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 with Lesson 26. Students should be ready for Test 5 by the end of next week. Remind your student that anytime they do not end up with Math homework, they should review multiplication and division math facts. Getting these facts completely memorized will be a huge advantage for students as the math concepts in class continue to get more difficult.
7th/8th Reading - Students are in the middle of Of Mice and Men this week. They will have a short quiz over Chapter 3 this week, and next week’s reading assignments will take them to the end of the book. We have had some great discussions about themes of the story so far, characterization, setting and the various conflicts in the story. When we finish the novel, students will write an essay as their final assessment over the book, and we will watch the movie as well. We continue vocabulary and fluency work each week as well.
Student Council - Students are still learning their new roles as Student Council officers and representatives. This week they will be visiting all classrooms to inform students about the two “Suggestion Boxes” that they have created to give students an opportunity to let the Student Council know their ideas for how to make St. Joseph School the best it can be. Our next meeting will be Wednesday, November 9th.
Speech and Debate - will be starting very soon! I will be informing the middle school students what it is all about in the next couple weeks, and setting a schedule to start preparing for the season. See below some information from Spencer Sheaff, our Debate Liaison for DCHS:
I have some new information regarding Middle School Debate in 2017. Des Moines Public Schools appointed an administrator for Middle School debate this year. She has just informed me that they are targeting their first tournament of the year for January, 2017. My understanding at this time is that the Tuesday/Thursday format will remain largely the same as last year, until about April when there may be a weekend tournament.
We also know that the Topic Area for this year will be on Clean/Renewable Energy. DMPS is hoping to have a final topic wording out at the end of October, but if you have students chomping at the bit to start working on debate, they can start collecting information about different forms of clean energy.
I will, of course, be trying to encourage my debaters to come help with your team's practices. I graduated a number of seniors, but it looks like I have a good number of freshman to assist this year. Let me know when you'd like to hold practice and I'll try and get at least one Dowling student there.
Thanksgiving is only a few short weeks away. I hope it is a blessed and safe holiday for you all. St. Joseph School, our students and their families are a few of the many things I am thankful for.