Wilkins Class Update: Week #23

Wilkins Winners

Ardy is my standout student this week.  I’ve seen Ardy take charge of our candy-grams and it became a totally student-run event.  I’m really proud of her leadership with this activity.

Top Dojo Points:

8th: Ashley

7th: Mariano

6th: Namie & Aleidy

 

8th Grade Social Studies

8th graders finished the chapter on the beginning of our nation under the leadership of George Washington.  We talked about the president’s cabinet and how it first was established.  We also talked about the fact that political parties were not something that Washington wanted for our country.

6th/7th Grade Social Studies

Students worked this week on their mummy projects.  Students were put into groups to create a specific aspects of what is burried with a pharaoh when he dies.  Here are some of the projects that students are creating: a sarcophagus, canopic jars, amulets, and death notices. They are becoming experts and will be teaching the class about what they have learned.  Ask your student which group they are in and have them explain to you what they are learning.

Language Arts:

8th graders began their research-writing unit on the 1930s.  This is an essay that will teach the students about the events and the people of that time.  Getting familiar with this era will help the students better understand the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, which we will be reading once the research paper and presentations are complete.

6th and 7th graders are working on their essays for The Egypt Game.  We’ve been dissecting a five paragraph essay and really concentrating on creating well-formed parts before putting it together.

We also worked on creating a visual plot diagram for The Egypt Game.  Students were put into groups and are making posters to show the development of the story.

Upcoming Events:

FEBRUARY

  • TONIGHT (Friday)- Middle School Dance “Winter Glam”
  • 27th MON- Last day to buy Candy Grams
  • 28th TUE- Candy Grams are handed out
  • 28th TUE- Fat Tuesday Celebration

MARCH

  • 7th Grade in charge of Mass this month
  • 1st WED- Ash Wednesday
  • 3rd FRI- 8th grade leads Stations of the Cross
  • 4th SAT- Academic Decathlon
  • 10th FRI- 7th grade leads Stations of the Cross
  • 17th FRI- 6th grade leads Stations of the Cross
  • 20th MON- Mrs. Johnston’s birthday
  • 24th FRI- Stations of the Cross
  • 31st FRI- Stations of the Cross

Wilkins Room Update: Week #22

Wilkins Winners

Lauren gets the Cool Christian this week for her extra work in discovering why the Republican party is represented by an elephant.

Top Dojo Point Earners

6th-Aleidy & Namie

7th– Peyton & Aaron

8th– Makenna & Brett tied

8th Grade Social Studies

We began our unit on the beginning of the nation under president Washington.  Students learned about how our country started under great economic crisis.  They are also beginning to understand how political parties began, and glimpses of reasons for the Civil War are pointed out repeatedly.

6th/7th Grade Social Studies

Students continued to learn about Egypt.  They began their projects on preparing for the burial of our pharaoh that we are in the process of embalming.  We changed “his” natron (the substance used for embalming) and saw how the natron pulled the liquid from the body so the body can mummify without decay.  We will continue this process for another couple of weeks.

Language Arts:

8th graders finished their essays on The Outsiders and completed their final project.  This project is an art project combined with a writing project.  Students compared themselves to the characters in the book and then wrote a Claim-Data-Warrant paragraph to prove their claim.  They then drew a picture of themselves and the character as one.

In 6th & 7th grade, students finished reading The Egypt Game.  They also finished writing their notecards that had quotes on it from the book.  We took these notecards and organized them into three piles.  These piles were then used to write a thesis statement.  We talked about how to write a strong Claim-Data-Warrant essay using the quotes as their data.  This week we focused on writing a thesis statement and introductory paragraph.

Upcoming Events:

FEBRUARY

  • 22nd WED- Bake Sale
  • 24th FRI- Middle School Dance “Winter Glam”
  • 28th TUE- Fat Tuesday Celebration

MARCH

  • 7th Grade in charge of Mass this month
  • 1st WED- Ash Wednesday
  • 3rd FRI- 8th grade leads Stations of the Cross
  • 4th SAT- Academic Decathlon
  • 10th FRI- 7th grade leads Stations of the Cross
  • 16th THU- Parent Information Night on Washington D.C. 6:30 location T.B.A.
  • 17th FRI- 6th grade leads Stations of the Cross
  • 20th MON- Mrs. Johnston’s birthday
  • 24th FRI- Stations of the Cross
  • 31st FRI- Stations of the Cross

Wilkins Class Update: Week #21

Wilkins Winners

This week I have to give a huge shout out to all of middle school.  The Spelling Bee was such a huge success that I cannot write a message without honoring all the students and their hard work.  The students did so well that we ran out of spelling words and I had to find new words that the students had not studied.

Congratulations to Peyton Farmer for winning the school-wide spelling bee.  He will be representing our school on March 23rd.  Keep him in your prayers.  We’ll be rooting for you Peyton!

My Cool Christian this week is Dana Ortiz.  Dana is always willing to help in the classroom, even when it requires her to miss her recess.  Thank you Dana for your extra help this week!

Top Dojo Point Earners:

8th: Brett Wilkins

7th: Helena Romero

6th: Dana Ortiz

8th Grade Social Studies

We finished up making our Constitution Notebooks and the students should be fairly informed of their constitutional rights.

6th/7th Grade Social Studies

In Ancient History, we officially began our unit on Egypt.  We began by taking a close look at the geography of Egypt, specifically the Nile.

Language Arts:

The spelling bee was our major focus for the first half of the week.  As mentioned above, the students did fantastic!  The second half of the week we picked up where we were with our novels.  8th grade is fine-tuning their essay on The Outsiders.  We also watched West Side Story and compared and contrasted the two story-lines through plot diagramming.

6th and 7th graders continue to read the book The Egypt Game.  We’ve been looking at sentences and deciphering complex, compound-complex sentences from the book, as well as creating our own.

Upcoming Events:

FEBRUARY

  • 8th grade in charge of Mass this month
  • 11th SAT- Gala- I’ll see you there!
  • 17th FRI- Daddy Daughter Dance
  • 22nd WED- Bake Sale
  • 24th FRI- Middle School Dance “Winter Glam”
  • 28th TUE- Fat Tuesday Celebration

MARCH

  • 7th Grade in charge of Mass this month
  • 1st WED- Ash Wednesday
  • 3rd FRI- 8th grade leads Stations of the Cross
  • 4th SAT- Academic Decathlon
  • 10th FRI- 7th grade leads Stations of the Cross
  • 17th FRI- 6th grade leads Stations of the Cross
  • 20th MON- Mrs. Johnston’s birthday
  • 24th FRI- Stations of the Cross
  • 31st FRI- Stations of the Cross

Wilkins Class Update: Week #18

Wilkins’ Winners:

6th & 7th grade students have been working hard on their vocabulary journals (fondly known as Mr. Stick).  I wanted to acknowledge Peyton and Aaron for doing an excellent job this week on their work!  I also gave an “SMS Cool Christian” to Chapel this week.  Chapel is dependable in her work and is a great role model for all who know her!  Thanks Chapel for your example!

Top Dojo Point Earners

6th graders:  Daniel

7th graders:  Raymond

8th grader:   Michael!!

Growth Mindset Bulletin Board

This week I began to talk to the students about celebrating a growth mindset.  We talked about how we should celebrate when we are not perfect because those are the moments when we actually learn something.  We will be creating a celebration board (window).  Look for it when you stop by next Sunday at our Open House!

Language Arts

We are working on plot diagramming and characterization in all three grades while reading the class novels (The Outsiders for 8th grade and The Egypt Game for 6th & 7th).

6th & 7th graders worked on understanding what characterization is and the different ways an author will characterize a person in the book.  They also looked at the different ways a character develops a plot by identifying pieces of the rising action in the book.

The 8th graders worked on writing verbal poetry and we discussed moods that matched the mood of the poetry they wrote.  They also began to take notes on the characters in the books that best matched their personalities.

8th Grade Social Studies

Students read about and discussed how to Amend the Constitution as well as reviewed the role of our state and local government.  We also began to create a book on the Constitution to help students better understand this great document.

6th/7th Social Studies

Students took a test on Mesopotamia and began working on their Mesopotamia projects.  We also talked about how to properly cite books when creating a bibliography.  They will use this skill to write their bibliography of the books and websites they used to create their projects.

Mesopotamia Projects Due Monday 1/23/17

Upcoming Events:

JANUARY

  • 29th SUN Open House – come visit us after Mass!
  • 28th– 3rd Catholic Schools Week
  • 29th TUE Career Day Presentations

FEBRUARY

  • 3rd FRI Report Cards go home
  • 3rd FRI Noon Dismiss
  • 8th WED Noon Dismiss (teacher work day)
  • 11th SAT Gala- get your tickets soon!
  • 17th Daddy Daughter Dance
  • 20th MON No School
  • 24th FRI Middle School Dance- “Winter Glam”

Wilkins Class Update: Week #17

Wilkins’ Winners:

I want to give a shout out to Michael.  Michael took the initiative this week to make sure he got help for his portfolio.  I admire students who take the time to ask for help to make sure they are on top of their assignments.  While I mentioned Quinn last week I wanted to mention that I also gave him a Cool Christian Wednesday after Mass this week.  It is my goal for the new year to give out at least one Cool Christian a week.  We’ve got great students and I look forward to sharing their excellence with you.

Top Dojo Point Earners

6th graders: Ardy

7th graders: Maya

8th grader: Brett

Portfolios

I cannot let this week go by without acknowledging the hard work the 8th graders have put into their portfolios.  These portfolios are one of the biggest assignments the 8th graders have each year.  They work on putting together a book that showcases their work that supports how they embody the Student Learning Expectations.  Today students turned in 10 Assignment Reflection Sheets, 6 full page reflection sheets, and 10 photographs.  In May, the students will present their work.  This is an event that will be open to all St. Mary parents.  Please consider stopping by in the spring to share in their hard work.

Language Arts

8th Grade

This week in grammar, 8th graders continued to work on understanding verbals.  We are also in full swing reading The Outsiders, a classic novel by S.E. Hinton.  Students are enjoying the book, and I am using this novel to have students practice characterization and plot diagramming.  They are also working on gathering quotes to write an essay on their chosen topic to describe a theme behind the book.

6th & 7th Grade

6th grade students were able to quickly pick up on possessive nouns.  This was the final grammar skill they needed to learn to be able to fully complete their 5-A-Day worksheet.

7th grade students were also introduced to their final grammar skill, misplaced and dangling modifiers.  This, too, was their last grammar skill.

We also began reading the book The Egypt Game.  Students are pulling details about characters from the book and we’ve talked about point of view and plot diagramming.

8th Grade Social Studies

We continued the Citizenship Handbook and we are talking about the principles and structures of the Constitution as well as how the Constitution sets up the three branches of government.  We also talked about freedom of speech after watching a short video on Congressman Duncan Hunter and the ‘Cops as Pigs’ issue from this week in Congress.

6th/7th Social Studies

We finished taking notes on Mesopotamia and students chose projects to expand on their knowledge of the subject.  We not only covered the content from the chapter, but we also talked about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Upcoming Events:

JANUARY

  • 16th MON No School
  • 18th WED Bake Sale
  • 20th FRI Noon Dismiss (teacher work day)
  • 29th SUN Open House – come visit us after Mass!
  • 28th– 3rd Catholic Schools Week
  • 29th TUE Career Day Presentations

FEBRUARY

  • 3rd FRI Report Cards go home
  • 3rd FRI Noon Dismiss
  • 8th WED Noon Dismiss (teacher work day)
  • 11th SAT Gala- get your tickets soon!
  • 17th Daddy Daughter Dance
  • 20th MON No School
  • 24th FRI Middle School Dance- “Winter Glam”

Wilkins Class Update Week# 16

Wilkins’ Winners:

I have noticed a huge effort on Quinn’s part to be on task this week.  He’s been thoughtful about raising his hand and turning his work in.  Great job Quinn!

Top Dojo Point Earners

6th graders:  Claire & Theresa

7th graders:  Raymond

8th grader: Ashley

Language Arts:

We started our new year by talking about how to set SMART goals.  Students then wrote three New Year resolutions, and we will be creating a bulletin board with their goals posted.  No names will be shown, so come in during Catholic Schools Week and see if you can guess your child’s resolution.

8th Grade

This week students learned their last grammar strategy: verbals.  We will continue to work on fine tuning our understanding, but from now on, 8th graders will be completing the entire 5-A-Day worksheet on a weekly basis.

Students also began a new literature unit: The Outsiders.  We began our unit discussing how we feel about people who are considered outsiders.  Students enjoyed this discussion using our four corners strategies.  Ask them about these conversations, they enjoyed having them in class.

6th/7th

In grammar, students learned (or reviewed) pronoun shifts.  Students also received a book: The Egypt Game.  This book will segue us nicely into our Egypt unit in social studies in a few weeks.  To open up this unit, we had a class discussion where students got to share their opinions on how they feel about learning history for fun.

American History

We started a unit titled “Citizenship Handbook.”  This unit goes over the basics of our government and constitution. This week we discussed how the ideas behind the Constitution were formulated.  At the end of this unit, the students will take a mock citizenship test to see how they would do if they were required to take a test to earn their citizenship!

Ancient Civilizations

This week we began a new chapter on Mesopotamia.  This unit talks about the beginning of cities and government.  Students are learning how to take notes from lecture.  We are talking about how to set up their pages for notes, how and why they should use multiple colors, and what to do with their notes after a lecture.

Upcoming Events:

JANUARY

  • 16th MON No School
  • 18th WED Bake Sale
  • 20th FRI Noon Dismiss (teacher work day)
  • 29th SUN Open House – come visit us after Mass!
  • 29th– 3rd Catholic Schools Week
  • 31st  TUE Career Day Presentations

FEBRUARY

  • 3rd FRI Report Cards go home
  • 3rd FRI Noon Dismiss
  • 8th WED Noon Dismiss (teacher work day)
  • 11th SAT Gala- get your tickets soon!
  • 17th Daddy Daughter Dance
  • 20th MON No School
  • 24th FRI Middle School Dance- “Winter Glam”

Wilkins Update: Week #14

Wilkins’ Winners:

I want to give a shout out to Brett, Lauren, Lorraine, Meredith, Theresa, and Dana.  We’ve been doing vocabulary notebooks, and this group of students have consistently done fantastic work.  Thank you for your persistence in excellence!

Top Dojo Point Earners

6th graders:  Meredith & Namie

7th graders:  Eric & Ryan

8th grader:  We had many outstanding students this week!! 🙂

8th Grade

This week we finished Chapter 3: Creating the Constitution.  Students took a test on the iPads, and their grades should be posted this weekend.

We finished summarizing the Maccabees and began illustrating to create a book.

We continued to add to our Jesse tree and having students use their ornaments to lead us in prayer.  We also added another element to the tree by placing “Our Gifts to God” next to the tree.  Check out the picture to see what students see as the gifts they believe they share with others.

6th/7th

We reviewed pronoun cases and then learned about vague pronouns.

Students watched the movies The Maccabees.  We had a discussion comparing Chapter 5 in our books, the movie, and the play.  We talked about what information was missing in the play and how we can add content.  Students will be taking a test next Monday.

 

Upcoming Events:

DECEMBER

  • 12th MON Progress Reports Due to teacher
  • 12th MON Our Lady of Guadalupe Play
  • 16th FRI 10am Christmas Pageant, Noon Dismiss
  • 19th-30th Christmas Break

JANUARY

  • 3rd TUE School resumes
  • 6th FRI Noon Dismiss
  • 16th MON No School
  • 18th WED Bake Sale
  • 20th FRI Noon Dismiss (teacher work day)
  • 29th SUN Open House – come visit us after Mass!
  • 28th– 3rd Catholic Schools Week

Wilkins’ Winners:

This week I’d like to recognize Eric, Aaron, and Quinn for their outstanding acting abilities!  We had tryouts for our class play and these boys did a fantastic job embracing their parts.  We actually have quite a few thespians in our mix, but these three surprised me with their desire to really play their parts.  Read the 6th/7th grade description below to learn about the play.

Top Dojo Point Earners

6th graders:  Meredith & Daniel

7th graders:  Donald & Ryan

8th grader: Zarita & Jenicca

 

8th Grade

This week we reviewed chapter 3 and the writing of the constitution.  We’ve also merged our Language Arts with a bit of Catholic history and we are reading the Book of Maccabees to better understand the history of our religion.  Students have been assigned two chapters of the books and they have summarized the first one.  We also watched a short movie on the Maccabees to understand the outcome of the story we are delving into.

Advent & Jesse Tree: In our homeroom class, we are creating a Jesse Tree that helps us understand the ancestry of Jesus.  This Advent tradition is where students are assigned a date and Bible scripture that tells a story.  The students create an ornament that is decorated with their Bible story and they write a prayer that goes with it.  Each day a new ornament is placed on our Jesse Tree as we journey together this Advent season.  On their given day, the students are responsible for telling their assigned story and leading the class in the prayer.

 

6th/7th

For grammar we worked on pronouns this week.  It was a review for 7th grade but, 6th graders learned the difference between the subjective, objective, and possessive pronouns.  We also had a lesson on intensive pronouns.

We’ve combined our Language Arts and history class for the next couple of weeks.  Because of the Christmas season, and our Catholic heritage, we skipped ahead in social studies to Chapter 5, and we are learning about Judaism, and Ancient Hebrews.  This leads us to the Hanukkah play we are putting on in class.  So far this week we are talking about how to read a script, and how to read italics.  The play teaches the students about why the Maccabees were so important to the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah.

 

Upcoming Events:

DECEMBER

  • 7th WED All school reconciliation
  • 8th THU 8am Mass
  • 9th FRI Progress Reports
  • 12th MON Our Lady of Guadalupe Play
  • 16th FRI 10am Christmas Pageant, Noon Dismiss
  • 19th-30th Christmas Break

JANUARY

  • 3rd TUE School resumes
  • 6th FRI Noon Dismiss
  • 16th MON No School
  • 18th WED Bake Sale
  • 20th FRI Noon Dismiss (teacher work day)
  • 29th SUN Open House – come visit us after Mass!
  • 28th– 3rd Catholic Schools Week

Wilkins Class Update: Week 10

Wilkins Winners:

I want to recognize Ryan and Helena this week.  Ryan is a good example for the rest of the students in his class.  He is always helpful and respectful.  His willingness to help without complaint is exceptional.

Helena has become an exceptional student.  She is always on task and makes good decisions.  She’s not only done an excellent job this past week, but since the beginning of school as well.

Top 6th graders: Theresa, Dana, Claire

Top 7th graders: Helena, Mariano, Ryan

Top 8th grader: Kincaid

8th Grade Social Studies

This past week students learned about the Boston Massacre in an unusual fashion.  Students walked into their classroom Monday morning to find a CSI scene with clues, pictures and chalk outlines of bodies.  They had to assess the information, take notes on the clues and then decide if they felt the deaths that occurred during the Boston Massacre were out of self-defense, or if they were done in cold blooded murder.  Students then had to choose a side and defend their case.  The groups were dynamic and students could change their position based on evidence their friends found that they may have not considered.  We later watched a short video explaining how the soldiers were tried and sentenced (or acquitted).

6th/7th Grade Social Studies

Students took their Chapter 2 test this week.  They also learned about King Hammurabi’s Codes, which is the set of laws that influenced the Mesopotamian area for centuries.  Students read through the laws and then were given situations to act out in court.  Students had to decide which law would be used to determine the verdict.

Language Arts:

8th graders learned about sentence verb moods through the use of memes.  After students chose memes we looked at them as a class and decided the verb mood through discussion.

6th and 7th graders learned about phrases, clauses and types of sentences (simple, compound, complex)

In literature students continued to look at Poe’s work of “The Tell Tale Heart”.

Upcoming Events:

NOVEMBER

  • 1st TUE- All Saints Day Mass 8-9
  • 1st TUE 2nd grade’s All Saints Day Pageant 9-10 in church everyone invited!
  • 2nd WED School Mass 8 am
  • 4th FRI- Noon Dismiss
  • 8th-11th Book Fair in Hall
  • 9th-11th Noon Dismiss Parent Teacher Conferences
  • 21st-25th Thanksgiving Break
  • 28th MON Advent Wreath Blessing

DECEMBER

  • 2nd FRI Noon Dismiss
  • 8th THU 8am Mass
  • 12th MON Our Lady of Guadalupe Play
  • 16th FRI 10am Christmas Pageant, Noon Dismiss
  • 19th-30th Christmas Break

Wilkins Class Update: Week #9

Wilkins Winners:

The two kiddos I’d like to recognize this week are Donald and Kincaid.  The first student, Donald, is being recognized for his pious attitude and his willingness to share his faith with others.  Since this is the month of the Holy Rosary, we have been saying a decade every class period.  Donald has readily reminded me to ensure we said the rosary and he always has his rosary in hand.  I love his cheerful attitude and his eager desire to share the love of Christ with others.

Kincaid is my second outstanding student this week.  I have noticed Kincaid’s leadership abilities have really shone through this year.  I recognize top dojo point earners on a weekly basis.  This past week was Kincaid’s third week in a row!  Way to go, Kincaid!  And thank you for your valuable leadership skills!

8th Grade Social Studies

Students took a Chapter 2 test that covered the Revolutionary War on the iPads this week.  They also began a Revolutionary War game that is leading them through some of the key battles of the war to help inform them on how a bunch of unorganized Patriots won a war against an army that outnumbered them in size and bank account.

6th/7th Grade Social Studies

We finished Chapter two where we learned about the Maya civilizations.  We have a couple of students who have traveled to ancient ruins in Mexico who were able to share their experiences with us.  Pray for our students as they are taking their chapter test on Halloween!  At least it’s before the sugar kicks in!

Language Arts:

6th & 7th graders took a look at analogies this week.  We talked about the types of analogies (word relationships) and how to figure out how to complete analogies.  This is now a skill they will be responsible for completing on their 5-A-Day homework.

All grade levels began a study on Edgar Alan Poe.  Students started by learning vocabulary from “The Tell Tale Heart” using it to decide what tone Poe was trying to create with his word choice.  It was fun to hear the predictions students had and to watch the conversation that formed after they saw Vincent Price’s version of the short story.  With the movie, we were able to discern the difference between tone and mood.  We also discussed the reason a director and actor may choose to portray a script a certain way.  Through this same story, students also learned the components of a plot diagram (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution).

8th graders were able to go a little deeper.  They wrote a story based on the vocabulary using a plot diagram.  They were also put into groups and chose another short story by Poe.  They are working in Literature Circle fashion to understand the story and will then write a script to create a play for their chosen stories.

 

Upcoming Events:

NOVEMBER

  • 1st TUE- All Saints Day Mass 8-9
  • 1st TUE 2nd grade’s All Saints Day Pageant 9-10 in church everyone invited!
  • 2nd WED School Mass 8 am
  • 4th FRI- Noon Dismiss
  • 8th-11th Book Fair in Hall
  • 9th-11th Noon Dismiss Parent Teacher Conferences
  • 21st-25th Thanksgiving Break
  • 28th MON Advent Wreath Blessing

DECEMBER

  • 2nd FRI Noon Dismiss
  • 8th THU 8am Mass
  • 12th MON Our Lady of Guadalupe Play
  • 16th FRI 10am Christmas Pageant, Noon Dismiss
  • 19th-30th Christmas Break