Our Class at a Glance (Mrs. Kruse)
My name is Mrs. Donna Kruse and I have been the 7th grade homeroom teacher and the 6th – 8th grade Social Studies teacher at St. John the Evangelist School since August 2000. I also coordinate the Before and After School Program here at St. John’s, and co-sponsor the SJE Student Council.
As I continue my teaching career here at SJE, two words come to mind: wonder and awe. The students I teach and interact with on a daily basis continue to remind me that we each have a special purpose at this school, and almost every day the purpose is different. Each day I receive more – from the students, preschoolers through 8th grade, from the many SJE parents and families, and from my fellow faculty and staff – than I came to school with that day. I am truly blessed to continue to work with so many great people, and at a great school! We are Tiger Proud!!
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Two Religion texts are used in 7th grade to help prepare the students for Confirmation: Be My Disciples: Christ in the Liturgy and Chosen.
Christ in the Liturgy is a part of the Be my Disciples series. It helps students recognize Christ in their lives through the sacred Liturgy, and shows them the importance on seeking communion with Christ through prayer.
Chosen: Your Journey Toward Confirmation is a twenty-four-lesson program that prepares students both intellectually and spiritually to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, and to become lifelong disciples of Christ. All too often we see teens drift away from the Church after Confirmation. Chosen seeks to reverse this trend by winning over the hearts of teens at a critical time in their lives and keeping them firmly planted within the faith community of the Church. We use Chosen as a two-year curriculum, beginning in 7th grade and completing in 8th grade.
The students also fully participate at weekly Masses and Confirmation retreats.
The 7th grade Reader’s Choice anthology text is a mix of classic and contemporary literature selections, including stories, poems, songs, plays, myths, folktales, biographies, letters, essays, and editorials. The literature text will be supplemented with three or more young-adult novels, where we will study literary skills such as plot, symbolism, third-person narrative, foreshadowing, inferencing, theme, and flashback. We usually begin with The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton. Also, a 20-mintue DEAR reading period is incorporated into the daily schedule to encourage reading enjoyment and growth, and monthly Reading projects will be assigned.
7th grade Language Arts encompasses grammar, writing, vocabulary, and spelling. The Writer’s Choice English series stresses grammar and writing skills, and is used as the text for grammar and writing. Note that students are expected to use grade-appropriate grammar and writing skills throughout their daily work, and will be assessed accordingly in each subject. Using a structured writing program and the Annex Laptops, the students will be engaged in various forms of formal and informal writing, with a focus on persuasive writing. Occasional monthly writing projects will be assigned. Wordly Wise is an effective Middle School vocabulary enrichment program that utilizes a three-prong strategy of solid vocabulary and spelling instruction, daily practice, and weekly assessments. This new curriculum replaces the Vocabulary Workshop workbook.
7th Grade Social Studies is taught by Mrs. Kruse.
The 7th grade text, The American Journey, is a two-year, student-friendly presentation of American history from pre-exploration to the present. This text emphasizes skill development—from reading maps to analyzing primary and secondary sources, as well as exploring the connections between history and geography, economics, government, citizenship, and current events.
We will also be supplementing the 7th Grade curriculum with an immigration unit, an election unit, a formal research project which begins in January and culminates with our “World Tour” in May, and special projects. We will also study the US government in depth, in preparation for the mandated Constitution test. The IL Constitution unit/test will follow in 8th Grade.
6th-8th Grade Social Studies is taught by Mrs. Kruse.
The 6th grade text, Journey Across Time, is a comprehensive study of world history, organized chronologically from the first humans and ancient civilizations to the present. To ensure that students understand the influence of geography on historical events, important geography skills embedded in every lesson. The students will learn how interrelationships between people, places, cultures, and events over time have shaped our world today.
8th Grade Social Studies is taught by Mrs. Kruse.
The American Journey textbook is used in 7th and 8th grade, is a two-year, student-friendly presentation of American history from pre-exploration to the present. This text emphasizes skill development—from reading maps to analyzing primary and secondary sources, as well as exploring the connections between history and geography, economics, government, citizenship, and current events.
We will also study the Illinois government in depth, in preparation for the mandated IL Constitution test for 8th grade.
The focus of the 7th grade science curriculum, taught by Mrs. Sekoguchi, is on Life Science. The textbook series, published by Glencoe, includes Life Structure and Function and Human Body Systems. Out textbooks are on-line and provide opportunities for students to take self-check quizzes at the end of each section. In addition to the textbook, many supplemental materials that reinforce the science process skills and scientific method are also incorporated into the program. Students will be studying specimens under the microscope and dissecting a sheep heart and cow eye. All 7th grade students will participate in the Science Fair, which is scheduled for early March. We will wrap up the end of the year with a Forensic Science unit.
Pre-Algebra I and Pre-Algebra II are taught by Mrs. Clary. Qualification for Pre-Algebra II is based on MAP test scores, skills demonstrated in class, and ACT Aspire scores. Glencoe’s Pre-Algebra text is used for both courses. Students in Pre-Algebra I are taught basic algebraic concepts and their applications to real-life situations, and a Geometry unit is taught in the second trimester. The 7th graders will use the 7th Grade Simple Solutions workbook to reinforce important Math skills.