8th Grade Literature & Language Arts Builds on Summer Reading
To start the year, our 8th graders collaborated to write and create their class norms for their literature and language arts learning environments with Ms. Blandford this year. Individually, they also designed their own literacy identity boards - proudly displayed on each color group's bulletin board within Ms. Blandford's classroom. Then, they turned their focus to their summer reading efforts.
This summer, all students read Scythe. In addition to that story, they were also individually challenged to track their reading as part of an 8th grade reading challenge. Each student has a data page, on which they're tracking their reading all school year - with the goal of 25 books before graduation starting with their first summer reading assignment, including all other personal choice summer reading books, classroom assigned reading and read-alouds, and free time reading.
To review what they read in Scythe this summer, all students shared their presentations with their table. Within their tables, they chose one speaker to present their project to the class during the first few weeks of school. With these presentations, students are already working and improving their abilities to share textual evidence and storylines, as well as improve personal presentation skills: spacing, speaking, eye contact, and listening skills: posture, positive body language. Another goal they're working on is always maintaining the same focus, respect, and attention for the last presenter as they have for the first presenter.
We're excited to hear what stories they read this year, what they learn, what stories they write and tell, and then to hear them speak again - at graduation and end-of-year celebration activities. Don't blink, this year goes by quickly, 8th grade!
Marley Returns to HT as Ms. Probus Visits Classrooms
Ms. Probus is our school counselor, who along with our canine counselor and therapy dog, Marley, visits with our students in their classrooms regularly and supports our commUNITY daily!
She recently shared with our faculty and staff, "The school counselor’s primary tasks are to be a helper, advocate, and connector. In my role, I serve as a source of support for students, which is focused on students’ social, emotional, and academic success." Although the role of a school counselor is not to diagnose or provide therapy per Archdiocese policy, she provides temporary, short-term guidance to help students overcome acute issues which impact their ability to prosper at school. Ms. Probus, as well as her intern, Stephanie Smith (yes, she has the same name as our new Director of Student Achievement, but is a different person), accomplish this by meeting with students individually and/or in small groups based on specific needs. Ms. Probus works with all of our students, as well as faculty and staff, from grades Pre-K through 8th grade. She also supports Amy Cundiff, our part-time counselor at Clifton, by visiting and working with students at Clifton one day a week, too.
Marley, our school therapy dog and canine counselor, joined our school community three years ago. He is a rescue dog that is hypo-allergenic, trained professionally, and is certified as a therapy dog for schools. He lives with Mrs. Billig, one of our 2nd grade teachers, and her family. Together, Ms. Probus and Mrs. Billig continue Marley's training to ensure he's ready to work whenever he's at HT.
To start the year, Ms. Probus and Marley have been busy greeting students and visiting every homeroom. During their visits, they've reviewed how to meet with Ms. Probus, as well as how to interact with Marley. We're so excited to have Marley back in our hallways and classrooms a few days a week, as well as the daily support of Ms. Probus!
This year, our PreK grew and we opened a third classroom! Mrs. Gray, Mrs. Helm, and Ms. Perdue lead our three separate classroom communities and they've already had a great start to the year!
Our youngest students have met and visited with Marley, our canine counselor a few times already. Like the rest of us, they're already fans of his cuddles and soft fur, too! Ms. Probus has worked with students to learn the expectations for interacting with our therapy dog, as well as how her role as counselor supports them as learners.
Last week, they got their iPads! Mrs. Thompson, our Tech Coach joined all three classes separately to teach students how to use the iPads, why they're important to our learning, and specifically how to use a few apps important to PreK learning centers this year. Our PreK teachers will continue to incorporate the new iPads into their lessons regularly.
Then, while enjoying the beautiful weather outdoors, Pre-K worked on their gross motor skills with beach balls! They enjoyed tossing, kicking, catching with one hand, and bouncing the ball.
A day in PreK is always a fun day full of learning! Just ask your student or recall they still have rest time. We know and respect their learning can be so tiring some days!
During the 2020-2021 school year, our Resource Day classes were online on Wednesdays to allow for at-home learning and teacher planning time, as well as disinfection of the school. With that, PE, Library, Art, Music, and Spanish for grades K-6 and Public Speaking for grades 7-8 were all online! It's safe to say, we all missed Resource Day classes being in person last year. This year, we're so glad to have all of them back in our weekly schedule with a traditional resource day that varies for each grade level and be in person again!
Grades 1 and 2 have these classes on Mondays, Grades 5-6 on Tuesdays, Grades 7-8 on Wednesdays, Grades PreK and K on Thursdays, and Grades 3-4 on Friday.
Last year, Ms. Andrea Hollars joined our faculty as our PE teacher, replacing Ms. Pullem who retired after more than 30 years teaching PE at Holy Trinity! This year, Ms. Hollars has already gotten to know our students so much more while working with them in person.
Sometimes you may see Ms. Hollars outside with her students at the start of her classes, as students walk the parish walking path to begin class for a warm-up activity. What a great use of this campus resource!
Within PE, students began the year focusing on basic manipulative skills in all grade levels with varying activities. The older students have used hula hoops, as well as jump ropes with varying challenge activities and levels to practice body awareness, footwork, balance, and many other important skills. Our younger students have used beanbags for this work, as well. They've walked, jumped, and crawled with beanbags on their heads, and backs to practice balance, footwork, and steadiness among other skills. We're excited to see what they learn and practice this year in PE classes.
Throughout the year, our teachers offer enrichment after-school opportunities through PEP, our Pupil Enrichment Program. These classes are offered from 3-4 pm and cost an additional fee determined by each offering teacher.
The fall classes will be for 6 weeks (with some one-time-only class exceptions) and can be found in today's packet coming home, as well as online. Registrations are due online with payments also sent to the teacher by Friday, Sept. 24. Register here.
** If you're applying for the 8th grade HSPT prep class, please register by this Friday, Sept. 17 to assist with ordering and on-time delivery of the books necessary for the class. Thank you!
Our all-school Pet Blessing, held in honor of the St. Francis of Assisi Feast Day, is scheduled for Sept. 30 at 8 am at the Portico. All classes will gather outside after the morning bell, facing the Portico, behind posted grade level signs.
Adults joining us with family pets should line up in front of the parking spot lines (closest to the portico), separate from and in front of the classes so that their students can join them when they come outside. Families unable to attend in person with their pets are invited to have their students bring photos of their pets to be blessed.
At the time of the blessing with holy water, our ministers blessing pets will move throughout the audience gathered to ensure all are blessed. Please do not move towards the priests/deacons.
** All animals must be on a short leash only – not an extendable leash – or in a crate/cage. Families are expected to have bags to clean up after their pets if needed.
Ensure you're ready to volunteer in the classroom, with teams, or on any experiences/field trips we may be able to have later this year by completing the Archdiocese's Safe Environment Training and requesting an up-to-date background check be on file with the parish.
A list of Safe Environment Trainings can be found here.
To request a background check be run (required to be renewed every 5 years) or confirm yours is up to date, email Mary Scott Herrington in the parish office at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a $15 fee that will have to be paid to the parish for this.
Annually, our 2nd graders read various books from the Who Was...? biographical series. Then, in an effort to share their learning and raise money for their service-learning partner, they traditionally host a live Wax Museum. With a monetary donation, they recite their speech for the person from history in which they're dressed to represent. This year, while it's not a fundraising effort, they still wanted to share their presentations with everyone!
Our Lost and Found will be outside again on the last day of school, Friday, from 7:30 am - 1 pm at the Portico. After school, all items will be washed and donated to local service organizations. Thus, please make time to shop for your family's missing items this Friday!
A few of our teachers will be offering Summer PEP classes daily from 9 am - 12 pm from July 12 - 16 on our St. Matthew's Campus. Check out the offerings: Legos with Mrs. Hill, Tech Club with Mrs. Thompson, Quick Recall with Mrs. Davenport, and Spanish Cooking with Sra. Alfaro, and sign up here.