Middle School February Newsletter

Hello again, middle school families! Our team is looking forward to a blessed Lenten season beginning next Wednesday. We have some spirit-filled activities planned weekly to remind us of our Catholic identity, as well as Stations of the Cross.

Middle school students should continue working on their Learning Fair projects. Project and writing rubrics were sent via email, as well as a date change for one of the writing checks. We would appreciate your help in making sure the project components are submitted on time.

Optional conferences are scheduled for March 14 and 19. Please contact your student’s homeroom teacher if you would like to set up a time to meet with any (or all) of us.

What a crazy month of February we have had weather-wise! It seems like we have been at home more than we have been at school. However, we have tried to maximize our learning on days that we have been in attendance. Here are some of the things we’ve been doing during the month of February:

In sixth grade, social studies and religion has been quite busy this month.  Social studies students are finishing their unit on North America with a look at some basic information on the role of banks and stocks in finances as well as the role of advertising and its impact on our lives.  We will be starting our next unit on Latin America in the coming week. In religion, we have been tracking the progress of the Israelites through the Old Testament as they continue to the Promised Land. Focus has been spent on how our life journey of faith is similar, yet different to the Israelites.  We will be completing Unit 3 this week.

In seventh grade social studies, students have finished their unit on the Middle East and have been working on learning about Africa.  Students find the cultural differences to be a little jarring, but the developments and concerns are intriguing. In religion, we have been working with Jesus’ teachings, taking time to better understand the parables and miracles that Jesus used to teach us about the kingdom of Heaven and how to live our lives.

In eighth grade social studies, students have also finished learning about the Middle East and are diligently working on their unit for Africa.  It has been interesting to see the connections based on our own experiences in the United States. In religion, we have been focused on learning about the Church’s history which is a challenging unit, but is almost finished.  Stay tuned as the ACRE test will be occuring in March, and more information will be coming soon.

~Mr. Romenesko

In middle school language arts classes, all grades have made progress through adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. Many students are now able to identify every single word in a sentence by its part of speech–what a great feat! Weekly spelling units still occur on scheduled full weeks of school.

The sixth, seventh, and eighth graders have all completed their novels in reading class. The sixth graders enjoyed The Giver by Lois Lowry, the seventh graders recently completed White Fang by Jack London, and the eighth graders wrapped up The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Various activities and projects were done throughout the course of each novel, and I am pleased overall with the outcome of these units of study.

~Mrs. Campbell

Sixth grade science students are finishing up with Simple Machines.  Next, we will complete Unit 4: Energy & Energy Resources and Heat & Heat Technology.  Seventh grade science students are are finishing up with Bacteria & Viruses. Next, we will complete Unit 4: Protists & Fungi and Introduction to Plants. Eighth grade science students are currently covering Reproduction & Development from our Life Science series since the students did not get this last year.  Next, we will continue in our Earth Science text and cover the Atmosphere.

All middle school science classes will be working on both a plant sale for the spring and our garden out behind school.  This will be a great experience for all students. For our plant sale, students will be developing a business plan, advertising, and determining where to donate their profits.  We are looking at selling our products after the spring concert. More information will come home as the time gets closer. We also will be utilizing the 6 garden beds we have outside of school.  The plan is to have the students plant and tend to that garden. I will be giving service hours to those students who want to help me over the summer with tending to the garden and having vegetable sales after masses.  We also plan to use some of our produce for our hot lunch program. A huge thank you to Lena Cook who is helping me with this process. Gardening is not my forte, but Lena has offered her services to help us make our sale and garden a success!

The sixth grade math group is finishing up with Chapter 5, Ratios and Rates.  Next, we will study Integers & the Coordinate Plane and Equations & Inequalities. Those sixth graders that are studying seventh grade material are in the Advanced 2 book.  We are just beginning Chapter 4, Graphing and Writing Linear Equation. Next will be Systems of Linear Equations. Seventh grade math students just finished Volume and Similar Solids.  We will move on to Chapter 9, Data Analysis and Displays and Chapter 10, Exponents & Scientific Notation. Seventh grade math students studying eighth grade math are working out of the Algebra book already.  We just finished Chapter 4, Solving Systems of Linear Equations. Next, we will work on Linear Functions and Exponential Equations. Eighth grade math students are finishing up the Advanced 2 book. The last 2 chapters are Surface Area & Volume and Probability & Statistics. Eighth graders who are studying ninth grade math are currently finishing up with Chapter 8, Graphing Quadratic Functions.  Next, we will complete Chapter 9, Solving Quadratic Equations.

~Mrs. Shinners

About Mrs. Campbell

Hello! My name is Susan Campbell. I currently teach middle school ELA (reading and language arts) at St. Nicholas. I come to this school with 17 years of experience with teaching middle school children. Upon graduating from Edgewood College in 2000, I taught junior high math and language arts at St. James School in Madison. From there, I ventured into the world of public school and taught 7th grade math for 3 years at Parkside School in Wautoma. Before coming to St. Nicholas, I taught for 7 years at St. Lucy School in Racine. While there, I primarily taught middle school mathematics, but I also worked with seventh and eighth graders in reading, language arts, and religion. I already feel very welcome at St. Nicholas in starting my 18th year of teaching. I look forward to working with your student(s) and hope that we can form a supportive learning team. Please feel free to contact me with any questions that may pop up during the school year: swolff@stnicholasfreedom.org