Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Welcome Emily Rose!

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers.  Emily is doing just fine and I am tired, but well.  Big brothers came to visit today.  They are a little confused, but excited about the new baby.  When asked if he wanted to see Emily, Alex said, "Nope."  Ryan went up and said, "Shh - sleeping."  We should be home together on Wednesday.

Mrs. Joy Schenck has now taken over in the classroom for me.  She will probably inform you of the best ways to contact her, but she will use my Zion email account during the school day.  Although I will keep tabs on the Zion email - I can be most readily reached at home:   sriemen@charter.net

I pray your are enjoying a fun Lutheran Schools Week and have a blessed and restful Spring Break.  I will be back to finish out the school year after my maternity leave.  

KINDERGARTEN PROJECT: Here is the link to the voicethread project on which we assisted Miss Limback's class:    God is Love

Saturday, March 5, 2011

3/5/11 Newsletter

Happy National
 Lutheran Schools Week

Book Fair Tuesday
Scholastic Book Fair will be in the cafe Sat.- Thursday.  Our class will take our library period on Tuesday to peruse the books.  Students should plan to bring money on Tuesday if they wish to shop.
Grandparents’ Day Friday
Remember Grandparents are invited to meet in the church basement for refreshments and an entertaining program, including the 6R "Old TIme Radio Drama."  Then, they are invited to visit classrooms around 9:45-10:45.  We will worship together at 11:00 with families sitting together in chapel with the YOUNGEST siblings teacher.  Students/Families will be dismissed to leave from the church.  Parents who are picking up students may part in spaces in the  front of church.  
STUDENTS:  Remember Band members need to check in with me before meeting Mrs. Thoelke in the basement.   

Student Relationships
  Dear Parents,     
In sixth grade religion, students study Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount from the book of Matthew.  Jesus here is describing the Christian life and explains how to follow not just the letter of God’s law, but the spirit behind the Law.  How do we live a life of love out of response for God’s great love and forgiveness for us?  For example:
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. (Matt. 5: 21-22)
What does this mean in the life of a sixth grader?  Sometimes it feels that Satan is working hardest in a Christian school as we are God’s children and not his!  Unkind words, exclusion, picking on the little guy, and just plain meanness can prevail.  Even though God promises to “not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear” and that “He will also provide a way out,” (I Corinthians 10:13), all too often students bow to the sinful nature or negative peer pressure and their actions are far from loving.  Every school year this becomes a priority to address in the classroom for both teachers and administration.
Last Friday, we held our second of two special religion classes with just girls and just boys to address student relationships.  In our first class, Mr. Debrick and Mrs. Gilmore addressed the girls on unkind behavior and relationships among peers while Mrs. Riemenschneider discussed with the boys the uniqueness of being “guys” and a positive way to address conflicts with one another.  In our second class, Mrs. Sara Kuhlmann, former full time teacher at Zion and currently Zion’s Early Childhood director, came to teach our classes.  Her goal was to help educate students on student relationships during the changing time of Junior High, the age of pre-adolescence.  Objectives included identifying bully behavior and equipping students with conflict resolution and problem solving strategies.  Students were given a chance to identify both times they act in sinful ways, but also times they don’t act when they could to make a negative situation positive.  Students were also taught some basic communication skills that may help diffuse a conflict and identify misunderstandings before they become a source of conflict.
Mrs. Kuhlmann will continue to serve as a resource for students at Zion. She will be available so students have another adult with whom to talk who is outside the classroom teacher when they feel they have a situation they need help resolving positively.  Our goal is to help students see the ways they can walk in Christian love with one another and address conflict with the goal of bringing situations to a point of forgiveness.
Please feel free to contact either classroom teachers or administration with questions you have regarding the issues of student relationships.  We are so pleased to partner with families in the spiritual and social development of your child and to have the opportunity to take conflict situations and help students discover the love and forgiveness God offers.
In Christ,
Mr. Marc Debrick
Mrs. Kendra Gilmore
Mrs. Sue Riemenschneider
Mrs. Sara Kuhlmann