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 the book! We have been doing a lot of journal writing in conjunction with the reading assignments, as Ms. Johnson had her students journal a lot so she could get to know them better. Not only does this book challenge the students by having them break down a non-fiction piece, but it also gives them a glimpse into another educational world - so different from their own. We are also tackling the California Department of Education’s “Words that every 9th Grader Should Know”. We are going through about 15 words a week in our vocabulary work. They like knowing they are a year ahead!
6th Reading - We will complete Lesson #13 in Journeys today. They students have really got the hang of how the textbook works. They are employing excellent comprehension skills, and are using strategies such as identifying details and drawing conclusions, how to infer and predict based on text evidence, and sequencing events and looking at plot development. I am proud of the progress they have made. Our assessment scores as a group continue to improve. Keep reminding them to be reading their AR novels as well. This helps them use all their skills with a longer text, and helps them to reach their AR goals.
8th Guidance - We have been working to complete our work on I Have A Plan Iowa for the state. 8th graders are required to take a career interest inventory, examine career clusters, and fill out a 4-year high school course plan. The 4-year plan is just for practice, and to see what classes their respective high schools provide. All students will still complete a plan with their high school guidance counselors, but this should make the process easier and more familiar to them. When they are complete there will be a copy of their course plan that will come home for parents to sign, and for the students to return to school. This is for us to keep in their files to show they have completed the state’s required plan. Thank you in advance for your help with this.
House Council - House Council hosted our Teacher and Staff Appreciation Luncheon last week during Catholic Schools Week. A delicious lunch was provided from Jethro’s BBQ, and each staff member received a personalized thank you note from a member of the House Council. It was a very enjoyable afternoon, and so nice for all the staff to be able to be together. House Council students also hosted our Grandparents Day Mass, and served as Student Ambassadors to visitors during the day. They are excellent leaders in our school! Finally…..House Council is selling Candy Grams! For $1.00 you can send a sucker or a package of gummy hearts to your child(ren), to be delivered on Valentine’s Day. It is always so exciting for students to see who has sent them a special Valentine’s Day treat! An email with an order form attachment was sent last week, but you can always just write down who you would like to send a Candy Gram to, their grade, and what type of candy, along with payment in an envelope to school. We will take care of the rest! If writing a check, please make it payable to St. Joseph School. Thank you in advance for your support!
Stay warm, and God Bless!