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

Week 15: 11/27/17 – 12/01/17

I hope you enjoyed your time off, spending time with family, friends & those you love. Now we move to the month of December where it is full of learning, fun, and special events…and a holiday break to enjoy. We have lots to do with our kids from now until December 22nd, and look forward to their growth when they return in January. They always seem more grown up right after the break…happens every year!

Things to keep in mind these next 4 weeks:

  • For some of our students who will say “it’s almost Winter break” and lack motivation, it is time to push them & keep them excited and eager to learn.
  • For our students who come from challenging circumstances at home and are feeling anxiety about not being at Kennedy for over two weeks (and acting out because of it), it is time to show them how much you care & make the most of these next 20 days.
  • For our students that just keep smiling & working hard each day, it is time to pull them aside and tell them how much you appreciate them (Positive Postcard?)

Be proud of what we’ve accomplished with our students so far this year, but please keep the focus on learning in your classrooms as we return from Thanksgiving Break. In addition, I’d encourage you to:

  • Take a second and tell a colleague that you’ve noticed how hard they are working and that you appreciate them working so hard. Gratitude and appreciation are also essential for a healthy work environment. A simple thank you and a show of appreciation can make all the difference.
  • Make time to reflect on some of the positives that we’ve had this year that may have been overlooked as we have overcome the challenges of not having enough time.
  • Set a tone for your students that regardless of how much time is left before a long break that all of us will work hard and make the most of our school days.
  • Celebrate being a member of our Kennedy School family

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, November 27th
SANTA’S SECRET SHOP – browse day {room 107} <—click for schedule

Tuesday, November 28th
Dr. Seuss SIP Committee Meeting @ 2:45pm (Room 110)
Faculty Meeting (cancelled)

Wednesday, November 29th

Thursday, November 30th
Happy Birthday Barbara Zawadzka :)
Technology Committee Meeting @ 2:30pm

Friday, December 1st
SANTA’S SECRET SHOP – buy day (last day)
5 by Friday! Make 5 positive connections with families!

(12/02) Happy Birthday Lizbeth Hohmeier

Have you RSVP’d for the Holiday Party? <–Please do so by Thursday, 11/30
The envelope for payment is in Melissa’s office.
This is what the email looks like in your Gmail:
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The 2nd annual event will be on Thursday, December 7th from 6:30-8:30pm at Lincoln Middle School.

It will be free admission for our families & not only will they have an opportunity to eat a delicious spaghetti dinner (served by the Board of Education), there will be crafts and games for children, as well as pictures with Santa.

 Please fill out the Google Form below if you’re able to help!
Let’s make this an AWESOME event for our kids! We need volunteers to help make each “station” a success. Your help and time is greatly appreciated!

Week 14: 11/13/17 – 11/17/17


Parent-Teacher conferences offer teachers & parents the opportunity to see, celebrate and support each individual child. Just as we all appreciate praise for our efforts, parents appreciate praise for their efforts & their child’s progress. As you offer information about the students in your room, always remember that you are speaking about someone’s ‘whole world’ and remember to be mindful of how that information will be received by your audience. I’m confident you will exude professionalism and confidence this week as you inform parents about curriculum, assessment, grading/reporting, strengths & opportunities for growth. I know you will continue to develop a working relationship with your families and deepen that home-school partnership. Thanks for all that you do in preparation for this very busy week! If Donna, Stephanie or I can offer you any support this week with conferences, please do not hesitate to ask. We are available and willing to sit-in on any conferences this week.

*Please take a few minutes to read the 2 blog posts below:

6 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Parent/Teacher Conferences by Todd Schmidt

What I Really Want to Ask at All Those Parent/Teacher Conferences

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, November 13th
NO SCHOOL for Students: Parent/Teacher Conferences
American Education Week Begins
Happy Birthday Stephanie Winberg :)

Tuesday, November 14th

Wednesday, November 15th
Happy Birthday Sandy Montes de Oca :)
PreK/PATS Thanksgiving Feast 2-3pm
Common Plan Time (cancelled due to conferences)
Board of Education Meeting @ 7pm

Thursday, November 16th
STAFF Thanksgiving Feast
SLT ELA (cancelled due to conferences)

Friday, November 17th
5 by Friday! Enjoy your Thanksgiving Break, everyone! 

(11/19) Happy Birthday Justine Milenkovich :)
(11/20) Happy Birthday Rosa Worwa :)
(11/21) Happy Birthday Emily Kronlage :)

Week 13: 11/06/17 – 11/10/17

While the graphic below shows the Phases of First Year Teachers, it’s completely normal for all educators (and admin) to experience these “phases” throughout the course of a school year. I  know as a principal, I too, experience these sentiments. The difference is that I know to expect these different phases of the year, and that I will make it through each one. I don’t know about you, but I don’t even need to look at this image below to know that we’re at the “survival” point of the school year.

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The key to the survival phase is to make sure that you are taking care of yourself, because you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first. I appreciate the thoughtful time you are putting into preparing for report cards & Parent/Teacher Conferences coming up soon and that you will have great conversations with your students’ parents to inform and involve them in their child’s learning. I realize this means you have many late nights ahead of you in the weeks ahead, so please make sure to make time for yourselves to relax or do whatever it is that you do to rejuvenate!

Some other great tips to avoid teacher burnout include:
-Ask for help
-Don’t sweat the small stuff
-Don’t play the teacher at home
-Take time for yourself
-Remember why you teach

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Monday, November 6th
Happy Birthday Kaitlin Teater :)
3rd Grade Veterans Day Rehearsal in Presentation Space (8:05am)
Kindergarten/1st Grade going to LMS for Musical @ 8:45am
Reading Room Plan with 2nd Grade (Presentation Space) @ 2:35pm

Tuesday, November 7th
No School for Students – Teacher Institute Day <–click for agenda
Happy Birthday Maria Rodriguez :)

Wednesday, November 8th
2nd/3rd Grades going to LMS for Musical @ 8:45am

Thursday, November 9th
3rd Grade Veterans Day Rehearsal in Presentation Space (8:05am)

Friday, November 10th
Happy Birthday Gloria Reyes :)
3rd Grade Veterans Day Performance @ LMS (10:30am)
*5 Positive Connections by Friday!
*Please try to have your report cards printed by today! If there are any issues, we need to know about them so we can help resolve them! 

(11/11) Happy Birthday Becky Shoufer & Julie Fister :)
(11/12) Happy Birthday Sarah Mixa:)

*Need another Winter Spiritwear Order Form? CLICK HERE – Orders due November 17th!

*Please make sure to keep the master Fall 2017 Conference Google Doc updated as changes are made! Also, please notify staff members who have added a “comment” or “note” in the cell so they are aware that a conference time was changed!

Week 12: 10/30/17 – 11/03/17

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The storybook pumpkins look AMAZING! The pumpkins are a perfect example of the wonderful, creative, imaginative work that can happen when great minds get together! You showed tremendous teamwork and I am so proud of your efforts and creativity. Everytime our students walk through the media center, they admire the Storybook Pumpkins and comment on how creative they are! NICE JOB!!! Remember — each student should cast their vote for their FAVORITE storybook pumpkin on Halloween! Google Form ballot will be emailed out tomorrow!

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, October 30th
Reading Room Plan with 3rd Grade (Presentation Space) @ 2:35pm

Tuesday, October 31st
Halloween Parades <—see doc for all info
8:45am (AM PreK Parade), 12:30pm (PM PreK Parade), and 1:00pm (K-3 parade)

Wednesday, November 1st

Thursday, November 2nd
SLT Math Meeting @ 2:35pm (PD Space Upstairs)

Friday, November 3rd
Trimester 1 Ends
Fall Birthday Breakfast (in Lounge)
PreK Screening

**Reminder for Tenured Teachers*
Tenure teacher professional growth meetings completed before November 1st.
ALL tenured teachers must complete a Professional Growth Plan.

16 Best Classroom Pandora Stations, As Recommended by Teachers

Print Custom Sticky Notes with Google Slides

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