Week 10: 10/16/17 – 10/20/17

My go-to blog, Venspired, comes through again this week with another inspiring message:


“That part of the school year. The one where your plate gets so full you don’t know what to tackle first. The one where you’re pulled in 86 different directions, buried in to-do lists, and you feel behind on everything. Your classroom. Your graduate classes. Your life. It’s tempting, desirable, even easy to just settle. But when you settle, you’ll miss something. You’ll never know what amazing thing your class might create. You’ll never know about that better way to assess, plan, integrate. You’ll never read that article that changes your perspective. You’ll never see that opportunity you missed. Yep, you could settle. Or, not. It’s really up to you!”

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, October 16th
Medical Exclusion Day – Please see email from Anna Wrobel re: students who are not up to date with paperwork
Dental Screenings
1st Grade/Reading Room Team Plan @ 2:35pm

Tuesday, October 17th
Dental Screenings
Happy Birthday Mary Beth D’Andrea :)
1st SIP Committee Meeting @ 2:45pm <—-did everyone sign up for a committee?

Wednesday, October 18th
Dental Screenings
PreK/K/1st Grade TAPS Meetings
Board Meeting @ 7:00pm

Thursday, October 19th
Happy Birthday Eva Popowska :)
PreK Parent Workshops
The Great Shakeout (Earthquake Drill) @ 10:19am *See email for more info!
SLT – ELA (Cancelled)
District Math K-5 Meeting @ 3:30pm (District Office)

Friday, October 20th
Fall Picture Re-Takes

Week 9: 10/09/17 – 10/13/17

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I hope you had a wonderful 3-day weekend and enjoyed this beautiful October weather with your family & friends!

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, October 9th
No School: Columbus Day
Happy Birthday Mandy Vanderwaal :)

Tuesday, October 10th
Team Up Against Bullying – Wear your Favorite Sports Team
ROE Life Safety Visit
Faculty Meeting @ 2:50pm
Family Math Night/BPAC 4:00pm-5:30pm

Wednesday, October 11th
2nd/3rd Grade TAPS Meetings

Thursday, October 12th
PreK Field Trip to Johansen Farm
PATS Field Trip to Cosley Zoo

Friday, October 13th
2nd Grade Field Trip to Goebbert’s

(10/15) Happy Birthday Rose Karas :)

Week 8: 10/02/17 – 10/06/17

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, October 2nd
Parent Visitation Day (9-10am and 1-2pm)
Project Connect K-3rd *Students will write an anti-bullying message on a strip of orange paper that will connect to form a school-wide chain! Our message is much stronger when we come together to make a difference!

Tuesday, October 3rd
3rd Grade Field Trip to Goebbert’s

Wednesday, October 4th
1st Grade (Rooms 100, 101, 110) Field Trip to Safety Town

Thursday, October 5th
Vision/Hearing Screenings (Room 112)
SLT Math Meeting @ 2:40pm (Upstairs PD Space)
Happy Birthday Barbara Brzozowska :)

Friday, October 6th
Vision/Hearing Screenings (Room 112)
PreK Screenings

Blog Posts Worth Reading:
What’s In Your Teacher Carry-On?

10 Things to Say Instead of ‘Stop Crying’

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Week 7: 09/25/17 – 09/29/17

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Each day we choose to bring our best self, ready to learn and provide the best learning experiences for our students!

Learning is what happens when we seek new experiences, try what we have never experienced, or when we fail to accomplish what we set out to do. Doing the same exact thing again and again will not create new learning. BE BOLD! What’s the worst thing that can happen?

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, September 25th
Reading Room Plans with 3rd Grade (2:35pm-3:05pm, E217)
Happy Birthday Marta Ocon :) 

Tuesday, September 26th
Faculty Meeting @ 2:50pm (Presentation Space)

Wednesday, September 27th
1st Grade (Rooms 102, 103, 108, 109) Field Trip to Safety Town – 9:00am-11:00am

Thursday, September 28th

Friday, September 29th
5 Positive Connections by Friday!

Blog Posts Worth Reading
Search for the Best Chrome Apps & Extensions to Use in the Classroom

Week 6: 09/18/17 – 09/22/17

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, September 18th
Math Team Leader Meeting @ District Office 3:45pm

Tuesday, September 19th
Happy 75th Birthday Roger Pape :)

Wednesday, September 20th
Happy Birthday Michelle McMorrow :)

Thursday, September 21st
Happy Birthday Bridget Elliott :)
SLT (ELA) Meeting @ 2:45pm (Prof. Development Space Upstairs)
Mentor Meeting @ LMS 3:45pm

Friday, September 22nd
5 by Friday! Continue to make POSITIVE CONNECTIONS with families each week!
Cycle 1 Ends.

(09/24) Happy Birthday Brittney Lane :)

****Interested in showcasing some of your amazing technology integration ideas at the ICE (Illinois Computing Educators) Conference? Submit a proposal!
Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 3.49.00 PMBlog Posts Worth Reading:
What All Grade Levels Can Learn from a PreSchool Classroom via Bethany Hill

5 Ways to Help Students in Trauma via Edutopia

The Brain is Wired for Math – Sort Of via Edutopia

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Have you tried MyOn News in your classroom yet? Our free trial lasts until the end of October & I’m eager to hear your feedback!

myON NEWS 2017 from myON Fanclub on Vimeo.

Week 5: 09/11/17 – 09/15/17


Monday, September 11th
New Teacher Meeting
Happy Birthday Beatriz Diaz :)
Spiritwear Sale Begins! <—click to order online, or fill out an order form!

Tuesday, September 12th
PreK/PATS Field Trip to Lincoln Park Zoo
Faculty Meeting @ 2:50pm (Presentation Space)

Wednesday, September 13th
1/2 Day (AM PreK dismisses at 10:30am, K-3 dismisses at 10:55am)
*SIP Agenda will be emailed on Monday!

Thursday, September 14th

Friday, September 15th
Kennedy Fall Picture Day <–click for the schedule
(*Teachers, please add your classroom totals – see any issues with your picture time? Please email Stephanie)
5 Positive Connections by Friday :)

Week 4: 09/04/17 – 09/08/17

“What makes a good school has very little to do with how rich or poor the students are, or the type of curriculum that’s taught. It has very little to do with the special programs, expansive playing fields, snappy uniforms, or whether the school is wired to the Internet. What makes a good school, whether it’s public or private, religious or nonreligious, charter or non-charter, is a feeling. A feeling shared by the entire staff that their particular school is special. The feeling that their school really belongs to them.” (Manna, 1999).

At Kennedy School, each member of our team has a distinctive character that cares deeply about each and every one of our Kennedy Kubbies. Your unique attributes and talents contribute to the feeling people get when they enter this building. As a result, our children will remember you long after they leave Kennedy.

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“Schools are not buildings, curriculums, and machines. Schools are relationships and interactions among people.”

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I hope everyone enjoyed a relaxing and enjoyable weekend with friends and family. Here’s our 4-day week at a glance:

Monday, September 4th
NO SCHOOL: Labor Day

Tuesday, September 5th
Book Fair Preview Day (*In Room 106)
Full Time Bilingual Services Begin
K-3 Faculty Meeting @ 2:40pm (Presentation Space)
PreK Faculty Meeting @ 2:50pm (Media Center)

Wednesday, September 6th
Book Fair Buy Day (Room 106)

Thursday, September 7th
Book Fair Buy Day (Room 106)
Curriculum Night (6:30pm-8:00pm)

**Check out our Kennedy School Curriculum Night Pinterest Board & pin your ideas to the shared board.

Friday, September 8th
GO GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness
*5 by Friday — Have you made 5 positive connections this week? Phone call, email, positive postcard….

Week 3: 08/28/17 – 09/01/17

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As I visited each classroom in our school this past week, I observed each of you setting the tone for a culture of caring in your classrooms; classrooms where teachers and students care about learning, about each other, and care about our Kennedy community. The first weeks of school set the tone for the entire year. If our students leave school feeling excited about themselves as learners & about you as their teacher, then we’re doing something right!  Always remember that our kids will meet any expectations we set for them, as long as we are firm, fair, and consistent with these expectations and build relationships with our students so that they will want to meet them. The primary way to accomplish this positive relationship-building with our students is simply caring deeply about them as learners and young people and taking the time to get to know them, as well as showing them just how much you care.

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, August 28th
New Teacher Meeting @ 2:45pm

Tuesday, August 29th
Evacuation Drill to North Park @ 9:00am
Mentor Meeting @ 3:45pm (LMS Room 213/215)

Wednesday, August 30th
Common Plan Time

Thursday, August 31st

Friday, September 1st
Code Red Drill
5 Positive Family Connections by Friday :)
Please use the Positive Postcards in the office, as well as any other form (phone call, email, note home, certificate) to make 5 positive connections with your students’ families by Friday!


Did you complete the Getting to Know Your Questionnaire?

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*********All staff: Please take a moment to record a video of yourself, as we collectively introduce ourselves to the KENNEDY FAMILIES/COMMUNITY. 

Click this link & record your video by 12pm on Friday so I can include the flipgrid in this week’s Kennedy School E-News!

Week 2: 08/21/17 – 08/25/17

What a great first week (technically 3 days) at Kennedy! As expected, there were a few tears, but the smiles and laughs outweighed the few. I appreciate everyone’s help and extra care during arrival. Thank you to ALL staff for going the extra mile to help get our year off to an amazing start. Let’s keep that up this week, as well!

As we prepare for our first full week with the students, I hope you will take a few quiet moments to put aside lesson planning, forget about administrative tasks and consider our purpose (as a school, and as individual educators). When we walk in on Monday morning, please remember that you are a difference maker! The small gestures you make to welcome students and show an interest in their lives will have an impact. This year, you will have opportunities to build confidence where it hasn’t existed, develop connections that have never been present, and generate hope with your students. Our classrooms are filled with individuals with a variety of needs, and it’s up to US to make sure they thrive! The only way for that to happen is to build a connection with each student. When we truly know them all as individuals, we can understand them as learners.

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WE WANT TO GET TO KNOW YOU BETTER! Please take a few minutes and complete the Google Form here!

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, August 21st
1st Day of PreSchool
Bernie’s Book Bank is coming!!! Each student will receive a bag of 6 new or gently used books to take home! The books will be unloaded into the gymnasium – once there, we’ll call classrooms down — and your students can come pick their book bags up (just like last January).
MAP Testing Window Opens
Let’s get our intervention Routines Started Soon!

Tuesday, August 22nd
Bus Evacuation Drill <—K-3 Students will get the opportunity to practice with the new seat belts on our school buses & learn bus safety! More information and a schedule where teachers will be able to sign up for their own slots will come from Stephanie.
Math Team Meetings after school (2:30pm-3:05pm) <–math team leader will share an agenda

Wednesday, August 23rd
Common Plan Time – Team Leaders will share an agenda

Thursday, August 24th
ELA Team Meetings after school (2:30pm-3:05pm) <–ELA team leader will share an agenda

Friday, August 25th
5 by Friday! As a school, let’s all commit to making 5 Positive Connections by Friday of every week! Kennedy postcards can be found in the main office!
ABC Pool Party for Washington/LMS (8-10pm)

(08/26) ABC Pool Party for Kennedy (7-9pm)

Remember, we must make an effort to build relationships with our families, too!
Read this awesome blog post here about how to engage successfully with our families!

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Week 37: 05/22/17 – 05/26/17

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It’s hard to believe we have reached the point in the year where we only have 4 days left! It has been a great year of teaching & learning, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your friendship and support.

In the middle of packing away materials, finishing report cards & last minute projects, there is one part of the year that is so bittersweet….the good-byes! Remember to take time to tell your students what they mean to you this week. Have lunch in the classroom or outside. Ask each student to share their favorite memory. Share your favorite memories with your class. Send a Kennedy Kubbie positive postcard to every student and put it in the mail on the last day of school to wish them a great summer! ENJOY THESE LAST FOUR DAYS! It’s the happiest & saddest time all in one. So, while you’re counting down the last 5 days and trying to cross off those final items from your never-ending to-do list, remember to enjoy your final time together & make your end of the year count! :)

For those of you moving on to new adventures, remember that you’re only as good as your last exit…….and for those of us returning, know that students remember the educators that we are the last week of school…..so let’s make sure they remember the best of what we have to offer. This last week (4 days) is going to FLY by so please commit to making them count. Let’s all feel great about what we’ve accomplished this year! Finish strong and wrap up the year with a beautiful bow…Have a wonderful week and remember to be great for our Kubbies and each other.

“No one has a problem with the first mile of a journey. Even an infant could do fine for a while. But it isn’t the start that matters. It’s the finish line.”

  ― Julien Smith

Here’s our final week at a glance for the 2016-2017 school year:

Monday, May 22nd
2nd Grade Picnic @ North Park
Summative Meetings (Bring your laptop)
8:45am-10:30am (127, 130, 132) Kinder Graduation Practice @ LMS
9:00am (101, 103, 109 & 110) 1st Grade Trip to the Schiller Park Library
10:00am (100, 102, 108) 1st Grade Trip to the Schiller Park Library
11:30am-1:30pm (128, 129, 131, 133) Kinder Graduation Practice @ LMS
8th Grade Graduation @ E. Leyden HS (6:30pm)

Tuesday, May 23rd
Kindergarten Graduations (9:00am and 11:00am) @ LMS
FINAL Faculty Meeting @ 2:50pm (Presentation Space)

Wednesday, May 24th
2nd Grade Field Trip to Brunswick Zone @ 9am
1st Grade Picnic @ North Park
Kindergarten Screenings
Summative Meetings (Bring Your Laptop)
3rd Grade Dinosaur Fair (10:30am-11:30am)
Class Building during CPT

Thursday, May 25th
Happy Birthday Monica Sloma :)
PreK Celebrations (8:15-8:45, 9-9:30, 9:45-10:15 and 10:30-11:00am)
Kindergarten Screenings
LAST Day of School ~ All staff report to the bus lane at 2:25pm for our annual tradition of “waving goodbye to our students” …. *Check out our photos/videos from last year here.

*Looking to remove items from your classroom for next year, or better yet — find some great treasures that others are looking to find new homes for? Check out the END OF THE YEAR SURPLUS LIST