Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 2/3

Happy February!

5th & 6th Language Arts: 

The 5th and 6th graders are working their way through the last stretch of their novel study for The View from Saturday. We will finish up this unit in the next two weeks. In addition, 5th and 6th graders have started on a new essay in writing lab. The first draft will be completed this week.

7th & 8th Language Arts: 

We’re almost done with To Kill a Mockingbird! Students will finish reading the last chapters of the novel at the end of the week. Since we’re at the end, students have begun their final project for the unit: a Maycomb County newspaper spread that documents the trial, Tom Robinson, and the world in the mid-1930s. This project is due at the end of the month.

St. Mary Policy Reminders: 

Just a few reminders as we move into the second half of the school year: Non-uniform jackets are only okay for cold or rainy weather. They may not replace school sweaters/sweatshirts, and can only be worn outside. They need to be taken off in the classroom. No gum is allowed at school, and will result in an automatic detention. Socks need to be logo-free. Also, please make sure your child has a set of working headphones (see school supply list) for school. They need headphones in class several times a week.

Washington, D.C. Trip: 

It’s time to start planning! The informational meeting is on Tuesday, February 12th at 6pm in room 9 (Mrs. Montijo’s classroom). This opportunity is for our current 6th and 7th graders for next spring. Both students and parents are welcome to attend! There will be a representative from World Strides at the meeting to answer any of your questions.

Looking Ahead:

100th Day of School: Thursday, 2/7

Washington, D.C. Meeting: Tuesday, 2/12  (6:00pm)

Early Dismissal: Wednesday, 2/13

Valentine’s Day: Thursday, 2/14

No School – President’s Day: Monday, 2/18

Parent STEM Night: Wednesday, 2/20 (5:00pm)

4th Grade Mass: Saturday, 2/23 (5:30pm)

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 1/27

Happy Catholic Schools Week!

Catholic Schools Week is here! Here is the week’s schedule:

Monday: Student Appreciation Day

Tuesday: Staff Appreciation Day

Wednesday: Clergy Appreciation Day

Thursday: School Appreciation Day

Friday: Parent Appreciation Day

5th & 6th Language Arts

We are moving into our last stretch of The View from Saturday! The 5th grades will have their second quiz on Tuesday, and their spelling test is moved to Wednesday due to the minimum day on Friday. In addition, the 5th graders have been working with figurative language, and will continue this over the next two weeks. The 6th graders will finish up working with pronouns this week before focusing on context clues next week.

7th & 8th Language Arts 

We are also moving into our last stretch of To Kill a Mockingbird! We will finish the novel next week. This week’s focus will be on Atticus’s persuasive language, and we’ll talk about rhetorical devices for making arguments.

8th Grade Portfolios:

The 8th graders received a January/February Portfolio checklist with things they should be working on in the coming month before the deep dive in March.

2020 Washington D.C. Trip – 6th & 7th Grade Families

The 6th and 7th graders received an envelope with information regarding the 2020 Washington D.C./Williamsburg trip on Friday! We are working with the parish to reserve a room for the upcoming parent meeting, so I will let families know what day and time the meeting will be as soon as I know. Students are welcome at this meeting! We will have a representative from World Strides there to talk about the trip and answer any questions you may have. More info to come soon!

Looking Ahead:

Catholic Schools Week: 1/28 – 2/1

Early Dismissal: Friday, 2/1

100th Day of School: Thursday, 2/7

Early Dismissal: Wednesday, 2/13

Valentine’s Day: Thursday, 2/14

No School – President’s Day: Monday, 2/18

Parent STEM Night: Wednesday, 2/20 (5:00pm)

4th Grade Mass: Saturday, 2/23 (5:30pm)

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 1/21

Hello Middle School Families,

I hope you all enjoyed a much deserved 3-day weekend.

Progress Reports

Progress reports will be ready for you to print out on Tuesday after school. Please login to Gradelink, print out the progress report, sign it, and return it with your student by Friday. If you are unable to print, you or your student may write down the grades on a piece of paper and you can sign and return that instead. Please feel free to email us with any questions or concerns.

5th & 6th Grade Language Arts

We are continuing our novel study of The View from Saturday. Last week we discussed themes in fables, and starting this week that information will be applied to our novel study. The novel depicts characters from different cultural and religious backgrounds, and also includes characters with different abilities. In class, we will be talking about multiculturalism, inclusion, and celebrating differences. Talk with your students about these themes at home too! Please remember that reading is due each class period except Fridays, and 6th graders also have a vocabulary chart to go along with the reading.

7th & 8th Grade Language Arts

We’ve gotten to the trial in To Kill a Mockingbird! This week, we will finish up the trial and students will complete a deep dive into the trial as court reporters. Please remember that as students read, they also need to be annotating with sticky notes, and also logging in to Google Classroom to complete the vocabulary assignment that goes along with each reading.

Art 

The 7th and 8th grade will be entering The City of Escondido’s 27th Annual Earth Day Poster contest again! Students will receive the information and guidelines for the project this Thursday during art class, but it’s not too early to start collecting some recyclables. Over the next few days, have your student look through your recyclables to find some inspiration for an art project. Students will begin planning and sketching their project on Thursday and it would be great if they already had some items in mind. The final art project will be due no later than Friday, March 8th. Students will be working on this primarily during art class on Thursday afternoons leading up to the due date.

Washington D.C. Trip 

It’s time to start planning for the 2020 Washington D.C. trip! Students in grades 6 and 7 will get to see an informational video this week, and an information packet will be sent home. Once you receive this packet, talk with your student to see if your family might be interested in the trip! It will happen during Easter vacation in 2020, and is open to next year’s 7th and 8th graders. A parent informational meeting will be held at the beginning of February.

School Supplies

As the school year has reached the halfway point, school supplies start to disappear. While we do have some extra pens and pencils in our rooms, it is still the students’ responsibility to have their own. In addition, working headphones are a requirement. Please make sure your student has a pair so she/he can fully engage in online activities.

Looking Ahead

STAR Makeup week: 1/22 – 1/25

Martin Luther King Day- No School: Monday, 1/21

Check Progress Reports: Tuesday, 1/22

Progress Reports Due (signed): Friday, 1/25

Catholic High School Placement Exam: Saturday, 1/26 (good luck 8th graders!!)

Catholic Schools Week: 1/28 – 2/1

Early Dismissal: Friday, 2/1

 

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 1/13

Happy January!

Our first full week back sees us on our normal schedule, and jumping right back in where we left off.

5th & 6th Language Arts 

Spelling is back this week, with our normal weekly spelling test on Friday. Spelling words and the weekly assignment was passed out to all 5th and 6th graders this past Friday. We’re also back into The View from Saturday, so expect nightly reading due each day we have language arts (except Fridays), and for 6th graders, a vocab chart to go along with the reading. 5th graders now complete the vocab component along with chapter comprehension. In writing lab, students are working through a Themes in Fables mini-unit, in which they will write their own fable this coming week! After this unit is complete, students will transition back to expository writing in preparation for the View from Saturday essay that will be assigned toward the end of the novel study.

7th & 8th Language Arts 

Spelling is back in the upper grades as well this week, with the normal test on Friday. There will also be a quiz on chapters 9-16 of To Kill a Mockingbird on Tuesday for 8th graders and Wednesday for 7th graders. Our novel study continues like normal with nightly reading and Google Classroom vocab due each day we have language arts (except Fridays). Students are continuing with argumentative writing as well. This past week, students did some collaborative work with identifying arguments versus statements and finding the right evidence. This week, students will put that knowledge to practice with two To Kill a Mockingbird in-class writing assignments. Students will also be making a literary device booklet for more in-depth literary analysis during novel study.

Looking Ahead:

STAR Math: 1/14 – 1/18

Winter Glam Dance: Friday, 1/18

STAR Makeup week: 1/22 – 1/25

Martin Luther King Day- No School: Monday, 1/21

Check Progress Reports: Tuesday, 1/22 (please wait until this day to print them out, as teachers may still be making updates prior to Tuesday)

Progress Reports Due (signed): Friday, 1/25

Catholic High School Placement Exam: Saturday, 1/26 (good luck 8th graders!!)

Catholic Schools Week: 1/28 – 2/1

Early Dismissal: Friday, 2/1

 

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 12/16

Christmas is just around the corner! We have an action-packed week ahead of us preparing for the Christmas pageant, so our schedule is going to be a bit different. We appreciate our students’ flexibility and understanding this week as we modify our schedules to fit everything in.

5th/6th Language Arts: 

The 5th grade contest essay is due this week! Students have been working hard on it the past few weeks, and will finish up conferences with me during class on Tuesday. The essay will be due, printed out on Wednesday. In addition, 5th graders will have a View from Saturday reading quiz Wednesday as well. I changed the vocabulary assignments for 5th and 6th graders, so students will no longer have to do it on Google Classroom. 6th grade will now receive a vocab chart for each reading, and 5th grade will complete in-class “vocabulary detective” assignments for each chapter instead of each reading. Please make sure that your student is checking his/her planner for homework each afternoon when you get home from school. Students will have to complete some View from Saturday reading over the break.

7th & 8th Language Arts: 

Although our classes will be modified this week, ELA will continue as normal. Christmas creative writing is due printed out with the cover page on Thursday. Aside from what was assigned this past Thursday, there will only be one other reading assignment this week (ch. 12) due on Thursday. Students will need to read To Kill a Mockingbird over the break so we can continue the novel study upon our return.

*We will have all school confession on Wednesday with the second graders’ First Reconciliation.  

Looking Ahead:

Thurs. 12/20: Class parties after recess (7th/8th is a movie and brunch party in room 11)
Fri. 12/21: Christmas pageant at 10am; early dismissal (you may pick your student up from the classroom after the pageant) *no extension, students must be picked up by 12:15*
Sat. 12/22 – Mon. 1/7: Christmas break!!!                                                                                                                      Tues. 1/8: School resumes

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 12/9

Season’s Greetings, Middle School Families!

The Advent season is in full swing at St. Mary and we’re all excited for Christmas! This week, we have the Our Lady of Guadalupe performance, put on by the 6th graders on Wednesday after Mass. It starts at 9, so please come if you can!

 

5th & 6th Grade Language Arts: 

We’re continuing the Leadership Requires Engagement unit with The View from Saturday through Christmas and into January. Please remember that every time students have reading homework, they also have vocabulary words to complete on Google Classroom. This will also be the last week of spelling until after we return from vacation. The 5th graders are continuing to work hard on their Catholic Schools Week contest essay. Their final draft of this essay will be due, printed, next week. I will be sending home the permission form for parents to sign in order for us to submit essays to the contest this week. In 5/6 writing lab, we will be putting View from Saturday expository writing on hold until we return from break, and will do some Christmas creative writing for our last few class periods leading into Christmas.

 

7th & 8th Grade Language Arts: 

We’re continuing the Change Requires Effort unit with To Kill a Mockingbird through Christmas and into January. Please remember that every time students have reading homework, they also have vocabulary words to complete on Google Classroom. This will also be the last week of spelling until after we return from vacation. We’ve had some great discussions about To Kill a Mockingbird so far! Please be willing to continue discussions with your student at home regarding the themes and issues that the novel brings up. As a reminder, it takes place in the segregated South during the Great Depression, and as we read further into the story, more issues of inequality will surface. Please also note that the story’s narrator uses the language and terms of the time period, which contributes to a better understanding of the deeply rooted prejudice that our characters face and seek to change (hence our theme, Change Requires Effort!). We are also going to put argument writing on the back burner until January to engage in some Christmas creative story writing for our last few writing periods of 2018.

 

Art

7th and 8th graders are working on a piece to submit to MCA’s Christmas Art Contest. Final pieces are due this Thursday, Dec. 13th. You will receive a permission form on Monday that will need to be signed in order for us to submit your student’s artwork.

 

Looking Ahead:

Wed. 12/12: Early dismissal; Our Lady of Guadalupe at 9am after Mass
Thurs. 12/20: Class parties after recess (7th/8th is a movie and brunch party in room 11)
Fri. 12/21: Christmas pageant at 10am; early dismissal (you may pick your student up from the classroom after the pageant) *no extension, students must be picked up by 12:15*
Sat. 12/22 – Mon. 1/7: Christmas break!!!                                                                                                                      Tues. 1/8: School resumes

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 12/3

Happy December!

We’ve started the 3-week stretch to Christmas! Over the next three weeks, I’ll be sprinkling in some fun ELA Christmas activities to get students into the holiday spirit.

 

5th & 6th Language Arts

We’ve started The View from Saturday, and will continue with the novel study through break and a little bit after. Homework for this novel study is nightly reading and vocabulary, which is on Google Classroom under the Homework section in Classwork. Please remember that there is no reading log during this novel study, but students are still encouraged to have their own book to read for silent reading and finishing early. In addition, students may have to finish novel study classwork or writing lab prompts for homework. This will be in their planner. For writing, students are continuing with expository writing, and are currently working on an expository 3-paragraph essay in which they teach somebody else about something they love. 5th grade is also working on a diocese-wide Catholic Schools Week essay contest!  Essays will be due the week of Dec. 15th. Be on the lookout for a form to sign that will allow your 5th grader’s essay to be submitted to the diocese. The information is also on Google Classroom.

 

7th & 8th Language Arts

We’ve started To Kill a Mockingbird, and will continue with the novel study through break and a few weeks after. For those of you who are familiar with it, you know how much we can talk about and learn from it! This week, our focus is getting to know the characters and the town of Maycomb, Alabama during the Great Depression. Homework for this unit is nightly reading and vocabulary (on Google Classroom) and unfinished writing lab prompts. For writing, students will continue to write argumentative paragraphs based on To Kill a Mockingbird, and will also do some Christmas creative writing.

 

Art

7th and 8th graders are working on a piece to submit to MCA’s Christmas Art Contest. Final pieces are due on Dec. 13th. You will receive a permission form that will need to be signed in order for us to submit your student’s artwork.

 

Looking Ahead:

All This Week: Scholastic Book Fair
Fri. 12/7: Early dismissal
Wed. 12/12: Early dismissal; Our Lady of Guadalupe at 9am after Mass
Thurs. 12/20: Class parties after recess
Fri. 12/21: Christmas pageant; early dismissal (you may pick your student up from the classroom after the pageant) *no extension, students must be picked up by 12:15
Sat. 12/22 – Mon. 1/7: Christmas break!!!
Tues. 1/8: School resumes

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 11/25

Welcome Back, Middle School Families!

We now begin the 4-week stretch to Christmas! The middle school will begin using Google Classroom this week, which will make communication easier and will lessen the fear of losing or forgetting homework! All teachers will start using this upon our return on Monday. It is imperative that students are charging their laptop every night so they have a full charge at the start of each school day.

5th & 6th Grade Language Arts:

I have made the decision to postpone the I Am The Cheese unit until later in the year, and have replaced it with a unit on E.L. Konigsburg’s novel The View from Saturday. The Character Based Literacy title of this unit is E.L. Konigsburg is one of the most memorable authors from my 5th and 6th grade education, so I am excited to teach her this year! This unit will start on Monday, and students will have sections to read each night. Students will need to complete a 5-word vocabulary assignment (on Google Classroom) for each section, and will do a reading response every 2 days. These assignments will replace the reading log for this novel study.

7th & 8th Grade Language Arts:

Students will begin reading To Kill a Mockingbird early this week! The Character Based Literacy unit title for this novel study is Change Requires Effort. This is one of the most widely taught middle school novels across the country. Because of the length and the complexity of language, I want students to focus their reading on this novel and will not be requiring a reading log for the duration of this novel study. Instead, students will have nightly reading homework that includes annotating and vocab (vocab will be on Google Classroom, and annotations will be checked for a homework grade) in order to prepare for in-class discussions, activities, and writing. Please make sure that your student has sticky notes for annotating. Reading (1 or 2 chapters) will be due each ELA class period. It is important that students come to class prepared to discuss and engage in the novel study each day so they don’t fall behind.

*Please remember that this novel is centered on racial struggles and discrimination during the Great Depression era, so students will be encountering old-fashioned language and racial terms that are no longer appropriate to use (8th graders may remember this from Of Mice and Men last year) and we will discuss the connotations and implications of these terms and issues as we encounter them.*

Report Cards will be sent home with your student on Friday.

Looking Ahead:

Mon. 11/26: School resumes
Fri. 11/30: Report cards go home
Mon. 12/3 – Fri. 12/7: Scholastic Book Fair
Fri. 12/7: Early dismissal
Wed. 12/12: Early dismissal; Our Lady of Guadalupe at 9am after Mass
Thurs. 12/20: Class parties after recess
Fri. 12/21: Christmas pageant; early dismissal (you may pick your student up from the classroom after the pageant) *no extension, students must be picked up by 12:15
Sat. 12/22 – Mon. 1/7: Christmas break!!!
Tues. 1/8: School resumes

 

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 11/11

Greetings, Middle School Families
We’re just one short week away from Thanksgiving break! The trimester will end this coming Friday, November 16th.

5/6 Language Arts
We’re moving into the last few assignments for Language Arts! 5th graders have their Iqbal test on Wednesday, Nov. 14 and the 6th grade test is on Thursday, Nov. 15. In addition, students began their last writing assignment for the trimester: a newspaper front page. This is a creative expository writing project in which students get to create their own newspaper. The final published version of this is due on Friday. As soon as we return from break and the new trimester begins, we’ll jump into our next Character Based Literacy novel study unit for Robert Cormier’s I Am The Cheese. This week, we will have spelling and reading logs as normal, but no reading log over the break!

7/8 Language Arts
Students are just finishing up their last assignment for the trimester, their responsibility personal narrative. For 8th graders this was due on Friday, and for 7th graders it will be due on Wednesday. This coming week, students will be introduced to our next Character Based Literacy novel study To Kill a Mockingbird. In addition, students will be watching The Outsiders film to do an adaptation study comparing the novel to the film. Permission forms were emailed. We are requiring the form to be signed and returned in order to allow  permission for your student to watch the film. If I do not receive the form or if you do not authorize permission to watch it, your student will have an alternative activity in a different classroom.  This week, we will have spelling and reading logs as normal, but no reading log over the break!

Looking Ahead:
Wed. 11/14: Early dismissal
Fri. 11/16: Last day of the trimester
11/17 – 11/25: Thanksgiving Break!
Mon. 11/26: School resumes
Fri. 11/30: Report cards go home
Mon. 12/3 – Fri. 12/7: Scholastic Book Fair
Fri. 12/7: Early dismissal
Wed. 12/12: Our Lady of Guadelupe at 9am after Mass; early dismissal
Thurs. 12/20: Class parties at 10:30am
Fri. 12/21: Christmas pageant; early dismissal (you may check your student out to leave right after the pageant)
Sat. 12/22 – Mon. 1/7: Christmas break!!!
Tues. 1/8: School resumes

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 11/4

Happy November, Middle School Families!
Thanksgiving break is just 2 short weeks away. This trimester is flying by! The grading period will close on Friday, November 16th.

If you would like to sign up for a parent teacher conference with me for Tuesday, November 6th, or Wednesday, November 7th, please send me an email at .

5th and 6th Language Arts
We’ve finished personal narratives! Final printed drafts are due during language arts class on Monday for 6th graders and Tuesday for 5th graders. We will also be finishing Iqbal this coming week with the unit test to follow. It will be on Thursday for 6th graders and the following Tuesday for 5th graders. We only have 3 writing lab classes until the end of the trimester, so I will be introducing informational writing over those days to prepare for a new writing unit after Thanksgiving. We will also begin a new novel, I Am The Cheese after the holiday.

7th & 8th Language Arts
Over the next week and a half, we will finish up the Responsibility Requires Action unit narrative essay. Second drafts and peers workshops will happen this coming week and the final will be due early the following week. I will also introduce the To Kill a Mockingbird unit before Thanksgiving.

 

Looking Ahead:

Monday, 11/5 – Wednesday, 11/7: parent-teacher conferences (minimum days)
Friday, 11/9: Father-Daughter Dance
Sunday, 11/11: 6th Grade Mass & Open House
Wednesday, 11/14: Minimum day
Friday, 11/16: End of 1st trimester
11/17 – 11/25: Thanksgiving break

Monday, 11/25: School resumes

Friday, 11/30: Report cards go home