Saturday, September 26, 2015

Week 7 September 21 - 25

 Hello parents,

Walkathon was a success! The weather was beautiful and I think the kids had a great time. There was a lot of water being tossed around, food to eat, and giveaways to collect. Enjoy all the pictures below. Mrs. R has many more on her blog. Pledge money is due October 2nd, that is field trip day. It can come in anytime this week. We have two volunteers that count the money the following week.

Thank you to the many parent drivers who volunteered their time for our field trip next week. I had so many I had to start a waiting list! I hope next time around those who could not make it will get the chance. Thank you all again.

Have a great weekend!

Mrs. Murray

Boys and girls together. Often a hard picture to get!

Murray Homeroom.

Boys seem to disappear when the camera comes out, and then they just photobomb!

A gaggle of girls.

The entire junior high group ready to go.

Kids were signing the school theme song in one of these photos. That was pretty cool.

We might not be big in numbers, but we are mighty. Go Bobcats.
New school record. 37 laps, 12 1/3 miles. Way to go Sam M!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Week 6 September 14 - 17

Hello 6th grade parents,

Walkathon: The annual junior high walkathon is coming up next week September 25th. Students are allowed to wear "gym" style shorts and spirit wear all day. (Please watch the length of shorts so that they are not super short. Also, no tight fitting shorts or leggings.)

It is a SACK LUNCH day because we have lunch earlier in order to start sooner.

Pledges should be in the process of being collected at this time, and funds will be collected after the students walk. Some students do "per mile", which is why we delay on collecting the money.

Please make checks to Zion Lutheran. We deposit the funds raised to our walkathon account and Michelle Thomason disburses funds for us.

Field Trip: Field trip coming up October 2nd. Weldon Springs and bowling. We have had several drivers volunteer, but we need several more to drive all our kiddos on this fun trip.

Thank you in advance for volunteering your time!

 Bobcat Shuffle: October 24th. Allison and my husband are running the 5k, and Elliot and I are volunteering to work. I hope to see some of you there. Registration numbers look great, and there is still time to support this Zion fundraiser. Check out the information on Sycamore.

Church and Bible study: Church attendance has been absolutely fantastic with my 6th graders this year. So wonderful to see a commitment made by families. It shows in the way my class conducts themselves and puts God first in their lives. Way to go moms and dads.

Mrs. R took some pictures of the students conducting a weather report. Enjoy their silliness!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Week 5 September 7 - 11

Hello Parents,

I hope you had a nice Labor Day weekend. Sometimes it feels like the short weeks seem long, but this week has flown by. We were very busy this week.

In science, we worked on a plate tectonics lab that used play dough to model the Earth's crust. Some kids made great models, but I think all of them gained a better understanding of how the Earth is put together. Lots of pictures of this lab. I even got some of them to smile for me! See the pictures at the end of the blog.

Mid quarter: 

We have reached first quarter mid-quarter.

Check out your students' grades on sycamore. You may contact the office if you do not have your login name. Please stay informed of your students grades so you do not have any surprises closer to report card time. If you see errors, have your child come to me to discuss a miss input grade or something seeming way off. We are always willing to correct errors, and with the new system we all have to work together to make sure it is running properly.

Students should be working toward their AR points for literature. They need 16 points for the quarter and it is 1/3 of their literature grade. This can very much help or harm their literature grade. Students should be reading 15 - 20 minutes a day to keep up, if not more. 

October 2nd Field trip: Weldon Spring, Bowling

As part of our environmental studies in Social Studies, we will be headed to the Weldon Spring Interpretive Center on Friday, October 2.   Students will enjoy a lesson on radiation and learn the history of the site.  In the afternoon, we will head to St. Charles Lanes for a unique PE experience (and apply some mental math to add those bowling scores!)

Parents - We are seeking drivers to chaperone.  You need a current driver's background check on file in the office.  Please let me know if you are interested in driving, how many students you can take, and if you would care to bowl with us. We will meet at 8:50 to leave Zion and return by 2:35.

Enjoy the pictures, and have a great weekend.
Mrs. Murray

Friday, September 4, 2015

Week 4 August 31 - 4

Hello parents,

We continue to work hard and move forward. Look for Friday papers today and the Walk-a-thon pledge sheet. More on that later....

**Writing Expectations in content areas, Important** 

Today in science, I had some students rewrite a lab sheet that needed some tweaking. If a student does not have a paper for you, they were exempt from the rewrite because directions were followed. Writing expectations in the junior high are important, and I modeled the expectations for them today.  Students were asked to show you and discuss the expectations with you - they should share the following with you.

What do you need to know? What should your child tell you during this conversation? 

Ask for their science lab papers today/this weekend.  
Sign them. (Now I know you know, and they know you know, and I know that they know you know.)

Talk with  your child about what Mrs. R, Mrs. M and Mrs. C mean when we say...

- Complete sentences
- Restate the questions in your answer (limit the use of pronouns and starting a sentence with because etc...)
- Capital letters and punctuation expected
- Use the lines on the paper
- No scribbles (Erase or write a small line through an error)
- No smashing words/sentences in a space that doesn't fit. 

(The above information is what you should hear from your student. Compare the two papers you just signed. Discuss with your child. Some may need more discussion than others.)

A signature is required by all students who had to rewrite their paper. Scores will be 100% for the assignment if returned signed on Tuesday. Please know, that some students originally had acceptable scores. I believed it was important for more students to follow the model today even if there were limited errors on their papers. Everyone is now on the same page.

Lastly, it is not about handwriting. It is about proper sentence structure, using the grammar skills I know they have, and being able to write down what they know. But, having said that, I have to be able to read it.

Thank you for your help with this. They can do it and we will continue to work on it!

Funny thing...this was all at the end of the day. I told the kids I needed pictures for the blog and to show me their "angry eyes" because they were frustrated just a bit with me after my science requirements. I got them laughing and it was a great time.

Seth was making a silly face.

Kaytie made an angry face for me, but my camera missed it so I got the smile instead!

Ian was just too mortified to be angry!

Silly boy!

These girls requested an  angry face picutre so they could be together.

Walkathon: September 25th. The students were introduced to our Walk-a-thon service project this morning. Ask them about our organization this year. It is very cool! Please note: The pledge sheet is for students to use for the next few weeks to obtain pledges. No money is needed at this time. Money will be collected after the walkathon and is due October 2nd.

STUCO sponsored FUN at High Ropes for all junior high students. This is a great experience. I have signed Allison up to go because the team building that happens here is really amazing. Kids helping kids across this course can be a lifelong learning experience for them. The stories that come back to school are always positive and uplifting. Consider signing up your child for this great event.

Jr. High Social Event --- Camp Wartburg High Ropes Course

All jr. high students are invited to attend a social event at Camp Wartburg Saturday September 26th.  Students will spend the day enjoying the High Ropes course at beautiful Camp Wartburg and have the opportunity to participate in a service project.

We will be leaving Zion at 8am and returning around 5pm.  We do NEED parent drivers for this event.  Please contact Micah Braddy ( if available for the day and let him know how many students you can fit in your vehicle.

Two forms & $25 are due September 17th.

From Mrs. Dersch below:

This week in English class we are focusing on the following:
1.     We have another spelling test. When you look on Sycamore an extra class has been added specifically for spelling. Spelling packets are 50% of your child’s grade, and the spelling tests are the remaining 50% of your child’s grade.
2.     Students write each Tuesday in their writer’s journals. They were collected this week and will be returned at the end of next week.
3.     Our grammar and writing focus of the week is determining sentence types (declarative, imperative, interrogative, and exclamatory.) We will focus especially on imperative sentences in hopes students will be able to learn and determine the “you” understood. (Such as: “Do your chores” and “Stop playing Minecraft!”
4.     Next week we will continue on our focus of sentence types. We will also begin writing and editing our first assignment—a narrative story.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at
Blessings! - Mrs. Dersch

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Mrs. Murray