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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 jmorgan@stmschool.org 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!
 
Sincerely,
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 youthchoir@stmschool.org. Last, Altar Server training will be Fridays from 4-5pm on September 10, 17, and 24. Contact Fr. Kevin Dansereau at frdansereau@cathedralstm.org
 
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 jmorgan@stmschool.org 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
 
     
 
    
 
 

9/27/20

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!
 
Sincerely,
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
6-9 

10/5/20 Reading and LA Class News

Dear 6-9 Homeroom, 6-7 and 6-9 Reading and LA, and 7-3 & 7-6 Reading families,
 
This week in 6th Reading, the students will be finishing two assignments (one is about Manners and the other is about the History of Soap) and taking their New Kid vocabulary and text examples assessment on Thursday. They do know about this and it is not a surprise. That wraps up our study of the popular New Kid book! The two read-alouds that we have coming up for more "work" are Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly in 6-9 and We Are Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey in 6-7. (We will flip the books in about three weeks.)  In Grammar we took the Nouns test and are now starting a Personal Narrative.  We'll work on this for two weeks and then switch back to Grammar again.  In Religion we have been reading Chapter 3, Creation.  The students have learned definitions and examples of stewardship and free will.  The Chapter 3 assessment (true/false) will be on Thursday.  In 7th grade the New Kid assessment will be on Thursday (again, not a surprise) and we will continue to use text marking skills.  Our read aloud, Zero Tolerance by Claudia Mills, will have a few assignments over the next two weeks before we move onto Elements of a Short Story and Close Reading. 
 
I hope that the Monday holiday today was so enjoyable that it can only be topped with ANOTHER Monday holiday next week!  
 
Sincerely,
 
Mrs. Morgan

June 6, 2021

6-9 Homeroom, 6-9/6-7 Reading and LA and 7-3/7-6 Reading
 
Yikes!  The end of the school year is coming up more quickly than I'm ready for the end of the school year!
 
First, some homeroom things: Kayaking was SO FUN! I took some fun photos from the day out on the kayaks and will send them soon. We had SO much fun!  Any library books at home need to come back to school. On Monday, the 6-9 students (as well as other grades) are taking the Algebra Aptitude test. 6-7 goes kayaking on Wednesday. Thursday there is Conjugation Madness competition in Spanish. In the afternoon, we'll have all-homeroom. At that time your student will turn in their hardcover textbooks, and take everything else home. If your student doesn't think their stuff will fit in the backpack, please send in an extra bag to carry stuff home. No one gets to toss anything here at school. On Friday, it's just homeroom time until we head over to Mass (the liturgy is prepared by combined 6-7 and 6-9), and then homeroom time again. No one needs to bring lunch or backpacks to school on Friday!  If your student is not in school Friday, the report cards will be available for pickup in the office at your convenience. Friday afternoon is one party after another with the rising 7th graders party and then the Hot Dog Bash!
 
Next, some 6th grade academic stuff: In 6th grade LA, we'll present our congratulatory and thank-you speeches, and a paper plate award. Some of the speeches are to classmates and some are to parents - all are very sweet. Our business letters are complete and I really do encourage you to help your student send them to the businesses - you never know what incentives the company may send! In Reading, we are completing a School Survival Guide writing activity online and will finish that by Wednesday. For 6-7, I have not finished the Spy School read-aloud All of their 6th grade writing will be coming home - please take a look at everything and "celebrate" their work!
 
Now, some 7th grade academic stuff: The students need to return their copy of Woods Runner to me by Wednesday. I won't have any 7th grade classes after Wednesday (sadness!) so we'll be creating a plot diagram for Woods Runner and determining the importance of setting in a historical fiction selection on Monday and Tuesday, and reading our most recent writing (which is hilarious - the prompt was "It seemed like a good idea at the time..." I'm also aiming to finish reading Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick to them but time is really running short. Yikes again!  Writing portfolios and journals will also be coming home, and again, please "celebrate" this work and encourage your student to hold onto their Reading/Writing journals for the future - our Wednesday Writes were the source of a lot of effort and growth by your writers!
 
Last, a big thank you: It has been a great year, and truly, I don't know how we did it sometimes, except that more than ever we all had to work together.  Going from so much pandemic uncertainty in August, retooling and reworking lessons, materials, and methods to teach from a cart, classroom quarantines, three trimesters of learning, establishing the NJHS chapter, setting up outdoor classrooms, getting vaccinated, staying in cohorts, wearing masks all day (and getting used to it, which is really the most bizarre thing of all!) to having a somewhat normal STM year - we did it, and I'm so proud of all of us for lifting each other up and moving forward, every day! 
 
Best wishes for a sunny, lovely Sunday!
 
Mrs. Morgan 
 
 

5/23/21 Reading and Language Arts, 6-9 Homeroom

Happy Pentecost Sunday! As the cicadas hum outside, I'm always amazed at the cycles of life all around us - the cycle of our liturgical year, the cycle of the seasons as the "unofficial" start of summer begins, the life cycle of the cicadas, and now the cycle of our...school year!
 
In 6-9 Homeroom news, we have our kayaking trip coming up on June 3rd. Mrs. Bauer has provided a handout with information and I have answered lots of questions, as well as showing the students some photos from our past kayaking trips.  It is such a fun day!  Thank you also for the robust donations to our homeless man in the vestibule; he was not there on Friday, but his bags were, so we left our bag with his bags, and I let Facilities know that our donation was there.
 
In 6th Grade Reading, the students have been working on the facts/Inferring skill with a comprehensive article about the Titanic.  We started the next Vocabulary unit and will take the Vocab test on Friday. In a coincidence, we were studying figurative language with a Storyworks article on the USS Indianapolis, while we were reading the Titanic resources! So, evidently, we know more about the sinking of large ships this week than we ever have before.
 
In 7th Grade Reading, we finished The Monkey's Paw by W. W. Jacobs mock trial, and both classes returned verdicts of not guilty for Mr. White. We are going to finish the 7th grade year with reading Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen. The focus of our reading is the literary device of "concurrent plot", as Samuel's parents are traveling one journey as captives of the British/Hessians, and Samuel is using all of his skills to find his parents. 
 
In 6th Grade Language Arts, we finished our Punctuation unit with a test on Thursday and started our fun Diagramming unit on Friday.  We've assigned a colored pencil color to all of the parts of speech - this should make the experience a bit more fun for the next two weeks! 
 
Have a great Sunday and week, and best wishes in advance for a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend!
 
Jodie Morgan
 
 
 

May 1, 2021

Dear STM families in 6-9 homeroom, 6-9 and 6-7 Reading and LA and 7-6/7-3 Reading:
 
Happy May!  Here are some 6-9 homeroom updates, then 6th grade Reading and LA class updates, and then 7th grade Reading updates:
 
6-9 Homeroom: You can ask your student for it and if they say they don't have it, they're right...6-9 will receive their interims from me on Monday.  It was their turn for safeties this week so our time is limited during the last class of the day. It was quite a surprise for them to see that they only have a few weeks left on the green sheet! 6-7 begins their month as safeties on Monday. Additionally, Scantron testing begins next week.  The students have their STM laptops here at school charged and ready to go.  Last, Mrs. Meehan has communicated to the 6th grade families via two emails last week that Greek Day has been delayed due to poor social behavior and self-control. On that front, I'm preparing and praying for a kind, cooperative week!
 
6th Reading and LA: We are on the homestretch of the Sentences Unit, Chapter 6. Challenging material included lots of work with prepositions, prepositions that work as adverbs, and prepositional phrases used as adjective or adverb phrases.  To make grammar even more fun, we finished our lessons with identifying independent and dependent clauses using subordinate conjunctions as adverb clauses.  Hooray!  The students may do the Sentences Challenge by Thursday and will take the Sentences test on Thursday.  We completed our Persuasive Writing project with print or video ads.  The videos were definitely a hit. Thank you for participating in the advertising challenge!
Reading has been myths, myths, myths.  The Hercules test has been graded and returned and now the students have a collection of myth quizzes, a feature analysis chart, and an original myth to write (which we will do during LA this week.)  
 
7th Reading: How many short stories can 42 7th graders juggle in one week?  Three!  Four! We've completed a study of The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry, The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant, and fan favorite The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs.  We will begin a Mock Trial activity next week to determine guilt or innocence in The Monkey's Paw, then move onto a daylong study of The Fun They Had by Isaac Asimov, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, and All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury. I will begin working with the students on a structured essay on a short story/topic. Side lessons have continued in study skills (note-taking) and paraphrasing, summarizing, and citations. At some point we will revisit the Informational Article and add in-text citations.  We have continued with the Wednesday mentor writing and our most recent work, a poem, is featured on STM social media. 
 
We are all working hard.  We know the students are going through a lot right now, socially and academically. Thank you for your patience and understanding, for your support and for your kindness as we navigate the end of this weirdly normal (but weirdly not) school year!
 
Sincerely,
Mrs. Morgan