Jennifer Rodine Blog

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Wednesday, 26 October 2016 00:00

November Blog - Mrs. Rodine

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Happy Autumn! It finally feels like it’s here. Thank you to all the parents who came to Conferences a few weeks ago. It was so nice to meet you, and to visit about your children! It is such a blessing to be able to collaborate with the students’ first teachers, so that we can all help them be so successful. Below you can read about what is happening in my classes, as well as see news about Student Council, and Speech and Debate! Course 1 Math - Again, I can’t say enough about how impressed I have been with this group of students so far this school year! They are a terrific bunch of hard workers. Students are really motivated in this class to learn, and to get not waste time. We just took Cumulative Test 4. We will finish this week with the next set of five lessons, starting…
Thursday, 29 September 2016 00:00

Updates from Mrs. Rodine - October

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Can you believe we have already been in school for almost 6 weeks, and that Conferences are right around the corner?! It has been a great start to the year. New classes, new students - but lots of learning and fun. Read below to find out what’s happening in the classes I teach, and what we will be working on in the near future. Course 1 Math - This is my first year teaching Math, and if I’m being honest - I was nervous about it. But all has been working out well so far. The students are wonderful. They are experts at Saxon, so they know the drill. We begin each class by checking our homework from the previous lesson and discussing any questions that come up. Then we take a few minutes to do what is called a “Power Up”. This consists of a short review of math…
Friday, 27 May 2016 00:00

Final Blog for 2015-2016

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With the rain coming down, it’s hard to believe that in just a few short hours we will be on summer vacation! I am sad to see the kids go, I have enjoyed them all so much - especially this year’s 8th grade class. They will always hold a special place in my heart. Here is just a bit about how we finished up the school year: 7th/8th Reading - their Readers’ Theater of Hamlet was great! They really got into it, and did a fantastic job of answering questions from Miss Campbell’s class about the play. It was a fun way to end the year. Student Council - we finished the year with May Day baskets. The money raised helped to pay for the dunk tank for the 8th graders. It’s such a fun gift for the whole school to give them! It was a great day, and even…
Thursday, 28 April 2016 00:00

Updates from Mrs. Rodine - May

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Update from Mrs. Rodine – May I’d say “Happy Spring”, but some days it’s still hard to tell when that cold wind is blowing! But, the trees have leaves, the grass is long and green, and the kids are definitely in SPRING-SUMMER FEVER mode! It’s hard to believe we are down to the last month of school! It’s been another fantastic year, and I feel so blessed to come to St. Joseph every day and spend it with your children! Below you will find information on how we plan to finish up the year in my classes: 7th/8th Reading – We have two more Acts of Hamlet left! Students took a quiz this week over the first three Acts, and will take one more once we finish. They have been doing a great job of reading the translation carefully on their own, writing their summaries, and then discussing and reading…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 00:00

Updates from Mrs. Rodine

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I think it might be true! I think spring may finally be here! I hope you all had a wonderful Spring Break, and a blessed Easter. It has been a fun couple weeks preparing for Stations of the Cross, Living Last Supper and Retreat Day. Now we have a pretty regular schedule again, and it should be that way for the most part; through the end of the year. Here is what we are covering now in our classes: 7th/8th Reading - We have finished Night, and the students are preparing 3-4 minute speeches for their final assessment. We have a practice day scheduled for Friday, and speeches will be given next Monday and Tuesday. In the meantime, we are starting to learn about William Shakespeare, to build our background knowledge in preparation for reading Hamlet. I know it seems like a tough way to finish up the school year,…
Friday, 26 February 2016 00:00

Updates from Mrs. Rodine

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Spring is in the air! Soon it will be Spring Break, then Easter, then the end of the year! February sure flew by. It was nice to see so many parents and students at Conferences last week! The 2nd trimester was good, and I have a feeling the 3rd trimester will be as well! Here are some things happening in my classes right now: 7th/8th Reading - We are now into Night, and just completed the first section quiz yesterday. While the events that take place in Elie’s story are so unbelievable, the students are very insightful about him, about the range of human emotions that he and his family and community must have been feeling, and they ask great questions! Our central question throughout the course of the novel is: How do our stories shape and affect our identity? While we might have nothing in common with a child…
Thursday, 28 January 2016 00:00

Updates from Mrs. Rodine

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I can’t believe it is Catholic Schools Week next week, let alone…February!! They year is flying by, and it happens so easily when we are busy learning and growing! Below is a recap of what is happening in our classes now, as well as some information on what will be coming soon! 7th/8th Grade Reading - We have finished To Kill a Mockingbird, and the last exam just got graded! The students seemed to love the novel and all the discussions about justice, prejudice, race, and family values that the story provoked! We are spending a couple days watching the movie, and then next week we will be doing pre-reading work for our next novel, Night, by Elie Wiesel. It is a memoir about Elie’s life during the Holocaust. It is a short novel, and will take us very little time to read. But we will be spending more time…
Thursday, 17 December 2015 00:00

Updates from Mrs. Rodine

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Monday, 30 November 2015 00:00

Updates from Mrs. Rodine

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I hope you all enjoyed a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving break! It was so nice to have the long weekend with family and friends! Even though the weather today is not very inviting, I am glad to be back with the students, with new energy, and ready to tackle lots of material between now and our next break! Please read below to see what we have been doing in our classes, and what is coming up very soon. 8th Reading - Last week students received their grading rubrics back for their Animal Farm projects, and we began some schema-building activities in preparations for starting To Kill a Mockingbird, which we will do this week! I am so excited; it is by far my favorite book! We have been discussing the history of Jim Crow Laws, as well as the Great Depression, and how it affected the economy of the nation,…
Monday, 28 September 2015 00:00

October Notes - Mrs. Rodine

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October Notes - Mrs. Rodine It has been a wonderful beginning to another school year! Below you can see information regarding the classes I teacher, and other bits as well! 7th/8th Reading - It’s my biggest class yet, and what a great group of young people! I’ve started the year right away with a big challenge - Lord of the Flies by William Golding. It’s a very challenging book, as he writes in a very descriptive, detailed way, with lots of foreshadowing and symbolism. The students have done a great job tackling this dense novel, and are almost done. We will complete the novel this week, and prepare for our final assessment for the book - an essay. Also be watching for a note to come home regarding watching the movie next week. We do fluency work each week as well. 6th Guidance - This is the best group to…
Monday, 28 September 2015 00:00

October Notes - Mrs. Rodine

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October Notes - Mrs. Rodine It has been a wonderful beginning to another school year! Below you can see information regarding the classes I teacher, and other bits as well! 7th/8th Reading - It’s my biggest class yet, and what a great group of young people! I’ve started the year right away with a big challenge - Lord of the Flies by William Golding. It’s a very challenging book, as he writes in a very descriptive, detailed way, with lots of foreshadowing and symbolism. The students have done a great job tackling this dense novel, and are almost done. We will complete the novel this week, and prepare for our final assessment for the book - an essay. Also be watching for a note to come home regarding watching the movie next week. We do fluency work each week as well. 6th Guidance - This is the best group to…
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 00:00

Last Blog of the Year...YES!

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Can you believe it?! Being a parent of an 8th grader myself, I can imagine the mix of feelings as another year, and for some, the last one here, has gone. Below is a brief description of how we are wrapping up the year. I wish you all a safe and fun-filled summer!! God Bless, Mrs. Rodine 8th Reading - we did a readers’ theater scene from Hamlet for Miss Campbell’s and Miss Ramaeker’s Reading classes today. The students told them a little about William Shakespeare, gave them a summary of the plot of the play, leading up to the scene, and then read/performed it for them. They did a fantastic job! I will really miss this group of 8th graders! They are great readers, good works, and just all-around great young men and women! 6th Reading - we took our last assessment over Lesson 23 today!! I couldn’t be…
Thursday, 30 April 2015 00:00

Guidance Update - May

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The last month of school is always so very busy and hectic, but it is also so wonderful and just a little bittersweet. It’s amazing how much the students have learned and grown this year. Here is what will be happening between now and the end of the year. 8th Reading - Students are working on their final project/assessments for Night right now. These are due next Wednesday, May 6th. They had today and tomorrow as work days. Next week we will hand out Hamlet and get started right away so we can be sure to finish before the end of the year. Our copies are called side-by-sides, which means we read the original Shakespearian text on the left, and a modern English translation is given on the right. It is a great way to introduce the students to such difficult text without stressing them out! 6th Reading - Students…
Friday, 27 March 2015 00:00

Updates from Mrs. Rodine

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Spring is finally here!! It’s so nice to get the students out in the sun and fresh air! It’s a busy time of year with Easter around the corner and spring sports, concerts and performances to prepare for. But the students have bounced back from Spring Break, and are all doing wonderful jobs of working hard and keeping up with their learning! Here is what is happening in our classes right now: 8th Reading - We have begun, Night, and have gotten through the first part together. Students have a reading calendar to help them see their reading expectation throughout the novel. I have already reminded them more than once that this is a guide, and subject to change depending on our schedule. For example, I already know that next week we will be doing some adjusting. We will take some time to prepare some presentations about To Kill a…
Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00

Updates from Mrs. Rodine

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It was wonderful to see so many parents at conferences! It’s difficult to believe that March is here, Lent is here, and we are beginning the last trimester of another great year. Below you can read about what is coming up in our classes over the next couple weeks. 8th grade Reading - Our To Kill a Mockingbird test in tomorrow! Next week they will get to watch the Oscar-winning movie starring Gregory Peck. Then we will do some do some prereading activities to build background knowledge about the Holocaust, and then we will begin the memoir, Night, by Elie Weisel. We continue our fluency and vocabulary building work. 6th grade Reading - we have come to a section in our Journeys year where the textbook really has us focusing on non-fiction pieces, and practicing analytical skills such as author’s purpose, differentiating between fact and opinion, and identifying claims and…
Friday, 30 January 2015 00:00

February Updates

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Well, January was a month that went from freezing to sweating in a matter of just days! Whether we were cold or toasty warm, the month just flew by, and we are now at Catholic Schools Week…the best week of the year! Below you will find information of the progress in our classes, as well as what is coming soon. 8th Grade Reading - We are well into To Kill a Mockingbird now. There are still parts that confuse the students, but they are enjoying the story, and are constantly making predictions about what the characters will do next. We are spending lots of time on characterization and plot development because Lee is so descriptive in her character development, and there are really 2 story lines to follow throughout the book. We continue to practice fluency each week, as well as vocabulary work. I will let you know once I…
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 00:00

January Updates

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Updates from Mrs. Rodine I love this time of year - and not just because we are only days away from a nice long break! I love the programs, prayer services, buddy activities, field trips, and all the other special things we do here at St. Joes. We are so lucky to be able to have these learning experiences for the kids, and it makes the wait for Christmas Break so much more bearable! Here are some of the things we have been covering in class, and what will be coming up in January: 8th Reading - This week we are finishing our last quiz over Dangerous Minds. The students have been given their final assessment choices, a speech or a written essay, along with a grading rubric. These will be due the Tuesday after break. I know homework over break??? But they got this information last week, so they…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 00:00

Guidance Update - December

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Guidance Updates - December 8th Reading - We continue our work with Dangerous Minds by LouAnne Johnson. Students are assigned chapters 8-15 to be completed by Thursday, December 4th. We have done a lot of journal writing with this book, and have been review literary conventions such as characterization, point of view, and types of conflict. 6th Reading - This week we students will finish up and assess over Lesson #10. Particular skills covered in this lesson include Cause & Effect, Style and Tone of writing, and Point of View. After the Thanksgiving break we will get right in to Lesson 11, an informational text about the Great Chicago Fire. Please watch for messages on Dojo, or in the students’ planners, about when their assessments will be. For this trimester, students are asked to be more independent in filling out their study guides and preparing for the assessments. 8th Guidance…
Thursday, 30 October 2014 00:00

November News

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Happy Halloween and Red Ribbon Week! It’s been such a fun month with the students. It was also so nice to see and talk to many of you at conferences. Here are some updates on things happening in my classes: 8th Reading - We have finished Animal Farm. I think the students really enjoyed it, and now they are working on their final projects for the novel. They are due next Tuesday, November 4th. They will present them, and then we will get ready to begin our new novel, Dangerous Minds, by LuAnn Johnson. This book is an autobiographic-type, where she tells stories of her time teaching in a northern California, inner city, high school, with students who have many struggles ranging from addiction, homelessness, gang affiliation, learning disabilities, citizenship status, and many more. It is a great book that really gives the students a chance to see a different…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 00:00

October Update - Mrs. Rodine

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Happy Fall, Everyone!! Things have been going very well at school. It seems that we all have found our rhythm and gotten into a good routine. Below you can read about some of the things we’ve got going on over the next few weeks: 6th Reading - For most students in the class, this is their second year working with the Journeys textbook, and they are becoming real pros and working through all the skills and vocabulary with each lesson! Our past two assessments have shown excellent scores for the group as a whole. I am very pleased at how the students are working on their study guides, and using them to prepare for the assessments. Not only are they doing a great job of showing me their reading skills and learning, but they are also showing me that they are trying to work on independent study habits which will…
Friday, 29 August 2014 14:05

Mrs. Rodine's Newsletter - August 2014

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Welcome back to school!   It’s been an interesting few days back with extreme heat, rain, new parking lot, etc.  But we are already having a great time here, meeting new teachers and students, and beginning our learning! For those of you who don’t know me….my name is Jen Rodine, and I am the Guidance Counselor as well as 6th grade and 8th grade Reading teacher.  This is the beginning of my 17th year in education, almost all of them being here at St. Joseph School.   My husband, Matthew, and I have 3 sons, Mason - 16, Colin-13, and Ethan-10.   When I am not busy with school activities, then I am busy with THEIR school activities!!   One of my favorite things is to be at one of their games on the weekends and run into St. Joe’s kids and parents at their games as well.  I love to read (well, duh!),…
Monday, 28 April 2014 10:26

Updates from Mrs. Rodine

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This is it!   Only a few more weeks and another school year is in the books!  With the warmer weather we all definitely have spring fever, but we are working hard all the way until the end of the year.  Here is what we are working on right now:   8th Reading - Students are working independently on their final assessment project for Night/Milkweed.  Students had several choices to pick from, and should be writing those at home this week.   Students are expected to bring a draft on Thursday for review, with the final being due on Friday, May 2nd.  We begin Hamlet today.  We will read as much of it as we can in class together, but with only a few weeks of class left, some reading will have to be done on their own.  Our copies of Hamlet are side-by-sides, which means the students can look on the…
Friday, 28 March 2014 10:03

April Updates

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Wow!  Where did March go???   I am amazed that we are getting to the last part of another school year!   Below you can see what is coming up in our classes.  Feel free to contact me with any questions.   8th Reading - We have just started Night, by Elie Weisel.   It is a true account of his time at Auschwitz and Buchenwald during WWII.  The students spent time gathering background knowledge, and we got to hear accounts from two students about their experiences at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.   Night is a short book, so we plan to finish and do a final project by Easter.   Plans are to spend the rest of the year reading one of Shakespeare’s tragedies.   We haven’t decided which one, but they will be ordered soon.  This will give them some experience with his language and style of writing before encountering it at…
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 08:56

February Updates From Mrs. Rodine

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February News From Mrs. Rodine What a long, strange winter it’s been!  Between the weather and all the extra fun activities we’ve had due to Catholic Schools Week, it seems like it has been a while since we’ve had a regular schedule.  But, that’s why I love working in a catholic school.  Spending time with students and their families, celebrating our faith and our fabulous school, is one of the best times of the school year!   And…we have been learning a lot as well!   Below is a brief summary of what has been happening in my classes.    8th Grade Reading - We are now well into our new novel, Dangerous Minds, by LouAnne Johnson.   It is our first non-fiction novel, written by a California teacher, telling about her struggles to reach her inner-city students, and helping them achieve not only in English class, but in life.  The students LOVE…
Friday, 28 February 2014 09:15

Guidance Updates

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Spring is surely right around the corner, right??!!!   Even though it’s cold outside, we really are starting the 3rd trimester, and planning out the rest of the school year!  Below you can read a brief summary of what is coming in the next few weeks:   8th Reading - We have finish reading Dangerous Minds, and are preparing for our final assessment over the book.  Students will be preparing speeches over various aspects of the novel that they felt were most important.  They will brainstorm ideas today.  Also students will receive a permission slip to watch clips from the Hollywood movie version of the book today.  Next week while preparing our speeches we will watch clips from the movie, and do some comparing and contrasting to the novel.  We will also have a wrap up to our “9th Grade Vocabulary” unit with a vocabulary quiz day.  The purpose of this…
Monday, 02 December 2013 13:55

Guidance Update - December

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******House Council******** Please note that there was originally no House Council scheduled during the month of December.   There will be a meeting next Wednesday, December 11th from 3:15-4:00.   If your student serves on the House Council, please pick them up outside the front door promptly at 4:00.   If you are not here at 4:00 to get them, students will be sent to B&A, and families will be charged accordingly.  Thank you for your help with this.   8th Reading - Students took the final test for To Kill a Mockingbird right before Thanksgiving.  We begin this week by watching the movie and comparing/contrasting it to the novel.  Later this week we will receive a pre-reading presentation for our next novel, Animal Farm, by George Orwell.  Books will be assigned Friday, and a calendar for reading assignments will be given at that time.   6th Reading - This week we students…
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 08:45

Guidance Update - November

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Happy Halloween!  It was great to see so many parents at conferences a few weeks ago!  It was nice to put names with faces and talk about all the wonderful things your child is accomplishing here at school.  We are continuing to work hard, and are making a big push to finish the trimester on a high note.  The trimester ends on Friday, November 15th.  Below are some brief summaries of what we are specifically working on in class:   8th Reading - We are well into To Kill a Mockingbird now.  The students love it!!  They are doing an excellent job of understanding difficult vocabulary, (this book is full of it), identifying various literary devices that Harper Lee incorporates, and analyzing the various themes of the story.   I have extra copies of the book, so if at any time you’d like one to read along, please let me know. …
Friday, 27 September 2013 08:06

Updates from Mrs. Rodine

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Updates from Mrs. Rodine   8th Reading - We have finished Lord of the Flies.  In class we will be watching the 1963 art house movie, as well as preparing an outline and drafts for our final assessment, an essay about the changes the characters go through during the course of the novel, and how this reflects the main theme of the novel.  Students have done an excellent job analyzing the book, learning about the various literary devices Golding incorporates, and they continue to work on improving their fluency and vocabulary skills.  Our next novel will be To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.   If you’d like a copy to read along with your student, please let me know.    6th Reading - we continue to learn all the different tools that our Journeys series has to offer.  They are doing great!!   We are still getting used to the assessment/quiz…
Friday, 30 August 2013 10:49

Mrs. Rodine's Newsletter

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8th Grade Reading - Rodine Our year is off to a fantastic start!  What a fun group of young people!  Our first novel for the year is Lord of the Flies by William Golding.  It is a great book to start with, as it lends itself well to study of literary elements such as characterization, personification, foreshadowing, and descriptive text.  The book will give us the opportunity for discussion of such themes as friendship, survival, and the question of good and evil in the human heart. If you would like to borrow an extra copy of the book to read along with your student, I have some copies available.  We will also work on improving our reading fluency, accuracy, expression and comprehension all year, as well as working on vocabulary skills within our text.  AR goals have been set.   Your student can log on to Renaissance Place at any time…