The Marie Murphy Update

12 March 2021 Edition

MM Students Select Rebecca Caudill Winner

The votes are in and Marie Murphy students have selected Kelly Yang's Front Desk as this year's Rebecca Caudill best selection! Small Spaces, by Katherine Arden and Jerry Craft's, New Kid, finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Looking for a good book for you and your middle schooler to read over spring break? These three are MM Student approved!


Front Desk is Kelly Yang's award-winning novel about a 10-year-old Chinese American immigrant girl who manages the front desk of a motel while her parents clean the rooms. Front Desk was awarded the 2019 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature, the Parents' Choice Gold Medal, is the 2019 Global Read Aloud, and has earned numerous other honors.


For those students who have already read and loved Front Desk, consider reading its sequel, Three Keys. Learn more about Three Keys by watching Kelly Yang's video discussing the book and how her immigration experience shaped the story.

MM Orchestra Celebrates Spring With Water Music Performance

Water Music

8th Graders Study Genocide & Debate Foreign Policy Responses

Marie Murphy 8th graders sharpened their research and debate skills this past week by studying the concept of genocide and examples throughout history, including the Holocaust, Bosnian, Cambodian, and Rwandan genocides. However, rather than leaving it as a historical study, Mr. Malstrom extended the unit to include a debate component where 8th graders assumed the roles of US Congressmen and Congresswomen to engage in a debate regarding how the US should address acts of genocide through foreign policy.


This research and debate activity created opportunities for students to better understand their own views on what role the US should play on the world stage, as well as required them to consider the perspective of their debate opponents. Ultimately, the students completed the study with a greater understanding of what genocide is, but more importantly, a better understanding of how knowledge can lead to and shape informed action.

Big picture

History Remix Club Turns Summer into Sumer!

MM's newly formed History Remix Club combined the summer anthem "Watermelon Sugar" with historically accurate lyrics about ancient civilizations to create the "Sumer Song" (Sumer is not a typo - just ask a sixth-grader.) Student performers and staff guest stars conveyed through song and dance different aspects of life in ancient Babylon, Assyria, and of course, Sumer!


Club sponsors - 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher Ms. Rachel Hernandez and Instructional Assistant Ms. Jessica Ortega - brought patience, enthusiasm, and fun to the endeavor, inviting kids to show what they had learned in a musical, creative way! Click the video below to check out the performance!

History Remix: Sumer Song

Don't forget to sign up for 6th & 7th Grade Parent-Teacher Conferences

Virtual Parent-Teacher Conferences for 6th and 7th-grade families are taking place on Wednesday, March 24, and Thursday, March 25 from 3:00-7:00 each day. Parents received an email last week inviting them to schedule their conferences via MeetTheTeacher. Parents can schedule up until noon on March 23, but schedule early as slots will fill up fast!


As a reminder, student attendance on parent-teacher conference days is from 8:00-10:50. See the calendar update details below to verify what days your child is coming to school the week of March 22.

March 22- March 26 Calendar Update

Attention Parents! The week of March 22 - March 26 will have an altered student schedule due to Parent-Teacher Conferences from 3:00-7:00 on March 24 and March 25. Please note the following changes:


  • Monday, March 22 - Group A students onsite 8:00-1:25; Group B students remote
  • Tuesday, March 23 - Group B students onsite 8:00-1:25; Group A students remote
  • Wednesday, March 24 - Group A students onsite 8:00-11:00; Group B students remote
  • Thursday, March 25 - Group B students onsite 8:00-11:00; Group A students remote
  • Friday, March 26 - No School

Upcoming FAN Events

New Trier High School and the Family Action Network (FAN) present numerous outstanding presenters and topics throughout the year. Check out their next upcoming events below to see if there is something of interest to you or your family.