Ask yourself what you learned about yourself today that you did not know when the day began.
Quote of the Day: "Although not a holyday of obligation, The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a Holy Day of Opportunity." (attend Mass if you can & recall that God blessed Mary with NO original sin so that she would be the ideal choice as the Mother of Jesus) . . .
1. THE NUTCRACKER December 13 (9:00-11:30) at the Morris Center of Performing Arts in downtown South Bend. We can attend IF we can secure enough parent drivers for each class. Permission slips went home Tuesday (12/3). We need your help in offering to drive.
2. QUIZ BOWL SEASON is getting closer - open to 7,8 students only. Our season begins on January 8 (every Wednesday, 3:30-4:30). We host 5 home matches and travel to 5 away matches.
Looks like we have a QuizMaster and a Judge - we just need to secure a Timekeeper and we are in business. I am forming my TEAM this first week of Advent. It is a great opportunity for students to excel in other ways besides athletics.
TRIVIA QUESTION of the Week: What traditions do you observe during Advent? Setting up a tree and displaying the Nativity (creche) nearby a special location in your home? An Advent Wreath on your table where family meals are shared? Who lights the candles and who leads the prayers? Do you post the weekly theme: #1 Waiting; #2 Hope; #3 Peace; and #4 Joy and discuss the implications of each to increase an understanding of how they fit into our common, daily lives as we journey through Advent - from darkness into great light. Each candle that is lit increases the light around the wreath and in the room itself.
I so love attending the Lessons & Carols at my St. Pius X Parish every Tuesday night during Advent. They are the best ever! The perfect way to learn about this blessed season and to celebrate the themes of Waiting, Hope, Peace, and Joy. Find something religious to do with your family during Advent and less focus on the commercial side. I also love listening to my Advent cd on my way to school and back home at the end of the day.
Best Tree Decoration? The star atop the tree? Mine is the tiny gift bag on a branch which signifies that the greatest GIFT we give & receive is JESUS Himself; then, the angel, the cross, and the Irish Celtic Trinity knot from our trip to the Emerald Isle. What's yours?!?!
There are people who are rich because they have lots of money; others are rich in different ways.
The Mass is a Sacrament of Eucharist. It is a free, loving gift, given to us by the Son. Ignoring a free gift such as this is nothing short of an insult to both the celebrant (priest) and Jesus. Take your children who have been baptized to Sunday Mass. Discussions about the readings + Scripture is fruitless for students who did not attend weekend Mass. They are lost on Mondays as we begin our week - not the best way to begin a new, productive week, to already be behind . .
THANK YOU TO PARENTS & STUDENTS WHO TAKE THE TIME TO READ OUR CLASSJUMP POSTINGS.
December 9 - 13 NewsNotes from CAM: Second Week of Advent (HOPE)
Heads-Up for ADVENT SEASON: Advent Angels with a Twist (less focus on students and more focus on the needy) . . .
THEME: Gift of Warmth (sizes for adults or children)
WHO: The Guests of the Homeless Center, South Bend
WHEN: Each week of Advent, students will donate one item, if possible, as a charitable donation, in exchange for an act of kindness performed at home for parent(s) or sibling(s).
Week #1: Hat or Head Warmer (Focus: Waiting)
Week #2: Mittens or Gloves (Focus: Hope)
Week #3: Scarf or Sox (Focus: Peace)
Week #4: Daily Prayer for the Needy (Focus: Joy) On Vacation by now . . .
On the last day, December 20, the students will enjoy a "Celebration of Giving Party" with a treat and drink from our Room Parents. I want the students to experience an Advent Journey with prayer, scripture, themes, reflection, discussion, and service. Blessings to you and yours, as we begin the Season of Advent - the new liturgical church calendar begins a new Cycle A.
Every student in Language Arts (6G, 6P, and 7G) has an assigned novel to be reading weekiy. They are to be reading AT HOME as a homework assignment.
6G: HATCHET by Gary Paulsen (quizzes to take)
6P: BRIAN'S WINTER by Gary Paulsen (quizzes to take)
7G: HOOT by Carl Hiaasen - Time for Final Quiz and movie (with a Novel Celebration)
Novel Celebration will be Tuesday, December 10th and we thank Mrs. Furfaro (in advance) for the treats to be enjoyed as we view the movie of this entertaining story.
Novel Quizzes for each class happen EVERY Tuesday. Students will find using their novel to be very beneficial in completing the quizzes.
Your child participates in AR time every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, last period (40 minutes) of the day. Leaving a book at home is no excuse not to be reading. There are many books to choose from, including magazines & quick-reads from shelving, baskets, and crates in my room.
Your child needs a daily lunch. Please make the necessary finanacial arrangments through the office in order for them to have a daily lunch card. Thank you.
WE remain a Gum-Free campus. Do not allow your student to bring gum to school. I might suggest checking those backpacks for other items that are not appropriate for school.
NOTE: If I have entered a desk in the absence of any student, their name goes up on the board to notify them of such (and) we can discuss what I have found when I investigated the contents of the desk.
GRADES in Power School - are they too low to suit your expectations? A student receives a "0" for one of (any) three reasons: 1) No work turned in by 3:00 Friday; 2) Work turned in, but (all) done incorrectly; 3) Work turned in without a proper heading (Name, Date, Subject). I haven't the time it takes to try and determine whose papers all the no-namers belong to in any given class or subject. Old enough to put a name on their paper(s). I have 90+ students and multiple assignments every week from every class. No Excuses.
New Focus: Choice + Voice - the students enjoy having opportunities to vote on different things, as well as using their voice to express their opinions, needs, and questions. I am encouraging everyone to speak up for themselves in a positive manner - to let us know what's important to them in the school setting and beyond .
NOTE: Our Head Room Mother is Mrs. Laura Furfaro, mother of Michael, Grade 7G. We thank her and her full committee (5 others) who help us in many ways & requests.
Every LA student has a novel to read. You should see them reading - ask them to read aloud to you.
Listen to their fluency (flow, smoothness) and
December 9 to 13 NewsNotes from CAM: Second Week of Advent (Theme: HOPE)
THIS WEEK: The wonderful world of Language Arts presents . . .NOTE: A spelling lesson will be given on Monday which will focus on words related to the recent anniversary of the Anniversary of the Assassination of JFK, 50 years past. Lessons are due every Friday by 3:00 in my trays.
1. Novel Quiz every Tuesday (HATCHET 6G); (BRIAN'S WINTER 6P) WE need to move on now that December is upon us. Ask your child to read to you and tell you about these books (see my comments above) . . .
2. Passage given & 7 Comprehension Questions: "Terrifying Tsunamis"
3. Anthology Selection: Flowers & Freckle Cream, Damon and Pythias, (and) Cricket in the Road;
4. Strategy #6: Predicting & Support;
5. Interactive Reader Selection: LOB'S GIRL;
6. Students will receive a "0" in the gradebook for any of the following: 1) No work turned in by Friday at 3:00; 2) Work turned in, but all incorrect; 3) Work turned in, but no proper heading (name, date, subject). Old Enough to put a NAME on a paper. My expectations are not unreasonable. The format has been demonstrated & explained. They are choosing to ignore the expectations.
7. Spelling Test EVERY Friday - 20-25 words + 2 Bonus Words. The words are put into the AGENDA every Monday morning, with my oral dictation & spelling of each. I only say things twice, as there is a great difference between "hearing" me and "listening" to me.
8. VOCABULARY: Complements the stories we are reading;
9. Weekly Spelling Lesson expected by all. Test on Friday, per usual. Words are dictated every Monday. Students are writing those words in their Planner every Monday, per my verbal dictation.
NOTE: Behavior/Conduct Grades will be as follows: (1) Excellent; (2) Satisfactory; (3) Needs Improvement; (4) Unacceptable. Any student with a (4) in any subject will be Ineligible for Sports. Any student with 1's in ALL areas, including electives & specials, will be eligible for Conduct Honor Roll. Behavior will be noted for both Report Cards and Progress Reports.
ATTENTION : WE are a gum-free campus. Do not bring gum to school to share or to chew. GUM is not allowed before, during, or after school hours while ON school property.
THANK YOU to parents & students who take the time to read our classjump postings.
Your student's homework is to complete what does not get completed in class AND to read in order to take AR tests and earn their quarterly points. Everyone has now received their AR point cards from LA teachers, telling them how many they will need per quarter. The index card contains their point requirement and their reading range.
The Planner or Agenda is meant to be used daily by every middle school student. Any teacher can ask to check a student planner and is alerted if work is not being turned in by the due date.
On-Going Focus: Conventions of Good Writing & Strategies of Good Readers.
It is slightly alarming to see how many 6th graders are coming to us and cannot write a comprehensive, complete sentence with accuracy in spelling, grammar, capitalization, AND punctuation. All graded papers are put back into their RED Language Arts binder. Ask to see this binder at any time and they can bring it home for your viewing pleasure.
AND for me, they only have to write "6" sentences from their spelling list - this is enough for me to see if they can write without error. (Too much texting & use of slang/symbols creates bad habits in ALL writing assignments in school) Think about it . . .
I offer NO Extra Credit in Language Arts. My experiences with EC have been negative and abused by students.
AR Website: http://www.arbookfind.com/usertype.aspx
YOUR STUDENT OF READING NEEDS TO BE READING, daily, at home & at school. Do not accept excuses for not bringing novels home. Place them near you, if necessary, and watch how they read for 20 minutes. It can be very revealing. Turn off the music and turn off the TV. Talk to them about what they are reading.
No Personal Electronics may be used at school. Your student's items must be bagged and tubbed for the day for safe-keeping. They will be returned to students at the end of the day. If found in locker, desk, or backpack OR on the student, parent must come in to retrieve the phone or electronic in person.
Students in repeat (#2) violation risk a suspension.
Is your child walking across the river each day at dismissal to meet up with a ride between here & St. Joe campus? If so, why? Their safety is in jeopardy. Why are only the teachers worried about this new mode of action with middle school students?
NOTE: Behavior/Conduct Grades will be as follows: (1) Excellent; (2) Satisfactory; (3) Needs Improvement; (4) Unacceptable. ANY student receiving (4) in ANY subject will not be eligible for Sports. Conduct Honor Roll Eligibility: Must have all 1's in 5 Core Subjects and no less than a 2 in Electives.
December 9 to 13 NewsNotes from CAM - Second Week of Advent (HOPE)
THANK YOU TO PARENTS & STUDENTS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ OUR CLASSJUMP POSTINGS.
ATTENTION Gum Chewers: If you are chewing gum AT SCHOOL (before, during, after), you will lose Recess for one week with your peers.
THIS WEEK in the Wonderful World of Language Arts . . .
All work is due on Fridays by 3:00 in my classes. Trays are available for each class to drop their work into for my grading purposes.
ALL graded work is passed back on Mondays - your student is to file this evidence in their RED LA binder and their PURPLE Religion Folder.
Anthology Selection: A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens continues;
Novel Selection: HOOT by Carl Hiaason. Novel Party and movie will begin on Tuesday;
New Spelling Words (20-25) are given every Monday. Students are copying them into the Agenda for the week's study sessions, both at home and at school. NOTE: Words this week will focus on the recent anniversary of President JFK. Lesson due Friday by 3:00.
Every Monday during Advent, a Prayer Service will be held in church at 2:30. Please join us.
Congratulations to JACK WILLERTON (Charity) and ANNA MCCOOL (Serving Others) from November.
SCRABBLE DAY for Grade 7 will be December 9, due to 7th being a Saturday;
Students will remain for an indoor recess if having issues with organization & filing. Many with low grades and missing assignments, as the work is undone and stuffed into the desks. ALL graded work belongs in the RED binder for LA and the purple folder for Religion. I am there to help get organized for better success.
Have you seen the graded work? Have you asked to see any of it? Ask to see the RED LA binder at any time. They may be happy to share their Organizational Skills and graded papers with you.
Your student should be READING DAILY and taking AR tests when books are completed to accomplish their AR point requirement.
NOTE: please use the following site to assist you in your search: (http:www.arbookfind.com/)
WE hope that PowerSchool (gradebook) is something that you check regularly (weekly). Track your studens for scores and missing assignments. NO progress reports went home on Friday. Parents will receive Parent Codes to access Power School and the gradebook. Track your student closely on a weekly basis to avoid ANY surprises at Report Card time.
Discuss with your son/daughter how they handle themselves in my absence from school. A teacher nor a sub is the babysitter - that's a different service you pay for when it comes to your child's care + safety. In any teacher's absence, a sub represents that teacher and should be given the respect they deserve.
Ask your child if they can verbalize the expectations of the Teacher (and) yours, as a Parent. Are you willing to verbalize your expectations with your student? Kids need to know what is expected of them in order to process what it looks like and how to practice it repeatedly until it is automatic.
NOTE: This may be helpful to some parents, so here's a Normal Week in Language Arts: Structure & Routine foster a predictable pattern for the students.
Monday: New spelling lesson, pass back week's graded work, introduction to new story, TAGS-T in our notebooks and vocabulary with definitions. Prepare weekly index cards (5) with word & definition. Begin reading selection;
Tuesday: Novel Day (quizzes & silent reading, some discussion); Vocabulary noted for chapters, if applicable;
Wednesday: Magazine or Periodical Day with TAGS-T and vocabulary required for the story selections. EXTRA CREDIT IS NOT OFFERED IN LA CLASSES.
Thursday: Interactive Reader Day & Structured Instruction, including Literary Terminology sets of 5 each;
Friday: Spelling Test or Review Test; Structured Instruction, Language game/activity; finish up any reading of stories not yet completed. HAND IN ALL WORK TODAY BY 3:00 to the trays for your class.
NOTE TO PARENTS: Please, please, please model reading for your pre-teens & teen readers! It is so critical to be reading. Unplug the technology and READ, READ, READ. They are not too old to read to you - it's a great way to monitor their Fluency & Comprehension, too. After they have read a page, stop, and ask at least 3 questions about what they've read to you.
God is the Center of this Classroom. HE is the Master Teacher. Come, Holy Spirt, guide us in making good choices each and every day. AMEN. Make God known, loved, and served. Take off your bib, roll up your sleeves, and find ways to serve the needs of others. (Teach service to your children, too) YOU are not their servants. Teach independence & responsibility and avoid waiting on them. It does not all happen at school, in class. Children really need time to practice being quiet & alone with their thoughts. This is a challenge for most. Always needing stimulation is not the best way to learn all the time. (May I say that I am loving this class of homeroom/religion students this year - YOU have GREAT children and I am happy to spend part of my day with EACH of them) :-)
Bella Ravotto has offered to lead us in our Stewardship Project, Round #1 - she & her mom found a 12 year old (local) girl who will be heading to Riley Children's Hospital in Indy for her extensive treatment soon. WE will pen pal with her and pray for her - when we feel helpless, we can ALWAYS pray.
Advent leads us into Stewardship Project, Round #2 - A Gift of Warmth, benefits the Guests at the Center for the Homeless Center, South Bend.
FOCUS: The Story of Jesus: Scripture, Sacraments, Relationships, + Prayer, as the curriculum (Grade 7);
FOCUS: Church History (and) The Sacrament of Confirmation (Grade 8). Service Hours (25) were explained and discussed this Wednesday. Your child has a large, white information packet for you from me and index cards for recording EACH service act to return to me for my log-in purposes for each student. NOTE: 15 Service Hours (Parish & Community) and 10 Service Hours (School). No $$$ can be taken for work to be counted as Service - none. Granted, they may accept payment for work, but may not count it as Service Hour(s). Please monitor this and teach them integrity, honesty, and humility.
Asking 3 Questions: What are my abilities? Do I say YES as often as I should? Was my day pleasing to my God?
December 9 to 13 NewsNotes from CAM (Second Week of Advent - HOPE)
THE FOUR SUNDAYS OF ADVENT BEGIN THE WEEKEND OF THANKSGIVING: DECEMBER 1,8,15,22. STUDENTS WILL BE TAKING PART IN A WEEKLY ADVENT PRAYER SERVICE every Monday in church from 2:30-3:00. Please read my opening comments in first section called, "Advent Angels with a Twist," to understand my intentions for this beautiful season of the Liturgical year.
Grade 7: Finish Chapter 8 and working on all Advent Lessons & Themes;
Grade 8: Finish Chapter 11 and working on all Advent Lessons & Themes;
Resource: WELCOME JESUS by Sarah A. Reinhard, 2011 (Ligouri Press);
REFLECTIVE PRAYER SERVICES FOR MIDDLE GRADES by Elizabeth Mathson;
1. Open Book Quizzes & Tests on every Chapter - no reason to do poorly, but some scores are LOW;
2. We will be testing out of Chapter 8 this week and studying THE REAL 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS by Helen Haidle (EX: Partridge in a Pear Tree = Jesus on the Cross);
3. Focus: Expectations for students AT MASS will be shared by teachers, principal, and priests. Fully engaged and responding is our obligation to this beautiful opportunity - it is a privilege to attend Mass in this country.
4. Quote: "Meeting God halfway might just be the answer." (Billy Coleman's grandfather in WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS);
5. Quote: "It might be worse to decide to fight, than to admit to loss." - Eleanor Roosevelt
It is the request & prayer of the three parish priests that your student(s) attended Mass with you & the family this weekend. Being a baptized Catholic means that it is your moral obligation to attend and have your children present.
***ON-GOING PRAYER INTENTIONS***
1. For Maria Bennett, Grade 5, as she continues to beat her blood cancer battle;
2. For those with physical, emotional, and mental challenges;
3. For students who struggle due to a learning disability;
4. For all families who are obligated to attend MASS as baptized Catholics;
5. For the health & safety of our student athletes, as they represent our school on their various teams each week;
6. For all Catechists, who dedicate their energies to bringing the Faith to children;
7. For the crosses people in our school community may carry every day that are invisible to the rest of us, that God give them faith & courage to bear the burden for the sake of his own crucifixion;
8. For our spiritual pen pal, Daija Lawson, who is a local 5th grader, undergoing treatment for leukemia at Riley Children's Hospital and for her caregivers.
9. For a successful Advent Season for all who attend and support our school;