Week 25: 02/19/18 – 02/23/18

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, February 19th
NO SCHOOL – Presidents’ Day

Tuesday, February 20th
PF Changs Field Trip (Domingo, Miro, Planek) 10am-12:30pm
Faculty Meeting @ 2:50pm (Upstairs Presentation Space)

Wednesday, February 21st
1st-3rd Grades to LMS for Washington Musical @ 9:45am
Board of Education Meeting @ 7pm

Thursday, February 22nd
PF Change Field Trip (Keating, Rowland) 10am-12:30pm
SLT – ELA @ 2:35pm (Upstairs PD Space)
Washington Musical @ 6:30pm

Friday, February 23rd
Spirit Assembly @ 9am
PF Changs (Graham, Ward) 10am-12:30pm

(02/24) Happy Birthday Shannon Keating :)

Week 24: 02/12/18 – 02/16/18

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It’s that time of the year.
Where winter break is definitely in the past.
Where we’re starting to feel a bit of the testing pressure.
We’re stressed about upcoming conferences & report cards.
When Spring Break is close…..but not quite close enough.
Take time today to remember that we alone have the power to choose our good attitude.

Be the kind of person who doesn’t allow other people or circumstances to dictate how we feel or treat those around us. Instead, be the consistent one for those around you.
Be thankful for the impact that we have on not only our students, but also on our peers.

Choose to be happy. Choose to be positive. Choose to smile. That doesn’t mean you are unaware of circumstances, or stress, or drama, or struggles….it just means you choose to RISE above it, and be happy anyway. To let your mood be dictated by your blessings and not your afflictions.

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We constantly preach to our Kubbies the importance of being kind and how one small act can make someone’s day — This week is  “Random Acts of Kindness Week (Feb 11-17)” so I challenge you to the SD81 edition of the Kindness Challenge — can you complete these simple, kind acts that will make our students’ and colleagues’ days just a bit brighter? Let’s make February 12th-16th Kennedy School’s #RAKWEEK

What’s the SD81 Kindness Challenge you ask? 
*Complete a challenge – mark it off on your challenge sheet (a copy will be in everyone’s mailbox).

*Each challenge completed earns you a TICKET in the raffle

*Earn an extra ticket for each challenge that you complete & INSTAGRAM with the challenge hashtag

*Turn in your challenge sheets by the end of the day this Friday 2/16

WINNER of the raffle……earns a HALF DAY OFF! 


You’ll also notice the KINDNESS tree that Stephanie Winberg created in our front hallway!

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There are construction paper HEARTS in the office ….feel free to pick some up and ask your students to brainstorm ways they can show KINDNESS to others. Let’s fill the wall this week!

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 7.41.30 PM*Click here for educator resources on RAKweek

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, February 12th
Reading Room Plan with 1st Grade (@ 2:35pm)

Tuesday, February 13th
Faculty Meeting @ 2:45pm – this will be a quick one!

Wednesday, February 14th
Happy Birthday Kaitlin Hillner :)
Happy Valentine’s Day <3
TAPS (PreK, K and 1st)

Thursday, February 15th
Happy Birthday Agnes Niewinski :)
Talent Show Auditions *During the day (Presentation Space Upstairs)
Kindergarten Information Night 6:00pm

Friday, February 16th
Trimester 2 Ends
*5 By Friday
Please be sure your Parent/Teacher Conference Schedule is finalized in google spreadsheet!

(02/17) Happy Birthday Jackie Hood & Mike Deany :)(

Week 23: 02/05/18 – 02/09/18

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, February 5th
Happy Birthday Jenna Bartello :)
Yearbook Club (2:30pm-4:00pm in Project Space)
Reading Room Plan with 2nd Grade

Tuesday, February 6th
Happy Birthday Heather Longo :)
Happy Birthday Dina Natale :)

Wednesday, February 7th
Happy Birthday Alanna Mixter :)
Happy Birthday Izabela Rybinski :)
TAPS (2nd/3rd Grades)

Thursday, February 8th
SLT (Math) @ 2:35pm
Kindergarten Information Night (6:00pm)

Friday, February 9th
February Buddy Event
5 by Friday :)

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Blog Posts Worth Reading:
The Lost Art of Listening by Eric Sheninger

15 Fantastic Ways to Teach Mindfulness To Kids 

Some Small Ideas to Help Students Self-Select Books Better by Pernille Ripp

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Week 22: 01/29/18 – 02/02/18

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, January 29th
Reading Room Plan with 3rd Grade

Tuesday, January 30th
100th Day of SchooL!
**FACULTY MEETING** @ 2:45pm in Presentation Space

Wednesday, January 31st
2nd Grade/LMS Buddies Activity
1/2 Day of School  (Agenda will be emailed)
*Technology Team Meeting @ 2:30pm

Thursday, February 1st
World Read Aloud Day!
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Friday, February 2nd
5 Positive Connections by Friday!

(02/04) Happy Birthday Anne Weinthaler :)

Blog Posts Worth Reading:

10 Steps to Slowing Down the Gossip Train by Jimmy Casas

Adobe Spark FREE For Students of All Ages via Class Tech Tips

How to Create a Morning Routine That Gets You Energized to Teach via Angela Watson

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Week 21: 01/22/18 – 01/26/18

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, January 22nd
Happy Birthday Michelle Morgan :)
ACCESS Testing Continues
Student Yearbook Committee in Project Space (2:30pm-4:00pm)
Reading Room Plan with Kindergarten (2:35pm)

Tuesday, January 23rd

Wednesday, January 24th
Dr. Taylor Visits D81
Happy Birthday Ofelia Golden :)

Thursday, January 25th
Dr. Seuss SIP Committee Meeting @ 2:45pm (Room 110)

Friday, January 26th
Spirit Assembly @ 8:45am
Kindergarten Field Trip to Disney On Ice

The annual Stars on Stage Talent Show will be on Thursday, March 15th. We are still looking for helpers to facilitate the rehearsals leading up to the main event! Helpers will be compensated for their time.

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 5.25.53 PMREMINDER: All MAP meetings & non-tenured 3rd round observations must be scheduled/completed by February 2nd !

Blog Posts Worth Reading:
The Troublemakers

Top 10 Health and Physical Education Tech Tools

Sister Sings “You Are My Sunshine” to Brother with Down Syndrome

Why Every Class Needs Read Alouds

Week 20: 01/15/18 – 01/19/18

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, January 15th
Happy Birthday Ami Freeman :)

Tuesday, January 16th
**Did everyone add their one word? If not — please fill out the Google Form here
ACCESS TESTING BEGINS! Click here for the schedule & here for the informational letter/email
Mentor Program Meeting

Wednesday, January 17th
Happy Birthday Cheri Grimaldi :)
Board Meeting @ 7pm (LMS)

Thursday, January 18th
Kennedy Singers
Combined SLT Meeting @ 2:45pm (Upstairs PD Space)

Friday, January 19th
Winter Birthday Snacks in Faculty Lounge
PreK Parent/Student Workshops
Spirit SIP Committee Meeting (2:35pm)
5 by Friday! Make 5 Positive Connections by Friday! :)

Blog Posts Worth Reading:

The Power of Setting Goals With Students by Sanee Bell

Relationships Are the Foundation of Great Schools (But They Aren’t Enough) by George Couros

7 Ways to Prioritize Teaching Tasks When Everything Seems Urgent by Angela Watson

Is Your School Extraordinary? by David Geurin

New Books Worth Checking Out:
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Week 19: 01/08/18 – 01/12/18

Happy New Year and Welcome Back! I hope you enjoyed a restful, relaxing break–time to disconnect from work thoughts, time to enjoy family and friends and to just enjoy time to relax. It is amazing how refreshing the holiday break can be to come back to start an amazing 2018! I know our students will be SO EXCITED to see you all on Monday morning!
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If you’re feeling any trepidation about getting up early for the first day in 15 days, I completely understand! It’s hard for adults and kids to get back into the swing of things after such a long break. This is a great time to re-connect with students and let them do so with their classmates by giving them time to talk about what they did over break! Keep in mind, it’s a great time to review classroom management basics as we embark upon a new calendar year at Kennedy, where our students are blessed to receive quality instruction on a  daily basis in safe and orderly classrooms. Here is an article from Responsive Classroom that might be helpful to revisit this week, as behavior expectations and classroom routines are revisited. I appreciate your efforts with reinforcing behavior expectations. Here’s a great post from Pernille Ripp on this topic: Ideas for Working with the January Slump.

Have you heard about Jon Gordon’s “One Word” that gives meaning & focus to your life?Jon suggests coming up with one word instead of list of resolutions.

“A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be a ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp or biting or rich and soft and slow. A single word can be a catalyst for enriching your life!”

I challenge you to choose one word this January–a word to focus on, reflect upon as one goes about daily life. Can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2018? It can be something tangible or intangible…it could be a thought or a feeling or an emotion. The key is to find something that has personal meaning for you. Donna, Stephanie and I look forward to re-connecting with you all, hearing all about your Winter Breaks, and reflecting at our faculty meeting on Tuesday afternoon! Be prepared with your “ONE WORD”.

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, January 8th
School Resumes! Welcome Back!
*Welcome Back to Amanda (Peterson) Quinlan, Annie Weinthaler and Michelle Sosa, who return from maternity leave!
*Please give a warm Kennedy welcome to Anne Planek, who will be taking over in Michelle Howlett’s 2nd grade classroom! We wish Michelle the best of luck as she transitions over as the Principal of Washington School for Tiffany Leiva’s maternity leave. Michelle will begin her transition towards the end of this week.

*Brittany Biedermann will be taking over as the SPED resource teacher, and Michelle Morgan will be returning to the Reading Room!
*If you haven’t met Maureen Doran yet, please be sure to say hello! She will be the Music Teacher, while Kaitlin Teater is on maternity leave! 

Reading Room Plan with 1st Grade @ 2:35pm

Tuesday, January 9th
Faculty Meeting @ 2:50pm (Presentation Space)

Wednesday, January 10th
Common Plan Time

Thursday, January 11th

Friday, January 12th
PreK Screening
5 by Friday! Keep those positive connections with families going!

(01/14) Happy Birthday Jen Fullone :)

Blog Posts Worth Reading:
The Risks in What We Don’t Do by George Couros

6 EdTech Tools to Try in 2018 by Cult of Pedagogy

Are you up for a Teacher Bucket List Challenge? Click here for the PDF:
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or perhaps use this Happiness Calendar that offers daily suggested actions to help you be happier and bring more happiness to others!

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Week 18: 12/18/17 – 12/22/17

Let’s make this an amazing last 5 days before Winter Break for our KUBBIES!


This week we have some changes to our usual routine — Operation North Pole Visits on Wednesday, Spirit Assembly, Holiday Celebrations and sharing holiday wishes. Then on Friday, we all head home for Winter Break where our celebrations continue with our family and friends.

True for some, not for all. As Winter Break draws near, along with all of the excitement, it is not uncommon to see an increase in undesired behaviors and regression to previous behaviors in our students. For many of our students, home is a place where relationships are unhealthy, meals are not prepared, and drugs/alcohol or violence are part of daily life. For these students, many of whom we may not even be aware of their circumstances, the most consistent, positive and secure part of their life is time at school. No wonder they are exhibiting some stress. When these students walk out of our doors on Friday, there may be no breakfast or lunch, no counseling services, no celebrations, no gifts, and no one to encourage and support them.


So we support our children. We collaborate with our community to provide basic necessities (food, coats, meals). We give our kids books from our classrooms to read over the break. We express that we are thankful for each other and look forward to being together again as a school community in the new year.

And even though we are tired and looking forward to a much-needed break ourselves, we keep an eye on those who are acting out more than usual. We give them structure and routine. We give them a break. We give them encouragement. This may not be their favorite time of the year.

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-5-15-07-pmThank you for ALL YOU DO for our kids EVERYDAY!!! 

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, December 18th
Happy Birthday Kim Sendelbach :)
Reading Room Plan with 2nd Grade @ 2:35pm
Spirit Committee Meeting @ 2:30pm (D203)
*On the 5th Day before Winter Break…my principals gave to me…..a WINTER READ ALOUD! Click here to sign up for a 30 minute extra prep today and one of the admin will come in and share a holiday story with your students!

Tuesday, December 19th
All Staff! Gift Card Exchange @ 2:50pm in the Project Space – bring a $10 gift card to play!
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Wednesday, December 20th
Operation North Pole coming to provide a brand new coat to EVERY student! (more info being sent out via email)
1st Grade – Holidays Around the World Assembly (in Presentation Space)
2nd/3rd TAPS Meeting
PreK/Kinder Articulation during CPT
Board of Education Meeting @ 7:00pm (LMS)

Thursday, December 21st
Reading Room Drop Off
SLT – ELA Committee @ 2:35pm (PD Space Upstairs)

Friday, December 22nd
Reading Room Closed
Spirit Assembly @ 9:00am
PAJAMA DAY for all!

(01/05) Happy Birthday Kathy Holguin :)
(01/06) Happy Birthday Callie Biasco :)

Photos from Santa’s Visit

Blog Posts Worth Reading:
Not All Students Look Forward to Winter Break via WeAreTeachers

10 Excellent Extensions for Chrome by Eric Curts

20 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Over the Holidays by Jennifer Hogan

Books Under the Christmas Tree by Cynthia Alaniz

The Questions to Ask When the Kids Aren’t Reading by Pernille Ripp

13 Keys to Nurturing A Readerly Life by Tony Sinanis

Week 17: 12/11/17 – 12/15/17

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December can be a crazy time in the classroom. The kids are antsy, your personal to-do list is a mile long (professional and person), and you’re still trying to cover curriculum while you can. But it’s also a time for gratitude, tradition, and reflection, which is why We As Teachers created the Random Acts of Kindness Calendar (below) for the classroom! Download it, print it, and share it with your students!

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, December 11th
Winter MAP Testing
Winter Aimsweb Benchmarking
Reading Room Planning with 3rd Grade (2:35pm)

Tuesday, December 12th
Kennedy Singers to LMS for Winter Choral Concert Rehearsal (8:30am-10:00am)
Faculty Meeting @ 2:50pm
Winter Chorus Concert @ 6:30pm (LMS)

Wednesday, December 13th
PreK/PATS Tree Decorating Party (2-3pm)
TAPS (2nd & 3rd Grade)

Thursday, December 14th
December Buddy Event
Holiday Fund Gift Wrapping 2:30pm-3:05pm (Media Center)

Friday, December 15th
Santa Visits Kennedy School!
5 By Friday!
D81 Employee Holiday Party!

(12/16) Happy Birthday Sue O’Connell & Ola Heitz
(12/17) Happy Birthday Jessie Melendez (upstairs custodian)


Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 12.58.55 PMClick here to download a full size version of the calendar below:

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Week 16: 12/04/17 – 12/08/17

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, December 4th
Happy Birthday Michelle Miro :)
Kindergarten Reading Room Plan Meeting @ 2:35pm

Tuesday, December 5th
Happy Birthday Becky Zora :)

Wednesday, December 6th
AXA (Joseph Vance) in Faculty Lounge during Lunches
Technology Common Plan

Thursday, December 7th
Happy Birthday Dr. Boryszewski :)
SLT (combined) Meeting @ 2:35pm
Winter Wonderland @ LMS (6:30pm-8:30pm)

Friday, December 8th
Happy Birthday Cindy DeRose :)
5 Positive Connections by Friday!

Blogs Worth Reading:
You There…Filter your Gmail

How to Stop Killing the Love of Reading

8 Fantastic Ways to Find Anything in Google Drive