAT- 4 pm School performance at Oktoberfest
  • 8th SAT- 5:30 School Mass
  • 9th SUN- Oktoberfest continues
  • 17th MON- Grandparents’ Day NOON DISMISS
  • 21st FRI- Noon Dismiss (Teacher Work Day)
  • 23rd-28th Red Ribbon Week Spirit Day to be announced later
  • 28th FRI- Middle School Dance

Week 3 in Review

8th Grade Social Studies

We learned about the Magna Carta this week and the English Bill of Rights.  These were important documents that helped form the foundation of our current form of government and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Students are learning how to take notes from lecture through watching videos.  We watch and take notes together while I stop and show them what notes I’ve taken.  This way students can learn to monitor what is important.  This ties in to the reading strategy of “Determining Importance.”

6th/7th Grade Social Studies

We learned about how archaeologists piece together clues through fossils and artifacts to help tell the story of the beginning of early man.

As we read the textbook we talked about how to determine what is important and what may not be important enough to take notes.  I’m trying to help students get away from thinking that taking notes means writing everything down.  This ties in with the reading strategy of “Determining Importance.”

Language Arts:

The kids are beginning to solidify their understanding of Reader’s Workshop.  I’m modeling for them how to share strategies they’ve noticed in their own reading as well as bringing up parts of the books they are reading that have importance for them.  I’m helping to foster a community of readers that share and discuss books.

8th graders have finished reviewing finding and identifying context clues and 6th and 7th graders are solidifying their understanding and will continue to do so into next week.  This is a skill that will now be practiced every week in their 5-A-Day grammar program.

In 8th grade we’ve also gone over some academic language vocabulary words that are important for students to know so they can understand both lecture and test taking in all subject areas.  They were instructed to put this list in their Language Arts section in their three-ring notebook to use as a reference tool.

8th Grade Bake Sale

I will be sending a Sign-Up Genius for parents this weekend.  Please stay tuned.

Upcoming Events:

SEPTEMBER

  • 21st WED- OLP/Saints to visit middle school
  • 22nd THU- Team Day
  • 30th FRI- Bake Sale hosted by 8th grade

OCTOBER

  • 4th TUE- St. Francis Feast Day: Blessing of the Animals at 3:30
  • 5th WED- Ms. Silady’s birthday
  • 6th THU- Noon dismiss (school grounds being prepared for Oktoberfest)
  • 7th FRI- Noon dismiss (school grounds being prepared for Oktoberfest)
  • 8th SAT- 4pm School performance at Oktoberfest
  • 9th SUN- Oktoberfest continues

8th Grade Social Studies

This week students began to learn about the roots of our democratic system here in the United States.  We talked about how our government is built on the values and policies from the Greco-Roman society as well as from the Judeo-Christian communities.  Students have also been held responsible for knowing the states, countries, and features of the Eastern coast of the United States.

6th/7th Grade Social Studies

In our Ancient Civilization class this week students learned how to best read a textbook through pre-reading text, understanding how to read timelines, and reading through pictures.  We also began learning how to take notes Cornell style while learning about early man.

Language Arts:

One of the things we did this week was learned about Reader’s Workshop.  One of the components of Reader’s Workshop is where we learn reading skills and then the students have an opportunity to read and practice those skills on their own.  We then come back together and share what we practiced.

One of the reading lessons we learned about was visualization.  The students learned how this helps you understand not only what you are reading but we talked about how you can use visualization to help students feel closer to God during Mass or other forms of prayer.

The second thing we worked on this week was our grammar program: 5-A-Day.  This is a program where students get an opportunity to practice grade level skills on a weekly basis.

The last thing the students were introduced to or revisited was our vocabulary program.  The first activity in this program is Mr. Stick.  This is probably familiar to 7th & 8th grade parents, however, this year we will expand on our vocabulary activities.  We practiced the skill some students tested out of the activity and will learn a new activity next week.

Regular homework:

There are several pieces of homework that are regular occurrences that you can count on your students needing to turn in.  They are:

~ Reading Log– students need to read for 30 minutes 5 times a week (due Mondays)

~ Bookmarks– students find bigger words in their reading that they have to use context clues to understand (due Fridays)

~Vocabulary Notebooks– students choose words from their bookmark to create vocabulary activities to understand the words better. (due Fridays)

~ 5-A-Day– as we move through the year students will eventually be responsible for completing 5 grammar skills every day. (due every day Monday-Thursday)

Upcoming Events:

SEPTEMBER

  • 15th THU- Picture Day
  • 16th FRI- Noon Dismiss
  • 21st WED- OLP/Saints to visit middle school
  • 22nd THU- Team Day
  • 30th FRI- Bake Sale hosted by 8th grade

First Week of School-Check!

 

Welcome Back

It was great to see so many faces last night at Back to School Night!  Thank you for choosing to make St. Mary School a place to entrust your child’s education.  We are happy you are a part of our Catholic family!

We’ve had a great week with students getting to know the routine, rules, and expectations.  Students had their first couple of assignments turned in this week and they should be graded and up in Gradelink by Tuesday.  Their second homework assignment, their Reading Log, is due on Tuesday.  This is a weekly assignment that will be due on the first day of every week.  I have placed the document on this blog under “Students” for them to print at home if your child misplaces it.

Important to Know:

We will have an assembly next week that will last until 3:30 for middle school only.  The Robotics Team from San Pasqual is coming to talk to our students and do a demonstration to get the students excited about our new Robotics Club.

Upcoming Events:

SEPTEMBER

  • 6th TUE- Robotics Demonstration until 3:30
  • 15th THU- Picture Day
  • 16th FRI- Noon Dismiss
  • 21st WED- OLP/Saints to visit middle school
  • 22nd THU- Team Day
  • 30th FRI- Bake Sale hosted by 8th grade

School Starts Soon

Back to school

School is right around the corner.  Make sure to have your homework ready to hand in on the first day of school.  Let’s have a great first of the year.  There are even opportunities for extra credit!  Here is what is expected of you on the first day of school:

  • 5-A-Day packet (three worksheets)  *Extra credit worksheet available
  • Non-Fiction book report
  • Fiction book report
  • Famous person essay *Extra credit if you email it to me before August 26th (you will still need to print it off for lessons in the second week of school)

Make sure to check my last blog post for the homework packets and worksheets if you misplaced them over the summer.

See you soon!  God bless,

Mrs. Wilkins

 

Happy Summer!

summer reading

As much as I believe summer should be about playing at the beach and hiking in the mountains I also know that reading on a daily basis is important to keep students from losing any progress they may gain during the school year.  Follow this link to read a message about summer reading loss by Julie M. Wood Ed.D: Helping to Prevent Summer Reading Loss.  At the bottom of the article are bullet points of ideas to help support your budding reader.

Summer Assignment

Click to download the:  Summer 2016 Language Arts Assignments.

Here are the 5-A-Day assignments that were attached:

Incoming 8th grader 5-A-Day: 

All three of these weeks are due at the end of summer:

7th Grade Week 34, 7th Grade Week 35, 7th Grade Week 36

Extra credit: 8th Grade Week 1

Incoming 7th graders 5-A-Day: 

All three of these weeks are due at the end of summer:

6th Grade Week 34, 6th Grade Week 35, 6th Grade Week 36

Extra credit: 7th Grade Week 1

Incoming 6th graders 5-A-Day:

Miss Silady gave students a packet but if you want to get ready for our grammar program you can practice 5th grade grammar again in our 5-A-Day style.  I’ve also made extra credit available for incoming 6th graders as well:

5th Grade Week 1

Extra credit: 6th Grade Week 1

 

Civil War Videos Assignment

1. Civil War part 1: https://youtu.be/rY9zHNOjGrs
2. Civil War part 2: https://youtu.be/GzTrKccmj_I
3. Battles of the Civil War: https://youtu.be/25HHVDOaGeE

Take notes on your assigned video to present to class before the class watches the video. Crash Course History goes by quickly so your job is to present the information so your fellow students will be able to understand it when they watch it for the first time.
Have fun!

Week #33 May 20th, 2016

8th Grade Social Studies

Students finished their PowerPoint Presentations this week.  Since our focus was on learning to present properly along with the content we took our time to discuss what a good presentation looks like along with professionalism, voice projection, and content.  I believe they are ready for public speaking in high school!

 

Portfolios: We will be working on portfolio presentations and finalizing details next week.  Students should be working on their tri-fold presentation board.  I went over requirements and they took notes on what they needed to have on their board.

 

6th/7th Grade Social Studies

We finished up our research this week for the Medieval Times project.  We talked about types of papers (i.e. chronological, compare and contrast, subject based) and how to determine which one you should choose.  Students organized their note-cards and began writing their introductory paragraph.

 

Medieval Times Field Trip: Field trip is in two weeks (June 2nd).

 

Language Arts:

7th/8th: We revised our theme essays in pairs.  Students gave feedback to their peers and then revised their papers.  After reading their comments to each other I’m pleased with what they have learned this year about writing.  Their final papers will be a result of their knowledge put into action and I look forward to reading them.

 

6th: Language arts and social studies were mixed this week with their Medieval Times research essay.  The focus this week for 6th grade was making sure students knew the requirements for a bibliography and an introductory paragraph.

 

Upcoming Events:

JUNE

  • 1st WED– 8th grade portfolios
  • 2nd THUR- 7th & 6th grade Medieval Times field trip
  • 3rd FRI-Noon dismissal
  • 10th FRI-Middle School Reader’s Theater Plays
  • 13th MON- 8th grade Picnic & Softball game (noon -3)
  • 14th TUE- 8th grade dinner
  • 15th WED- no school for 8th Graduation Mass begins at 3 PM
  • 17th FRI- Last day of school for 1-7th grade no PM extension

Week #32: May 13th, 2016

8th Grade Social Studies
Students have completely prepared and practiced for their presentations next week.  They have created PowerPoints, student handouts, and lecture notes. They have become experts in their topic.

6th/7th Grade Social Studies
7th graders have been researching for their chosen Medieval projects this week.  They have blogged their bibliography and have taken notes on quotations for their paper.  They will begin writing this paper next week.

Language Arts:
7th & 8th Grade students worked on fine tuning their introduction and conclusion for their theme essays and began working on their body paragraphs.

Upcoming Events:
MAY
• 16th-20th Testing-make sure kids are well rested and eat plenty of breakfast
JUNE
• 1st WED– 8th grade portfolios
• 3rd FRI-Noon dismissal
• 10th FRI-Middle School Reader’s Theater Plays
• 13th MON- 8th Grade Picnic & Softball game (noon -3)
• 14th TUE- 8th Grade dinner
• 15th WED- no school for 8th grade.  Graduation Mass begins at 3 PM
17th FRI-Last day of school for 1-7th grade no PM extension

Week #31: May 6th, 2016

8th Grade Social Studies

We have been working on chapter projects.  Students have been put into groups and have been given a subject to present to the class.  This project is teaching good note-taking skills from a book and helping them to understand to pay attention to detail.  They are also learning how to create and present a powerful PowerPoint presentation where they will be doing the talking not the slides as they are presenting.

 

6th/7th Grade Social Studies

Students have finished their unit on Japan.  They did Japanese cherry blossom “blow art” and created kimono dolls.  Along with this art work students created a Haiku that teaches about a section they chose to represent from the unit.  Their work will be on display this week in the office.  Please stop by to see it!

 

Language Arts:

7th & 8th grade students are working on writing an essay based on the theme of their novel study.  Since writing conclusions seems to be pretty tough we focused on how to write a good conclusion this week.

6th grade students are working on how to write a proper bibliography using easybib.com .  We talked about the pitfalls that may come by using this source and how to make sure they do not fall into them.  Students will be using Kidblog to post their sources as they find them.

 

Upcoming Events:

MAY

  • 9th-13th I will be at 6th grade camp but will be checking student assignments on Kidblog
  • 16th-20th Testing-make sure kids are well rested and eat plenty of breakfast

JUNE

  • 1st  WED– 8th grade portfolios
  • 3rd FRI-Noon dismissal
  • 10th FRI-Middle School Reader’s Theater Plays
  • 13th MON- 8th Grade Picnic & Softball game (noon -3)
  • 14th TUE- 8th Grade dinner
  • 15th WED- no school for 8th Graduation Mass begins at 3 PM
  • 17th FRI-Last day of school no PM extension