Chelsea Ramaekers Blog

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Friday, 28 October 2016 00:00

November 2016 Blog

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Happy November! Here is a look at what is happening in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes this month: Algebra: In Algebra, we have been focusing on solving equations with one variable. In addition to our regular lesson schedule, we will be preparing for the midterm that Dowling gives to all 8th grade Algebra students in the diocese. This will be taken shortly before Christmas break, and it is a multiple choice exam. Reading: We will be finishing Freak the Mighty during the first two weeks of November. Students will have a final test over the book and will complete one of several project options. Our next book will be Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor. We will be focusing on the themes of friendship and racism within the context of this historical fiction text. 7th Grade Religion: We are currently in Unit 2, entitled “The Meaning of the…
Thursday, 29 September 2016 00:00

October 2016 Blog

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Happy Fall! The school year is off to a fantastic start, and we have a busy month ahead of us! He is a look at what is happening in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes: Algebra: We have been covering a wide range of introductory Algebra concepts. We are beginning to work on solving one-step and two-step equations. As in their previous Math courses, we will be testing after every 5 lessons and will have an investigation after every 10 lessons. Additionally, there are labs sprinkled in throughout the curriculum that provide opportunities for them to learn more about their graphing calculators and their functions. Algebra students have all been given a Khan Academy account. This website gives them additional Algebra practice and is a great thing for them to do during Seminar or at home! Reading: We have just finished our first book, Tuck Everlasting. The students really enjoyed this text! We…
Thursday, 28 April 2016 00:00

May Blog

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Happy May! Here is a look at what is happening in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes during the last month of school: 6th Science: We will be ending our Diversity of Life unit with an in-depth look at plant and animal cells. Each student will be making an edible depiction of the cell of his or her choice. The 6th graders are very excited about this upcoming project! Their final exam over the Diversity of Life unit will be during the week of May 9th. The remainder of the year will be spent on a health unit about the digestive system. 7th Science: We will be ending our Populations and Ecosystems unit with the study of genetics and natural selection. Students will be getting their first look at how traits are passed down through generations and will get some practice using Punnett Squares. Their final exam over this unit will be during…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 00:00

April Blog

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We have officially made it to Spring! Here is a look at what is happening in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes during the month of April: 6th Science: The 6th graders have been studying a variety of microscopic organisms. We have also been focusing on the cell as the basic unit of life. During April, we will begin studying the structure of plants and will be dissecting flowers. This unit allows us to study increasingly complex organisms as the trimester progresses. 7th Science: The 7th graders have been studying food webs, energy transfer through trophic levels, and the ways in which organisms and populations interact with abiotic and biotic factors in their ecosystem. We are now moving into a study of population growth and limiting factors. In the next couple of weeks, students will be completing an Ecoscenario Project that contains both group and individual components. More details will be given about…
Thursday, 25 February 2016 00:00

March Blog

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As we look forward to the coming of Spring and Holy Week, here is a look at what is happening in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes during the month of March: 6th Science: We have begun our study of the Diversity of Life. So far, we have discussed the characteristics of living organisms and have familiarized ourselves with the use of microscopes. Moving forward, we will be looking at single-celled organisms, and we will be spending a few weeks studying a variety of plants. 7th Science: We have begun our study of Populations and Ecosystems. So far, we have discussed habitats, as well as the differences between populations, communities, and ecosystems. At the end of March, we will be building our own mini-ecosystems with live critters, in order to make scientific observations about how the different parts of an ecosystem work together. 8th Science: We have begun our study of the Human…
Thursday, 28 January 2016 00:00

February Blog

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We’ve officially made it through the first month of 2016! Here is a look at what is happening in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes as we wrap up the 2nd trimester: 6th Science: The 6th graders will soon be finishing up their Electronics unit. Their final Electronics exam will be during the week of February 8th. A study guide has already been given to them. During the 3rd trimester, we will be shifting to life science and exploring a unit on Diversity of Life. 7th Science: The 7th graders will soon be finishing up their Chemical Interactions unit. Their final Chemical Interactions exam will be during the week of February 8th. A study guide has already been given to them. During the 3rd trimester, we will be shifting to life science and exploring a unit on Populations and Ecosystems. 8th Science: The 8th graders will soon be finishing up their Force and…
Thursday, 17 December 2015 00:00

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas! It’s hard to believe that we are already halfway through the school year. Here is a look at what is happening in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes during the month of January: 6th Grade Science: The 6th graders will be continuing their study of electronics. So far, we have done a variety of investigations involving resistance and voltage. The 6th graders also enjoyed dissecting electronic devices to find various components! During the month of January, we will extend our electronics investigations to include diodes, capacitors, and transistors. 7th Grade Science: The 7th graders will be continuing their study of chemistry. So far, we have investigated substances, elements, particles, kinetic energy, and energy transfer. During the month of January, we will be exploring phase changes, solutions, and chemical reactions. 8th Grade Science: The 8th graders will be continuing their study of force and motion (physics). So far, we have been working…
Monday, 30 November 2015 00:00

December Blog

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Happy Advent to all of you! In this time of preparation, I hope that we can slow down and remember the true meaning of the season. Here is a look at what is happening in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes as we approach our Christmas Break: Algebra: We have been working on solving linear equations with one variable. In doing so, we have been practicing simplifying expression with both variables and numbers. During the last week before break, Algebra students will be taking the midterm exam that is given to all 8th grade Algebra students in the diocese. They will be given a study guide for this midterm by the end of this week. 7th Grade Religion: As we continue our usual Religion curriculum, we will also be doing some special things that focus on the season of Advent. Each day of Advent, we will be focused on a different Bible verse…
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 00:00

Happy November!

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Happy November! Here is a look at what is happening in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes as we wrap up the 1st Trimester: Algebra: We are moving right along in Algebra, and things are going very well! We are gradually moving into the “meat” of Algebra and are currently focused on solving linear equations with one variable. I’ve been stressing the importance of always showing your work. Especially as we move into more complex equations, it’s important for students to be able to show their process on paper. It keeps them organized in their problem solving and allows me to understand what they are thinking! 7th Religion: The 7th grade students are currently studying the Blessed Trinity, which has led to a lot of great discussion! They will be having one more project to complete before the end of the trimester, and they will be given a couple of project options to…
Monday, 28 September 2015 00:00

October Blog

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We are off to a great start this year! Here’s a look at what is happening in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes: Algebra: In Algebra, we are getting past the review lessons and will be addressing basic processes of Algebra very soon. We will be starting with solving one and two-step equations and will build off of those skills. Students have now taken their first two tests. Before each test, we go over a practice test together that they can use to study! 7th Religion: The 7th graders have taken their first two tests and have completed their first project. This project included an art component and a written component about their selected Saint. Their artwork will be sent to Iowa Catholic Radio to be judged in the “Our Catholic Schools Rock!” contest. We are currently in Chapter 3, discussing how Jesus is the greatest sign of God’s love. Reading: We have…
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 00:00

Summer!

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I can’t believe how fast the school year has gone! Here is how Ms. Ramaekers’ classes finished out the year: 7th Math: 21 tests later, my math students have successfully completed another year! We’ve spent the last couple of weeks introducing concepts that lay the foundations for the Algebraic math that students will be focusing on in 8th grade Math or Algebra. 8th Social Studies: 8th graders spent the year studying American history from pre-Columbian times through the Civil War and Reconstruction. We looked closely at how changes in government, economy, and human interactions affected the nation. 6th Religion: 6th graders studied a variety of topics in Religion this year. We looked closely at Old Testament characters and events, concepts of morality, and the Sacraments. Of course, the main event of the year was their presentation of the Living Last Supper! 7th Reading: We finished reading The Book Thief this…
Friday, 01 May 2015 00:00

May Blog

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8 months down, and 1 to go! Here is a look at what is happening in Mrs. Ramaekers’ classes during the month of May: 7th Math: The 7th grade Math students will be having two more tests this year. The next one is scheduled for May 7th. The remainder of the year will be focused on basic, foundational concepts of algebra. These concepts are essential in preparing them for 8th grade Math (or Algebra) next year. As always, I am available in the mornings before school to help students prepare for tests or answer questions about their homework. 8th History: The 8th graders are currently studying the Civil War. We are examining the causes of the war and the sequence of events during the war. Once we have completed our chapter on the Civil War, we will shift our focus to Reconstruction and the aftermath of the war. Students will…
Thursday, 02 April 2015 00:00

April Blog

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I think it is safe to say it is officially springtime! Here is a look at what is going on in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes during the month of April: 7th Math: We are now at the point in the year when the 7th grade Math students are being introduced to concepts that lay the foundation for later work with algebra. We have begun to work on becoming comfortable working with variables and combining like terms. We will continue to delve deeper into these concepts during the last couple months of the year. As always, I will continue sending practice tests home with students as study guides. I also encourage students to come work with me before school if they are having any struggles! 8th History: The 8th graders are just beginning Chapter 13, which focuses on the Westward Expansion of the United States during the 1800s. We introduced this unit…
Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00

March Blog

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We have started a new trimester, and Spring is just around the corner! March is a busy month in Middle School. Here is a look at what is going on in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes: 7th Math: In Math, the students just completed their first test of the trimester, which included assessment over basic concepts of algebra and geometry. Moving forward, students will be given a practice test approximately a week prior to each exam. These practice tests are in the same format as their exams, so there should never be any surprises. Answers to these practice tests will be emailed to all parents in order to make it easier for students to study for exams at home. I continue to encourage students to come to school early (between 7:30-8:00) to receive additional Math assistance if necessary. 8th Social Studies: The 8th graders recently completed Unit 3 and took the Chapter…
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 00:00

Happy February!

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Happy February! I hope you are all staying warm in this winter weather! Here is a look at what is going on in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes: 7th Math: The 7th graders have been continuing to progress through their Math curriculum. We have begun to get into concepts of geometry and algebra. Every lesson builds upon things they have already learned. I would strongly encourage parent involvement in the students’ Math education, whether that be assisting them with their nightly homework or making sure they understand the problems on the practice exams. Every little bit will help! Additionally, I would be happy to work with students on their Math before or after school. Please let me know if this is something you would be interested in. 8th History: The 8th graders have just completed Chapter 9, which covered the Jeffersonian Era and the War of 1812. We looked closely at the…
Thursday, 18 December 2014 00:00

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! As we close out the first half of the school year, it’s hard to believe how fast December has gone! Here is a look at what has been happening in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes and what will be happening after break: 7th Math: The 7th graders have just taken their 10th test. In addition to their daily lessons, I have been giving students a series of worksheets pertaining to operations with fractions. I ask that they complete one of these worksheets each day. I then correct the worksheet and either hand it back so they can correct their mistakes or give them a new worksheet if they got all of the answers correct. They must get all answers correct on one worksheet before moving on to the next. There are 7 worksheets in total and a few students have already completed all 7! I would encourage parents to…
Sunday, 30 November 2014 00:00

Happy Advent!

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Happy Advent! We have a busy month ahead of us during December! Here is a look at what is happening in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes: 7th Math: We have been moving right along in Math over the past couple of weeks. Our next test will be on Wednesday, December 3rd. In addition to our regular lessons, we have been doing some review of operations with fractions and decimals. You can practice this with students at home by giving them addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems with fractions and decimals. I would also encourage all of my Math students to use the practice tests I give them as a study tool before exams. 8th History: In 8th grade Social Studies has almost finished Chapter 7 in which we looked at how the U.S. Constitution came to be. After Chapter 7, we will be spending some time looking at the Constitution and how…
Thursday, 30 October 2014 00:00

November News!

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Happy Fall! The summer weather is officially gone, but there is still a lot going on in Middle School! As the last day of the 1st Trimester approaches (November 13th), here is a look at what has been going on in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes: 7th Math: In Math, we have just taken our 6th test! Over the next couple of weeks, we will be getting into geometry, ratios, and graphs. I want to remind you that I always send home a practice test the night before we have an exam. These practice tests are the best way for the students to study because they show the types of problems that are going to be on the exams. We will have one more test before the end of the 1st trimester! 8th History: In Social Studies, the 8th graders have just finished Unit 1, which included the completion of an in-class…
Thursday, 28 August 2014 20:20

Welcome Back!

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Welcome back for a brand new school year!  We have quite an exciting year ahead of us, and I look forward to sharing it with all of my students!  We are off to an excellent start, and everybody is working hard.  Here is a look at what is going on in Ms. Ramaekers’ classes as we begin the year.   7th Math: Our math class has hit the ground running, and a lot of learning has happened already.  We have made it through our first 7 lessons, which have primarily focused on the use of number sense and operations to solve equations, as well as basic concepts of algebra.  Our first test will be on Thursday, September 4th, and it will cover the first 10 lessons.  We will then have our first investigation activity on Friday, September 5th.  For the rest of the year, we will be having a test…