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Mrs. Maura Grochocinski, Junior High Religion

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year!  I am looking forward to a unique and successful school year with your child.

A little about myself: due to the difficulty in pronouncing my last name, I am known to the SJF students and to many parents as “Mrs. G.”  I live in Most Holy Redeemer parish and my husband and I have been blessed with three wonderful daughters, a son-in-law, and a new grandson, Martin McGrath Guinane.

This year will be my 21st year teaching at Saint John Fisher. I have taught different grades and various subjects throughout the years. I have enjoyed teaching religion in the Jr. High for the past eleven years, watching my students grow both academically and spiritually.

 

7th & 8th Grade Religion Class-Week of March 30th

Posted on Mar 29, 2020

Hello Parents and Students,

I hope everyone is healthy and adapting to our new norm of practicing social distancing and participating in virtual learning. It was so heartwarming to see so many of our Falcons last Friday as we drove down the streets of our neighborhood. Thanks to all for the enthusiastic greetings from your porches and curbs. We miss our Falcons!

We are now entering our third week of virtual learning  The Jr. High teachers have continued to communicate daily with eachother discussing the aspects of our virtual program that are working well, as well as those aspects of the program that may need to be changed to benefit both our students and parents.

Communication

Communication is such a vital component to the success of our students' education.  Our teachers are committed to making themselves available to both students and parents.  Please feel free to email Jr. High teachers during the school hours of 8:00 AM-3:00 PM and we will do our very best to respond to your questions and concerns in a timely manner.

In order to enhance our virtual learning, the Jr. High teachers will continue to communicate with our students using live virtual meetings on specified days of the school week, at designated times. The days and times of these meetings will be listed on each teacher's blog.

I will be hosting live Zoom meetings on Tuesdays and Fridays for my 7th & 8th Grade Religion classes at the following times:

1:00-1:15  7th Grade Religion

1:15-1:30  8th Grade Religion

***Links for these meetings will be posted to my Google Religion classrooms on Tuesday and Friday mornings.

Although students are not required to attend these meetings, students are encouraged to sign on with any questions or concerns they may have or just join in to say Hello!

 

***7th Grade Religion***

This week, we will continue on with our unit on the beliefs and practices of Judaism.  We will be covering Jewish worship in the synagogue and Jewish family life & customs.

***8th Grade Religion***

On Tuesday of this week, I will be reviewing chapter 10  "Working for Justice" with a video I will be filming and posting to my classroom stream. ***The test for chapter 10 is scheduled for Friday of this week.

***Important Note to Students and Parents:

This week, we will begin "Block Scheduling" with our virtual Jr. High curriculum,  This virtual program and its guidelines are described below:

Thank you for your patience and continued support as we continue to navigate the e-learning forum.  As Mrs. Nash mentioned in her Friday, March 27th video message, the junior high teachers are working diligently to present meaningful lessons to help students progress academically.  We feel strongly that our junior high students will be best suited following a block schedule. We believe that 2-3 hours of classwork each day is a realistic and manageable expectation for our junior high students.

 

Beginning Monday, March 30th, we will implement a block schedule.  Students can expect to receive assignments in their various subjects on the days listed below: 

7th - 8th 

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

 

Math 

Religion

Math

ELA

Religion

 

Science  

ELA

Science

Spanish*

Library*

 

Global Studies

Gym*

Global Studies

 

Art* 

*See Specials section below

 

 For example, all students should be checking their Math, Science, and Global Studies Google classroom streams for their assignments on Mondays and Wednesdays. 

 

Please know we are trying to provide our junior high students with a quality education by keeping them motivated, engaged, and accountable with our e-learning program.  We understand that every household faces its own challenges. If there are ever any extenuating circumstances (illness, internet interruptions, etc.) that may prevent our students from completing their assignments in a timely manner, please notify the homeroom teacher through email. Parents and teachers working together, maintaining effective communication, will surely enhance the success of our students' education during this challenging time.

 

GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS WITH E-LEARNING:

 

Teacher Blogs

The junior high teachers’ blogs, located on our SJF website, will reflect an overview of the subject matter being covered for that particular week.  Blogs should be checked weekly by parents and students for any other pertinent information or communications from our junior high teachers. Assignments will be posted to our teachers’ individual Google classrooms. 

 

 

Attendance

On e-learning days, students are required to complete the Google attendance form located on their Google Classroom Math class.  Completing the attendance form is necessary as it is evidence of e-learning.  In the event a student is not able to participate in e-learning on a particular day due to illness or unforeseen circumstances, parents/students are to notify the student’s homeroom teacher.   

 

Assignments

Teachers will post assignments to their Google classroom by 8:30 a.m. on their subject’s scheduled day. Assignments should be completed by the assigned due date and time. Grades may be lowered on those assignments received after the due date. PowerSchool will continue to be updated so that parents can monitor that assignments are being completed in a timely manner.
 

Teacher Support

Teachers will be working throughout the hours of the school day (8 a.m. - 3 p.m.). Students may email questions using their school Gmail accounts. Emails received by the teachers after 3:00 p.m., may not be replied to until the following school day.

Each teacher also has online office hours in order to be available for student (or parent) questions about assignments, e-learning, etc. Please check teachers’ blogs for online office hours times and sign-in information. Thank you for your patience as our teachers are providing assistance to many of our junior high students.

 

Specials

The junior high students have previously joined Google classrooms for Spanish and Library. Mr. Mulchrone and Mrs. Corley have created Google classrooms for gym and art. Students should join the gym and art classrooms using the codes below. 

 

Gym: 7th and 8th grade code:  ghlprdt

 

Art:   7th Grade code:  jzhiwsv

 

           8th Grade code:   qpwpwdp

 

Assignments for each special can be found on each teachers’ Google classroom.  In addition, each of the specials teachers’ blogs will have a designated section for 7th & 8th grade students. 

 

Technology Support

If you experience a problem with your ChromeBook, please notify your homeroom teacher. We will work with our technology team to address any problems.  

 

 

7th & 8th Grade Religion-Week of March 23rd

Posted on Mar 22, 2020

Hello Parents and Students,

Thank you for your patience and understanding with rolling out our virtual learning process during this challenging time. Please know the teachers and administration of Saint John Fisher are doing their absolute best to ensure we are continuing a quality education for all of our students.This past week, all of our teachers have been researching and experimenting with different venues of virtual learning to enhance the learning experience of our students. We have been meeting virtually, each day, to discuss the things that are working well, as well as the things we can change to work better. For this upcoming week, each teacher will continue to post assignments to their Google classroom each day of the school week.  Our Jr. High teachers are all available to answer questions or concerns through email, as well as through live chat sessions on the designated days and times noted below. I am so aware that each household is facing its own individual challenges and I believe that the best thing we can do, is to support one another the best way we can. Balancing working at home, alongside supervising your children's education is a challenging task, and we at Saint John Fisher, want to be as supportive as we can so that this learning plan works for all.

Each teacher will be giving an overview of topics being covered in their lesson plans on their blog.  Our Jr. High students will receive their daily assignments as they log on to their Google Classroom each day.  Again, teachers are available for questions and concerns. Below are directions for our students to follow in order to log on to their scheduled live chat sessions. 

***Although we love to see each other during these live chat sessions, the purpose of these sessions, at this point, is to give our students the opportunity to ask questions about their assignments. If a student has a question, we are going to direct them to write their questions in the chat window so that we can see the question and properly answer the question. We ask that all students mute their microphones upon entering these live sessions. The teacher will read the submitted questions and direct the students when to turn on their microphone.  After Friday's live sessions, the Jr. High teachers agreed that this needs to be done to ensure that live meetings are controlled and beneficial for all. Again, we are all learning as we go along each day.  Stay healthy! 

***7th Grade Religion***

This week, we will continue on with our unit on Judaism.  Assignments will be focusing on the history of Judaism; noting the challenges the Israelites faced escaping from a world of slavery into freedom.

 

***8th Grade Religion***

This week we will continue on with chapter 10 in our Morality Book.  This chapter discusses Social Justice; our call and duty to honor and take care of ALL people in our society.  ***(There truly could not be a better message for our students to be learning during this challenging time.) 

 

***Jr. High "MEET" Hours****

 

Beginning Friday, March 20th, students will be able to “meet” with the Jr. High teachers using Google Meet.  Teachers will use this time to discuss assignments or answer any questions. This is not mandatory.  The Jr High teachers will continue to post lessons and assignments using Google classroom. It is just time set aside each day for students to ask or discuss assignments or lessons with their teachers.  

 

You can also ask questions by emailing your teachers using your school Google accounts.  Your email accounts are now activated allowing you to email your teachers directly. 

Google Meet Directions 

 

*Sign in Google Meet using the link posted by the teacher on their Google classroom stream. 

 

 

*You will be able to see and talk to your teacher. You can also post a question using the tab on the right side of the screen. 

 

*Please mute your microphone until you ask a question.

 

*If you have trouble signing in, please try the link again.    

 

The Jr High Schedule is as follows: 

Time

Teacher / Subject

11:00am - 11:30am

Mr. Madrigal / Spanish

11:30am - 12:00pm

Ms. Browne / Math

12:00pm - 12:30pm 

Ms. McAndrews / Science

12:30pm - 1:00pm

Mr. Gibson / Global Studies

1:00 pm-1:15 -7th

1:15 pm-1:30 -8th

Mrs. G. / Religion

1:30pm - 2:00pm

Mrs. Scannell / 7th Grade ELA

Mr. Hakanen  / 8th Grade ELA

 

 

 

7th & 8th Grade Religion-Week of March 17th

Posted on Mar 16, 2020

As you have been notified, school will not be in session along with the other Illinois schools from now until at least the following two weeks due to the COVID-19 virus.  These are challenging times for us all, but please be assured that we will do our best to continue offering a quality education for all of our students. We should continue to pray daily for those whose health has been affected by this virus and also continue praying for the continued good health of all of us who are doing our very best to practice preventative measures. 

In our Jr. High, each teacher will be posting a daily assignment for their subject on Google classroom that is in line with their current curriculum. In the event our students have any questions about their assignments, they were instructed to email that particular teacher and wait for a timely response. Each assignment will be approximately 20-30 minutes in length.  We will begin posting assignments Tuesday, March 17th, on each of our streams and will continue posting each day thereafter. Last Friday, we made sure our students had all of their books and materials needed to complete their assignments. The students were instructed and encouraged to keep up with their assignments on a daily basis. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have. Stay healthy!

***In order to take attendance with e-learning, there will be a Google doc on Ms. Browne's Math Google classroom for students to use.  All students are required to check in using this document each day. 

Thank you so much for your continued support and understanding as we do our best to navigate through these unprecedented times.

 

St. John Fisher School 

Jr. High Office Hours

 

Beginning Friday, March 20th, students will be able to “meet” with the Jr. High teachers using Google Meet.  Teachers will use this time to discuss assignments or answer any questions. This is not mandatory.  The Jr High teachers will continue to post lessons and assignments using Google classroom. It is just time set aside each day for students to ask or discuss assignments or lessons with their teachers.  

 

You can also ask questions by emailing your teachers using your school Google accounts.  Your email accounts are now activated allowing you to email your teachers directly. 

 

At this time we have allowed ½ hour each day for each subject. If more time is needed, we will adjust the schedule to allow other opportunities for students to meet with teachers. 

 

Google Meet Directions 

*Sign in Google Meet using the link posted by the teacher on their Google classroom stream. 

 

*You will be able to see and talk to your teacher. You can also post a question using the tab on the right side of the screen. 

 

*Please mute your microphone until you ask a question.

 

*If you have trouble signing in, please try the link again.    

 

The Jr High Schedule is as follows: 

Time

Teacher / Subject

11:00am - 11:30am

Mr. Madrigal / Spanish

11:30am - 12:00pm

Ms. Browne / Math

12:00pm - 12:30pm 

Ms. McAndrews / Science

12:30pm - 1:00pm

Mr. Gibson / Global Studies

1:00pm - 1:30pm

Mrs. G. / Religion

1:30pm - 2:00pm

Mrs. Scannell / 7th Grade ELA

Mr. Hakanen  / 8th Grade ELA

 

 

***7th Grade Religion***

This week, we will be beginning our unit on Judaism.  We will begin with early Jewish history, reading about the stories of Abraham and Moses and their impact on Judaism.

***Due to our current status of being urged to stay close to home, please document 5 service hours completed in your home that indicate assistance to your parents.

***8th Grade Religion***

This week, we will be working on Chapter 10 in our Morality book which focuses on our "call to justice."  Working for justice is a requirement for living the Catholic moral life.  We are to make sure we respect the dignity of all human beings and honor their rights, always continuing to seek opportunities for the common good of all.

***Due to our current status of being urged to stay close to home, please document 8 service hours completed in your home that indicate assistance to your parents.

 

 

7th & 8th Religion-Week of March 9th

Posted on Mar 07, 2020

Last week, Mr. Jim McKeever visited our 8th graders and discussed the Kevin Dowling Scholarship and the qualifications that accompany this scholarship. The application forms for this scholarship were distributed to the students last week. Please ask your son or daughter to see this information if they haven't already shown it to you or discussed it with you.

This past week, we started our third trimester and met with the Jr.High students to reinforce academic and behavioral expectations, encouraging them to finish the year strong. I am confident we can make this happen with any assistance needed from teachers, parental support, and strong efforts from our students.

***7th Grade Religion***

This week, we will be ending our unit on Hinduism and will be reviewing for our test which is scheduled for Friday of this week.  In order to prepare for this test, students should review their corrected comprehension questions, study their class notes, and review their vocabulary flashcards.

***All students should be working on their FIVE hours of required service for this third trimester.

 

***8th Grade Religion***

This week, will be finishing chapter 8 in our Morality book which discusses the Catholic church's teachings on defending the 5th commandment, "Thou shalt not kill."  Topics covered in this chapter are abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, and suicide. We will be taking the chapter 8 test on Wednesday of this week. In order to prepare for this test, students should study their class notes and corrected study guide.

***All students should be working on their EIGHT hours of required service for this third trimester.

7th & 8th Grade Religion-Week of March 2nd

Posted on Mar 02, 2020

Second trimester report cards will be distributed the students this Wednesday.  Please celebrate all of the many accomplishments of our students as well as offer encouragement in those areas where improvement would be beneficial. 

***7th Grade Religion***

This week we are focusing on the many aspects of Hindu worship both at home and in the Mandir.  We will also be discussing the city of Veranasi and its significance in the Hindu religion.

For our Lenten promise, as a class, the 7th graders have created personal mandalas that are used each day in class to keep us mindful of those heroes in our lives that are role models of our faith, the principles taught in out homes that guide our words and actions, the compassion we must show to others, and our goals and aspirations for our future.  

*Students should continue to work on their FIVE hours of required service for this third trimester.

***8th Grade Religion***

This week, we will continue working on chapter 8 in our Morality book.

For our Lenten promise, as a class, the 8th graders have created personal mandalas that are used each day in class to keep us mindful of those heroes in our lives that are role models of our faith, the principles taught in out homes that guide our words and actions, the compassion we must show to others, and our goals and aspirations for our future.  

*Students should continue to work on their EIGHT hours of required service for this third trimester.

 

 

 
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