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Mrs Claire Larmon, 8th Grade Language Arts

Hello! My name is Claire Larmon. I am so excited to join the faculty at St. John Fisher. As a graduate of SJF, I have such special memories from my time in this school building and community. I am truly blessed to have an opportunity to work with such a committed faculty and staff. I am excited to get to know and work with your talented and kind children. I have been very impressed by the intelligence, maturity and character of this 8th grade class. I look forward to challenging them to reach their potential as they prepare for their high school adventure!

Previously, I taught Freshman English and Speech at Saint Ignatius College Prep. While teaching at Saint Ignatius, I received my Masters of Education and Type 75 Certification from Loyola University.  After some time in the classroom, I served as the Director of Admissions and Recruiting at Saint Ignatius. My husband and I live in St. Catherine Parish. We have a daughter who is a freshman at Saint Ignatius as well as four children attending St. Catherine.

Once a Falcon Always a Falcon! Here’s to a great 2019! I look forward to watching your children grow and enjoy their remaining time at SJF!

Week of May 20

Posted on May 22, 2019

Wow! We are quickly approaching the end of the school year. Our 8th graders have so much to look forward to in the coming weeks!

A few reminders:

  • We will be attending the Conor Lowry Scholarship Ceremony Wednesday at 1 p.m. in the church.
  • Friday, May 24th- $20 Graduation Dance Fee due
  • Friday, May 24th-Ribbon Mass 8:15 a.m. Graduation Ribbons will be distributed at the 8:15 a.m. mass followed by donuts and juice in Kane Hall. Parents are welcome to attend!
  • Tuesday, May 28th- Service “Thank you” Day at the Park”. The students should bring their own lunches.
  • Wednesday, May 29th- Just Desserts at 7 p.m. in Kane Hall
  • Friday, May 31st- Donuts on the Lawn for the graduates followed by graduation practice in church. Graduation Dance 7-10 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 2nd- Graduation


In ELA, I collected the students’ Lord of the Flies essays on Monday. I added their Lord of the Flies Exam scores to Power School last Friday. They did very well on the exam! We watched the 1960 black and white version of the movie Lord of the Flies in class on Monday.   

We reviewed some grammar issues related to their writing in class Tuesday and the students were given some independent reading time in preparation for their Accelerated Reader deadline on Friday. The students are required to have 30 points by this Friday. We will prepare and deliver demonstration speeches this week as well. Don’t be surprised if your child asks to bring in supplies to demonstrate his/her skill. Thanks for all your support at home!

Have a nice week!

Week of May 13

Posted on May 14, 2019

Our 8th graders are in the final stretch! This is such an exciting time for them. I look forward to celebrating all their accomplishments at SJF and watching them enjoy the many upcoming events.

This week in ELA we will be finishing the Lord of the Flies. Last week after visiting the Holocaust Museum, the students made connections between the novel and the atrocities of WWII. They had some really interesting insights connecting the two. We are finishing up the novel this week with a review session, an exam on Friday, and a writing assignment that they will begin in class on Wednesday. This essay will be due Monday, May 20.

The students also have two No Red Ink assignments due this week.


  • McElligot Scholarship Essays are due Wednesday, May 15th.
  • We will attend the school play this Thursday at 1 p.m.
  • Graduation Fee is due Friday, May 17th.
  • The Ribbon Mass is Friday, May 24th at 8:15 a.m.
  • Service “Thank You” Day at the Park is Tuesday, May 28th.
  • Just Desserts is May 29th at 7 p.m.
  • Donuts on the Lawn and Graduation Dance is May 31st.
  • Graduation is Sunday, June 2nd.

Have a great week! Enjoy the beautiful weather!

Week of April 29

Posted on Apr 30, 2019

I can’t believe it is almost May. This will be an exciting and memorable month for our 8th graders. I know most of them are counting down the days!

We started reading the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding last week. The students are doing a great job delving into some of the challenging themes in this novel. There will be a quiz on Chapters 1-5 on Wednesday or Thursday.

Although it is difficult for our 8th graders to keep their focus this time of year, I am very impressed by how engaged they are and how hard they are working. A strong work ethic will serve them well in high school and throughout their lives. I will award an ELA Student of the Week this Friday.

Important dates to remember:

May 6: Soar Special Olympics Trip

May 8: Junior High Field Trip to the Holocaust Museum (9:30 a.m. late start)

May 10: May Crowning—8th graders arrive between 10:15-10:30 a.m.

May 15: McElligott Scholarship Essays due

May 17: Graduation fee due $20.00

May 24: Ribbon Mass 8:15 a.m.

May 28: Service “Thank You” Day at the Park

May 29: Just Desserts 7 p.m.

May 31: Donuts on the Lawn-Join your classmates for morning donuts before school begins to celebrate your last day of school as a class! Graduation Dance.

June 2: Graduation 12 mass


Have a great week!

Week of April 8

Posted on Apr 09, 2019

Happy spring! I hope you are all enjoying this gorgeous weather. This will be a busy week in ELA. We are finishing up our poetry unit. After reading Walt Whitman’s “There Was a Child Went Forth”, the students are to rewrite the poem putting their personal touch on it. I’m exciting to see how they turn out! There will be a poetry quiz on Wednesday. We will review in class on Tuesday.

Toward the end of the week, we will do some anticipatory work before jumping into our next novel, The Lord of the Flies. We will learn a bit about the author, William Golding, and examine some of the themes present in this novel.

There is an all-school Easter Mass on Friday at 1:00 p.m.

Have a safe and restful Easter break!

Week of April 1

Posted on Apr 01, 2019

Happy April!  The students will be very busy this week. As you know, they will be taking the Aspire tests Tuesday-Friday in the morning. Please remind them to get a good night’s sleep, eat breakfast, and come to school with fully charged Chromebooks.

This week in ELA, we will be doing a short poetry unit to celebrate National Poetry Month. We will begin by reviewing and learning figurative language. We will be reading and analyzing at least four poems. I think the students will enjoy some of the related activities that I have planned. There will be a Poetry Quiz on Friday.

We will continue to learn and practice grammar concepts using No Red Ink.

Last week, our ELA Students of the Week were Caitlin McDonagh, Marty Gavin and Bridie Maloney. These three students really stood out in terms of their academic progress, class participation and character. Congrats to them!!


  • The 8th Grade Expectations Parent Letter/ signed forms were due today 4/1.
  • The Holocaust Museum Permission Slips are due this Friday, 4/5.

Have a great week!

Week of March 25

Posted on Mar 26, 2019

Happy spring! We are just three short weeks until Easter Break! We will be very busy until then. This week we will finish our short story unit. The last story is “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst. We will discuss the symbolism in the story.  The students will complete a writing assignment examining how the author uses symbolism to support his theme/message to the reader. The class will also complete literary analysis questions. The final exam for the short story unit will be Friday. I will give the students a study guide for the exam on Wednesday and we will review in class on Thursday.

With Aspire tests being next week ( April  2-5), we will practice writing a timed persuasive essay again in class this week. We have gone over our graphic organizer and I have stressed the recipe for writing a quality persuasive essay. I provided feedback on the essay they wrote in class last week.

We will continue to focus on vocabulary words pulled from “The Scarlet Ibis” and concentrate on grammar issues that need attention by working on No Red Ink assignments.

Last week’s ELA Students of the Week were: Danny Cahill, Allison Schiestel, and Colleen Malloy. These three students are always respectful, hardworking and are all “nice kids” who are a joy to teach!

Please encourage your son/daughter to keep working hard until the end. I continually stress the importance of a strong work ethic. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

Reminders: Kevin Dowling Scholarship Applications are due March 31 and Holocaust Fieldtrip Permission Forms are due April 5.

Have a nice week!

Week of March 18

Posted on Mar 19, 2019

I hope everyone had a fun St. Patrick’s Day weekend! It’s finally starting to feel a bit like spring. We will be busy this week in 8th Grade ELA. We are finishing our last couple of short stories in the unit and will be taking the unit exam early-mid next week. The students have done a great job dissecting and discussing these short stories; some of them have been a little interesting/weird! The students turned in a creative project related to “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. They really turned out nice! We finished up “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl on Monday. We will read “The Interlopers” by Saki (H.H. Munro) as well as “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry this week. We will continue to learn new vocabulary words connected to these stories. Using No Red Ink, the students will practice identifying sentences and fragments, and phrases and dependent clauses.

Aspire Tests will be April 2-5. Given a sample writing prompt, the students will practice the writing portion of the Aspire Test this week and next week.

The 8th Grade will have Reconciliation on Wednesday afternoon.

We resumed the ELA Student of the Week last week. Jack Doody, Jack Walsh, and Abby Gallagher received this award last week. Congrats to them for their hard work in the classroom and for being all around “nice kids” all the time. There will be three new recipients on Friday.

Have a great week!

Week of March 11th

Posted on Mar 12, 2019

This week in ELA we will continue to work on our short story unit. On Monday, we worked on six techniques for improving their writing. We are reading “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. The students will work on literary analysis questions, complete a search for similes activity, and choose from four options for a creative project after reading the story. We will also read “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl. The students will be completing analysis questions as well as a police report activity for this story.

Our 8th graders advanced to the finals of Word Mania! Word Mania is the world’s biggest online literacy competition. The finals run from Wednesday through Friday this week. Please encourage your son or daughter to play at home (instead of Fortnight or Snapchap—good luck!).

We will resume the 8th Grade ELA Student of the Week this week. Hopefully this will inspire our 8th graders to keep working hard and to continue to be “the nice kids” that they are.

Have a great week!

Week of March 4

Posted on Mar 04, 2019

Although it doesn’t feel like March outside, it is nice to begin the third trimester. I will stress with our 8th graders the importance of finishing strong and working hard until the end of the year. This trimester brings many exciting events and milestones for our 8th graders!

This is a busy week for our students. We will read “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe. The class will complete analysis questions and we will complete the story telling arc summarizing the plot of “The Cask of Amontillado”. We will read “The Rules of the Game” by Amy Tan and complete a creative writing exercise using the story.

We will continue working on grammar using the online program NO RED INK. The students will have three practice assignments due this week. There will also be a vocabulary quiz on words from these two stories this week.

SJF will be taking part in a fun and engaging literacy competition called Wordmania. The competition begins today and ends Friday, March 8. Wordmania is an interactive online word building game. Our students can win $10,000 for the school and many other prizes and awards. I will give class time to work on this but the students will also receive a password to play at home.

This week:

Monday: A representative from the Kevin Dowling Scholarship will speak with the 8th graders.

Tuesday: Dress down and dance-a-thon for Mardi Gras. (Wear purple, green, and yellow)

Wednesday: All school Mass for Ash Wednesday & report card distribution

Friday: Dress down for St. Baldrick’s

Have a great week!

Week of February 25

Posted on Feb 25, 2019

Time is flying! I can’t believe it’s the last week of February. Bring on spring! The last day of the second trimester is this Friday, March 1. Students need to have 30 AR points completed by Thursday, February 27.

This week we will continue to work on our short story unit. We will finish reading “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant. We will learn more about the protagonist by answering several analysis questions and then trace the protagonist’s character development by looking at various elements of the setting. We will also read “Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes and work on writing an excellent introductory paragraph focusing on the hook, bridge, summary and thesis. We will continue to work on vocabulary within the stories as well as extra vocabulary words.

Have a great week!

Week of February 18

Posted on Feb 19, 2019

I hope everyone had a nice, relaxing long weekend!  I’m so glad to hear that the ski trip was enjoyed by all who attended and that we almost got by with no injuries.

This week the students will deliver their informative speeches. They learned how to put their information into an outline form. We will finish speeches up on Wednesday. So far, I am extremely impressed by the 8th graders ability to organize their detailed content and confidently deliver their speeches in front of their peers.

On Thursday, we will practice for the written portion of the ASPIRE tests. We will go over the recipe for writing a proper argumentative persuasive essay. We will also be working on grammar, vocabulary and hope to begin a short story unit on Friday.

The trimester ends Friday, March 1. Please join me in reminding our 8th graders that 30 Accelerated Reader Points are due before March 1.

The graduation picture proofs went home today. Please make sure to completely fill in all the information on the form and return the proofs by this FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22. 

Have a great week!

Week of February 4

Posted on Feb 05, 2019

Welcome back to a full week of school after the cold snap last week. We will be busy this week in 8th Grade ELA. The students' Romeo and Juliet five paragraph essay rough draft is due Tuesday. They will be going through essay revision learning stations in class on Tuesday. They will also be doing peer revisions on their essays. The final copy of the essay is due Thursday. 

We are starting a grammar unit focusing on verbs, adjectives and adverbs this week. We will also begin a short two-week unit on the Informative Speech. The students will learn effective public speaking techniques and will prepare and deliver a 3-5 minute Informative Speech. I am excited to see how the students rise to this challenge!

This is a special week for our 8th Graders as they prepare for their Confirmation on Sunday. God Bless our 8th Grade students!

Have a great week!

Week of Jan. 28

Posted on Jan 28, 2019

It was nice to meet many of you at the Catholic Schools Week Mass and Open House. We had so many 8th grade students share their time and talents to make the Mass and Open House a success!

The students did a wonderful job on their Romeo and Juliet Movie Poster Project. I was very impressed by their insight and creativity. This week in class we will begin working on our comparative five paragraph essays. The students will need to discuss the similarities and differences between William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet and Baz Luhrmann’s movie version of Romeo and Juliet. We will also be working on developing quality thesis statements and introductory paragraphs using the website

On Wednesday, the students will be assigned work to complete at home. We will discuss this in class and I will post the assignment to Google Classroom.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a great week! Stay warm!

Week of January 21

Posted on Jan 22, 2019

I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing long weekend! We will be busy the next two weeks preparing for and celebrating Catholic Schools Week. On Tuesday the students will have a short review for the Romeo and Juliet final exam on Wednesday. The students should be well prepared for this exam. The students will also be working on a Movie Poster Project for Romeo and Juliet. These projects are due Friday, January 25. On part of Thursday and Friday the students will be watching Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet. This movie is rated PG-13. Please let me know if you have any concerns or questions. Next week, the students will be writing an essay comparing the play to this version of the movie.

On Wednesday, the Scholastic Team is having a dress down fundraiser. Students may dress as a scholar, a teacher, or may wear high school or college spirit wear.

Catholic Schools Week kicks off this Sunday with the 10 a.m. family Mass followed by Open House. I look forward to meeting you on Sunday!

Have a great week!

Week of January 14

Posted on Jan 17, 2019

This week in 8th Grade ELA: We finished reading Romeo and Juliet on Monday. I was so impressed by the students’ enthusiasm for such difficult material. We took a quiz on Acts III & IV on Tuesday and the students worked together to complete their Romeo and Juliet final exam study guides. The students will be working on a group project the rest of the week. They will be asked to perform a scene or scenes from the play. I am excited to see how they take ownership of this fun yet challenging project. To round out the Romeo and Juliet unit, the students will be taking a final exam next Wednesday, working on a movie poster project, watching Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet movie and then writing a comparison essay. On Friday, the students will be taking the Interim Aspire tests. Have a great week!