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.


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

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 3/4

Happy March, Middle School Families!

The trimester ended this past Friday, so we are now beginning the last leg of the school year! We have a lot of excitement coming up in the next few months.

This week, 7th and 8th grade completed their Change Requires Effort Of Mice and Men argumentative essays and transitioned into a poetry unit. This coming week, students will be writing their own poetry and studying figurative language. 5th and 6th grade are about halfway through their opinion writing process for their Bud, Not Buddy essay. These essays will be completed by next week. 6th grade will also be focusing on commas and apostrophes this coming week, while 5th grade will focus on antonyms and using commas to set off words.

All grades have a social studies test this coming week: 7/8 US History has their test on Wednesday and 5/6 Ancient Civilizations has theirs on Thursday. US History rocked their chapter 4 group presentations, and the groups engaged in great discussions that related 18th/19th century policies to our current society. Our last activity for this chapter will be an Alien and Sedition Acts simulation on Monday. Ancient Civilizations will wrap up the unit on the Ancient Hebrews with a movie documenting Moses’ life. This comes at the perfect time with Passover coming up in a few weeks.

In religion, 8th graders are continuing to work on their portfolios.


Report cards go home this Friday, 3/9

The track meet is on Saturday, 3/10

No school on Friday, 3/16

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 2/25

Hello Middle School Families!

All grades have begun writing an opinion/argumentative essay on the Change Requires Effort novel. 7th and 8th grade final drafts must be completed and turned in no later than Friday, 3/2. 5th and 6th grade are still in the rough draft stage of the writing process, so their essay will not be due until the 3rd trimester begins. For all grades, writing an effective argumentative/opinion essay is our key focus for the next week.

Reading: All students must have a silent reading book by Monday. We are taking a break from novel study, so all grades will be doing independent reading assignments.

In US History, we are wrapping up our chapter on the first presidencies, and will have the test on Wednesday, 3/7. Ancient Civilizations is also wrapping up our Ancient Hebrews chapter and will have the test on Thursday 3/8. These test grades will not be on the second trimester report card.

8th Grade Portfolios: Slide shows are due in 2 weeks. Students have already written their paragraph but should work on memorizing it to be recorded. We have photos from school on the school computers, but students should also be using photos from their lives outside of school. Please share them with your 8th grader! After the slide show, the next step is for students to have their binders in order. This will be done in class since all of their materials stay here. Binders are due at the end of March.


Ad space for the yearbook is due NO LATER than Friday, 3/2. Please see online form:

Early Dismissal Wednesday, 2/28

2nd Trimester ends on Friday, 3/2

Early Dismissal Friday, 3/2

Academic Decathalon Saturday, 3/3

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 2/18

Hello Middle School Families!

I’m pleased to introduce you to the middle school class pet, Milo Gerard Hamilton the albino dwarf hamster! He is 3 weeks old, and was adopted from the San Diego Humane Society last weekend. Be on the lookout for an email from me for further details about him. We took him out of his cage and placed him in his hamster ball for the first time this past Wednesday.

7th and 8th grade are well into their Of Mice and Men essays. We completed the first round of writer’s workshops with peer reviews and sharing. Students are now on the revising stage of the writing process and will share second drafts with either me or Mr. Molina this coming week. Students should also have their own silent reading book with them at all times. Since we are between novels, students should be choosing their own book to read at school and at home. Please encourage your student to read independently!

The Bud, Not Buddy essay prompt was introduced to 5th and 6th graders on Wednesday, but they do not need to begin writing it yet. We will be writing in stages together. Right now, we are in the brainstorming & graphic organizer stage of the introduction. 5th and 6th grade students should also have their own silent reading book with them at all times. We will be taking a break from novel study, so 5th and 6th grade students should also be choosing their own book to read at school and at home. Please encourage your student to read independently!

In Ancient Civilizations, Egypt tests were passed back, and students completed assessment corrections in class with my help. Students also created a survival guide for ancient Hebrews traveling with Abraham to the Promised Land in which they researched living conditions and geography of the time period.

In US History, chapter 3 tests were passed back and students completed re-learning PowerPoints proving they understand the concepts they missed on the test. In addition, we have been learning about Alexander Hamilton’s financial plan, and the personalities of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.


End of Trimester Friday 3/2

Academic Decathalon Saturday 3/3

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 2/11

Hello Middle School Families,

I hope everyone is continuing to stay healthy!

This week, 5th and 6th graders finished Bud, Not Buddy! The unit theme project (Bloom Ball) will be completed and put together on Monday. The unit assessment will be on Tuesday 2/13. Students should study their vocabulary words and the main events of the story. After the assessment, students will begin writing opinion essays based on the novel and theme.

7th and 8th graders are on their way to completing their first draft of the Of Mice and Men argumentative essay. They all have great claims so far, and I look forward to seeing the direction each student goes with his/her ideas!

In US History, we have moved into the first presidency and first political parties. Tests were returned, and the re-learning presentations will be due Wednesday 2/14.

In Ancient Civilizations, we began our study of the Ancient Hebrews. This week, we mapped Abraham’s journey from Mesopotamia to Canaan. Tests will be returned Tuesday, and the re-learning presentation will be due Thursday 2/15.

No Slime – please make sure your student is not bringing any slime to school. This can be experimented with and played with at home, but it is too messy for school.

8th Grade Wednesday Mass: 8th graders are in charge of Wednesday mass for the rest of February. Please attend if you can!

8th Grade Portfolios: Students have written drafts of their personal statement for their slide show, and should be gathering pictures of themselves over the weekend and putting them on their flash drive. These pictures do not have to be from school. Students have the freedom to pick photos of themselves living the SLE’s as long as they can explain why each reflects one SLE. They will need at least 1 photo per SLE.


Valentine’s Day School Celebration – Tuesday 2/13

Ash Wednesday – Wednesday 2/14

School Families – Thursday 2/15

No School Friday 2/16 – Monday 2/19

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 2/4

Hello Middle School Families!

Thank you to those of you who came to open house on Tuesday despite my bad case of laryngitis. It was great catching up with you!

In my absence this past week, I tried to keep classes as close to normal as possible. 7th and 8th grade finished Of Mice and Men and are moving on to the writing portion of this Character Based Literacy unit. Students get to choose one of two themes: friendship or loneliness, and form a text-based argument based on how the characters respond to one of these themes. 5th and 6th grade worked mostly on grammar this week: 5th grade practiced using commas in sentences with items in a series, and 6th grade focused on sentence types. They will finish Bud, Not Buddy by the middle of next week. 5th and 6th graders will then write an essay expressing their opinion of the novel.

We had our Egypt test in Ancient Civilizations, and in my absence, students began to write their own Egyptian legend using the important figures they learned about in this past unit. We will begin our unit on the Ancient Hebrews next week.

We also had our Articles of Confederation/Constitutional Convention test in United States History. In my absence, students engaged in a Constitution scavenger hunt. Next week we will begin learning about the first president and America under the Constitution.

Wishing the best to all 8th graders who are interviewing for Catholic high schools this week!!


School Gala – 80’s themed: 2/10

No School on 2/16 or 2/19

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 1/27

Hello Middle School Families,

We have reached the middle of the second trimester, which means we are officially halfway through the year!

We will finish Egypt and the creating a constitution units in social studies this week. The US History test is on Monday and the Egypt test is on Tuesday. Tuesday will also be the in-school science fair. At the end of the week, 5th and 6th grade will move into the Ancient Hebrews (old testament, yay!) and US History will move into a short unit of diving into the United States Constitution.

7th and 8th grade will finish Of Mice and Men on Monday and will begin CDW argumentative essays later in the week. 5th and 6th grade will finish Bud, Not Buddy at the beginning of next week, and then will begin OREO opinion essays shortly after.

Students will have a break from social studies/language arts projects during the essay writing period.

Please be aware that printing assignments should be done at home, not at school. Please make sure your student has printed out any homework or assignment the night before it is due. If there is a printing issue at home and your student is unable to print, please send an email to me, Mrs. Martinez, or Mr. Molina (depending on whom the assignment is for) so we are aware and can set aside a time to print.


This coming week is Catholic School’s Week

Tuesday 1/30 is Open House

Friday 2/2 is early dismissal

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 1/14

Happy January, Middle School Families!

All students will be wrapping up  their Science Fair essays this coming week. Final essays for all students will be due on Wednesday in Mr. Molina’s Language Arts Lab. 7th and 8th grade will be writing abstracts for their essays Wednesday and Thursday. 5th and 6th graders do not have to write abstracts.

To kick off the new calendar year with a positive mindset, all middle schoolers are writing short essays on Growth Mindset. All grades received a reading and activity on the subject the day we returned from break, and the writing is due this coming Friday.

This past week, we jumped back into our Change Requires Effort novel study units, and will complete them in the next week and a half. To sum up the unit, students will begin writing argumentative essays based on their opinions of the novel. They will write these essays after we finish the novel.

In Ancient Civilizations, we will be wrapping up Ancient Egypt next week. 5th and 6th grade students have an Ancient Egyptian Travel brochure project due Tuesday, January 23rd. In this project, students will choose 5 famous ancient Egyptian sites, research them, and create a travel brochure informing travelers about these sites. This project should be creative, and students have the freedom to design them as they wish as long as they include all the required information. This project should be worked on and completed at home. The Egypt test will be on Tuesday, January 30th. Students will receive a practice test and review prior to the test.

In United States History, we finished the Articles of Confederation and have moved into the writing of the Constitution. Over the next week, we will go deeper into the dispute between the Federalists and Antifederalists with a group project, and the chapter 3 test will be on Wednesday, January 31st. Students will have review sessions and a study guide prior to the test. There will be a short Citizenship unit immediately following the test where students will learn how our government works under the Constitution.


Monday 1/15 is a holiday – no school

Progress Reports will be ready on Friday afternoon 1/19. Please print them out, sign them, and return them with your student on Monday, 1/22. Please do not print progress reports out prior to Friday, as they will not be fully updated.

Wednesday 1/24 is 12pm dismissal

8th graders should be working on their portfolio slide shows – instructions were given out before break

Due Dates at a Glance: 

Science Fair Essay (all grades) due Wed 1/17
7th/8th Science Fair Abstract due Fri 1/19
Growth Mindset Essay (all grades) due Fri 1/19
5th Grade Essay Contest due Mon 1/22 (will be worked on with Mrs. Johnston in religion class)
Ancient Civ project due Tues 1/23
US History group project due Mon 1/22

Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 12/14

Season’s Greetings, Middle School Families,

Christmas vacation is just around the corner!

This week, we dove further into Bud, Not Buddy and Of Mice and Men in Language Arts. Students are on their way with their science fair research papers and should work on this at home over the break.

In Ancient Civilizations, we finished up our pharaoh timeline activity and discussed the social structure of Ancient Egypt. In US History, we wrapped up the Articles of Confederation and will be moving on to Shay’s Rebellion and the Constitution in January.

8th Grade Portfolios – 8th graders will receive instructions on Monday to create their portfolio video. This should be worked on over the break. Encourage your students to work together to gather photos for this fun project. Starting in January, 8th graders will have portfolio components due each month leading up to presentations at the end of May.

Christmas Gift Suggestions – Books! In the midst of a technology-centered world, we are trying to keep a strong culture of reading in the St. Mary middle school. Books make great stocking stuffers and surprise gifts under the tree. Students – no matter what age- should always have a silent reading book of their choice with them.


7th/8th grade Christmas Party is at 10:30 on Tuesday, 12/19

The Christmas Pageant is on Wednesday, 12/20 at 10am in the church. We have mass at 8 like usual, but students should come to school in their costume (see Mr. Fishburne’s email regarding costumes). They will leave any accessories, hats, etc. with their belongings while we are in mass. We will use the time between mass and the start of the pageant to get ready with last minute costume add-ons.