By Beatriz Eade
This past quarter was very busy for the elementary music students. Grades one through five participated in several performances. One performance was the Elementary Christmas Program. To start the night off for the Christmas program, fourth grade students played several songs on their recorders, which they had been practicing in class. Fifth grade starred in the Christmas play
, Aaron the Allergic Shepard,
where they acted as shepherds and sang many songs. While the fifth graders were performing, the third grade students accompanied them as background singers. To finish the night off, Mrs. Dao’s Honor Choir sang
Winter Wind, O, Holy Night, The Tree,
The Sound of Music Medley.
Grandparents’ Day included many more successful performances where grades one through five each sang a song for the StJPII visitors.
Apart from performing, all the elementary students learned to play different instruments during the quarter. The first and second grade students learned about percussion instruments. Second grade learned how to play the keyboard. Third grade, on the other hand, learned about playing chimes, while fourth grade excelled at playing the recorder. Instead of learning to play another instrument, the fifth grade students made
presentations about composers they had researched. This quarter was very successful for the elementary music students, and next quarter will be even better!
Lots of Prayer
By Thomas Jewett
During the last quarter, the many Masses and Saints Families' gatherings have helped fill the quarter with faith as the students and community join in celebrating our Catholic faith. All of the younger students have been extremely excited about meeting in their Saints Families and having the older students led them in prayer and activities. The older students enjoyed picking up the younger students and dropping them off after Saints Families. Also, the younger students look up to the older students and try to be like them as they grow.
In helping with the Masses, all of the altar servers have been perfecting their technique for Mass and have loved serving for the priests and have loved serving for St. John Paul II. The priests have really enjoyed visiting our school so far this year and we can’t wait until they come back to have Mass with us again. There are many big things coming up for Mass and Saints Families. For Mass we celebrated the season of Advent by saying special prayers and by lighting the Advent Wreath. For Saints Families coming up there is Catholic Schools week and many other events in the future. On the religion front, St. John Paul II has it covered in class and out.
Stretching Into the Year
By Ashley Bowring
After getting the first hectic nine weeks out of the way, in the second quarter, the Stretch Program has been in full swing! Vigorous learning has been going on in the Stretch room. Diligently working on their service projects, these exceptional learners are exceeding expectations by getting their projects set out and due dates planned. They are working on projects such as collecting materials for Citizens for Animal Protection Service for their drive, searching and learning more about the Ark of the Covenant, teaching younger students about science and literature, and several other projects. The reading students are working at their best. They have been focusing even harder to achieve their goal to be amazing readers by practicing their skills each week. The older students are working vigorously on reading comprehension strategies. The younger students are working on pronouncing and perfecting their sounds and letters. They are well on their way to achieving the goal of becoming outstanding students!
A Busy Place of Joy
By Laura Merlina
In the StJPII library, the joy and cheer of the Advent season was aglow with the help of Ms. Lamb and her fun plans to help the children enjoy the Advent season. A lot has happened in the second quarter with the book fair, numerous holidays, and midterms coming up, so the library was bustling with ways to make these things more fun and less difficult.
To start off the Advent season, Ms. Lamb read aloud
The Light of Christmas
, which she usually reads around this time of year. She hopes to teach the students about the power of selflessness, because there should always be some to spare at this time of year. Of course, Ms. Lamb will continue to keep dressing up for the children in hopes that they will grow to like the library and have something to look forward to when going there. For all the children stopping by the library, they learned about the Christmas elves and saw colorful displays that certainly grabbed their attention.
The library was not only a place for reading but for studying and learning. In library, the students learned different skills that have been stressed for them to use for midterm. The seventh and eighth grade students also had a project during the quarter to encourage them to learn about different authors and branch out with their reading tastes. This has been a very active quarter, but by no means dreadful or boring, but more about preparation and fun!
Middle school Spanish students learn about Spanish culture and Dios de los Muertos.
Moving Along in Spanish
By Daniela Esqueda
All four Spanish classes, upper elementary and middle school, have been working nonstop this second quarter. The fourth graders have been learning how to describe the rooms of a house, activities at home, and their neighborhood. Also, the fifth graders learned about household activities, how to talk about who does what in their home, and the room or rooms these activities take place. To help the students improve their Spanish skills, they sang songs almost every day and used repetition. They also used the four elements of learning Spanish which are listening, speaking, reading, and writing. They continued to succeed by being attentive during lessons, participating, and asking questions during class.
The middle school Spanish classes have been learning how to express feelings and temporary conditions using the verbs
(to have) and
(to be). These students also continue to sing songs to help them improve in their fluency and pronunciation. They learned different songs almost every two weeks. The seventh and eighth graders were also working on a project called “The Big Move” where they created a
that showcased the Spanish-speaking country to which each “family” (group) was “moving.” We can’t wait to see what the Spanish students will do next!
Sixth grade wheel students learn about coding for robotics.
Squishy Circuits and Singing Angels
By Gabriela Clinton
The second quarter has been a blast for the sixth grade wheel. While some students created circuits and learned to code in computer science, others sang their hearts out in choir.
Mrs. Hughes, the sixth grade wheel choir teacher, has been accomplishing much in teaching her students about different music periods and composers while the students have fun with music. To showcase their skills, they sang during some of the Friday Masses and performed at the Christmas concert. Full participation is required to reach the teacher’s expectations for the students to sing tunefully and to the best of their abilities. To reach this goal, the students warm up their voices each day. To really pep them up, Mrs. Hughes plays their favorite songs. This gives them more inspiration to sing, but after interviewing students Sabrina Nino and Eva Turner, it is very clear that the main inspiration to sing is really just the joy of it.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Resweber and her computer science students have been extremely productive in class. They’ve practiced coding, learned to program robots, explored how a computer works inside, and worked on Squishy Circuits. By using Squishy Circuits, students explored electronics using
. They improved every skill by making mistakes, figuring out what went wrong, and trying again and again. During all this, the computer science students had positivity, perseverance, respect, and willingness to try new things. In doing so, they improved their previous skills and developed new ones, as well as developed a better understanding of the many jobs in the computer science field. After all, as Mrs. Resweber said, “Sixty-five percent of the jobs that StJPII students will have when they grow up haven’t been invented yet. Studies in Digital Media and other technology classes are allowing them to get ideas of what those jobs might be. Being in this class can help them decide if they might be interested in technology related jobs. Plus, we have lots of fun.” These two amazing classes really worked wonders this quarter!
By Jacob Lim
The elementary Spanish were on a roll in the second quarter. The Pre-K and the Kindergarten students learned about the family and Spanish traditions for Christmas. The first, second
and third graders were also working hard. They were learning about the all the items in a market, Christmas, playing “I Like It or I Don’t,” and the community. When learning all of these topics they enjoyed all of the songs and games they played in class. In elementary Spanish, the students used a lot of technology such as the
board, the projector, and iPad minis to help them learn. For learning about Christmas, the young Saints learned about different cultures and how they celebrate Christmas. They worked very hard in class, and if they did not finish an activity they completed it for homework. Did you know there is a theme in elementary Spanish every nine weeks? This quarter, the themes were food, clothing, describing where they live, family, colors, and traditions. The students sometimes find speaking the language challenging, but they are going getting better each day. All in all the elementary Spanish students were working hard and learning well.
Crazy for Coins
By Emily Colgan
Student Council was on a roll this past second quarter! STUCO held the annual Coin Clash during the week of December 5-9, and it was a huge hit. Along with Coin Clash, Student Council sponsors many other activities throughout the year. They sponsor the Talent Show, have many activities during Red Ribbon Week, and they have a cupcake booth at Fun in the Sun Day.
Student Council also runs the STUCO Store. They are adding many new items to their inventory including new writing items, more pencil bags, different types of erasers, and twistables! They are constantly looking for new items, so if you have an idea, tell your STUCO homeroom representative!
The Student Council members meet at least once a month. First, the STUCO officers meet to discuss the important things and what the meeting agenda will look like. Then, all of the STUCO members meet together at lunch. President Alexa Halim runs the meetings and handles all of the questions.
All in all, STUCO had a great quarter!
Art students work on their Rodeo Art Show entries.
By Elise DeGeeter
All of our art students have been hard at work this quarter. At the beginning of the second quarter, the younger elementary students worked on a 2D project where they made a fish out of popsicle sticks. Upper elementary students have also worked on fish projects, but theirs were 3D. They attached a hanger to the top of their fish. The elementary students started their Rodeo Art Show projects in the second week of October, and they are still hard at work. They are using oil pastels to create a Texas-themed artwork. Sebastian Khayat said that he has really enjoyed creating his Rodeo Art project, a horned lizard.
Middle school has also been diligently creating their Rodeo Art projects. While the elementary students worked with oil pastels, the middle school students had many choices. They could create their project with Prismacolor, colored pencil, oil pastel, acrylic painting, or even sharpies.
The art students have had a great quarter!
By Andrew Thampoe
The second quarter has been very productive for the computer students. The students have been continuing their progress from the first quarter, and they have been working on projects and making sequences of code.
In first through fifth grades, the students have been making English Language Arts (ELA) connections with dialogue and have also been exposed to different Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) jobs. Computer 1 has been experimenting with the code language
, a shortened form of
They have been using the program to tell stories. Computer 2 has been working on their final project, consisting of an interactive story that follows the
Catholic Social Teaching
standards. The project is one of collaborative aspects.
The students’ typing skills have been practiced regularly with a one-minute test at the end of the month. They use
and other online resources to build on their knowledge of keyboarding.
In the past quarter, the students have made exceptional progress. They have learned how to create code, make software, and improved their typing skills. They are working to not only be consumers, but creators of digital creations.
Bring the Music
By Camila Baldasso
In the second quarter the Beginner and Advanced Bands were bringing the music to StJPII! The Advanced Band performed for Grandparents' Day. They performed songs such as
Dynamite, Don’t Stop Believing, God Bless America, The Star-Spangled Banner,
and many more pop tunes. Baritone saxophone player Olivia Babasick said, “I enjoyed playing for the grandparents and bringing smiles to their faces through our music.”
The Advanced Band also received band t-shirts. They are allowed to wear them at individual events such as the All-Region and All-City Band rehearsals and on Spirit Shirt days. They have also chosen their band president. Fernando Gutierrez was chosen by the band by a majority vote to serve as its student leader.
The Beginner Band has also hit the ground running. They started the year with easier pieces of music and advancing through their music for their Christmas concert. The annual concert was on December 15, in the Gutierrez Student Center. The bands played songs such as
Ukrainian Bell Carol, Secret Agent Sugar Plum, Feast of Stephen
, and many more.
The Advanced Band will also be attending the Houston Symphonic Band and Sight Reading competition on April 4. Our band had a great second quarter!
The Halo News Elves
By Jade Garrido
Mrs. Kimmitt’s journalism classes have been occupied with tons of work last quarter! The Journalism 1 class has been learning and reviewing skills in
. The Journalism 2 class has been working on their broadcast editing skills. The main focuses in both of these classes are to get the job done! What Mrs. Kimmitt sees in a good journalism student is a responsible student who cares about getting their work done correctly. At the beginning of class, the classes review what topics are coming up and what they should focus on during class. The students learned skills in
, layout and design, and broadcasting during this quarter. In the future, the students of both classes will learn about caption writing and have more broadcasting lessons. “They are their own worst critics, so we mainly learn by doing,” Mrs. Kimmitt said about the students.
A typical journalism class is
busy! They are usually filming, taking pictures, writing, and working on yearbook pages. Mrs. Kimmitt evaluates the students on their responsibility, showing up prepared, and their willingness to try and showing hard work in class. “Every week, the students relax more on camera and are more comfortable filming behind the camera; they need to smile more!” Mrs. Kimmitt also said. It is no doubt that the journalism classes were hard-working
elves this past quarter!
Theatre arts students prepare Saint Monologues as part of their performance class.
Saints in Training
By Laura Merlina
The theatre arts students have been supremely productive for the second quarter. They kicked off the quarter with the Saint Monologues and are ending it preparing for the play that will be presented in January. Their interesting and unique methods of choosing roles have proved to be working, along with their warm up routines. We can all tell how hard the theatre arts students have worked based on their excellent presentations.
The TARTS students have been preparing for the play
Stone in the Road
which will be presented in January. They also presented their Saint Monologues in which the students chose any saint that fascinated them. They then researched whichever saint they chose, created a costume, and practiced their performance in front of the teacher and classmates. Then they performed for some of the elementary classes. They turned out excellent and everyone was rather pleased. As for the
Stone in the Road
play, the teacher will choose characters according to their own personalities which is an interesting method, but it definitely seems to work.
The middle school choir students have also been enjoying a very productive quarter. The Chorale went to the Renaissance Festival choir competition and received a Superior I rating! They also sang during the Grandparents' Day program and presented a Christmas Concert along with the Wheel Choir students. We are very proud of the theater arts and middle school choir students for their determination and hard work!
Serving the Community
By Elise DeGeeter
National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) is serving the community day by day. The student elected officers are Olivia Babasick, president; Sarah Frain, vice president, and Liam Walker, secretary and treasurer. NJHS tutoring has been very helpful for many years, but this year it is a little different. In the past, students and NJHS members met at 7:15 a.m. in the library. This year, students and NJHS members will meet in the teachers’ classrooms at an available time. In addition to tutoring, so far, the NJHS members provided service by working at St. Cyril’s Thanksgiving dinner where they served food to people in need. The students also sold coffee and donuts to shopper and workers at Holiday on the Parkway.
In the second semester, the NJHS members are planning to put up a reading board graph in the hallway. They will also be participating in the Thirst Project, serving at the Ballard House, tutoring, and sponsoring a book drive. The meetings are held every other Wednesday during lunch. The president, Olivia, runs the meetings and the secretary and treasurer, Liam, takes roll. The NJHS induction for students applying for NJHS will be on Friday, February 3, at the end of Catholic Schools’ Week. It’s obvious that the NJHS students have been accomplishing a lot this quarter!