Friday, January 28, 2011

1/28/11 Newsletter

3rd Quarter Math
Both the 6th PreAlgebra Class and the 6th Transition Math have progressed through approximately half of the lessons geared for our curriculums this year.  As we continue into 3rd Quarter, you will see less review concepts and more new concepts in both classes.  What this means is suddenly math may seem tougher than it was to start the year.  More time may be needed to review concepts and become secure in mastery.

I wanted to remind students and parents of these tips:
      1)  Our text refers back to the lesson number on EVERY PROBLEM.  Don't guess - the student should look it up if stuck.
      2)  Review the examples in the lesson for help.
      3)  SHOW YOUR WORK on calculation problems.  I especially recommend showing work on    any fraction and decimal problems.  Multiple steps can make it easy to lose track of the process, even if the actual calculation is simple.

Remember I am always available for help at study hall times or first thing in the morning.

Research Projects
Students are well on their way on their research projects.  The writing process looks like a formal research paper, but the final project will be an oral presentation in Prezi.  Students had an opportunity to view sample Prezi's in computer lab today to get a peek into how a presentation could look.

I helped students brainstorm topics and am directing them toward resources.  I will be happy to help with any of the information and content selection as students take notes.  Mrs. Gilmore is directing all of the writing steps.  She has instructed students to contact her through Edmodo with questions outside the school day.  This service will text Mrs. G. and she will get back to you as soon as she is able.

Bibliography Website     Citation Machine

Maternity Update
Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers throughout this school year.  I continue to feel very well (with those tired moments) and my checkups have all shown baby is growing just fine.  My due date is March 9 at the beginning of 4th quarter and I plan to teach all the way up until this little one decides to arrive.

I met with Mrs. Joy Schenck, who will be my maternity sub, at the beginning of January.  Mrs. Schenck has subbed at all levels at Zion and is an excellent teacher.   She knows many of your children already and is eager to teach 6th grade again.  She will be available as I am through email and phone contacts.  She will continue the parent blog and updating the calendar on our Zion webpage.  Right now she is up at Zion just about every week subbing for a teacher or aiding in our Parents' Day Out. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

1/21/10 Newsletter

Ski Trip - Friday, February 4th

Detailed information about our PE field trip to Hidden Valley and permission slips are coming home in Friday Folders today.  Please read through the information and email me with any questions you have.  Please return the permission slips by WEDNESDAY.   I have several drivers, but could use one or two more.  If I have many requests, they will be taken in the order in which parents contacted me.  Indicate whether you plan to ski or not and how many students you can drive.  Note the cost to parents who ski is on the information sheet. 

I know a least a few students and parents are a little nervous about the skiing experience.  Hidden Valley does an excellent job of instructing students in "stations."  Every precaution is taken for safety.  Some students pick up on the needed skills right away and other spend more time learning in the stations.  You can proceed at your own pace.  I have found Zion students to be great helpers and encouragers to one another in the learning process.  We are in for a wonderful day!

Duplicate copies of forms will be on our webpage:     Zion 6R webpage

Zion Ministry survey

At Zion this weekend, you will have an opportunity to share your input in shaping Zion's Ministry Vision for the near future.  If you did not complete the Future Ministry Needs Survey last week, please be sure to pick one up during services this weekend or from the church office. Mrs. Wirkus, our church secretary, will be at the Welcome Desk during the service times to answer questions and collect surveys.  Input on church and school needs are requested.  Your ideas are important to us!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Publishing our Short Stories

Tomorrow, your child will get the paper upon which their short stories will be published. Our next step is to begin illustrating our stories.  The students will be doing this at school on the lap tops.

The step after illustrating will be to print the actual writing and print the illustrations. You can choose to print everything onto the paper at home, but since the paper that will be given to them is the paper that will actually be used in their book, it is VERY important that you print this correctly, I have very few extra pages.  If you choose NOT to print it at home, your other option is to take it on a flashdrive to a professional printing shop where it will cost you between $10.00 and $20.00. If either of these options do not work for you, please let me know, and I will help you.

Also, you have the option of  purchasing an extra copy of the book.  Each student gets one book for free, if you would like extra you need to pay for those.  You are under no obligation to buy one, however, I still need to receive the slip that was sent home with each student.  If you say no to a copy now, but would like to purchase one at some point before everything is sent in, you will have that option.  After everything is sent in, you will NOT be able to receive another copy.

Kendra Gilmore

Friday, January 14, 2011

1/14/11 Newsletter


Last week marked the celebration of the wisemen's visit to Bethlehem.  We call this season Epiphany.  An "epiphany" is an appearance or manifestation- a showing.  But the wonder that brought the wisemen to Bethlehem was more than the appearance of a star.  It was the manifestation of God Himself, born as a baby, taking on human flesh and with that, taking upon Himself our sins.   Can we think of Christmas without remembering Good Friday?  That wonder that led the wisemen and now leads us to worship Him and see the wonder of his love!

Jesus's Sermon on the Mount

In Religion, have been continuing our walk through the book of Matthew.  Jesus's Sermon on the Mount looks at some tough issues: murder, anger, adultery, sexuality, marriage, divorce, loving our enemies, fasting, worry, judging others and stewardship of God's blessings. 

This brings a wonderful opportunity to share values with your children at home by reflecting on Matthew 5-7 together, looking over our lessons, and/or relating our discussion to values portrayed in society that may be contrary to God's will.   Both God's Law and Gospel are a blessing to us.  His Law reminds us we need a Savior.  The truth of the Gospel reveals that Christ has fulfilled the Law in our place and won the victory of heaven for us! What a wonder thing to celebrate as we recognize the birth of our Savior. 

Some questions that may get your family talking:

"What ways do the media portray love that are different from God's plan?"

"How does our family solve problems when we get angry?"

"What kinds of prayers do we say together as a family?"

"Would you ever consider going on a fast or giving something up for a time?"

"How can we share God's blessings as a family - not just offering money, but time and talents too?"

You are One in 6 Billion!

Sixth graders have been studying human geography in Social Studies.  We are exploring China and the challenges of a large and rapidly growing population.  You might have guessed that identifying cause-effect relationships is an important skill.  Other skills include reading maps, tables, and graphs and drawing conclusions from data.  In this chapter, students are identifying factors that contribute to slowing population growth as well as meeting energy, food, and job needs for large populations.  We are using simulations to help model some of these concepts.

Next, our study will move to Japan as an model for exploring population density.  Our activities will introduce the issues related to high density and students will learn the effects densityhas on transportation, housing, land use, and even the health of people.  Through each country we study, students make global connections and look for ways God calls us to be good stewards of our resources and a blessing to those less fortunate than ourselves.

By the way - world population will roll over the 7 billion mark in late 2011!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

1/7/11 Newsletter

Field Trips In January/February

Next Friday, January 14, we will attend the drama: "The Giver" at Washington University.  This is a morning field trip. I am looking for 1 more parent to attend with us.  Details will come home today.

Feb. 4 - Hidden Valley Ski Trip - Eureka, MO.  This is an exciting PE opportunity we have in 6th grade.  Further information will come home in mid - January. Click here: Ski Trip 2010 for  an information sheet and details about how to dress for cold weather.  You may wish to take advantage of after Christmas sales for new gloves, etc
3rd Quarter Spanish - a note from the teacher
 Explore Spanish at Zion
Saludos!  My name is Carla Rutledge, and I am excited to teach fifth through eighth grade Spanish classes at Zion this year.  Spanish will be held two periods each week for this quarter only.  Please ask your son or daughter to share his or her Spanish name with you.
Exploratory Spanish will include: greetings, numbers, colors, days of the week, months of the year, the Spanish alphabet, and general conversation.  Our country of focus will be Mexico.  Students will make a Mexican craft, learn about cultural differences, and attend a fiesta at the end of the quarter.
Zion students will receive a Spanish academic letter grade on their report card for this quarter only.  Since there are no tests or quizzes, grades will be based upon participation, daily work, and oral pronunciation.  It is my hope that each child enjoys learning Spanish- a fun and easy language that is becoming increasingly spoken all around the world!
Please feel free to contact me at for more information.  Con mucho gusto!

End of the Quarter/ Report Cards

Report cards will be available to view online by 3 p.m. today.  No paper copy will be sent home.  If you need your activation code or if you forgot your password, please contact Kevin Creutz, at   You may also request a paper copy of the report card from Mr. Creutz.