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 

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 10/27

Happy Halloween, Middle School Families!
We have some exciting things coming up this week at school: Thursday morning we attend Mass for All Saints Day (please have students come in Mass uniform) and will have the 2nd grade All Saints Day performances, and Friday is Grandparents Day! Jersey Mike’s order forms were sent home this week for Grandparents Day lunch.

5th & 6th Language Arts: 
We will be finishing up Iqbal in the next week and a half, as well as personal narratives. Students who have had a writing conference with me and have made necessary revisions are finished with their narratives and ready to print! If you have a printer at home, please have your student print it there. Otherwise students will put it on a flash drive and see me either before school, at recess, or at lunch before class to print it out. The conferences I’ve had so far have been great, and I look forward to reading the rest of the narratives this week.

7th & 8th Language Arts: 
Students completed The Outsiders unit!! Their narrative essay was assigned this week, and the final version is due on November 9th. Soon, after a short novel break, we will begin our new unit on To Kill a Mockingbird. The graphic novel version of this classic comes out on October 30 for anyone who is interested. I will be getting one copy for the classroom.

Looking Ahead: 
Thursday, 11/1: Mass & 2nd Grade All Saints Day presentations
Friday, 11/2: Minimum day & Grandparents Day
Monday, 11/5 – Wednesday, 11/7: parent-teacher conferences
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 

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 10/21

Happy Long Weekend Middle School Families!
Next week is Red Ribbon Week and the school has festivities planned for each day: Monday students get to wear fun socks to school, Tuesday is National Disabilities Awareness Day and students will receive a white ribbon to wear, Wednesday is Tie Down Drugs day and students may wear a tie after Mass, Thursday is Throwback Thursday and students get to dress up as their favorite throwback decade (40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, etc.), and Friday students may wear a red shirt and jeans. Please see the flyer that was sent home on Thursday as well as the school’s newsletter for additional information.

5/6 Language Arts: Students have been working hard on their personal narratives and I’m so happy with the second drafts I’ve read so far! I’m excited to read the rest during my individual writing conferences with the rest of the students over the next week. Final drafts will be due the last week of October.

7/8 Language Arts: We’ve finished The Outsiders! Students will have a unit test on Thursday and should study their previous quizzes and vocab. On Monday, they will receive the official study guide that includes specific short essay questions to practice writing before the test. As long as they’ve read/annotated the book and studied, they’ll be just fine. In addition, their final Outsiders essay will be assigned on Monday for 8th graders and Tuesday for 7th graders. On Monday, students will finish up a short study of plot by using their own stories they’ve written over the past week to diagram plot structure. These stories are due Monday.

Looking Ahead: 
Week of 10/22: Red Ribbon Week
Friday, 10/26: Middle School Halloween Dance
Thursday, 11/1: 2nd Grade All Saints Day Presentations
Friday, 11/2: Minimum Day & Grandparents Day
Monday, 11/5 – Wednesday, 11/7: Parent-Teacher Conferences
Friday, 11/9: Father-Daughter Dance
Sunday, 11/11: Open House
Wednesday, 11/14: Minimum Day
Friday, 11/16: End of 1st Trimester
11/17 – 11/25: Thanksgiving Break

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 10/12

Hello Middle School Families,
Thanks to everyone who came to the Fall Fiesta and 7th grade Mass on Sunday! Our next school mass will be 6th grade in November.

5/6 Language Arts: 
5th and 6th graders have been practicing close reading skills over the past week with Iqbal. We have focused on finding textual evidence and making inferences. We will be continuing focus on these and other close reading skills throughout the year. Students are also into their second draft of their personal narrative, being typed on their laptops. As they do this, they are also working on their word processing and typing skills. In addition, I have started individual goal setting conferences with each student in order to set goals for personal growth in reading, writing, and collaboration. I will be continuing these conferences next week.

7/8 Language Arts: 
7th and 8th graders are just about done with The Outsiders! They had their last quiz this past week, and the unit test is coming up in the next week and a half. Once we finish the novel, we’ll jump right into the writing assignment for the unit: an Outsiders inspired narrative essay. Our next novel study will be Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, and I couldn’t be more excited for this! We will begin this second novel study at the beginning of November. If students are interested, the graphic novel version of To Kill A Mockingbird is available for sale on October 30! I have the flyer posted in my classroom.

8th Grade: 
Dons Day is THIS COMING TUESDAY!!!! We still need drivers so please let me know ASAP if you can drive. It’ll be fun!
8th graders have also begun the portfolio process! They will have monthly tasks leading up to presentations at the end of the year.

Looking Ahead:

Tuesday, 10/16: Dons Day
Friday, 10/19: No school for students
Friday, 10/26: Middle School Halloween Dance
Friday, 11/2: Grandparents’ Day & early dismissal
Monday, 11/5 – Wednesday, 11/7: Parent – Teacher Conferences