Friday, March 2, 2018

Middle School English and Bible Update

Here is the brief monthly update!  Happy March!

7th English: We're in the middle of a Short Story "Coming of Age" Unit!  I am having a wonderful time reading and discussing rich literature from Hemingway, Trudeau, Hughes, Kipling, and more. This unit has nine short stories, and we only have three left to read.  Students have also been writing reflections, demonstrating their understanding of theme, and learning more about internal and external conflict.  I especially enjoyed the students' narrative essays titled "Seventh Grade" after we read Gary Soto's short story, Seventh Grade.  Additionally, we have continued with grammar lessons.  We will complete our grammar unit this Thursday and will begin our new novel unit, Breaking Through by Francisco Jimenez, when we return from break.

7th Bible: We are in the middle of our unit on The Prophets.  This unit covers ALL of the writing prophets and relates their messages us, while giving us a better understanding of God's redemptive history.  We will complete this unit when we return from break.  The memory passage for this unit is Malachi 3:1-6, ESV.  The students can work on this memorization over the break!

8th English: Students did SUCH a wonderful job with Shakespeare, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading their papers supporting their theme of A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Additionally, many of their coinciding projects were fantastic and gave a deeper insight into the drama and the characters. We also finished our Flowers for Algernon unit and had amazingly deep discussions on this riveting literary work by Daniel Keyes.  I was impressed with the written essay response on the assessment for this story, and I can see the growth in their writing and their higher level thinking skills.  Right now we are deep into grammar and will be concluding our current grammar unit before break.  When the students return from break, we will be jumping into our next novel, Lord of the Flies by William Golding.  This novel is an allegory for society as a whole, and the students really get into it!  More writing will take place in this unit as will deep class discussions as we dig into the symbolism of this work.

8th Bible: We are currently in The Reformation in church history.  While most of our students have a solid foundation of understanding, this unit goes much deeper into the meaning behind The Reformation and the results as far as the impact on the church, the Body of Christ.  The reformers have been an inspiration to the students, and we have had excellent class discussions on justification, sanctification, and emphasizing how  The Word of God is our refuge and strength.  The memory passage for this unit is Eph. 2:4-9, ESV. 

Thank you!

Monday, February 26, 2018


Dear Parents,

Excuse this VERY delayed message....

On behalf of the students, thank you so much for helping to make our Valentine's Day special!  The kids loved their breakfast drink bar and had a great time passing out treats.  Here are a few photos of the time we had.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Update and Announcements...

Writing and grammar and literature, OH MY!  Church history and Proverbs and worldview, OH MY! Yes, we are tackling a lot of things in middle school right now, but the students are thriving and doing so well.  I am especially impressed with class discussions and their willingness to share.  Sometimes I wish that parents could be flies on the walls in the classroom because you all would be very proud of the work your students are doing!  Here's a little look into what is going on:

7th English: We finished our literature unit on The Hobbit, but the students won't be presenting their projects until February 15th.  In the meantime, we will be working on grammar and writing.  I was SUPER impressed with their understanding and analysis of Tolkien's writing.  Each student had to choose a theme for The Hobbit and support it with a five paragraph essay using a three-point-thesis.  Their writing is really coming along!  Our next literature unit is a coming-of-age short story unit.  We will begin this in about a week and a half. 

8th English: We finished our literature unit on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and had a blast with this unit!  In addition to learning Shakespeare, students wrote amazing thematic thesis essays, and I was so proud of their interpretation of Shakespeare's message through this comedic drama.  Even though we have finished the unit, the students won't be presenting their projects until February 22nd.  We are currently doing grammar lessons and will be starting Flowers for Algernon on Monday.

7th Bible: We are on Unit 5: Prophets! As God's nation grew, so did the need for leadership.  We are still in desperate need of spiritual leadership today.  We have enjoyed talking about the leaders we look up to and what God's word says in this regard. What made these Prophets great leaders, and what makes US great leaders?

8th Bible: We are finishing up a unit on the church in the Middle Ages which includes the fall of Rome, the rise of the Roman Catholic Church, and the beginnings of Islam.  We have been looking at how the surrounding cultures influence Christ's church.  It has been a great time of discussion comparing our culture to the culture in the 1000s and seeing the church responds to pressures and such.  There's nothing new under the sun, and God is in control! Praise Him!


  • Students have to have their Speech Meet piece memorized and perfected by February 13th.  We have a great variety of poetry, prose from favorite novels and stories, historical speeches, and Bible passages.  I am excited to hear the recitations, and I joyfully anticipate the culminating school-wide event on February 23rd.
  • We will have a little Valentine's Day party on February 14th, after lunch from 12-12:30.  Middle schoolers can bring cards or treats for the whole middle school (48 students in total) or for just their individual class. 
  • Work-A-Thon needs your help to design the t-shirt logo!  Information went home on this today.
  • Don't forget to be checking RenWeb periodically! :)  
  • In case you missed it last month, here is a video from our Medieval Fair:
Look how adorable these people are!  Their sweet faces make my every day. 

(Sorry for those who were out sick or missed any of these photos!)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Happy New Year!

It's hard to believe that the school year is almost half over!  I am really proud of the students and all they have accomplished so far!  Here is what is on the agenda for when we return from break and head into the third quarter.

TWO WEEK COLLABORATIVE UNIT:  We are so excited to be diving into our theme: 2018 MEDIEVAL Unit! All classes will revolve around this theme, and we will be closing the unit by making a Medieval Fair for our elementary friends.  Stay tuned for more details AND how you can help us out with this exciting unit!

7th Bible: We will be studying Proverbs and learning more about how our amazing Lord gives us wisdom.  Students will be memorizing two passages (of their choosing) from the Book of Proverbs.  After our Proverbs Unit, we will complete a unit on an overview of the prophets.  This inspirational unit is often a favorite among the students.

7th English:  It's time to read The Hobbit and other writings by Tolkien, CS Lewis, and George MacDonald!  Students will be completing Hobbit Projects and doing oral presentations along with the projects.  We are moving on in our vocabulary and grammar curriculum as well. Additionally, students will be learning how to write business letters and "professional" resumes.  Students will be sending their letters to the businesses of their choice.  It's extra fun when they hear back from these companies!

8th Bible: Church history continues on!  I love our next unit where we get to discuss Constantine, Augustine, and more exciting and influential people in history.  It is amazing how God uses us, His vessels, to move His kingdom.  May we continue to do His work by being His hands and feet.

8th English:  We are tackling Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream!  (This might be my favorite thing I do all year.)  The students will be writing literary analysis essays to defend their chosen theme for this Shakespearean drama.  In addition to this literature and writing unit, we will be continuing with grammar and vocabulary lessons.

Monday, November 13, 2017

I love my students! + A little update!

Is this year flying by, or what?  Thank you for continuing to share your teenagers with me and entrusting them to my care (at least for English and Bible classes).  They bring me joy every day!  Here is a very brief update on what your treasures are up to in the classroom.

ENGLISH 7: We just finished a grammar AND a vocabulary Unit.  We will continue with "a sprinkling of grammar" throughout our current poetry unit.  For our poetry unit, we will be reading and writing poems, and we will be writing a research paper on a famous poet.  Your student will have learned fifteen different types of poems and twenty literary elements by the end of the unit.  Pretty cool!

BIBLE 7: We are in the middle of Unit 3, The Writings.  We are currently learning about Job.  I love getting to talk to the students about how God is completely in control of all things! Next up in Unit 3 is Ecclesiastes where we see how meaningless life is without the Lord.  Our current memory work is The Apostles Creed.

ENGLISH 8: We just finished a grammar AND a vocabulary Unit.  We finished our unit on research writing.  We finished our Holocaust Literature Unit.  Now we are on to a poetry unit.  Not only will we be learning the intricacies of poetry, we will also be making poetry portfolios for this unit, and you will LOVE the end product!

BIBLE 8: We're nearing the end of Unit 2 and discussing early church history.  Students will have to write papers on a person who heavily influenced the early church.  Currently, we are discussing the qualifications for church leadership, and I have been so encouraged by the students' responses!  They strongly agree that what Paul expressed to Timothy and Titus is still current for our churches today.  (Of COURSE God's Word is perfect and living and active and always relevant!)  I love that I get to dig into the details of God's Word every day with these amazing kids!  Our current memory work is The Apostles Creed.

Great times in DC. :)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Great start!

We have had an awesome start to our year!  Here is a brief update on English and Bible classes.

7th English

  • We just finished a Literature Unit on myths, legends, folktales, and fables.  We read eleven short stories over this unit, and the students did a wonderful job understanding the deeper meanings and lessons in each.  Additionally, students wrote three essays displaying their knowledge of various stories and their themes.  Within this unit, we also worked on note-taking skills and organization. 
  • The seventh graders also completed the first two lessons in vocabulary (Greek and Latin Classical Roots).  Students worked on understanding how words work in a sentence and how they can differ the part of speech of the word as well as use the root to understand other derivatives.
  • Currently, we are in a grammar review unit, covering all the parts of speech and implementing our grammar knowledge into writing.  Additionally, on Friday, the students will be receiving The Giver, an award-winning novel by Lois Lowry that we will read as a class.
7th Bible
  • We just completed our first unit which consisted of an overview of the Old Testament.  
  • We are beginning a new unit on the Jewish feasts and festivities.  It's so exciting to see how Jesus fulfilled all the Jewish holidays.

8th English
  • We have completed two units already and are in our third.  The first unit was a literature unit with some writing assessment as well.  This literature unit was on short stories.  The students read a variety of stories from many backgrounds and genres.  Their reading comprehension and high level thinking skills were tested during this unit.  
  • The other unit we completed was our first vocabulary unit.  Students did an excellent job understanding Greek and Latin roots and how the English language was derived from this foundation.  There were spelling, definitions, parts of speech, and analogies portions of this unit.
  • Our current English unit is on grammar and writing.  The students are undergoing an extensive grammar review before we move on to new material.
  • This week we also begin the novel The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.  I am looking forward to reading this together, especially before we visit The Holocaust Museum in five weeks!  Students will also be completing Holocaust research papers in MLA Format, and students will present the information to the seventh grade class.  More details on this will be given to the students on Friday.
8th Bible
  • We are in the middle of an overview of the New Testament.  This week was devoted to student presentations on the Gospels and the Epistles.  The students have done an excellent job presenting!
  • We are memorizing the Beatitudes and talking about this rich Scripture as well.
8th graders perform skits to better understand and remember the meaning of the parables Jesus taught about The Kingdom of God

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Homeroom Flag!

These two awesome students worked really hard during their study hall to finish painting our flag!  Thanks, Robert and T!

The avocados have also decided on a homeroom motto: "WE'RE HARDCORE!"