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Academic Contests Binder Hospital Creative Arts and Writing Contest Community Service Dances ECO Club (Environmental Conservation Organization) Garden Journalism Club: JM Expressions Lamorinda School Bus Program Lunchtime Activities On-Line Student Grades Parent Education Opportunities Peace, Love & Pancakes Peer Tutoring Safe School Ambassadors School Site Council Where Everyone Belongs (WEB) Wish List ZAP: Zeros Aren't Productive
Bridges Cotillion Dance Club Order Hot Lunch
iKind Program Climate Survey Results Safe School Ambassadors

Link to Newsela - Current Event Site


Link to Our Vocabulary Website


Link to great Grammar Site


My first 6th graders in DC as 8th graders

My first 6th graders in DC as 8th graders

Me & My Family

Christmas in Rome!

Mrs. Gruen Locker

PPT, Word, Excel Viewers [Go]
Acrobat Reader [Go]

Already having fun!

Core Archaeological Dig

Mrs. Gruen

One last Volunteer Opportunity, Monday, After School

Attention Filmmakers! Here is your chance to enter your own film in a contest!

Follow this Link to check out a wonderful opportunity!

Young Writers Contest: Mt.Diablo Chapter

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This annual contest is proudly sponsored by the Mount Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club. Contest is open to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students who live in or attend school in Contra Costa County. Categories include short story, poetry, personal narrative and humor.






 1.     ELIGIBILITY: Contest is open to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students who live in or attend school in Contra Costa County.


 2.     PERSONAL INFORMATION: A maximum of three entries per student are welcome under separate submission.  Each digital entry form will prompt for the following (Do not include this information (except manuscript title) on the submitted manuscript):

  1.        Student's name
  2.        Student's home address
  3.        Student's home phone
  4.        Student's e-mail address
  5.        Grade
  6.        Name of School
  7.       Teacher's name 
  8.       Manuscript title 

 3.     FORMAT: Each submission should use the following formatting (Note exception for poetry):

  1.        Times New Roman font, 12 point, black 
  2.        1 inch margins all around
  3.        A title on the first page and page numbers in the footer
  4.        Double spaced, except for poetry which may be single-spaced
  5.        Paragraphs with an indentation for the first line of each paragraph
  6.         No illustrations or photographs

 4.     DEADLINE:  Manuscripts must be received by 9:00 p.m. on March 31, 2017. Winners will be announced on the Mount Diablo California Writers Club website by May 1, 2017.  Non-winners will not be notified.


 5.     TEACHERS: PLEASE ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO SUBMIT THEIR STORIES AND POEMS THEMSELVES. We are striving to encourage individual creativity and expression. Do not send entire class assignments. Each submission requires individual student information.


 6.     PARENTS:  Parents of winning submissions will be requested to give permission for the child to be photographed for print, videotaped, or electronically imaged during the banquet and agree to allow his or her child's picture to appear in newspapers, news releases, and/or other published formats.


 7.     PRIZES: Winning short stories and poems from each grade level will receive $100 for first prize, $50 for second prize and $25 for third prize. The Humor Award of $100 will be awarded to one winner from all combined grade levels, or in each grade level at the judges' discretion. The Betty Tenney Personal Narrative Award of $100 will be given to the best personal narrative/essay in each grade. Second and third place prizes may be awarded in the personal narrative category at the judges' discretion. Prizes will be presented to winners on May 13, 2017, at a lunch banquet.  Further information on the banquet will be provided to the winners.  Parents are welcome. Teachers of winning students will be invited to attend the banquet.

Visit from the Binder Hospital Highlights

Mrs.O'Brien came in to talk about binder do's and don'ts today. Then we set up our binders!

She discussed the reason for having a planner and binder. Parents, please read and support your child at home.

  • Children will need a minimum of 2 binders this year.  This new binder will not last all year. Pens, paper and pencils will need to be replenished too. (Parents, hit the sales now!)
  • Children should always carry pencil pouches with :
    • glue stick
    • pens
      • red
      • green
      • black
      • blue
      • 1 sharpie
    • pencils
    • erasers
  • Medium sized Binder Clips really help kids to keep their current planner page current and easy to find.
  • Kids should have a system of checking off their homework as they complete it.
  • Binder order- keep pocket empty-pencil pouch- planner- plastic homework folder (pockets "to do" & "turn in")- 8 tabs
  • Pockets are only for things that cannot be hole punched: envelopes, art, note cards.
  • Binder Hospital is an excellent resource that is available to all JM students.  Binder hospital will come to our class 4 times this year, but it can also be visited at lunch.  Please contact Mrs.Gruen to get an appointment any time.  (Even once a month!)

Maya Angeolu, on rainbows


My Surprise Birthday Party!

Luckiest Teacher In the World!

Service Learning Assignment


Service Learning Project Guidelines

Mrs.Gruen 2015-2016

Due April 28, 2017


      You are about to become involved in a project for CORE, which, I hope, will have an impact on your life.  The idea is for you to discover what qualities you have within yourself that can make a difference to the world in a positive way.  It has two parts:



      You will volunteer for FIVE hours of unpaid service, supporting (generally) non-profit organizations or helping those who cannot help themselves. The five hours need not be in one block of time, but you should work in no less than one hour time blocks.  You may do the work with a partner as long as you both are working.  Choose a volunteer experience that YOU HAVE NOT TRIED BEFORE!  Consider it as a resume builder for something you might like to do as a paid job in the future.  For example, you may consider volunteering for an animal shelter (veterinary experience) or helping a teacher (education).  Think about organizations that might want your help.  Go online to look at various ways you can help our community and those nearby (BAAYFS, Make a Wish, Hospice, ASPCA, MCS).

      It’s very important that you ask the person you want to help if you may help.  Don’t assume they want help.  You should make an appointment ahead of time to talk about what help you can give.  You should make the arrangements yourself, not your parents!

      To verify that you have done FIVE hours of work, you MUST have a signed note, stating that you did the work.  If you work one hour each at five jobs, you will need five signed notes total for the five jobs.  Since this is your project, you should write the note(s) and ask the person/people for whom you worked to sign it/them.  If you do your service through an organization like Bridges, you will need documentation from them.  Always keep track on your own.  Sometimes records get lost by other people!


      You will reflect on the work you did by writing a paper.  Your paper will be due on April 28, 2017.

      The paper should be typed, 12 font, double spaced, following the attached rubric. The paper should have three paragraphs.  Each paragraph should be descriptive and as specific as you can make it.

      Your first paragraph should tell what projects you did.  Tell me how you got the job(s).  Be specific.  Tell me what you did.  If you volunteered at a Sunday school for example, describe the setting, people you worked with, and the activities you did.

      The second paragraph should describe how you felt about doing the job(s).  This is a learning experience.  A very important part of the project is that you analyze your feelings.  Tell how the job(s) affected or changed you.

      The third paragraph should tell how you helped your community.  Be both general and specific.  Describe how you helped the people directly involved and how you made their lives a little better.  Also explain if you think Community Service should be required of all students, or of all citizens.  Go into details telling me why or why not.

      Be prepared to tell the class about your work.  The week following the project’s due date, you will give a short oral report.


Service Learning Do’s and Dont’s


  • spend 5 hours or more at the job you do

  • choose work you’ve never tried before

  • make an appointment to talk with the person for whom you are doing the job

  • get a signature verifying that you did the work

  • write a paper on the project.


  • accept payment for the job

  • count hours for this project doing a job that you are already expected to do

  • work for a total stranger that your parents don’t trust

  • collect money for a charity or group

  • split a one person job into a two person job

  • Work for your parent’s business unless that work pertains to true community service.

Ideas at JM:

  • Bridges activities at school

  • Peace Love and Pancakes

  • JM garden

  • ECO club lunch stations

  • Help a teacher after school

Ideas outside of JM:

**Mrs.Gruen has links to find Community Service opportunities in our area on her Schoolloop Website.

  • Tutoring

  • Helping previous teachers at Elementary schools

  • Pear festival

  • Volunteering at a sporting event

  • Animal shelter

  • Food bank

  • Glide Memorial

  • Senior Living (Aegis)

Form for Proof of Service

(This form is optional, but it gives the general information needed)


Student’s name:__________________________________________________


Description of service provided: ______________________________________



Date service was provided: __________________________________________

Amount of time spent Providing the service:_____________________________

Name of adult in charge:___________________________________________

Title of adult in charge: ___________________________________________

Signature of adult in charge:________________________________________

Comments: _____________________________________________________



Form for Proof of Service


Student’s name:__________________________________________________


Description of service provided: ______________________________________



Date service was provided: __________________________________________

Amount of time spent Providing the service:_____________________________

Name of adult in charge:___________________________________________

Title of adult in charge: ___________________________________________

Signature of adult in charge:________________________________________

Comments: _____________________________________________________



Nothing Posted


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Another Opportunity to get Community Service Hours!

Moraga Pear Tree pruning!
The event is on Sunday Nov 8.  
All ages are welcome.  
Wear sturdy shoes and bring water.  




Great Greeks!

Indian Dress up!

Thank you to Saavya's mom and grandmother for a fun lesson!

Yummy Cake Mandala

Yummy Cake Mandala

Cuneiform tablets!

Cooking in the kitchen! Judaism unit: Charoset

Archaelogical Dig!

Archaelogical Dig!