Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year!
March 28, 2018
Today we had very short classes due to the prayer service. This is my favorite prayer service and moves me into the holiest time of our Catholic Faith. I am ridden with sadness as I think of all Jesus endured for me. I feel it daily as the 8th graders prepare for the final Stations of the Cross. This helps me experience the joy of the resurrection on Easter, the most Holy Day of the year.
Remind to 8th grade parents readers need to be very dressed up and at Church by 6:30 actors can wear clothing for under their costume and need to meet me by 6:00.
The 8th graders practiced for stations and took their science test today.
The 7th graders learned about the big chicken project. Directions are being sent home with the chicken for each child after break. This is a big project that I consider cancelling every year, but many families really enjoy it. I hope you to do. There is a lot of learning involved. The difference between a chicken skeleton and us is only three bones............ Anyway the students ALL get an A on the project if they complete the assignment. It is a learning experience. I do not mind parents helping and the family being involved in this. Feel free to do it together. I do hope though that the students have some part in the project.
I may be taking a vacation after break. I have reviewed the material with a sub just in case. That is just a heads up if you check the website and see nothing happening it is because I am gone. I take my job very seriously, love it and hate to miss a day. This is a very special once in a life time opportunity that I cannot miss.
I hope you all have a holy Easter and a wonderful break,
March 27, 218
Today the 7th graders learned about a variety of recent scientific discoveries. I did not want to start a new Unit so close to the break. I think they found the material very interesting. Every Unit in the book has a recent discovery and I save them and use them as needed. The 7th graders will have their test on punnett squares/genetics Thursday morning. I hope they are studying!
The 8th graders made a thank you card for Fr. Gunderson and practiced stations. The entire school is making cards for the priests. It is part of our Catholic Identity work. Each grade level has a different priest. I was glad we got Fr. Gunderson since he has been working with the 8th graders all year. Some students may need to finish that tonight they are due tomorrow morning. Also, my afternoon science class will have their test on gas behavior tomorrow. I hope they are studying.
Stations practice is going slow. It is very hard for the students to muster up the energy to work hard the second time. We WILL get there!!!
On Thursday the 8th graders will have an ice-cream party to help raise money for Zambia. The cost is $4.00 per child and this of course is optional. The students hopefully are saving money in their little cardboard banks. Those should be returned to school before Easter if possible.
Thanks I have to run to a meeting,
Take care and have a great night,
March 26, 2018
I was amazed and very pleased with the beautiful presentation the 8th graders did last Friday of the Living Stations. I hope many of you were able to see it. The readers have never been better and the actors found the discipline to carry of their part perfectly. Well, done! The talent of each individual is amazing, but when they all work together as a group the end result is incredible.
We are now working hard on this Friday's presentation. The kept the 8th graders busy this afternoon.
My one switch that acted last week worked on science today. They had fallen behind. They will take their test on Wednesday. The other switch took it last week and did a great job! It is a very difficult test, especially the reading level. But keep in mind they are very close to high school! This is good preparation for them.
Tomorrow afternoon is the dress rehearsal for this Friday's cast. Those students need to have shorts and a t-shirt to wear for practice. They do come in their school clothes. We change at lunch.
I am very sad to say that I missed the Union League Speeches. I heard they were amazing, they always are. That is one of my favorite events. I had to attend an offsite Science meeting. I got a lot of great information so it was worth it. Congrats to the winners and kudos for all who tried so hard.
One of my 7th grade science classes had a short class. They worked on punnett squares with the sub. The 7th graders will have their test on this section Thursday. They are more then ready!!!! I want to be able to start all new material with 7th and 8th grade after the break.
I have to run to a meeting so I better close here.
Take care and have a great night,
March 22, 2018
I am not sure why, but my blog did not publish yesterday. I opened it this morning and noticed it was still on March 20. So I republished it and it worked. So yesterdays news got out this morning. I am sorry. As I said I am not sure why, but it seems to be working again.
Today I had some meetings with the 8th graders and administration so sadly, I missed teaching the 7th grade. I should be with them tomorrow. They all had a sub and did work. I am eager to be with them again tomorrow!
One 8th grade switch took their test on gas behavior today and the rest of the day was spent on stations. This is a very big undertaking and a very special and important event. I explained to the students today the expectations for tomorrow and I had Mrs. Purcell, my room mom send you all an email. Please read that carefully and email me if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks so much. You can also read March 21 now which goes into more details about stations. I am excited for tomorrow, but know we still have a second presentation to pull together, so our work will only be half done.
Thanks so much,
Take care and have a great night,
March 21, 2018
Today was a good day, but Wednesday's always fly by.
The 7th graders are working on DNA and RNA. This material is very complex. We go through it together, and I am focusing on the big picture and key concepts. They will not be tested on this material. The test on genetics will be next Tuesday. They have had a study guide for this for two weeks.
My first period 8th grade science will have a test tomorrow on Gas Behavior. My second/afternoon 8th grade class will have it next Tuesday. My first class is reading the stations this Friday so they needed less practice for this performance, but they will need more for the next. It will all equal out in the end.
For Friday................... The 8th graders who are not acting need to come to school in dress attire. They need to wear appropriate dresses/skirts and boys a shirt and tie. Please dress shoes only and no jeans. We are setting a mood of solemn respect. The students who are acting need to wear something that they are comfortable in under their costume. They can come out of uniform on Friday. If they want to wear shorts under their costume I am asking that they wear leggings or sweat pants to school. It is still cold out. When they put their costume on they can just wear the shorts. If your child has a v neck t-shirt that would be the best thing to wear on top otherwise the collars all show on top of the costume. If your child does not have a v-neck it is ok........... The performance starts at 1:00 on Friday. After it the whole school will Venerate the Cross. This takes a long time as you can imagine. This is part of the ceremony. Everyone in the Church is asked to be SILENT. I know you will all be excited, but please do not change the mood. When the entire Church is empty we will bring the students in and there will be a class photo shoot. Typically parents love this. During that time you may take pictures of your child and other cast members. There should be no pictures taken before the event, please. I need every minute with the student, they are nervous, scared and need to focus. Typically the parents all sit together on the balcony. It is hard to find seating because the entire school attends. The balcony will be open. Of course you can take photos during the performance, but please do so respectfully. We follow the same procedure after the Good Friday night performance. That is a longer wait, because typically adults take more time at the cross and this is all part of the scared holy night. Please do not change the mood. I know it is long and hard. This entire process is long and hard, but this is all what Lent is about. You will see when you watch the stations and the guards stand at attention for 20 min. this is not easy, but in the end the gift they give the grade school and Parish is a life lasting memory. Thank you in advance for your support. We will come back for a photo shoot after the entire Church is empty on Friday night. I have enjoyed working with this class as they prepare, the bar is set high and I am confidence they have the talent to transform the Church. Of course email me if you have any questions. I am asking that the students who are acting in the Good Friday service come in clothes that will be comfortable under their costume, readers wear dress attire. The readers need to be in Church by 6:30, the actors need to meet me in the Gathering Space at 6:00. You can sit anywhere you want on Good Friday.
Take care and have a great night,
March 20, 2018
Today in science I did St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's Day science. I know a little late, but there have been some scheduling difficulties. The students learned a lot about bleach and color when they saw food coloring disappear and turn clear!!!! They again learned about how to create color fire with different salts when we made may colors of fire!
My second 7th grade science class has a short homework assignment. They fell behind last week.
I am struggling with the 8th grade science classes since I see one in the morning every day and the other I don't see until the afternoon and we have stations. That second class is behind. I do not know if I can get them caught up until next week. I think I will give my morning class their test this Thursday and my afternoon class the test next Tuesday. It is the best I can do at this point. Stations are so very important. I am still thinking about this and will the students know tomorrow. They were all given the material to study last week and knew it in class.
We had our first dress rehearsal for stations and we are about where we were last year at this time......................so fingers crossed.
I have to close here I have a meeting back at MSW, and I do not want to be late.
Take care and have a great night,
March 19, 2018
I was glad I had the chance to connect face to face with some of you at the Parent Teacher Conferences. I have prepared a report on each student even if no conference was needed. Those will go home tomorrow.
I am sorry I was not in school this morning I had to attend a science meeting. I hate when I miss school. We have so little time, and it is all going so quickly. I came in the afternoon because Stations are so important and that is coming up quickly.
I picked up the work the 7th graders did with the sub. They were busy! I also picked up the work from my one 8th grade switch. The other eighth grade stayed in Church through there science class so somehow I will have to get them all on the same page.
Tomorrow is going to be a special science class for all students. I like to do something for each holiday. I combined St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's Day and we will do those experiments tomorrow. I think they are all excited. I am too!
In religion we worked very hard on stations. The practices are long and the students find it very difficult. We just have to keep plugging away, giving it our best effort. The stations in the past have been beautiful, and I want this class to do no less. Tomorrow will be dress rehearsal for the group that performs this Friday. I hope they do well. Usually the closer we get to the event the more serious they become at practice!
I better run. I have some things to do to get ready for tomorrow.
Have a great night,
March 14, 2018
So sorry, this is late, I was at the Mission tonight! I loved it and am sad it is over. I found it so powerful and learned so much. Thank you to all the 7th and 8th grade parents who took the time to take their child. Next week I will be buying pizza for all students who attended at least one night. Thank you! I will talk to the students tomorrow.
At 10:00 today we had a special prayer service and I talked to the students about the shooting in Florida and all of the school shootings that have happened. It is truly heartbreaking. I am saddened and sickened by these shootings, and I pray this was the final one. The one that makes all of us take action. Some MSW students went outside during the Prayer Service in union with the walk out. I talked to the students who remained in school and told them they may be the generation to make the laws, to be the leadership to cause the change in our country. I also explained that Kids Who Care is making friendship bracelets with a note for each survivor of the Florida shooting. Kids Who Care has done this for many school shootings in the past. Random acts of violence are very hard to stop, but I still firmly believe that there is more good in the world than bad. I want those students who lived through this tragedy and who are still full of trauma and grief to know that even as far away as Park Ridge, they all have our prayers and support.
Today the one 7th grade class had class and the second did not due to the prayer service (which I felt was so important and beautiful)........... Tomorrow my mission is to catch up that second switch!
Today the 8th graders also got off schedule. I met with my first religion class but not my second. Again I will try to get them on the same page. It is very hard with stations practice to keep them together.
No one had homework tonight due to the mission. Homework will begin on Monday, because I am not giving any over the three day weekend. BUT 8th grade will have a test next week in Science on gas behavior. If your child does not feel prepared for it they should see me for extra help.
Take care and have a great night,
March 13, 2018
I thought the Mission was great. I am going back tonight. I hope to see you there. I was most impressed to see three seventh grade boys at it, Charlie, Joey and Bart and one eighth grader Nick I! I hope to see more tonight. I am not giving homework due to the Mission.
Half of the 7th graders learned about co-dominant, genetic variation, and took a chapter review. I did not see my second switch of 7th graders today due to reconciliation. I do not know how I am going to get them caught up, but I will!
My first 8th grade science did not meet either today due to reconciliation. We did meet to work on stations. They all went to Church. One switch practiced their readings and the other started working on the acting. We have a long way to go, but we are off to a good start. Today I noticed that all of the 8th graders are really committed to making this be the best ever. That helps a lot! I hope they stay motivated.
No homework for anyone from me.
Take care and have a great night,
March 12, 2018
I am giving light homework or no homework when I can due to the Parish Mission. I hope you all have a chance to go. It is Mon.,Tues, and Wed. night for 60 min or less. I have attended the MSW Missions for years and always go home with a closer connection to Christ and feeling better about life! It starts at 7 in the Church.
The 7th graders are working hard on understanding genetics and the rich vocabulary that goes along with it. They are moving along nicely.
The 8th graders got review information for their test on Gas Behavior. This is a very short section if they look over the material for about 10 min. each night, they will be well prepared for the test which is next Tuesday. I am moving it due to the mission. It was going to be this Thursday, but I will announce the move tomorrow.
In religion we are working on the Stations of the Cross.
I have to run I want to get some work done before I head back to MSW.
Take care and have a great night,
March 8, 2018
Today was a great day!
The 7th graders did a pod project and a class lab on traits. I felt like we needed to switch things up a bit! I think they enjoyed it, and they may have a little homework to do. They need to finish their graph and questions from the lab if they did not and they need to find the secret number of a family member! It will be interesting to discuss the results tomorrow.
The 8th graders worked very hard accomplishing two labs in one day! The labs go together and one of the labs has 20 minutes of waiting time. So, they worked on the other one rather than just talking for the 20 minutes. The two labs were on gas behavior demonstrating Boyle's Law and Charle's Law. Now that they see it in front of them, it helps them to understand it. It also helps them to remember it! They might have a little more to write up on their lab, but I think most finished the written part too.
In religion we started working on the reading portions of the stations. Since the actors just walk through the Church and have no lines, it is so important that the reading be loud, slow, clear and full of feeling. Those are all hard to accomplish. We will work on it until we get it right! I take the stations very seriously and enjoy this process very much. We come together as a class during it, and my bond with the students becomes closer. Stations do not just happen, and all the hard work we put in can have a great result in the end. They did not have religion homework tonight.
Tomorrow report cards will be passed out. The envelope needs to be signed and returned. The grades should be no surprise because you can view them nightly on power school. I am very proud of how far the seventh graders have come. They have learned a lot this year. The eighth grade has done well learning the more complex material which includes a lot of math and reading comprehension skills. Please if you have an eighth grader remind them to make the most of these days, because these classes prepare them for high school. You do not need to sign up for a conference unless you want to this trimester. You area always welcome to sign up, or see me before or after school. If I felt there was need for a conference I sent and email out.
Take care and have a great night,
I just got home from school, it is 6:19 and my Dad called his wife is not feeling well. I am sorry, I am not writing I am heading to Island Lake. They are both in their 80's, and I want to be sure everything is ok. I will write tomorrow. No one has homework and your kids can fill you in on the day.
March 6, 2018
I did a quick check with 7th grade to see how much they were understanding about genetics. I have not looked at those yet, that grade will not be entered. It was just so I could see who was catching on. Then we went through a packet together which I think cleared up many questions that students were having. They did not get homework.
The 8th graders learned a lot about gas behavior today. They also did not have science homework.
In religion students finished their thank you cards and wrote a paper on their favorite saint. Some students did not finish that in class. Those are due tomorrow. We also held our first raffle to raise money for the roof of the Church in Zambia. Each teacher/grade level was asked to come up with a motivator to help raise money for our Lenten Project. The 8th graders will be offered different lunch options during Lent in a raffle. Raffle tickets are one dollar and students may participate or not. I pick a girl and boy from each religion class. Tomorrow the winners of the raffle will be getting lunch from McDonald's. I have done this the past three years and it seems to be something that the students like. As I am sure you can imagine it is very difficult to think of something that gets them all excited. Again this is a choice........no pressure. Some kids participate, some don't.
I better run it is late, I just got in from school. I had a meeting tonight.
Take care and have a great night,
March 5, 2018
What a great day! I got so much accomplished, I love it! I do like when we do special things at MSW, but sometimes just a plain day with a normal schedule is good!
In 7th grade science I passed back their tests which were good. They need to have those signed and returned to me. They are also having a quiz tomorrow. It really is just a check to see what they understand on the complex material I am teaching. They all look at me like they get it, but let's just check before I move on ahead. They do not need to study, and I doubt I am recording the grade. I just want to see what they understand and what they are having trouble with.
In 8th grade science I passed back their tests which were good. They need to have those signed and returned to me. They do not have homework tonight. They took a unit review in class.
In religion the students wrote thank you notes to the people who helped with confirmation. Mrs. Sylvester made them a hot breakfast, Fr. Gunderson taught them on some Tuesdays, Mrs. Thiebuea rain the night meetings and practices, Mrs. Spoo collects and organizes all of the paper work, Mrs. Due, Mr. Potempa, Fr. Tim and Fr. Tomy interview them. As you can see it is a lot and I think it is good for the students to realize that those people all worked hard to make it happen. While they were working on the cards I took the boys out in the hall and had them fitted for Living Stations and then I took the girls. I think they enjoyed it and got very excited. I just wanted to make sure I had a costume that fit everyone and that their were enough pieces for all to have one. Every year the sizes of the students change and the number of students change. It was decided over the weekend that my first religion class will be the readers for the grade school presentation and the actors will be my second religion class, then on Good Friday my first class will be the actors and my second class will be the readers. This was determined by how many students would be able to attend the Good Friday performance. Both performances are very important and special in their own way. Neither is the better show and all students are who will be in town will be involved in both. And again no matter which group acts which time not all are happy. I know at the end of the day some students in both religion classes felt bad and some felt happy. I am sorry, I wish I could please them all. The Living Stations are magic, special and truly a memory filled bonding experience for them and for them to me. We work very, very hard on this and it is not easy. You too will see that this really marks the beginning of them moving on. The excitement builds, the number of days they have left gets shorter and more year end events begin to creep up. Just a heads up to you. If your child is a reader or an actor in either performance typically all parents attend. So if you work you might want to arrange to have that Friday afternoon off.
I got a link today to send to parents who I want to see at conference time. You do not need to attend these conferences unless you get an email from me, you or your child wants one, or you see a problem. I am happy to meet with any of you at anytime. BUT all parents please just remind your child that even though the year is getting closer to the end.........................there is still a lot of learning that needs to take place. So they should stay focused. All of the T3 grades go on to the high schools.
I better close I have a lot to do.
Stay warm and take care,
March 1, 2018
Today was a little dull for me since both 7th and 8th grade took tests. That may not have been fun for them..............but now I have a lot of grading to do. Tomorrow will be a more exciting day.
In 8th grade religion we worked on Lent and the Catholic Identity work for the month. We need to get ahead on everything because soon religion class will be just preparing for Living Stations.
I hope to see you all at Angel Dinner this weekend!
Take care and have a great night,
Feb. 28, 2018
Today the 7th graders learned about phenotypes and genotypes. This is the hard part of genetics, understanding the vocabulary, but they will get it! They have a test tomorrow so I hope they are all studying tonight!
The 8th graders did a lab where they tried to discover the identity of a three secret powders using different scientific methods. I think they did a great job! They too have a test tomorrow, and I hope they are all studying.
Parts were assigned today for stations. It is never easy. I was most happy that in both classes students voluntarily gave up their part so someone who really wanted it could get it. I do not forget those acts of kindness, and that is truly the Message of the Gospel. For the students who did not get what they want I hope that something bigger and better is in their future. I really do try to make it memorable and special for each student.
I have a lot to do so I better run,
Feb. 27, 2018
Another great day!
The 7th graders started to learn about genetics and heredity. We discussed the contribution that Greger Mendel gave to science. They have no homework, but they should be studying for Thursday's test.
The 8th graders moved on to Gas Behavior. This section is not that hard except for the fact that gas is invisible!!!! We started with Boyle's Law and moved into Charle's Law. They also have no homework, but they should be studying for Thursday's test.
Fr. Gunderson came and taught religion to the 8th graders and I went to a meeting. They all got a copy of YOU CAT which they can keep. It is a great resource full of the most current teachings of our Church in an easy to understand and use question and answer method. I hope they do refer to it as they go on in life. They will be looking at that when Fr. Gunderson comes.
The students did fill out a form on what they wanted to be for stations and I have not had time to look those over yet. Maybe later tonight.
Enjoy our Spring like day,
Feb. 26, 2017
What a great day!
The 7th graders got all of the review information they need for their unit test. Their test is on Thursday. I hope they take some time and review. They did a great job on these very difficult chapters. I am so happy tomorrow we head on into Genetics and usually they love that, and find it a bit easier!
The 8th graders got all of the review information they need for their unit test. Their test is on Thursday. I hope they take some time and review. They just had a quiz that should give them an indication of how much of the material they understand. It runs the gambit. Some get it all and some not as much. Remember I am free and happy to help students at lunch or before or after school. Sometimes a little one on one can make all of the difference.
In Religion we talked about the Living Stations. That is a big job, but one of my favorite parts about eighth grade. It is truly a transforming experience, and I am excited to do it with this years class. They have so much talent it should be beautiful. I did give the students a letter with dates on it, and I need that back tomorrow filled out. I understand about family vacations, it is ok if you will be gone. I just want to know who will be at each presentation before I give out parts. Now, let's talk about parts.........................No boy wants to be Jesus, which I understand so please talk to your son and see if you can stir up a little interest. There are many students that should step up for this very difficult yet meaningful role. And then we have the flip with the girls.................They all want a special part. Believe me I wish I could make them all MARY!!!!!! I cannot and someone always cries and that makes me so sad. Please tell your child it is not my fault and they can make it a great experience no matter who they are. The best I can do is one Mary from each class. This is the hardest thing for me. I see the potential in each of the students and I want them all to have the chance, but it can only be one from each class. I already push the limits using two different casts, so two students get the chance. Before I came it was always a repeating cast. Anyone who wants to be Mary will put their name in a hat and I will pick. I am open to ideas, but I think that is the fairest way. They would all make beautiful Mary's! On the bright side there are many more ways to shine, maybe your daughter has a big part in the 8th grade play, maybe they are the best basketball player or volleyball player, maybe your child will get to be in the May Crowning or read at Graduation. I really do try to spread it all around. I hope you all understand how very difficult this is. This is the only part of stations I do not like! That being said, I really do try at practice to make each student feel special and each part meaningful. I have no favorites I care deeply about all of them.
A special important note to all of you............
YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN A SCHOOL EVALUATION IN THE LAST NEWSBLAST. I KNOW YOU ARE ALMOST DONE WITH MSW AND FEEL THAT YOU VOICE DOES NOT MATTER, BU IT DOES. PLEASE TAKE TIME TO FIND THAT AND FILL IT OUT WITH BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE COMMENTS, WHATEVER IS HONEST FOR YOU. I AM ON THE COMMITTEE THAT WORKS WITH THAT MATERIAL TO MAKE MSW A GREAT SCHOOL. YOUR VOICE NEEDS TO BE HEARD. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO PUT YOUR NAME ON IT YOU DON'T I UNDERSTAND YOU DO NOT HAVE TO, IF YOU DO I WILL NOT TREAT YOUR CHILD ANY DIFFERENT BY COMMENTS YOU MAKE. IF YOU DO NOT FILL IT OUT WE NEVER KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING RIGHT OR WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING BETTER.
Ok, now I better run because I have a lot of work to do for tomorrow. It seems like most of the flu viruses etc. are over and attendance is back up. I am so happy about that.
Take care and have a great night,
Enjoy this little blast of warmer weather.................I LOVE IT!
Feb. 22, 2018
With days as great as today I get sad to see the year passing by so quickly.
The 7th graders learned about the pros and cons of sexual reproduction and a sexual reproduction. We also went through the difference between meiosis and mitosis. I think they have got it........... We will have a short essay test on this material next week. I will be giving them the essays in advance so they can think about their answers and know how to prepare.
The 8th graders did an experiment that demonstrates the effects of adding or removing thermal energy. In case you have forgotten thermal energy is heat!
I am very sad that I did not get to teach religion today, but I was called out to attend a meeting. Both of the groups had a study and I hope they used the time productively. When I came back I had my last 8th grade group of the day and I was sad that I didn't have time to teach them religion today, but so happy to see every student working hard! Wow, great job 8th grade. They were not left alone teachers filled in for me.
I have to run I am very excited to try some new experiments that I want to use as the Friday Finale tomorrow since I missed last week, I want it to be a little more special.
One last note.............GREAT JOB 8th graders on doing the Do Wonderful Things For God essays. I cannot wait to read them! I hope there is a winner in the pile.
Also just a heads up I think it will be announced in the news blast that students can wear their gym uniform to Mass and gym shoes. I am all about respect and reverence, but that really caused a lot of problems and I think it may be easier to just go in gym clothes! Don't take my word for it though, things could change, but I think it should be in the blast from the office.
Tomorrow is Grilled Cheese I hope you ordered already, because I think that the deadline is over..................................
Take care and have a great night,
Feb. 21, 2018
It feels like forever since I have written. I hope you are all stick checking this! I took a personal day because my husband got tickets for me to go to Arizona for Valentines Day. Little did I know, but he flew my daughter there too! I had a great time and planned on coming home Monday. I got to the airport, boarded the plan and waited.......................and waited..............mechanical failure. After an hour and a half we all got off the plane and I tried getting on another flight stand by. That did not work, so I had to fly home on Tuesday instead of Monday. It was so frustrating but I am glad I did not fly home on a broken plane.
Today the 7th graders worked on meiosis, which includes sexual reproduction. They had many good questions about their bodies, life and reproduction. I took the time today to help clear things up for them. We do have a chapter on the reproductive system so I would be getting these questions eventually.
The 8th graders used both periods to work on their Do Wonderful Things for God essays. This is a contest for a $500.00 award. The information was given out long ago, the night of Confirmation practice in the Church. The students should have been working on it and or thinking about it. Some did, some did not. We had a 45 minute class where we discussed the essay, and listed ideas that could be used in it. The students have now had at least three classes to work on this. This is for a grade and for the contest. I hope they all have it completed for tomorrow. There is also a form you need to sign which is included with their essay. All of the religious ed. students are allowed to participate, but of course I hope the winner is from this 8th grade class.
It felt great to be back today!
Take care and have a good night,
Feb. 14, 2018
Today we ended the day with Ashes. We had a beautiful prayer service in Church and all the students received Ashes. This starts our Church's most sacred and holy season. I am trying to support that in my religion classes. The students are presenting in a way they find interesting 10 minutes of something that will bring the class closer to God and have a deeper understanding of our Faith.
In all of my classes today the students learned a lot about hearing, the ear, how it functions and sound. It ended with the students being able to see sound waves. For information you will have to see them! I hope they learned a lot and enjoyed it. It pulled together solids and liquids which are concepts from 8th grade science and the human body which is part of 7th grade science.
I will be in school tomorrow, but this is my last newsletter for the week. I am heading to Arizona where my husband has been working since last March. He comes home every weekend so that is not too bad. His company has been paying all of his expenses during this time as he was only their on a trial basis. He loves it and has decided to stay there. He will still come home every weekend but now is buying a condo. The closing is on Friday so I am flying out. I have left plans for my sub and I will be back next week. I hope you all enjoy the free day on Monday.
Two reminders Thursday is a pasta lunch (I think pasta!).
Friday is grilled cheese to support Zambia.
The forms are online.
Feb. 13, 2018
Today the 7th graders had a shorter class due to an assembly on our service project lead by Fr. Gunderson. During class we began our discussion on sexual reproduction and genetics. The students had many interesting and important questions on the topic.
The 8th graders worked on presentations they will be giving during Lent. They will present the first ten minutes of class someway for the class to become closer to God. Some suggestions were a bible reading, a skit that demonstrated a bible reading, a decade of the rosary or a silent meditation. I told them to be creative and come up with things they and the class would enjoy doing. I think this has much value. It will help them think creatively how to stay connected to Christ, it will be engaging for all, and they will learn from each other. Every year I ask the students to give something up or to do something nice for Lent and then I ask them every once in a while how they are doing about keeping their Lenten Promise. I am never sure they are really doing anything. This will help us all focus on Lent during this very holy time in our Church. We will see how it goes....
In 8th grade science we reviewed chemical and physical changes, states of matter and began the lecture on thermal energy. We are moving into changes of states which is caused by the addition or subtraction of thermal energy. I am thrilled to be moving on from density. This information is important, but a little easier for some then density, which is good.
I have a long meeting tonight back at MSW. It is every Tuesday so I better end here.
Happy Fat Tuesday!
Feb. 12, 2018
Today flew by! It was great having Friday off. I have corrected everything that students have turned in and I love that feeling of being caught up. If your child has a hole in gradebook/powerschool they need to get that work to me.
I did not see the 7th graders today I was busy with the 8th graders in the morning. I was sad to miss their class, but sometimes I have no choice. I will see the 7th graders tomorrow!!!
The 8th graders started the day with a beautiful Mass said by Fr. Gunderson. After the Mass they walked up to Mrs. Nicolau (more on her in a moment) and handed her a sympathy card and said they were sorry. It was so beautiful and touching. I wish you all could have seen your child. You would have been so proud. Mrs. Nicolau has been in the parish for years, since I was in second grade at MSW. I have known her and her children. Her son Joey went to MSW and was a few years above me. He was cute, smart and athletic. He went to Maine South and won many awards, then college, married, children and lived in California. About 10 years ago he was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Geric disease. Five years ago he returned to PR and lived with his mom until he died. He died the Friday before Confirmation. What a sad story, but how wonderful that Joey had his mother to help him through those ending days. Yet, I often think that she must have shared some of the thoughts that Mary had when her son Jesus was dying. Anyway the 8th graders did a wonderful act of service. Then we went to a delicious breakfast. They kids loved it and there was not food left in the serving bowls. They had bacon, rolls, and a french toast casserole, orange juice and hot chocolate with marshmallows. I think they enjoyed it. We then went outside to take the picture for Angel Dinner. It was not easy many students were not dressed properly which I do not understand. Mrs. Due sent an email explaining that we were going out today. After that it was classes as usual.
In 8th grade science the students did a very famous old science lab. It is called the sludge test. The students all got a cup with a different mixture in it and they needed to sort it and figure out what the mystery ingredients were.
I hope you all enjoyed the three day weekend!
Feb. 7, 2018
Today the 7th graders did a quick lab which explained that you start with a cell, they multiply to make a tissue, tissue forms an organ an organ joins an organ system and you end up with a human............. Magic right?!! I think they were mostly just amazed that I could rip paper perfectly without a scissors.... I guess whatever it takes to keep them focused right? Tomorrow they will have a quiz only on that concept. I am counting on all 100's. I told them to go back through their little paper packet tonight!
The 8th graders in religion learned about our former pastor Fr. Clark and the expectations for the Fr. Clark Award. That is a $500.00 check that goes to the 8th grader who writes the best essay. We brainstormed possible key points they could include. All MSW day school students must participate in this for a grade. The best ones, will move on in the contest.
In 8th grade science I quickly reviewed what would be on tomorrows density test. We covered the chapter, had a quiz, went back through it again, and I offered to meet students who still did not understand the material. Some students have met with me. I am hoping the rest understand it. We will see tomorrow. All 8th graders should study tonight!
Tomorrow is graduation pictures for the 8th graders. They will go down in the morning starting with the girls. The students should come out of uniform and be dressed in something appropriate. If the girls are wearing something with spaghetti straps etc. they should wear a sweater over it and then take that off for the picture. Boys usually wear a dress shirt and tie, but some even wear a suit. The students can change out of their dress clothes after their picture, but they need to be sure to get all of the pieces home to you. I often find a sock, tie or shoe that no one ever claims! How is that possible? Only in 8th grade right??? I know the time, trouble and expense you have gone to for "the prefect" picture day outfit, please stress to your child that they should make a special effort to get all the pieces home!
I noticed an email about Angel Dinner. I ran it last year and about 17 years ago... It is a lot of work and it helps the school and the church. Please think about going. It is a fun night and I will be there. If you are new to MSW or have never gone and want more info, just email me. Some of my former 8th grade classes have gone as a group and continue to go as a chance to see old friends. What a great tradition.
I better run....................Many students are still out sick, more are coming to school still not 100%, please encourage rest, fluids and good eating until this flu season ends. I feel like it is survival of the fittest in action!
Ok for anyone who read this far I will give 5 bonus points to your child if you tell them to write FA on the top of their density test or their quiz in 7th grade! A little bonus for those of you who take the time to read this note daily!
Take care and have a great night,
Feb. 6, 2018
First let me say, Confirmation was beautiful. Both class.............start to finish! I was so proud of this 8th grade class. I felt the Spirit present among us. You may say I am a little prejudice, in favor of this class, but Fr. Gunderson also said today it was the most beautiful Confirmation in his 13 years here! Great job to all, and I hope that they Holy Spirit gives them the strength and wisdom needed as they move forward and that they never forget the Love of God.
I tried my hardest to get caught up this past weekend, but sadly my Dad was in the emergency room. I got the call right before the Super Bowl and headed out to Barrington to be with him and his wife. He was admitted and I stayed the night to be sure he had the best care and attention. When the dr. came in on Monday he was sent home, but I did not get back to PR until 5 Monday. I know you all understand, but I do want to get caught up. I am on it every minute I have. I did add grades to all, but still have papers backed up. I will get to all of them.
The 7th graders did the review of the chapter and we discussed DNA forensics in their book, which was very interesting. Some students completed the questions in class others have to finish it for homework. I did not want to move on because there were so many students out today.
The 8th graders did an experiment on physical changes and the Law of Conservation of Matter. Students who were not in school do not make that up. Labs that are missed due to attendance just go in as exempt.
In religion Fr. Gunderson came and talked to the class. As a special celebration they will be going to Mass on Friday and having breakfast as a class. This is always a great day for the 8th graders. You should have gotten a special email from S. Purcell from me with all of the details.
The 8th graders have a big test on density this Thursday. I have met with some students to help them and review. There are others that I think would benefit from the extra help. They need to see me. I am not calling them in! I am more the happy to help them, but they need to want the help. Talk to your child and see how they are doing in science. Some students could see a grade change if they scored high on this test.
Please all go to bed early, drink fluids and get well!
Another month gone.........................
In seventh grade science we worked on the cell cycle. I noticed today that the chrome book has changed the text book format recently. I know text books are heavy and that bothers me, but I think in school the students should use the book not the chrome book. They cannot see a whole page only half of it. In science often the text refers to diagrams and students have to flip back and forth rather than being able to see both at one time. I have told the students I strongly encourage them to bring their text book to class and use their chrome book to do science work at home. Some have listened and they see the advantage. I do love the chrome book for research and I am glad they have it. I do not think it is as good of a tool for class as their book. Please talk to your child and encourage them to bring their science book to class.
In 8th grade science we reviewed density for the last time. We are moving on tomorrow. Any student who needs extra help should see me individually.
In 8th grade religion I told them about an alum who died last week. It is a very sad story. He went to MSW with me, but was a few years older. I knew him and his family and they are still parishioners and go to Mass with the grade school on Wednesdays. Joey died of ALS and had a rough last few years. The students made cards for Joey's mom who took care of her son til his death. I know when we go to the next Mass and hand them to her, she will be touched and comforted.
I have to run............I am working on tomorrow's Friday Finale.
If anyone has questions or concerns about Confirmation please just email me.
Thanks take care and enjoy the three day weekend!
I will use that time to catch up. You can check for additions to powerschool over the weekend. Look starting Sunday..............because Sat. is booked with Confirmation.
Jan. 31, 2018
Today the 7th graders started to learn about the phases and stages of cell division. This is a tough chapter, but then we move into genetics which they all enjoy. They did not get homework tonight.
The 8th graders worked on math density problems. They get the formula but at times struggle with the units. Today's practice seemed to clear that up for many. I moved their test until next Thursday. I just felt that too many student have been absent, we have Monday off, so I do not like Tuesday, Wednesday is a short class, so it will be on Thursday. If your child has been sick that gives them plenty of time to see me at lunch. I have been very busy with extra meetings at lunch and CSW, but I will be free to see and help any students who need to review the material Friday at lunch, Monday at lunch, Tuesday after school, or Wednesday at lunch. Sadly, I have a Tuesday lunch meeting and a Wednesday after school meeting. I hope this helps. Just have your student let me know that when they want to come. Some 8th graders may have homework tonight which is finishing the math problems from today.
In religion we worked in our Catholic Identity folders.
You should have gotten information no graduation photos which will be next Thursday. The 8th graders come out of uniform on Thursday. Even though it is out of uniform (and most get dressed up) please be sure the outfit is appropriate for school. The students will be allowed to change right after their picture and they will be taking their pictures first thing in the morning. Students need to be very careful that all the pieces of their outfit make it home!!! Sometimes I find a dress shoe etc. left behind.
Saturday is Confirmation. I will be there helping at both ceremonies. The students need to be there with their gowns 1/2 hour before the ceremony. They ask that you do not take flash photos and if you want to video please do so from the balcony. If you have concerns or questions please email me or speak with Mrs. Theibeau. The students have been preparing for this for two years. They have come a long way and I am proud and pleased to present them to the Bishop. Thank you for your support in their preparation. There is a reception following in Wisdom Hall and the Bishop will be there for family photos with him. They serve refreshments and you child should pick up their Confirmation Certificate then.
I better close here. I have many papers to correct and record. I have fallen behind, but soon will be caught up. Please be patient this is just a very busy time for me with CSW and Confirmation. Thank you for understanding.
Please try to stay well and encourage healthy habits for your children. There are many flu's, infections and viruses going around. I am hoping the three day weekend gives everyone a chance to re-coop.
Jan. 30, 2018
The lab was humming today.
The 7th graders extracted and saw DNA from their check. It is a very technical and difficult lab, but they did a great job. We will be studying DNA and the important role it plays over the next few weeks.
The 8th graders demonstrated that different liquids have different densities. In doing that they could see liquids floating on top of each other. This is a key factor in what causes something to sink or float. Have you ever wondered how a cruise ship with all the passengers stays afloat? I was thinking that we would have a density test on Friday. There are many students home sick, especially in 8th grade. I have decided to move the test until Thursday of next week. That should give students time to get well and get the information they are missing. I hope this takes the pressure off some of you.
In 8th grade religion the students had reconciliation with Fr. Gunderson.
I am sorry this is so short, and that papers are not in power school. I have a meeting again tonight for school. I will get caught up as fast as I can. I am sorry for the delay.
Please try and stay well,
Jan. 29, 2018
It is 8:40 and I am just getting home from school. I had detention today, had to help a student after school, and then Confirmation Practice. I am sorry this is getting to you so late.
Thank you all for coming to Open House and for having your 8th grader there to present their information on China/Egypt. I think the day was amazing. I was very pleased with the conduct of the 8th graders and their support.
The 7th grade worked on looking at things through microscopes and prepared for tomorrows big lab. They will be extracting cells from their checks to study their own DNA. This is a very hard lab and we spent time today going over how to do that. I am very excited for tomorrow! I hope they learn a lot and enjoy the experience.
The 8th graders did a lab today on Density which cleared up many misconceptions. We had a quiz on density and some students did great, some still were not understanding all the concepts. We will be working on density this week and having a final test on it. I am hoping for great test grades. Reviewing the quiz will help them greatly.
During 8th grade religion I explained what was going to happen tonight at the practice. The practice went well. The students all will be nervous on Saturday, but their is a booklet/worship aid that they will get. If they follow along with that during the ceremony it will help them greatly. Your child should have brought home a green sheet tonight which has reminders on it for you and them. Please read that over carefully and email if you have any questions. Plan on being at MSW for about 2 hours on Saturday. It is a beautiful and important ceremony that the students have all worked very hard preparing for. I am very proud of them and excited to be part of this special event. Then I talked to them about tomorrows Religion class. Fr. Gunderson will do an examination of conscience with them and then he will offer the sacrament of Reconciliation. The students should participate in that in final preparation for their Confirmation. That is the end, after that they will be ready. Class tomorrow will be silent. They will have the examination of conscience and then while they are waiting for their turn they should be reflecting/praying. We are so active and spend so much time talking it is good to quiet ourselves and talk to God.
There are many students out sick, there are many more students in school that are not feeling 100%. Everyone should be careful to get as much sleep as they can, eat healthy, and wash their hands! I hope the flu's, viruses, and germs pass quickly.
Take care and stay well,
Jan. 25, 2018
Today flew by in a blur. I blinked and it was over.
The 7th graders took their open note test. I have not looked at them. I will try over the weekend, but I will be working on Sunday and is my usual day to correct and get caught up. I will try my best though.
The 8th graders finished up their group projects. Some students were finished early and they helped me decorate outside of Ms. T's room and my room. Things are coming together. I hope you get a chance to come and see the work throughout the entire school, it is amazing. I took one 8th grade switch down to fourth grade. They were so excited to do their presentation for an audience. They were England and Switzerland. Their presentations were cute and the 8th graders were an excellent audience. The show only lasted five minutes but they packed a lot of information in.
I hope to see you all at the 9:30 Mass and then back in the lab!
This is super short because I want to do a Friday Finale tomorrow and I don't have one....... YIKES~!
Take care and have a great night,
Jan. 24, 2018
Wow...................the days are flying by!
It was a great day, a lot was accomplished and it began with a beautiful all school Mass.
I finished the review with the 7th graders for their test tomorrow. We went back through the entire unit and their notes. I asked questions and told them to find that section in their notes and highlight the answer. I told them if they did not have the notes on that question they should write the answer in their notebook and I waited until they did. They need to look those over tonight. The should read all of the highlighted sections in their notebook so they can find the answers quickly tomorrow and they should understand that material. I hope that I am helping them learn the value in note taking, and the way to pull out what is important from their notes to prepare for tests. They really should all do a super job tomorrow! So their homework is reviewing their notes!
In 8th grade religion and science we worked on Catholic School's Week. The students are working on projects in groups of two or three. The projects relate to China if they are in Ms. T's homeroom and Egypt if they are in my homeroom. SOME STUDENTS ARE PREPARING FOOD OR DRINKS FROM THE COUNTRY. Students will be given the opportunity to sample the food or drink, they do not need to if you do not want them to please tell your