By Beatriz Eade
It’s the start of a busy year, especially for Mrs. Dao. Mrs. Dao, the elementary music teacher, is getting ready for the Grandparents’ Day performance as well as the Christmas performance. For the Christmas play, the third through fifth grade students will be performing the play
Aaron, the Allergic Shepard.
First the students learned the music for the play, then the students learned their lines. For the Grandparents’ Day performance, the students have prepared multiple songs, and the fourth graders will be playing their recorders as well as singing.
Besides performing, the students learned about famous composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach. All elementary grades learned about the drums by using boomwhackers and drumsticks, which are percussion tools. The students learned about the musical alphabet and high and low pitches. The students also prepared for Mass by reading the readings and choosing songs that related to that reading. This is just the start of a busy year and the end of a great quarter!
New Year, New STUCO
By Elise DeGeeter
Student Council is off to a great start! Elections for positions took place on September 28, and the elected members of STUCO are Alexa Halim, president; Bella Forkner, vice president; Carlos Caldentey, treasurer; Itziar Crosa-Landeta, secretary, and Frankie Finger, historian. This year STUCO members hope to make the STUCO store more accessible for students. The STUCO Store will be open every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 7:40 to 8 a.m. STUCO meetings were held during lunch. This year STUCO encourages everyone to feel comfortable sharing their ideas with their homeroom representatives. The new officers and members are looking forward to getting to work.
Service to Others
By Emily Colgan
National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) started off strong in the first quarter. Their first meeting was on September 21, 2016. They will be meeting every two weeks. There will be about 50 meetings throughout the whole year! NJHS tutoring has already started! This year, tutoring will be different; the NJHS students will come to the teacher’s room and help the students there. The NJHS students will help the younger students with whatever school help they need, like math or reading. This year, NJHS will help with Run with the Saints. They will help with set up, water stations, food, and anywhere else help is needed. Also, the NJHS elections will be in October, and the officer positions will be President, Vice President, and Secretary.
We've Got Skills!
By Jade Garrido
In Ms. Lamb’s study skills class, the students have been learning about study skills. Some examples of study skills that have been taught this past quarter are organizing, time management, listening, and note-taking skills. In Ms. Lamb’s library class, the students have been vigorously working on their study skills and new topics such as parts of a book and plagiarism. Ms. Lamb’s class has also been working on reading award-winners, such as the Newbery Award winners, and databases. The younger students are learning basic and easy topics while the older students have been focusing on more complex and difficult lessons. Ms. Lamb taught short activities to her classes such as exit tickets and mini quizzes to see how they are progressing. She used S.L.A.N.T. to evaluate them. She looks for perked up students, focused minds, and cooperative classmates! Ms. Lamb states that the younger students are growing more independent and the older students are getting better at knowing how to find books using the Dewey Decimal System. It seems that there’s no stopping these fast library learners this year!
We Are Catholic
By Catherine Dang
The students started off the year with Saints Families, Vocations Day, and weekly Mass as the St.JPII students have been learning about their religious beliefs. In Saints Families the students met together for the first time this school year and discussed the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The students wrote on hearts what the heart of Jesus means to them. Vocations Day was on October 20, 2016. The day began with Mass, and our celebrant was Father T.J Dolce. Vocations Day encourages the students to ask the priests and consecrated women questions and to consider being a priest or to be a consecrated woman or other vocation. We celebrate Mass every Friday with different celebrants; behind the scenes Mrs. Richard helps us set everything up for Mass and other school events, also.
All the Action on Halo News
By Jacob Lim
Have you ever wondered how we put
together? Well this is how we do it! First, the teachers let the journalism team know about what is going on in their classes. Students then film reports and take pictures. Then they film the anchors and put it all together. The students were also working on taking pictures and learning
, and they are getting better at both. To keep up with all the news, the students are working nonstop. They also were also busy creating the theme for the yearbook. Have you ever wondered how the Halo News team comes up with the funny jokes on the broadcast? Wel, the news team gets the jokes from the students and the anchors find silly jokes to put at the end of each
Halo News. Halo News
is filmed used iPads and iMovie, and
. The students volunteer to be the anchors and do reports, they are never required to be on camera except for once a year. A day in journalism is very hectic, and the students do a lot of things at one time like taking pictures, recording, and working on the yearbook. The journalism department even sends cameras with teachers to take pictures on field trips! Addiitionally, the students take about 10,000 photos a year. They are trained by Mrs. Kimmitt and then are given the cameras to go get the shots! Halo News and other reporting on the news of StJPII keeps the students very busy! The journalism students are extremely productive and always working.
Singing Through School
By Taylor Schababerle
Editor in Chief of The Spirit
TARTS and middle school music were very busy this quarter. The students in TARTS worked a lot on improvisation. They played games that made them think quickly. They learned a lot about Ancient Greek Theatre this past quarter. The two plays they worked on were
Her Majesty, Himself
Beloved Teacher, and Muse
. They warmed up each day by talking about the quote of the day.The stage was used for blocking and learning how to project their voice. The most challenging thing this quarter was for the students to learn how to be comfortable performing in front of other people.
In music, the students practiced sight-reading music sheets several times a week. To warm up their voices in music, the students would sing
. The choir looked at the Mass readings and chose songs to match them. The students used the piano to teach melodies. They are also broken up into different groups according to their voices. They are going to the
Renaissance Festival competition in November. Wish them luck with their singing!
The middle school Spanish students learn about cultures from other countries.
By Daniela Esqueda
The Spanish classes have been very industrious this quarter. The fourth grade students have been learning about how to say the other students’ first and last names and how to introduce themselves. While the fourth graders are at hard work, the fifth graders learned how to introduce themselves to other peers by designing a mini skit. Although these elementary classes are doing very well, they struggle with conjugating verbs, which is a very challenging topic for all the Spanish classes, but they are learning how to get better at mastering this skill.
The middle school Spanish students had their hands full this quarter. They were busy describing themselves and others using verbs and physical characteristics. The middle school Spanish students have also been working on song projects. The songs can help the students with their fluency and can help them build up their vocabulary. The students enjoy singing. The students are ready and motivated to learn the language of Spanish.
Spanish: More than Just a Language
By Jade Garrido
Mrs. Linares’s elementary Spanish class is on a roll this year! The main focuses in this class were participation and understanding. They have been learning and discovering new things such as family terms, numbers, and greetings this past quarter. In Pre-K and Kindergarten, the students have been taught Spanish greetings and numbers such as
. It is very noticeable that the Pre-Kers and the Kindergartners have been engaged in their schoolwork this recent quarter.
The older elementary classes have been working diligently on understanding the family and more Spanish greetings. They learned about Mexico and its unique customs and traditions such as
Dia de los Muertos
. The third graders have had their hands full with learning advanced family terms. They have also studied the cultures and traditions of Peru. “They are doing great,” Mrs. Linares said about the students. It is truly undeniable that the students have made much progress throughout this past quarter!
By Olivia Babasick
Editor in Chief, SJPII Times Online
The sixth grade wheel students were involved in many activities during the first quarter. In art, the students worked on five projects including mini mat weaving, basket weaving, puzzle “name” art designs, pinch pots, and copper metal molding. For the mini mat weaving, the artists learned loom weaving to prepare for future basket weaving. During basket weaving, they learned to waft and warp as well as weaving upside down to create beautiful baskets. When creating a puzzle, the students learned how to draw small, yet detailed pictures with permanent ink. Also, to make pinch pots, they felt the pinch pots, so their eyes were closed to shape them.
In addition to working on projects, the art students learned techniques and used many tools throughout the first quarter. Many clay sculpting tools were used to make definitive features, and students learned to work a pot as if they were using a potter’s wheel. They learned about the history of art as they created their projects.
In Spanish, the wheel students worked on memorizing prayers, songs, and basic Spanish vocabulary. They performed mini skits to help them memorize these things. They also presented a song project. For this project, students memorized a song as a group, researched the singer, translated the song, as well as sang and danced in front of the class.
The hardest thing for the students to learn was conjugating verbs. To prepare for tests, the students read, listened, and practiced the concepts they learned in every lesson.
Mexican Independence Day was celebrated on September 16, and this helped the students learn about Spanish culture. Also, reading, watching videos, and listening to music helped them learn about different Spanish speaking countries.
Overall, the sixth grade wheel students had an amazing first quarter and increased their knowledge greatly!
By Camila Baldasso
Mr. Griffin’s Beginner and Advanced Bands are pushing themselves to the limit. The sixth graders have learned how to put their new instruments together, how to take care of them, and they have started to learn how to play them. There are 43 students in the sixth grade band this year and 57 in the Advanced Band. The Advanced Band has already started mastering new pop tunes. Flutist Arden Staples, favorite part about band is playing pop songs. They played
Don’t Stop Believing, Funky Town, Shout It Out,
and many more. Depending on the band, mastering a song takes a few weeks to a few months.
To warm up, the brass students practice long notes and lip slurs. The students with woodwind instruments soaked their reeds, and the flutes played their scales. In the Advanced Band, the students earned chair ranking. To determine which chair they were assigned to, the students played the first line of their all-region music for Mr. Griffin. The next day they were put into their chairs. If the student did not like their chair, they could challenge someone to a play-off. Bridget Baarlaer, a baritone player, is most concerned about chair auditions this year.
All-Region Band tryouts are approaching. All-Region Band is an honorary city band that students from the Houston area may audition to become a member. To practice for All-Region auditions, the students learned all five of their scales and their chromatic scale. They also played both of their A-tunes. Another upcoming event is the Grandparents’ Day Concert on November 18. Mr. Griffin’s classes are off to a great start!
Middle school art students concentrate on their bookmark gifts for Vocations Day.
Picturing the Year
By Elise DeGeeter
Mrs. Stieber’s art students have started off the year well with their many paintings and projects. The elementary students’ first project involved the Olympics. They drew their favorite sports in the five Olympic rings. Next, they used their drawings and made a second Olympic drawing, but this time they also drew a person. They made sculptures out of neutral colors, so that they could learn that they didn’t always have to use bright colors. Through their most recent project, the elementary students had a lot of fun. They painted a tie dye painting, and had a lot of fun while doing it.
The Art 1 and Artisan students worked very hard during this first quarter. Both Artisan and Art 1 started off by making monochromatic drawings. The students portrayed the school theme in their artwork while using permanent markers. These drawings were part of the directory art contest. The winners of this contest were Karen Rodriguez, whose work will be the cover, Misael Muro, first place; Ceci Davila, second place; Taylor Schababerle, third place; Sarah Schott, fourth place; and Bella Alvarez, fifth place. All students’ work will be featured in the directory. They also did a new project where they used the process of tangling. Both of these classes also did Friday Fun Mobiles, which was a smaller project.
In addition to the projects above, the Art 1 students made leather cross bookmarks for Vocations Day gifts. They also did a series of still life drawings using things such as shells. They will be creating mosaic trivets and quail baskets which were made even in Jesus’s time. Both of these projects can be used at home as very functional items. The upcoming contest for all grades will be the Rodeo Art Show which will take place in January, and in the spring they will be competing in the Society for Performing Arts Contest. We wish them all good luck!
STRETCHing into the Year
By Ashley Bowring
Stretch students Pre-K through eighth grade students, excluding the Kindergartners have had their hands full with a whole new world of reading, vocabulary, and spelling words. They have been diligently working by coming to class during P.E., one, two, three, or even four times a week. The readers are very excited to use a new, fun resource called
The students seem to enjoy this new program much.
The exceptional learners also have been learning and achieving, already working on their proposals for their upcoming projects that they are going to continue throughout the year. Some of their ideas included researching the Panama Canal, providing community service using CAPS or Lunches of Love, and making toys for the animals in an animal shelter. They used their own Chromebooks to research their topics. They were working nonstop to go over and beyond their goals.
The hardworking students’ favorite part of this very effective class was using the brand new yoga ball chairs to help them be less fidgety. All of the scholars were putting a huge effort into this extra class. What a great way to start a new year!