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December Newsletter

6th Grade – It has been a lively and exciting first few weeks for me at St. Cletus. The students have been getting to know me and my teaching style, just as I have gotten to know each of them and their learning styles. We have talked about how to best prepare, stay organized and ready to contribute both inside and outside of the classroom, as well as some of my expectations I have of my students. The key word from that discussion was: Effort! We explored Unit 7 of the Vocabulary Workshop workbook as a class and gained a better understanding of how to start using these new words in our writing and in everyday conversation. In the coming weeks, our journey through vocabulary and grammar will shift to analyzing homonyms, homophones, homographs and several other commonly misused words, in addition to reminding ourselves of the parts of speech. The better we understand the parts of speech, the more we can expand our vocabulary usage and understanding. It should be a fun journey! Stay tuned…

 

7th Grade – I can’t believe it’s been two weeks already in my role Middle School Language Arts Teacher here at St. Cletus. It’s been a great transition and my first few weeks here have centered around that transition. The students have gotten to know me and my teacher style, just as I have gotten them and their learning styles. We have talked about how to best prepare, stay organized and ready to contribute both inside and outside of the classroom, as well as some of my expectations I have of my students. The key word from that discussion was: Effort! We explored Unit 7 of the Vocabulary Workshop workbook as a class and gained a better understanding of how to start using these new words in our writing and in everyday conversation. We also began our exploration into the process of writing an opinion/persuasive essay and delivering it as a speech. Soon, the students will pick their topics for this assignment entitled, “What is You Favorite…?” During this assignment, students will write and speak about their favorite movie, sports team, book, vacation spot or any of their other favorites and demonstrate, using examples and support, how and why whatever they chose is their favorite. We have discussed what makes good evidence and support and the differences between facts and opinions. I look forward to hearing these speeches in the coming weeks!

 

8th Grade – It has been a learning experience for all of us in Language Arts over the last few weeks since I transitioned into the role of teacher. We have learned all about my teaching approach and style, and the ways in which the students can have success both inside my class and outside of the classroom. There was a lot of discussion about my expectations in my class, and they all centered around the idea of being both physically and mentally present during class. The recurring topic of the discussions was: Effort!  Giving your best effort and trying something new, without fear of failure, is a crucial aspect to the maturation process. The students are beginning to understand that the ways in which we grow is through identifying our struggles and focusing on those areas for improvement. With that, we also explored through Unit 7 in our Vocabulary Workshop books and gained a better understanding of how to use the words in our writing and everyday conversation. The students have also begun their preliminary work on the Persuasive Essay & Speech assignment. We will continue our exploration by identifying the power of the written word and the power of photos/images. We will be sharpening our research skills and work to organize our thoughts in a meaningful way in our essays. In addition, the students will discover the various techniques and approaches that can be used during a persuasive speech to tap into the emotions of the audience. We are well on our way to great things and I can’t wait to be persuaded in the coming weeks!