The middle school years are important years in the lives of our students. The students spend this time preparing for high school. Developmentally our oldest students are growing and maturing into young adults. As they become independent learners they also shape their core values and more clearly define their character. We encourage our middle school students to become actively involved in their classes as well as extra-curricular activities including athletics, fine arts and academic and leadership experiences.
Presenting Our Sixth Grade Program
The Teaching Staff:
Mrs. Lea Corcoran
Mrs. Kathleen Eikens
Ms. Katy Lawton
Mrs. Tami Lodge
Sixth grade is the first year of middle school. This is a year filled with change, as the students move from classroom to classroom throughout the day, and are tied to daily changes in their schedules.
The fall of this first year of middle school is an ideal time to focus on study skills, to help the students cope with the responsibilities of tracking all of their assignments.
Religion in sixth grade focuses on the 7 Principles of Social Justice (Catholic Social Teaching), the Old Testament, and the use of the Visions weekly magazine. In the Old Testament we read, discuss, and do activities with the stories of Creation and Adam & Eve, the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph), and the life of Moses. The Visions magazine teaches the Sunday gospel with stories and activities.
In English, the students study grammar in a meaningful context, and analyze and use different writing strategies. The students give oral reports and write a research paper during their sixth grade year. In reading, students continue to work on reading skills and use novels as the basis of their literature study. Our aim is to help the students grow in their ability to read as well as encourage life-long reading.
The math program is a continuation of learning the processes begun in the lower grades, but with greater competency in the areas of place value, decimals, fractions, ratios and percents. The text book is supplemented with a basic introduction to pre-algebra. Through this program the students learn arithmetic skills in algebraic form. It is a very important step in helping the students be prepared for the algebra skills of the next few grades.
Sixth grade science focuses on physical science with an emphasis on matter, forces and motion. The students will be learning to develop their own lab procedures, write detailed lab reports, and will practice using the scientific method during their experiments. Our highlight is the annual sixth grade trip to Camp St. Croix in Hudson , Wisconsin . During this three day adventure, students strengthen old and develop new friendships as they discover the great outdoors.
The first trimester of Social Studies in sixth grade is spent learning Minnesota History. Students learn about the civilizations of first humans/Native Americans, the fur trade, and the the beginning of Europeans settling in Minnesota. The last two trimesters are spent learning about ancient civilizations. We read, discuss, and do activities covering the 7 characteristics of the civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, india, China, Greece, and Rome. The seven characteristics of civilization are stable food supply, social structure, government, religion, the arts, technology, and a written language.
Presenting Our Seventh Grade Program
The Teaching Staff:
Mrs. Annmarie McConville
Ms. Kathy McRae
Mrs. Claire Prescott
Mrs. Anne Ragatz
We aspire to be a community of disciples who work, play, pray, and learn together. We encourage students to develop positive character traits and share their gifts and talents. In partnership with our parents, we encourage our students to be their personal best.
Seventh graders spend the year preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation, including completing 30 hours of service. The preparation program used in Religion provides both intellectual and spiritual catechesis. Students further their study of Tradition, Scripture, and Divine Revelation, and begin to see how faith connects to life’s choices. Finally, students become familiar with the Rite of Confirmation and come to see the sacrament as an important milestone in a life-long journey of faith.
English continues the tradition of incorporating writing, grammar, spelling, speaking, and listening skills in its curriculum. Specifically, students are given multiple opportunities to write in a variety of genres. Emphasis is placed on grammar skill lessons that lead to good writing. Time is also spent on improving the mechanics of students’ writing, including spelling. Listening and speaking skills are practiced daily, culminating in the writing and delivery of a formal speech.
Using novels and biographies as the basis of study, Literature allows students to read and react to various authors and themes. They learn to recognize and use common literary devices, figurative language, and formats. They practice reading skills with teacher-selected works as well as personal choice texts. Finally, students practice connecting and comparing texts, concluding in a compare/contrast essay.
The focus of Pre-Algebra is to provide a strong foundation of the basic skills and concepts needed to be successful in both Algebra and any future high school math experience. The curriculum builds on what students know and challenges them to expand their thinking on working with integers, percents, decimals, and fractions. It also covers many of the beginning algebraic concepts, such as, writing and solving expressions, equations, and inequalities. Problem solving, logical reasoning, and critical thinking techniques are taught. While most seventh graders take Pre-Algebra, students do have the opportunity to test into Algebra at this level.
History class covers our country's development from the American Revolution to World War II. Through the study of history and related social sciences, students are provided with essential knowledge that will develop their understanding of themselves and others. In addition to the main text, students also use other sources of information including audio-visual materials, primary and secondary sources, and other historical documents. Methods of study, note-taking, and study skills are incorporated throughout the curriculum.
Science at this level focuses on living things and examines them at many different levels and in many different forms. Our main units of study in Life Science are organization oooof life, cells and cell processes, biochemistry, DNA and heredity, history of the earth, and anatomy and physiology. This class is lab-based, with numerous lab activities throughout the year. Students have the opportunity to work with compound microscopes, dissect some organisms, and complete a variety of engineering problem-solving activities.
Presenting Our Eighth Grade Program
The Teaching Staff:
Mrs. Teresa Foley
Mrs. Stephanie Laurey
Mrs. Mary Rowe
Mrs. Susan Silberhorn
Mrs. Erin Siats
We are a Christian community of eighth graders who work, play, pray, and learn together. Our goal is for the students to respect all members of our Nativity family. We encourage all students to develop their gifts and talents to share with our community. During eighth grade, students will participate in a Confirmation retreat, and those who have been prepared in seventh grade will receive the sacrament of Confirmation. In religion classes, study will center on prayer, discipleship, morality, social justice and study of the Old Testament.
The English instruction includes further opportunities to develop written and oral expression. Nativity students utilize grammar and vocabulary skills in their many writing experiences. In the course of the school year, each student will write, reflect, share, revise, edit, present, persuade, narrate, inform, summarize, and more through various assignments and activities. Eighth grade Literature is a combination of teacher directed and independent reading. The students will read and study specific novels as a class while practicing various comprehension strategies. Students also have the opportunity to explore various texts of their own choosing to further develop their enjoyment of reading.
Eighth grade algebra offers several levels to provide students with a pace of curriculum that will allow them to work at their ability level. Accelerated Algebra is a rigorous comprehensive algebra 1 course. Students who successfully complete this class will have the opportunity to go directly into high school geometry in the ninth grade. The other class introduces all of the algebra 1 concepts, providing a solid foundation in the essentials of algebra. Eighth grade Geometry is offered to those students that successfully completed the algebra 1 course as a 7th grader.
In eighth grade Earth Science, students will study Earth and its place in the universe. The curriculum is divided into four areas: oceanography, geology, astronomy, and meteorology. The goal of this course is to better understand the planet we live on, how it works, and why. Throughout the year, students will be exploring area geology and the impact Earth Science has on their daily lives. Eighth grade science students also participate in the Nativity Science Fair.
The main focus of eighth grade Social Studies is the study of geography. Map skills and geographic themes learned in the first few weeks are applied in lessons about regions and countries throughout the year. The students also participate in a program where they drafts countries and follow current events. Students engage in numerous critical thinking exercises that highlight the global nature of their world.