Welcome Page

I teach a 6th grade homeroom (Rm. 9), 6th grade Reading, Language Arts, and Religion, and one section of 7th grade reading. Please see the "Weekly Newsletter" tab for notes and news on each week in school!
I am a native of the Washington, DC area, born in Silver Spring, MD at Holy Cross Hospital.  I attended Montgomery County Public Schools, graduating from Kennedy High School in 1983 and from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1987, with a BA in Government.  I interned with the program instructors at the Close Up Foundation during my senior year at Maryland, and after graduation I served as a legislative assistant for the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA).  I went back to school a year after graduation, and completed my M.Ed from Marymount in 1989. I love being a teacher as much as I love being a wife and mom!  In my free time, my husband and I love to take our Newfoundland dogs to the Chesapeake Bay and dream about our eventual retirement in a tiny town by the water.  Our kiddos, a son and daughter, graduated from STM in 2006 and 2007, followed by graduation from Bishop Ireton in 2010 and 2011. ..


November 15-19, 2021

Dear Families,
First, thank you so much for setting up virtual and in-person conferences! I always appreciate the opportunity to talk with students' families, and always leave school on those days with joy!
Some reminders:
Please pick up and send in a box of individually-packaged Advil tablets this week. This is the 6th grade donation to the Operation Turbo troop packages!  Each grade is collecting donations toward some specific items: Starbucks VIA coffee packets, boxed BandAids, powder packets of Propel and/or Gatorade, the individually packaged Advil, and fruit leathers. Thank you!  This is part of the November Virtue of Service!
There are two dress-down opportunities this week.  Tomorrow (Monday) is a dress-down for students who came to Mass and back to the school for the Open House. Tuesday, there is a $1 fundraiser for Native American food assistance coordinated by Student Council. 
The PowerSchool portal will be closing on Thursday. While I had many conversations about grades during conferences, if you have any concerns after Thursday, please send me an email. 
Last,  because we are not in-person learning on Monday, Nov. 22 and Tuesday, Nov. 23, students have "Asynchronous School Days". Students will find their Asynchronous Learning on Google Classroom. I will (for Rm. 9) post a "schedule" of the days and what "classes" they have. Students will need to return any assigned work by Tuesday, December 7th. 
Some calendar items for your info:
Nov 22-23 - Asynchronous School Days
Nov 29 - Return to school after Thanksgiving Holidays
Dec. 3 - Report Cards go home
Dec 11 - STM Country Christmas 
Dec 14 - 7pm Nativity Play in the Cathedral
Dec. 17 - Christmas Holiday begins
Academic News:
LA 6: We have finished our How-To Writing with two skills - creating a flowchart and another with writing a paragraph using transition words to show sequence. This week we will work on the Writing Skills portion of our unit. There will be Writing Skills test 2 on Wednesday.
Reading 6: Students will meet about their books on M and T, work on Vocabulary on Wednesday, read a play together on Thursday, and take the List 5 vocabulary quiz on Friday!
Religion 6: Last week we worked on our Virtue of Service video presentation, and will be picking back up with Jacob is Chosen By God this week. Students can anticipate taking the chapter study guide home with them on Tuesday and taking the quiz before Friday.
Reading 7: We are in our last week of reading Towers Falling. Our American Symbols slideshows are almost completed and we will be creating I AM poems and Word Cloud Art this week. Chapter Quotes for pages 141-174 and 174-223 are due this week in preparation for essay writing when we return. 
Have a great week!  Thank you again for meeting with me for conferences! I love being a part of your student's journey at STM. 
Mrs. Morgan

November 8-12, 2021

Good afternoon and happy Sunday! This week is a pretty normal Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Tomorrow (Monday) if you want your student's school photo retaken, tomorrow is the day!  
Here are three links for your information:
Volunteer kiddos are needed at the Cathedral Concert on Nov. 14
November is the Virtue of Service. For our Virtue of Service this month, we are collecting care packages for servicemembers for distribution via Operation Turbo. Grades 5 and 6 have been requested to donate individually packaged Advil. 
Thursday, we have Veterans Day Mass at 10am. We dismiss early for afternoon conferences (held virtually) and on Friday the building is open for conferences. Middle school teachers will be stationed at tables for you to drop in at your convenience. The times will be 8:30 - 11:30 and 12:30 - 3:30, and we look forward to seeing you then!
Classroom News:
LA 6: The students put together how-to flowcharts which we will present this week. 
Reading 6: Students will meet in Book Clubs this week. Students in 6-7 have received their audiobook log-ins. 
Religion 6: We have been learning about Jacob.
Reading 7: We will create social diagrams based on Deja's class project in Towers Falling. The students have also created a "Patriotic Symbols" slideshow.
Have a great week!

November 1-5, 2021 News You Can Use from Mrs. Morgan

 Dear STM Families,
Happy Halloween Weekend!  Tomorrow begins November 1-5 and lots of to-do actions and notes for your calendars. Please read the entire post!
Tomorrow, Nov. 1 is the changeover to Winter Uniform. Basically, a changeover to pants, if your student has been wearing shorts. Students must have a blue STM sweater. Zipups, pullovers, hoodies, etc. can be worn to school and outside at recess but not in the classrooms. The STM sweater long-sleeved v-neck, buttonup cardigan, vest, etc. is the only item that can be worn over the STM polo shirt. There are long-sleeved polo shirts as well and an undershirt can also keep your student comfortable during the school day. Quick reminder that jewelry needs to stay home - necklaces, bracelets, dangling earrings - not for school. Please take a look at your student when he/she is  getting dressed for school and make sure that the uniform is correct. 
Morgan safeties are off duty until December - Meehan safeties take over tomorrow!
Fall Conferences!  A letter will be going home tomorrow explaining the Fall Conference procedure. Thursday. Nov. 11th is all-virtual conferences, beginning at 12:30pm. On Friday, Nov. 12th, all Middle School teachers will be in the gym for in-person conferences from 8:30am - 11:30am and 12:30pm - 3:30pm. For the Friday option, parents have the opportunity to meet with any and all of the Middle School teachers rather than just the homeroom teacher. For the virtual conferences on Thursday,  I have created 24 slots for my homeroom only. To create 24 slots for virtual conferences, the times are 15 minutes from 12:30 - 6:30pm. The Zoom link will post on the morning of conferences. I'm not expecting all of the families to choose the virtual option but wanted to leave the opportunity open to you. 
The signup genius link for homeroom teacher (me, Mrs. Morgan) conferences is https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0B4EABA729A5F94-fall
All Saints Day Mass: Tomorrow at STM we will be attending All Saints Day Mass in the Cathedral at 10am. You are welcome to come to Mass and sit with your student if you would like to attend Mass for All Saints. It is not a Holy Day of Obligation this year due to it falling on a Monday, but it's always great to see parents attend Mass with us!
Homestead Studies!: Your student's Homestead Studies folders will be going home this week. Please (x1000) put this folder somewhere it can be accessed quickly and easily, preferably not in the recycling or under a bed.  There is a letter explaining the process for Homestead Studies and the matrix of options for student work is included as well. It will save you and your student a lot of time if you can have this folder READY TO GO. I will personally oversee each student putting the folders in their backpacks but once they get home it's very important to put the folder somewhere it won't be lost. 
For next week: make up pictures are scheduled for Nov. 8th, Thursday and Friday are Conferences, Friday the 12th the first trimester ends, and there is an Open House at STM on November 14th. There is no school Nov. 22-26. There will be asynchronous instruction provided for Nov. 22-23 to be completed in lieu for two school days, and more information will be provided after conferences.  
*Reading Log #4 for all 6 & 7th grades due Nov 5*
Reading 7: Our second fall novel, Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes, has a focus on discovering that we belong to individual, local, and national communities, told through the lens of a homeless family in Brooklyn, NY. It is a 9/11 book written for students for whom 9/11 is past history and for many for whom it is recent history. It's a fast read for any adult, if you happen to see the book at home and have two hours or so to read it for yourself. Student classwork is focused on the skill of character development through quotes analysis.  
Reading 6: Students are working on non-fiction text structure in a Storyworks article about invasive species, beginning List 5 (we are right on schedule with Vocab, which is great!) in Vocabulary in Action, writing our Life Lists. We are enjoying Thursday "blessed Reading time". Students also have a "small group reading" book to be reading in preparation for a book club discussion.
LA 6: We have finished the Pronouns unit and took the Pronouns test last week. Extra credit was the Pronoun Challenge. This week the students will be creating instructional graphics for a how-to activity (flow charts, diagrams). 
Religion 6: This week the students will complete the Chapter 6 Abraham is our Father in Faith chapter and begin Chapter 7 Jacob is Chosen by God. The Chapter 6 test will be on Thursday. 
Have a great week!
Mrs. Morgan

October 25-28, 2021

Happy Halloween, a little early!
In homeroom news, it was exciting to win the Theme Contest for being pumpkins!  We had a great time coming up with categories for costumes and while we were VERY NEARLY skeletons (they can use the theme next year!) our homeroom was an enthusiastic group of running pumpkins!  In other homeroom news, we will revisit Confessions this week for those who were not able to receive the sacrament on our last visit (due to time) and there is (GASP) no school on Friday for students!
Halloween Social: 
"Dear Middle School Parents,
The Student Council is hosting a Halloween Social next Thursday from 4:30 to 6:00. We were hoping anyone was willing to volunteer as chaperones. 
If you are interested in chaperoning please email your child's homeroom teacher by Monday. 
Chaperones would be required to arrive at the tents at 4:00. 
Thank you,
STM Student Council 2021-2022"
You may email me at jmorgan@stmschool if you are willing to chaperone for any amount of time!
Now, onto the less fun, academically-oriented information:
Reading 7: We have finished our Seventh Most Important Thing novel. Of 24 students, only 5 have turned in their paperback copies. I will be submitting the lost book charge to the office if it is not returned by 10/28. Thank you in advance with your help in locating the book at home.
If your student has any missing chapter notes, etc., or has grades on the chapter notes that are below a 70, they may resubmit them for half credit. Paper copies are always distributed in class while we work on the assignment, and if the paper copy is lost, it may be printed/submitted or completed electronically on Google Classroom by Nov. 1.  There is some extra credit that could be done as well specifically geared to writing in complete sentences. Many students did not write their responses in complete sentences, which leads to losing full credit on a writing assignment. Graded chapter notes can cause a Reading grade to go down due to missing or incomplete work. The encouraging thing is that the work can always be redone and resubmitted for half credit back. 
Reading 6: Last week we worked on Vocabulary in Action list 4 and will take the Vocab quiz on Thursday. This week we will be working on a story about invasive species through Storyworks. The 6th graders are currently being Reading level tested by Mrs. Stocker and I am forming their Word Study independent work folders. It's a big job, but we are dedicated to ensuring that no students are at risk of any learning loss due to COVID.
LA 6: The Pronouns test will be on Wednesday. The study guide (Pronoun Review) was checked in class on Friday and the Pronoun Challenge will be due Wednesday. We will be trying to get the last of those Personal Narrative edits completed (finally) and move onto diagrams and flow charts in writing.
Have a great week and I look forward to seeing everyone at the Social!
Jodie Morgan:  

October 18 - 22, 2021 News from Rm. 9!

Happy weekend! Seems like perfectly seasonable cooler temps are on their way (but not too cool!) Definitely time to locate the STM navy blue sweater! Keep in mind that the switch from shorts to long pants will be happening November 1. 
This week is the Race for Education! Everyone is excited for the big day. T-shirts will be distributed to those who ordered. Thank you for the participation from Rm. 9! 
LA 6: Students are working on pronouns. A midpoint miniquiz based on checked homework was given last week to monitor understanding. We should be continuing with pronouns through this week and early next week, bringing the students up to a Pronouns Test by 10/28. There will be an opportunity to earn extra points by doing the Pronoun Challenge in the textbook. I will post a photo of the Pronoun Challenge and Pronoun Review (classwork assignment) in Google Classroom toward the end of the week. 
Note: There is a Noun Retake offered on  Tuesday after school. If applicable, your student has received information on this opportunity. 
Reading 6: We finished Nine, Ten  by Nora Baskin and we might miss our characters and their stories a little bit. We also began List 4 in Vocabulary in Action. The Vocab in Action List 4 quiz will be 10/27. I'm going to attempt small group reading on Mondays and Tuesdays and work on monitoring comprehension. We have some Storyworks to begin on Thursdays as well. To recap for Reading: M/T we read, W we work on vocabulary and word study, Th we work on independent reading Bring a Book day and Storyworks, and F we study vocab and word study. It's a doable balance of reading skills and works well to prep the students for 7th and 8th grade.
Reading 7: The students are studying the literary terms for plot definitions and will take a quick quiz on them this week. We are creating plot diagrams for our recent book and will be completing two additional assignments. When you check PowerSchool and see missing chapter notes, they are on Google Classroom and your student should print a copy or complete them electronically by Nov. 1. (Confused? Send  me an email at [email protected] after you have talked with your 7th grader first - and checked their binder.)
Have a great week! There is no school next Friday, October 29th. See you at Trunk or Treat!
Mrs. Morgan

October 11-15, 2021 News from Sixth Grade/Rm. 9

News and announcements for Reading 6 and 7, LA 6, and Religion/Homeroom Rm 9:
Four days of school this week! I hope everyone enjoyed a breather and is ready for a short week!  Please take a look at your student's green sheet today (Monday) and determine if your student has missing work/has been assigned a detention. A detention slip stapled to the green sheet indicates missing work. If the work is completed, and can be signed off on by the teacher who assigned the work, then the teacher will remove the detention slip. You'll also find the blue conduct interim stapled to the green sheet. Review, sign, and return the blue interim to school by Friday, Oct. 15.  Thank you!
Reading Logs: The fourth reading log will be sent home this week with your students. Thank you for encouraging reading time at home and reinforcing your support with your initials/signature.
Reading 7: Students in 7-3 are finishing The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall. This week they will learn fancy literary terms and take a quiz on the literary terms. This week we'll apply the literary terms to the plot of the novel and prepare to take an overall "test" on the book. ("Test" is in quotation marks because they have already done a lot of work on their chapter notes.) The students will also do a response to literature (that's code for an essay, FYI) over the next 10 days.  Most of the work will be on Google Classroom.
Please have the students return the book to Rm. 9 by Friday. If the book is missing/lost, please plan to replace it via Barnes and Noble or Amazon or I can bill the $5 via FACTS.
Looking ahead for late October/November, 7th grade will be moving onto Towers Falling, a novel by Jewell Parker Rhodes. During the 2nd trimester, we will work within nonfiction reading and study skills. 
Reading 6: Students completed their List 3 vocab words and the scores are entered in PowerSchool. Students may do definition/synonym/antonym flashcards for half credit and I have indicated that on their test. Now that there have been 3 tests, students have "figured out" how to study and are scoring well. If you are seeing low scores, your student needs to study more effectively. I also added vocabulary for our book, Nine, Ten, by Nora Baskin. Students should expect an assessment on Wednesday, based on their study guide from last week. The Nine, Ten book should be turned in by Friday. 
FYI: Based on the fall spelling assessment, I will be adding Word Study to our Reading class time. Parent letters will be sent home next Monday, Oct. 18, specifying how Word Study will work in 6th grade with the time limitations we have (for example, no cutting up/gluing sorts in class) and routines for work at home. I will also be adding in Storyworks (yay!) as this is a valuable resource for core reading skills necessary for 6th grade. 
LA 6: The students have been working on Chapter 2 of grammar, Pronouns. There will be a miniquiz this week on prounoun lessons completed so far. Miniquizzes are from completed, checked homework. They should be reinforcement of the concepts. Often, LA is a grade that students think is "easy" but doing well in LA takes consistent effort - a tough skill for a sixth grader to learn along with everything else!
There is an opportunity for a Chapter 1 Nouns Test retake to replace a failing grade with a 75% - after school on Tuesday, October 19. I have sent an email to students and ask that if your student plans to stay after school for the retake that you let me know what the arrangement is for pickup. If your student finishes and you are by Door 2 waiting, I will release them if I've received confirmation from you. If not, I will walk them to Door 2 (across from the Library entrance) at 4:15pm. The retake will be a Google Quiz format.
Religion 6: We will begin Chapter 4, Abraham is Our Father in Faith. So that you have an idea of what your student is doing, here is a short informational one-pager: 
I am also very grateful to Gilsie, Maria, Adriana, and Kyle for their leadership at Mass last Friday for the Welcome, First Reading, and Prayer of the Faithful. It is joyful to see the students on the altar and becoming confident in celebrating their faith.  I am also appreciative that Christopher, Adam, and Kyle are participating in Choir. Our Music program this year is awesome!
Have a great week!
Mrs. Morgan

October 4-8, 2021

Good morning! Another beautiful Sunday ahead!
Early Dismissal/No School: Friday, October 8, is an 11:30am dismissal, with No School on Monday, October 11th. The STM calendar says no Extended Care, so dismissal will begin at 11:15am.
First Trimester Interims: Conduct interims will be going home, stapled to the green sheet.  Re: green sheets - they are homework every Thursday for your sixth grader to bring to you and have signed. Re: detention slips: this gives your student an opportunity to get the work in before Tuesday and have it signed off by the teacher. 
Mass on Friday, October 8 at 10am will be planned by Rm. 9. If you are able to attend Mass with us, we would love to have you! 
Race for Education: October 20th! We are at $995 from Rm. 9. Thank you for your contributions to date - lots of time left to get your donation into PledgeStar or by check to the STM office (write Race for Education on the front of the envelope.)  Thank you!
Academics for this week:
7th Gr Reading: We are finishing the novel The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall. The paperback books will be collected on October 15th. If the book is lost, please provide me with a replacement copy or FACTS can be billed for a replacement copy. Some students have expressed an interest in the artwork that is a focal point of the novel. The piece is at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. https://americanart.si.edu/artwork/throne-third-heaven-nations-millennium-general-assembly-9897 in lieu of a field trip you could watch this video for an idea of what the (fictionalized) story is that your student is reading!
6th Reading: We stay pretty busy in 6th grade reading with Vocab on Wed/Fri, and there will be a List 3 test on Thursday. Students can always practice their vocab at https://www.vocabularyinaction.com/students/sr-level-g
We will finish our Nine,Ten by Nora Baskin this week. There will be a short Google quiz on the vocabulary and story events. The students will write a short response to a few writing prompts to demonstrate understanding of the character viewpoints before and after 9/11.
6th LA: Personal Narrative writing pieces are nearing completion and they are wonderful!  The assessment exercise about the kitchen disaster was lots of fun for the students to share. There will be a "Writing Skills" assessment on Wednesday.  Generally, the Writing Skills assessments and Writing Units will help balance the Grammar grades. 
Religion 6: Last week on Monday the students had a quick Slides about Sexual Harrassment (mandatory.) Then we moved to Chapter 3, Everything God Created is Good. The Chapter 3 study guide was completed in class on Friday, and we will check it for accuracy on Monday. The Chapter 3 test will be on Tuesday. The Loyola Press website for Christ Our Life has study guides and resources:  https://www.loyolapress.com/faith-formation/christ-our-life/christ-our-life-2016/parents-and-students/grades-1-8/grades/grade-6/
If I have full attendance on Wednesday - Thursday, I'm planning to complete the (mandatory) Formation in Christian Chastity lesson. This lesson focuses on healthy friendships and is not a "sex talk". You can preview the lesson here: https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/child-protection/formation-in-christian-chastity/grade-6/
If you've read this far, please keep reading: 
This will be a fast, fun week if the October TikTok challenge is completely ignored by the middle school students! I would not have thought that any STM students would participate in the September challenge, but surprise, surprise, a few did decide to trash the bathrooms", and what a disappointing development that has been. I thought the whole idea of these challenges was fake, but apparently not. 
Please talk with your student about September's "trash a school bathroom" challenge, which has presented a tremendous amount of unnecessary and extra work for our ONE sweet, kind, hardworking cleaner, and for our facilities maintenance crew.
Reporting the destruction/defacement is not "snitching". It is showing leadership in our small community, support for our cleaner, and courage to face being called a "snitch". Mrs. Davis will be addressing the defacement of both of the boys' bathrooms this week. 
If students decide to take up the October challenge and "smack a staff member" or "steal their keys" or "throw everything on their desk into the trash"  it will be a long, long month for all of us - our students and families, their teachers, and the staff members. 
Thank you!!!! 
Jodie Morgan

September 27-Oct 1 in Rm. 9 HR/Reading and LA 6 and 7-3 Reading

Happy glorious Sunday!  Here's what you should note for this week (and/or follow up on from last week) and then continue on with your beautiful day!  
In Homeroom news, conduct interims go home on Oct. 8. The conduct interim focuses on the work habits/social development areas on the right-hand side of the STM report card - these are not academic interims.  For academic progress, be sure to check PowerSchool for grades. 
Rm. 9 Student Council representatives are Darian Priddy and Christopher Bondgardt. Congratulations to these new STM students, and way to go by jumping right in to student involvement!
Rm.9 Safeties begin October 1. Mrs. Bauer may want students in Rm. 9 to begin on Sept. 30 and shadow the safety from Rm. 7. Stay tuned!  Mrs. Bauer has assigned am/pm safeties and your student has a copy of the schedule/duties and a letter to be signed by Tuesday. 
On October 8, there is also an Early Dismissal, as well as No School on October 11th. To clarify: when there is NO EXTENDED DAY (generally prior to holiday weekends, because there is generally very low attendance on early release Fridays prior to a holiday weekend) the pickup/dismissal begins a bit earlier, by 11:15. On the Faculty/Staff training days (like last Friday) the dismissal will begin at 11:30. 
October 20th is the Race for Education. The free STM Race for Education T shirt order date ended Sept. 22, but you can donate via https://www.pledgestar.com/stthomasmore/ We are on the Leader Board and are doing pretty well, with $802 in donations, and any amount helps! With 24 families in Rm. 9 potentially donating $50 each, we should reach $1200 easily! The 6th grade is running behind 7th in donations, but we are ahead of 8th grade! I will log in my donation this afternoon. 
Last two items: No School for Students on October 29th. Trunk or Treat is that evening as well. (Very, very fun costumed event on the STM parking lot in the early evening; more info to come via the PTO).
The Winter Uniform changes over on Nov. 1. Boys will be in polos and pants and girls will be in skirts/pants - whichever way you look at it, the goal is PANTS NOT SHORTS. Also, the STM v-neck and/or STM cardigan is a must, even now with a/c on. Be sure to get those sweaters/vests etc. soon as demand appears to be high and supplies appear to be low. (I have no first-hand knowledge, this is only what I've heard from kids.) Check out any used uniform sales as well!
Academic news:
Reading 7-3: The 7th Grade is finishing The Seventh Most Important Thing and will begin structured Literature Circles this week. We have tracked the plot, created a plot diagram, and learned literary terms. We will finish the book in the next two weeks. A chapter-by-chapter read-aloud can be found on YouTube at https://youtu.be/-_mupRt-PQU
Our Wednesday write this week was a great one - the mentor paragraph was an excerpt about being a new kid in a new town. Lots of author sharing and great writing! For Thursdays, please be certain that your student is bringing a book to class on Thursdays. They are welcome to shop from the shelves but it takes away from the time they should be reading. Thank you!
Reading 6: Our Tuesday writing was in the form of a list and the expanded topic was favorite movies/tv, etc. Vocab in Action this week ended with List 2 and the test on Thursday. Monday and Friday we finished the 32 words used in Nine, Ten and this week the students will work in small group literature circles to examine character action and plot events. Be certain that your student is bringing a book to class on Thursdays. They are welcome to shop from the shelves if they don't have a book to bring, but it really takes away from the time they should be reading.  Thank you!
LA 6: Hooray! Nouns are over and the tests will be returned to the students tomorrow. It is a good idea to encourage your student to complete the Extra Credit challenges from the Voyages textbook when offered at the end of each grammar until This week we began our personal narrative and we will complete the edits and publish this week.  Students are welcome to bring a photo or attach a digital photo to their work. 
Religion Rm. 9: We completed Chapter 2 last week and will begin Chapter 3 this week. Fr. Dansereau came to Rm. 9 for a classroom visit and we loved having him with us to give a GREAT talk and answer questions. This week during Religion we have two special lessons: a Diocesan-required "what constitutes sexual harrassment" and Formation in Christian Chastity. 
Have a great rest of the day and week!
Jodie Morgan

September 20-24, 2021

News from Mrs. Morgan for Rm 9 Homeroom, 7-3 Reading, 6-7 and 6-9 Reading and Language Arts on this spectacularly sunny September Sunday! 
Back to School Night: Thank you so much for coming to STM on Monday night for Back to School Night! I appreciated seeing so many familiar faces and the care and concern with which you send your student to school each day. Thank you for supplying fresh masks, for reinforcing uniforms and homework, signing the green sheet on Thursdays, and checking assignments and homework in Google Classroom. I appreciate all that you do to help your middle school student as they navigate this "they still need you but they also don't want to tell you they need you" time in their lives!
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe: We are so thankful to the STM PTO and Mrs. Pacheco for this family reading program, and to Connor Brittle for continuing to run our answers every morning down to the office! Next week begins Chapters 7 & 8.  Whether TLTWTW is new to you or an old favorite, C.S. Lewis's book is always a special read! 
Battle of the Books: The Battle teams meet on Tuesdays at lunch in the outdoor classroom. Last week the team finished J. K. Rowling's The Ickabog and are beginning Lee Bacon's The Last Human. Mrs. Meehan and I generally attend, and even more importantly, generally read the books too! Mrs. Pacheco is assisted by Eva Tzanavara, Panagiotis's mom.  Thank you for volunteering with the Battle of the Books!
Room Parents: Thank you to Christine Rance and  Maria Parker (Cristina's mom)  for volunteering their time to be room parents for Rm. 9!  We appreciate in advance all that you will be doing for Rm. 9 and the 6th grade this year! First up is the Race for Education! Speaking of...
Race for Education: Coordinated by Christine Rance (Maria Dozier's mom) and Ann Marie Coolick, this fundraiser helps STM enormously to update the school - last year's funds went to the water bottle refilling stations and the BIG TENTS outside! T-shirts are free (please order your shirt at the link in the STM blast or PTO newsletter). 
Sock Day: Rm. 9 donations made $40 toward the awesome total collected - thank you for your generosity!
Middle School Dance:  The Middle School Dance is 4:30 - 6:30pm on Thursday. The admission price is canned food and costumes from the 60s - 80s are encouraged!  Stay tuned this week for more information (there may be cash needed for food trucks) as it is confirmed. The Student Council is doing a great job of getting the students excited for the dance by promoting fun "throwback" dances on the morning announcements, and playing "Name That Tune"! Even our most reluctant and/or quiet students will enjoy Thursday's social!
Reading 7: In Reading, the students are expected to be halfway through independently reading The Seventh Most Important Thing. There is a YouTube channel where all 53 chapters are read aloud, the link is here: https://youtu.be/NPC5T_QPbqU
If this resource is helpful for your student, please let me know! We are reading now for analyzing scenes for cause and effect: what are the causes of the problems? What are the effects of the problems? What emotions are the characters feeling, and why do they feel that way?
LA 6: The students are beginning a two-week Personal Narrative writing unit. They will enjoy pulling from their past experiences to create a piece of writing that will be enjoyable for the reader by using an engaging and interesting lead, a sequence of events, and reasoning that makes the personal narrative story a special one for them. 
Religion 6: The students will complete and check the Chapter 2 study guide on Monday and Tuesday and begin Chapter 3, Everything God Created is Good. on Thursday. Last week we had a fun (in a Catholic school sort of way!) Bible Hunt activity where we searched for various Scripture passages in the Old Testament. It really is amazing how well the students have demonstrated their knowledge of the Bible when they get to middle school! 
Reading 6: The 6th graders will be finishing Nine, Ten next week and are pulling together the four characters' stories and how they are impacted by September 11. There will be a Vocabulary in Action, List 2, test on Thursday. A link that your students can use to practice for these tests can be found here: http://www.vocabularyinaction.com/students/sr-level-g
Best wishes for a great week!
Mrs. Morgan

September 13-17

Back to School Night is coming! Monday night at 6:30, we'll meet in the Cathedral for a welcome prayer service and then parents are invited to come to the homeroom classroom for a Back To School Night meet-and-greet with your student's teachers. The middle school teachers will circle through the rooms, with ample time to introduce ourselves, describe the class we teach, and highlight important information. Thank you in advance for your attendance!
Green sheets: We had a much improved parent signature average last week for Week 3 - way to go! Thank you, again, in advance for looking over the green sheet (that your student should be bringing to you on Thursdays) for any missing work that has been noted on the green sheet. Please remember to sign the green sheet, regardless of whether there is a missing assignment or not. A detention slip will be written and attached to the green sheet, but students do have until Tuesday of the following week to turn this work in and have it signed off. 
Scantron is this week - STM Scantron will be this week. The tests will be on Monday (Reading), Tuesday (Math), and Wednesday (Language Arts) during the first two class periods. 
Technology Loan Agreement Forms - Almost all of the tech loan agreement forms have been returned. Once Scantron is over the students should be permitted to take the STM laptop and charger home. If the laptop goes home, it will need to be cared for properly and come back to school the next day. I remind the students that A LOT of parent fundraising dollars go into purchasing those beautiful laptops!
In the classroom:
Reading 7 - The students have their own copies of Shelley Pearsall's novel The Seventh Most Important Thing. We are reading for themes and locating text examples to characterize Arthur Owens's journey to see that people are not always as they appear. Here is a YouTube link to a book trailer (featuring Washington DC!)  if you'd like more information on the book:
Language Arts 6 - This week the students will complete the last grammar lesson and complete the Chapter Review for use as a study guide. We will check it in class and an answer key will also be provided. The test will be at the end of the week. 
Religion 6 - This week, the students are working on Chapter 2, Scripture Reveals God's Saving Love. We will discuss the types of books found in the Old Testament (God's Law, Historical Books, Wisdom Literature, etc.)
Reading 6 - Students are working on three skill areas this week: writing (continuing our writing on belongings of special significance and why); reading (Nine, Ten, by Nora Baskin) and  Vocabulary in Action, List 2. The next Vocabulary in Action 30 point test will be next week, September 23rd. : 
Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and I look forward to seeing you on Monday night for Back to School Night!
Mrs. Jodie Morgan

Week 2 and Welcome to September! 9/6/21

Hello, readers of Mrs. Morgan's 6-9 Homeroom, 7-3 Reading and 6-7/6-9 Language Arts and Reading weekly update!
I am glad that you are here!  A few Homeroom reminders:
Picture Day is Wednesday, September 8th. All of the order form flyers were sent home last week. All information for ordering online, package information, etc. is all included on the flyer. Please contact me if you need more information about Picture Day! Battle of the Books meets on Tuesdays at lunch. The first book is Ikabog by J. K. Rowling. (I finished it over the weekend and it's so good!) A permission form/sign up was sent home after the interest meeting last Tuesday. 
Some musical opportunities are opening up!  Mr. Ward and the awesome award-winning STM Band is registering NOW! Forms for registration were sent home last week. On September 9th you can register for Band lessons and arrange for instrument rentals from 6:45 - 8:00pm in the Gym. Lessons begin Thursday, September 16th.  STM Youth Choir, led by Ms. Sheckels and assisted by Ms. Elledge, is back up and running! Rehearsals will be Wednesdays, 3:30-4:20pm, beginning September 8th. Check the Youth Choir page on the STM website under Student Life or contact [email protected]. Last, Altar Server training will be Fridays from 4-5pm on September 10, 17, and 24. Contact Fr. Kevin Dansereau at [email protected]
Back to School Night is rescheduled for September 13 at 6:30pm.
Parents: I know this is a lot of information to digest each week. Be sure to open and read the STM Wednesday email, as well as the PTO email. Subscribe to your student's teacher pages, particularly Mrs. Meehan's, and be sure to open the Edlio update emails when you get them. Thank you!  
6th Grade Reading: We have had two weeks of establishing routines for Reading class and are moving right along. We had a wonderful Thursday Cafe reading class. There will be a Vocabulary in Action test this Friday. The Vocabulary in Action book is BLUE. We are on List 1. The students complete a writing activity each Tuesday called Life Lists. This week we are on Life List 3. We are reading a book in class together: 6-9 is listening to Hatchet as a read-aloud and 6-7 is listening to Island of the Blue Dolphins. The Summer Reading assignment was due on Friday. Weekly book logs will be due each week beginning September 10. 
7th Grade Reading: Again, we have had two weeks of establishing the weekly Reading routines. On Wednesdays, the students write from a mentor text and have completed two assignments. We had a successful Thursday Cafe reading class. As a getting-to-know-each-other activity, the students researched and wrote a "What's in a Name" essay. 
6th Grade Language Arts: The students are working on Nouns. We have had two quizzes and I anticipate that their first grammar test will be next week. I can be more specific once we move through a few more lessons. 
6th Grade Religion: The students have a Chapter 1 Study Guide that is due on Tuesday, and we will check it in class. The Chapter 1 test will most likely be Wednesday.
Please contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you!
Mrs. Jodie Morgan

Week 1 and done!

Dear 6-9 Families,
Congratulations on surviving your student's first week of middle school!  They are a wonderful class of students!
On Monday and Tuesday, I know you were inundated with papers that needed to be signed and returned.  Monday was an all-homeroom day and Tuesday the students had short rotations to their subject area classrooms in the morning.Here is a quick checklist to see if you've done your "homework":
Here are some items to be aware of that are due by Friday: 
_____return a signed Middle School Rules slip
_____a signed PE letter for your student to give to Mrs. Bauer
_____a signed/initialed copy of the Homeroom Letter (there is a little clipart of a chalkboard on it - two copies were provided/keep one at home/send back the other)
_____classroom contracts for Religion, LA, and Reading (and others given by subject teachers, such as Math and Social Studies)
_____purchased/found/located five Book Sox for the hardcover books
_____covered the Voyages workbook with contact paper* (this one travels between home and school frequently) *It's not required to cover it but the book will hold up much, much better if you cover it with contact paper
_____make sure your student has signed up to his/her Google Classrooms
_____has turned in a paper or online Summer Reading project
On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the 6th graders switched classes all day like champs, navigated the hallways with binders and textbooks, used their cubbies, went to the Cathedral for singing practice on Thursday and again on Friday for Mass, where they were wonderful...I am very proud of all of them!!!
Back To School Night begins in the Cathedral with a Prayer Service at 6:30 and then over to the classrooms for a short teacher presentation. We will meet in just the homerooms, so if you have a 6th grader in Rm. 9, I look forward to seeing you in the classroom for a nuts-and-bolts Back To School Night on Wednesday!
I usually update this page on Sundays, and if you are subscribed, the weekly post will be automatically emailed to you. Have a wonderful evening! 
Mrs. Jodie Morgan

Welcome Back! August 20, 2021

Thank you for making the journey to school last night for Thrilling Thursday!  It was wonderful to greet parents in the school building again and we are very glad to be welcoming students back on Monday morning, bright and early!
This page will be the MAIN location for communication from me as your student's homeroom teacher, as well as newsletters with information about your student's academic classes such as Language Arts (Gr. 6), Reading (Gr. 6 & 7), and Religion Gr. 6). 
This page will be updated each Sunday and will be automatically emailed to subscribers to the page (to subscribe, click the black box under my photo). Be sure to follow the same procedure for all of your student's academic and special area teachers. 
Be sure to keep your email current with the office and PowerSchool.  Read the STM Blast each week and the PTO Newsletter. (I'll also put a *bonus* tip in here for you: Mrs. Meehan's weekly update on her teacher page is a top go-to for me!)
Rest up and get ready with your skates on for the next couple of weeks. Middle school is fun and challenging, and we can't wait to get started!
Jodie Morgan

10/18/20 6-9 Classroom, 6th Reading/LA and 7th Reading

Dear families,
     Thank you for finding your way to the Teacher Pages this weekend.  We appreciate your extra steps to find the communication in one central location!
     On Friday, 6-9 participated in the 12:05pm Mass at STM.  We were joined by 6-7 as well because they didn't want to miss Mass, either!   Here is the link if you would like to see your readers in action!  Mass begins after the Rosary.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqMmwv2m3vc&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1Gdadq4KPAlIrVQv3kmw8WTzMS-nQFUYAQCDUieCEkHRCBcmNm5yapnYg
We have a small treat for the students in 6th grade (a Sacred Heart prayer card because it was the Feast Day of St. Margaret Mary Alocoque) to thank them for their reverence and devotion at Mass.
     This week is the Race for Education!  It's not really a race, it's more of a fun run, and it's definitely fun!  We will not have PE on Tuesday, so your student will wear regular school uniform on Tuesday and wear their race shirts and PE shorts/sweats on Wednesday.  6-9's race time is 1:35-2:05pm.  We will start right on time, since this year we have only 30 minutes instead of the usual hour!
     Thank you for all of the Scholastic book orders that have been placed!  I will send the orders on Friday.  https://orders.scholastic.com/F94QY
       In 7th grade Reading, we will continue with close reading/text marking and Zero Tolerance, by Claudia Mills.  In 6th grade Reading, we are working on responses for Song for a Whale by Lynn Kelly and We're Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey, along with other activities in Vocabulary in Action (test on List 3 on Friday).  In LA, we are working on Pronouns.  In Religion, we will take the Chapter 4 test this week. 
     Some resources you may be interested in for further practice for your student are available through Loyola Press.  This is the publisher for our Religion Christ Our Life series, Voyages language arts series, and Vocabulary in Action series (Level G).  
quizzes and practice for vocabulary
fun quizzes, chapter review, etc. for Religion. 
I hope you find these resources helpful!  
Have a wonderful week,
Mrs. Morgan


Dear families of 6-9 homeroom, 6th grade Reading and LA and 7th grade Reading students,
Good evening!  We should be ready for a pretty great week!  Last week included the first band lesson, which will be outdoors weather permitting, with Mr. Ward, and this week we will have our first early dismissal.  Each week we do a little something new and add a little more to our routines.  Please note the dismissal times for this upcoming Friday's early release day: 
Any changes to your student's current dismissal routine must be received in the STM office by 10:15am.
11:20 am - Blue Group Dismissed
11:30 am - Orange Group Dismissed
11:40 am - Purple Group Dismissed
14 days in, so far so good!
7th grade Reading: the students in 7-3 and 7-6 have completed two Home Assignments connected to our One Book, One Middle School.  The student responses have been so GREAT to read!  I hope that they have stimulated some good discussion.  This week we will discuss two more vocabulary terms and receive a study guide for the New Kid "test", which will be taking the vocabulary words we have been learning and determining evidence in the book.  In classwork, the students are practicing a skill called Synthesizing Information, and we are using close reading/text marking/annotating strategies on short passages.  I follow up the short passages with a copy of the answer key, so that the students see if their text marking is matching up with the skill being taught.  It might seem like baby work but annotating is a big part of 7th grade Reading for both fiction and nonfiction reading.  The students have all logged into ReadTheory with their individual accounts, and should complete 5-10 quizzes per week.
6th grade Reading: the students in 6-9 and 6-7 are reading New Kid and have submitted good responses to the Home Assignment questions due each Friday.  They will receive a study guide in class for their "New Kid" test, which will be based on the 6 vocabulary words we have studied and text evidence to demonstrate each vocab term.  We have text-based Reading instruction on Mondays and Tuesdays, with Vocabulary on Wed and Fri and Storyworks on Thursdays.  We have kept to the routine for the past two weeks and I see that the routine is working for the students!
6th grade Language Arts: We are finishing up Chapter 1 in Voyages, Nouns.  The students have had two "miniquizzes" and will take the Chapter 1 test on Thursday.  Last week the students learned about possessives, appositives, and nouns used as nouns and nouns used as verbs and nouns used as adjectives.  We will complete the Chapter Review in class or for hw if not finished and we will check it in class on Tuesday.  Wednesday gives us a bit more time to practice and then Thursday is the test.  
Religion: We will begin Chapter 3, Everything God Created is Good.  We took our Chapter 2 test on Friday and the Chapter 3 test will be next Tuesday, October 6.  Religion class isn't a chore, it's pretty joyful, and the hard work we're doing on studying the Old Testament will show up in dozens of ways as your child continues to grow in faith and learn more about the Church. 
Thank you so much for all you do!
Mrs. Morgan
Jodie Morgan
6-9 Homeroom Teacher
Sixth Grade Reading and Language Arts/ Seventh Grade Reading Teacher
St. Thomas More Cathedral School
105 N. Thomas St.
Arlington, Virginia  22203