Hello again, middle school families! Our team of teachers would like to start off by thanking all of you for meeting with us at conferences. Some good dialogues were had, and we teachers left feeling like we are on the same page as you in regards to your middle schooler’s learning at St Nicholas School. We continue to be grateful to you for your support of us, not just at Thanksgiving, but all year round! Here’s what we’ve been working on in the classrooms during the month of November:
In social studies classes the seventh and eighth graders have finished up their unit on Russia. We have begun working on learning about the Middle Eastern geography and climates. As we move into December, we will learn about the history and cultures of this region. Sixth graders are working with culture and looking at what makes cultures unique. We will be looking at economic systems and the trade between cultures and regions in goods and ideas soon.
In religion classes the sixth graders are working through the history of the patriarchs in the Old Testament. They are coming to understand how God works in our lives and how God’s plan of salvation moves forward despite obstacles. The seventh graders focused on the Infancy Narratives and learning about the early years of Jesus. They are almost finished with learning about Jesus accepting his mission. Seventh graders are also learning more about making good decisions and avoiding temptation and sin. Eighth graders are focused on their unit on the marks of the Church, learning about how the Church shows that it is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. It has been a busy and exciting time of year, and we all look forward to the Advent season beginning as we prepare to welcome the birth of Jesus!
In language arts classes, all grades have made it through verbs–finally! The good news is that we have completed one of the most complicated and intense chapters we will cover all year, and I’m sure the children will all agree that they are glad it’s over. We have begun working on pronouns; it is my goal for the students to be able to identify every single word in a sentence by its part of speech. Weekly spelling units have also picked back up and will continue throughout the month of December and into the new year.
The sixth, seventh, and eighth graders have all started a novel in reading class. The sixth graders are studying The Giver by Lois Lowry, the seventh graders have just picked up White Fang by Jack London, and the eighth graders are tackling The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. In addition to this novel, the eighth graders are participating in a Book Buddies project during the second quarter. Thank you to those parents who have volunteered to read with their student in this endeavor (and to those who have been coerced into it as well!). I’m looking forward to seeing the books come to life through the final projects in January.
Sixth grade science students will be beginning Unit 2, Motion and Forces. Seventh grade science students are completing our study of heredity and DNA. We are moving on to the Evolution of Living Things and The History of Life on Earth. Eighth grade science students are studying plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes.
The sixth grade math group will be working on Areas of Polygons and Ratios & Rates. Those sixth graders that are studying seventh grade material will be working on Transformations, Angles, & Triangles. Seventh grade math students are working on solving systems of linear equations. We will then begin functions. Seventh grade math students studying eighth grade math will begin the Algebra book following our current chapter. Eighth grade math students will work on completing Chapter 12 and 13. Shortly after Christmas, we will begin the Algebra book. Eighth graders who are studying ninth grade math are doing very well. We are about at the halfway mark for our Algebra text. We will be finishing polynomials and begin quadratic functions.
Our team is looking forward to an awesome December. We wish you and your families a blessed Advent season during the coming weeks.