Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 5/20

Hello Middle School Families!
We’re just a few weeks until the end!

The 8th graders have been working diligently on their portfolios the past few months, and presentations will be this coming Friday, 5/25! Please see the email from the school to sign up to watch the presentations. In the meantime, 8th graders should be practicing their presentations at home. They will have 2 full practices at school this week, but the more they practice, the more comfortable they will be.

All language arts classes have final essay (project for 8th grade) rough drafts due on Monday. They have been working on this for the past week. There will be one more draft for 5th-7th grade essays due later in the week, and the final copy is due Thursday, 5/31. This will also be the last graded assignment due in language arts before final report cards.

Social studies classes have their final tests coming up. The US History test is this coming Wednesday, 5/23, and the Ancient Civilizations test will be early the following week.

8th Grade Graduation Week Events:
Monday, 6/4 – 8th grade potluck and kickball game vs. parents (12pm-end of day)
Tuesday, 6/5 – Last day of school for 8th graders, 8th grade graduation dinner (see invitation)
Wednesday, 6/6 – Graduation mass at 4pm, graduation ceremony at 5pm


Reminders:
Thursday, 5/24: Dance Fever (P.E. dance performance) 1:00-2:30pm
Friday, 5/25: 8th grade portfolio presentations
Monday, 5/28: Memorial Day no school
Friday, 6/1: Early dismissal, sports awards, all middle school dance
Monday, 6/4: 8th grade potluck from noon-end of day (on campus)
Tuesday, 6/5: 8th grade graduation dinner (evening, see invitation)
Wednesday, 6/6: 8th grade graduation (4pm), early dismissal
Thursday, 6/7: Early dismissal
Friday, 6/8: Last day of school! Mass and 10am dismissal- no extension

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 5/13

Hello Middle School Families,
We’re on the home stretch to the end of the year already, wow! These next few weeks are about to fly by!

7th and 8th grades finished Farewell to Manzanar this week and are beginning their final language arts project of the year. 7th grade is writing an argumentative letter from the point of view of Jeanne Wakatsuki, the main character of the memoir. 8th grade has the freedom to choose their topic and medium for their final argumentative project for Farewell to Manzanar. These projects will be due on May 31st (a week after portfolio presentations), and will be the last graded assignment.

5th and 6th grades will finish Number the Stars next week, and their final project will be assigned then as well. In the meantime, 5th grade has been working with expanding/reducing sentences and figurative language. Students also compared three versions of Little Red Riding Hood this past week, as we discussed folk tales, fairy tales, and mythology. While 6th grade has been gone, 5th graders had a chance to study the ancient Indian epic, “The Bhagavad-Gita” and the ancient Chinese tale of “Mulan, the Woman Warrior” in Ancient Civilizations.

In US History,  students finished up their War of 1812 Peace Conference and moved into the Era of Good Feelings. We will be wrapping up the Antebellum period within the week. The last few weeks of Language Arts will be a study of Civil War literature and will tie into US History.


8th grade portfolio presentations
 are just a few short weeks away! Students have now received a detailed outline for their presentation, and should be working on their trifold board and finishing up their binder at home. The portfolio is due on Friday, May 18th, a week before the presentation. The days leading up to the Presentation (beginning the week of May 21st) students will practice their full presentation in preparation.


8th Grade Graduation Week Events:

Monday, 6/4 – 8th grade potluck and volleyball game vs. parents (12pm-end of day)
Tuesday, 6/5 – Last day of school for 8th graders, 8th grade graduation dinner (see invitation)
Wednesday, 6/6 – Graduation mass at 4pm, graduation ceremony at 5pm


Reminders:
 Friday, 5/18: Teacher experience (evening)
Friday, 5/25: 8th grade portfolio presentations
Monday, 5/28: Memorial Day no school
Friday, 6/1: Early dismissal, sports awards, all middle school dance
Tuesday, 6/5: 8th grade graduation dinner (evening, see invitation)
Wednesday, 6/6: 8th grade graduation (4pm), early dismissal
Thursday, 6/7: Early dismissal
Friday, 6/8: Last day of school! Mass and 10am dismissal- no extension

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 5/9

Happy May, Middle School Families!

This past week, the 8th graders and altar servers did an AMAZING job with May Crowning! I’m so proud of them, and I’m glad to call 2018’s May Crowning my first one at St. Mary School! The 7th and 8th graders had a blast at their class retreats on Friday as well. Next up, the 6th graders go to camp on Monday! Wishing them all the best for a week of fun, prayer, reflection, team building, and wilderness.

We are beginning to wrap up the last Character Based Literacy unit of the year with Number the Stars and Farewell to Manzanar. The novel study will finish up in the next two weeks, and students will be transitioning into their last essay of the year toward the end of the study.

8th grade portfolio presentations are just a few short weeks away! Students have now received a detailed outline for their presentation, and should be working on their trifold board and finishing up their binder at home. The portfolio is due on Friday, May 18th, a week before the presentation. The days leading up to the Presentation (beginning the week of May 21st) students will practice their full presentation in preparation.

8th Grade Graduation Week Events:
Monday, 6/4 – 8th grade potluck and volleyball game vs. parents (12pm-end of day)
Tuesday, 6/5 – Last day of school for 8th graders, 8th grade graduation dinner (see invitation)
Wednesday, 6/6 – Graduation mass at 4pm, graduation ceremony at 5pm

Reminders:

Week of 5/7: 6th grade camp
Friday, 5/18: Teacher experience (evening)
Friday, 5/25: 8th grade portfolio presentations
Monday, 5/28: Memorial Day no school
Friday, 6/1: Early dismissal, sports awards, all middle school dance
Tuesday, 6/5: 8th grade graduation dinner (evening, see invitation)
Wednesday, 6/6: 8th grade graduation (4pm), early dismissal
Thursday, 6/7: Early dismissal
Friday, 6/8: Last day of school! Mass and 10am dismissal- no extension

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 4/29

Greetings, Middle School Families!

Spirit week was so much fun this week! Congratulations to all the students who won the class contests!

We are still working our way through the Justice Requires Restraint novel study unit with literature circles in all grades. This week, 7th and 8th grade began their study of rhetoric and rhetorical devices’ 6th grade worked on point of view, tone, and mood; and 5th grade worked on a compare/contrast paragraph. Next week, 7/8 will continue with rhetoric and dialectical journal responses and 5/6 will continue story elements and literary devices.

In US History, students engaged in an exciting and energetic Diplomatic Conference simulation surrounding the war of 1812. Each small group was assigned one of 7 delegations, and students from each delegation had to negotiate with the others to create proposals. This was great practice in realistic policy making and diplomacy. Looking ahead, we will begin the Era of Good Feelings next week. In Ancient Civilizations, students are continuing with Ancient India, and we focused mainly on Ancient Indian religions this week. 6th grade also engaged in a team building exercise on Thursday while the 5th graders were at their retreat. We will be wrapping up Ancient India in the next two weeks.

May Crowning: Please see emails from the school regarding May Crowning information.
Retreats: Please see emails sent by me (8th grade) and Mrs. Martinez (7th grade) for information.
Portfolios: An email was sent out to 8th grade parents with the presentation times. Please be on the lookout for more information soon. Also, while students do have daily class time to work on their projects, they should be working on their trifold at home. If they haven’t already, students also need to be sending out requests for character letters. Please check in with your student in regards to their progress on this.

Reminders & Important Dates:

Thursday, 5/3: May Crowning (8th grade 12pm dismissal)
Friday, 5/4: Early dismissal, 7th and 8th grade retreats
Week of 5/7: 6th grade camp
Friday, 5/18: Teacher experience (evening)
Friday, 5/25: 8th grade portfolio presentations
Monday, 5/28: Memorial Day no school
Wednesday, 5/30: Field Day
Friday, 6/1: Early dismissal, sports awards, all middle school dance
Tuesday, 6/5: 8th grade graduation dinner (evening)
Wednesday, 6/6: 8th grade graduation, early dismissal
Thursday, 6/7: Early dismissal
Friday, 6/8: Last day of school! Mass and 10am dismissal

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 4/22

Hello Middle School Families!
Spirit week is this week! On Monday, students can come to school wearing their class colors. Our 7th/8th grade color is purple, and the 5th/6th grade color is dark blue.

We’ve had a wonderful first week and a half of the Justice Requires Restraint novel unit. I’m happy with the student-led conversations during literature circle meetings. In all grades, we’ve gotten almost halfway through each book so far.

This coming week, 7th and 8th graders will learn about the use of rhetorical devices in arguments to prepare them for their upcoming argumentative essay on Farewell to Manzanar. In addition, students will continue to make their way through the book this week and next week. 5th and 6th grade have started practicing argumentative paragraphs for their upcoming argumentative essay on Number the Stars. They, too will continue to make their way through Number the Stars this week and next.

Ancient civilizations is right in the middle of the Ancient India unit, learning about the culture of Ancient India this coming week.  In US History, students are engaging in a peace conference simulation before moving into the Era of Good Feelings.

May Crowning: Girls’ families will be contacted by Joan Rico in the next few days regarding the ribbon and flower colors for their crowns. We will be practicing the event several days this coming week and the week of the event. Please keep in mind the

Retreats: the 7th and 8th grade retreats will be on the same day, May 4th. Mrs. Martinez is in charge of the 7th grade retreat, and Mr. Molina and I are putting the finishing touches on the 8th grade retreat. Permission slips will be sent home for 8th graders this week.

Portfolios: 8th graders are making good progress with their portfolios and will be sending out invitations this week. Students should be working on their essay and trifold at home.

Reminders:
Week of 4/23-4/27: Spirit week
Wednesday, 4/25: Progress reports
Thursday, 4/26: 5th grade retreat
Thursday, 5/3: May Crowning (evening)
Friday, 5/3: Early dismissal, 7th and 8th grade retreats
Week of 5/7: 6th grade camp
Friday, 5/18: Teacher experience (evening)
Friday, 5/25: 8th grade portfolio presentations
Monday, 5/28: Memorial Day no school
Wednesday, 5/30: Field Day
Friday, 6/1: Early dismissal, sports awards, all middle school dance
Tuesday, 6/5: 8th grade graduation dinner (evening)
Wednesday, 6/6: 8th grade graduation, early dismissal
Thursday, 6/7: Early dismissal
Friday, 6/8: Last day of school! Mass and 10am dismissal

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 4/15

Hello Middle School Families,

We had a great first week back from spring break!

We jumped right into our final formal Character Based Literacy novel study on Monday and so far, the kids seem to be loving the books! Both novels are historical fiction and tackle issues of social injustices during WWII (the Holocaust and Japanese internment camps). Our overarching theme for this unit is Justice Requires Restraint, and all grades participated in a discussion about our Catholic belief in promoting social justice for all people. Please be willing to talk with your student about these issues. Also, I know many relatives experienced WWII first hand, so please feel free to send along any stories, photos, or items from the time period to give the students a real-life experience with it.

In social studies, Ancient Civilizations learned about the Indian caste system and the arrival of the Aryan people in Ancient India. We have been practicing close reading and annotation strategies with short informational texts.

United States history engaged in a structured academic controversy debate about Louis and Clark. They used historical documents to unravel and debate the the ethical treatment of Native Americans during the Louis and Clark expedition.

8th Grade Updates:
8th graders have a lot on their plate, and a lot of exciting events coming up! As graduation approaches, we commonly see out 8th grade students loosen up with their academics, but students need to remain focused and continue to work hard through the remainder of the school year. We’re in the home stretch! Students should be working on their portfolio components at home as well as school. May Crowning is coming up, so please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about attire. To clarify, young mens’ suits may be black, navy blue, or grey. Young ladies’ dresses must be spring/pastel color. Students received the entire script for the event and should be looking over it to familiarize themselves with it. Young ladies will be writing essays about crowning Mary, and the middle school staff will choose based on these essays. Due to a funeral, we have to postpone the date of the 8th grade retreat (my previous newsletter said it will be on 4/27. It will be a Friday in May instead). Portfolio presentations will be on Friday, 5/25 throughout the day. Students will have 20-minute time slots each.

Reminders:
Wednesday, 4/18 – Early Dismissal
Friday, 4/20 – Mom Prom
Week of 4/23 – STAR reading testing
Wednesday, 4/25 – Progress Reports
Saturday, 4/28 – 2nd Grade First Communion
Thursday, 5/3 – May Crowning

Friday, 5/25 – 8th Grade Portfolio Presentations

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 4/8

Welcome back, Middle School Families!
I hope all 7th and 8th graders who went on the DC trip had a blast! I can’t wait to hear about it on Monday.

We are beginning our final Character Based Literacy novel study of the year this week. The theme is Justice Requires Restraint, and in all grades we will focus on the social justice issues that our novel highlights. 5th and 6th grade will be reading Number The Stars, a Hollocaust novel that takes place in Denmark. It traces the story of a young Danish girl fighting for justice and equality in her Nazi-occupied country. 7th and 8th grade will be reading Farewell to Manzanar, a memoir that recounts a young Japanese-American’s childhood growing up in an American Japanese internment camp during WWII. All grades will engage in Common Core aligned literature circles to go deeper into the study of the novels and the social justice issues within them.

In social studies, Ancient Civilizations is continuing with Ancient India and student’s will learn about the caste system this week. In United States History, students will engage in an Academic Controversy Discourse (debate) dealing with Lewis and Clark’s encounters with Native Americans.

8th grade is continuing to work on their portfolios, and Mr. Adriano will be filming their personal statements (paragraph they wrote in January) on Thursday. These will be put into their slideshows which are due on Thursday as well. All other portfolio work can be worked on at home, so please check in with your 8th grader’s portfolio progress so he/she doesn’t wait until the last minute. All assignments are spaced out with due dates, and all instructions are together on one sheet of paper. Each student has a copy. 8th grade will also begin practicing for May Crowning this week! Please be on the lookout for an email from me regarding May Crowning details. The event is Thursday, May 3rd, and all 8th graders must attend and participate.

The 8th grade retreat with me and Mr. Molina will be all day on Friday, April 27th. Permission slips will be passed out in the next week.

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 3/25

Hello Middle School Families,

We are quickly approaching Easter vacation, and I’m so excited for all the 7th and 8th graders going on the D.C. trip! If you have any questions between now and the trip, please don’t hesitate to contact Mrs. Prieto or me. We will hold a student meeting during lunch on Tuesday.

Our class hamster, Milo, sadly passed away last Thursday evening. The middle school wrote his obituary in language arts this week. Please keep him and our middle school family in your prayers, as we lost our dear class pet. Below is a picture from his first day as our class pet.

Milo Gerard Hamilton, February 2018 View full-size Download

In language arts this past week, all students wrote Milo’s obituary. 8th graders had their religious contest essay due and also continued work on their portfolios. Portfolio work will continue through the rest of the year. Please see the portfolio handout with all due dates and instructions. 7th and 8th graders also have a creative poem due on Wednesday, 3/28, to complete the poetry unit. The last novel study for Character Based Literacy will begin as soon as we get back from vacation, and students will participate in literature circles. The novel will be Farewell to Manzanar. 5th and 6th grade continued working on their creative storybooks, which are also due on Wednesday 3/28. The last novel study will begin at the same time as the 7th and 8th grade one, and students will also participate in grade-level literature circles. This novel will be Number the Stars. 

In ancient civilizations, students began their study of Ancient India with a Breaking News! assignment based on the discovery of two ancient Indus Valley civilizations. We will study the caste system and ancient dynasties early next week. This unit will continue after the break. In US History, we studied primary sources that document the Federalists’ disapproval of the Louisiana Purchase, and will move into the Lewis and Clark expedition. We will focus primarily on the Native American position regarding westward expansion in the coming week.

Please remind your student to keep track of his/her supplies as the end of the year approaches, and also remind them that it is their responsibility to print their homework at home before it is due.

Sign your student up for Teacher Experience! It’s going to be tons of fun! Save the date – May 18th.

Reminders:
Minimum Day/Living Stations: Thursday, 3/29
No School: Friday, 3/30
Easter Vacation: 3/30 – 4/8

8th grade portfolio personal statements will be filmed on Thursday, 4/12. Please make sure your student comes to school looking neat and tidy, and is prepared to be in front of the camera! Paragraphs should be memorized, so encourage your student to practice over the next two weeks. (These were written in January).

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 3/18

Top ‘O the Mornin’ to Ya, Middle School Families,

We had a light week this past week with Tuesday’s field trip and no school on Friday. Nevertheless, we continued with our poetry in 7th and 8th grade. 8th grade read “The Raven” and 7th grade dove into figurative language. On Thursday, students got to experience some Irish folklore through modernized versions of Irish fairy tales and legends just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. 5th and 6th graders finished up their Bud, Not Buddy essays, and have transitioned into creating their own storybooks! I am very excited to see what they come up with as they let their creative side shine! 5th and 6th graders also experienced some Irish folklore on Thursday.

In Ancient Civilizations, students practiced close-reading and annotation strategies through an article about St. Patrick’s Day. 7th and 8th graders began the Jeffersonian Era in US History, and also got a taste of “Debunking the Myths of St. Patrick’s Day” through a short reading and research. (Can you tell I’m Irish yet?)

Next week, 5th and 6th graders will continue their storybooks (due 3/28), and 7th and 8th graders will continue their poetry unit with writing poetry! They will use an in-class writing prompt to create a personal (and advanced) acrostic poem. 8th grade portfolios will also be on the focus of 8th grade religion and language arts. See handout from Thursday with all due dates and instructions. Ancient Civilizations will start the India unit and US History will continue the Jeffersonian Era.

Families of students going to D.C. – Mrs. Prieto and I are just waiting on a phone meeting with World Strides to confirm our itinerary, then we will be holding a parent meeting in the next week.

Looking Ahead:

Spring begins on 3/20!

Minimum day & living stations on Thursday, 3/29

No School (Good Friday) 3/30

Spring Break 3/30 – 4/8

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 3/12

Hello Middle School Families!

This week, 7th and 8th grade finished up their Black History Month projects in language arts. These were due Friday when students shared their project through a gallery walk around the classroom. Next week, we will begin writing poetry!

5th and 6th grade are finishing up their Bud, Not Buddy opinion essays. Next week, we will be focusing on grammar and sentence structure, as well as continuing with creative story prompts. Students will be turning these stories into books with illustrations!

Both US History and Ancient Civilizations had tests this past week. Ancient Civilizations just finished the Ancient Hebrews unit and we will be moving from the Middle East into Asia for Ancient India and China. US History finished up the presidencies of Washington and Adams, and will begin Thomas Jefferson’s presidency on Monday.

7th Grade Parents: There will be a parent meeting in my classroom at 7:00pm on Wednesday, 3/14 regarding the 8th grade dinner. See you then!

DC Trip: Megan Prieto and I will receive the finalized itinerary this coming week and will hold the meeting the following week.

Field Trip: Middle School we be going on a Field trip on Tuesday, 3/13 for a religious concert at St. Michael’s.

Report Cards: Report cards went home on Friday. Feel free to send me an email if you would like to set up a meeting either before or after school. Please sign the report card envelope and return it by Tuesday 3/13.

*Please note that students should be printing their assignments at home. Teachers will not be printing their assignments for them. If a printer isn’t working, students should hand write their assignments unless it is required to be typed (essays and projects must be typed, other homework can be handwritten or typed). A broken printer is not an excuse to not turn in homework.

*Please also make sure your student has a sufficient amount of binder paper, pens, and pencils. We’re at the time of year when supplies begin to run out, so please encourage your student to be mindful of the amount of supplies he/she has and to communicate when he/she needs more.

Reminders: 

Field Trip on Tuesday, 3/13 – please send students to school with a sack lunch

7th Grade Parent Meeting at 7pm Wednesday 3/14

Please sign and return report card envelopes by Tuesday, 3/13

No school on Friday, 3/16