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WELCOME TO THE PARENT CONNECTION PAGE!

Thank you for visiting our parent information page! Here you will find helpful links to interesting and helpful web sites for the coming school year. Of course, as the year moves on this page will continue to grow! Please plan to check this page regularly for announcements and other school - related information, too. If you have any questions, feel free to e mail me at sticklers.class@yahoo.com!


Easy Access Parent Resources:




Getting_2_Know_Each_Other.JPG
Our class Facebook Wall! It's a lot bigger since this photo!

Here are some photos of our classroom! Our Facebook wall has student photos on it now!Parents feel free to stop by and visit!


AUGUST 11: NEED A TUTOR? - With school starting soon, you may be thinking about getting extra help for your student(s). It's a good idea to find a tutor now if you need the assistance. Many tutor's schedules fill up quickly once the school year gets going. Finding the "right" tutor for you student(s) can become harder and harder. To help with this, I have added a Wyzant.com widget to the bottom of the navigation bar (right side of the page). Use it to search for tutors that fit your needs. (Yes, I am a Wyzant tutor, too!) The website is very easy to use, too. All tutors are screened by Wyzant, a Chicago based business specializing in the tutoring industry. They are also highly rated by the Better Business Bureau. Learn more about Wyzant's services on wyzant.com.
- Mr. Stickler



NEW - JULY 15: SCHOOL SUPPLY SALE - I just received an E-mail for a great school supply sale at Staples starting on July 17th. I thought I would share the link with all parents in case you're looking for some good deals. All the basics are on sale: pencils, pens, notebooks, folders, etc. Click on the "Sale Alert" button above to go to the Staples ad and preview it. Some of the sale items are only for two days - so make sure to look for those. -- Mr. Stickler





Friday, April 22 - Parent "Easy Access" Panel - Summer is approaching fast! Studies show that students who do not read books or do any other learning activities over the summer can lose up to 4 months of last year's learning! That's like going to school for 4 months for no reason! It's up to the adults in their lives to ensure that young people keep learning over the summer.

To help fight this summer "brain drain", I have created an "Easy Access" Parent Resources panel near the top of the page. This contains several links to education related resources you can use over the summer. As I find more helpful resources, I will add them. If you have any suggestions about what to include, feel free to E mail them to me at sticklers.class@Yahoo.com. -- Mr. Stickler



Saturday, March 12 - History Day Invitation - On Monday (March 14th), students in all grades will be presenting their History Day projects during class. I would like to invite you to come and watch your child give their presentation. Last week, I sent home a memo with a list of times, project topics, and the presentation order to all parents. Since then, I have seen some of these forms in student's textbooks and folders! Here are the specific class times for presentations: 6th grade - 9:15 A.M. (after Mass) - 10:00 A.M., 8th grade - 10:05 - 10:40 A.M. Monday. 6th graders will present over two days due to the number of presentations. They will have presentations on Tuesday from 8:05 A.M. - 9:00 A.M. I am attaching the schedule as a Word document below. If you would like to attend a presentation, please send an E mail to: sticklers.class@Yahoo.com. I will save a seat for you! Thank You! -- Mr. Stickler






Sunday, February 27 - Standardized Testing Article - Here is a link to an article titled "Standardized Tests: What you should know before your child sharpens his #2 pencil." I wanted to include this link to refresh everyone on how to help students do their very best on these tests. I know we've all heard this information before - it's nothing new. However, it doesn't hurt to remind ourselves of things we can do. The article mentions things such as what standardized tests measure, their limitations, and ways to help your child(ren) do their best. Here is another link to a set of standardized testing articles from FamilyEducation.com. The page has a fairly comprehensive set of articles on all aspects of standardized testing. There's also a link at the top of the page to articles for secondary level parents and students ("Your Child 12 - 18"). -- Mr. Stickler




Wednesday, February 9th - MIdterms Out Friday - The 3rd quarter midterms will be going home this Friday (February 11th). Your child should bring theirs home that day. If you do not see the midterm, please E mail me and I will make arrangements to get one to you directly. You can see what your child is earning in Social Studies online using Harmony at this time. I have graded, updated, and entered all grades for every class through today (Wednesday). On Friday, I will enter weekly Journal, Portfolio, and Participation grades after school - so these will not appear on the Midterm report.

I would like to remind all parents that I am available for meetings if you would like to discuss your child's progress. My Prep hour is from 1 P.M. - 1:45 P.M. daily and 2:30 P.M. - 3:15 P.M. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. If you would like an appointment, you may call that school office and leave me a message. I can call you back during my Prep hour or after school (please indicate your preference and a phone number where I can reach you. If your child is earning an "F" in Social Studies (in any classes and is a 6th grader), I recommend we meet to discuss ways to get them extra help. For 6th graders, I can coordinate an "all middle school" meeting with all four teachers if need be. I want to help your child get the most that they can out of their education!!

Valentine's Day - I spoke with 6th graders today to inform them that we will have a short Valentine's Day party. It will take place during the 20 minutes of Knight Time Monday. Several students volunteered to bring water, punch, and cupcakes/ cookies - so there will be enough snacks for the whole class. I did request that students bring valentines for each member of the class. This is in line with school policy, which I am sure parents/ guardians are already familiar with. That being said, students can choose not to bring valentines if they would like. If your child will be bringing valentines, please have them keep them at home until Monday morning. That will help avoid confusion and (possibly) hurt feelings. Thank you so much for your help in this matter! -- Mr. Stickler





Post - It Note coupons online - A lot of students are running out of Post It notes for our SQR2 pre-reading activity! I found 2 ways to save money on these if your child needs more Post It notes. First, this week (January 24th - 29th, 2011) Staples is having a sale on their brand sticky notes. They have a 12-pack of assorted colors (these are the "regular" 2 1/2" X 2 1/2" square sizes) for $1! (I did not see any limit on the number 1 person can buy either!) That's a great deal! Second, I found Post It Note coupons at a teachers website (but usable by anyone). Click this link to go to the Post It Teachers coupon sheet.

To help estimate how many Post Its your child might need: students use 3 - 5 Post Its per section of each chapter (usually there are 4 sections in each chapter). So, that comes to about 20 Post Its per student per unit we study. We will complete about 8 - 9 more units over the course of the rest of the school year. -- Mr. Stickler





December 20 - 12/20 to 1/5 Parent Newsletter - Below, I have posted the class newsletter for December 20th through January 5th. (I will also send a copy home with each student.) If you have any questions about the letter, or if I can help you and your child as the first semester ends, please don't hesitate to contact me. You may call the school office and leave a message for me or send me an E mail at: jlstickler@stmarymuncie.org and I will get back with you right away.
I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday! I look forward to more great things from our students in 2011!!

Merry Christmas - Mr. Stickler





DECEMBER 14TH: USING LEXILE LEVELS - Soon after Christmas Break we will take the winter NWEA tests. This will give teachers and parents a second data set to compare to the first test. I'm confident that all of our students will do well! Because it has been awhile since we have mentioned Lexile levels, I wanted to write a brief reminder of one way to use the scores. I have posted a "Lexile Lookup" link on the right side navigation bar. Clicking on this takes you to a website where you can enter your child's Lexile score and find books written to that level. One way to help your child improve their reading ability is to find books just above their current Lexile level. That will stretch their abilities and encourage cognitive growth! If your child becomes frustrated with higher leveled reading, simply move back down to something closer to their reading level. If you have any questions about this, feel free to e mail me at: jlstickler@stmarymuncie.org or call to schedule a meeting. Feel free to let me know of any tips or tricks you have tried with your child at home, too. This will help me individualize their instruction at school!
-- Mr. Stickler




NOVEMBER 17th - 7th Grade Chaperon Driver's Link - Here is the link to a MapQuest map of driving directions to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. This is only one possible route, but I decided to include it as a "back up". I'm really looking forward to the trip tomorrow! -- Mr. Stickler





Information Sheet - First of all, I'd like to thank all 7th grade parents who agreed to chaperon our field trip to the Indianapolis Museum of Art this Thursday! Without you, we would not be able to go!!



I will also be teaching them art comparison skills. The assignment they will complete relates to comparing and contrasting works of art and identifying cultural clues in the piece. The assignment will be due on Monday, November 22nd. We will practice these skills in class using photos of ancient Indian works of art (which is the last of our "ancient studies" units!). All this is just to let you know my academic expectations for students during and after the field trip.










MIDTERM REPORTS - This Friday (November 12th) ends the 2nd quarter midterm period. Midterms will go home with the Tuesday envelopes on November 16th. If you would like to schedule a meeting with me before or after reports go home, please E mail me at jlstickler@stmarymuncie.org or sticklers.class@Yahoo.com. If you would like to include any other teachers in the meeting, please add this information to your E mail and I will coordinate meeting times that work for everyone. Please know that you are welcome to set up meetings with me at any time during the year! I also invite all parents to come and watch their child's class. I only ask that you give a 24 - hour notice before visiting so I can inform Mr. Westrick and Mrs. Adair that you will be coming.

7th Grade Field Trip to the Indy Museum of Art! - Thank you to all parents who agreed to drive and/ or chaperon our field trip to the Indianapolis Museum of Art! Our trip is scheduled for Thursday, November 18th. We will be taking a guided tour of the Asian Art Gallery with a focus on the ancient art in that collection. This will mark the end of our study of ancient civilizations in class. I will divide the class into groups and notify each of you by E mail this week. Our tour is scheduled to begin at 10 A.M. The museum policy is that if a group is late, the tour guide (docent) is not required to take us on our tour. They have many school groups each day and need to maintain their schedule. Students will have a compare & contrast assignment to complete about their experiences with art from different historical periods. Please let me know if your child has any health concerns such as allergies or asthma that require medication as soon as possible. Obviously, student safety is my top priority! Typically, students going on all day field trips have a free dress day that day. So, 7th grade students (only!) will have free dress on Thursday, November 18th. The usual Pope John Paul II free dress policies will apply to our trip. Also, students will need to bring their lunch the day of the field trip.

If you have any questions or concerns about the field trip, please send and E mail to me at either jlstickler@stmarymuncie.org or sticklers.class@Yahoo.com. Thank You! -- Mr. Stickler





8TH GRADE FIELD TRIP CHAPERONS - Our field trip to the MIssissinewa War of 1812 Battle Re-enactment is this Friday (October 8th)! I wanted to get some information to you before Monday's classes.
Below you will see a .pdf document with a map to the site, the address, and step - by - step driving directions from St. Mary's/ Pope John Paul II. To read this type of document you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. (Click this link to download the free 9.3 version for PC or MAC!) On Friday morning, please meet upstairs upstairs at 8:15 A.M. We are planning to leave the school as close to 8:30 A.M. as we can. This way we will arrive in time to watch the short River Rogue Battle at 10:30 A.M. After that, students will stay with their assigned groups to visit the different displays and talk with re-enactors. (Mrs. Brown is also going to ask several students to take water and other samples for Science.)

The main battle re-enactment takes place at 12:00 P.M. Friday has been set aside for middle and high school students, so groups will need to go toward the re-enactment field around 11:30 A.M. to get a seat. They fill up very quickly!! The main re-enactment is narrated and lasts about 30 minutes. After this we will need to begin walking back toward our vehicles to eat and then leave for Muncie. (More information later on how meals will be handled.)

I attended this event last year and the weather varied throughout the day. When teachers arrived at school, it was raining and cold. By the time we boarded the buses, the rain had stopped but it was still cold and damp. The sun was out by 10:30 A.M. and the temperature rose quickly! I expect the same type of conditions Friday (hopefully minus the rain!). Students will be in an area that is largely wooded where re-enactors camp and talk with visitors. The Mississinewa River runs next to the (open) re-enactment field (this is where the 10:30 A.M. event takes place.)

8th grade students (only!) will have a free dress day that day. I recommend wearing boots suitable for hiking or camping if possible (or older tennis shoes you don't mind students getting dirty or muddy). I also recommend wearing a long sleeve shirt and a light jacket they can remove later as it warms up. This will protect students from getting scratched walking near bushes or low - limned trees.

Obviously, I take student's health and safety very seriously! If your child has outdoor allergies or Asthma, please let me know as soon as possible. Also, if your child has an inhaler or other medications they will need to take while on the trip, please E mail me (at: sticklers.class@yahoo.com). This includes students with food allergies or diabetic conditions.

For more information about the event itself and the schedule of events, visit the Mississinewa 1812 - 2010 Schedule website. From there you can navigate to various pages with more information on available displays and a general information page.

I'm sure I will say this many times, but I want to thank all chaperons for volunteering their time and talents to our student's education! Experiences like this would not be possible if it weren't for all of you! If there is anything I can do to make the experience easier or more "stress - free," please E mail me or call and leave a message at school. I will return your call during my prep. hour (1:00 - 1:45 P.M.). Thank You!! -- Mr. Stickler












6th Grade Parents - Today (Friday) I sent home Assignment Summaries for all 6th grade students. Please take a few minutes to look at this. Week 7 can be one of the most important weeks for students on the edge of the next highest grade! Also, it's a crucial week for those facing lower grades, too.
I am including this information simply to let you know that your child should be bringing you this form! In some cases, I have added notes to the print out, too. If, for any reason, you would like to schedule a meeting with myself or the entire middle school teaching team, please respond either via e mail at sticklers.class@yahoo.com or feel free to write a note on the Assignment Sheet itself and send it back to school with your child on Monday. I really want all of my students to learn the material to the best of their ability!! Keeping in touch with you - the parents - is a huge part of that! Thank you for your help with this! -- Mr. Stickler






*NEW September 19th - 8th Grade Field Trip Chaperons: Our field trip to the Battle of Mississinewa re-enactment is rapidly approaching. The trip is set for Friday, October 8th from 8:15 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. (Chaperons will need to meet in our classroom at 8:15 A.M. so we can leave by 8:30 A.M.) I have gotten 3 or 4 chaperon/ driver forms so far - thank you very much! Parents from any grade are invited to come along as chaperons - you don't have to have an 8th grader. I'm hoping we can arrive in time to see the short "River Rogue" re-enactment at 10:30 A.M. and then give students until 11:40 A.M. to visit the different camp areas. (The main re-enactment begins at Noon and seating fills quickly!) They will have assignments from at least one other teacher since they will be gone all day! As we get closer to the field trip date, I will post a Google map showing driving directions to the location because it is fairly remote. It is located just outside Marion, IN. and it takes about 1 hour to get there. You can find blank field trip chaperon forms on this website if your student didn't bring their copy home from school!!

Social Studies Newsletters: I will try to hand newsletters to students by Wednesday each week and post a copy here that same day. I would appreciate any feedback any of you have on things you would like to see in the letters, what you like/ don't like, etc. to help improve the newsletter quality! (Please E mail me at the address listed in this paragraph.) Thank you so much for your help and support! -- Mr. Stickler





Here is a copy of our Week 2 class newsletter. I am going to try and send copies home and post an electronic one here as they come out. If the newsletter won't download, please let me know. I can send one in another file format. -- Mr. Stickler





Parent Resource Library book list - As I mentioned earlier this summer, I have created a Parent Resource Library in my classroom. The attached file lists the 10 books I have and a little about what is in them. These will be available starting Sunday (August, 15th) at the St. Mary's/ Pope John Paul II ice cream social. If you are interested in checking any of them out they will be available throughout the school year. To view the list, simply click the following link to download. As always, if you have any questions about them, feel free to E mail me at: sticklers.class@Yahoo.com. --Mr. Stickler




-Livebinders web site - I recently learned about this online productivity tool and wanted to share it with as many people as I could. This web site provides 100 MB of free storage space for web sites, .pdf files, Word and other Microsoft Office documents, videos, and photos. You can organize all of your documents into your own binder and keep them online so they are available anywhere you have Internet access! Best of all . . . it's FREE! There are sample binders on the web site to give you ideas on how to use these. For example, one person organized all of their PowerPoint presentations in a binder for work. (Click on "Learn More" from the Home page.) This is also a way to save paper (and money)! -- Mr. Stickler





Reading Rockets -- In our technology - filled society, it can be hard to get young people to read for fun. Much of their time is spent reading individual web pages, which can lead to a lower tolerance for longer text. Our children know how to skim a web page to see if it's what they were looking for very well. However, they're not as skilled at reading text on a deep level. The Reading Rockets website can help. There are resources for parents, teachers, principals, librarians, and other professionals there to help us all teach reading skills to young people. Here is a link to the ReadingRockets Parent Resource Page. Young people in middle school are beginning to learn how to think deeply about academic subjects in their classes. For example, in Social Studies we spend a lot of time reading two or three different accounts of an event and comparing them. Here is a link to an article titled "How to Increase Higher Order Thinking" full of ideas! If you get a few minutes, browse these links to learn ways to help your child improve their reading and thinking skills! -- Mr. Stickler



Navigation Bar Resources
SCHOOLFAMILY.COM -- This helpful website has a ton of articles and resources for parents with children in grades K - 12! Articles about developmental, academic, emotional, and social issues are included. Article titles include: "Middle School Study Skills - Getting Organized," "Encourage Middle Schoolers to Stick With Favorite Activities," and "Eating Breakfast Improves Behavior, Problem Solving." There are also articles specific to certain subjects like Math and Writing.

ISTEP+ Parent Network Home Page - This link takes you to the Indiana Department of Education Parent Network Sign In Page. If you have the password that was sent home this past Spring, you can view your student's ISTEP+ scores. (This password was sent home in the Tuesday envelope near the end of school.) From the sign in page, you can click on the "IDOE Home" link (at the top of the left - hand column) for general news articles and links to other parent resources.

Indiana Dept. of Education Academic Standards -- Click on this link to see what your child will be learning in their classes this year! Once you arrive at the "Standards and Resources" page, select the "Standards" tab. Next, select your child's grade level and the subject you want to view, then select "Search." This will show you what students will learn in that subject and grade level. To see a more detailed view, click on the "+" sign in the bottom right corner of each standard.