Our Math students are either at the point of finishing up or just getting started on their Archdiocesan Math Assessments. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to realize that what we are learning in our Math class is very useful outside of the classroom in everyday life. They are being asked to do some comparative shopping, figure out the tax for themselves, then add that to a lunch bill with tax and the tip all figuring into the total. After they have completed the “math” of the project, students need to do some reasoning to determine if they made the best choices in their purchases. They are also asked to share some other ideas where they think they will use fractions, percents, decimals and proportions in other situations in their lives. The feedback I’m getting from students about this project so far has been really good. They like thinking about using these skills in everyday life, and many have given very specific examples of how they have transferred this knowledge already in their own lives outside of school.
In seventh grade we tried hard to have the Best Lent Ever this year. Each day, students were able to view an inspirational video helping them to reflect on their own Lenten journey. The video series was done by Matthew Kelly based on his book Resisting Happiness. Mr. Kelly is also the author of a book the students received this year with lessons our priests are addressing when they come to visit.
Our seventh grade depictions of the Stations of the Cross were just taken down in our hallway and replaced with some beautiful illustrations of Mary the students completed in Art class. Those illustrations were made to be part of a slideshow that will be played during our Living Rosary on May 17th. The students did a beautiful job on their pictures.
If you walk by 7D these days, you will see some amazing illustrations of saints. The students have been very busy ever since our Rite of Enrollment ceremonies researching the saint with whom they feel a connection to choose as their Confirmation saint names. What a blessing it always is for me to be a part of this process with them. Every year, I learn about a few saints I am not familiar with as well as getting to hear more information on some of the more popular saint names. Some new ones this year included St. Ivo, St. William of Vercelli and St. Benedict the Moor. How excited I was to see a couple of girls choose St. Teresa of Calcutta.
We have discussed God’s army of saints in heaven and learned a lot about them. Right now, students are choosing their sponsors for Confirmation and writing letters to them sharing their experiences as they begin this preparation for Confirmation.
While Math in seventh grade is a Pre Algebra curriculum, we throw a lot of Algebra in there to prepare the students for Algebra 1 next year. Right now, we are working on all things fraction related. We have multiplied, divided, added and subtracted them. We have worked with mixed numbers and all operations. Currently, we are solving equations using all those operations while adding some negatives to the mix. The students are becoming proficient at solving these problems; they are anticipating the next steps themselves and that makes me very proud of them!
We continue to use IXL to strengthen skills learned and reinforce skills taught in class. As a teacher, I feel so blessed to have that resource to offer the students. Many of the them enjoy playing Prodigy (another Math website that looks like a video game). I like it because I get to create a plan and control what kinds of problems they are solving on there. Disguised as a video game, it is a great reinforcement for what is happening in my Math classrooms! The seventh graders are definitely putting those Chromebooks to use!
I feel like we started Catholic Schools Week last Tuesday as our seventh graders participated in the Courage Retreat we are blessed to have with them through Youth Frontiers. That day was full of music, dancing, mongo volleyballs and games with some meaningful small group time mixed in throughout the day. At the end of the day was Pebble in a Pond. Students bravely get up and share over a microphone one act of Courage they plan to work on after attending this retreat. I was so proud of our students and the way they were able to look within themselves to find that act of Courage that could make this a great year for themselves and to help them grow as people.
This week we have a lot of fun things planned. I know that seventh graders don’t always come home and share what they did, so I thought I would share a little for them and you will have some things to ask them about as they come home each day! We are starting the week off with a door decorating contest. A small group of students from our homeroom took this and ran with it. I have included that picture here. The suggested themes were to stick with our theme for Catholic Schools Week, incorporate the school colors or to thank Mrs. Gubbels for her years of service to our school. The students from 7D chose to use faith by creating a rosary (I was thrilled as we just completed our unit on the rosary!) and to thank Mrs. Gubbels. If you look closely in the picture, you will see little images of Mrs. Gubbels through the years on PAWS as part of the Our Father beads. I think it looks great!
The rest of our week’s activities look like this:
Monday – Door Decorating Contest, Omaha Street Percussionists
Tuesday – We have mass and donuts with parents as well as a program put on by RESPECT called Scraps.
Wednesday – We get to see the Marian band/choir perform.
Thursday – Spelling Bee
Friday – We will attend the Drama Performance then play some games with our first grade partners while we wear crazy hats.
I hope you are able to make it to mass with us on Tuesday. I look forward to seeing many of you there!
Hi! I am Mrs. Linda Harrison. I am blessed to be starting my thirteenth year at St. Pius X / St. Leo School teaching both Math and Religion to our seventh graders. My husband Chris and I have four children who all graduated from SPSL. Three of our kids are very busy in college, and our oldest daughter just got married on August 13th before school started. We are members of St. Leo the Great Parish.