The Lottery

Hi 8th graders,

If you need to review the story or the film of “The Lottery” while writing your analysis, look no further! Remember to include a full heading and follow the “No Excuses” list for a word-processed assignment. This is due tomorrow morning, Thursday, October 12, 2017, before you leave for your field trip.

You can download your own copy of the story here and the film version is just below:

Washington State Trip Homework

Dear parents and guardians of St. John School 7th graders,

Yes, it’s true – I have assigned parent homework! I promise both parts are simple and straightforward; fill out and return the trip registration form and complete a short survey towards the bottom of this post. There is even a prize for completing your work!

If you have lost, or never received, any forms or informational packets regarding the trip, you will find a list of links for all available forms and information at the bottom of this post.

Part 1: Registration Form

At Curriculum Night, I introduced the Washington State History Trip and gave you the registration forms to take home and complete. If you were not at Curriculum Night or you have misplaced the forms, you can download a brand new copy of the registration form here.

Completed registration forms and a $50 deposit (online or with form) are due on Thursday, October 12, 2017. That is this coming Thursday.

If you are concerned about the cost of the trip, please contact me ( for more information,

Part 2: Complete the short (3 question) survey!

Please complete the short, three-question survey below and then hit the submit button. The survey needs to be completed by Friday, October 13, 2017. Read below for more info, or skip right to the survey!

This is an amazing trip and we will be taking 5 lucky parents with us! You’re all reasonable people, so you might be wondering, “How lucky can I be if I’m rolling around Washington state with over 50 middle school students for 4 days and 3 nights?” After you read the itinerary, review the presentation from Curriculum Night, and chat with chaperones from last year’s trip, you will know the definitive answer: incredibly lucky.

By now, I know you are all desperate to secure your space on the team. Great news – the first step is to fill out the short, 3 question survey below. Please know that chaperones have a prorated cost for the trip.

Whether you are interested or not, we still ask that you complete the survey so we know that everyone is aware of this fabulous opportunity. Also, candy prizes will be handed out at Student-Parent-Teacher Conferences to all the parents who complete the survey by this Thursday, October 12, 2017.

Chaperones for 2018 Washington State History Trip

All available forms and information for 2018 WA State History Trip:

Registration and Payment information

2018 Trip Registration Form

2018 Trip Itinerary

Informational presentation from Curriculum Night (with pictures!)

Have you met Metron?

Hi 7th graders,

Whether you’re using a meter stick to measure the diameter of a circle in centimeters (pick a different measuring device!) or solving a geometry question in Math, you need to know about this week’s new root. Maybe you’re curious about the weather and measuring the air pressure with your barometer, the wind speed with your anemometer, and the drop in temperature with your thermometer; you will still need to know about this week’s root. Perhaps you don’t care about measuring, but you’re desperate to visit a doctor of optometry to find out if your eyes demonstrate symmetry; despite your adventures you still need to know about this week’s root. Even if none of these situations apply to you, you need to know about this week’s root. Luckily, you can find it here.

Or here:

5 Metron PPT

Let me tele you about our new root…

Hi 7th graders,

Instead of watching television this weekend, why not work on your roots? You might think “Sure, Ms. Rzegocki! But I didn’t get all the notes because you were talking so fast.” It happens to the best of us.

Why not contact a friend using a telephone, a telegraph, or maybe even telepathy? You could try viewing a friend’s notes through a telescope or a telephoto lens. Or host a telethon to raise money for Ms. Rzegocki to speak more slowly. If none of those things work, you can always download and review the slides here.

Or here: 4 Tele PPT

We will review again on Monday. Enjoy your weekends!

P.S. Does the title of this post make sense to you?

Curriculum Night Review

Hi parents and guardians of 7th and 8th students,

As we approach the one week anniversary of Middle School Curriculum Night 2017, I thought I would mark the occasion by posting the slides from my presentations.

If you were unable to make it to Curriculum Night or missed something I said, or you just want to remind yourself of the exciting times we shared last week, please download the slides below and contact me with any questions.

7th grade Literature and Language Arts presentation

Washington State History Trip presentation

8th grade Literature presentation

7th and 8th Grade Student Survey

St. John

Welcome back, everybody!

You may have heard me say that learning is a cooperative effort. To cooperate effectively, we need to get know each other. I have shared a little bit about myself, now it’s your turn!

7th graders – this is an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself to me!

8th graders – this is an excellent opportunity to let me know how you have changed over the summer!

Please complete this student survey by Tuesday, September 5th, 2017. It is homework.

Student Survey

Beginning of the year survey for students
  • About Me

  • About My Learning

Happy summer…reading!

Hello rising 8th graders,

Thank you for all of your hard work this year! While we just finished school on Friday, I have already had requests for the summer reading list.

Please review the summer reading list below and choose one book from each category (2 books total) and read them over the summer.

Fiction (choose one) Non-Fiction (choose one)
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford A Long Walk to Water, Linda Sue Park
Elijah of Buxton, Christopher Paul Curtis Free Boy: A True Story of Slave and Master, Lorraine McConaghy
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith

Fever 1793, Laurie Halse Anderson

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot By the Taliban, Malala Yousafzai and Christine Lamb
Jefferson’s Sons: A Founding Father’s Secret Children, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Jean Dominique Bauby

The Family Romanov, Candace Fleming

A Girl of the Limberlost, Gene Stratton-Porter

Counting by 7’s, Holly Goldberg Sloan

Wonder, R.J. Palacio

Sabriel, Garth Nix

Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson

Witches: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem, Rosalyn Schanzer

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science, John Fleischman

Have a great summer (read)!

Poetry with a purpose

Hi 8th graders,

We started our Poetry with Purpose unit! Hooray!

Today, we listened to “Never Again” by Remedy and saw how he bore witness to the Holocaust through poetry, decades after it finished.

Tomorrow, we will be looking at two new poems/songs – “Strange Fruit” and “Lost Count: A Love Story”.

Tangerine Essay Prompts

Hi 7th graders,

You need to write the rough draft of your thesis statement for your Tangerine essay tonight. Remember, a thesis statement = subject + opinion + 3 supporting details (one for each body paragraph).

We reviewed all of the prompts in class and came up with strong ideas for each one. Pick your favorite and write a rough draft of your thesis statement tonight to bring to class tomorrow morning (Tuesday). Please review the writing prompts below before writing your thesis statement.

  • Prompt #1 (Location, Location, Location)
    • In writing this novel, Edward Bloor was very influenced by the environment, weather, and ecosystem of Florida. In your essay, describe and discuss the importance of the Florida setting to the characters and events in Tangerine. How does Edward Bloor use the animals, plants, weather, and natural phenomena of Florida to drive the plot and affect the characters?
  • Prompt #2 (Who is really blind?)
    • At one point in Tangerine, Paul states that, despite his glasses, he has the best vision. In your essay, describe and discuss the theme of blindness or “not seeing” in the events and characters of the novel. Why might other characters be considered “blind”? What key events revolve around characters not seeing what is truly going on?
  • Prompt #3 (Paul’s growth)
    • As the main character in Tangerine is also the narrator, the reader experiences the events of the novel as they happen to Paul Fisher. In your essay, describe Paul’s personal growth from the beginning to the end of the novel. How does he change? What are the key events of the novel that shape and affect Paul character and growth?

We will start planning (and possibly writing) your rough draft tomorrow. Your final draft is due Monday, May 15, 2017. If you use your time, both in class and at home, wisely this week, you could be done before the weekend!

Final Project for TKAM

Clear the air TKAM

Hi 8th graders,

Atticus gives great advice, doesn’t he? I want to make sure we have everything out in the open regarding your final project for this unit.

You started working on your final project for To Kill A Mockingbird this week in class. You can find a copy of the assignment here and the rubric here. The project is due on Monday, May 1st, 2017.

From now until May 1st (except two days for movie talks), we will have in-class work time for you to create your projects. Because you have so much work time in class, I do not expect you to work on this project over spring break. You should only work on it over the holiday if it brings you joy!

So, remember to use in-class work time wisely and enjoy this bit of wisdom from Harper Lee…
Mockingbirds bring joy