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Kristin Condon, Junior High ELA-8th

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year!! I am beyond excited to be the new 8th Grade English Language Arts teacher at St. John Fisher. I come to you with 11 years of teaching experience in the Catholic Schools. Most recently, I taught 6-8 language arts at Most Holy Redeemer. My children attended St.Catherine of Alexandria school in Oak Lawn, and are now at McAuley, St. Norbert and Villanova. 

June 1 2021

Posted on Jun 01, 2021

Only 4 days left!!! But four very busy days!  Please see below for a schedule of our final days together.

Tuesday: Regular classes in the morning (Spanish, World Studies, Science and ELA). At 12:15 we will leave for the park for an afternoon of softball and bags and an opportunity to visit with our classmates from other cohorts!

Wednesday (shortened schedule): Morning classes along with a drug presentation from 9-9:45. At 11AM, we will be having our final "gym" day with a Pack the House celebration! Falcons last day in the gym!!

*Gather at 6:30 for the "Just Desserts" celebration in Kane Hall*

Thursday: Science Fair in the morning. After the science fair is completed, we will be returning to our classrooms to clean out lockers and desks and return all materials that belong to St. John Fisher School. Please make sure your child brings a backpack/bag to school this day to put any personal items in!! After we have cleaned up all our belongings, we will head to the church for Graduation practice!

Friday: Graduation practice and donut breakfast sponsored by administration. Students will be dismissed after practice contingent on appropriate behavior and participation.

Sunday: Congratulations to the Class of 2021 as they graduate at a 1PM ceremony! *If you have not turned in your $40 graduation fee, please do so as soon as possible!!*

You will be missed!! #onceafalconalwaysafalcon

May 24 2021

Posted on May 24, 2021

We are nearing the end of 8th grade! Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week will be regular schedules.

Thursday we will have the 8th grade Ribbon mass at 9:30. This ceremony is for students only. Students will have a treat on the lawn following mass. This will be provided by the parents.

Friday afternoon we will be participating in the St. John Fisher Breast cancer walk-a-thon. Students should wear the pink t-shirts sold through the school. If you did not purchase one, students may wear anything pink OR any other breast cancer t-shirt (for example one of the t-shirts from past mother's day breast cancer walks in Beverly)

??Do not forget to turn your Rainbow Cone money in!!??

??Graduation fees are also due!??

ELA Class this week: Students will be finishing up the unit on Romeo and Juliet. All final projects were due last Friday, but we will be watching the final scenes of the 1994 version and discussing the similarities between Shakespeare's Iambic Pentameter and Hip Hop (it is really quite interesting!). We will also be doing a Romeo and Juliet Escape Room.

On Wednesday, we will be having a culminating grammar test over all the grammar skills we have covered in our Classroom Cereal Bell-ringers we have been using this year. This will be the final assessment for 8th grade English.

I also have a couple letter writing projects that the students will be completing as well.

As we wrap up the year, I would like to thank you for sharing your children with me. It has been a challenging year, but I have enjoyed working with each of them!! They are all bound for greatness as they say goodbye to St. John Fisher!

May 10 2021

Posted on May 11, 2021

I hope everyone enjoyed our May Crowning. Thank you to Dr. Chermak, Mrs. G and all the students for their hard work to make the ceremony beautiful. 

As the year winds down, we have many things we need to wrap up.

Romeo and Juliet: We will be reading Act 3 and we will take an Act III test on Friday of this week. Next week we will be finishing the play.

Final Romeo and Juliet projects are due May 21. Students have two options:

  1. Write a soundtrack for the story and write a short paragraph explaining each song on their playlist
  2. Design a Coat of Arms for the Capulets, Montagues, or one of the main characters, and write 5 short paragraphs describing the colors and items on the Coat of Arms

Details for the Final project are in Google Classroom

Grammar: We will be finishing our last two Classroom Cereal stories: The Hunt and The Final Farewell. We will also be taking a final grammar assessment on May 26. The final grammar assessment will test all grammar skills from our weekly stories.

i-Ready and Book Project: We will be finishing our i-Ready program by taking one final test. We will be taking the reading test this week and the math test next week. In place of i-Ready for the remainder of the year, students will be doing an independent reading assignment and a book project. All i-Ready time will be dedicated to independent reading. The book projects are due on May 24th. 

8th Grade Events

Posted on May 03, 2021

Here is a summary of the information that was sent home with your child on Friday, April 30. Mrs. Nash also sent this information home via email!

  • Monsignor McElligott Scholarship applications are due on May 11
  • May Crowning will be held May 7th at 10:45 am. All 8th graders are expected to arrive at school between 10:00 and 10:15 am that day. Dismissal will be at 11:30 am.
  • Ribbon Mass will be at 9:30 on May 27th. A reception for students will follow outdoors on the lawn.
  • June 1st and 2nd we will be having a "Pack the Place" event and a softball/beanbag tournament at the park. More details about these two events will be forthcoming as the day at the park is dependent upon the weather.
  • Just Desserts will be held June 2 at 6:30 in the gym.
  • The Graduation Dance will be held June 4, 2021 at Ridge Country Club.
  • Graduation will be held at 1PM on June 6, 2021. Graduation ceremonies will be held in the church. 

Please see Mrs. Nash's note for additional details!! I am looking forward to celebrating all of these wonderful events with you and your child. 

Week of May 3 2021

Posted on May 03, 2021

We are nearing the end of the year! It seems like ages ago that I first met your children...and yet I feel like it has only been a minute since my first day at St. John Fisher!!

In ELA class last week we completed Act 1 of Romeo and Juliet and began reading Act 2. Students are scheduled to finish Act 2 this week and take a test on Act 2 on Thursday. If your child seems to be struggling, I have posted videos of Act 1 class lecture on Google Classroom. There is also an AMAZING website:

On this website, your child can get a translation of passages as well as watch "talk show type interviews" with the characters to better help them comprehend the text. 

Please reach out to me if your child seems to be struggling with this text and I will do everything I can to support him or her!!

Have a wonderful week!

Graduation Picture Retakes

Posted on Apr 14, 2021

Information from the photographer regarding Graduation Pictures

Proofs were sent home with your child on April 13, 2021!!

  • Retakes will be held on April 29th!
  • Orders are due on April 26th. If you miss the deadline or wish to order additional photographs after that date, you should submit your order online or mail it directly to Van Gogh.
  • You may order Graduation pictures online, or if you feel more comfortable, you may send a check or cash along with your order form to the school office by April 26th.
  • If you wish to have your child's photo retaken, there is a $10.00 retake fee for any reason other than photograpic error. (this does not apply to make ups!)
  • Make sure you fill out the graduation order form completely; include your package selections, contact information, and class composite selection.
  • If you do not select a class composite pose, one will be selected for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mrs. Condon or the school office!


April 12 2021

Posted on Apr 12, 2021

Welcome back from spring break! I hope you all enjoyed some time together with your families! We certainly had some beautiful weather!! We are back at it this week! We have a lot to finish in these last couple months of school!!

Reading: We will be finishing our Holocaust Unit this week. We will review Act 1 of "The Diary of Anne Frank" and we will finish reading the play. We will also be finishing our work with the nonfiction article, "Surviving the Holocaust." We are also preparing to begin reading Romeo and Juliet. If your son or daughter has not brought in $1.00 for his or her copy of Romeo and Juliet, please send the money with them as soon as possible!!

English: We will be working on "Finding Mrs. Comstock" for grammar skills. We will also be working on using transitions in class as well as reviewing basic grammar skills: capitalization, homophones, spelling and commas by doing an Escape Room.

*Make up pictures for graduation will be held April 29th. Please mark your calendars if your child was out when we took photos the week before spring break*

Week of March 22 2021

Posted on Mar 22, 2021

English-Students are working on a character sketch. They chose one of the four main characters from Salt to the Sea and they are describing that character's character traits using evidence from the text to support their claims. This is a 5 paragraph essay. Rough drafts are due Thursday. We will be peer editing on Friday. Final drafts will be due next week before we go on spring break. 

We will also have a Bellringer Quiz on Tuesday, March 23 as well. Study guides will be given out on Monday.


Reading-We finished reading Salt to the Sea last week. Overwhelmingly, the students had great things to say about the book, and most of them said they enjoyed it. We are working on the final book project this week. A paper copy of the checklist/rubric was given to each student on Monday, and a digital copy can be found on Google Classroom. Students will have time in class to work on this project on Monday and Tuesday. The final product will be due Thursday in class. Any work not completed Monday or Tuesday will need to be finished at home. This is a major third trimester grade.

*Wednesday we will be starting the drama version of "The Diary of Anne Frank." Students will be taking comprehension quizzes throughout the play.*

A few quick reminders:

*Information about 8th grade scholarships was sent home with your child. Please refer to your email if you have questions, as Mrs. Spadoni also sent an email blast with details.

*Graduation Pictures are Tuesday, March 30

*The Constitution test will be on Wednesday, March 24th!!!!!

*Spring Break begins on Thursday, April 1st with an early dismissal.

March 8 2020

Posted on Mar 08, 2021

Reading: We will continue to read Salt to the Sea. We are currently on page 225, and I expect to complete the book (barring any interruptions) by March 19th. Students will have a quiz over pages 175-225 on Tuesday.

English: We are back to the Classroom Cereal program for the 3rd trimester to keep our grammar skills sharp! We have finished our first story, "People of Fairview." We will be having a quiz over the grammar from the story on Wednesday of this week. Also, to go along with Salt to the Sea, we are digging deep into figurative language. Students will have a figurative language test on Friday. This book is rich with figurative language as well as history! I have heard from several parents that they read the book and enjoyed it very much!!


  • Friday we will be holding optional parent-teacher conferences. If you have any concerns, please feel free to sign up to speak with me using the link and instructions Mrs. Nash sent. Due to Covid, all conferences will be virtual.
  • Due to parent teacher conferences, we will have an 11:30 dismissal on Friday.
  • There is no school on Monday, March 15th.
  • This Friday is an out of uniform day(students should wear blue) for a fee. All money raised will support "Get Behind the Vest"


Salt to Sea

Posted on Feb 17, 2021

If you did not yet receive your copy of Salt to the Sea due to the winter storm, watch this video:

It will show you how you can access the reading assignment for Wednesday, February 17th online!!! Please email Mrs. Condon with any questions!!

February 8 2021

Posted on Feb 08, 2021

There is SO MUCH information to share with you this week!!

This week is a 4 day week. I hope those of you who have chosen to attend the ski trip on Friday of this week have a safe, yet wonderful trip and make many memories!!! I will be thinking about you.

Salt to the Sea information:  I am asking that all 8th grade students purchase a copy of the book Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys by February 16, 2021. It is available to order through Amazon, Bookies or Barnes and Noble. If you would like to order it through the school, please have your child bring $8.00 to school by Wednesday, February 10. We will not be annotating the books, so if you would prefer to obtain the book through Chicago Public Library, that is fine with me!  Ordering information was sent home via e-mail. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!

English: Students should have finished their Works Cited Pages as well as their Outlines for their research papers. So far, students have had the opportunity to earn 100 points on this project: Research=50 points, Outline=25 points, Works Cited Page=25 points. The final essay will be worth an additional 100 points. Rough drafts of the essay are due by 11:59PM on Thursday, February 11, 2021!! It is important, barring any unusual circumstances, that all students abide by this due date, as I plan to use the 4 day weekend to read and comment on the essays so that students can make corrections the following week!!

Reading: We will continue our unit on Immigration. We will be watching the documentary-New Immigrants Share Their Stories and reading the nonfiction passage-A Common Bond. We will also be doing a bit of background work to prepare to read the novel, Salt to the Sea. The novel is set in World War II, and it looks at the travels of 4 immigrants from 4 different countries as they make their way to the Wilhelm Gustloff to escape the horrors of both the Russians and the Germans.(This is a lesser known/talked about event from World War II)

We will also be taking the mid-year i-Ready test this week in both math and reading!!

February 1 2021

Posted on Feb 01, 2021

English-Students will continue to work on their research papers. They are writing about a country that is part of their heritage. Students should have their research and works cited pages completed at the start of this week. They will be working on outlines and rough drafts this week.

Reading- We will finish doing work with the short story from "Book of the Unknown Americans." The final test is tentatively scheduled for Thursday. In connection with the story we are also learning a bit about Manuel Noriega and the history of the Panama Canal.

Catholic School Week Events

Posted on Feb 01, 2021

Monday: Roll out of bed day. Students wear pajamas to school; we will be playing all school bingo

Tuesday: Game day-we will be playing games throughout the day

Wednesday: Wacky Wednesday. Students may wear their wackiest outfit today. Bring $1 for Ronald McDonald House

Thursday: We will be praying the rosary. Bring a Rosary from home!

Friday: Fisher Spirit Day. Wear Tie-Dye Creations OR Fisher Spirit Wear. We will be showing a movie in the afternoon.

This year, due to Covid protocols, we were not able to host an in-person open house. Please visit our virtual open house by following this link:

Please share our Virtual Open house with anyone and everyone! It is a great time to be a Falcon!!

Snow Day Schedule

Posted on Jan 26, 2021

This is the schedule for Room 105 for our snow day on January 26, 2021:

8-8:10 Homeroom
8:50-9:20-World Studies
9:25-9:55- Science

Week of January 18 2021

Posted on Jan 19, 2021

English: Last week students were given a country to research and they used the Britannica Kids website to gather information about their country. This week they will continue to gather information and sources for their research papers. We will be writing the research papers late this week and early next week.  In this assignment, students will learn how to use MLA to cite sources and create a "Works Cited" page.

We are also reviewing subject/verb agreement this week as a grammar lesson.

Reading: We will continue to do work with the short story, "My Favorite Chaperone." We will be discussing the difficulties immigrants face when they settle in a new place. We are focusing on character motivation and how character motivation leads to conflict, both internal and external. We are also determining character traits based on character motivation. Our final test over "My Favorite Chaperone" will be Friday.

Reminder: Confirmation is THIS Sunday! I am looking forward to seeing you there!!

Week of January 11 2021

Posted on Jan 11, 2021

Happy New Year! We are on week 2 of Full Remote learning! Please make sure students are prepared for class when they log in! The links for my classes do not go live until it is time for class to begin so that students are not able to be in the remote classroom unsupervised.

We are beginning a unit on immigration. In reading we are currently reading a short story entitled "My Favorite Chaperone" by Jean Davies Okimoto. It is about a family who comes to America when Kazakhstan became independent from the USSR in 1991. 

Students are also beginning to write a research paper on the countries that are part of their heritage. We will be learning how to correctly cite sources and write a Works Cited Page.

E-Learning Schedule

Posted on Jan 04, 2021

Here is the schedule for E-Learning, which will take place from January 6-January 15. We will return to in-person learning on Tuesday, January 19th!

(This is the schedule for ROOM 105 ONLY!!)


8-8:15: Homeroom

8:15-8:55: Specials

9:00-9:40: World Studies

9:45-10:25: Science

10:30-11:10: English

11:15-12:15: Lunch break


1:00-1:45: Math

1:50-2:35: Reading

Wednesdays are set aside for individual assignments and private office hours. Students will meet in homeroom from 8-8:15 for prayer, pledge and attendance. At 8:15 students will meet with Ms. Corley for art. Upon dismissal from art class, students will be responsible for completing 45 minutes of math i-Ready and 45 minutes of reading i-Ready. Students should also check each Google Classroom for announcements or additional assignments. Teachers will be available via email and Google Meet to help students individually!

Week of December 7 2020

Posted on Dec 07, 2020

Reading: Students will be reading "The Gift of the Magi" by O.Henry. We will be doing vocabulary activities, figurative language activities, plot diagram activities and theme activities revolving around the story.

English: Students will be studying an infographic entitled "Spread the Joy", and creating one of their own. We will also be researching Christmas Traditions from around the world and making a travel brochure. The brochure assignment will likely carry over into next week! 

Week of November 16 2020

Posted on Nov 16, 2020


Rooms 103 & 105 will be submitting their argumentative essays this week!

All English students: We are doing several mini-units to prepare for the grammar section of the High School Placement test. We will be looking at commonly confused verbs such as lay/lie and we will also be talking about misplaced modifiers.  We also continue to study grammar daily through The Classroom Cereal Series. We will have our final Classroom Cereal test for the trimester on Thursday. 

Reading: We will be finishing up our horror unit this week. We are completing our activities for "The Monkey's Paw." The skills we are working on while reading this story are foreshadowing (concrete, abstract, fallacy and prophecy), shift in mood, and plot diagram. We will also be talking about film and camera angle and how that affects the plot and point of view when we watch the short film, "The Monkey's Paw later this week.  We will be having a final test over "The Monkey's Paw" Friday, and a test over the vocabulary from "The Monkey's Paw" on Wednesday. Students will review for the vocabulary test on Monday in class.

Week of November 9 2020

Posted on Nov 09, 2020


Room 103 will be finishing up their study of Edgar Allan Poe's short story, "The Tell Tale Heart" this week. They will be taking their final test over the story on Thursday. Friday they will begin to work on the vocabulary work for "The Monkey's Paw."

Rooms 104-105 will be reading "The Monkey's Paw" on Monday.  There will be a basic comprehension quiz over the story on Wednesday. Students will also be studying the different types of foreshadowing: concrete, abstract, prophecy, and fallacy. They will also continue their study of mood and tone. We will specifically consider shifts in mood throughout "The Monkey's Paw."


All three classes continue to do daily grammar bell-ringers to prepare them for the high school entrance exam that is coming up soon. We are also doing a second unit on homophones: then/than, weather/whether, affect/effect, whose/who's, past/passed, led/lead, lose/loose. We are also broadening our vocabulary by classifying adjectives into NICKEL words, DIME words and QUARTER words. We will begin describing ourselves using QUARTER words to define our Academic brains and our Away-from-the-classroom brains.

Room 105 will be typing their argumentative essays this week.

Room 103 is finishing their outlines this week and their typed essays will be due early next week. 

November 2 2020

Posted on Nov 02, 2020

English: We are finishing our first argumentative essay. The topic of the essay is "Does Technology Control Us or Help Us?" To allow me to give timely feedback, students have been working on these essays on a staggered schedule.

Room 104 will be finishing their first draft of their essays this week. They can expect feedback sometime early next week.

Room 105 is finishing their outlines this week. They will be finishing their first draft of their essays late this week and can expect feedback late next week or early the week of the 16th.

Room 103 will be starting their outlines this week. Please check back next week to find a more concrete schedule as to what their timeline will be.

All three classrooms have been working on identifying and writing different types of sentences: simple, compound, complex and compound-complex. We will be finishing these lessons this week. Our next grammar intensive unit will be our second lesson on homophones in anticipation of the high school entrance exam. We will also be having our third bellringer exam on Tuesday: The Harvest Dance.

Reading: All three classes read "The Tell-Tale Heart" last week and did an author study on Edgar Allan Poe. We will continue to work on activities related to this short story this week. We are focusing on the skills of mood and tone, irony, and figurative language (specifically personification, hyperbole and alliteration). Students can expect a Comprehension Skills test over "Tell Tale Heart" on Friday of this week. 

Next Up: "The Monkey's Paw" by WW Jacobs

October 26 2020

Posted on Oct 26, 2020

Reading: We will be finishing our study of Edgar Allan Poe and "The Tell Tale Heart" this week. We are discussing author's tone through the use of the text. We are also doing a short author study of Edgar Allan Poe and creating body biographies that showcase what we have learned about him.

English: We continue to discuss and practice Simple, Compound and Complex sentences.  We are specifically discussing how to combine sentences using correct punctuation. Room 104 has started preliminary work on their argumentative essays on the topic: Does technology help us or control us. Room 105 will begin their work late this week and Room 103 will begin their work early next week.

Reminder-8th grade Confirmation Retreat is on Tuesday. We will be listening to Father Tom McCarthy speak in the afternoon.

Week of October 12 2020

Posted on Oct 13, 2020

English: Students took their test over Subjects and Predicates on Friday of last week. Retests will be given in class on Wednesday for anyone who wishes to improve his or her test grade.  We will begin discussing simple sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences and compound/complex sentences this week. We are also finishing up our second part of Classroom Cereal and students can expect a Classroom Cereal test on Friday, October 16.

Reading: Students completed their sonnets last week and they have been graded. Please check Powerschool for their grades. Any student who scored lower than a 27/30 is invited to make corrections to his or her sonnet and resubmit it. This must be completed by Friday, October 16.

Mrs. Browne's class will begin to read and discuss "The Brave Little Toaster" by Corey Doctorow. Room 103 will have a test over the passage on Monday, October 19.

Mrs. Condon's class and Mrs. Grochocinski's class will continue to discuss "The Brave Little Toaster" by Corey Doctorow. Room 104 and 105 can expect to have a test over the passage on Thursday, October 15.

All three class discussions will focus on plot, conflict, and character motivation. We are also discussing the traits of science fiction and what science fiction traits are present in "The Brave Little Toaster."

Week of October 5 2020

Posted on Oct 05, 2020

English: We will finish writing our argumentative essays: Should we implement year-round school? Last week we composed our body paragraphs. This week we will make sure those body paragraphs match our thesis statement and we will craft introductions and conclusions. These essays are models for the formal essay we will write after fall break.

We will also continue to practice our grammar skills to prepare for the high school entrance exam by digging deeper into subjects and predicates. Students can expect a subject/predicate test on Thursday.


Reading: We will finish writing our sonnets early this week. Then we will read the short story, "The Brave Little Toaster" and the nonfiction article, "The Automation Paradox." These two stories will take us to the end of our unit, and students will be ready to write an argumentative essay that answers the essential question, "Does technology improve or control our lives?" when we return from fall break.  



Spirit Week schedule-October 5-9

Posted on Oct 05, 2020

October 5-9 will be Spirit Week at St. John Fisher. There are themed out of uniform days planned. This is the schedule:

Monday: Roll Out of Bed Day-come in your pajamas!

Tuesday: Our Futures are Bright Day-wear a shirt that represents your future high school, college OR an outfit that represents your future career!

Wednesday: Sports Fan Day-wear a shirt that supports your favorite sports team!

Thursday: Falcon Spirit Wear-Complete out of uniform day but you must dress in St. John Fisher gear.

Friday: No school-Fall Break

Week of September 28 2020

Posted on Sep 29, 2020

English: We started the week off with our first grammar test of the year. We are working on the Homophones: To/too/two, there/their/they're, your/you're, which/witch, here/hear, and it's/its. We are also focusing on locating subjects, predicates, and verbs within a sentence.

Reading: Last week we finished our first non-fiction article, "Are Bionic Superhumans on the Horizon?" This week we will be reading the sonnet, "Interflora," by Susan Hamlyn. We are diving into the world of iambic pentameter, rhyme scheme, and irony. Students will try their hand at writing their own sonnet late this week. 

Upcoming Events:

Tuesday-School Pictures

Thursday- Homophones quiz


Week of September 21

Posted on Sep 21, 2020

This week we will continue to work on our proofreading skills with Classroom Cereal. We will also be working on Subject/Verb Agreement, particularly in complex sentences, and sentences with indefinite pronouns such as "either" "neither" "both" etc.

We will also continue to discuss how to make a strong argument. Last week we talked about thesis statements in depth. This week we will learn how to provide strong reasoning to support our claims.

In reading we will continue to read the nonfiction text, "Are Bionic Superhumans on the Horizon" and the fiction text, "Harrison Bergeron."

Tuesday the entire 7th and 8th grade student body will be taking the iReady Reading Assessment.

*Please note: School pictures will be taken on September 29!*

Week of September 14 2020

Posted on Sep 14, 2020

Welcome to Week 2 of our 2020-2021 school year. This week in reading, students will be taking a diagnostic test through our new reading program. This will help me determine our strengths and weaknesses, and it will help direct our instruction for the year.

We will also be continuing our unit on on technology, and working toward getting an answer to the question: Does technology improve or control our lives? Our reading assignments this week will include: "Are Bionic Superhumans on the Horizon?" and Harrison Bergeron.

In English class we will begin to discuss how to write an argumentative essay and we will brainstorm ideas to write a mentor essay entitled, "Should Students Have Year Round School?"

Back to School

Posted on Aug 18, 2020

This week in Reading and English classes: Students will be going over class expectations, doing some "Getting to Know You" activities to reacclimate themselves with Google Slides, Google Docs and Google Classroom, and we will be getting ourselves accustomed to using our new online literature book/program, Into Literature!! Our first unit will address the essential question: Does Technology Improve or Control our Lives?

Don't forget: Summer Reading Packets over Restart are Due Tuesday, September 8th!!