Final Steeples

Welcome to Middle School Language Arts

Donnel Thompson, former NFL player for the Colts and Steelers, visited our classroom today! The 7th grade scholars are writing persuasive essays about whether or not football should be banned in America. Mr. Thompson acted as our primary source and BOY did he inform us more than ANY of our other research provided. After scholars finish their essays, they will then prepare for our in-class trial by writing and practicing speeches to give in front of the class based on their role (defender, attacker...etc.) and whether or not they are for or against the banning of football. "God first, family second, football third" was one of Mr. Thompson's alternative lessons he taught the class. He lives out this message as Mr. Thompson boasts a degree from Madison, a successful careers, a deep faith, and a wonderful family. Our scholars prepared fantastic questions and showed great respect for our speaker. Thanks Mr. Thompson for taking the time to come in AND, by the way, this NFL player happens to be the father of two CEE scholars, so you might catch him in the parking lot or at a school event!

Recently in Middle School ELA...

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Save the Last Word for me!

May 29, 2017
By Mrs. Ibarra

Hello CEE community!

The seventh and eighth graders performed their first every "SAVE THE LAST WORD FOR ME PROTOCOL!" What is it? It's where groups of four read, annotate, and analyze a text and then share their thoughts with their group members in a 3 minute, 1 minute, 1 minute, 1 minute, FINAL WORD 1 minute protocol! It allows for greater equity of voice. To start, this group (in the video) modeled how it could be done after analzying a scholar's NFL football persuasive essay. The scholars in the outer circle were offering specific feedback to an assigned scholar on the inner circle. It's a great way to encourage scholars to really listen to one another and respond to individuals in their conversation. Moreover, the last person is assigned with the heavy task of tying all the comments made together. Shania did a terrific job with this. It was their very first one- don't you think they rocked it! The eighth graders were awesome as well. I look forward to doing more "SAVE THE LAST WORD protocols" in class in the future. 



Odes, Brains, and Mockingbirds

May 04, 2017
By Mrs. Ibarra

Hi Catholic East Community!


You will notice I uploaded two new videos below from a very impressive socratic seminar the sixth graders performed about two Odes by Pablo Neruda.


Seventh grade has been reading articles about adolscent brain development in my class, while studying helmets using math in Mr. W's. We decided to come together and create one big project about these subjects! Today I introduced and assigned roles for the seventh grades COURT CASE PROJECT- "A REFERENDUM ON FOOTBALL IN AMERICA!" Should it cease to exist?


The eighth grade is truly enjoying one of America's all time favorite's, To Kill A Mockingbird. We have been discussing the Golden Rule as the MAJOR THEME, while also comparing text to film as we compare and contrast various scenes to chapters. In fact, I'm diving into chapter 10 in 2 minutes. Gotta' run!


Blessings and have a great weekend.

Celebration of Catholic Schools!

February 05, 2017
By Bridget Currier

Catholic Schools Week presented the middle school with ample opportunities for fun and learning! We sent our prayer balloons skyward, engaged in a spirited teachers vs eighth grade volleyball game, and finished the week with our all-school bowling trip. In ELA, we worked hard in the midst of the celebrations and kept our forward momentum. 


6th: We spent several lessons analyzing Steve Jobs' Address to Stanford University. We were able to connect much of the wisdom Jobs imparts to the life lessons presented in the poem, "If", by Rudyard Kiping. The scholars seemed really inspired by Jobs' story of following his creativity and dreams, and, of course, never giving up when he lost it all. We're continuing to work on recogizing figurative language in a variety of texts and practicing writing it ourselves!


7th: Our study of the Narrative of Frederick Douglass has included discussion of what makes a story powerful. This past week we began a mini-unit on poetry and considered what specific tools poets use to affect their audience. We wrote about a family member who has had a powerful effect on our lives, practicing using vivid and descriptive words to bring this person to life for the audience.


8th: We are near to wrapping up our journey into Shakespeare! After a unit that has emphasized analysis of characters' motives and attempts to control others, we're beginning to create "confessional narratives," where the scholars get to take the persona of a character of their choice and creatively describe his or her inner thoughts. This should be a fun way for scholars to demonstrate their in-depth understanding of the interplay between characters in this rich text.


And we're off to our first full week in February..... I think the scholars and teachers all feel relieved with the little bit more daylight starting to linger each day! :)

Working Hard/Surviving January!

January 13, 2017
By Bridget Currier


We had another good week in Middle School ELA. Despite the cold temeratures, ice, and snow, the scholars showed-up to class with their A-game!


6th Grade:


We are moving right along in our novel, Bud, Not Buddy. The novel is rich in figurative language and we worked hard to determine the meaning of various passages. The scholars also tried their own hand at writing figurative language in describing for me how their day was going....let me just say you have some very dramatic and poetic 6th graders! If you wish to be entertained, ask your 6th grader to share with you what they came up with. :)


7th Grade:


We continued building upon the historical framework within which we'll be undertanding the Narrative of Frederick Douglass. We compared and contrasted the ways in which African American Slaves and Russian Serfs expressed their sorrows as well as hopes through song. To help focus our reading, we discussed Frederick Douglass's purpose for writing his narrative, and uncovered his desire to "shine a light" on the evils of slavery. I continue to be impressed with the scholars' ability to grapple with such difficult and emotional material.


8th Grade:


Continuing along on on our journey through Shakespeare, 8th grade also worked hard on figurative language this week. They did some creative writing of their own, working in groups to use Shakespearean vocabulary in their own stories about a variety of fun topics. The results were highly entertaining! We read about the current trend of theater companies translating Shakespeare's plays into modern English. It was fun to see how each of the scholars weighed-in on the topic. I have to say that I was pretty thrilled to see many scholars come down on the side of preserving Shakespeare's original language! Yes, that was probably one of the highlights of my week!!


Next week we will be moving into MAPS testing and will not have quite as much activity in ELA due to test schedule. Stay warm and enjoy the long weekend! 





Recent Posts

5/29/17 - By Mrs. Ibarra
5/4/17 - By Mrs. Ibarra
2/5/17 - By Bridget Currier
1/13/17 - By Bridget Currier