Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 8, 2016

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good: His love endures forever."- Psalm 107:1

There are many blessings in life in which we can be thankful for- I know that as we head into this holiday season I am thankful for the opportunity to teach in a Catholic school where I can help students to grow in their faith and in their friendships with one another. During the month of November it is easy for us to remember to thank God for the many blessings in our lives, but it is important that we continue to thank Him each and every day of the year for all that we have been given.

In 8th grade, I am especially thankful for all of the student's unique and enthusiastic personalities. I greet each day with a smile knowing that these students will shed new light on the challenging curriculum of 8th grade. They find new ways to solve a problem, offer creative insight on seemingly ordinary ideas, and work with one another to strengthen peer relationships. Students are learning about the puzzling mystery that we call "The Periodic Table of Elements." They will soon find that this table is filled with hidden tricks and helpful tips in decoding the road map of Chemistry!

In 7th grade, the students have taken great leaps and bounds in cellular transport and cell division! I am so thankful for the student's willingness to embrace new ideas with an open mind and positive attitude. The 7th graders are quick to pick up these new topics and always ask questions to further their understanding. I am thankful for each and every question they ask- it shows their interest and desire in wanting to learn. Students are currently looking at Mitosis and Meiosis. Who knew that little cells go through so much work?! It was quite the surprise for all of them! We learned that, in the time it takes to read this sentence, your body has created six million new red blood cells. ! WOW!

The 6th graders have wrapped up a unit in Genesis and showed off their wonderful acting skills through "Sibling Rivalry" skits that were performed in class. I am thankful for their energy and for their kindness. The students are always giving thanks for one another, but also for the many gifts in their lives. They help to remind me be grateful for the little gifts in life that are often overlooked. The students have just begun a research project on a given saint in order to help them grow not only in their own faith, but to try and emulate the qualities of the saints.

As we all head into this holiday season, I encourage all of you as families to offer up prayers of thanksgiving for the many blessings in your life. Yes, there may be some "stormy days," and some may see the storms as damaging. However, try and remember that without these storms, there would be no life-sustaining water. All living things need water to survive. God will provide each of us with what we need in life. Endure the stormy weather, for it cannot last forever. The waters of the storm will help to strengthen your life.

Thankful for all of you and the wonderful SHOJ community!


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October 12, 2016

As first quarter comes to an end, I find myself looking back and wondering where the time has gone! All too often we find ourselves scrambling to find the time or to fit one more "to-do" into our schedules. I often remind myself to find joy in each day and embrace those moments for what they are- to live in the moment.

The 8th graders are nearing the end of their last first quarter of middle school- this both a surreal feeling, but also filled with excitement as what is to come in their future. Again, I remind them to live in the present and cherish all of the times they will share together this year. Over the last few weeks we have done several hands-on labs and activities. Our most recent chapter was on thermal energy. We roasted marshmallows to highlight conduction, convection, and radiation. The 8th graders also dabbled in a mystery mixture lab in which they ran several tests to see which mixture they had. 8th grade is filled with lots of fun, but also lots of work!! I am so excited to see all that this year will hold for them!

7th graders are fully into their unit on cells. We have complete the unit on plant and animals cells and all of the organelles. It was quite the show to see the students go head-to-head to "sell their cells" and compete with other groups in the "Incredible Edible Cell" challenge. The edible creations were delicious, but also educational! :)

6th graders are studying stories from Genesis. We have done lots of focus on God's covenant with man. We have read and discussed Abraham and Noah. I also witnessed quite some origami skills when we all attempted to make Noah's Ark out of paper! Sixth graders always keep the curriculum fresh and exciting! I cannot wait to see how each of them will grow in faith this year!

As first quarter comes to an end, I want to thank each of you for making my adjustment to Sacred Heart so wonderful! Change can be difficult, but when such a change brings about so many new blessings, it becomes much easier!

God Bless, 


Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19, 2016

It's hard to believe that mid-quarter is upon us!! This year has fully kicked into gear and the students are working diligently on projects and applying their study skills to hopefully ace their first tests. The 8th graders took a turn being detectives last week and tested "mystery powders" to see which common every day substance was being used in the lab. Students modeled proper lab safety and looked stylish in their lab gear and goggles! Also, we had the added benefit of having our room smell like harvest apple, winter wonder, and spring flowers! (Joys of using a variety of candle scents all at once!)

7th graders have been working very well in collaborative groups to create plans for an "Edible Cell." This week the students will present, or "sell their cell" idea to the class in hopes that their dreams can become a reality next week when we make our wonderful cell creations! :)

The sixth graders have just finished their unit on ancient Jewish traditions and history and will be having a test this Thursday. We have learned a lot about Moses and the Exodus- we even animated the 10 plagues into a comic strip to help us remember all that was brought to the land of Egypt to free the people!

It has been awfully busy in middle school, but like the saying goes, "Time flies when you're having fun!"

Many Blessings,


Monday, September 5, 2016

As we head into another wonderful week of learning, I find myself getting more and more excited about bringing the new curriculum to the students. One of the greatest joys of teaching is introducing new concepts and ideas and see how the students quickly absorb the new information. Students are always so fascinated with new topic ideas and cannot wait to reach mastery level. One of my many teaching strategies is to have the students teach one another. I have found great success with this method as it gives students newfound confidence in not only themselves, but in their ability to relay the information to their peers. It helps to solidify the new ideas and the information quickly moves from short-term memory into long-term. :)

This week 8th graders will look into Atomic Theory- they will be viewing how early theorists saw the atom and how fast ideas about the atom quickly changed and developed. 7th graders will enter in to ever exciting world of cells! Students will soon seen how wonderful and miraculous the human body truly is- and how great our Creator is! The 6th graders will be prepping for mass and learning more about the Exodus from Egypt.

I hope everyone enjoyed their long-weekend! God Bless,

--Katie Watson

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August 24, 2016

 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." --Philippians 4:6-7 

Firsts always tend to bring about some anxieties. Whether it be the first week of school, the first week at a new job, or meeting someone for the first time, without fail, there tends to be a slight veil of uncertainty hanging over one's mind. This week at school, I saw many students with excitement written all over their faces. Some students were unsure of their new schedules and routines, but seemed optimistic about the new year. In my religion classes, I chose to read the Bible verse above from Philippians. It addresses all of the feelings of worry and anxiety and tells us to pray. Pray to God so that He may help us through any situation. The students really highlighted the message of God's peace that will be found once we fully trust in Him. I ask you as parents, guardians, and care givers to these children to also trust. Trust in the process, trust in the new year, and embrace all that may come your way! 

This week the 7th and 8th grade students took a course in Lab Safety 101. We learned the importance of following the rules and what to do in a variety of situations. Students soon learned that Disney themed scenarios are among my most favorite to write! :) 

6th grades reflected and learned about the importance of prayer. Not only what prayer is, but why we pray and how we pray. The students will be working on prayer crosses. These crosses will symbolize their most important prayers and we will look upon these each day to remember to be thankful and know that God is always with us! 

I am looking forward to a wonderful year!! God bless, 
--Katie Watson