NASA camp for St. Joseph’s Indian School students

During the last week of school at St. Joseph’s, the eighth graders enjoyed

Linea, St. Joseph's Teacher
Linea, St. Joseph’s Teacher

NASA Camp. We explored space and did activities to help us understand the obstacles and mysteries of space that confront our scientists and astronauts.

We started by making journals to keep track of our activities – it was very important to journal our findings. “Art and the Cosmic Connection” was an activity designed to engage our students in space science by becoming artist explorers.

The “Pocket Solar System” activity helped students understand the

Students made planets out of play dough to create a “pocket solar system.”
The “Pocket Solar System” activity helped students understand the distances between the orbits of planets and to get a handle on how large our solar system is.

distances between the orbits of planets and to get a handle on how large our solar system is. We made our planets out of play dough.

We also did an activity that applied the scientific method to determine degree of bone loss and learn why healthy bones are important in space and on Earth.

One of our last activities was to use the design process to build a structure

Design, creation and problem solving skills all went into the tower-building activity.
Students had to create and build a structure to handle the greatest load possible – with spaghetti!

to handle the

greatest load possible.  Students had to identify the problem and then brainstorm, design, build, test, redesign and share their solutions.  They loved the competition!

Learning about space was a great way to end the school year – we had an awesome time!



Half of our school year is already over?

Half of our school year is already over at St. Joseph’s!  It seems like it has really

Linea teaches reading at St. Joseph’s Indian School
Linea, St. Joseph’s reading teacher for seventh and eighth grades.

gone by fast.  In the last quarter leading up to Christmas break, the Lakota students were working with a program entitled “Blueprint for Intervention:  Comprehension” by 95% Group.  We focused on Determining Importance and Synthesizing in Nonfiction and Fiction Text.  Now we are ready to apply our new comprehension skills as we move on to Unit 3 in our text.

In this unit, we will study the different types of nonfiction including autobiographies, biographies and different types of essays.  We will also be doing some activities that will help the students in answering essay questions.

In just a few weeks, we’ll have the next round of our spelling bee. The students worked really hard and the contest proved to be very competitive!  We have our winners and they will be moving on to the regional contest held in Mitchell, South Dakota, in February.

St. Joseph’s Indian School participates in a spelling bee each year.
The Lakota students worked hard to prepare for the spelling bee.

Before that, however, the seventh and eighth grade classes will have their class trip to Pierre – South Dakota’s capital. We will tour the capital building and the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center.

Thank you for your support!

Linea – 7th & 8th Grade Reading Teacher

In reading class with the Lakota boys & girls

The new year at St. Joseph’s Indian School is well underway – we’ve had almost a month of school already. The Lakota students came back with smiles on their faces, positive

Linea teaches reading at St. Joseph’s Indian School
Linea, St. Joseph’s reading teacher for seventh and eighth grades.

attitudes and ready to learn!

To start the year, we adopted the saying “Our Future is so Bright, We Have to Wear Shades!!!!” This is why we look so “cool” in the picture.

In seventh and eighth grade reading class with me, students are starting out learning about fiction and all the elements involved in a fiction story. The first few weeks, we stress how authors use sensory details to make descriptions more vivid and the different ways they develop the characters in their stories. We also point out how important the setting is because it can affect the mood and tone of the story.

The students are looking forward to St. Joseph’s annual powwow and all the activities involved – a week from today it will be here! It is a busy and exciting time of year. Will you be joining us for powwow?

Linea – 7th & 8th Grade Reading Teacher

To start the year, St. Joseph’s students and teachers adopted the saying “Our Future is so Bright, We Have to Wear Shades
Linea and her seventh graders sport sunglasses in class because “our future’s so bright, we’ve gotta wear shades!”

Poetry, snow & sixth grade at St. Joseph’s Indian School

The end of the year is here! It is a very busy time at St. Joseph’s Indian School, fitting in class trips, end-of-the-year activities and wrapping up projects.

Linea teaches reading at St. Joseph’s Indian School
Linea, St. Joseph’s reading teacher for sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

In reading classes, the Lakota students completed units on poetry. During this unit, it is always a treat to have our principal, Kathleen, come and read to us. She does an amazing job and captures the attention of all the students.

We read mostly lyric and narrative poems, and students explored the different ways authors presented their words. Some used humor and others appealed to our senses and emotions.

I also discovered we have some talented young poets right here at St. Joseph’s!

During the reading of the poem “The Dream Keeper,” our Native American Studies teachers came into our classroom and helped us make our own dreamcatchers. The students did an awesome job and had a lot of fun.

Spring is also the time that our sixth graders take their cultural field trip to the Badlands National Park in western South Dakota. We schedule this trip a couple of weeks in advance and then have to accept what Mother Nature has in store of us.

This year she decided to rain on our day…

Actually, we were like postal workers and could say that “neither rain nor sleet nor snow” will keep us from having fun on our class trip!

Everyone knows the end of the year is coming fast and the students are looking forward to their summer break!

Linea – Reading Teacher, grades 6-8

St. Joseph’s sixth graders made their own dreamcatchers after reading the poem “The Dream Keeper.”
After reading “The Dream Keeper,” St. Joseph’s sixth graders made dreamcatchers in class.
St. Joseph’s sixth graders had their class trip to the Badlands National Park in May.
Sixth grade boys stand in the rain and snow in the Badlands during the sixth grade class trip.

Reading, Writing and Arithmetic for the Lakota students

Lots of reading! I am Linea, and I teach reading to our sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students at St. Joseph’s.

Linea teaches reading at St. Joseph’s Indian School
Linea, St. Joseph’s reading teacher for sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

We are already at the halfway mark of the third quarter at St. Joseph’s Indian School! This school year is going by really fast – I can hardly believe it.  In our reading classes, the Lakota (Sioux) students are currently  finishing up a unit on nonfiction.  We will take our test next week.

Everyone has done well with the informational text such as news articles, science articles and web pages.  They also studied types of visual media such as photographs, illustrations, charts, diagrams and maps.  It’s important that our students are able to comprehend these types of nonfiction because it will help them succeed in their everyday lives.

Next, we will be entering the world of poetry.

In other campus news, the boys are in the middle of their basketball season. Sometimes I think I have as much fun watching them as they do playing!

St. Joseph’s Lakota students study reading, science, math and other core subjects.
St. Joseph’s sixth graders worked with Linea on a unit about nonfiction writing.

We just finished up Catholic Schools Week and provided our Native American students with a few extra activities for them to enjoy.  One activity was Academic Game Day in where the teachers provided a game for the students to enjoy.  There was a wide variety and the students moved from classroom to classroom so they could enjoy them all.  In my class, we played Language Arts Who Wants to be a Millionaire.  I was pleased with the number of millionaires I had!

Thank you for being part of our tiyospayeextended family!

Linea – 6 – 8th Grade Reading Teacher

More poems from the Lakota students!

Diamante Poems    


loud, windy

falling, dropping, echoing

thunder, lightning, cloud, and sunrise

ending, dreaming, fading

bright, clear


                                                                                                         by Anthony




cheerful, joyful

laughing, smiling, sparkling

loving babies, puppies, rainbows

skipping jumping, running

silly, funny


                                                                              by Listella



Haiku Poetry

It is hot outside

My fan is always right there

Blowing around air

by Melvina


Softball is so fun

I like to hit a homerun

The fans like to cheer

by Mary Lee


Lyric Poems

Dream Catchers

As I sleep,

It lets the good dreams through

The bad dreams it keeps.

A pool of good dreams floating in my head

As I lay in my bed

Now I know that no bad dreams come

Just me beating a drum.

by Joe


                   The Horse

There is a horse

a mild, wild horse

who has wings to fly

but not a white horse

a wild, unmild horse

with bat wings and flames,

this wild white horse

does not have small wings

Wait!       it has a horn

Oh, he is a unicorn!

by Nate

Poetry from the Lakota students

Before the end of the school year, we learned about the poetry the Lakota students were working on in Linea’s classroom. You asked to see their work, and here are some “I Am” poems.

St. Joseph’s eighth grader Deavontay learned about writing poetry

Deavontay and Melvina both graduated with St. Joseph’s eighth-grade class in May and will attend Chamberlain High School next year.

Stay tuned for more poetry later this week!

I Am Poem

I am Quiet and Intelligent

I wonder about my own future

I can hear my grandchildren laughing

I see the future

I want to be forever youthful

I am Quiet and Intelligent


I pretend to be old

I feel as young as a newborn foal

I touch the warm sun

I worry about world peace

I cry for my people

I am Quiet and Intelligent


I understand the hardship of the world

I say Wakan Yeja (Children are Sacred)

I dream of tomorrow

I try and try again

I hope to be successful

I am Quiet and Intelligent

                                       by Deavontay


I am…

St. Joseph’s eighth grader Melvina learned about writing poetry

I am creative and a dreamer

I wonder what it is like to be famous

I hear fans yelling mine and Chandler’s names

I see millions of people in the crowd at our concerts

I want to be famous

I am creative and a dreamer

I pretend I am a superstar when I’m alone

I feel excited about the future

I touch the sky and let my dreams take me where they may

I worry about child abuse and people that have to suffer

I cry when I think about Shauntae

I am creative and a dreamer

I understand it takes hard work to get to the top

I say “Thank you America!” when I get done singing to myself

 I dream about someday performing at Madison Square Garden

I try to do my best in everything I do

I hope people learn to keep their promises

I am creative and a dreamer.

                                                                  by Melvina              

Next up: Poetry

The end of the school year is quickly approaching at St. Joseph’s!

As always, there are many extra activities occurring before we dismiss for the summer, which keep the Lakota children (and their teachers!) very busy.  In reading, we have finished up our first unit on poetry.

This was a big change from our previous units on nonfiction informational texts. Everyone seem to enjoy the change.   In the next couple of weeks, students will be putting their knowledge to the test and engage in the art of writing a few short poems.  I always enjoy seeing their imaginations come alive!

Last week, we had some visitors from the Mission Education Conference come into our classroom.  We decided it would be fun to see what they knew about the elements of poetry, so we made up a bingo game using poetry terms.

Our Native American students and visitors helped each other out; everyone had a good time and it proved to be a good learning tool for the students and visitors as well!

~ Linea – 6th – 8th grade reading teacher

Mission Education visitors spent time with the Lakota children in their classrooms at St. Joseph’s.
The Lakota students and Mission Education visitors helped each other play bingo with poetry terms.

Learning about poetry with Linea

The older Lakota students enjoy reading to younger children on Dr. Seuss’ birthday.
My sixth grade reading students reading to a fourth grader.

Another quarter is coming to an end at St. Joseph’s Indian School; the year is going by fast!  In my reading classes, we have wrapped up the units on nonfiction and have ventured in to the world of poetry.

It is a nice change for the Lakota students because they are introduced to not only serious poetry, but also poetry that lets them enter fantasy land.  They learn about the different elements of poetry including imagery, metaphors, similes, rhyme, rhythm, repetition, and alliteration.

The forms of poetry they are introduced to are narrative poems, free verse poems, and concrete poems.  We are hoping that they will be able to relate the themes expressed in these poems to their own lives and to the world around them.

On Friday, March 1, we celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday.  This is always a fun day for the students, especially the younger ones.  The students are allowed to wear PJ’s to school and we set aside a time in the afternoon for the older students to get together with the younger students and read Dr. Seuss books to them.   My reading class looks forward to this especially if they have a younger sibling.

Linea – 6-8 Grade Reading Teacher

Guest Blogger: Linea, 6-8 Grade Reading Teacher

We completed first semester at St. Joseph’s Indian School and are now well on our way into second semester with the Lakota students!

In our reading classes, we are still focusing on nonfiction work, but have graduated into informational text such as news articles, science articles and web pages. We are also working with types of visual media such as photographs, illustrations, charts, diagrams, and maps.

Our goal is to help students be able to comprehend these types of nonfiction, as it is important for them to succeed in their everyday lives.

The Lakota students at St. Joseph’s use computers to complete their MAPS tests.
St. Joseph’s eighth graders work through MAPS testing.

It is also the time of year where we are doing some testing.  This week we will be doing MAPS testing to help us determine the progress of the students.  This is done on the computer so we receive immediate results.  This kind of broad testing helps us recognize any problem areas.

We are also working on spelling words for our annual Spelling Bee that will be held during Catholic Schools Week.  This can be a lot of fun and it is rewarding to see the students get excited.