Hello! My name is Mr. Dempsey, and I am the middle school social studies and religion teacher at SJBS. I first entered Catholic education at the age of 4 years old, and I've never left! I attended a Catholic K-8 elementary school, a high school run by Franciscan friars, and eventually received both my undergraduate degree and M.Ed from the University of Notre Dame. I decided to enter the field of education because of my deep love of learning, and that is exactly what I wish to pass on to all my students. In my classroom, we study both the history of the world and our Catholic faith, but it is not a mere consumption and regurgitation of knowledge. Instead, we focus on inquiry, analysis, application and evaluation. Through discussion, debate, inquiry-based projects, and reflection, students practice critical thinking and analytical writing skills that prepare them for success in the high school classroom.
Curriculum Resources & Apps
- Big Ideas Math
- Research-based curriculum providing a rigorous, focused, and coherent curriculum that balances conceptual understanding with procedural fluency
- Supplemented by:
- adaptive assessment and learning system aimed at mastery and retention
- Desmos, Three Act Math Tasks, Open Middle, Gimkit and others
- Guided math tasks and activities supporting main instruction that help extend and refine problem solving, conceptual understanding, and application.
- Comprehensive digital resources, supplemental print materials, and hands-on exploration kits that drive engagement and academic growth; students are engaged in discovery, explicit instruction, hands on activities,
- STEM Lab
- Weekly time in the STEM Lab for activities and experiments aligned with current lessons
- Social Studies
- National Geographic Learning
- Digital adaptive social studies curriculum which emphasizes document analysis and inquiry-based learning
- An adaptive online news-as-literacy platform that features current, high-interest articles on everything from current events to myths and legends and from literature to science
- Sadlier "We Live Our Faith Catholic Identity" Series Gr. 8
- Follows the “gather-believe-respond” model for religious education which engages students in prayer, analysis of scripture, and application of message to their lives.
- Amplify ELA California Edition Program
- Is a blended interactive curriculum where students analyze complex texts and use evidence and reasoning to prove claims.
- Adaptive programs - NewsELA and Membean vocabulary
- Students are engaged in a daily program to apply English grammar skills to writing and speaking.
- Parts of speech
- Mechanics of writing
- Sentence structure
- The writing program provides students with the tools to clearly communicate their thoughts with attention to details, a high level of vocabulary and creativity.
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