Final Steeples

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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!

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Agree/Disagree- stand WHERE YOU BE!

January 08, 2018
By Mrs. Ibarra

Hello Middle School Community,

Mr. Hall lead the eighth grade in an engaging agree/disagree activity on Friday. As you can see in the video, the eighth graders did not want to stop sharing their perspectives as Mr. Hall posted various philosophical ideas such as "one can never really know the truth." He asked scholars to stand in a certain part of the room depending on whether they agreed, disagreed, or were "in the middle." Nathan Wilson was the last speaker to share in this video and his peers did a great job listening!


Middle school, we will be restarting reading logs today and they will not be due until next wednsday. Scholars will not be mandated to read and record on next Monday and Tuesday when they do not have school. However, I would encourage them to read their choice books in order to continue building stamina. 


All scholars will take their Words Their Way tests this Thursday. Please support your scholars in reviewing and studying their words! 


And finally, scholars will take their Reading MAP test this Friday and their Math MAP test next wednesday. Early to bed and a solid breakfast will help the scholars perform their very best!



Writing From Another's Point-of-View

November 13, 2017
By Mrs. Ibarra

Dear Families,

We had quite a productive week of writing last week! I read the children's book entitled "Last Stop on Market Street" to the scholars. Middle schoolers truly enjoy picture books such as these- still! Afterwards, we discussed how CJ, the main character, compares and contrasts to Charlie, our main character in "Flowers for Algernon." Scholars took notes on these similarities and differences throughout the reading and were then given the rigorous task of writing about it in a mini-compare and contrast essay during writing centers. Their final version is due this coming Thursday along with their rubrics. 

Moreover, the scholars were assigned to write their very own progress report from either Miss Kinnian, Dr. Nemur, or Dr. Strauss's point-of-view. We brainstormed evidence that could support both the characters' style and points-of-view in the text, "Flowers for Algernon." It was a great chance as well to dive into different types of pronouns- first person versus second versus third person personal pronouns! You can see the scholars working independently on these progress reports during class. Notice how they are all referring to the evidence in their story in order to support their ideas and build the style and points-of-view of their characters. 

Writing stamina and drawing evidence from texts are two very important skills for high school and beyond. I am so proud of the way scholars are building all of these skills and more! Have a wonderful week!



Mrs. Ibarra

Do Now Beach Ball and Frankenstein

November 05, 2017
By Mrs. Ibarra

Dear Catholic East Community!

It has been a busy BUSY couple of weeks and as the Holidays are now upon is, we all know it is going to become even well, BUSIER!


Thank you everyone for taking time out of your schedules to conference with Mr. Hall and myself. It is always such a pleasure to spend time with my scholars' families. Speaking with you all is a clear reminder that I am BEYOND BLESSED to be apart of such an amazing community! Thank you for your wonderful support. You are clearly AWESOME because our middle schoolers are THE BEST!


In the video you can see a snipet of a DO NOW we perform here and there. The scholars enjoy the beach ball's prompts such as "The tone in my choice book is... and it is created by word choice such as..." As you can see, they are genuinely interested in hearing and sharing about their choice books! This also keeps them motivated to read more and communicate new ideas.


The scholars have continued to work on their reading stamina of both fiction and non-fiction peices in centers. They are excited about the fact that they get to choose which Newsela article they read. In word work, we are creating a living dictionary of words that "Every High School Freshman Should Know!" The scholars are picking one word from the list and depicting its meaning. Mr. Hall and I will be hanging them around the room.


Finally, "Flowers for Algernon" continues to rock the scholars' socks! They just cannot wait to hear what happens next! We also explored Chapter 4 from Franksenstein and are continuing to disect the challenging language. Scholars are starting to see how this text compares to a number of elements from "Flowers." 


Have a wonderful week!


Mrs. Ibarra



Greek and Latin Roots, Character Claims, and Text Structure

October 22, 2017
By Mrs. Ibarra

Dear Middle School Community,

I hope you enjoyed your weeked. It was great to see some of you at the Soles Walk- what a gorgeous morning it was!


Scholars tackled Greek and Latin Roots this week and we focused on brainstorming various roots during our do nows and writing about them in learning centers. I enjoyed hearing so many scholars share out their ideas with koosh ball talks (as seen in the 8th grade do now video). 


Flowers for Algernon is becoming more and more interesting as main character Charlie has undergone his brain surgery and begins to realize more and more about the world around him. I wish you could see how excited the scholars are as they read this novella. It seems to be quite a favorite so far! Scholars have been identifying claims made by other characters about Charlie, analyzing the text's structure and its impact on the reader's understanding, as well as annotating Charlie before and after the surgery. 


Words Their Way continues to be meeting scholars at their level. Scholars are learning about word patterns and vowel-consonant rules. I can tell that it is deepening their ability to think about the origin of words and how they form a language. Their next Words Their Way test is this coming Tuesday.


Please continue to talk to your scholar about their daily reading, and don't forget, reading logs are due tomorrow, Monday!



Mrs. Ibarra

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